Target Shooting is the only type of shooting you should ever do. Otherwise you are just shooting carelessly into the wind. What ever you are shooting at, whatever your target, keep it safe, keep it fun. Gun Clubs have Shooting Ranges and some Shooting Ranges are open to the public. Call ahead so that you will not be disappointed when you arrive. If you are going to be shooting you need an open area, that is away from buildings and vehicles as well as animals, a good back drop/high hill and some approved targets to aim for will be very important. Two important things you NEED to know about Target Shooting:
FIND A SAFE AND APPROVED PLACE TO SHOOT YOUR GUN
You can not just shoot your gun anywhere. If you can not shoot on your own property, you need to find an approved place to shoot your guns. Remember even large parcels of land BELONG TO SOMEONE! There is no "In The Woods." or "Out on the Prairie." Someone owns that land. You need to join a Gun Club or find a Shooting Range or meet people that shoot on their own property to be able to shoot your gun.
USE TARGETS THAT ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
DO NOT SHOOT AT GLASS TARGETS. Seriously! Glass does not disappear, break down into the environment or get up and fix itself. Glass does not just go away, further it is dangerous when left out in the fields of the shooting range. People and animals can get hurt with it left there, and there is no way you can clean all of it up. Use plastic bottles filled with water, add food coloring if you like for a big show. Pick up the plastic bottles after you shoot and recycle them.
FOOD TARGETS MAKE A MESS AND DRAW ANIMALS AND BUGS TO THE AREA WHERE THE FOOD HAS BEEN SHOT! Think before you shoot. Just because you saw a guy (and his family) on TV that owns a gun shop shoot at targets that make a mess in the environment does not mean it is a good thing to do.
BALLOONS. Balloons are not the best targets to use, but if you are willing to really clean the small parts up, that means really hunt for those small parts that blew up, they are not bad for the environment. Broken balloons left behind are a real problem. Animals can and often do pick these parts up and can choke on them, or have their intestines blocked with them. Children or stupid adults could also be harmed by balloon pieces. Balloon rubber takes a very long time, if ever, to break down and go away. Please do not leave a mess behind when shooting.
Target Shooting is shooting at targets. Whether it is the paper targets as simple as white with a red bullseye, or steal gongs that ping when you are shooting them correctly. Target Shooting is a lot of fun and a proud moment when you hit that center ring or item you are aiming for. If you own a gun you will want to find a place to shoot your gun at targets. Deron and I use plastic water bottles and milk jugs filled with dispelled water, and rubber dog toys for practice.
A rubber toy can be shot many, many times, by even large caliber pistols and rifles, they will bounce, fly through the air, and you can pick them up and set them again. Deron and I have several we use over and over and over that we have shot with 22, 380, 9 mil, and 40 calibers. There are some holes in a few of the rubber toys, but they are still ready to be lined up for shooting competition between friends and cheap enough to replace often...but you won't have to replace them very often.
Impact Seal Ground - Bouncing Targets, you know, the Orange Shapes that often times Fly when you hit them just right. These will last a good long time and you can hit them with anything from 22 to 45 caliber pistols. Some people also use these at longer ranges for rifle target shooting.
22 Caliber Metal Spinning Targets, really are just for 22 caliber shooting. If you shoot them with, say a 380 like I did, it will really concave the target. But with a 22 caliber pistol, this is a fun target that when you hit the little targets, you can see them spin on the metal stand. These are also nice because you do not have to go and restand them.
These are fun and "self healing" targets. These are like other spinning targets in that you can see right away when you hit them and they do not have to be restood between rounds. How they heal themselves I do not know, but they do. You will not find a hole in one after shooting at it. Always read the information that comes with any targets, on these, there might be a caliber preference for self healing and long life.
Dueling Trees! These are so very KOOOOL. This is a Target that you can shoot side by side with another shooter and really have fun. Each shooter takes a side of targets (each with 1/2 of every other target swung to their side) and shoots those, as the shooters shot, the targets flip to the other shooters side. The first one to "clear the board" of targets, with all targets on the other side, wins. When purchasing Dueling Trees read the information, some are not meant for higher caliber handguns.
Cardboard makes great targets. You can cut out shaped and hang them on a frame, or shoot at paper targets attached to a cardboard box. If you are shooting at a cardboard box and need to anchor it down, do not put large rocks inside the box. The large rock could cause ricochet. If you need to anchor the cardboard box down, use smaller flatter rocks and spread them out within the box so that if they are hit with a bullet the rocks have room to move. Do not mount cardboard to steel items when shooting close range.
When you are using cardboard for your target, you can cover the bullet holes with stickers made just to fit over and the same color as the cardboard, or you can use masking tape. Between rounds, call a Cease Fire, and walk down, see just where you shot, and cover those holes so that one the next round you know exactly where that round of bullets went too.
We have a page that has information for building frames for and cutting out cardboard targets, have a look at the "Cardboard Targets and Stands" page here at this site. It is not Rocket Science, it does not take very long to put it all together, and with a little masking tape, you will have hours of target shooting fun/practice.
Zombie Targets bleed and ooze. They are also named. What is a Zombie? Zombies are what some people think might happen in our world today. People, but not really a person any longer, called "the undead", that are infected with disease and or radiation or laboratory mix up, that has turned them into something that can infect others with the same. So. To survive, zombies must be shot and stopped. These targets are pricey, but can be a lot of fun. Each comes with a name and a story. They can be shot with several calibers and used more than just the one time. These targets are mounted on wood stakes (yes, ironic) and are Biodegradable.
Knock Down Steel Targets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. These are really fun to shoot. Be sure when using them to stand a good ways back just in case there could be some ricocheting. These Knock Down Steel Targets really are fun, but be sure to call a "Cease Fire" before heading down the range to set them back up.
Walking or Flip Type Steel Targets are a LOT of fun. But you have to keep this type of shooting very safe. If you have more than one of these and you are shooting or racing them with another shooter, do NOT walk with the target. Stand/Stay behind a line. Send the Walking Target with your shots while standing still. Also, remember these are steel and do not get to close while shooting them, there could be ricochet.
When you have a the room on your range, when you have a gun with a scope, when you are looking for a lot of fun with a ping to let you know you have hit the target, you are ready for Gongs! Most gongs are set out at least 50'. You do not want them too close to the Firing Line because even though most are set to move, swing, they can still send back ricochet. You also need to make sure your Gong is hung well so that when it is shot, it stays hung and pings.
Bowling Pins remind me of Weebles....remember "Weebles Wobble but they don't fall down"? Until you have shot Bowling Pins you will not know how fun they are to try to shoot off a Steel Table! These pictured here are some that were used in a Gun Club Shoot that Deron and I went to and enjoyed very much. One thing is for sure, the bigger the bang of the gun, the more likely the Bowling Pins will get knocked OFF the table (the name of the game). Bowling Pins are not just a chunk of wood. If they were, these would not be as full of bullets as they are. Bowling Pins are laminated from many layers of wood, and as I understand it, in different directions to make them very strong and long lasting, perfect for not only Bowling Balls, but also a Fun Sunday Afternoon Shoot with many shooters of all calibers.
AGAIN, PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE WHEN YOU SHOOT AND CHOSE RESPONSIBLE TARGETS.
AND WHEN YOU ARE HAVING FRIENDS OVER TO SHOOT AND FOR DINNER, SET UP A NICE RANGE FOR THEM
We had friends over and Deron really set up a nice TRE (Target Rich Environment) Shooting Range at two directions out here on the Prairie. First, Deron had saved a bunch of our duck and goose eggs in a bucket we carried those up to a Berm to shoot, not as easy as it sounds! Now if you look at the photos you can see we had water bottle targets (filled with gray water) Cardboard IDPA Targets set on stands Deron built at 4', 5' and 6', we had swinging Metal Targets, Knock Down or Pop Up Metal Target, Swinging Bowling Pins, Gongs at 50, 100, 250 and 500 yards. We also had knock Down and on Stands small Animal Steel Targets. Deron had the Clay Pigeon Thrower ready to go but we did not shoot Shotguns this day. We had a shade set up to set our guns on the big ole stable picnic table under, snacks, and dinner, OOOOOH Dinner, man it was good! We shot for over 4 hours on a day just warm enough, without too much wind, and no bugs!
Here are some photos (none of me). We had such a very good time. You can see from the large dog bowl how much brass we picked up. And many of the rounds were 22 cal, and a few 25's. Small in the bowl, but helped fill it up.
The contents of this page for Target Shooting is still under construction. Please check back. Thanks!