I'm a great fan of reactive targets because they make shooting fun and draw on a shooter's concentration in ways a paper target cannot. Constantiy look for ways to integrate these into your shooting drills.
BALLOONS: Inexpensive and very flexible, balloons can be inflated to predetermined diameters, then sorted by color to represent hostages and captors, etc. Helium-filled balloons tethered to bushes and stakes can transform any open meadow into a shooting gallery.
CLAY PIGEONS: Since they're 4 inches in diameter, clay pigeons should not be employed closer than 200 yards. The best way I've devised for attaching them to other targets is by gluing a string to the back with silicone cement, then stapling the string to the target face.
STYROFOAM HEADS: A police sniper friend introduced me to these, although mannequin heads were used by British snipers during World War II. Styrofoam heads, however, are relatively cheap at less than a dollar apiece and can be hit several times. Paint them a flesh pink or black tone, accent eyes and hair, etc., for the most realism.
EGGS AND GOLF BALLS: These are fun targets we've used at the end of sniper courses for old-fashioned shooting contests, but note that they're approximately the same size as a human brain stem. It's realistic to shoot them at 100 yards, although we've also shot 'em up at 200.
FALLING METAL PLATES: These can be made to order in any small shop. The beauty of metallic silhouettes is that, like helium balloons, they can make any meadowr a shooting gallery.
EXPLODING TARGETS: Measuring 2x2 inches, these cost about SI apiece. They're fun to shoot and a real challenge at 100 or more yards. Their pressure-sensitive adhesive backing allows fast attachment, say, to a silhouette's forehead. When these go "bang," you know it.
MILK CARTONS: Half-pint milk cartons make good targets for 200 or more yards, and, unlike glass containers, these are environmentally safe. A great sniping range can be prepared in minutes by half-concealing 10 milk cartons per shooter on a hillside 200 + yards away and letting spotters and snipers have at 'em.
MELONS: We've used these primarily for terminal ballistic demonstrations and simulated blood splatter, although they can be used more
A Ft. Benning sniper school instructor poses with a steel "Iron Maiden" that audibly rings when struck by a bullet.
Was this article helpful?
Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.