Reactive Targets

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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

Iron Maiden Sniper Targets

A Ft. Benning sniper school instructor poses with a steel "Iron Maiden" that audibly rings when struck by a bullet.

Reactive Targets

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