By Dan Kidder
With ammunition in short supply, spending the time we might like practicing the diminishing skill of firearms training gets tougher and tougher. Standing in one spot, slinging the limited lead we have in stock at a paper target can become routine and boring and may keep us from spending the time we need practicing.
The good news is, there are options available that can help bring the fun back into practice time and create additional challenges that improve accuracy and provide immediate positive reinforcement. Interactive targets are a great way to recreate the feeling of a carnival shooting gallery, make practice enjoyable and are well worth the ammo expended upon them. Here are a few options you can pick up at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse store.
Do-All Outdoors Blast Back Automatic Pop-Up Target
Nothing says “hit” like the ring of steel. Even without coming off of the sights, the knowledge that you made a good shot is reinforced by the sound of the round hitting a steel plate. The Blast Back Automatic Pop-Up Target from Do-All Outdoors not only gives you that instant gratification of knowing you have hit the target, but it offers three plates in the 9MM – .30-06 target and four in rimfire target. Each plate is brightly colored to give you positive contrast with your sights. Each version has multiple falling red plates that are reset by striking the remaining black plate. Both units are easily dissembled for transport and can provide hours of fun. When the paint gets worn off, simply reapply some spray paint to keep on shooting.
Do-All Steel Roundup Dueling Tree
The Steel Roundup Dueling Tree from Do-All Outdoors adds a level of competition to your rimfire shooting practice. You can feel like a ‘Top Shot’ contestant going head to head with your friends. Four red and four black paddles are set up on either side of the center steel post. Hit your color to move it to the other side. Hit your opponent’s paddles to move them back to their side. This is especially fun with a matched pair of high capacity rifles, like AR-15 .22s or 10-22s. Keep moving the paddles back and forth until both of you run out of ammo and score who has the most paddles on their opponent’s side. This is fun for the whole family and is especially challenging with pistols.
Champion DuraSeal Triple Varmint
The DuraSeal Triple Varmint Target from Champion offers three spinning prairie dog silhouettes made of Champion’s self sealing DuraSeal material. Weights on the bottom allow them to spin when hit, but they always return to their upright position for hours of continuous shooting. Rimfire, pistol and even high-powered rifle rounds leave tiny holes that can barely be seen, allowing for tens of thousands of rounds to strike the targets before they need to be replaced.
Champion DuraSeal Single Diamond
Like the Triple Varmint, the DuraSeal Single Diamond from Champion offers the DuraSeal material in a spinning bright orange target. Its weighted base returns it upright after each hit. The single nature of the target means that each shooter can have their own target or multiple targets placed at various ranges to work on transitions. Its large diamond shape and bright orange color make it easy to acquire sight picture and the DuraSeal material allow a wide variety calibers to be used. On both the Triple Varmint and the triple Diamond, be very careful to avoid hitting the thin metal rods that act as stands as they will bend or shear pretty easily. They can also be difficult to place into rocky ground because they are thin and bendable.
Do-All Impact Seal Ground Bouncing Reactive Targets
“Never the same shot twice”, is how Do-All Outdoors markets their Ground Bouncing Targets. Available in a variety of shapes, these Impact Seal targets roll, spin, bounce, flip and move all over the place with each shot. Great for practicing transition to a move target, the movement of the targets makes them harder to hit and help to improve rapid sight alignment and adjustment to different ranges and positions. Their bright orange color make them stand out and their rugged Impact Seal construction allows them to take tens of thousands of shots from everything from a rimfire to a .50 caliber rifle. We did learn two important things in our testing: They don’t move very much with small rimfires as their weight prevents them from rolling and don’t use hunting rounds, like a Nosler Partition, from a high-powered rifle, as the expanding bullets can tear the Impact Seal material.
Champion 22 Rimfire Bullet Trap
When you may not have the luxury of a high berm to shoot into, the 22 Rimfire Bullet Trap provides a rock solid backstop that captures your bullets and provides that satisfying clang of steel when using standard paper targets. A 10” by 11” target area allows you to use a wide variety of targets. A heavy duty clip holds your favorite target in place and the heavy steel construction ensures the box will capture even the hardest hitting .22 LR rounds. Pair this with your favorite VisiShot target to see your hits with the naked eye from a long way away.
Champion Folding Target Holder
The Folding Target Holder from Champion allows you to easily set up your paper targets anywhere you may want to shoot. While not technically a reactive target, it does let you easily transport your practice to any place you have a berm and open land. The Folding Target Holder easily unfolds, much like a camp chair and sets up in seconds. Heavy steel binder clips secure the corrugated plastic backer in place to the frame. A nylon carry bag stores everything you need for easy transport. Weighing just four pounds, the Folding Target Holder is a great tool for sighting in a rifle at deer camp, catching some extra trigger time on the fly or providing instruction to novice shooters.
There is no substitute for getting in live-fire practice and these reactive targets from Champion and Do-All are great for bringing the fun back into your sessions. Make sure you check out these and all of the reactive targets available at your local Sportsman’s Warehouse.