How Many Targets Do You Practice With?
As a rifle and pistol field-target competitor who used to host occasional FT matches at my place, I still own 8-10 field targets after giving away about 15 more (when I quit hosting matches). I now have a nice wind-protected lane set up with 4 field targets to practice for competitions, and four more targets exposed to the hideous winds normal at my place.
I place 3 targets within the pistol FT range limit of 35 yards, and a fourth within the rifle limit of 55 yards. All targets fall in a Troyer Factor target difficulty range a bit higher than average for high-level rifle field target competitions (state and national championships). That allows me to practice with rifle and pistol on targets reflective of national-caliber competitions.
Suffice to say pistol practice on high RIFLE-difficulty targets is like running with lead weights on your ankles, but makes championship matches less intimidating and works well for me.
But I'd think 4 field targets set at different ranges would be ample variety for non-competitors and gratifying plinking purposes.
I have 10 or 12 out. A few from 10-35, then one at 37, then 40, then 42 and so on to 55. I use these for marking my ranges on my scope and getting my clicks. It's better than walking out to move the targets between distances. For 10-18yd I do every half yard. I'll set up five or six targets at a time to speed things up. That's my method for getting my range and turret tapes set up.
As for practice it's usually 3 or four targets. One close with a small reducer then one at my zero, another at 40-45yd then 55yd.
As far as quality of targets, the Air Venturi rat on the run is a good quality target, especially for the money.
They have reducers behind the faceplate which makes them not legal for AAFTA compliant targets. Easily modified to make them legal.
I have 35 targets, a mixture between rats, crosman zombies and Remington pigs/ bunnies. All have upgraded hardware for better reliability. Where the rat on the run has all the upgraded hardware.
It's nice to have plenty of targets, but realistically it's nice to have some at multiple distances and change your firing line position to help stagger your distances. It's a good way to get more practice in moving and getting in position over and over, and not have to buy so many targets.
4-5 targets would be good for that style of practice.
I only use 3 knock down field targets out of the 40 I have in my collection. I like collecting them. Many have custom face plates on Crosman, Gamo and Umarex targets. I have one 40mm (1.57 inch) KZ at 55 yards, one 25.4 mm (1 inch) KZ at 38 yards and one 12.7mm (1/2 inch) KZ at 20 yards.
I saw Paul Porch's video on upgrading the Gamo Squirrel, so I plan on doing that. I will also see about adding at least 3 more targets, maybe the Crosman target, although the Zombie is not my thang so to speak (multi-colored target). Weather contingent, I do not plan to leave these targets element, and will store them accordingly after each practice session.
I own the Gamo Squirrel, and I am considering adding either another squirrel, or maybe the Air Venturi Rat. For those with private ranges, how many knock down targets do you own and practice with?
I own afew. Lol I usually put out about 10 at a time in my backyard or at my shop to shoot at. I don't put out the strings though. I just shoot each one once then go out and reset them.
I get many questions on targets all the time as the owner of Paul’s Custom Targets. Especially form folks starting clubs.
I always tell them they can save a ton of money buying the less expensive thinner targets to start. There are many out there like the Gamos, Remington, Umarex, etc.
I personally tell them to get the “Air venturi Rat on the Run” at Pyramid air. They are better built then the others, with using lock nuts for adjustability and rear mounted reducers. They function well and hold up well. With the locking nuts and bolts, they hold up well outdoors all year with little to maintenance or lubrication. Also they are easily painted brown or white to add variety toi the spread. Eyes are easy with a marker.
As for how many to put out, I use around 40 but that is because I make them…lol
Seriously, as many as you can afford would be what I recommend. You will encounter various kill zone size at all ranges. Use the Troyer scale for a guide. AAFTA Resources
At the main page click "Resources" at the top menu. Ten click the rifle distances. It will show you the limits for the kill zone sizes per yards.
If you need more targets, go to Dollar Tree and get the foam poster boards for $1.00.
Then I cut them into smaller squares and attach them to pieces of cheap but stiff wire fence with duct tape and stick them in the ground. (They are also great for putting beside a FT to see where the wind moves your pellet if you miss the FT)
Then use either ¼” stick on dots from Wal Mart or Staples for kill zones. On the closer targets under 30 Yards, I just put a dot from a Sharpie marker on them. Fill all the cards with multiple dots. Don't forget spinner targets in the mix.
When practicing with all these targets, I too don’t use strings. I just get up and reset them all. That way I can work on my breathing and heart rate when I sit back down. I start to shoot right away to work on seeing how that walking and bending over effects my shooting.
A shameless plug here, but I make heavy face plates that replace the Gamo and other inexpensive FT ones. They just bolt rt on. I also make faceplates that go over the Rat targets that you simply drill the mounting holes. They function fine, with just the rats head and tail sticking out. Being black you really don’t notice it.
Hope this helps and thanks for looking at the film I made on upgrading the Gamo targets….
Interesting that you do not use strings to reset targets. Maybe as my collection of targets grow I could work on that technique for raising and lower heart rate (due to the up & down exertion). After this past election, I scoured a voting site and collected a trunk full of re-usable target holders. Great for ranging and bench testing ect.