Fun stuff to shoot at.

4ked Horn

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2007
My Buddy Gonehuntingagain and I are in the process of building a high power, long range shooting gallery. We have the swingset with a 12" T1 gong that we also hang bowling pins from. We are building som "big boy" swinging targets that will have replaceable plates (9" bottom and 6" on top about 2' appart). I just scored some tubing from the neighbors trampoline frame (they were throwing it out) that will make some swell target frames.

I will post pictures of all this when we go set it all up.

Now, the question:

What else besides steel plates, bowling pins and bowling balls could we hang out there at 300+ yards and shoot at that won't make a mess in the desert?

I wont shoot at appliances or other rubbish. The bowling ball chunks are easy enough to pick up and the bowling pins take a ton of lead before splitting up. These are the types of ideas I am looking for.

I'm trying to figure out how to hold the neighbors cat out there. (yust yoking

Thanks for your ideas.
.. I enjoy shooting "SouthEastern Prairie Dogs".. Which is basically any kindof cheap sugar-free (don't wanna feed them dang fire-ants!) soda that comes in cans.. They can be had for a couple of bucks a dozen and clean-up is easy.. Plus they're entertaining reactive targets that ain't too easy to hit on out there..
.. I shove a stick in the bottom hole of the bowling pins and stand them up on the ground.. That way it takes a bit more to knock'em over.. I hit one pretty solid at 750 with a 139gr SST and it still stood.. d:^) JiNC
I have a dozen steel plates that stand by themselves on bases, set them up in rows or alternating with two partially hiding a third one and shoot to knock them over. We use 1/2" pieces of steel, 12 to 18" square, have two pieces of angle iron welded on the bottom to make an upside down T so that they stand by themselves. Really good practice, we don't shoot them closer than 700 yards and they will last forever. If you set them up in dirt and they don't want to fall over then just put a pebble under the front edge so the plate leans back a bit, then it will go over. Make them smaller if you are shooting closer, and thicker or of hardened steel as they will get beat up.

We have some of these targets drilled so we can hang them from chains on the target frames, also stand them up on top of our big frames so that they get knocked off, lots of stuff you can do if you have lots of targets.
Thanks Jake.

I like to use an empty soda can and a full soda can to demonstrate hydostatic shock to nonshooters or new shooters that we bring to the range.

I shoot the empty one with my .243 loaded with a 70 gr ballistic tip. Goes right through it and often leaves it standing.

Then we shoot the full soda can with a teeny weeny .22 CCI stinger. The can comes apart and soda goes in all directions getting everything wet in a 5 foot circle.

That is usually impressive to a newbie.

Then we shoot another full soda can with the .243 again.

This is always fun.
We have steel targets, but for fun, we use 20 oz soda bottles filled with water at 500 and gallon milk jugs with water at 1k. Both are easy to clean up.

Both can be humbling experiences.

For under 500 yards, good old fashioned clay pigeons. Leave them out there until the next rain they are gone. Biodegradable I suppose and you sure know when you hit them.
You can set them up to hang with a little string and some clothes pins. With a little wind it can really make things interesting.
The milk jugs are a good idea.

We are always throwing them away. (the wife buys 3 types of milk for the family) and they have a nice little handle to hang them from an S hook and a drop or two of food coloring makes them easy to see against a hazy sky.

We actually brought milk hugs to shoot at once and when we looked at them through our scopes we could hardly see them as they were almost perfectly matches to the distant clouds on the horizon.

We also go through the french vanilla creamer bottles quickly. They are the approximate size and shape of the body part of a standing rock chuck.

[ 03-23-2004: Message edited by: 4ked Horn ]
Thanks quiet hunter and ian.

I can combine both of your ideas. I will weld some steel strips to the top of my metal target frames so I can set pigeons in them. Sort of a bonus target. When the gong gets to easy to hit at that partiular range we can try for a smaller pigeon.

Or just hang a couple dozen from the frame with your string and clothes pin idea.

Thanks guys.
Balloons are fun too, especially when there is a little wind, which here in ND is all the time. You can control how much they move with the length of the string you use to tie them to your stand. At under 300 yards old golf balls with a screw in them hung from anything are fun and you can try to hit them when the're still moving, providing you hit them with your first shot.

.. I've always had an interest in something like they use at the "Boomer Shoot".. But after reading up on it a bit it seems that there's a boo-coo of preparations and other stuff to facilitate the using of such things although it's perfectly legal..
.. That kindof thing would be a real hoot..!! d:^) JiNC
I always have found that charcoal is a great target. It's cheap and when you hit it solid, it leaves a nice cloud of dust.
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