Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Targets For Practice

Originally published at Musings Over a Pint:

While loading up the car recently for a trip to the range, I was struck by the number of different target styles we have on hand. I thought I'd share a few of them.

There's the USPSA practice target, for obvious reasons. I've have similar targets on order with the IDPA layout. We occasionally use the headshot / hostage target. You can alternate which figure you want to hit. And yes, even as a paper silhouette it adds to the pressure. The two targets with the colored shapes are part of Rob Pincus' "Balance of Speed and Precision" series. There's an unlimited number of drills and games you can create with these. Of course, we also use the ubiquitous "man with a gun" poster. The numbered circles on the side add to the options. The body silhouette with scoring rings is one of the earliest targets we started using. Affectionately known as "postage stamp" guy for the small tiny target in the upper left. There's more than one tiny postage stamp guy with a center hit posted as a trophy on a shooter's refrigerator or office door.

Most of these paper targets are 24 inches wide, which is wider than the typical 18" cardboard USPSA/IDPA targets, and stands. When I made my stands I set them up to accommodate the wider targets. I keep a constant eye out for scrap cardboard wide enough to use with the stands.

Why so many targets? Mostly for the fun of it. We like to mix things up at the range, and we sure don't want to get bored. A lot of our range trips involve "games" we make up, and the various targets add to our options.

Of course, that's just the commercial paper targets. We also use paper plates, index cards, sticky notes, colored construction paper, the occasional lottery ticket or novelty target. We'll haul out the steel targets regularly too.

Both in sport and self defense, one doesn't want to train to always look for an X. I believe that using a variety of targets, and mixing up the drills and games we play, helps to avoid complacency in practice. And we certainly never get bored!

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