In the past few years targets have become as “Tricked out” as the weapons firing at them. At the most basic design, a target is a simple sheet of paper with a set of concentric circles leading to a central dot, the bull’s-eye.
Today the options have expanded greatly. The basic paper target was updated to create colorful rings around bullet hole to increase the visibility of hits to the shooter. Many of these reactive paper targets produce a different color for each corresponding scoring ring.
Larger advances have come in the form of solid targets. The past saw many different ways to shoot steel targets. Steel plates were often mounted on shooting trees, used as spinners, poppers, gongs and so on. Today many of these designs have been reinvented using “Self-healing” polymers and plastics. The introduction of polymers has reduced the weight of many targets making them easier to move and cheaper to ship. Polymer self healing targets are available in various shapes and sizes including animal shapes and mannequins. One of the newest designs to become popular is zombie mannequins. These life-like mannequins have deep levels of detail, and can withstand over a thousand rounds of abuse before they are destroyed. Many include hit zones which will “bleed” when hit. These may not be the favorite of all shooters, but they prove that the target industry is evolving.
The last modern target I’d like to mention was actually patented in 1996, but has really jumped into mainstream attention in recent years. Binary explosive targets, commonly known as tannerite, are created when two components are mixed together in a container. Tannerite is then detonated when shot by a high velocity firearm. These targets are used frequently by firearm shows on television and the internet including Sons of Guns and FPS Russia.
Consider picking up some new targets before your next trip the range. You may be surprised at how much fun these new targets can be.
Some ranges will not allow certain target types. Please consult the rules specific to the range you plan to attend.