How to Make Safe and Fun Shooting Targets

Target shooting is a fun sport. However, finding safe and fun targets can be difficult. Pre-printed targets available at places that sell shooting supplies are expensive. Also, target shooters of all ages enjoy seeing a target that reacts to the impact of the bullets. It is easy to make fun, interesting and safe shooting targets at home.

Butcher Paper Targets

Rolls of butcher paper are inexpensive. It is the perfect size for making larger silhouette style targets. Cut off a piece of butcher paper to the size needed. Use permanent markers to draw whatever shapes are desired on the targets. Hunters can make a cardboard template of game animals to make it easy to replicate the patterns on the paper. If children are going to be shooting the targets, let them create their own. Different colors of markers can be used to add scenery if desired. Use red or black crosshair shapes to mark the bullseye on each target.

Plastic Jug Targets

Plastic milk jugs make great animated targets. Be sure that the target range permits them to be used. Simply fill up some empty milk jugs with water and some food coloring. Every hit gives instant feedback. Low velocity ammunition such as.22 Long Rifle pokes holes in the jugs making them leak. High velocity rifle cartridges blow the jugs apart into a spray of colored water. Only shoot animated targets from a safe distance to avoid being hit with water or flying bits of plastic from the milk jugs. Never use glass jars or jugs as targets under any circumstances.

Veggie Targets

Local farms that grow melons or pumpkins often have many that cannot be sold. Pumpkins and watermelons make great targets for higher velocity ammunition. The kinetic energy from a high velocity rifle or handgun cartridge can make a mess of these targets. Be sure to stay far enough back to avoid the spray from them.

Balloon Targets

These are fun, cheap and give instant feedback when a hit is scored. It is like arcade shooting and so easy to set up. Use a hand pump to save having to use lung power to inflate a bag of multi-color balloons to different diameters. Inflate some all the way and others just a little. Tie a knot at the opening of each balloon. Use a staple gun or thumbtacks to hold the balloons on a target board. Be sure to only pierce the tail of the knot in the balloon. Set a point score for each size or color of balloon, and let the competition begin. Latex is not biodegradable so be sure to clean up before leaving the range.

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