Best Pistol Targets


July 30, 2007, 06:15 PM
Ive used rifle targets, paper plates, and pieces of cardboard as pistol targets. Do any of you have a favorite target to practice with your pistol. Also, how are you practicing with your pistol, IDPA practice, SD, long distance, what?

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July 30, 2007, 07:37 PM
The B-27 Silhouette is my favorite target, but they are kinda expensive.

My favorite cheap target is the good 'ol paper plate. A paper plate is roughly the same size as the vital area of a deer, and roughly the same size as the vital area of a human being.

A good rule of thumb is shoot until you can keep them all inside a paper plate at whatever distance, at whatever speed, then switch to a cake plate, then 3x5 index cards or playing cards, then 2 inch orange dots :). I practice with handguns at ranges varying from contact to 100 yards.

Here is a good place to start for good handgun shooting drills:

Just my .02,

July 30, 2007, 10:54 PM
I use the bottoms of cardboard boxes, ones about the size of a torso. If I am shooting for bullseye accuracy, I add a stick-on orange dot. Otherwise I leave it plain.

.41 magnum man
July 31, 2007, 02:51 AM
A friend and I like to shoot at pop bottle caps. Drill a little hole and hang it infront of a piece of cardboard with a paper clip or bread tie. We were shooting his Contender with a 7-30 Waters barrel on it at 25 yards the other day. He has a scope on it. We took turns shooting, and in seven shots we shot that bottle cap until there was only a little bitty piece left. We use the same target set up when shooting our bows too. The smaller the target you can hit, the better shot you will be. We also like to aim at the same bullet hole. He has his guns where you can hit the same bullet hole if you can hold them steady. I have a new .41 magnum revolver, and have yet to get my loads accurate enough to do that yet. I am just learning on the reloading.

August 2, 2007, 03:04 AM
The range I frequent has a target size minimum so what I do is buy one of their 50 cent targets, apply a bunch of my 1" orange dots & shoot at those dots. I had an instructor once tell me, "aim small, miss small" - so I try to focus on those one inch dots at different distances :cool:

August 2, 2007, 05:08 AM
Steel plates.


August 2, 2007, 06:49 AM
If you walk a mile down a railroad, you will find several discarded track plates. suspended from a rack, these make good reactive targets that will last for years.

If you can hit them at 25 yards you are a good pistol marksman. That range will eliminate any blowback of bullet fragments that could break the skin. Always were safety glasses.

August 2, 2007, 11:03 AM
I roll my own paper targets. There's about a bazillion sites out there like this one.

We have all sorts of fun metal targets, pepper poppers that reset with a rope, falling plates, etc, at the range that keep me having lotsa fun when I go shoot. The paper is for sight in and testing and I like that "varmint" target for practicing my field shooting both with my .22 mag rifle at 100 yards and my handguns and .22s at 50 and 25. That one's a buncha fun and practical practice for a hunter like me. I have many more reasons to shoot than just self defense and my range time gets shared with hunting rifles and pistols as well as self defense practice.

Ghost Tracker
August 2, 2007, 11:22 AM
Large Discount Stores (W-mart) sell very cheap ($.99) big packages of 3" diameter "fudge stripe" cookies. They're solid black on the bottom. If you router a 3/8" groove in a 2x4 they'll stand-up like plates. They make great reactive targets and I don't feel irresponsible leaving the shattered pieces to feed critters or dissolve in the next rain. The local Casino also will GIVE you retired (drilled) decks of cards. There's 52 targets in each free pack and make fine pistol targets. Just ask William Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok.

August 2, 2007, 11:28 AM
My friend is big into poker and hosts games all the time. Any time a card gets bent or damaged in any way he opens up a new deck. He give me the old ones.

August 2, 2007, 01:59 PM
even new, a deck of cheap cards is about 50 cents. that's less than a penny per card. My 45acp reloads are about 7 cents each.

Ghost Tracker
August 2, 2007, 03:56 PM
Yeah, cards aren't EXPENSIVE. I just think it's cool that they've got that "Official Casino Decommissioning Hole" drilled through the center. I've got a BIG box full of boxed decks.

The Lone Haranguer
August 2, 2007, 06:01 PM
I just think it's cool that they've got that "Official Casino Decommissioning Hole" drilled through the center.

Are these round holes in the center? You could say they're yours and never even fire a shot. :evil:

August 2, 2007, 06:24 PM
I really like potatoes. Shoot the big ones and then work on the pieces.

August 2, 2007, 06:40 PM
Tennis balls :) You can nail them over and over and over and they keep rolling - they move/roll around giving you a variable point of aim, and they are small enough that you have to work to hit them at a distance but large enough that you can nail them easily up close.

August 2, 2007, 07:04 PM
With the kids, I/we still like reactive targets.
Tin cans, clay targets, balloons, potatoes, spinner targets and the like.

For more Serious Practice, we Adults still use these same targets
Quality Practice can be done with a .22, less noise and recoil, allows for correct basics and then transition to center-fire.

For instance shooting on the move and breaking the clay and not hitting the tin can, or busting a balloon near.

Steel targets we like too.

Stationary Targets, hard to beat 9" and 6" paper plates with a playing card/ index card for the "head".

Not hitting the target - target
As a wee brat Mentors did this, and adjusted it for us kids and skill level.
They did shot these targets as well.
Especially good when it is cold, and the ground muddy.

Target has a "Hole" and one is to put all targets into "hole" and NOT have any shots on the target.

The idea behind this was, the brain gets trained to see hits on paper. The brain "can get lazy" and as long as hits are "sorta close" then focus is "good enough".

Mentors did not want us, or them to get "programmed". So, one really has to focus on "that hole" to get shots into it.

About the time you can shoot and not hit the target, Mentor would have a smaller hole for you shoot. :p

Jelly Bean Target
This is a private joke the kids do with me.
I am in my 50's and these kids take a itty bitty Jelly Bean and set it out umpteen bazillion yards and "if you miss we get to eat at that place" or some other agreed upon prize.

I can't see the Jelly Bean, much less hit it.
I get handed such great firearm choices as NAA Mini Revolver, Pink Crickett with a .22 short, Primer only .44 Mag...

I have "knocked off the jelly bean " only twice.
First time they set it upon a tin can about 25 yds away and I snagged a shotgun and shot the can.
Then I did it at about 15 yds again by shooting the can out from under the bean with a 1911.
They said I cheated. No. I was told to "knock it off" which I did. :D

Now "you have to hit the bean".
Anyone need extra packages of Taco Bell sauce or other condiments?
Kids got quite a collection.
I think we are on the same Jelly Bean for about 4 months now. :D

I am getting pretty good practice at walking a NAA Mini Revolver in out to ....umpteen bazillion yards

Rey B
August 6, 2007, 03:31 PM
Take a hot glue gun and glue those hot sauce packets to a piece of cardboard. harder than you might think and no doubt when you hit one. Great splatter factor:evil:.

Pearl's Dad
August 7, 2007, 08:16 AM
Im still a big fan of charcoal brickettes.
lay em flat in a box and spray paint 'em a hi viz color if ya need....very interactive to.

August 7, 2007, 02:04 PM
The most fun I've ever had without going to jail was taking some "on sale" cantaloupes to the range and reaking havoc on them with a hollow point slinging .50 cal Desert Eagle!!!! :evil: But we saved one for the AR-15.... At 200 yards it's like a cantaloupe fog floating in the air after it's hit....
Plus, after dark when the range clears, it leaves something for the critters to eat.... EVERYBODY'S HAPPY!!!!!!!!:)

August 7, 2007, 02:42 PM
With calibers above .22 RF, and with enough range room, give a couple of golf balls a toss and see if you can hit them at 25 yds+! Like I say, you GOTTA have plenty of room on your range 'cause when you actually hit one, there ain't no tellin' where she's gonna land! I say above .22 'cause sometimes you can get your bullet returned to you in a bad way if you nail one of those suckers dead center! :evil:

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