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Animated, Long Lasting Target

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by USBP 1969, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. USBP 1969

    USBP 1969 New Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    In 1969 I was practicing with my Service revolver on our range near San Ysidro, Ca. The range had been turned over to Chula Vista Rod and Gun Club (I believe) and as I shot my trusty Smith & Wesson I could hear some deep "BOOMS" on the rifle section of the range.

    After I had completed shooting I decided to investigate these strange happenings. What I found were two gentlemen about the age I am now (early 60's) shooting some very long rifles. Watching the big clouds of black smoke was interesting, but what really caught my attention was their target. They were shooting at a scarf tied to the 100 yard target cross arm! When they hit it would swing wildly and when they missed it hung there without moving.

    When they were done they invited me to walk down with them to their "target." One of the long rifle shooters untied it and handed it to me. I examined it and when I looked up at them they were both smiling. It had not one hole in it!! They explained that it was a silk scarf and it simply moved out of the way of the inbound projectile. An animated, everlasting target, cool.

    I never forgot that day and have often wondered at what different velocities it would function without becoming Swiss cheese. Clearly it was safe from a patched round ball at Mach I "+" velocities. My guess is that the shock wave preceding the ball pushes it out of the way, but what about Mach II or less that Mach I velocities??

    Maybe, Lord willing, someday I'll be able to find out.

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  2. arcticap

    arcticap Mentor

    Mar 20, 2005
    Central Connecticut
    Shock wave? Maybe, but I'd guess that it's just that big nose of the roundball pushing against an extremely smooth surface without enough surface tension to allow the ball to push through it. ;)
    Thanks for sharing, silk sounds like an interesting and practical idea for a reusable target.
    Here's an elastomer target that's "just a little" more modern, the bullet is supposed to pass through it:

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
  3. Dienekes

    Dienekes Participating Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    USBP 1969, my father went into the "old patrol" in 1940--retired as an SII in 1969. I started as a CI in 1972, punched out in 1994. Most of the guys I worked with were old PIs, and went on many a detail with BP.

    Thank God for CSRS!
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Thanks for the silk scarf story.

    On another website, someone asked about a Redcoat target. Colonial Williamsburg has such a target and one interpreter told me how the five of them managed to hit it at 100 yards with their Brown Bess muskets. They practiced and come time for the test, benchrested it and took their sweet time to aiming. Back to the target. If you're familiar with those corrugated plastic poster boards that are used during election time, they can be cut into life size targets and sprayed to look like Redcoat or a damned rebel. Alternatively, they could be Johnny Yank or Billy Reb. Heck, they're free and your community will appreciate your clean-up effort. Who says politicians and political campaign ads can't be useful?
  5. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Active Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Blaye, France
    Why not save on the paint and do the country a real favour - use the real politicians. You would get a moving target that never died - well you know how entrustworthy politicians are, they never tell the truth! :cuss:
  6. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Loved that comment Duncain!!! Excellent idea! :D I think I'll try it when the oppertunity presents itself! :what:
  7. GrayBear

    GrayBear New Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Sierra Nevada Foothills

    To quote Dienekes: USBP 1969, my father went into the "old patrol" in 1940--retired as an SII in 1969. I started as a CI in 1972, punched out in 1994. Most of the guys I worked with were old PIs, and went on many a detail with BP.

    Thank God for CSRS!

    "old patrol," SII, CI, "old PIs," "many a detail with BP" ??????????????

    If you want to write private messages, isn't there a system for that?


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