Reactive targets are limited only by the shooter’s creativity, time and budget. A bag of balloons blown up and stapled to a board are fun to shoot, just as are tin cans lined up in a row. (To prevent a breeze from toppling them before you do, fill them 1/4-full of water or sand.) Those little yellow marshmallow candies called “Peeps” are a hoot for smallbore or pellet gun fire. They make a satisfying thud when struck in the belly!
2. Indoor Options
While pellet traps have been available for years, most require hanging a boring paper target in front of them, and all but the most robust require the use of pellet pistols. A laser-reactive target from LaserLyte is the way to go. For one, you can use your actual firearm by placing a LaserLyte Trainer Pistol Cartridge in its chamber (sold separately.) Every time the hammer is dropped, the Trainer Cartridge emits a burst of laser that registers on the target and lights up if your aim is true. Reset the target by shooting a button. This is a great way to practice the fundamentals of shooting while never leaving your easy chair, nor spending a dime on ammo. $250.
Birchwood Casey offers its Rigid Clay Holder Stand that’s simply a cardboard A-frame stand that holds eight clay pigeons. Costing dollars and weighing ounces, just set it up, lace it with clay pigeons then watch them crumble and explode. It’s great fun, and very inexpensive. You’ll need also need a box of clay pigeons. $7.60 plus clay pigeons.
DuraSeal Interlocking Spinning Targets from Champion are relatively inexpensive, but can be used virtually anywhere you have ground and a backstop. They also last for years even when kept outside. Its wire frame suspends the target portion over the ground where it will spin when struck, indicating a hit. The self-healing plastic called DuraSeal is literally tougher than boot leather. It’s counter-weighted at the top so it rights itself after a few seconds. $34.
5. Serious Fun Targets
Remember those old shooting galleries at the carnival? Since anti-gunners have all but made them a distant memory, it’s time to set up your own. Caldwell’s Shootin Gallery is a portable, motorized shooting gallery for .22 rimfires. Shoot the steel plates to knock them down as they go by, only to be automatically reset as they go ‘round. Trust me, it’s more fun than any silly ring toss. It requires a 12-volt battery but comes with a charger. $250.
6. Professional Shooting Range Targets
MGM makes serious steel targets that can be shot with any caliber handgun or rifle, depending on the product chosen. A staple event at any 3-gun competition is a plate rack, where competitors knock over all the plates as quickly as possible. While MGM makes several in different grades and steel thicknesses, its Sportsman Plate Rack, while seemingly expensive, it will last for years and will make you a better shooter. It features a steel frame, six steel plates and a resetting lever that, when attached to a rope, can be pulled to reset the targets from the shooting line. $941.