Monday, August 4, 2014

Target Progression

I am not sure I want to do this since I don't need any more fast gunslingers to compete with, but after hearing Marshall Cooper share all of his knowledge, I decided I should share my progress  in trying to find the perfect practice target.  I start with the premise that windage does not matter, only elevation in developing your draw.  See my first post on elevation v. windage.

My first attempt was merely a board 6 feet in length and 4 inches wide.  The theory was if I just got my elevation right, I could adjust my windage before the set command.
The problem with this target was that hits destroyed the wax and it was hard to determine where the misses went.

My next attempt was a box constructed with a wood frame a cardboard front and a ballistic back.  The theory was the wax would enter and be caught for reuse.  It work reasonable well except the cardboard was hard to keep on and the frame broke after about 100 rounds.
I needed a better frame material.  This I found in 6 inch PVC pipe.  It withstood the hits without damage.  I attached ballistic to the back and shaped it to funnel the used wax into a bucket.  Set at the proper height at 6 feet it is the same as a 21 inch target at 21 feet.  At 5.2 feet it is the same as a 24 inch target at 21 feet.  There is two problem with this target, first a hit on the frame destroy the wax and second, misses were hard to see.

This is the target that was raffled off as the Shoot for the Stars 6 inch one of our club shoots.

I was using this 6 inch target on the back of my chair upon which I had placed ballistic material.  I started by adding pvc supports to the frame of the chair.
I then added the ballistic material to the chair so I would have a ready made backstop that I could set up any where.  It is great at 6 feet.
I would hang my 6 inch pvc target at the correct height ( must be calculated for each shooter otherwise just practicing missing)  After running several hundred rounds through and into the bucket, I realized I could do better.  The better was to discard the 6 inch target and replace it with cardboard with a 6 inch circle drawn on it.  With the cardboard you can see where each round hits.  You would be amazed how through a 50 round set your groups will tighten into the 6 inch circle.  You can also recover every round and the used wax is better than new (yes we have tested it.) I normally shoot 50 and recover 50.
Now known as Coconino Competition Wax since it is made in the Coconino forest.  A side note, I have noted that if I do not clean my gun I will begin throwing flyers after 30-35 rounds.  A quick cleaning will restore accuracy.

Any way, there it is, just one gunslinger's attempt to find the best practice target.  If I get frustrated at not finding the target sometime don't be surprise if you see me shooting the back of my chair at a shoot.  I should have broken out the chair this last weekend when I lost my balance and began to sling everything high..

"Quick only matters, if you can hit that which you are trying to be quick about"  Everette Hitch.


  1. I know this contraption works for you since I've seen improvement with your accuracy and speed, you have been beating me lately more then half the time at the Shady garage, this I might add will be short lived, I have my own tricks up my sleeve here at the Maricopa desert location, your times are not quit fast enough yet.
    Most would probably benefit using your practice method and I'm sure it deserves a patient number.

    1. "Been fast enough so far." I agree a "patient" number would be appropriate so long it is not in intensive care unit.