The Joys of Plinking

Some people like formal target competition. Some like to hunt with airguns. A growing number like Airgun Field Target. But the great majority of us like plinking- informal shooting at a variety of targets- preferably things that do something when you hit them.

A long time favorite of mine is the swinging metal target of the sort made for .22 shooting. I have a small collection of these in various shapes and sizes, including a neat set of animal silhouette targets that are great for practicng silhouette shooting. My favorite set, though, is a simple set of swinging disks that range from about 6″ down to 2″. There’s something very satisfying about connecting with the 2″ disk at 50 yards, using a hunting gun with a 6x scope, and hearing the ping! echo across the range.

Paintballs make great targets, particularly when set up against a painted white background. A hit results in a great splash of color, and the pellets and the dye within them break down quickly outdoors and leave little residue. You can get paintballs in a wide range of colors, too, and the popularity of paintball means they’re available just about everywhere.

Some folks like to use hard candies, as not only to they shatter very satisfyingly when hit, but the residue attracts flies- which are very challanging targets themselves. I remember shooting Necco wafers as a child- probably a better use than eating them. To that you can add Life Savers- the hole makes it possible to hang them by a thread- and aspirins, which are cheap, and disappear in a puff of white when hit.

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