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How to Make Cheap, Easy and Fast Shooting Range Targets

By braniac

As a graphics professional I have access to printers, plotters and to several types of high powered graphics software. In past years I designed and printed out custom and complex targets for use in sighting in rifles, muzzle loaders and pistols. It finally dawned on me that I had an almost perfect target raw material right in my own kitchen shelves. By using an ordinary paper plate with a pattern of choice sprayed on, you can make as many targets as you'll ever need in just a few minutes. I've just come in from sighting in two rifles, a Ruger bolt action stainless .308, and a Ruger single shot 45-70 government. Both rifles were checked out using the lowly paper plate with spray painted pattern as a target. This is as easy as the proverbial pie that is served up on such plates, so don't head for the sporting goods store for you targets - head for your pantry!

Many common paper plates have a flat stamped bottom circle that is about five inches in diameter. You can simply cut this circle out, or if you prefer a smaller one then use a compass to draw a four inch diameter or whatever you like, then cut out this circle from the plate.

By using your scissors to make notches around the perimeter of the hole at one inch spacings, you can determine the distance from center that your shots are being placed. Use the rough graph formed by these notches to determine which adjustments need to be made in the optics of your guns.

Now lay your pattern on a blank paper plate and lightly spray it with paint. Note that the paper plate targets are to be placed bottom out on the target holder, that is the side that normally is used to eat from is against the target holder. Spray as many plates as you will need plus a few extra.

An alternate pattern from a single circle is to draw a four inch circle and a six inch circle with your compass. Now make a one inch wide strip at four places (like a cross) to join the circles. (refer to photo) The one inch increments help to verify where your shots are landing.

This alternate pattern is placed on paper plates and sprayed to make the target pattern shown. This is only one of many pattern options and you can use you own special layout if you want.

Use the push pins to attach your paper plate targets to the frame that holds them. Notice that the pattern is sprayed on the bottom of the plate since they are slightly concave in shape.

Make certain that you have a good back stop for your bullets. A clay hill is ideal, preferably one with few or no rocks.

At one hundred measured yards these easy to make targets are a snap to center up on with your scope. If your eye balls aren't old and tired as mine, then maybe you can zero in with just your eyes and no optics!

As a tip I sometimes just place some twigs in holes I've shot to keep from changing out targets.

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