Golden age. I hear that phrase a bunch – especially relating to firearms, to training, to ammunition. Probably targets as well. Generally, the target you choose to use doesn’t matter. Paper, cardboard, or steel. Each has its own pros and cons. You must tape them, change them out, reset them, or even spray paint them.
Paper and cardboard don’t do well in inclement weather. Taping becomes a pain, and if it’s a long enough session or the rain is hard enough, you have to cover the targets with clear plastic bags. Yes, something else to pack with the range gear.
And as much as I enjoy shooting steel targets, resetting them is time-consuming. And I’ve lost track of the paint cans I have seen ruptured by bullet fragments. Speaking of fragments, don’t leave the tape rolls too close to the steel targets.
A great addition to your backyard range and inclement weather equipment. Soaked up a variety of rounds.
There is “a” way to bypass some of those concerns. Enter Infinity Targets and their self-healing targets.
They recently sent me a USPSA-style target and two spring-loaded clamps to secure the target to a frame. I had no problem mounting the target with the bases I got from Defense Targets. (Their bases accept both 2″x4″ s and 1″x2″ s, so I can mount cardboard, paper, etc. targets.
The target itself is 30″ tall x 18″ wide x 1/2″ thick. The USPSA scoring areas are molded into the body. The target’s face is painted white and came with Infinity’s logo on it.
Having used a manikin built similarly by another company, I was already familiar with a few of Infinity’s warnings regarding their targets. For starters, do not shoot hollow point ammunition at targets like these. For lack of a better description, the open mouth cuts out a section of the target and carries it down range with the projectile.
Shotgun slugs are another problem. Avoid using them with this target.
Read the directions! 00Buck is fine, but don’t shoot it with slugs. Especially not Brennekes.
Shotshells are not recommended in close, but they can be used farther back, especially once the pattern has opened and the pellets are spreading.
So, do those warnings hold true?
What type of ammunition can you use with these targets? Ball ammunition. Especially if you are not concentrating your shots on one spot.
For starters, at seven yards, I fired fifty-five rounds of .45ACP 230gr ball out of a 5″ 1911 pistol. All but two of those shots went into the C/D area of the target’s lower right portion. There was an area about 1″ x1.5″ that the rounds punched through.
Fifty-five rounds of 230gr ball from 7 yards.
Next, I fired eleven rounds of 9mm jacketed hollow point at the head. Those shots verified Infinity’s warning to avoid using hollow-point ammunition.
Listen to Infinty’s warning about hollow points, don’t shoot the target with them.
I fired both groups at seven yards.
Then I switched to the shotgun. I shot three rounds of Winchester Low Recoil 8 pellet 00buck to the lower left corner of the C Zone. At ten yards, the pellets spread enough to not damage the target.
Three 00Buck shells, 8 pellets each, lower left – from far enough back that they were spreading.
Slugs? Three Brenneke magnum slugs went into the bottom of the A zone from a Beretta shotgun. The design of the Brenneke slugs – pointed nose with a sharp shoulder – confirmed the manufacturer’s warning against using slugs on the target. The shoulder created a pretty clean hole in the target.
Well, it was time to go back to ball ammunition. At ten yards, I put fifteen rounds of 55gr ball out of an AR15 into just about the center of the A zone. There was not any unexpected damage. That made sense because Infinity guarantees it will withstand “up to 110 rounds of 5.56mm per square inch.”
Fifteen rounds of 55-grain ball from ten yards. No noticeable damage. Worked well!
When you are done for the day, or you want to work another drill, paint the target. Any quality spray paint will work on the target’s face.
But, Erick, I don’t use USPSA targets. Does Infinity make anything for me? They have an IDPA down zero model and K zone targets for PCSL shooters. For agencies, you can get common designs like the B21, TQ-15, TQ-19, and TQ-21. They make replacement heads as well as C Zone targets. Infinity has stencils for handguns and open hands, like a No Shoot. If you hunt critters, they have deer and coyote stencils too.
The backside of the target, use the right ammunition and this will last you a long time.
The base model target, a USPDA generation 2, retails for $129 and comes with two clamps. The base model target sells for $129.