Tag: portable hit counting

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect (Part 2)


Editor’s Note: This is a continuation from last weeks article titled, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. Action Target has republished this article in its entirety with the permission of the author. Ideas, comments, practices, recommendations, etc. are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of Action Target.

The Action Target Dueling Tree is comprised of six individual 6” swinger plates that slam from one side to the other with each individual bullet strike. Of course one can use these targets in the conventional way of swinging the plates back and forth. Yawn! Why, for goodness sakes, would you squander your range time by just shooting when you could be training? If you spend a little time thinking about it, you can really ramp up the training regimen with these things. Here are just a few of the drills that I’ve come up with so far with just two dueling trees.

First. You have a total of 12 swinging plates; those 12 plates give you a total of 24 individual, customizable targets to work with. And yes, you really should spend the money and get two of these—two is one, one is none. I’ll tell you why later on. By employing various color combinations you can take what is normally a simple target shooting session and turn it into a neuron-scathing race that usually leaves shooters out of breath and laughing pretty hard at the end. However, more than that, they will have made multiple Positive Instant Recognition (PIR) pathways that will stick in their minds. The most basic drill that can be done with this sort of thing is actually with just the factory flat black color that these come with. Once you have both trees set up, which only takes about ten minutes with a socket wrench, you can get started with the fun stuff. You stand the trees side by side then swing all of the plates to the inside of both trees. Next, you want to choose your comfort level as to just how close you want to stand when shooting on steel. Here’s my input on the subject: I have been shooting on steel for several years and have only been hit once when I was standing too far to the side of a student. Understand that when I say “hit,” it was more like being popped by a piece of flying gravel from a mower. Trust me, Airsoft pellets hurt far worse than this.

If you are shooting steel you should know that the mechanics of how the bullet dumps its energy is always going to be in a radial pattern. What this means is if you’re the shooter you’re fine, you will not get hit due to simple physics. However, if you’re the instructor, try standing behind the shooter and giving verbal commands from about a foot back, otherwise you might get stung. Most of the plates that Action Target makes have a slight downward face that deflects the impact energy down towards the ground. This allows you to shoot pistols very close and rifles from moderate distance. Please refer to the instructions that come with your targets and follow what they say as not doing so could result in harm to yourself and damage to your plates.

As you begin shooting the first drill with your dueling trees, you start at the lower left then move to the upper right, then upper left, then lower right, and so on until you have all of the plates turned to the outside. Essentially you’re making an “X” pattern over and over. Twelve shots later you are good and warmed up and you have just completed a more dynamic training exercise than any static paper target session could have ever afforded you. In doing this drill you have engaged multiple targets that required a large amount of swinging of your weapon so as to acquire sight picture for each. The idea here is to engage your target with follow through but not to dwell on it. In a very short time frame you will find that you will be hitting a target while your eyes are already locking onto the next plate. You want to keep moving one to the other as rapidly as possible. Because the dueling trees are so tall I like to do this drill from the 5-yard line with my pistol and from about the 10-yard line with my rifle. I’m 6’4” and I find these trees to be high enough that I’m not shooting down all the time. By staying in close, it forces me to have to really move my sights and body around for each shot.

If you really want to pour on the pressure you can do things like painting each plate a different color on either side. You can repeat colors if need be, just don’t repeat them in the same 12 plate set/side. Next you need to make small discs of wood (available at hobby stores) that have the same exact color combinations as your plates. For example, if you paint a plate blue on one side and green on the other you will need to have a disk with the same color scheme. Do this for all 12 plates then have your range buddy (never shoot alone) set the row of 12 discs out in front of you on your range table with a towel covering them. When your buddy says, “go” they start a timer, you then uncover the discs and whatever color combo is in front of you dictates the order you must shoot in, (from left to right). The problem is that the dueling trees are not left to right, or horizontal to put it simply. They are vertical, and to add insult to injury, your “buddy” has done a superb job of making sure that the discs are staggered so that no two colors are beside the other on the actual dueling tree…don’t you just love it? But wait, there’s more!

While you’re busy taking out plates, you’re uncovering even more colors which are muddying up your concentration so not only do you have to pay attention to the color orders, you also have to pay attention that you’re not re-shooting the same color that is on the other side of a plate. So, now you have to not only look for colors but you have to make sure that they don’t already have a bullet hit on them. Oh trust me, this game gets worse! Now that you have all of your plates flipped over, you holster your pistol, reach down and flip all of the color plates over and, that’s right, you do it all over again.

Meanwhile it is your buddy’s job to be trash talking you the whole time and vice-versa. And yes this is a requirement on my range. I want my shooters talking because I want to split their attention as much as possible so that their brains learn how to run their guns on autopilot. I don’t want rounds being counted because I want you to have to reload at least once, hence the need for two dueling trees. At a total of 24 plates in this drill even an FN 5-Seven will need a reload. If you’re doing this with a rifle it is your buddy’s sworn duty to download your magazines to only about 15 rounds each. Twelve rounds would be too obvious, now wouldn’t it? No, boys and girls, I want you well into your next course of 12 plates when your gun runs dry. I love it!

At the end of this drill you will be wasted, and remember, the clock is running so no dawdling. The time element is crucial because without it you won’t feel the urgency of performance that is so needed to properly motivate you to perform at your best. To not run a timer would be like basketball not having a shot clock…sacrilege!

This write up is just the tip of the iceberg for what I have in store for you. In upcoming issues I’m going to show you some truly creative ways to rethink the use of your steel targets. There are so many more drills that are possible with these highly versatile reactive targets that there isn’t room in this review to show them all to you. Besides, I need to keep you hooked. Until then, practice hard.

About the Author

Abner Miranda is a patrol officer at Signal Mountain (Tenn.) Police Department. He is an FBI-trained hostage negotiator, a tactical rifle instructor and an AR-15 armorer.

Action Target Weekly Newsletter Celebrates One Year Anniversary

On June 3, 2010, Action Target became the only shooting range development company in the world to produce a weekly newsletter, called The Action Target Journal. Accomplishing this challenging task created a new innovative source of information about superior products and special pricing on targets exclusively available to our subscribers, as seen in our ‘Steel Deal’ section.

For the last 52 weeks, without disruption, our newsletter has been published to an ever-growing list of subscribers. After launching our first newsletter, Action Target quickly gained over 15,000 civilian, law enforcement, and military readers. Now at our one year mark, our list of readers has more than doubled.

Action Target NewsletterThe Action Target weekly newsletter has definitely caught the attention of the firearms industry. Despite the many requests to purchase advertising space by industry related companies, firms, and organizations, our readers will never see their advertisements in our newsletters.

“Action Target previously adopted several different forms of a newsletter, but the formats did not fully support the entire world market that makes up the shooting industry. After discussing the matter very candidly with many of our clients, it was obvious there was a need not being met. So, we put together a very ambitious plan for a weekly newsletter that would properly address the items that encompass the aspects of the shooting world desire from Action Target. To date, we have received thousands of positive comments about our weekly newsletter in addition to the hundreds of times it has been republished,” said Chad Burdette, Portable Target sales consultant.

Action Target’s weekly newsletter continues to evolve since its first publication. It went from a static publication to one actively soliciting feedback from our readers. The received feedback resulted in strategic partnerships, as seen with Hufcor and their FlexTact reconfigurable shoot house and Reactive Target System (RTS) for their Self-Healing Targets and economical Mobile Wireless Hit-Counting system.

To subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Action Target Journal, click here. For Action Target’s full line of products and services, visit our website, www.actiontarget.com. To purchase our products for drop shipment direct to your U.S. range or facility, shop online at www.shopactiontarget.com .

Action Target Media Contact:

Chad Burdette
3411 S Mountain Vista Parkway
Provo, UT 84606,
Ph: 801-377-8033

Action Target at IWA in Nuremberg, Germany

Action Target’s International Department recently returned from a very successful trip to Nuremberg, Germany for the annual IWA show. Similar to the Shot Show held annually in the USA, IWA has been one of the world’s leading exhibitions for the hunting, shooting, sporting and outdoor industry for over 30 years.

Action Target's Adam White Showing the RTS Hit CounterIWA is the abbreviation for Internationale Waffen Ausstellung or International Weapons Exhibition. For 2011, over 1,100 exhibitors were revealing their newest products and services to the world. IWA traditionally attracts more than 30,000 visitors from over 100 different countries. Due to the interest IWA draws from the international community, it was a great place for members of the Action Target International team to showcase some of the newest products. A few items generating the most interest were the FlexTact reconfigurable shoothouse system by Hufcor, the Self-Healing reactive targets from Reactive Target System (RTS) and the economical hit counting mobile wireless shooting range system also from RTS (shown left).

For many years, Action Target has been increasing its position of dominance in the international community. The entire complement of Action Target products have been sold throughout the world. Those most prevalent are the MATCH (Modular Armored Tactical Combat House) shoothouses that have been incorporated into multi-story, cross-functional and fully automated structures. When these have been placed in close proximity of each other for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) training purposes, they are exalted to what we term a ‘MATCH Village’. These structures have been built and utilized for years by foreign customers, their military, secret police, special forces and other groups requiring the best training equipment.

Overall, IWA was a huge success for Action Target with thousands of past, current and future customers stopping by to say hello and investigate new products. To read the IWA News Daily (PDF) about the event, click here.