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Texas Jack Daniels

Target Shape - What is optimal?

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When I first started this game 25 years ago I thought targets that had shapes were cool, Buffalos, card suites, bears, cowboys, buzzards, steer heads.  They added to the atmosphere of the stage.  I cut up a lot of steel in my yard.

 

Now as we have evolved (devolved?) I am more worried about customer satisfaction and helping others. 

 

I have come the conclusion that square target are the most hit friendly. Sweeping left or right if the novice shooter shoots high or low there is still steel they hit.  (And I see a lot of low shots).  If it is a circle or a diamond I see more misses and fewer happy shooters.  At this point I tend to think a 2 ft. square is the most optimal "hit friendly" target.  Tombstones are pretty good too.  Stars not so much. 

 

What are your thoughts on targets size and shape and placement to help more people have a good time? 

 

And "car hoods at 5 yards" is not a fair reply.  

 

thank you. 

TJD 

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The only shapes I object to are those with holes in them.  The SASS Marshal with holes between his arms and body is an example. If it's a solid silhouette with no holes I'm happy regardless of the shape.

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I like the different shapes you speak of.

Just mix in some of the square stuff is all.

I also like barn doors @ 5yds:lol::P

OLG

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I say Go ahead and make all the different shapes, but make them larger than the squares .

Money is no big deal from here.  Lol

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Posted (edited)

Someone pointed out to me an issue that we discussed at great length.

 

If you have a 16" square plate, you end up with an area of 256 square inches.

 

However, if you rotate that same square into a diamond shape, you perceptualy turn it into a circle with a diameter of 16", giving an effective area of around 201 square inches.

 

Target shapes can be OK, but I tend to look at the continuous, effective target size.

 

We have a stack of these cowboy shape targets with an effective target size of 13" round.

download.jpg.65587ddb0dea60c2797f8aabcc25ec08.jpg

 

The old club target has multiple, smaller target size.  You end up cutting a 16" square piece of steel into an 4 effective targets with around 6" diameter, 1 for each leaf and one for the center. 

download.jpg.faa295b8ec0520d1f72152fbc12f8ea6.jpg

When SASS put together the 'recommendation' of 16" squares at 7-10 yard pistol and 13-50 yard for rifle, it was 16" x 16". When you start with a 16" square and then start cutting into it, you are cutting into that effective target size of 256 contiguous square inches.

 

If you want to cut shapes out, go right ahead, but start with a larger piece of steel.  You need to keep larger areas, free of holes and gaps, for shooters to hit.

 

Smaller targets work well closer to the firing line and/or with fewer hits (think single tap).  Bigger targets for areas of wider swings or faster sweeps and multi-taps.

 

Edited by Branchwater Jack SASS #88854
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Almost anything you shoot in a natural environment will be shaped irregularly!!  Why is it that we HAFTA' have all squares??  I LIKE the cowboys, card suits, turkeys, buzzards, train cars, and even, (GASP) the CHICKENS!!  Circles and diamonds are great for shooting, but a buffalo or even them skinny indians that the Memphis club used are needed now and then for variety's sake!!  

 

I've ALWAYS been easily bored and shooting nothing but big squares is BORING!

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4 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

Almost anything you shoot in a natural environment will be shaped irregularly!!  Why is it that we HAFTA' have all squares??  I LIKE the cowboys, card suits, turkeys, buzzards, train cars, and even, (GASP) the CHICKENS!!  Circles and diamonds are great for shooting, but a buffalo or even them skinny indians that the Memphis club used are needed now and then for variety's sake!!  

 

I've ALWAYS been easily bored and shooting nothing but big squares is BORING!

 Just turn them squares sideways and you get more exciting diamonds.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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Square

 

Circle okay...

 

Hate Cowboys and the like. Nothing like missing thru an arm and then seeing your competition get a hit on a toe...

 

Phantom

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9 minutes ago, Gunner Gatlin, SASS # 10274 said:

 Just turn them squares sideways and you get more exciting diamonds.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

 

 

I've heard several shooters snivel about just that!!  "Why can't you just make all of 'em squares?  Dianonds you have to slow down and aim at the middle!!!"  I mean REALLY???

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Squares, rectangles, diamonds.

I cut all the targets and it saves time and material. Fancy shapes with little arms, narrow parts, etc. bend and break easily. Make fancy stuff out of plywood and paint it fancy colors.

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Posted (edited)

Good Topic, TJD.

 

Personally, I don't like diamonds.   But, here is the big nemesis, in my opinion.

 

If you set up 4 stages with 16x16 squares, and then set up a stage with the SAME targets turned to diamond

shape,  you've thrown a 'stealth' stage into the match.   

 

I agree with what Branchwater stated above.   In my opinion, The diamond shapes are deceitful.

Its almost like they have 4 aiming points and each one is at the edge of the steel.   Deceitful!

 

I ain't crazy about a couple other target shapes, but the diamond is the deceitful gremlin.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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Truly I'm not the best (maybe not even the better), but I love the bottle targets, buffaloes, cowboys, etc. Some are able to hit the trigger finger of an outlaw target, shooting backwards using a mirror, at 25 yards with a rifle 10 times in 3 seconds. So please let me have my buffalo and bottle targets with an occasional Cowboy or Indian (with feathers for lucky high shots). 

 

I shoot for fun and to improve firearm handling, which includes speed. I say, have a mix in stage design but just squares and circles is, as one Cowboy said, BORING! If I wanted that I would go to my local indoor range and shoot with people afraid to challenge themselves. The best shooters "don't need no stinking" 16x16 squares or 256 sq inch circles all the time.

 

I once shot a stage that had 20 smaller, low to the ground shotgun targets which were to be shot with 18 rifle and two shotgun. It was fun and challenging.

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You'd be surprised on how many folks find reason to let their displeasure known to you as a match official when you hang a 16 inch round target...because they're 'too small'.

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"What are your thoughts on targets size and shape and placement to help more people have a good time?"

 

Just don't do crazy stuff. If the only way people can have a good time is to shoot clean 16 second stages, then God help us.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

You'd be surprised on how many folks find reason to let their displeasure known to you as a match official when you hang a 16 inch round target...because they're 'too small'.

 

And THAT is really sad!!  I’ve only ever complained about one target pattern and then only in jest.

 

 Those skinny Indians down at Gunfight in Dixie have always given me fits, but I will shoot them gladly if they are mixed in with other shapes and placed at reasonable distances and safe angles.

 

Challenge me! Push me! Stump me! Confuse me!! Even defeat me!!

 

For Pete’s sake!! DON’T BORE ME!!!!!!

 

Otherwise, just put up one big 4’X8’ sheet of steel. Place it at 12 feet. Line us up. Then just see who can manipulate the guns and do the fastest transitions.:rolleyes: <_<

 

For variety, you can turn the steel sheet horizontally!  Don’t stand it on a corner!!  You’ll surely get all sorts complaints if you do!!  :o  :lol:

Edited by Blackwater 53393
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Posted (edited)

Here are my latest creations.  Bear and Cowboy are 48 inches tall and 32 inches wide.  Buffalo is 32 inches tall and 48 inches wide.  All three hang off on chains in the back and RING when hit.  The 6 inch white circles bonus poppers and are all hinged with a back dingle bob and pop and RING when hit as well.  Everything is AR500.  ~22 degree tilt to deflect lead into the dirt. 

Targets.thumb.JPG.63303a7f77a585ea228c2978f47a8404.JPG

Edited by Texas Jack Daniels
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

The only shapes I object to are those with holes in them.  The SASS Marshal with holes between his arms and body is an example. If it's a solid silhouette with no holes I'm happy regardless of the shape.

 

It seems like every target I shoot at has holes in them.  BIG holes that swallow the bullets whole with no clang.

 

The shape doesn't matter.  I'm gonna miss 'em anyway.

Edited by Marshal Hangtree
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You'll have folks in general be happy with squares...rectangles...the like.

 

Yes, some may like to see other shapes, but they won't really be unhappy.

 

Put crazy shapes out there and some will be happy, some will be okay with it...but you WILL have a population that isn't happy.

 

Go with the option that minimizes those unhappy folks.

 

This isn't an interior decorating competition.

 

Phantom

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7 minutes ago, Texas Jack Daniels said:

Here are my latest creations.  Bear and Cowboy are 48 inches tall and 32 inches wide.  Buffalo is 32 inches tall and 48 inches wide.  All three hang off on chains in the back and RING when hit.  The 6 inch white circles bonus poppers and are all hinged with a back dingle bob and pop and RING when hit as well.  Everything is AR500.  ~22 degree tilt to deflect lead into the dirt. 

Targets.thumb.JPG.63303a7f77a585ea228c2978f47a8404.JPG

 

That orta satisfy the “big” proponents! Get ‘em close enough and most folks won’t complain!!

 

Most folks!!

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9 minutes ago, Texas Jack Daniels said:

 

Targets.thumb.JPG.63303a7f77a585ea228c2978f47a8404.JPG

 

I'd like to put some of these in the front yard, and tell Mrs. Hangtree that they're "yard art".

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Square

 

Circle okay...

 

Hate Cowboys and the like. Nothing like missing thru an arm and then seeing your competition get a hit on a toe...

 

Phantom

Bingo.

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Squares, circles, rectangles, buffalo. Good.

Diamonds, clubs, hearts, spades and targets with body parts or holes. Bad.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

You'll have folks in general be happy with squares...rectangles...the like.

 

Yes, some may like to see other shapes, but they won't really be unhappy.

 

Put crazy shapes out there and some will be happy, some will be okay with it...but you WILL have a population that isn't happy.

 

Go with the option that minimizes those unhappy folks.

 

This isn't an interior decorating competition.

 

Phantom

 

You’re absolutely right !!  It IS however, becoming LESS of a test of shooting skill as well.  Not in gun manipulation skills or transitions, but certainly in target recognition and acquisition.

Edited by Blackwater 53393
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3 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

 

You’re absolutely right !!  It IS however, becoming LESS of a test of shooting skill as well.  Not in gun manipulation skills or transitions, but certainly in target recognition and acquisition.

I agree...I hate stage designs that put all targets at the same distance, height and all in a nice little row.

 

But...we digress...

 

:P

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I am in the wagon that dislikes diamonds and odd-shaped critters.

 

What I really like is a small stencil or shaped painted in the center of the target or the targets with a contrasting outline around the border.

 

I also enjoy staggered heights and spacing between targets.

 

Plain white targets are my least favorite color, just harder for me to pick up on a sunny day for some reason.

 

Totes 

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20 minutes ago, Totes Magoats said:

I am in the wagon that dislikes diamonds and odd-shaped critters.

 

What I really like is a small stencil or shaped painted in the center of the target or the targets with a contrasting outline around the border.

 

I also enjoy staggered heights and spacing between targets.

 

Plain white targets are my least favorite color, just harder for me to pick up on a sunny day for some reason.

 

Totes 

WHITE targets also SUCK when shooting BP.

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41 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

WHITE targets also SUCK when shooting BP.

 

As do black targets in the shade.

 

Personally I like orange targets, for the same reason deer hunters wear orange...they can be seen.  ;)

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1 hour ago, Totes Magoats said:

 

What I really like is a small stencil or shaped painted in the center of the target or the targets with a contrasting outline around the border.

 

I also enjoy staggered heights and spacing between targets.

 

Totes 

 

I like these also... ^

 

I've heard for many years that our targets, sizes, shapes, distances, etc..... should be established

where 90% of the shooters will hit 90% of the targets.... 90% of the time.

 

Whatever that may be, I think is a worthy goal.

 

TJD:  I like those targets, especially the sizes.   Even Blackwater should be able to hit those... :lol:

 

..........Widder

 

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How about skinny coyotes and falling tombstones where last one is 4" wide by 6" tall?

 

 

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You set them up, supply a scenario, score the match, you take them down, tell me the score.  That's all I need to be very, very happy.

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1 hour ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

I've heard for many years that our targets, sizes, shapes, distances, etc..... should be established

where 90% of the shooters will hit 90% of the targets.... 90% of the time.

 

Whatever that may be, I think is a worthy goal.

 

 

If you do the math,  that describes a very difficult match and does not guarantee that anyone will shoot clean.  The phrase trips off the tongue pleasantly but is quite misleading.  If match directors want to keep their customers happy they will have to set up targets that provide more hits than the 90/90/90 guide.

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We started over at a new range with hand-me-down beat up targets. We've upgraded whenever we can afford.   Replaced our reality clunky shotgun knockdown targets with reaction targets. Took out all the small, odd shaped coffee pots, skillets and the like. We still use some large buffalo and cowboys  but upped our count of larger square and rectangular targets.  We got a falling plate rack with 5 10" AR500 plates.  The last targets we bought were 16x16 AR500 plates.  

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Geeze you guys, he's asking for OPTIMAL ...

 

Oy!

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5 hours ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

Someone pointed out to me an issue that we discussed at great length.

 

If you have a 16" square plate, you end up with an area of 256 square inches.

 

However, if you rotate that same square into a diamond shape, you perceptualy turn it into a circle with a diameter of 16", giving an effective area of around 201 square inches.

I kinda think of it this way: if you turn a 16" square and turn it 45 degrees into a diamond, you actually have MORE effective area as when shooting (especially revolvers) we tend to shoot high or low and when sweeping we tending to shoot left or right and not in the corners of the "square".

Whatcha think? 

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