Save $$$ at the Range

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Rather than spend my hard earned pennies on those cool Shoot-N-See targets or even the preprinted targets at sporting goods stores, I save a few bucks for weekend plinking sessions by using paper plates as targets.  A 100 count pack of paper plates costs less than a 10 count pack of preprinted targets. 

If you are playing with something like a semi auto AK, or building a young shooters confidence with a 22 or shotgun, those big eight inch blanks are perfect for putting holes in all weekend long without breaking your budget.  An eight inch circle at 100 yards is also a reasonable approximation of deer vitals and perfectly adequate for sighting in your rifle at closer ranges.  Most bore-sighters etc will put you on an eight inch target at 25 yards easily.  After that, you can tweak your sights or dial in your scope as you move the next target plate back to 50, 75, or 100 yards.  Once sighted in you can test reloading recipes at 100+ yards easily.  And if you want to challenge yourself once you are comfortable with the sight picture and ammunition you can move your 8 inch plate back to 150 or 200 yards.  My point is that you get 100 targets to play with for a few bucks instead of just a few of the more expensive pre-printed ones.  That saves more money for other things - like ammunition to use putting more holes in your money saving targets!


Deer Slayer's picture

Great tip, you can also use

Great tip, you can also use things like cans, bottles, milk jugs, etc. The list goes on and on. Just save up your trash from around the house and you will be surprised at how many targets you can come up with. The other thing that is cool about this is you can have many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Thanks for sharing.

numbnutz's picture

Great tip, i have been using

Great tip, i have been using plates for a while now, there cheap and easy to releace, i also like to save milk jugs and fill with water or sand, i cant do that at the range but when i go up to the woods you better beleave i use them. its fun to see them blow when you hit them, both are cheap ways to shoot. I will set them up at various distances and have fun shooting at my comfortable ranges. and there about the size of a kill zone.

Rem2arms's picture

It's funnt with as old as I

It's funnt with as old as I am and hunted for years that I never used paper plates as targets. Jezzss, I'm glad I read this one :)  I stop at our local bowling alley and pick up any of the used bowling pins they throw away, makes good targets also !!

ManOfTheFall's picture

I agree 100%. I have never

I agree 100%. I have never purchased a target for shooting any of my guns. The old paper plates with the black magic marker does wonders. We would also save up cans, bottles, and cardboard from boxes and use these also. I did by the block for my bow however and I really like that target.

hunter25's picture

Mike is right on with this

Mike is right on with this one and I have been using them for a long time now. One staple in the middle and tour ready to go. If needed you can use a black marker and put a dot in the middle to make it even better.

I still use printed targets with one inch reference lines for sighting in or fine tuning long range rifles but for plinking or defensive practice you can't beat the paper plate.

jaybe's picture

I remember when I first

I remember when I first started deer hunting with my dad many years ago. The old paper plate stuck on a tree with a thumbtack was always what we used to check our sights the day before the season opened. The logic went like this: if you can hit the paper plate at 100 yards, you can hit a deer. End of story. Nobody cared whether they could shoot a 1 inch group or a 2 inch group. Heck - nobody shot a group! The only reason to "waste" more than one bullet is if you missed the plate. If you did, you cut the distance in half and tried again.

Good tip, Mike. Hunter, my only problem with putting a staple in the middle is that I always shoot out the staple with my first shot and the plate falls to the ground.  :>)