Posts Tagged ‘Target’

G12 Remington resettable target 002

It was Leigh Wilcox, proprietor of the now-defunct Airgun Express, who memorably said to me several years ago: “Fun targets fall down, break, or bleed.”

And he was right. While I enjoy shooting at paper targets, there are times when I just crave to shoot at a target that does something when a pellet clobbers it fair and square.

Recently the good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me a large box with a bunch of goodies in it. In addition to a bunch of packing peanuts, there were several air pistols and, at the very bottom, a largish green box that said “Remington Airgun Target.” It also said, “Auto reset,” which I don’t think is exactly correct, but we’ll get to that in a little while.

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Remington manufactures a line of airgun targets. The one that I was sent was a metal silhouette of a wild boar with a 12-inch heavy metal spike attached. The target is very similar to the targets used in field target competition, but it isn’t quite the same. Field targets are designed with a hole – the kill zone – at some location on the face plate of the target. There is a paddle behind the hole, and when a pellet passes through the kill zone and hits the paddle, the target falls down. The target must then be pulled upright using a long string that is attached to the face plate of the target.

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The Remington wild boar resettable target that I was sent has a metal face plate with a hole in it, and behind the kill zone is a paddle. But when a pellet hits the paddle, the entire target does not fall down. Instead, the paddle tilts backwards, and it is clearly visible to the shooter that the paddle is no longer behind the kill zone. To reset the target, the airgunner must shoot the second paddle which is hanging below the face plate. When that paddle is struck with a pellet, it causes the first paddle – the one behind the kill zone – to pop back up to its upright position.

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So while the Remington resettable target is not exactly “automatic” – that is, it doesn’t reset itself without any intervention from the shooter – it does reset without having to pull a string. As another part of the package says, it is a “shoot-to-reset target.” As such, it saves the shooter from the hassle of having to lay out up to 50 yards of string (depending, of course, on the distance) and having to wind it all back up again, as you would with a conventional field target.

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What makes the Remington resettable target particularly appealing is that offers the shooter the ability to vary the size of the kill zone. The basic size of the kill zone is 1.5 inches, but there are two metal inserts that can be rotated into the kill zone to reduce its size to 1 inch or .5 inch.

This target is intended only for use with lead pellets, and several places on the package it says that it is not to be used with non-lead pellets or BBs because of the risk of ricochet. There is one very curious note on the package. It says: “Minimum distance: .177 cal 1000+ fps 25 yards, .22 cal 800+ fps 35 yards. Presumably this is to prevent damage to the target which would probably take the form of dents to the metal. I would guess that most airgunners would find hitting a half-inch kill zone at 35 yards pretty challenging. I know that I would.

The Remington resettable target doesn’t come with any written instructions that I could find, but its use is pretty straightforward. After a while, however, the face plate and the paddles will become smeared with gray lead from the pellets so that eventually it will become difficult to see the paddle clearly behind the kill zone. When that happens, a little spray paint – flat black for the faceplate and yellow for the paddles – will make everything visible again.

The Remington resettable target is simply a lot of fun. If you are an airgunner, you need one of these. It will put a grin on your face.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

A 10 meter air rifle competitor. Photo courtesy of www.usashooting.org

A 10 meter air rifle competitor.
Photo courtesy of www.usashooting.org

Want to give yourself a serious challenge as an air gunner? I mean a serious, serious challenge? Then let me humbly suggest that you give 10 meter air rifle a try. It is both an international shooting competition and an Olympic event, and in my view, it is one of the hardest things you can attempt with an air rifle.

The competitors shoot at a distance of ten meters – just a bit over 32 feet – at a target the ten ring of which measures just .5 millimeter across. From a standing position, the competitors shoot with .177 caliber air rifles that weigh a maximum of 12.13 pounds. For men the course of fire is 60 shots (plus a ten shot final in international competition) and for women, 40 shots plus a final.

I’ve tried it, and it is tough. It is physically demanding to hold up a target rifle 60 times and try to point it with precision at a target. People – all people – wobble, and that wobble creates inaccuracy. As a result, competitors are allowed to wear specialized clothing, including shooting jacket, pants, special shoes, and even special undergarments to help stabilize the body and reduce the wobble as well as help to prevent back injury caused by the asymmetric spine position that competitors assume while shooting. Years ago, I spoke with a collegiate 10 meter air rifle competitor, and she estimated that the use of the specialized shooting clothing improved her score by as much as 50 points. In other words, if she were to shoot in ordinary street clothing (as the 10 meter air pistol shooters do), she might expect her score to drop by as much as 50 points. (An aside: you probably could have encased me in a concrete block, and I still would not have come near her score!)

The competition air rifles that are used in 10 meter air rifle competition are arguably among the most accurate projectile launchers. I know a man who shot groups from a rest with his FWB300s recoilless air rifle, and he showed me a 10-shot group that was a single hole that was barely egg-shaped! Today’s precharged pneumatic match rifles are even more accurate. It is not uncommon for today’s competitors to test their rifles by clamping them into a vice and shooting shot after shot at ten meters, testing difficult pellets and batches of pellets from the same manufacturer until they find the one that produces the smallest possible group size.

The reason for all the fuss about accuracy is that, unlike 10 meter air pistol in which a perfect score has never been shot, in 10 meter air rifle perfect scores have been shot, and competitors need to be as accurate as they possibly can. Top-end 10 meter match rifles are the Formula One cars of the air rifle world. As they go up in price you get more and more adjustability of the stock, handgrip, and so forth, as well as various anti-recoil technologies, incredible accuracy and amazing consistency in velocity from shot to shot. . The Feinwerkbau target air rifles offered by www.airgunsofarizona.com can be found here .

If you would like to dip your toe in the water of 10 meter shooting at a much more modest cost, the Daisy Avanti line of target rifles offer excellent accuracy for beginners but not the high level of adjustability or the incredible triggers available in the FWB line.

If you want to know more about how to get started in 10 meter air rifle competition, visit http://www.usashooting.org/ . Click on the Resources tab for useful information, and under the Events tab, you will find lots of helpful stuff, including how to locate a club near you and how to find a match that offers 10-meter air rifle competition

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott


Recently, Crosman Corporation sent me a sample of its new Silhouette PCP Target Pistol (Model 1700P) for evaluation, and, to spare you any further suspense, I think it’s pretty neat.

The 1700P is a single-shot, .177 caliber precharged pneumatic air pistol that weighs 2.5 lbs and stretches 14.75 inches from end to end. The 1700P meets requirements for silhouette air pistol competition with both the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association and the National Rifle Association.

At the extreme back end of the receiver is the bolt, which comes from the factory hanging to the left so that right-handed shooters can cock and reload without taking their shooting hand off the grip, the bolt but can be switched to right hanging if the shooter prefers. Below that is a fitting at the rear of the receiver with a port through which adjustments can be made to the hammer spring and hammer stroke for velocity string tuning.

Below that is the ambidextrous pistol grip assembly with plastic grips on either side. These grips can be removed to a trigger weight adjustment (more about that later). Forward of the pistol grip is the cast metal trigger guard, inside of which is a die cast trigger that is adjustable for weight and over-travel and can accept an aftermarket trigger shoe. A push-button safety can be found between the trigger guard and the pistol grip.

Forward of the trigger guard, on the underside of the air reservoir, is a 3000 psi air gauge. At the end of the air reservoir is a snap-off plastic cap that protects a male foster fitting used to charge the 1700P. Above the snap-off cap is a black metal muzzle brake that also serves as a mount for a post-type front sight. (Originally, Crosman planned to mount a ported muzzle brake on this pistol, but the design engineers discovered this would violate IHMSA rules, so the plan was scrapped.)

Aft of that is the German-made Lothar Walter barrel which attaches to an anodized aircraft aluminum receiver that is fitted with 3/8 inch dovetails fore and aft of the breech. The breech has a .177 loading tray to make sliding pellets into the breech easier.

An important note: because silhouette shooters have so many varying preferences for sighting systems, the 1700P does not come with a rear sight or scope. Available extra-cost options include a William or LPA notch rear sight (favored by IHMSA Creedmoor style shooters) or a Williams peep sight (often used by standing silhouette shooters). In addition, this pistol may be easily fitted with a rifle scope, pistol scope, or red dot. Mine is shown below with the Williams notch rear sight.


To get the 1700P ready for shooting, charge it to 2900 psi with a high pressure tank or SCUBA tank. As it comes from the factory, the 1700P is set up to deliver 50+ shots from a fill, launching 7.9 gr. Crosman Premier pellets at 450 fps. I shot the pistol through my chronograph and found it was launching the 7.9 gr. pellets at 460 fps average. It takes about 35 pump strokes to refill the reservoir from 1700 psi to 3000 psi using a Benjamin HPP3k pump. If desired, the pistol can be tuned to shoot as fast as 550 fps, but with fewer shots per fill.

When I first tested the trigger on the 1700P, the first stage came out at1 lb 14 oz, and the second stage went off at 5 lb 13 oz, which is not so hot. So I removed the plastic pistol grips, ran the trigger weight adjustment up as high as it would go, and then dropped it back down to the lowest weight. With the next measurement, the second stage tripped and the shot went down range at a much more manageable 4 lbs.

Note: if you want to lighten the trigger by cutting coils off the trigger spring or polishing the trigger parts, you run the risk of voiding the warranty. Why? Because every air rifle and air pistol Crosman makes must pass the ASTM drop test. But if you modify the trigger in any way, it might not pass the test, and therefore Crosman accepts no responsibility.

I saved the best part for last: the accuracy of the 1700P is excellent. My pal, IHMSA champion Steve Ware is a steely-eyed pistol silhouette competitor. He clamped his 1700P into a vice and fired 5 shot groups at 18 yards. His best group, shot with H&N Finale Match pellets, measured just .071 inches ctc. No wonder Crosman claims this pistol will shoot quarter-inch groups at 30 meters.

In all, I find the Crosman 1700P to be an entirely worthy competition air pistol that delivers a whole lot of performance and accuracy at a price that is just a fraction of its high priced competitors.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott