By Oleg Volk
I am a big fan of steel targets.They make long-range marksmanship practice a lot more fun. At close distances, they help new shooters develop greater confidence in their abilities. Recently, I had the opportunity to test targets made by Multiplex Systems in Minnesota, distributed through ShootSteel.com.
Jumping Rabbit is a welded target for rimfire rifles and low-power handguns. Unlike the shoddy knock-offs held together with screws, this one proved very durable. When hit, Jumping Rabbit does as its name suggests, jumping diagonally away from the shooter. It’s easy to start at 25 yards and chase it out to 50 or further, starting with rapid fire and slowing down as the range extends. This target moves reliably even over uneven ground and remains visible in fairly tall grass. Best of all, it’s portable and inexpensive at only $24. Larger versions made for .308 round are also available.
The free-swinging gong proved easier to set up than the alternatives, and the stand for it fits in a small carrying case. I am not a fan of complicated constructions, and this one didn’t tax my patience. It performed great with 7.62×39 and .223 at a hundred yards.
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Shooter’s view of the self-resetting popper.
Self-resetting popper is probably the most fun target of the bunch. Hit with rifle or pistol, it falls over, then quickly rises again. Ideally, it should be installed with a slight berm to protect the base, but we found that 10mm Automatic bullets did no damage to it when the shooter hit low.
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Simple and portable, the auto popper is an excellent long-ranger training accessory. Since all these targets can be painted, you can either make them stand out or add to the challenge by using camouflage tones to blend them with the background.
In sum, reactive steel targets are fun, portable and easy to set up. Try one!