Depending on the size of your property and on local bylaws, setting up an area in which to shoot an air rifle can give you countless hours of entertainment as well as help to enhance your aptitude as a marksperson. When it comes to choosing targets, there are many different materials to consider. Some air rifle enthusiasts shoot a variety of cans and bottles, which can certainly have its appeal for numerous reasons. If you're serious about shooting, however, you may want to invest in a set of steel target plates. Often sold in groups of three targets that are affixed to a horizontal rail, there are many advantages of this type of target. Here are three.
They Don't Get Damaged
You can shoot tin cans several times with an air rifle, but each time that the pellet makes contact with the tin, it will cause a dent. Aluminum cans can quickly become shredded during target practice, requiring you to frequently replace them. A big benefit of using steel target plates is that they don't get damaged. Many targets of this nature are designed for rifles, so your air rifle will scarcely leave a mark. This means that you can reuse the targets indefinitely, rather than constantly need to replace them.
They Make A Satisfying Sound
If you're shooting at a considerable distance, even with a scope, you want to know how accurate you are. Some targets make it difficult to tell if you've scored a hit. A paper target mounted to a hay bale, for example, won't necessarily indicate where you shot if the target is already full of holes. When you shoot a steel target, it will make an audible "plink" sound, sending you a clear message about your accuracy.
They'll Reset Themselves
Certain types of targets require some effort when you're shooting. For example, when you shoot a tin can, it will often fall to the ground, meaning that you'll need to travel the length of the range to set the can up again. When you can hang cans from trees, rigging up a system with twine and cans can be a little labor-intensive, and you might not always have tree branches in the correct location for your target practice. In addition to remaining intact when you shoot them, many steel targets are designed to reset themselves. For example, the target may be mounted so that is swings around a post when it's hit, and then returns to its original position to be ready for you to shoot it again.