How to DIY your own (almost) free Shoot-N-See targets
by Kirk Lawson
If you are a fan of Hi Points, then you realize a great value for your money. Further, you realize that every penny you save is another you can put towards more ammo, or more Hi Points. With that in mind, we have a great way to DIY your own reactive style targets.
Birchwood Casey brand Shoot-N-C targets are, frankly, fantastic. They are more or less standard black targets that, when shot, will expose a neon colored ring around the impact hole in the target. Yellow is the most common color but others are available. They're fantastic. They offer immediate and easily visible feedback. Most traditional targets are difficult to see where hits are, particularly for aging eyes. This is greatly alleviated with the Birchwood Casey product. The big drawback for them is that they're expensive. Even an 8" standard circle target can run a couple of dollars per target. For folks often used to marking a 1/2" dot on a paper plate or printing out a target on the computer, that's a pretty hefty price tag.
But the internet comes to the rescue. There are at least a half a dozen DIY recipes if you run a search. I experimented with a few, using materials I had on hand, and got, frankly, astonishing results.
I had some "paint sample chips" from Wal Mart in bright colors, yellow, red, and light green. they're about 3.25"x5". Free to me and just the right size for back-yard 50' plinking with my Daisy pneumatic air rifle. However, the large 1'x1' brightly colored craft paper sheets would work equally well, as does standard 3"x5" index cards which "ring" in white when shot.
Of the DIY recipes I tried, the most effective for me was the extremely simple "packing tape" method.
I used the most inexpensive (cheap) clear plastic packing tape I could find at the big box and flat black spray paint I already had available in my garage.
Completely cover the surface of the paper with strips of packing tape. There should be little or no over-lap but no gaps either.
Then spray paint the taped surface with flat black paint. So far "Grill Paint" has worked best and I lucked out because that was what I had so it's what I used. Acrylic tends to bead on the plastic packing tape and not cover well. This is fixed by first giving the tape a very thin coating of standard flat gray primer and then, after it dries, a coat of acrylic. I hope to soon experiment with Krylon brand "fusion" plastic bonding paint but that may bond too tightly to the plastic packing tape and may not "flake" properly to make the signature shoot-n-see ring.
The results speak for themselves. This was offhand at 50' with said Daisy air rifle pushing .177 pellets at a measly ~700 fps (according to the box). Notice the bottom two hits on the red target are half rings. The pellets hit just to the left of the seam between tape strips and there was likely a little bit of a gap. The black paint did not flake off on the right side, leaving the half-ring effect.
Using a stencil with concentric rings cut in it, you could easily spray on standard circular target rings. I have used the mouth of a steel can (spaghetti rings) to block out the center of the target and then gave the target a second coat with a dark red to create a 3" black bull's eye spot on a dark red field. With this,you can use your larger caliber rifles and pistols.
But this is a quick, easy, and most importantly, cheap DIY Shoot-N-See target.