The "Improved" DIY Shoot and See Targets
by Kirk Lawson
In a prior article I discussed a DIY method for producing inexpensive "shoot and see" targets.
I am still a fan of saving money and finding "life hacks" that increase the value of tools and stretch my dollar just a bit farther. I'm also still a fan of the "shoot and see" style targets which offer immediate feedback in a gratifyingly visual manner. I've found an improved method of making DIY "shoot and see" targets. This is my new and improved method. It's improved because it is faster, easier, and generates larger sheets.
The epiphany was realizing how DIY "shoot and see" targets work. Remember that these are a 3-ply product. The backing is a high contrast color such as yellow or white. The middle is a plastic layer which adheres strongly to the backing. The top layer is a dark contrasting color, black, which adheres weakly to the plastic, allowing it to flake off and "ring" around the impact hole. It turns out that there is a very inexpensive product which already has both a high contrast white backing with a plastic coating: Reynolds Plastic Coated Freezer Paper. Plastic coated freezer paper is up to 18 wide, on a role and comes in 75 and 150 feet lengths. This eliminates the labor intensive need to use clear plastic packing tape, manually applied to the backing. It is also less expensive than the cost of the packing tape, which is thicker and requires an adhesive.
Using this product, it is now possible to make a "shoot and see" silhouette target nearly 18 inches wide by 3 foot tall (or more!). It is possible to produce a large sheet and cut down 3" squares for 25 yard .22LR targets.
The process is much the same as the earlier method. Paint the plastic side. Use black "combination with primer" spray paint or use a primer then paint. Note that the paper is a little thinner than what is typically used and comes on a roll so it tends to curl up. You may want to weight or pin down the corners of the sheet when painting.
The end result "rings" in white when shot.