Plinking practice: 'Rockin' and a-spinnin'
PUBLISHED: 16:12 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:12 05 September 2017
Steve Prime looks at some interesting targets from a familiar old name
Having sailed extremely close to the wind nearly missing the print deadline I can only apologise to our editor for putting him under a little more extra pressure this month. Sorry Phill! I have to blame work and Continued Professional Development (CPD), certified paperwork we have to attain to tell all I am still capable of manufacturing custom-made dental appliances; a job I have done since the age of 17. After nearly 40 years, I hope my skills are well proven, but in the eyes of the Government it is a compulsory undertaking for all dental care professionals (DCP’s).
As you may have guessed, this month has been a major catch up on certified hours and I am still a few short for this coming year’s cycle. I don’t know about you, but when I close the door to work I want to forget about it – very difficult these days. My thing would to be to replace CPD with CTP and this would make me a lot happier. I would willingly sit, stand or go prone for Continued Target Practice!
Of late, an old name has been cropping up more and more in the shooting fraternity and it is one that has been around for years – Milbro; their pellets, targets, and now they are manufacturing and selling rifles and pistols again through Sports Marketing. Many times, I have browsed through a catalogue, or the shelves of our local gun shop, and missed something that really should have been ordered or purchased, but never found its way to the order sheet or till. Is it because it just sat there failing to jump out and slap me in the face calling out, ‘buy me buy me’ or was it so well camouflaged that I just did not see it? More to the point, was it really something of interest or something we really overlooked? In this case the latter is applicable.
I tend to go to exactly what I want to purchase, very similar to my strategy of food or clothes shopping – get in and get out as quickly as possible – and let’s face it, that means a lot more time on the range and less dilly-dallying about.
However, it was necessary to replace a few of our HFT targets because they were looking a little the worse for wear. I mean, the blighters have been shot at for goodness sake! Standard HFT knock downs it is then ... or is it? No – something else had caught my eye in the catalogue; two for the price of one - a rocking and spinning target from Milbro. Five different hardened-steel shapes; a bottle, rabbit, crow, squirrel and rat, to whet the appetite. To make life easier, there are no strings attached, fewer linkages, and they are much easier to set out because there is no need for spikes or pegs to sink into the ground. These little beauties have a rocker-shaped base so a plate strike rocks the target and a kill spins the spinner – simplistic, and at the same time ingenious. It is advised to set them at minimum distances of 25 yards for .177, and 35 yards for .22, and intended for use with lead pellets only, to avoid ricochet and unwanted target movement.
The targets come flat-packed, and are very easy to put together with an instruction leaflet, although I do think a novice could work it out, and the tool for the job – a trusty little spanner. Four nuts and bolts locate the rockers to the faceplate, lining up the notches on both, and then you simply remove the end nuts from the spinner bar, pop it into place, and return the nuts and tighten – simples. Five minutes after constructing and bolting together and you are ready to set off for a session of non-stop enjoyable practice. The only drawback I can see over some conventional targets is the lack of a reducer system on the back of the faceplate.
That’s something Milbro might wish to add to the design at a later date – food for thought, even if the second spinner is a little smaller. A very amusing design element appears on the rabbit target; the usual 40mm kill zone on the spinner is accompanied by a carrot – yep, a carrot spinner – a great touch which I dare not to bring a smile to your face!
Down on the range, I decided to put out a selection of the targets, including one closer than recommended, with the intention of using my pistol to see how the target reacted. To be on the safe side, I made sure that I was wearing my safety specs, just in case the target and pellet had their revenge. The lower power of the pistol worked superbly on the rocker target at 10 metres.
On the whole, I have to say they worked extremely well - so much so that I will be ordering more, not just for the club but my own personal use as well. Good quality and great fun, so get out there and rock ‘n’ roll – or should that really be ‘rock ‘n’ spin’.