Pete Evans goes green, thanks to Target-Air
Pete Evans finds environmentally-friendly targets from Target-Air
We live in a day when we are encouraged to recycle and generally look after the environment, which is only right and proper, of course. It has not escaped my attention that the bank at the bottom of my garden, great backstop though it is, must now be the most lead-rich piece of ground in my little corner of Wales, and with these polluting thoughts in my head, I have been looking for a suitable pellet catcher/target holder to meet my needs and put an end to my ‘ungreen’ habits.
My problem is that I like things to be heavy-duty or for industrial use, which can be difficult to obtain on a modest budget. In my quest, I have tried a few products which work OK for a while, but over time they start to bulge, and eventually break down. In essence then, my brief was simple; super-tough, well made, and reasonably priced – not too difficult, then.
I came across Target-Air, which on the face of it looked promising. The catchers looked good, were marketed as ‘heavy-duty’ (3mm steel), and with a price point that seemed a bit too good to be true. As luck would have it they were attending the British Shooting Show, so I could handle the wares before parting with the hard-earned. Heavy duty? I’d be the judge of that! So, it was with a slightly cynical attitude that I went to meet the man himself, Lukasz Fabicki, along with his partner, Monika, and nephew Damian – a truly family affair.
Lukasz told me his story, which started when he commissioned a printer to print some targets for him. It seems that if he were to buy in bulk, the terms were more favourable, a move which got him ‘on target’ for the future – see what I did there?
The paper targets led on to all manner of non-destructible targets, including spinners, knock-downs, and the pellet catchers, of course, my main area of interest.
My cynicism soon dissolved when Lukasz handed me his 17cm square, heavy-use
catcher. It was HEAVY! I checked the weight later – 2.8kg of solid steel – and sad case that I am, I also checked all the metal. Yep – it was 3mm. Never have I seen such a heavily made, funnel-style catcher, fully seam-welded with jointed seams – necessary because the metal is too thick to bend. This was something that would last a lifetime, and then will probably be in good enough shape to hand to your children. The catchers are well finished in a thick black paint which would need to be touched up from time to time, and if you are in the market for a lighter version, these are available, as are 14cm square models.
Apart from the catchers, my eye was taken by the spinners, also available in 3mm thickness. These can be mounted vertically with the supplied coach screw, and vary in design from the basic circular shape in graduated sizes, to mini-animal silhouettes – there was just so much choice.
True to his roots, Lukasz has not neglected the paper targets which were available in abundance, and yes, you guessed it, various thicknesses. The classic types were there, as well as coloured quarry picture targets, and to keep step with the times, zombies.
The quarry pictures looked interesting. I can see these as useful trainers for hunters because you would be able to target exact kill zones, which will be smaller on the targets than in reality, thus adding more challenge.
All this choice and quality is all well and good, but what about price? No one likes saving money more than me, and spending it is a painful process. I won’t say that these products are cheap – that would suggest a quality issue – but they represent remarkable value for money, given the quality of construction. Just £19.99 will get you the catcher, whilst the spinners retail at £4.99 – true value, I’m sure you will agree.
I left the stall with a selection of paper targets, catcher, and some spinners, cursing Lukasz at every step to the distant car park, for the weight of his merchandise, but keen to get home to give the targets a good workout.
The proof of the pudding, so they say, is in the eating, and so with not a small amount of excitement I set things up for a trial.
Firstly, the catcher: Two mountings are available, flat on the ground, or elevated by hanging it on a strong screw, by the convenient mount on the back, I went for the latter option and was soon hearing the ‘tink, tink’ of lead on metal as the catcher caught, without fail, the barrage of lead I launched at it. On close examination, my assault caused no more than a chipping of the paint, my pellets stored nicely in the collection chamber at the back, and when the target gets full, just unhook and turn it over to dispose of the waste in a responsible manner. Now, this where the re-cycling comes in, I have a friend who casts his own fishing weights, and he is keen to incorporate my waste into his smelting pot – win-win situation!
The spinners were mounted up in a couple of trees, and really helped with nailing those elevated shots often encountered in the field. In fact, I am leaving them there so they are ready whenever the mood takes me.
GIVE THEM A GO
I was really impressed by these products. It’s really great to see a family enterprise like this, when good ideas, quality build, and materials come together to produce something practical and long lasting. Check out these products and a vast array of other things target-related at Target Air. You will be really glad you did! I
I’ve found something a bit special for anyone who likes a bit of target practice.
Target Air meeting the public at the British Shooting Show earlier this year.
On any flat surface. This target holder is heavy enough to free-stand.
As well as the target holders, Target-Air produce some inexpensive spinners to mount in your favourite practice tree.
The 3mm construction on ALL the components promises longevity.
When you’re done, just tip it up to empty, ready to dispose of or to recycle.
Six months heavy use in all weathers and no sign of serious damage.
Conventional targets alongside quarry outlines.