Tar­get Prac­tice

Pete Evans goes green, thanks to Tar­get-Air

Airgun World - - Contents - Con­tacts - www.tar­get-air.co.uk.

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.

TAR­GET-AIR.

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.

HEAVY METAL

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.

REA­SON­ABLE COST

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.

UN­BREAK­ABLE

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.

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