Air Venturi Field Targets Are For Everyone, Not Just Competition!
Some time back, HAM published a review of popular reactive targets available for airgun shooters. http://hardairmagazine.com/reviews/reactive-targets-airguns Reading that story, the Air Venturi Field Targets appealed to me as a new airgun shooter.
I’m not a Field Target competitor, and I don’t believe there is a Field Target Group hosting shoots in my area. But shooting silhouette game animal targets in the back yard sounded like an exciting alternative to punching paper targets.
So, I asked the pros at Pyramyd Air to pick out a couple of their best Air Venturi Field Targets. They sent me an Air Venturi Rat On A Stick and an identical target with a pull cord.
I also ordered a tin of lead free pellets, thinking that many new shooters, particularly if they had pets and young children, would prefer not to shoot high quantities of lead in their back yard.
But when the Rat On A Stick and Rat On The Run arrived, both products contained the warning: not for steel BBs or lead free pellets. That was a clear disappointment, but I put aside the H & N Baracuda Green (lead free) tin for future experimentation…
While waiting for the Air Venturi Field Targets to arrive, I did a little internet research. I was anxious to determine how much energy it took to activate the typical silhouette.
I had this bright idea that Air Venturi Field Targets would be perfect for kids with their first Daisy… But my research dampened that thought. One airgun blog post tabulated the findings of an experienced Field Target Shooter. He stated that a striking energy of over 5 Ft/Lbs was required to knock down Field Targets.
So Imagine my surprise when I set up the Air Venturi Rat On The Run target and was successful in knocking it down immediately at 10 Feet with my Daisy Model 25 BB gun!
Fortunately, I was wearing safety glasses, so I didn’t “shoot my eye out”.
Time to order a tin of H&N Copper plated, Lead BBs to see how far away they would register a successful hit in the Kill Zone. That experiment turned out to be the biggest surprise of all.
I shot a five shot group in my basement range, and the Daisy Model 25 put five Excite Smart Shot BBs into less than one Inch at 10 Yards. That was equal to the best group any steel BB would deliver.
Then I set up the Rat On A Stick at 6 Yards, and easily knocked the yellow center out of the target with successive shots. I did discover that the Daisy won’t re-set the target. So you either have to make a trip to the target after each shot, or jury rig a reverse draw string which will re-set the Yellow Kill Zone.
But the better of the Air Venturi Field Targets for the Daisy air rifle and Copper Plated Lead Excite Smartshot BBs is the Rat On The Run. I set it up at 10 Yards, and knocked over the rat with a Kill Zone shot on nearly every attempt.
I found it marginally more inspiring to have the entire rat target buckle and fall to the ground following a kill shot, as opposed to only punching out the center kill zone when using the Rat On A Stick. With either target, it clearly doesn’t take much more than 0.5 Ft/Lbs of energy for consistent activation.
These Field Targets may not have been designed for kids. But they would be absolutely perfect for aspiring 8-10 year old air gunners to get their juices flowing.
The Air Venturi Field Targets have adjustable kill zones, so you can select from 0.5-Inch, 1-Inch, or 1.5- Inch kill-zones. The 1.5- Inch worked perfect for 10 Yards, although you can increase the challenge with a 1-Inch kill zone at distances of 6 to 10 Yards.
After shooting, I was successful in recovering most of my spent (flattened) Excite Smartshot BBs that hit the target or kill-zone, and the rebound area was confined to 2 Feet in front of the Rat, with most about 4-6 Inches away.
For Dad, these Air Venturi Field Targets will provide endless hours of fun as you experiment with distances of up to 55 Yards, and various kill zones.
I shot the targets at about 25 Yards with Ron Keller and Chuck Thornton, and they agreed the experience was a blast. And we were successful in re-setting the Rat On A Stick with both the Remington Express and Beeman Teton Gas Ram in 0.177 cal.
You do get significant “splatter” on the rat and the Kill Zone with 850-1000 FPS pellet rifle muzzle velocities. So keep the targets a safe distance from the shooter. Having a safe background is also vitally important.
With a scoped air rifle, 25-55 Yards seems like a useful range. Ron and Chuck were going to set up a game, but we got so involved in keeping track of the number of shots required to “killing the rat”, that we forgot all about any more complicated rules.
Naturally, the group size your air gun will produce at the distance you intend to shoot will set limitations on your range. If your gun produces half inch groups at 10 yards, that equates minimally to 1.25-Inch groups at 25 Yards. Shooting at the largest Kill Zone much beyond that distance will mean that missed targets can as easily result from rifle accuracy as shooter proficiency.
Air Venturi Field Targets are high quality, well built targets, with a target sensitivity which has been regulated to prohibit false “Kills” if the Rat, rather than the kill zone bulls eye is struck. And yet they easily record a hit if the Kill Zone bulls eye is struck with more than 0.5 Ft/Lbs of energy.
They make a very versatile target, from Junior with his Daisy Red Ryder to Dad with his high quality PCP gun. For those who only intend to use the gun for full velocity air rifle practice, the Rat On A Stick might be the better option.
You won’t have to worry about up to 50 Yards of pull cord stretching across the back yard, or reeling it up on a fishing reel after each shooting session. But if BB guns will be used, you’ll like the increased animation of the Rat On The Run, and a 10 Yard pull cord won’t be much of a bother.