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GUNS Magazine April 2010 - Page 24
MONTANA MUSINGS • MIKE “DUKE” VENTURINO • PHOTOS: YVONNE VENTURINO RINGING STEEl The fun side of shooting. un’riters are forever being trashed on the Internet for simply G being voices for the gun industry. One of the factors that enticed me to sign up with this outfit was assurance I wouldn’t have to do that. With that said, this column could be taken as an unashamed “attaboy” for a steel target company, although it’s not just about their products. and not uncommon for them to break 70 mph. The day in question there was nary a breeze so I hot footed it down to my range with an assortment of rifles and stapled up some paper targets for sighting them in. By the time I got back to the shooting house and unloaded my gear the wind had come up to the point that it blew all my paper targets away. “That’s it! That’s enough!” I said and the very next morning called Action Targets. I actually got the company’s name from Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch. The TR facility uses Action Target’s products and I had noticed the impact of many thousands of rounds hadn’t hurt them a bit. Now I have their PT Torso targets at my 100-, 200-, and 300-yard berms, plus there are two more on my little pistol and sub-gun range at about 30 and 40 yards. The PT Torso targets are 5/8" thick armored plates 13" wide and 18" tall with a 6x6" “head.” Available stands can be 1-4' tall and the plates are secured to them with two 3/4" bolts. A nice safety feature is the stands hold the plates at a slight forward angle sloping from top to bottom. That means all bullet splatter is directed downwards. To make sure there is plenty of berm surrounding my PT Torsos, the 100-yard one is on a 3' stand, the 200-yard one is on a 2' stand, and the 300-yard one is on a 1' stand. Those for pistols and sub-guns have an entire mountain behind them so they’re on 4' stands. AllDuke’ssteeltargetsrequire(above)isa shotofpaintonceinawhileandthey’reready foractionagain.Becauseoftheirconvenience DukehasgrownveryfondofhisPTTorso targets(below). The company is Action Target. They’re big; selling targets ranging from simple plates to entire range setups for local, state and federal agencies to use in law enforcement training. They really don’t need my few words of help. They do deserve them. Here’s a basic fact of my gun’riting life. When I want education, paper targets are my staple and there are literally hundreds of used ones cluttering up my office right now. Recreation is a different matter. Nowadays I only shoot at steel for that. What threw me completely over the edge and caused me to buy steel for all my berms happened last spring. Montana’s winter had been long and even though I have a heated shooting house, conditions had just been too miserable to shoot much. This is a high wind area where in winter it’s not unheard of for winds to hit 100 mph Tough Targets I laughed when a friend recently asked if he could shoot my 300-yard PT Torso with his .257 Roberts. I said, “Go ahead. It won’t hurt it.” He asked again, “Are you sure?” I’m sure because I’ve fired GI “ball” ammo from 5.56mm to .30-06 and 8x57mm Mauser at all of them with no ill effects. They don’t dimple or crater the super hard steel. (It’s 500 Brinell hardness.) I won’t try armor piercing on them or some .50 BMG behemoth. There’s no sense in pushing matters. My steel pistol and submachine gun range doesn’t have just the PT Torsos. 24 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • APRIL 2010