When was the last time you went plinking? You know, shooting for fun in the woods, on the farm or at a range, probably with a .22 LR? It’s what got most of us started in shooting and led to a lifetime of enjoyment with firearms. I started shooting with a friend’s Remington Nylon 66 in Apache Black and chrome, a .22 LR rifle I still lust after. Not long afterward, I was introduced to wing shooting with a .410-Bore shotgun and soon had my own .22 LR rifle, a Winchester 69A bolt-action.
Although you can shoot paper targets, it’s more fun to shoot other targets when plinking, especially if the target moves or breaks. Way back when, city dumps were left uncovered and afforded an amazing variety of targets for a dedicated plinker. Tin cans, glass bottles and the occasional rat could be hunted and shot in the dump. These days, dumps are covered, shooting isn’t allowed and we don’t approve of shooting glass anywhere. However, aluminum cans, plastic water bottles and similar objects can be set out and used as targets. Clay birds make good targets, because they break and are biodegradable. Should you wish to spend a little money, there are a huge variety of small-bore steel targets, as well as plastic and rubber targets that can withstand a lot of hits.
Plinking is a terrific family activity and can be used as an opportunity to teach firearms safety, gun handling and marksmanship. Once the basics are mastered, a variety of targets and informal competition can be used to maintain interest and keep everyone entertained. Shooting is fun, and a family plinking session should always be structured as a fun and enjoyable activity. There’s a lot of personal responsibility involved in handling firearms safely, followed by cleaning up and leaving no trash after the shooting session.
I encourage you to introduce some folks to shooting by taking them plinking. Taking a young boy or girl shooting is a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved, but don’t forget to include adults, too. You probably know some people who have never been introduced to shooting and would appreciate an invitation. One of the best things we can do to preserve our sport and strengthen the Second Amendment is getting more people involved in shooting, and plinking is a terrific way to do it.