A target is a target is a target, right? After all, shooting at paper is just shooting at paper. But what if the target shows you more than just the point of impact with a tiny hole?
That’s the thinking behind the Threat Down Bleeding Targets from Triumph Systems. With the Threat Down system, you not only see the hole, but you also get visual feedback from the colored liquid that “bleeds” down the target. Hit a lung, get blue. Hit the heart or head, get red.
Started in 2015 by former Navy SEAL Jared Ogden, St. Louis-based Triumph Systems boasts a wide range of target options, including the versatile Pivotal Trainer designed to help with those all-important shoot/don’t shoot decision-making skills, and the Threat Down bleeding system in a variety of silhouette options including Zombie, Yeti, and Evil Clown to add a bit of fun to a day at the range.
Triumph Systems also offers the Ethical Harvest series of bleeders for the hunters among us, including a deer, prairie dog, and turkey with reactive pods in the most common target areas.
Each bleeding target vital organ zone is plastered with over 100 small reactive pods containing brightly colored, environmentally safe, water-soluble gel that spills out and drips down the target when punctured by a bullet. The pods are tough enough to stay closed when shipping and hanging from a target rack but will rupture when hit by loads as light as a .22LR.
I’ve shot these targets in the past and have always found great benefit in the immediate feedback of seeing red and blue streaks, especially from long range, where it’s harder to see the tiny hole you just poked from a hundred yards or farther without a spotting scope. They are also good for close-range pistol drills because the pods don’t splatter on impact; they just open and release the gel, which is how a human or animal target would react, too.
My most recent Threat Down Bleeding Targets trial was at a family outing at a friend’s farm. We nailed a Yeti to an old pallet and shot it from around 25 yards with .22LR, 9mm, and .223. All three of my kids and my wife joined the fun as we blasted away at the reactive areas, each shot answered with the immediate feedback and reward of red or blue gel streaming down the target’s white front.
While the Threat Down target system from Triumph Systems is an outstanding product and fantastic training tool, there is one minor drawback: it can only be used outdoors. Due to the bleeding nature of the pods, they can make a mess on an indoor range floor, requiring a bit of post-op cleanup. Outdoors, light rain will wash it away. If you happen to get some gel on your clothes, just toss them in the wash when you get home, and it should all come out.
Starting at $15.50 each, Triumph Systems are not cheap, but like many good training aids, they are worth the extra expense. If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary and darn fun to shoot, the Threat Down targets are the way to go.