New Target Holders in Pistol Bays 4 and 5

Damage to target frames, uprights and crosspieces is not just an issue on the rifle range side of the house, it is an issue in the pistol bays as well.

In an attempt to reduce the damage to frames, a new target mounting system was installed Monday in pistol Bays 4 and 5. This mounting system spaces the cross pieces a lot further apart and gives a place to mount targets well away from the vertical upright posts.

The backer is a 7mm Coroplex sheet (corrugated plastic – like corrugated cardboard, only it’s plastic). This is the material we use for backers on the high power electronic targets and it is pretty durable stuff. There is room on the backer for several targets while keeping impact areas well away from the lumber.

Please read the instructions on the Coroplex, and good shooting!

Be Safe!

Offhand Match – December 12; Shooting in a Winter Wonderland!

As of 7:00 AM, the official Fort Wayne weather outlook was a slight chance of snow after 4PM.  Well, that should have given us plenty of time to get our first Winter Offhand match over and done with and entered into the books.

8:45 – Things are looking pretty good!

We started setup about 8:00 – these guys show up early and get started.  We had to do some work to replace nails to hold target faces, but there were plenty of folks to help and by about 8:45 we had a full relay, we held our safety briefing and the line went hot.  It was dark – not the best day to shoot. We had a light wind out of the northwest – but not punishingly brutal.  Things changed quickly, by the time the first string was finished, it was snowing.  It started out as a few scattered flakes, but it quickly developed into one of those lake-effect snow storms we know so well. 


Visibility was rotten – but we are High Power Shooters and we don’t let a stinkin’ snow storm run us off the line. (Or maybe we just don’t have much better sense…).

Working with Tayt, early

We finished up about 9:45; cleaned up, put things away and headed home.  It was not a good day to hang around and practice, zero a rifle or chronograph loads – those tasks will need to wait for another day!

Mia uses the under-magazine hold for short-armed shooters. This was early in the first string of fire.
Tayt, later in the match
And it just kept snowing!
Just keep shooting!

But – in spite of the weather the scores looked pretty good.  We have an alliterative list of the top five shooters this month; Mike, Mark, Mark, Marshall and Mia:

Mike King                                          385-9X

Mark Richard                                    367-2X

Mark Walters                                   363-3X

Marshall Rohrbach                          354-3X

Mia King                                            346-4X

It snowed so much ….. !

Congratulations to Mark Walters on wining the Garand Match at Anderson last weekend – even after firing a miss on his first Offhand shot!  Mark has been known to comment that the Garand is useful only as a tomato stick, but it appears that he can do more than just garden with it.

And, late breaking news; a reliable source reports that Mike King took second place in the Garand Match and Mark Richard took at least a share of third place. Another great showing for FWRR. Thanks Guys!

Mark Walters likes playing in the snow while Mike King tends to business.

And, Yes, it seemed like everyone had a good time. Now we all have a High Power story to tell; “There was this one time it snowed so hard ….”. Thanks to the parents and grandparents who showed up to watch the Juniors.

Our next Winter Offhand is December 10th – same time, same place – same format.  Hopefully – less snow, but I can’t guarantee that!

Don’t forget the FWRR Meeting on Monday, December 5th at 7:00 at the VFW/Legion/Marine Corps League Building at the end of Main Street in Ft. Wayne.  This is the meeting where we elect officers, so please plan to be there.

But it does make the lane look pretty!

Range Maintenance – Reducing Damage to Target Frames

A picture is worth a whole bunch of words, so I took a few pictures to illustrate the points I had made in the “Range Maintenance” post from a couple of days ago.

Our covered range is laid out in a strange way with the 100-yard target frames lying in the 25-yard and 50-yard impact area.  This results in the 100-yard frames getting damage from shots being fired on the shorter ranges.  The range layout makes some damage unavoidable, but we can minimize damage with a bit of attention to how we shoot.

100-yard target frames directly behind the 25-yard frames

One of the primary rules of range safety is to make sure that you know where your shots are going to land.  Just landing them in the 100-yard impact berm isn’t really the only goal, hitting as little of the 100-yard lumber should also be kept in mind.

This is poor selection of target placement. Note the vertical support directly behind the target

The first picture shows a target set up in the 25-yard frame.  Look down range from that target – there is a vertical support post for the 100-yard frames directly in line with the posted target.  Setting a target like that guarantees that the vertical post in going to be in the line of fire and will take some hits – especially if you are doing a good job of staying in the black.

Good target placement. Note the absence of down-range structures in the impact area.

Now, look at the second picture.  The target is in the exact same position, but if the shooter just moves a bit to the right or left, the point of impact moves considerably – in between two vertical posts.  Ladies and Gentlemen – please pay attention to what is downrange and don’t line up the hot zone of your target face with downrange lumber.

Most of the hits to 100-yard structures from shots fired from the 25-yard line are low hits or ricochets.  To minimize the damage to the bottoms of the vertical supports, we added some sacrificial lumber to the bottoms of the posts. We can replace these pieces of lumber as they get shot away and reduce damage to vertical supports.

Sacrificial facings on vertical supports

Last of all, we see damage to the horizontal cross pieces from ricochets hitting in front of the 100-yard frames.  At times it looks like a farmer has dropped a plow and cut furrows in front of the target frames.  This damage is primarily to three of the center sections of horizontal pieces. 

To further reduce damage, we are requesting that:

  •  If you are shooting at 50 or 25-yards, if the three center horizontal sections at 100-yards are in place, please remove them before you shoot.  Just lay them on the ground in front or behind the frames.  When you finish – just leave them down.  That is their “stored” position.
  •  If you are shooting at 100-yards, the sections of horizontal frames at the south end and north end of the firing line are out of the 25 and 50-yard line of fire.  Those horizontal frames will stay up at all times. If you need to use the three center sections, go ahead and mount them in the frames – but when you finish shooting – please put them back on the ground.  That will protect them from most ricochet damage.
Please leave these horizontal frame boards laying on the ground unless actually in use. Remove them after use.

This will take a little more effort on the part of shooters, but it will make life a lot easier for the people who take time to keep our range facilities in good repair.

Thank You – and Be Safe!

Range Maintenance – 7 November 2022

Several members spent their Monday afternoon at the range repairing the damage at the 100-yard range. Three uprights and three sections of target horizontal frames were replaced at 100-yards, the shot up upright was replaced at the 50 yard target and target horizontal rails were replaced at 25-yards.

Much of the damage at the 100-yard line was due to inattention of shooters firing at targets placed on the target holders at 25-yards. Shooters at 25-yards are not paying attention to where their shots are impacting downrange. One upright at 100-yards was shot off at ground level and it getting it out of the ground was a lot like a dentist pulling a tooth that had broken off at the gum line – yuuck!

Another issue is ricochets from the shots fired at the 25-yard line that bounce off the ground in front of the 100-yard target frames and riddle the cross pieces. Shots fired at the 50-yard targets also hit those same cross pieces.

After the uprights were replaced, we put sacrificial pieces of 2 x 4 lumber on the front of all of the uprights. We hope that these pieces of lumber will absorb stray bullets and preserve the uprights. They can be easily replaced with just a couple of screws when the need arises.

Additionally, to reduce the damage from stray rounds hitting the cross pieces, we left the three new center section pieces (6 pieces of 2 x 6 x 14’ lumber) laying on the ground where they are less likely to be hit by ricochets. That leaves three sections of frames on the low end and two sections of frames on the high end for folks who want to shoot at 100-yards. For matches when we use the entire 100-yard firing line, we can just put the boards in their holders.

Shooters – we ask that you pay attention and help us reduce damage to target frames:

A. NEVER mount targets to vertical posts. NEVER mount targets directly to the horizontal rails. Suspend them between the two rails.

B. In the near future, there will be red paint on the vertical posts as well as red painted areas ON THE HORIZONTAL Rails about 1-foot in from the vertical supports. Please do not mount targets in red painted areas.


If your 25-yard target hides the 100-yard vertical post – move your target or your shooting position!

For a quick review of Range Rules, click here: