Moving out West has given me a renewed appreciation for the simple sport of plinking because you can safely shoot just about anywhere, and no one gives a second thought to hearing a rifle crack in the desert. When I lived on the East Coast, however, finding a place where you could safely and legally take a crack at a dirt clod or pinecone almost didn’t exist, and all of the ranges were strict about paper targets only.
BB guns and air rifles were effective work-arounds “Back East” because we could safely plink with them in our own yard. When the kids were really little, I’d set out extra large dime-store plastic dinosaurs and we’d go “dinosaur hunting” with a Daisy Red Rider. When one of my kids scored a dinosaur, he or she put it in their backpack, and we went back to the hunt.
The kids are a little older now and have graduated up to centerfires and .22s and we’ve recently discovered the western sport of rock shooting. To shoot rocks, we find a nice arroyo where we can sit on one side and shoot across to the other so the bullets safely bury into the far side. The ideal rock is smaller than a tennis ball not only because of the challenge, but also so you don’t get ricochets.
Plinking gives you the opportunity to practice from different field positions and off-hand (which many ranges don’t allow), and also quickly teaches range estimation and holdover for various guns and loads. Best of all, it’s a hell of a lot of fun—especially when kids are involved.
Note: When plinking, remember SAFETY FIRST. Always be aware of where you are shooting and where your bullets will go, and always wear eye and ear protection.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun