Tired of paper targets or trying to find something to use for plinking that won't make a mess like glass?
Then try bowling pins! I'll tell you they are surprising durable and last quite a long time, even after eating lead from .50 cal black power rifles!
You can usually get some for free from your local bowling alley. They always have damaged ones that can't be used for bowling anymore. I hauled away 11 cases from one place that was glad to see them go.
The way I use them is I string a small nylon rope between two trees, then using more rope, 'hang' the pins from that main rope line. For safety, make sure the pins hang close to the ground. Regardless of how far away you shoot, you can see the pins move when you hit them. Since they're wood, they're heavy enough to stop swinging in very little time.
Ricocheting isn't a problem since even a .22 will penetrate the 'skin' of the bowling pin and the slug usually stays inside the wood. It's also that skin that makes them last so long as targets!
Another fun target is over-ripe fruit. It just about explodes when you hit it and doesn't leave a mess since critters do the clean up for you.
Have fun and as always, safety first.
RC Hellebuyck, MI, entered 2002-04-26