Jul 28, 2008

Orange and Red Dots on Bullseye Targets

What is the deal with orange and red dots on bullseye-type targets sold at sporting goods stores?

To the competitors here: What do the rules say about placing red dots on your official NRA target's bulls eye? Is this OK, or is it an infraction of the rules?

NRA Rule 4.1 "Targets"
"...They may not be modified by the user or the Manufacturer, except with specific written permission from NRA Competitions Division."

Personally, I've always found the color and dot "enhancements" to be annoying and the mark of cluelessness. The design can't be used for official score, and provides no additional benefit.

Using plain black bullseyes, good Service Rifle (iron sight) shooters can consistently shoot sub-2 MOA groups from position at over 1/3 mile. How much more precision can you expect?

The REAL disadvantage of bullseye targets is that they can require unrealistic zeros. A Sporting Rifle shooter using the SR-3 target with a 6 o'clock hold would be zeroed 9.5 inches high at 200 yards (!!!) Substitute the SR target on same Course of Fire and you have to re-zero to 7.5 inches high at 200; use the SR-1 at 100 yards and you re-zero to just over three inches high at 100.

On the other hand, anyone choosing a "Navy" (center) hold would have to zero to dead-on at 200 (not bad) and re-zero to dead-on at 100 to use the SR-1 (not as good).

How does any of this help me establish a working zero while working on basic field shooting positions? Apparently, nobody at the NRA knows how to create a CoF for big game hunters...

A more realistic target would use the same aimpoint for irons and optics AND would encourage a real-world zero. For rifle hunters, a 100 yard target should establish PoI at about 2 inches high for any sight system and be dead on at a useable and appropriate distance for most cartridges.

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