Proper Target Placement

Target Placement


How to Avoid an Immediate Suspension

We seem to have recurring incidences of ricochets and errant projectiles on our
range because of improper target placement, and a lack of understanding and/or foresight
with regards to bullet trajectory. Every applicant has received, and signed an
acknowledgement for our “Target Letter”. This letter outlines a policy implemented by
CSF to reduce, and hopefully eliminate the incidences of ricochets and errant rounds.

Let’s take a few minutes to make a brief review and answer any questions regarding the
policy and it’s intent.
When we get to the indoor range in a few minutes, take a look at all the patches in
the ceiling. When you are using the indoor range, please remember to keep your trigger
off of the trigger until you are on target. This is one of the basic firearm safety rules and
will serve to reduce the incidences of firing into the ceiling.

During our walking tour of the outdoor range you will see “rule” boards on each
range. Some of them are general rules that apply to each range, some are specific to that
range. Of particular note is rule number 6…”All shots will be directed downrange at
proper targets in designated areas, to impact directly into berms.” So what is a berm?
Which berm is the impact berm? Yes, it’s that 25 foot tall pile of dirt at the end of the
shooting range.
This means that whatever position you are shooting in, your bullet, your projectile,
has to travel in a path from your gun, through the target, and into the backstop berm. You
will hear this repeatedly today. As a rule of thumb, you should see some of the berm
below your target, and some (a lot) of the berm above your target.

This picture illustrates the proper placement of the target for this shooter and their
position so that the bullet will penetrate the target and impact into the rear berm. As you
can see there is some berm visible below the target, and lots of berm visible above the

This is an example of a target that is being used for a centerfire rifle on the C-range.
It is too low for the application. The bullet will strike the range floor and most likely
ricochet over to the 600 yard range. This is unacceptable.

This picture is a from an actual police department training session. As you can see
the targets are both too low, and too close. This resulted in numerous ricochets that went
overhead on the 600 yard range. What would you do differently to correct this?

When we get to the outdoor range you will see the short berms on the C-range.
These are to be used in conjunction with the short targets for rimfire and muzzleloading
arms only. This picture depicts the shooter with a proper target location for his shooting
position. This bench is located close to the berm for illustrative purposes.

As you can see in this photo, the shooter is going to experience a ricochet because
his target is located such that the bullet will hit the range floor rather than the berm. Please
don’t do this.

When we get to the 600 yard range you will be informed that the only place for
targets on that range is in the target carriers. This is a close view of the target carriers.
These are 4 foot by 4 foot targets set into the carriers that move up and down behind a
protective wall. Here is a long distance view of the same.

We take a very serious view of safety here. If you are observed causing a ricochet
or errant round you will be suspended immediately. Most of our problems have been from
the guests of members. So if you bring a guest or family member, please give them a
detailed orientation of target placement. You are responsible for your guests and their
actions. Remember; Safety First, Last, and Always!