As my family get’s more and more involved with airguns, I’m having to think of creative ways to add just plain fun into the mix. I can sit and shoot paper targets all day, but the rest of the family likes to see things get blasted so smithereens.
Recently I posted some articles about shooting safe on your property and wrapped it up with some photos of our shooting gallery that I built in the front yard. I’m very excited and happy to see folks sharing their ideas. I’ve seen some really good ones and want to encourage all our readers to hop on and share. We can all learn from each other and there’s plenty for all of us to keep learning!
What is mini-sniping?
Officially mini-sniping is shooting tiny standardized targets at fixed distances with your airgun. These targets are often 9mm casings or if you want to get really tiny, .22LR casings, but other objects are used as well. They just need to be uniform in size. Distances can be whatever you want them to be, but typically 35 yards seems to be the measure. There’s no official “International organization of mini-sniping rulebook” that I know of, bit I have seen a few websites that seem to have some pretty specific sets of rules and even conduct matches and have leagues, although their data was pretty old. It all seems pretty darn interesting to me personally.Official Mini-Sniping Target Sheet from www.minisniping.org
For this article however, and for the sake of making this about fun and not about following a bunch of rules, we are going to take a lot of liberty with the term mini-sniping and simply consider it to be shooting tiny things with airguns. But what kind of tiny things would be fun to shoot?
Target Creation – get creative
Typically mini-sniping, from what I’ve read on the web, is often still shooting paper targets, just with images of tiny things; silhouettes, images of pistol casings, etc. Other suggestions were animal crackers, hard candy, paint balls (We’ve already done a bit of that! I did not know we were already mimi-sniping veterans!), even little green army men are considered viable targets. The only caveat is that they be uniform in size for that specific distance.These little guys don’t last long in the AZ heat. You better be quick on the trigger!
With this in mind, and while browsing one of my favorite on-line shopping sites, I came across some silicone molds for, of all things, little Lego guys and Lego blocks. They are uniform in size. Seems like I have my targets! The next question is what to make them from?
Splat goes Mr. Lego Man
Since this is my first attempt and I was waiting for the rest of my supplies to come in, I decide to make my little guys out of ice. Just add little water in the molds and in a few hours later I’ve got some great little targets. The best part is that they really go SPLAT when you hit them. This is where the family likes to jump in and take away all my fun.My Hammerli 850 Air Magnum, ready for some mini-sniping business!
Since I have to “officially” test the course and the concept, I spent a little time on the range before handing it over the rest of the crew to test out. I’m using the Hammerli 850 Air Magnum in .177. This airgun can drop a lead pellet on the head of a dime out to 20 yards with relative ease. Since my “long” range comes in right at 20 yards, that’s the distance I’ll be shooting. My little lego guys are about 1.75″ tall and about .75″ wide, maybe a little too easy for the Hammerli, but still fun to shoot. And sure enough, they are a lot of fun to shoot. There’s something about the “splat” when the pellet hits ice that’s just fun to watch!Splat goes the little lego man!
More “mini-sniping” to come!
While I used ice, it’s not the best medium out in the desert. Some other options are plaster, air dry clay, and really anything that will take a set and extract easily out of the silicone molds. There are hundreds of different options out there to try. I just ordered some Star Wars themed molds. I’m finally going to get to blow up my own death start. Red 5 standing by….