5 Reasons Why Plinking is the Best Forgotten Shooting Sport

Plinking consists of shooting at non-standard targets, or whatever is safe at hand.

From backyard pests to tin cans, just about anything makes a great plinking target.

Plinking is the best forgotten shooting sport, whether you're aiming your rimfire, testing a new handgun, or teaching new shooters the ways of the firearm world. Plinkers the world over know why it's so great, but perhaps you don't

Here are five important reasons why this informal target shooting is still one of the best things you can do as a gun owner.

1. Paper targets get boring

The beauty of plinking is that you won't be stuck shooting plain paper targets. As long as you don't get a ricochet and have a good backstop, anything will work well. Soda cans are favorites (few things beat that great metallic sound when you connect), but you can certainly get creative. If you've never shot guns at watermelons, you're missing out!

I grew up in an area where I was lucky enough to be able to plink any caliber I wanted every day. Those great lessons taught me a lot about what guns can really do, and gave me plenty of practice on accuracy and speed shooting.

2. Great exercise

Sadly, in many places plinking is a long gone idea due to urban sprawl. But if you wander around in the wilds and forgotten areas, there's almost always trash and debris to serve as excellent targets.

This requires legwork to get back to old dump sites or spots where pest animals are just waiting to be thinned out.

If you're packing a .22 rifle, some old cans could become high value targets waiting to be perforated. Need bigger holes? Just pack bigger.

Be sure you always watch where your bullets are going, over all else.

3. Cheap targets

Retail prices of proper targets is cutting into our ammo money. Plinking allows more useless items to become our targets of choice.

When it comes time to aim at small game or varmints, you'll be that much more confident.

4. Great practice for hunting season

Want to brush up on finding and shooting game? Have your friend hide some soup cans or other debris in a certain area.

Practice your stalking skills and see how many you can bag. Just make sure you pick up your garbage on the way out. Be good stewards of the land.

5. Stress relief




Plinking on a makeshift shooting range rarely includes adding scores or major competition. The fun factor is all that counts.

Shoot whatever caliber you want. I started with a pump action Daisy BB as a kid. To me, even that would still be fun.

But of course, larger firearms make more impressive damage and certainly more boom.

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Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram.  You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.