Knock over targets are most often seen during Field Target and Hunter Field Target shoots and competitions. They are often animal shaped targets that consist of a “face place” which is the animal shape you see and the “kill zone” which is the circle in the middle.
When the circle is shot the target falls back and requires resetting with a string. These targets are manufactured by dozens of companies and all largely do the same thing. When looking for knock over air rifle targets you need to think about what you’re going to be doing with them.
If you’re going to be setting up competitions with your knock over targets it’s important that they are reliable and fall when only the kill zone is hit. Some poorly maintained targets will fall when the faceplate is hit which is not fair on competitors.
If you are going to be using these at home it’s important to consider that reset cords are needed. Is this something you want running over your garden all the time? Will you really go to the extra effort to set these up every time you want to shoot? Do you really want to pull a string after every shot?
Think about what environment you’re going to be shooting in, you may get more use out of shooting spinning targets instead.
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Knock Over Air Rifle Targets
These targets have been used by my local HFT club ever since I’ve been a member. They are a great option for airgun clubs as visiting shooters won’t have the measurements of the faceplates to bracket them for range finding. It’s a great home advanage to have.
This target includes ground pegs and 150 feet of cord. Everything you need to get started.
That didn’t fill me with confidence when I ordered this target but honestly it surprised me. Included is a target that was fell finished and felt very sturdy. A lot of engineering went into the target that looked unnecessary but leaves it feeling over built.
When shooting it was smooth to fall down, very reliable. It’s a great budget buy, it did what it needed to do and includes reducing discs to alter the size of the killzone. I’m not sure I’d use this in a competition at my club due to the discs but for practice it’s quite a nice feature and the target should last many years.
It included string and ground pegs.
Sadly the target is a 5/10 at best. Design wise it’s a complete clone of the GunTuff target except it’s not been finished to the same standard… Not even close if I’m being honest.
The giant weld in the front is evidence of this. 5 more seconds with a grinder and it would be flat. The edges are sharp, the falling mechanism doesn’t feel as smooth as it should because of this. It includes the reducing discs just like the GunTuff target did but they are gritty and difficult to move.
Spend the extra few quid and get the GunTuff. I love to buy British products but if you’re going to import these things and just sell them without thought you’re just damaging your brand and pissing shooters off.
Their knock over target is similar in design to GunTuff but it’s a different shaped animal. It works exactly the same and is made in the exact same way other than there are no reducing discs on the rear like is included with the GunTuff target.
Because of this I don’t see the problem using them in competition, they would make a great value club target.
Other Knock Over Targets
There are other brands of knock over targets too. These companies are often airgun shooters who happen to be airgunners working in their garage and this is not something to be overlooked.
Nockover Targets Ltd have been producing knock over targets since the 1980’s I believe. They were the first company to come up with the concept and allowed FT to develop into what it is today. Their targets are the gold standard for shooting competitions and I imagine most clubs around the country use these.
Flop Over Targets are a similar company who have been going for about 10 years. They offer fantastic target quality at a great price but their main niche seems to be offering airgun shooters variety. They have targets shaped like tanks but critically they also have non-animal targets which is probably where the sport is heading in a PC world…
If you live in Europe (or Spain in particular…) Techno Targets might be a great option for you too but I have no personal experience with them so can’t really comment beyond me telling you I have only heard great things.
How to maintain a knock over target?
Not maintaining your targets correctly will result in premature failure which is the exact opposite of what most competition shooters expect. It’s critical that if you’re putting on a shoot and asking people to spend their hard earned money to travel and get there that you at least do the minimum and make sure the targets work.
Knock over targets have moving parts on the falling mechanism which need to be regularly cleaned and lubricated with spray grease. When looking at the rear of the target you will 3 three linkage points highlighted below.
These are where you need to lubricate every few months or so. It’s also important that when repainting targets that these areas do not get covered in overspray. It’s also a good idea to make sure nothing is work itself loose when setting targets out.