COVID-19 precautions might make Halloween look a little different this year, but it’s the perfect time for a festive family day at the range. Even if we have to toss treats 6 feet, we can still celebrate the spooky season with a few creative targets, some ammo, friends and family.
Always preface the fun with the three rules for safe gun handling. This is especially important if you’re inviting friends who don’t have experience with firearms. Also make sure that all of your guests wear eye and ear protection.
If you plan to shoot at an established range, be sure to check their rules before bringing interactive targets. If you’re shooting on your own land, it can be advantageous to set up a makeshift (but sturdy) shooting bench to encourage your guests to keep guns pointed in a safe direction.
BB guns, air rifles or .22 rimfire rifles are ideal for plinking. They’re easy to handle, and the ammunition is cheap. Although ear protection isn’t required for shooting BB guns, eye protection is still important. If you do choose to shoot .22 rimfire rifles (or larger), be sure to have a proper backstop or berm to safely stop stray bullets.
First, a good old-fashioned pumpkin shoot is sure to get you in the autumn mood. I recommend you to stay away from grocery stores, as their pumpkins can be costly if you need quite a few. Pumpkin patches usually sell their harvest for around 50 cents a pound. You can also paint targets or scary faces on your pumpkins so it’s even more fun to watch them explode. Line up your pumpkins downrange and watch the guts and seeds fly.
I didn’t forget about mini pumpkins either. Is it merely a coincidence that they’re the same color as clay targets? I don’t think so. Go ahead and launch some mini pumpkins in the air for some seasonal skeet shooting.
Order some truly horrific zombie paper targets to create an army of man-eating monsters. You’ll have a blast taking out undead clowns, cowboys, pizza delivery boys and more. To make things more interesting (and force new shooters to think before they fire), mix in some no-shoot targets as the “bystanders” you’re defending from the hoard of zombies.
After you’ve defeated the mob of undead, next is the final boss. This 3D zombie dummy “bleeds” when shot and can withstand over 1,000 rounds. To encourage spirited competition, don’t let anyone shoot the final boss until they’ve gotten "X" amount of zombie headshots. This apocalyptic shooting range is sure to get the family excited for Halloween and create unforgettable memories.
Although picking pumpkins and pre-purchasing zombie targets are both great ways to get in the holiday spirit, you can turn almost anything into a terrifying target. Fill 2-liter soda bottles or milk jugs with water and food coloring for “radioactive waste” or “alien guts.” Pick up some monster toys from the dollar store, and let your family practice their aim on tiny targets. Be sure to avoid glass or anything that will shatter into a million pieces, requiring hardcore clean up.
Halloween may be socially distanced this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate outside with close friends or family. Hosting a themed range day is a great way to get kids involved and let everyone develop their skills in an exciting way. If you partake in a spooky shoot this year, be sure to tag us on social media (@nrawomen) or use #nrawomen to spread the Halloween spirit!