I finally got a chance to spend a long and leisurely afternoon at the range this weekend with the Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird game targets. There are four choices, Battle at Sea, Shotboard, Saloon Shootout, and Chip Shot. Just like Birchwood Casey’s other Dirty Bird targets, the game ones are reactive, displaying a “halo” effect around each shot. The paper targets measure 12 by 18 inches.
I took a pack of each game with me. You really need to have a shooting partner with you to get the full enjoyment out of these targets. I was pleasantly surprised by how challenging these targets are. Birchwood Casey did an excellent job on the size and design of each one. Both a well seasoned and a new shooter had fun playing Battle at Sea together. Each package includes eight targets and they average out about one dollar per target. We were shooting my S&W M&P 15-22 at an indoor range from four to five yards.
Since my friends were running a little behind, I went ahead and set up by myself. Since the Saloon Shootout is easily amusing without a friend, I chose to shoot that one up first. The target features the front of an old Western-style saloon with some shady characters, a horse, and some whiskey bottles. I put my target out to five yards and went for the whiskey bottles first. As you can see in my picture, I did not do too great. However, I am sure I would have knocked one of them down if it had been a real bottle. From even just five yards, trying to hit the center of the bottle was challenging. Next, I went for the gun in one of the bad person’s hand. After that, the buzzard and finally finished off with the horse’s behind. (Poor horse.)
Chip Shot looks like a mini-golf course without the obstacles. The bottom of the target has unofficial rules to the game, but since I was still on my own, I concentrated more on exact shot placement. This one was less challenging than the bottles I was trying to hit in Saloon Shootout because the target area is bigger. I was pleased with the different shapes and sizes of each “green.”
Though I am not great at it, I love shooting darts. The only game I know is Cricket, which means that hitting bullseye gives you the highest points, so when I set up Shotboard, I went straight for the bullseye. Shooting darts is easier than throwing darts! We played this one in traditional Cricket fashion, but did not have a way to keep score, so it also turned into an exact shot placement game.
Battle at Sea
If you are competitive, Battle At Sea might just be your favorite. I went up against a newbie shooter who had only put a few rounds through my rifle and she totally sunk my battleships. Oh well, way to keep me humble I guess. Battle At Sea is both challenging and rewarding. The dot sizes on the ships are big enough to hit, but not too large making the game too easy. The white halos from each shot really show up against the background, so it is quick and easy to see you and your opponent’s shot placement. Battle At Sea took us a while to finish, as three of us played two different games while sharing one firearm and one lane, so make sure you have plenty of time to finish it. This is what my friend Rachel (who kicked my butt at the game) had to say about the Battle at Sea target, “I really liked the battleship targets. Mainly because we took turns using the same weapon to systematically take out the other’s battleships. As a result of playing this way, it slowed me down and made me think about where I should aim in order to actually hit the dots, which is really great for me since I can still count on both hands how many times I’ve gone shooting.”
- Good for new and experienced shooters
- Good value
- Easy to see shot placement
- Competitive element
- Good for kids training
- Helps with concentration while shooting
- Bullseyes do not hold up to hundreds of rounds
- Distances limitations
- Difficult to keep a real score with Shotboard and Chip Shot
- Truly one-time use per target
Have you tried the Birchwood Casey Dirty Bird game targets yet? If so, which one is your favorite?