The year was 2003; I was standing in what looked to be a cowboy town made out of fence post lumber, and I was being directed to shoot the steel targets in front of me. The place was a range called Tac2 in East TN. The targets were in various configurations; I recall a steel plate rack, some silhouettes, and a large circle with each arm holding a steel circle. I discovered the latter contraption was called a Texas star.
Following the directions given I soon felt the euphoria of engaging targets that provided instant feedback. What had I been doing for years shooting paper and cardboard? Shooting glorified pizza boxes as if that was enough.
My life changed in an instant. Now, I was AWAKE.
I’m sure you sense the hyperbole by now, but seriously, I do like to shoot steel targets. So when I was given the opportunity to check out the silhouettes from CTS, I didn’t hesitate.
What used to be target luxury has become quite affordable for the average shooter.
When looking over the specs, CTS appeared to make a quality product, but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to withhold judgment until you have the product in hand.
When I opened the CTS box and began to inspect the targets, my initial opinion was quite positive; everything appeared to be made with care from quality parts. I assembled the target with ease and by later that week I had the assembled target in the field.
I utilized the kit that includes a 2×4 X Ground base, an ABC Zone Silhouette, and all the mounting components necessary to get started.
After my first experience at the range, I was relatively confident that we had a winner.
I’ve had both positive and negative experiences from a number of steel target manufacturers. One design (from another manufacturer) fell down all the time. Another target ended its use when a range session revealed a hole in the steel. The target in question was rated for more potent loads at shorter distances, but it failed nonetheless.
However, none of these problems were evident with CTS.
The mounting hardware is the best place to analyze the overall quality of CTS targets’ construction. They certainly could have made their brackets lest robust, their screws less stout, and their springs cheaper and less reactive, but they chose to use top tier components instead.
The proof is in the pudding!
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After several months of use, I can tell you that these targets are built to last. Mine has been in the mud, shot with all kinds of loads, in all kinds of weather conditions and it just keeps pinging away. It’s holding up remarkably well!
I haven’t had the pleasure of testing the spike base, but I have used the X Base in a host of environments. If you’ve spent much time setting up targets in various outdoor locations, you know how frustrating it is to need to carry additional stakes and mallets with you. Every additional handful of gear is another trip from truck to field that must be loaded and unloaded. Most of us are already fighting for time to get to the range; once we’re there, we want to spend our time training not setting up and tearing down. The X base allows you to set up targets free standing and not go back out to set them back up after your rifle has knocked them down. They are practical, functional, and reliable because of the design of the target’s foundation. It’s simple and effective. The ends dig into loose dirt and the geometry is very stable like a fighter in his stance.
After a lot of careful consideration, I give CTS the Rev seal of approval.
However, it doesn’t stop there. These targets are not only good-to-go, but they rank among my top two steel target manufactures ever used!
Some people get that special feeling when they hear bells ringing at Christmas, but ever since 2003 I’ve had that special sensation whenever I hear lead ring steel. Oh, the glorious sound of steel.
Pew, pling, pling!
Pew, pling, bling!
Awe yes, with CTS ’tis the season of joy all year long.
So load up your CTS targets and get yourself to the range; feel the weight of life fall away with each beautiful sound!
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