Birchwood Casey: This is What a Bad Guy Looks Like

Birchwood Casey Eze-Scorer Silhouette Targets  (courtesy

I’m a big fan of Birchwood Casey. If nothing else the company sells “Dirty Bird” targets, the mere mention of which brings out my inner Austin Powers. So I’ll cut them some slack for their recent reinvention of the Bad Guy target. Sure the hoodie is racist. Obviously. But the perp is white. And middle-aged. And a dead ringer for Ming the Merciless (before he lost his hair). On the positive side, Birchwood Casey’s artist makes it perfectly clear why Bad Guys are so cranky: their pants are too tight. My main beef: you should never draw on a drawn gun. OK, not never. But not often. (Tough room.) Oh, and the gat should be canted, gansta style. Or is that racist too? Being PC is such a PITA these days. But profitable. Apparently.


  1. avatar JMS says:

    How does the BG qualify for “Eze-Scorer” or “silhouette?” …it kind of seems to be neither of those things.

  2. avatar JoshinGA says:

    So apparently all bad guys look like stereotypical Italian mafioso’s from bad 80’s movies?

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      He looks like a deranged, goatee-wearing Frank Castle from the early 80s Punisher comic book series. I also noticed he’s randomly dressed like Rocky.

      WHAT IF: The Punisher Turned Into a Common Criminal with No Fashion Sense?

      1. avatar Craig says:

        Actually I was thinking of Vincent Price trying to look “young” and “hip”. And he appears to be wearing a cut up garbage bag.

    2. avatar Peter says:

      Is he wearing a yarmulke?

    3. avatar In Memphis says:

      Would you rather the real life picture of the pregnant mother or child? lol

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Well, I hope to never see a pregnant child.

  3. avatar Michael B. says:

    Never draw on a drawn gun? Depending on the distance and availability of nearby cover, I’ll take my chances.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Text amended.

    2. avatar Anon in CT says:

      I thought that was “never go on a date with a loaded gun”.


      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Never take dating advice from a man named “Woogie”.

    3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      As a general rule I can think of three exceptions to the drawing on a drawn gun, 1) you have cover, 2) the gun (and the perp’s attention) are pointed at someone else, or 3) shots have been fired. Especially #3.

  4. avatar LTC F says:

    They must be taking design notes from DHS. According to DHS targets all bad guys are middle aged caucasian men, except for the ones who are elderly caucasian women, teen aged caucasian girls, and elementary school aged caucasian boys.

    I believe the Austin PD uses a special order “C27” sihoutte, available in German Shepard, Pit Bull or Chow.

  5. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    No Mr. Bond. I expect you to die…

      1. avatar Ben in UT says:

        The ever-relevant XKCD.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          How about a little XXX-kcd?

  6. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I like their Battleship targets, for shooting with a friend.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      That is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

      1. avatar DJ says:

        +1, I’m going to have to get some!

    2. avatar Gyufygy says:

      That is pretty damn cool.

    3. avatar ensitue says:

      perfect for use w/22LR ! (sarcasim)

  7. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    How is the hoodie racist? Why, because of Trayvon? It’s not as if blacks are the only ones to have ever worn hoodies. I happen to be a hispanic who owns and wears numerous hoodies, as there are people of all different races and ethnicities who wear them. Canted guns-also-are not racist, nor do a gangstsa make, except for Hollywood. I, however agree that being politically correct is a PITA-fortunately for me I suffer NOT from that malady.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Joke. Sarcasm. That sort of thing.

      1. avatar BillF says:

        We’ll have none of that here.

      2. avatar Cyrano says:

        Joke noted and referred to MSNBC for confirmation. I think in the UK hoodies are synonymous with thuggery. It’s not just a US thing. Hot Fuzz was a pretty good movie to point that out or Harry Brown. Pick one and then watch both.

        1. avatar Jeremy says:

          Hoodies associated with people of low morals you say?

      3. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

        Sarcasm is understood-made the statement to add wood to fire to see follow-ups.

    2. avatar BillF says:

      He might be referring to the incident when a cop was fired for bringing a target depicting a hoodie-clad dood to the range.

  8. avatar BillF says:

    The hoodie isn’t racist as long as it’s depicted with the hood down.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      Is it racist to wear the hood up when it’s 90 degrees out?

      1. avatar BillF says:

        No, but it might be racist to wonder why someone would wear it up when it’s 90 degrees out.

        1. avatar ensitue says:

          I refuse to wear a Hoodie, but then again, I refuse to wear pants!

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I don’t wear pants either, but only when I’m at the range.

          Keeps the other folks from crowding me.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          How about a hoodie with a kilt? I have both, I’ve just never worn them together.

  9. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    An update to the target from awhile back.

    Depicted a guy from the movie “grease” holding a .357 magnum revolver. He probably used the same lube for the gun as he did his hair.

  10. avatar Ardent says:

    PC and other concerns are, in this case I think, a distraction. Since the general shape of the human body and the location of critical targets remains the same across gender and race it hardly matters what the presentation is. What’s more important is training on targets that both look like a person and which are clothed and lacking any scoring rings or devices on the front. What would be nice is if they had a rough cardiovascular/CNS diagram on the back to indicate what was hit.
    It would also be useful to have crouched targets and ones presenting at 45 and 90 degrees.
    To really go off the PC reservation, it would also be beneficial to have obese targets to allow targeting of critical structures beneath the odd body shape presented by excess bulk. Frankly in the US these days obese targets ought to be the norm and regular sized ones the ‘specialty targets’.

    For my purposes and training others I hand drew a relatively accurate representation of the brain/spine and the heart and major vessels of the neck, chest and abdomen on a piece of cardboard then cut holes and notches to allow me to make reference marks on the back of silhouette targets. Once these marks are in place it’s a simple task to draw in the rest with a usefully accurate representation of the anatomy. Whole thing takes about 30-40 seconds with a sharpie, is almost infinitely reusable and cost next to nothing to make (using google images of he relevant structures, a human model and a tape measure). Throwing an old shirt or some other cover on a silhouette allows training on a more real world presentation with feedback on shot placement available in detail and immediately after finishing a discrete engagement.
    Lessons learned from near panic fire (very rapid multiple shots without pause for use of sights) demonstrates that more hits do indeed increase the likelihood of an incapacitating hit and also that inside of 7 yards CoM is no longer necessary for critical hits. . . just lots (4-5) of torso shots tend to produce one or more strikes to either blood bearing organs (liver), the heart or a major vessel even with unsighted, torso oriented fire.
    These types of aids are invaluable to defensive handgun training, especially since the relevant data (FBI and others) indicates that the average gunfight will be close (within 7 yards), fast (2-3 seconds first round to last) and with little expenditure of ammunition (2-3 shots). This tends to mitigate towards using the largest and most powerful pistol cartridge that you’re willing to carry and able to deliver rapid accurate multiple shots with.
    My experience with such training and targets suggests that bull’s eye training is effective only for learning fundamentals, sighting weapons or training for bull’s eye competition. To truly train to shoot another person requires balancing speed, movement and shot placement as well as gaining desensitization and experience with firing on what appears to be and presents a target like a human being.
    Finally, any training is better than none, but for my money rapid mag changes, pin point accuracy and many other things that pass for ‘defensive handgun training’ really aren’t. Unless you’re training for combat (which is different from a DGU) or else you want to spend much time and money on training I think the defensive minded person ought to train shooting and moving simultaneously (getting off the X) rapidly and honestly quite crudely getting rounds into the torso of a humanoid target, doing so as fast as they can still reliably hit 75-80% of their shots, and firing either until the target falls or the gun locks back or starts clicking. This plan should give the greatest degree of success over the likely situations that can expect to be encountered with the minimum amount of training.
    I’m not saying my way is best but this is exactly what I teach those who come to me to learn and what I practice the most myself. Feedback and criticism are always welcome.

    1. avatar JoshinGA says:


      Wall of text not broken into paragraphs = painfully hard to read.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      I’m still waiting for ANYONE to tell me at TL;DR means.

      “Wall of text not broken into paragraphs = painfully hard to read.”

      Said extraneous commentary notwithstanding, this is some of the best self-defense for real-life situations advice that I’ve read ANYWHERE. Seems like not much pain for a whole lot of gain.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        Too Long; Didn’t Read

      2. avatar Matt in FL says:

        It means “Too long; didn’t read”

        It’s a cool way of showing what a self-important jackass you are, because while you might look at a wall of text and decide you don’t want to delve into it, some people find it necessary to tell everyone they didn’t read it, because they’re important and their opinion matters.

        1. avatar Michael B. says:

          BEAT YA!

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Were we keeping score?

        3. avatar JoshinGA says:

          It was a succinct way of saying when one writes a short story in the comment section and deems it unnecessary to break it into paragraphs, that it is nearly impossible to easily read said short story. That makes me a self important jackass. Allegedly. And apparently some people think their opinion of peoples opinions matter…

      3. avatar Ardent says:

        Thank you Cliff, I’m glad you found it useful.

        For the others, it was a long post and I apologize for overlooking breaking paragraphs with full line spaces as I normally would.

        1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

          You might be OCD Ardent, NTTIAWWT.

  11. avatar Roll says:

    Is that Nicholas Cage wearing a trash bag?

    Maybe shoulda been Zed from Zardoz?

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Or maybe Zod?

  12. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Nothing racist here. You’ve got all three races represented, white, blue and green.

  13. avatar William Burke says:

    Not MTM; Johnathan Frakes if STAR TREK: TNG! Please don’t shoot Number Two.

  14. avatar Nobby says:

    I’m so sick and tired of all this PC mess. I long for the days of doing and saying what I wanted to whomever with relative impunity. But now I have to sit around worrying what group’s rights I’m violating. But what about my rights as a red-blooded, hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding, god-fearing, unhyphenated American?

    1. avatar ensitue says:

      Was that last question/remark redundant?

    2. avatar Mertvaya Ruka says:

      “I long for the days of doing and saying what I wanted to whomever with relative impunity.”

      Yeah it must suck when the people you used to give shit to decide they don’t have to put up with it anymore. How terrible life must be for you now.

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      When I wake up at 4 AM with nothing to do, I watch TV. This morning I was watching “Green Acres” and some guy said something about “… the taco stand. But it’s only open during pickin’ season, when we bring in our w-tb–ks.” (hint – it’s not “dryfronts.”) I was kinda surprised they didn’t bleep it.

      Howcome it’s OK to say, “people of color” but not “colored people?”

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Because “colored people” sounds too much like “colored folks” or “coloreds” which was a pejorative term after the n-word became improper to use in polite company. Think mid-last century. If it was ever used as a pejorative term, it will never again be acceptable for everyday use. Sorry, I didn’t write the rules.

    4. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Well, I’m an American, and my folks were American. Can I call myself an American-American?

      One place where I worked the supervisor of the Mexican-American workers was Colombian. He said that they’re all Americans too, just South Americans. 🙂

  15. avatar jwm says:

    Be alert and hyper sensitive to the hoodie wearing minority yutes on the street. While you’re doing that the middle aged white career criminal shanks you with a sharpened screw driver and gets your wallet, shoes and gun.

    I lived in lilly white cracker [email protected] west virginia and all our crooks looked like this guy, with variations in grooming and number of teeth.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      I’m sure that’s a real likely scenario in most inner cities.


      1. avatar Nobby says:

        Wrong. No one worries about white guys stealing wallets on the street. Raiding bank accounts and investments for billions, yes, but wallets, not so much. That’s why we need to be particularly tough on street criminals.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Do you hang out in inner cities? Or are you just fearful of the bad black man lurking in your closet?

        1. avatar Nobby says:

          I’m not fearful but I can provide some statistics to support my views if you wish. Fact is, most blacks are criminals. The other 47% are burdens on people like you and I.

    2. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

      Umm, when you live in a Lilly white area, all of the criminals are lily white…. WTF?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        For the learning impaired. When your population is all white, the criminals will be all white. Or did you think crime was non existent in an all white society? Simple enough for you?

        1. avatar Nobby says:

          We are not here to discuss crimes by whites. We are here to keep the focus where it needs to be….on black crime.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Are we now, nobby? RF make you an editor at this site. Stormfront is that way. See ya.

        3. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

          And only Asians commit crimes in Asia. So what?

  16. avatar Grande says:

    Red flag!

    If I were a neighborhood watch captain, his cut off sleeves would indicate that this guy was on something…

  17. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    White people provide better contrast, and therefore make easier to see and cheaper to print targets

  18. avatar BDub says:

    How the hell is a hoodie rascist? Are you thinking of the pointy white ones with eye holes?…..then yeah, they are.


  19. avatar BDub says:

    Now I have a business idea. We cut a deal with police agencies to provide 3/4 body shot mug-shots of perps who have been arrested for and convicted of violent offenses. We print and sell them as targets and they get a 10% cut for their policeman’s ball fund.

    Being paid for by public dollars these photos are public domain, and they have already been vetted for criminal appropriateness as a target.

    Your welcome!

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    I always thought that “Boys in the Hood” referred to people from the local geographic area, not a guys wearing an item of apparel favored by construction workers, stickup men and by Bill Belichik on game day.

    BTW, the above “Bad Guy” looks vaguely like a “white Hispanic” to me. Let me check with the New York Times editors. They’re the experts on such things.

  21. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Bring back the old “Thug” target based on Ernest Borgnine.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      That target used to scare the bullets away.

  22. avatar Paul McCain says:

    Curious, Robert, who taught you never to draw on a drawn gun. Since the majority of gun fights will involve a person who has a gun drawn, this is inevitable and you can TRAIN to handle that situation. Most bad guys with guns drawn are lousy shots, untrained and clueless what to do when their victim is NOT simply going to stand there and melt down before them.

    That’s why I recommend truly advanced combat training with a handgun.

    Great place for it is here:

  23. avatar Paul McCain says:

    My favorite training target features a bad guy, pointing a gun, but clearly shows various critical internal organs, spinal cord, lungs, etc. and the brain box lined out on the target so I can see where, exactly, my rounds are hitting and if they would actually do much good.

  24. avatar Mitch says:

    Good God, RF… You’re reading WAY too much into this. It’s a damn target- stop bringing race into things when it just isn’t needed. You’re alienating potential readers, and bugging the hell out of me (and at least one friend of mine of frequents the site. Drop in the ocean, I know.). When race IS an issue, sure. But this is rediculous. If you’d rather the target be a black guy, then just come out and say it. Does it offend you? What’s the purpose of this post in the first place? Hoodies ARE often used by criminals, so it kinda fits. Hoodies are also worn by millions of regular people. Look up some stats on meth use in rural communities- its not outside the realm of possibility at all to be robbed by a white guy… You’re killing me with this crap.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        If they see Trayvon in a featureless black oval, they’re evidently hallucinating and should probably be institutionalized. Maybe they should paste a beige oval in the middle of the hood.

  25. avatar Nobby says:

    A good neighborhood watch captain would not have allowed this guy time to grab his gun or drop his skittles.

  26. avatar Carry.45 says:

    My main beef is that you didn’t explain why your beef was your beef.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Where’s the beef?

      1. avatar Carry.45 says:

        Why the beef?!

  27. avatar g says:

    Call me old fashioned, but I liked the old style “THUG” target better:

    If you want something new and spiffy, check out these new “anatomy” targets where a grey skeletal structure + organs are super imposed on an IPSC style box:

    Now you get to see if your shots are actually breaking bones / hitting organs. Or at least guess that they’re close to breaking bones / hitting organs.

    Both look better to me than the Birchwood Casey ones. Sorry.

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