After a month of testing, I’m happy to report that the Varmint Target has survived (sort of), and works like a champ (in a way). As a refresher, the Varmint Target is a self-contained, auto-resetting, self-healing target meant for rimfire plinkers everywhere. But the rimfire qualification is important to keep in mind. Especially for Mr. Leghorn. As you may be able to tell from some of the holes in the picture above, Nick believes in torture testing a bit more than I do . . .
For example, even though the instructions said not to shoot the Varmint Target with anything larger than a .22 LR at less than 25 yards, I shot at the groundhog at 20 yards with my AR 15. As you can see, those zippy 5.56 bullets, green tips in this case, go right through the target without much fanfare.
If you make it through the entire 5 minute video, you’ll see that I shot the Varmint Target at distances ranging from 40 yards to 5 yards with a 10/22 rifle and Mk III .22 LR pistol. Even at those distances, the yellow target and bullet resistant shielding held up extremely well. The eventual downfall of the Varmint Target, though, came at the hands of Nick Leghorn around the 3:43 mark in the video above.
It turns out that running several rounds of 5.56 through a target not approved for that kind of action can result in some behavior outside of stated operational parameters. But here’s the thing — even after all that, it still works. And I think that’s a testament to the stellar level of build quality put forth by the guys at Varmint Target. I would still give this target a rave review if Nick’s shooting had destroyed it completely, but the fact that the thing still works (sort of) gives me a great reason to give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up.
Specifications: Varmint Target
- Weight: 36 pounds
- Power: 12 Volt rechargeable
- Cost: $334
Build Quality * * * * *
Absolutely stout in every single way. All of the hardware is high quality and there are no rattles or sqeaks during operation. Again, Nick shot the guts of the system with a number of 5.56 rounds and it still works.
Instructions * * *
There’s not much to the setup, but the instructions are clear on how to get it ready for maximum enjoyment. However, there’s apparently a game mode that isn’t really explained, either in the written instructions or online.
Overall Rating * * * * *
A $300+ target has got to be pretty impressive to be worth the money. The Varmint Target is. I could easily see a couple of these out at the ranch making for a serious graveyard for a lot of .22 LR ammo. Surround it with a dirt berm or bury it and you could step this up to a serious varmint practice target. And you’ll never have to leave the shooting bench to reset your target.