by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Knocked down
- Together in 3 minutes!
- Three minutes and done!
- Now what?
- Why the Rockin’ Rat?
Say hello to my little friend! I saw the Air Venturi Rockin’Rat target at the 2016 Pyramyd Air Cup and asked to have one sent for evaluation. This is the kind of product I would like to write about more, but how can I make a story out of it? This one looks so interesting that I’m going to try.
The target comes knocked down in a lithographed box. As a man, those words “some assembly required” started screaming in my head. That’s what took the fun out of many Christmas mornings for me when my family was young. Everybody else was passed out from their sugar comas, listening to carols, while I looked at sheets of papertelling me to “press tab A into flange B”. My most memorable moment was when I bought a youth bicycle wrapped in plastic shrink wrap, and all I had to do was straighten the handlebars and tighten one nut. Hurrah!
But the Rockin’ Rat is more complex than that. Today I’m going to fool with tabs, flanges and fasteners. The box weighs 3 pounds, so you just know there’s a hornet’s nest of parts inside!
Together in 3 minutes!
Oh, phooey! This thing is so easy to assemble that I had it completely together in less time than I’ve spent complaining about it. But I have a report to write, so I’m going to drag things out in excruciating detail. First the parts.
And of course there is a spanner for all the fasteners. Or, if you are an American, you can call it a wrench, because that’s what it really is. It’s thin and small and you think it can’t possibly do the job, but like I said — three minutes and the whole thing was together. The nuts have lockwashers on one side, so you tighten the bolts from the head side, which is the outside of the target.
As a man I do not read instructions. Women don’t understand because they were never taught that in school. Some men missed that class, as well. They are the nerdy ones who always do things right the first time. How are they ever going to learn if they never make mistakes? As for me — I am a perpetual student! But the Rockin’ Rat is just too simple to fool anyone. Read the instructions and you’ll see.
This is not how to write instructions for anything that must be assembled! There are supposed to be three pages of gobbledygook words and weird names for all the parts. And there should also be a few fasteners missing! But when there are only 4 nuts and 4 bolts, it’s hard to be confusing. At least they called the wrench a spanner.
Three minutes and done!
I was all revved up to give you a long sob story about how difficult this assembly is, but I finished as soon as I started. It takes me almost as long to assemble a field-stripped Garand.
They even sent the crossbar with the nuts already in place. And their washers are attached to those nuts, so they cannot be misplaced. I don’t think the Air Venturi target designers went to design school. Either that or one of them is a former Ikea employee.
And then the target was together! It was as if I was watching a television show about a guy assembling a car engine and they speeded up the film. Only it wasn’t speeded up and I was the one doing it. It just didn’t take long!
I had hoped for a lengthy struggle with this target, so you could all praise me for hanging in there, but this was about as hard as closing a zipper! So, I thought I would take it out to its natural habitat and show you what it looks like.
When you see the target as it will be shot you see that when the paddles are hit they will move more than the rest of the target. But if the face of the target is hit (the body of the rat), the whole target will rock, alerting you to the miss. That may not seem like a big deal when the target is freshly painted like it is here, but after sebveral hundred pellet impacts, you will see why the Rockin’Rat is such a good idea. Anyone who has shot field target will get it straight away.
The directions for use are on the box. If you don’t understand how the target works by looking at it, they are just as straightforward as the assembly instructions.
Why the Rocking’ Rat?
A lot of you tell me you would like to shoot field target. Well, the Rockin’Rat is a type of field target. But it’s one that doesn’t need to be reset after every hit. It takes care of itself by the way it works. You can set it out in the field and just shoot at it all day if you want to. There are no strings to break, no paddles to jam and you don’t even need to repaint it if you don’t want to. Just set it and forget it — except for shooting it, of course. This will be the best twenty bucks you ever spent on your hobby!
The instructions say to keep the guns you shoot at this target to under 22 foot-pounds. I’m going to revise that downward a bit. I’d keep them at 15 foot-pounds or less. More than that and the metal will bend with time.
I made this a Part 1 because I intend coming back and shooting this target for you. I know — it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!