by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The target under fire
  • Operation
  • Airgun power
  • .22 rimfire
  • What you didn’t see
  • Paddle hits
  • Evaluation

Today I’ll show you how this big Texas Star target works. In Part 1 I mentioned there were numerous patents on the target, but the maker informed me there is just one patent that’s currently in force.

I also have the manufacturer’s pricing now. One target will be $509, with free shipping. That may sound high, but this is a club-grade target and much better built and more rugged than most of us are used to. I think today’s report will show you what I mean.

The target under fire

You should read Part 1 to refresh your memory. This target is built for safety first and also for ruggedness. All the angles on the parts are designed to direct the pellets and bullets away from the firing line. And they are built to take punishment!

As you know, the paddles are supposed to be hit when they are at the bottom of their swing — preferable between the legs of the target. What if a leg is hit? Well, during my testing a .22 long rifle bullet hit one of the legs dead center and I’ll show you what happened.

leg angles
The steel legs are bent to deflect bullets away from the shooter, plus the bend work-hardens the metal.

leg hit
This hit from a .22 long rifle bullet in the center of the bend in the target leg made no impression in the metal. It looks like a dent in the picture but it cannot be felt on the opposite side.

Operation

I told you how this target works in Part 1. Today I’m going to show you in a video.

My video has three parts, but they are all together. In the first part I explain how the target works. Next, I shoot it with a pellet rifle. Finally my gun buddy Otho shoots it with a .22 rimfire. Let’s look at the video now and then I will comment.

Don’t forget to allow the video time to load, and this time it is cropped small, so I would make it full screen to see better.

Airgun power

The target is built for .177 pellet rifles shooting 1,000 f.p.s. I don’t know many airgunners who shoot their .177s that fast. I certainly don’t. So I shot it with a .22 at slower speed, instead. I knew how easily the paddles fall and I also know that a .22 pellet going slower will impart more of its energy onto a hard target, because everything happens slower. It’s more of a push than a punch.

I shot it with the Diana K98 Mauser. I was shooting .22 caliber RWS Superdomes. Since that is a single-shot rifle, I only shot two paddles to give you an idea of how the target works. I was standing 25 feet away and shooting offhand.

Mauser K98
I shot the Texas Star with Diana’s K98 Mauser.

Obviously this target works with a single shot air rifle, but it would work even better with a repeater. I filmed this segment several weeks ago, before I had the Hatsan Bullmaster sighted in, but that would have been a good gun to use. The faster you drop the paddles, the faster the target swings, as you saw when the .22 shot it.

.22 rimfire

The .22 long rifle that was used was a Ruger 10/22. The rifle was loaded with CCI standard speed rounds, and Otho was also standing about 25 feet away, so the paddles were being hit with about 100 foot-pounds.

Otho shoots
Otho shot the Ruger 10/22.

I just know he’s going to catch some flack for every miss he made. Video games have made marksmen of everyone who doesn’t actually have to pick up a rifle and shoot. The Ruger magazine holds 10 rounds, and as you saw, it took all of them to clean the target. Shooting fewer rounds and doing it faster is one of the big objects of the game.

Otho was using a scope, which is not the ideal way to shoot a moving target. Open sights are better for leading a moving target because your field of view is much bigger.

What you didn’t see

If I filmed shooting the target repeated times (I did, but only showed one time here) you would see that the paddle you hit determines both the speed at which the target spins and also the direction. This is actually in the video of the rimfire shooting, as Otho almost stopped the target’s rotation by shooting off a certain paddle. I think it’s possible to change the direction of the spin, if the right paddle is shot.

I’m telling you that there are infinite different competitions that can be dreamed up for this target. Each one exercises a different shooting skill. That’s what the clubs who buy them will be doing.

Paddle hits

Okay, let’s see what the pellets and bullets did to the paddles. First the airgun paddles. They are made from 16-gauge steel and the .22 pellets struck them with about 18 foot-pounds of energy. That left a shallow dent that can be seen and felt on both sides of the paddle.

airgun paddle hit
The airgun paddle was dented slightly by the .22 pellet. The dent can be felt on both sides of the paddle, but is trivial. The paddle can take hundreds of hits like this and still function fine.

So, what happened with the .22 long rifle bullet? You would think it would dent the paddle as well, but it didn’t. Of course the rimfire paddle is heavier than the airgun paddle, but it’s built to take it. Even big bore airguns can be used, though I would stay below 300 foot-pounds.

If you shoot more powerful smallbore airguns at this target, as some of you will, I would advise trying the rimfire paddles first. A 56 foot-pound pellet will have exactly the same impact as a 22 short standard speed bullet. In this case the bullets from the 10/22 left lead smears on the paddles with no metal deformation.

rimfire paddle hit
The .22 long rifle bullet chipped the paint and left a lead smear. The paddle is not dented.

Evaluation

Now you have seen the All American Target Concepts 503-1 target perform. This is what I saw back in August at the Texas airgun show. I like my name for it better — the Texas Star target, but that won’t get you to the maker’s website, which is here.

The target is easy to assemble and, what’s better, to disassemble and pack. The box is very rugged and should last for many years of storage and transportation.

This target is made for club and organization shoots, not for the private user. You can certainly buy one, though, and it will last many lifetimes. If you like action targets, this is about as good as they get!

My thanks to Tim Gutierrez and All American Target Concepts for providing this target and much of the information in these two reports.