All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 2

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.

34 thoughts on “All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 2

  1. BB:

    Completely off topic but have the Beeman Kodiak .22 pellets been discontinued? It’s been a few months since I’ve needed to order any and the Pyramyd Air website says that they are no longer available. If it’s true, the H&N Baracuda is identical, correct? What’s the story with Kodiaks no longer being available? From a die-hard Kodiak user’s perspective, what differentiates the Baracuda from the Baracuda match? Hopefully I’m mistaken.

    Thanks for your thoughts.



  2. Hi BB
    As I said in Part 1 I like this target and may have to get one for my range. I think a Deck Box is all it would need to keep it out of the weather when not being used.


  3. I am now faced with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
    The Good? my P/A super discounted Hatsan Barrage should arrive tomorrow.
    The Bad? San Diego Gas and Electric Company has warned us to prepare for power outages from downed power lines.
    The Ugly? I may get burned to death or blown away if a wild fire erupts with winds that could reach 80 mph.
    Tomorrow will be very interesting to say the least. I wonder if I can shoot around a corner in an 80 mph wind ? … or even stand up?
    Is there any perfect place to live in this country?
    Bob M.


  4. BB et al. ‘n Gunfun1
    This entry is for a quick and dirty fix for Umarex guns like the Polymer Pythons and the Brodax that use the green semi translucent CO2 cartidge seals. It may work on others as well.
    Gunfun1 – the first thing you have to do is make a special tool to remove the retaining ring that holds the seal in place. you will need an old screwdriver that has a blade big enough to span the retaining ring and fit snug into the 2 slots on the top of the ring.
    Remove the Allen screw that forces the CO2 cartridge and file or grind down the screwdriver blade till it fits through the threaded part and hits the 2 slots in the retaining ring. Don’t forget to grind or file a notch in the center of the blade where the piercing pin is.
    Next carefully unscrew the retaining ring. The 3 guns I took apart had no thread lock and came apart easily.
    Next, useing a hooked dental pick or similar tool carefully go down the side of the seal and lift up. The seal is a touch thicker than 1/8″. This is where you may have to fiddle with the seal a bit – be gentle as I don’t think replacements are available
    Be careful because the piercing pin and base just floats below the seal as well as a metal screen.
    Degrease all the parts – I use White Gas, Coleman Camp Fuel or Ronson Lighter Fluid and if the piercing pin is burred over and bent in like all 3 of my guns were take a small stone and touch up the pierce angle till it is free of burrs and clean and sharp.
    Next use a Jewellers Loupe and make sure there are no metal burrs embeded in the seal. All 3 of mine were full of burrs and took several minutes each to clean.
    Next we reassemble and apply the magic formula to make everything gas tight.
    It’s not really magic, just some thick red grease. In the US you know it as Tune in a Tube, In Canada and the US it’s known as Lucas Red ‘n Tacky amongst other trade names.
    When you reassemble the filter screen goes in dry, next the upper piercing pin base gets a liberal coat of red grease and the same on the underside of the seal making sure the shoulder there is completely covered. Press the seal in over the piercing pin with an allen key or small screwdriver and as I said before be gentle.
    A little red grease on the retaining ring threads and snug the ring down with an extra quarter turn.
    Liberally spread some red grease on the upper face of the seal and a dollop of grease on the head of each new CO2 cartridge.
    Tighten up till just snug then go an extra 1/8th turn.
    You will NOT hear any gas escaping so be carefull. Fire the gun in a safe direction. If it shoots you’re done – if not go another 1/8th turn or smaller increments till it shoots.
    You will NOT hear any gas escaping. Do not overtighten.
    If you feel you must get oil into the valve use a syringe and needle from your local pharmacy.
    Get the largest syringe and needle available. Grind the point off and load the syringe with oil with the needle off. Replace the needle and inject a drop of oil down the piercing pin every 4th or 5th cartridge.
    Good Luck
    I have put about 15 cartridges through my gun with no problems.
    Cheers
    Dave


    • Redrafter
      Yep I see that your grease trick should do. Maybe the grease should be applied to working seals even.

      I do believe I will start lubing the front of my Co2 cartridges with some grease.

      And on the Brodax I’m afraid I’m out of luck with it for now till I can find a few parts. First off I think the retaining ring started everything. It was cracked in half. Then gouged the seal and into the peircing pin. So when I loaded a cartridge and tightened it down I t must of been pushing off to the side somewhat and never allowed the pin to peirce towards the center of the cartridge cap.

      So I’m kind of in limbo waiting to at least find a peircing disc and retaining ring for the Brodax.


      • Gunfun1
        I didn’t realize your Brodax had been damaged to that extent. Good luck with the spare parts. Maybe you should take advantage of PA’s complete spare parts kit for the Brodax and buy one before they’re discontinued. Only $35.99!
        Or here’s another thought – mickey mouse the piercing pin and use epoxy putty in place of the retainer ring.
        As for useing the red grease on every CO2 cartridge I’ve already started on the on the 3 green sealed Umarex guns I own. I did find it a little disconcerting at first not hearing the hiss of gas but doing it the way I described works every time. So far no problems.
        To keep the mess down I use a Universal Push Type mini grease gun to apply grease (.5 gm /stroke) to the CO2 cartridges. A ¼” stroke on the end of a cartridge is just the right amount of grease.
        The one I use is the Lumax 3 oz. Push-Type Grease Gun-LX-1174 available at Canadian Tire or Home Depot or most any auto parts store. Check it out in Google if not familiar with them.
        Cheers
        Dave



  5. And yes. That was some good shooting in the video.

    Got to get your shot timed for that hang time when the wheel is about to reverse. Although it looked like Otho got a few hits on the move.

    I always did like these types of targets.

    Looks like fun stuff to me. And you know if you back away from the target you don’t have to swing as big of arch as you do when you stand closer to the target. Actually would make the hits a bit easier.


  6. BB,

    This would certainly be an excellent target to help with learning to lead. This would also be great for a fun shoot with a couple of friends. I know the cost will be prohibitive for many, but if you shoot a lot of reactive targets you will soon find the investment in quality targets cost effective.


  7. B.B.,

    I looked at your photo of the .22 pellet hit and almost exclaimed, “Holy Splatology, Batman!” That is about as splatted as a pellet can splat.

    Also, I also think Otho shot very impressively. It’s also nice to see the magic Ruger again. :^) If I ever could be induced to purchase my first ever powder-burner, that would be the one in the unlikely event you decided to part with it in this lifetime.

    Excellent target, too.

    Michael


    • Michael,

      I doubt I will ever willingly part with this rifle. But as I understand it, the rifle version of the 10/22, which this is, is the more accurate version. I also own a carbine on which I have spent a lot of money (target chamber, jeweled bolt, trigger tune, etc.) and this rifle shoots rings around it. My buddy Mac had an accurate 10/22 and it must have been the rifle version as well.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Now that you mention it, I seem to recall reading that, probably here before about the no-barrel-band 18.5 inch barrel 10/22 models.

        I have never decided to get a powder burner, but I certainly have kicked the idea around. I have heard a .22 makes for the perfect fitr firearm, too. However, everything I would want to do with a .22 I am already able to do with an air rifle except reach out. I think it would be fun to try bench rested shooting at 50 or 75 yards, but the closest outdoor range is 40 miles away, and one-third of the year it is pretty cold outside where I live. But I could buy an AirForce Condor, a tank, and a compressor if I wanted one.

        Michael


  8. BB,

    I just about fainted when I read “the paddles are supposed to be hit when they are at the bottom of their swing”. I come from a USPSA background where fast is King. A good shooter can clean the star in under 2 seconds, but they don’t shoot at a plate only when it is at the bottom of the swing. Of course, many different goals can be practiced by shooting the plates in different manners. The first video on this page (https://www.tactrainers.com/collections/uspsa-practice/products/the-texas-star)
    shows numerous ways a star can be shot.

    No matter how you shoot them, the Texas Star presents a fun, yet challenging, target.

    Tom



    • Teknobel
      That’s what I thought too. From what I have seen you pick your aim point up on the dwell spot of a paddle. Then you kind of do a muscle memory thing to locate to different positions. Of course like you say in the matter of seconds.

      And I do see what BB means about the high berm. That was my thought too of not shooting at other locations and then where does most of the lead end up after the paddle hit on this paticular design.

      If you hit a corner of a paddle. Obviously the leads going to fly off at a angle. I see that with my still spinners I have now.


      • GF

        Pellet deflection can be extreme by just nicking something.
        Shooting at my wind flags (the wire part) has shown me this . The splashes in the dirt behind the flag are very convincing .

        tt


  9. Wow, this really is a better mousetrap. It would be a great and cheaper alternative to shotguns for moving targets. Too bad it’s still a little out of my reach. I try to move the gun instead of the target in various tactical scenarios but it’s not quite the same. Did the rimfire bullet that hit the center of the bend rebound? A remote danger, but the bullet has to go somewhere. There’s even a danger of rebound from hard rubber self-healing targets as I found from experience.

    I’m intrigued at what happens at a molecular level with these supposedly impervious targets. I bought PA’s ultimate target, rated for .22 rimfire at the very beginning, and it is one of my best purchases. That thing will last forever (especially with extra padding from duct seal). Still the question remains. A credible source like the film The Shawshank Redemption says that time and pressure will overcome anything. So one might suppose that the rimfire bullets are doing damage to heavy plate which would add up over time. But perhaps not. On a larger scale, it seems possible for artillery shells to literally bounce off of armor plate of sufficient thickness. This implies an elastic deformation in the plate that restores itself as good as new, sort of like the T1000 Terminator. So, if the force is below a certain threshold, perhaps the energy is reversed and there is no effect on the target at all. Actually some strain must be registered on the elasticity of the material just as a rubber band will ultimately wear out. But this would be orders of magnitude slower than actually chipping away at the material and be essentially invisible.

    Looking forward to tomorrow. I love it when a whole blog addresses my questions. By the way, the temperatures in north Texas look to be about the same as northern California.

    Matt61


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