Friday, November 4, 2016

Rubber Dummies Target Review

Rubber Dummies Target Review

My initial Facebook post about the Rubber Dummies was to be sung to the rubber ducky tune. “Rubber dummy your the one. You make my range time ohh so fun.  You can take 5000 shots, From any gun.” I then commented that it is the best range training tool ever and… it is. Read on and you can use the Major Pandemic discount code for special pricing on Rubber Dummies Targets.

At a measly $199 for the starter kit that includes the Rubber Dummy, the stand, kill shot sample pack and a can of “prefered” high grade white primer, this is a phenomenal deal.  This is a safer and more dynamic defensive practie target which makes more sense for defensive training than steel.

The single biggest reason is with a rubber target, there is no worry about ricochet or lead splatter at point blank distances. You cannot do this with steel or you will die (or be badly injured). Ten yards is considered absolute minimum “what are you crazy?” “that is pretty damn close to shoot steel” distance. Most manufacturers recommend a minimum distance of 25-yards for safety reasons. With the target torso, you can place you muzzle right on the target if you want, becuase it is just rubber. Obviously shooters should practice some safety since the dummies do sit on an AR500 steel stand with two internal short 5" steel rods keeping the torso vertical. The two rods are diamond shaped to increase safety and decrease the likelihood of bounc-backs. As long as you are practicing center of mass and head shots at point blank ranges, I have had no issues in over a 1000-rounds of testing on this target.

Mike Lessnick, the CEO of Rubber Dummies actually owns machine shop, but was a casual shooter. Mike is quick to point out that he is not a hard core tactical guy, but just someone who was frustrated by the lack of good targets which indicated hits. He noted that although steel offered audible verification of a hit, most of the time you really had no idea where you were hitting. Paper targets lacked any level of realism so he started developing the idea for the Rubber Dummy shooting target.

One of his friends was extremely supportive of the idea and said he would cast a couple prototypes for free as long as Mike could provide a suitable mold. Being a machine shop owner, that was something he was able to do and shortly thereafter the first prototype rolled for testing. One of our first prototypes was purchased by a deliver driver who used it that weekend and raved about it. At a faster and faster pace friends and word of mouth suddenly created quite a demand for the targets. Currently the company is shipping them all over the US.

Rubber Dummies are made in the USA from 100% recycled rubber materials and are for the most part pretty self-healing when shot. The compacted hard rubber gives instant shot placement feedback, allows the shooter to shoot from any distance or angle, are realistically sized, can wear shirts, hats and other clothing items for a more dynamic and realistic training, and can take 1000's of rounds before requiring replacement.

Think about how much you actually shoot and most people will find that this target will last them years. Based on my experience I think you would need to get into the 5000 round range before needing a replacement, however that depends on the type of ammo your are shooting. Hollow points will cookie cutter the dummy pretty quick. This is very dense rubber and what I found on a couple test shots was that the hollowpoints opened up pretty quick and did produce holes, versus the FMJ rounds that allowed the rubber to self heal. The Rubber Dummies will last longer when full metal jacketed bullets are used versus hollow points. Also hammering the target with .45 rounds will likely wear it out faster than with .223 rounds.

Rubber Dummies has made it really easy to purchase. They have the target stand only, the target only (they refer to as the replacement target), the target with a stand, and a three pack of targets with stands. The stands are even engineered to be user serviceable. The AR500 stand top screws into a standard plumbing pipe that any shooter can buy a 3” replacement of at a hardware store should it get hit by a round. The included pipe just screws into the top and base so it is easy to replace if needed.

Setup is easy. Place the stand on the ground and slip the Rubber Dummy on the stand and spray it down with a high quality white primer - done. Mike recommends a good high quality primer - although more expensive the better covering premium primers will actually cost less. “You might use a half a can of cheap primer to give the target a good coat, but a nice premium primer can do the same in just a couple passes and will provide better definition on where the impact points are. Anyone who shoots steel a lot knows that painting steel with a high quality paint is always the way to go at the range for fast and complete coverage.  The white primer over the black rubber produces a “skin” which clearly marks the impact points - of note the better the primer the more prominent the impact points are shown. I found that white paint works, but not as well, white primer works better, and high quality white primer the best.

Rummer Dummies also includes Kill Packets. These are essentially red dye packs which are tacked to the back of the dummies during training. I used them once and pretended I was on the set of the Walking Dead, but they are messy un-needed from my perspective unless you feel compelled to really liven things up.  Take down is easy. Grab the stand and torso and leave the range. If you want a fast, quick and clean range session, this is the way to go AND it is pretty light weight.

What I absolutely loved was that I could train with my extremely inexpensive 5.45x39 steel core armor piercing ammo on the Rubber Dummy target. I would not dare to do this with steel unless I want to replace all my steel targets after a week of shooting. Now I can blissfully blast away for training without worry of poking holes through my expensive steel targets.

Due to the dimensionality of the target it is so much more realistic than shooting paper or steel. It does get the adrenaline up a bit to shoot at a humanoid torso that is staring back at you.  My wife believes it is the best training target system she has used and insists on it now when we go to the range. For her, she loves to understand and see what she is doing wrong where the shots are going and figure out how to fix the problem. 

This is a tough thing to do on a steel target when all the paint flies off of the target from the first hit and splatter of lead. With the Rubber Dummy you can see where all the hits land. The target can also be moved and shot at from different angles such as a 45-degree presentation of the Rubber Dummy target.   For $199 this is the best training and shooting target you can buy. In fact I am going to buy three more because they are that good.  If you want one, here is a great offer. 

Until April 2017 you can get 10% off your Rubber Dummies order by using discount code “MJRPAN” when placing your order.

Starter Kit - $199
  • Rubber Dummy (Torso Target) - Approximately 30-pounds
  • Stand  - Approximately 20-pounds - AR500 steel top, ⅛” steel base, and replaceable ¾” plumbing grade pipe


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All you need to know about the Rubber Dummies Targets -

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