Here when I thought I was just the holsters and hand guards testing guy, our editorial staff throws me for a loop. I’m now responsible for targets as well, and today’s entry is the Target Factory Complete Target Frame. The CTF is the A-frame you see above and includes six of the small plastic bottles seen hanging below. The Target Factory folks were nice enough to send along some of their large bowling pins along with an extra six pack of small bottles. I had to supply my own clays. Frustration and destruction soon followed the unboxing . . .
Setting the CTF up is relatively easy as it’s essentially a fancy sawhorse with a hinge. You just open it up and attach the bottles. That’s about the hardest part of the process as you have to push the rope knot into the larger hole (seen above) and then slide it to the side to lock it in place.
Once situated, the bottles aren’t going anywhere without breaking the plastic A-frame. There’s a small channel at the very top that’s perfect for lining up clay disks. Once everything is set up, it’s time to shoot at it. I found that part frustrating.
As tested, this whole kit costs north of $200. $219.96 + shipping, to be exact. The Complete Frame is $129.99 and includes the frame and six pins. Target Factory sent along another 6-pack of bottles ($39.99), and two large bowling pins ($24.99 each). That’s a pretty ferocious amount of money for a target that doesn’t really do much when you shoot it.
In fact, I set up a GoPro downrange for the first shots expecting to capture some wicked cool action for this review, but the footage shows some bottles swinging a bit followed by a sad discussion with my dad about how the stand didn’t really “do” much. We tried shooting at it with a .22 rifle, several 9 mm pistols, a .300 BLK pistol, and an AR 15 in .223/5.56. No matter what hit the pins, they didn’t really do much but sort of waver a bit.
The stand and the bottles held up to the abuse really well, and it became apparent that it would take thousands of rounds of large bore rifle ammo to bring this whole setup crashing to the ground. So from a durability standpoint, I have to give the Target Factory product high marks. Slightly frustrated, I shared my feelings with a group of my friends from college who came out to the ranch for a bachelor party. Figuring that a group of novice shooters might be the intended audience of the product, I encouraged them to shoot at the pins.
Inevitably, the guys would shoot at the CTF for a bit, then move their attention to the steel targets that adorn my shooting range. And as these things go, especially when the shooters are an engineer and a failed engineering student turned blogger, testing the limits became the goal of the day. What you see above is what happens when you detonate a half pound of Tannerite atop the CTF. It held, but she’s not pretty anymore. The explosion also rattled most of the bottles loose.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Durability * * * *
The CTF took at least a hundred direct hits and a Tannerite explosion, but stayed upright. I really can’t ask for much more given that a plywood box I’ve used as a target stand folded under the explosion from a similar sized Tannerite charge.
Function * * * *
There’s nothing distinctly satisfying about shooting the bottles as they swing a tiny bit with each hit. That said, the whole thing didn’t crumble under its own weight and the parts worked as advertised.
This whole thing seems absurdly expensive for something that doesn’t really “do” much when you shoot it. For the $130 you’d spend on this, you could buy some pretty nice steel targets that would last for years with proper care and feeding. And when you shoot those, they make a cool noise instead of gently swaying in the breeze.
Overall * * * *
Short of the Tannerite blast bending it pretty well, I can’t knock stars off for this rig. It’s made of durable plastic and looks to be ready to provide thousands of rounds of service. However there’s that price . . .