When I was growing up, it was a common saying for my Dad and Uncles to have an accurate rifle and for them to say, “This rifle is a real tack driver!”
I even use the term myself now and then. It occurred to me yesterday, “I wonder how difficult it would be to drive a thumb tack with a rifle?”
So, today we went to the range to try just that.
I imagine if you get close enough, just about anyone could hit a tack with a .22 rifle. But I decided to try it at 50 yards. I got a box of thumb tacks and a couple of pieces of boards and we were ready to go.
I used two boards, and stuck some tacks on them, just deep enough to stick. I painted some of the tacks with white spray paint and left the rest silver colored.
I had to use a pair of needle nosed pliers and a hammer to start them as it was too hard to push them into the boards by hand.
Here they are, ready for use.
I set them up on the 50 yard line and settled down with my Ruger 10-22 and some Wolf Target Match ammo. 50 Yards is a long way to shoot a tack.
I first shot at a target to re-set my point of impact, as I usually keep it slightly high to prevent “chewing up” my point of aim. Then I was ready.
The first shot hit the tack, but only on the edge and it didn’t drive it home. But the next shot hit the second tack squarely and it punched it right into the ¾ inch plywood backer. (I liked the splatter from the lead bullet.)
We could see the plywood was bulged from the tack which had not exited, so we took the pliers and broke the pieces off of the back to recover the tack and the bullet.
Here they are.
The tack was hit squarely and kind of turned from convex to concave. The bullet was flattened.
How about that?
Well, I then settled down and found that it was fairly easy to hit them, and even managed to hit 6 or so in a row without missing. Some of them were not completely square hits, and that caused the tack to turn to the side and only partially be sunk into the wood.
My son Abel decided he wanted to give it a try so we set him up. He is right handed, but left eye dominant so he shoots left handed.
Once he got sighted in, he was able to sink one too. Here it is on the right, with the second one on the left a slight hit.
He proceeded to hit a bunch of them one after another.
The lovely Mrs. Young_Painless decided that she would give it a try. She is also left eye dominant and shoots a rifle left handed.
She managed to sink a couple of them too.
Here is the board after a couple of times loaded up with tacks.
I decided to try it with my savage .22 bolt rifle, and it worked just as well.
It was so much fun that we loaded up the board a couple of times with tacks and shot them all.
As Abel and I cleaned up, Mrs. Young_Painless noticed some black berries on the edge of the range and picked some of them.
Here are some of them, ready for dessert.
1. It is possible to drive a tack with a .22 rifle at 50 yards. But you need a rifle that is a real “tack driver”, and you need a shooter that can hold steady.
2. Shooting with your family is more fun if you try something other than just shooting paper. We all enjoyed the challenge of shooting the tacks.
3. It’s fun to shoot stuff.