Negative Taping

1-Sep-15 – 18:38 by ToddG




I want to be accountable for my hits when I’m practicing. That means every time I pull the trigger, I want to know whether I hit, missed by a little bit, or missed by a lot. But from both a time and target/paster resource standpoint I don’t want to be putting up fresh targets for each drill or pasting every single bullet hole.

So I use a pretty simple technique called negative taping. If I got a hit, I got a hit. I’m not worried about whether it was dead center or off toward one side. After all, if I needed to hit a smaller target zone, I’d use a smaller target. It’s the same concept as using steel targets but without any distance, size, or shape limitations.

It’s not adequate simply to “try and remember” which misses were there already. I watched two guys at the range yesterday doing exactly that because they were the typical I will shoot 200 rounds but only pay for one little target types. They eventually ended up debating whose shots were going where, etc. There was no way for them to account for their shots.

This is the same approach I used when teaching. We’d tape up misses and start with an essentially “clean” target after each exercise. Sure, there were bullet holes in the targets but they were all hits. What mattered most was knowing whether future shots were also hits, or were they misses?

Obviously, negative taping doesn’t work as well if you’re using a target with graudated scoring zones like an NRA B-8 where you consider all of the zones “hits,” just with different values. But for your typical yes/no, hit/miss kind of target (or when that’s all you’re worried about, regardless of the target design itself), negative taping is a fast, economical, and easy way to make sure you’re able to assess each performance.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 5 Responses to “Negative Taping”

  2. But negative taping is only suitable if you don’t miss so much that you miss the full paper target, aren’t you?

    By Mohicane on Sep 1, 2015

  3. i do the same. If I do want to see new hits I tape a sheet of paper folded to the correct dimensions over the entire area.

    By Todd on Sep 1, 2015

  4. As an operator the closest I shoot is 75 yards (off-hand drills only), usually it’s 125 yards. This is an interesting idea you have but I don’t know if it will work for me since I only use 3″ X 5″ cards.

    By David on Sep 1, 2015

  5. David when you’re operating do you prefer Caterpillar or John Deere?

    By Rod on Sep 2, 2015

  6. I prefer a walking plow which I draw and guide by myself.

    By David on Sep 2, 2015

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