How to make exploding rifle targets

Updated February 21, 2017

Target shooting requires a way to determine how effectively the target has been hit. You can make an exploding rifle target that will let you know every time you hit it. You will need a few household items and some basic tools, as well as supplies from a hobby shop or gun store. Your exploding target should only be used at a gun range or other safe firing location.

Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect the surface. Stand the empty cereal box on the newspaper. Insert the telephone book into the cereal box. Close the flaps of the cereal box. Tape the flaps closed with strips of duct tape. Lay the cereal box on its back side.

Place the bulls eye target sheet face down on the newspaper. Apply strips of double-sided tape to the target sheet. Place the side of the sheet that is taped onto the front of the cereal box. Smooth the sheet onto the cereal box with your fingers.

With the utility knife, make a series of holes on the circles of the target sheet, as well as a hole dead centre on the bulls eye.

Heat up the glue gun for two minutes. Apply a dab of hot glue to one of the holes made in the target sheet. Place an exploding ball pellet into the hole. Let the glue set for a minute. Repeat this procedure with every hole made in the sheet.

Stand the exploding rifle target you have made on a shelf at an approved gun range.

At an appropriate, safe distance from the target, begin firing. You will see and hear where you have hit the exploding rifle target each time a bullet strikes a ball pellet.


Aways wear approved eye and ear protection when firing at a gun range.


Make sure you are aware of all local and state laws regarding the transporting of a rifle and ammunition to a gun range.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Empty cereal box
  • Telephone book
  • Duct tape
  • Bulls eye target sheet
  • Double-sided cellophane tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue stick
  • Exploding ball pellets
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About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."