Digging by Gunfire

I just wanted to share this with you – and I really need a photo, because a picture paints a thousand words, but I don’t, so we’ll have to do without it.
At my training site I have two Ranges: 1 & 2, Range 1 is for day 1 and Range 2 for day 2. Range 1 is really for reactive combat rifle training and introduction to movement (fire and movement and contact drills), because it is smaller. Both ranges are set in draws and Range 1 is smaller. 
When I started, I had a pop-up target to the front and stick-in targets to the left and right. I dug target pits to the left and right, but they both had to be dug back into the bank. The pit on the left is into a steep bank in the side of the draw. I had to dig out a slot in the hillside and dig it back, then sandbagging in the front to protect the target mechanism. I had to stop digging back when I hit the shale. Imagine that the target itself is on an arm that drops back so there has to be space for the target to lay back down behind the target mechanism, and you also have to protect the mechanism from the incoming rounds.
So we started training this weekend and of course we were firing at the target on the left. The rounds would pass through the target and into the back of the slot that I had dug into the hillside to accommodate the falling target. Of course, the targets are ‘fall when hit’ pop-ups and as the rounds would strike the back of the slot they were shattering the shale and turning it into dust.
The end result was that the target would fall, dirt would fall onto it, it would pop back up and throw a shovel full of dirt towards the firer! Of course, the dirt just fell down the bank over the sandbags, but it was funny – I like to have these more aggressive targets!
However, the worrying thing is that I have now discovered ‘digging by gunfire’ and I now have a solution for when my pick is stopped by that pesky shale in the future!
I have had a lot of inquiries about the pop-up targets that I am using. They are from Advanced Training Systems – I use the PT-61A: the basic pop-up without the swiveling friend/foe feature. There are no friends on my ranges, they are all bad guys…..
Live Hard, Die Free.