Why Shootplinker?

By: plinker Posted in FAQ

The sport of Plinkerwas initially conceived after years of shooting pistols competitively in both indoor and outdoor ranges. While competitive shooting in the USA dates back to 1871, the modern "action" pistol sports began in the 1970's. Today, there are a variety of competitive shooting sports for all types of firearms, but only a few of them are shot indoors. 

The Sport of Plinker was designed to take the effort out of introducing shooters to the world of competitive shooing. With the Plinker Systems Electronic Plate Rack indoor ranges can now offer both novice and experienced shooters the excitement of competitive shooting without disrupting their operations or having to hire additional staff.


With the proliferation of gun owners over the last few years one would expect the shooting sports to grow at the same rate, but that has not happened. While the shooting sports have grown, they have not grown at the same rate as gun ownership. Why is this? The single biggest reason is access to outdoor shooting facilities. Outdoor shooting facilities, especially in metropolitan areas are few and far between. Land is expensive, local opposition is fierce, noise is a big issue with surrounding neighbors and the fear of errant rounds leaving the range are all big issues. For these reasons, the number of outdoor shooting facilities has not grown significantly. On the other hand, the number of indoor shooting facilities has grown significantly.

So, let’s talk about indoor shooting facilities. While expensive to build, they don’t require nearly as much land. They contain both the noise and errant rounds, they can be built in urban areas which makes them convenient, modern ventilation systems make them much more pleasant than old stuffy, smoky and dirty ranges of yesterday. Showrooms can display firearms and accessories for sale. Finally, amenities such as training rooms and lounges make them places customers like to visit.

The challenge with indoor shooting competitions has been the setup and administration of matches. Often these matches require the entire range to be shut down and this is not attractive to range operators who generate revenue from range use. Match administration requires volunteers or range staff. The staff has to be paid and volunteers will only commit to a limited amount of time. Lastly, new or novice shooters are intimidated by more experienced shooters who are both faster and more accurate than they are. The Sport of Plinker overcomes all of these challenges.

How it Works

The Sport of Plinker is based around what we call the Electronic Plate Rack. Lasers in the base of the target illuminate the plate (target) that the shooter is to hit. If the shooter hits the plate, while the target is “lit”, he will score points and the number of points the shooter scores is determined by how long the target is illuminated. In other words, a shorter illumination period means more points.

Another factor in determining one’s score is the All Flash Delay. The All Flash Delay is the period of time between the All Flash and the first target being lit. Think of the All Flash Delay as the draw time. A shooter typically starts the game in the “low ready” position, however, matches can require drawing from the holster. Low Ready means the gun is pointed down at a 45 degrees from horizontal. When the game starts, all of the targets will be illuminated for a brief period of time. (Approximately 1/3 of a second.) When the shooter sees the All Flash, the shooter should raise her pistol and aim at the first target. Next, the shooter should fire at each target as it is lit.

The Electronic Plate Rack is controlled by a tablet computer located in the shooting booth. It communicates with the target system wirelessly. It also communicates with the internet via a WIFI connection. Immediately after a game is played, the scores are automatically uploaded to the website. If the shooter has an account, he may log in from any type of device and view his or her performance.

There are a number of different games that can be played. Each game will illuminate the targets in a different sequence. Different games may require a different number of targets to be engaged. For example, a revolver friendly game may only require the shooter to engage 6 targets. Other games may require the shooter to engage the same target more than once. For example, “Four Corners” requires the shooter to engage the corner targets twice, before finishing on the center target.

Please visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to view videos of people shooting the Sport of Plinker. If you would like to Shoot Plinker at your local range, click the button below, give us their contact info and we'll introduce them to the sport. 

If you have never shot pistols competitively and would like to learn more, see our Definition of Shooting Terms post.