When I decided to start bowhunting I was struck by the enormous undertaking that I was about to embark upon. There are a lot of bows on the market, and don’t even get me started on the dizzying amount of accessories (rests, sights, stabilizers, etc). I have always been a research based shopper, and I found the process of buying a bow and all of its accessories, to be flat out exhausting.
One of the many archery related items that I felt confused about was what kind of target I needed. Knowing that there were a lot of options on the market, and potentially a lot of my money at stake, I decided to forgo all the research and just buy the cheapest target I could get my hands on. I knew that it would be a temporary solution, but I was sick of researching and analyzing – I just wanted to start shooting!
My cheap foam block target made it through about 10 days of shooting; it wasn’t long before arrows were passing completely through it. I needed a new target, and I needed it fast. I did something I rarely ever do, I made an impulse buy when I found a great deal on a Rinehart 18-1. (The Rinehart 18-1 gets its name from the fact that there are 18 shooting zones on this 1 target.) I knew that Rinehart had a great reputation, and I knew it has some of the features I was looking for, I was just hoping that I didn’t waste my hard-earned dollars.
I have had the Rinehart 18-1 for 9 months, and for the $75 I paid for it, I feel like it is a great deal. Don’t get me wrong, $75 is a lot of money to drop on a target, but the Rinehart is holding up for the long haul. I will be getting years out of this target.
On average, I shoot 4-5 days a week. Some days I shoot just a dozen arrows, and some days I shoot 60 or 70. Over the past 9 months I have put thousands of arrows into the Rinehart 18-1.
The first day that I started using the Rinehart 18-1 I picked one of the larger target zones, and I have been hammering it with field points ever since. I wanted to keep shooting at one zone of the target and see how it would hold up. You can see from the picture below that this zone is beginning to show some wear after 9 months of constant use.
Even though the that target zone is beginning to look worse for wear, the question is – how is it actually performing? As you can see in the photo above, the center of the target is the most worn. Obviously any arrows I shoot in into the worn center penetrate the target deeper than the surrounding areas of the target. Let’s take a look at just how much further the arrows are penetrating.
In the photos below you can see two arrow measurements. The top photo shows the amount of arrow that was remaining out of the target when I shot the arrow in the most worn part of the target. The 29″ arrow penetrated about 9.5″, leaving 19.5″ of the arrow remaining. The the second photo below I shot the same arrow into a part of the target that has never taken any shots. As you can see this arrow penetrated less, only 4.75″, leaving 24.25″ of the arrow remaining. In conclusion, after 9 months of constant use, this one target zone is allowing arrow to penetrate the target 4.75″ deeper, or exactly twice the amount of the fresh target zone.
I think those figures are quite impressive, because keep in mind that extra penetration is only found in the dead center of that one target zone, where the most shots have been received. Not only is the perimeter of that target zone stopping arrow much quicker, but there are 16 other target zones that I haven’t even had to use in the last 9 months!
As you can see so far, the Rinehart 18-1 has held up well to thousands of shots from field points, but as we all know broadheads can really cause some damage.
I have primarily shot this target with the G5 Montec, but I have also had great luck with the G5 Striker, and several models from Muzzy. The Rinehart 18-1 stands up to these fixed blade broadheads surprisingly well. In the photo below you can see the 2nd target zone that I have used on the 18-1, dedicating it only to broadhead use.
This target zone has seen at least a couple of hundred shots from various fixed-blade broadheads, and that number is increasing rapidly since I am practicing more and more with broadheads these days. As you can see there are a couple of areas where the target has lost small amounts of material, but for the most part, hits from a broadhead make a nice clean slice into the target. In the photo above you can many spots where the broadhead has made a clean entry and exit, leaving only a faint mark of where the hit was. I am pleasantly surprised with the 18-1’s durability when using broadheads, and I look forward to witnessing how it continues to hold up now that I am greatly increasing the amount of broadhead practice.
I will make one note about using broadheads and field points. I have found it best to use dedicated target zones for each type of heads. When mixing broadheads and field points on the same target zone I found that the wear was considerably more rapid that using a dedicated zone for each target. I think the reasoning for this is that while the broadhead slices cleanly into the target, once those slices are made the field point bluntly pushes them in, whereas continuing to shoot broadheads over those cleanly sliced lines continues to just make more fine/clean lines. Along the same lines, using a dedicated target zone for field points leaves that target zone more solid, which absorbs the field point instead of allowing the points to make more damage if the target was more “sliced up” by the broadheads.
What Do I Like?
There is a lot to like about the Rinehart 18-1, most of which we have covered so far.
- It is durable – stands up to both broadheads and field points
- It is versatile – many target zones in varying sizes, and at varying angles
- It is portable – a convenient size that allows for a shooting anywhere
What Would I Change?
There isn’t much I would change about the 18-1, but there is a word of caution that I have for those who are interested in it. You have to realize that the 18-1 is a great target, but it isn’t a great backstop for newer shooters, or for shooters who need a larger surface area. At 15″x15″ the Rinehart isn’t huge. I have found it to be completely suitable for shooting out to 50 yards, which is the longest distance I can shoot at my home. But I would say that the smaller size of the Rinehart 18-1 is one thing I wish I would have factored into my initial purchase as a new archer. I think once you have the basics of archery down, and you are a consistent shooter, then the Rinehart 18-1 is more than enough target for practicing at most distances.
One complaint that I have heard about the Rinehart 18-1 is that arrows are hard to pull from it. When the target is new pulling arrows can require some effort, but not nearly the level of grunting and torquing I have experienced when pulling arrows from other targets. As you continue to use the target, pulling arrows also becomes much easier, nearly effortless.
In summary, I think that Rinehart makes a great target. You definitely pay a bit of a premium for their targets, but with so many coupons and sales at many outdoor retailers, you can find them at reasonable prices. It has also been my experience that any premium you pay up front for the Rinehart target becomes a value, due to the long life of the target. Also keep in mind that while Rinehart is known for their 3D target line, they also make many more “backyard” target models, including the RhinoBlock. The RhinoBlock uses the same materials as the 18-1, but it is even larger and offers a different setup of target zones, including a 3D target of a deer’s vitals.
Do you have any questions about the Rinehart 18-1 that I didn’t cover? Please feel free to leave me a comment (or question) below.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t don’t get anything out of doing gear reviews. I am not supplied product, or paid for my opinions. I am just a regular guy who thinks it is worthwhile to share what works and what doesn’t.