Home » Rifles » What Does Plinking Mean in Shooting [Explained] 

What Does Plinking Mean in Shooting [Explained] 

Dakota Potts | Updated February 26, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
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A huge percentage of shooting done by civilians is plinking. This is where most people start learning how to shoot. While some use it for practice, other people do it for fun. 

So what is plinking, exactly? Let’s take a deeper dive into this shooting exercise.

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What Does Plinking Mean in Shooting?

In shooting, plinking is defined as the act of shooting for fun. The practice teaches you a few principles, such as speed and accuracy, without the pressure of competition.

If you’re a novice shooter or your kids have shown interest in learning how to use firearms, plinking is the best place to start. In this exercise, anything can be a target. This includes glass jars, plastic bottles, soda cans, bowling pins, water-filled balloons, and cups.  

Funnily enough, this type of shooting got its name simply from the sound it produces when you shoot a can. Plinking is more recreational and can be done at home, in the woods, or in any open space.

Any type of target practice will likely make you a better shooter, and plinking is no different. It can improve hand-eye coordination among inexperienced and younger shooters. (1)

Is Plinking Legal?

Generally, plinking is legal. However, you must check in with your town or city ordinances before starting the practice. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for where a bullet goes once you pull a trigger.

Of course, if you own, like, 10 acres of land in the country, then by all means, plink away. But then again, not many people own this much land.

To be on the safe side, check with the local sheriff’s department to understand the regulations you must adhere to.

If you’re plinking at home, be mindful of your neighbors. Hitting cans is likely to produce an annoyingly loud sound. In addition, keep the pets indoors and supervise the younger shooters.

It’s also advisable to deny access to the site you’re plinking from. Install warning signs at different access points to warn curious people.

Why Do People Plink?

Now that the general questions about plinking have been answered, let’s discuss why people spend time doing it.

It’s a Great Activity

Target practice with paper targets is nice but gets repetitive and boring. With plinking, anything can be your target. This includes jars, flower pots, cards, golf balls, and empty bottles.

If you’re looking for fun plinking targets, check out this video for some good ideas:

Improves Your Shooting Skills

While plinking is mainly done for fun, it’s also a great way to work on your aim and enhance your accuracy. 

Is hunting season approaching? Why not hide some targets in the wood and brush up on your skills?

Cheap Targets

Another benefit of plinking is that it’s an inexpensive hobby. You don’t have to go for fancy targets. Anything you have in your home can be a target. And the good thing is that you can keep reusing targets as long as they can be hit.

It Can Be a Stress Reliever

Plinking is a recreational activity. No stakes are involved compared to a shooting range. 

You have no pressure to hit targets. Since the goal is to have a good time and relax, these sessions can be a great stress reliever.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is plinking in gun terms?

Plinking, in gun terms, is a recreational activity that involves shooting at various targets like cans, cups, and glass jars.

What is 22LR plinking?

22LR plinking is simply shooting targets using a .22 Long Rifle for fun and relaxation.

What caliber is best for plinking?

The best caliber for plinking is the .22LR because the rounds are relatively affordable.

What does plinking ammo mean? 

Plinking ammo is the ammunition used for this activity. The .22 Long Rifle is the most popular plink ammo.


  1. J. Fred Eder, ‘Plinking’ is Popular Sport for Gun Shooters. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/clip/47874453/plinking-is-popular-sport-for-gun/

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