I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a radio-controlled airplane, I think about chokes, loads, and leads. So imagine my delight at stumbling across this clip of “Gnat Shooting” on YouTube. Gnats, it turns out, have been around in England since 1990, and they have been sighted once or twice in the United States. They’re radio controlled target drones for shotgunners, capable of speeds up to 80 mph.
Several different outfits in the U.K. have complete Gnat-shooting setups they rent out along with shotguns and instructors for corporate team building events. Since “corporate team building” usually means something lame like ropes courses, drumming, building a boat out of cardboard boxes, or at the very best, paintball, I’d call Gnat shooting a definite improvement. I don’t quite see how shooting at a model plane improves a company’s bottom line, but I’m in.
However, something strikes me about this video – besides the tweedy outfits and the bizarre choice of music – none of the planes ever crashes, despite the Gnat’s website statement that “scores soon start to mount up, as direct hits set off explosive pods fitted to the aircraft, giving a highly visual effect. Maximum bonus points are achieved by blowing the target out of the sky!”
If I ever get a chance to shoot a Gnat, I want bonus points. Since Gnats are made from impact resistant plastic and fiberglass and can withstand small explosions, I don’t think you can count on breaking a wing. It would be very difficult to punch pellets through the body to the top-mounted engine, which means shooting the propeller off is your best bet. I’m thinking full choke, a load of HeviShot 4s, and shoot this thing in the beak. How much lead? A Gnat crossing at full speed 40 yards away requires 14 feet – about one Ford Explorer length.
Anyone out there have a better plan for bringing one down?