Sometimes things find their way into our lives with little fanfare or notice, yet when removed the void is dramatic. Such is the case with a simple but extremely effective device made by Towa, a Japanese company specializing in labels and applicators. This tool transforms target pasting from a tedious, time consuming task into an almost unconscious activity.
Prior to my involvement with USPSA practical shooting, I used bulls-eye targets, silhouette targets, reactive steel targets and the occasional water-filled container or hapless vegetable. (As a vegetarian I find this last item is particularly fitting). All this worked fine but once I got into the high-volume round counts typical of USPSA, the need for quickly covering the holes in targets became critical. If you’ve ever hand-pasted targets at a match you know what I mean. peeling individual pasters off the backing and applying them by hand is very slow, not to mention the fact that oils from fingers make the pasters stick less effectively.
Enter the Towa APN-30 applicator. This device was previously known as the AP65-30 and may still be listed as such in catalogs. It was originally made for package labeling but somebody figured out that pasters on 1″ wide rolls would work perfectly in this rig. It can be a little tricky opening and loading the roll, but once it’s ready pasters can be applied as fast as the targets are scored. Each squeeze of the lever produces a single paster out the end, ready to be pressed onto the target. I have found that a gentle downward wiping motion is all that is required for the pasters to be securely applied to the target.
One word of advice: as the roll of backing works its way out the bottom of the applicator, resist the temptation to tear it off right at the bottom of the exit point. This will often result in a jam that stops the device after a dozen or so pasters. Tear the backing away several inches below the exit point GENTLY and it will work just fine.
At $79.95 each these are not inexpensive but they work so well and so fast that most serious shooters have at least one. Shooter’s Connection always has them in stock.