Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Highland Targe by Kyle McIntosh

Have you have ever wanted to make a Highland Targe ? , if so you should check out the step by step photos posted below. The targe below was made by fellow Jacobite reenactor & friend Kyle McIntosh of the Historic highlanders living history group based out of Vancouver Island B.C , You can check out their facebook page at the following link

This is the best detailed instructions on making a targe that I have ever seen and posted below are the steps to go about building your own targe, as you can see the finished result is fantastic and very authentic.

      Trace the nail pattern onto a stencil and puncture the nails through 

Tape the pattern to the targe and mark the design onto the leather by making small punctures on the leather.

Nail design hammered into the leather.

Use scrap wool, hair, fur, or straw to add some padding to the back where the forearm will strap on.

Cover the back padding with the hair on hide.

Wrap around and nail down the leather front onto the back of the targe.

Nail design and center brass boss.

Brass nails add protection against sword blows and even musket fire at a distance.

                     I added two brass D rings to fasten a strap for carrying the targe over the shoulder.

The forearm strap is adjustable so it can be tightened around the arm. The second strap goes around the wrist so that your hand is free to grasp the dirk.

                                         Top D ring for carrying over the shoulder.

I would like to say a big thanks to Kyle McIntosh for allowing me to share his targe making instructions , If you like a challenge and enjoy making things yourself , this would be a great historical project and something you can either display or use for Jacobite reenactment events. 

                                     Pictured below is kyle McIntosh with his custom made targe !


  1. That's bloody great! My targe I made myself, somewhat foolishly, out of thin oak planks laminated, then covered in leather- vege tanned and stained black. For the nails I used the oldest type of hobnails yet available- each one is different and iron. I proof tested the targe at about 50 paces with both Murdoch pistol and Rifled Snaphaunce. The twin oak planks held the pistol ball easily but the rifle shot penetrated through to the padding.. Both 50 calibre ish.. this monstrously heavy targe I took on our big walk from Oamaru through our mountains to Dansesy's pass some 10 years ago- not even a free beer when we got there- government men.

  2. Thanks Dark lord, thanks to modern technology I can keep in touch with fellow Jacobites who share the same passion. That is fantastic that you tested how strong your targe was , very impressive. I will let me friend Kyle know your results. I watched the entire set of photos from your journey with Bernard on his Facebook page. What an adventure !, but a big disappointment at how you braw lads were treated at the coaching Inn , in times past it would have been a different story altogether I am sure. What you undertook is something people only dream about, not many actually have the balls to do it. We will do something similar one day in the future and then the chieftains will rise up again !