SR500 Steel Targets: Everything You Need to Know

Category: Guides

SR500 Steel Targets: Everything You Need to Know

SR500 Steel is new to the market and industry this year. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about SR500 steel and shooting SR500 Steel Targets. Let’s get to it!

What is SR500 Steel?

SR500 is a new type of ballistic protection steel specifically designed for use in targets, ranges and other armor applications. It a superior alternative to AR500 plate because of its minimum hardness guarantee of 500 HBW. Grizzly Target’s SR500 is produced on the same production line as SSAB’s high quality Abrasion Resistant (AR) branded steels.

What makes SR500 Steel the best choice for Steel Targets?

Guaranteed Minimum Surface Hardness

SR500 final ballistic test reports

SR500 Steel has a guaranteed minimum surface hardness of 500 HBW with a maximum hardness of 590 HBW. This hardness has a huge impact on what SR500 steel can handle.

Hardness is a measured factor that allows us to reasonably predict the amount a metal will resist deformation. Steel hardness is most commonly rated on the Brinell Hardness scale.

A steel’s Brinell Hardness score (previously known as BHN and now abbreviated as HBW) is determined by using 3000kg of force to press a carbide ball against a surface to produce an impression. The impression is measured and the steel is given a numerical score.

How does SR500 steel compare to AR500 or AR550?

  • AR500 has a hardness range of 477-534 HBW
  • AR550 can have a surface hardness as low as 525 HBW (they should really call it AR525 but we don’t make the rules here)

Unparalleled Safety

By simply being harder, (aka having a higher HBW score) SR500 steel targets do a better job at preventing pitting. It is important to stress that pitting (or chipping) is extremely dangerous and can result in unpredictable ricochets that endanger the safety of the shooter and those around them. The harder the material the more resistance to chipping.


Ballistic Resistance

In addition to being harder, SR500 Steel is designed specifically for impact (aka ballistic) resistance for the firearms industry, whereas AR500 was designed for Abrasion Resistance and was not ever intended to be used with firearms.

Target Longevity

In addition to Brinell Hardness, it’s important to also look at the steel’s ductility. Hard materials are typically brittle and brittle materials typically crack. We love that SR500 has the perfect balance of hardness and ductility to resist cracking from impact. This special consideration will ensure your SR500 Steel Targets will last for a long time. 

Target longevity is one of the most important features considered while developing this steel specifically for the firearms industry. Now, shooters have options to choose from when it comes to the type of steel targets to work with a steel that was specifically designed for use in targets, ranges and other armor applications.

In summary, with SR500’s guaranteed minimum hardness and ballistic resistance, you know what you are getting, so you can get what works for you.

Who should invest in SR500 steel targets?

Grizzly Targets believes, in the very near future, SR500 Steel will be the standard steel used for targets and other armor applications. That being said, we recommend upgrading to SR500 for the following types of shooters and organizations:

  • Shooting Ranges + Clubs – Contact us here for wholesale inquiries
  • GOV/LEO/MIL – Contact us here for wholesale inquiries
  • Instructors, Professional + Tactical Shooters
  • Anyone who has destroyed AR500 targets with heavy use
  • Anyone who is ready to upgrade their target practice
  • Safety conscious shooters

Shooting SR500 Steel Targets

Shooting Distance

The recommended distance is the same for SR500 Steel Targets and AR500. We design our targets to deflect shrapnel towards the ground to increase safety. However, maintaining proper distance is always essential when shooting steel.

  • Pistol Rated Targets at 25 yards and further
  • Rifle Rated Targets at 100 yards and further

Target Angle

All steel targets must be pitched at a downward angle, around 20 degrees, forcing the splatter in the safest direction, to the ground. Learn more about how to properly hang your SR500 steel targets here.

Types of Ammo

Just like with AR500 steel targets, we recommend using frangible ammo or FMJ/Ball. Never use steel core, armor piercing, or green tip ammo with steel targets. Armor piercing rounds will damage and destroy the steel. This is because SR500 has a 500 HBW guarantee, while armor piercing ammo is 600-2500 HBW.


We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work directly with SSAB, the market-leading North American producer of quality steel, to bring a raw-material designed for our customers’ specific needs to the market. We are proud to be first in the world to bring SR500 Steel Targets to the market. Grizzly’s mission is and has always been to provide superior targets and customer experience. Whenever we find a way to make our products better or stronger, we do just that. We know this is what sets us apart, just like overbuilding and galvanization.