How to Hang Steel Targets Properly
There are many ways to hang steel targets. With all the ways to hang targets Methods vary due to the type of target, type of firearm/ammo, the functionality desired, portability,type of range and most of all safety.
The angle depends on many variables. Ensuring safety is the number 1 priority and the first step to hanging a steel target. Ultimately, you want the target to absorb as much of the shock as possible. Fixed or swinging targets should be pitched in a downward direction to push the bullet splatter into the ground. Hanging or gong targets should be hung straight down. Reactive targets absorb the bullet energy.
Height depends on the backstop or berm you have behind the target, keeping in mind that you would not want to have a target too high, that would encourage shots to go over the berm. A good recommendation is to have the backstop at least double the height of the target and have the shot angle (target) in a downward trajectory, ensuring the bullet will end in the safe zone.
Hanging Targets Loosely
Hanging or gong targets should be situated straight up and down, as well as hang naturally. This will allow for an awesome ping noise and keep the punishment down, making the target last longer.
Hanging by Chain or Rubber Strap
Chain and rubber straps work great for hanging steel targets, it’s really what people have most handy. Keeping the chain or rubber on the back/non shooting surface side will keep the system somewhat protected. Using bolts with a washer on the front works well. Additionally, tightening the bolts on the backside will provide more of an angle to push the bullet splatter down to ensure safety.
Hanging by Mounting Bracket
For mounting (non-reactive) steel targets to stationary wood or steel posts, a target with a 20-degree angle is recommended. This ensures the bullet splatter is forced down in a safe direction.
Mounting With Bolts
Grizzly Targets recommends using grade 8 bolts and hardware for mounting steel targets. Tightening the nuts on the non-shooting side (creating a downward pitch) will create a small angle to push the bullet splatter down and keep the target in good shape.
While safety is number one and having fun is number two, there are many variables on recommended distance. A good rule is, the larger the caliber the longer the distance away the target should be. Assuming the target thickness is appropriate (see our Target Selection Guide) for the caliber, 25 yards or more for light to medium pistol and 100 yards or more for rifles.
The Best Way to Hang Steel Targets
The bestway to hang targets is to start with a proper stable mounting bracket like a sawhorse style, made of wood or reinforced metal. If metal is used, try to keep the profile of the downrange mounting bracket as thin as possible. This way a non-angled surface is not an issue being impacted by rounds. Making the mount as stable as possible by spreading the legs out will help the whole system from moving around. A rubber strap or chain connected securely to both the connection of the mounting bracket and target will keep the target in place and prevent sliding.