“I mean, you outta see this thing! It’s incredible”….
As I was explaining to this gentleman that we had a reactive, auto-resetting target that featured not one, not two, but three target faces, he stopped me. With a curious yet confused look on his face, he said “wait, so the targets are made of steel?” …
Where Do I Start?
Not everyone is familiar with steel targets. How they are made, how they function, and most importantly, what type of steel target is best for them. So we decided to create this document that takes you through the steps, one by one. If you’ve been hearing about people shooting steel and having a blast doing it, but don’t know where to start, this guide should help you along your way.
Steel targets are generally made of a special heat treated metal called AR500 steel. The AR stands for Abrasion Resistant, with the 500 being a hardness rating according to the Brinell Test. Scores above 500 experience diminishing returns pretty quickly, so 500 is basically the industry standard.
The reason the steel needs to be heat treated to that level of hardness is pretty obvious- it needs to be able to handle being shot at. Most AR500 steel that is at least ⅜” thick is rated for calibers all the way up to .308, which is pretty impressive.
What Kind of Gun Am I Using?
The easiest way to break this down is the following:
Everything we have is rated for .22, handgun or shotgun. Some of it is rated for rifle as well, but not all of it. It’s important to understand that targets that are only 1/4″ thick are made primarily for handgun usage. Yes, you CAN shoot rifle at it. They won’t like it though. Keep that in mind.
Learning How to Shoot?
Looking for something that is going to allow you to focus on your technique? Sometimes a larger target is exactly what the doctor ordered for those who are still learning. For this situation, we suggest the following steel targets for beginners.
- .22 or Handgun: IPSC Mini or Ground Popper
- Shotgun: Post Popper with Standard Base
- Rifle: 18×24 Rectangle
What Is the Perfect Gift Target?
What do you get the gun girl/guy who has everything? This target is perfect for him or her, and will provide hours of fun. Its compact enough that they can toss it in the back of the car and go, and we have yet to see a single person who does not LOVE shooting at these:
- Handgun or Rifle: Trifecta
What are your MOST FUN Targets?
So if you had to buy just one or two of them, which one will give you the most fun, right out the gate? It’s gotta be either of these two:
Long Distance Targets?
Looking to hone in your long distance skills? We recommend a minimum distance for handguns of 25 yards and for rifles try to be at least 100 yards away. That being said, these are some of our favorite long distance targets for the marksmen and women out there who like a real challenge, in either category.
Defensive Training Targets
If training for a self defense scenario is the goal, then there are a few different self defense targets can use to perfect your skills.
- Handgun: Eliminator (this one is really cool) or IPSC Hostage
- Shotgun: IPSC Reactive
- Rifle: IPSC Reactive
Multiple Target Transition
Moving from target to target is a valuable skill to develop, and for this situation we recommend the following:
Steel Targets for Hunting?
Looking to sharpen your skills before the season opens? Whether it’s Rifle or Shotgun, we have the perfect hunting target for you.
Have some suggestions for our guide? Or maybe have a question that didn’t get answered here? Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right back to you.