The Best Shooting Steel Targets

Birchwood Casey World Of Targets Handgun Dueling Tree

If handgun shooting is your focus, a high-quality dueling tree is a good option. Birchwood Casey offers one of the most affordable and convenient models.

This model has six AR500 steel paddles which swing to the opposite side when hit. It gives you visual and auditory feedback, making it great for the single and dual competitive shooter. It can be utilized simultaneously by two users.

The unit assembles without any tools and comes with its target stand. So it’s easy to set up, but you might have difficulty leaving it!

The Best Shooting Steel Targets

Below, we've compiled a list of the most durable, high performance, and consistently customer-loved arrows on the market. Each product has been outlined for its comparative performance benefits and high action potential.

Shoot Steel ½-Inch AR550 Gong Bundle

Gongs are a great place to start if you’re looking to get into steel shooting targets. But it’s more fun to have more than one at which to shoot.

The Shoot Steel AR500 Gong Bundle is a great starter pack and versatile. The metal shooting targets are thick enough for rifles up to .338 Win. or Lapua Mag. You can also shoot them with pistols from 10 yards or more significantly.

Range Time AR500 IPDA/ IPSC Silhouette Steel Target Pack

Consider that you are interested in improving your defensive abilities or honing your long-range shooting skills. If this is the case, then you absolutely need to include silhouette targets in your collection of targets. Because they are constructed from AR500 steel, they are both tough and long-lasting, allowing for multiple uses. In addition, this two-pack gives you the ability to simultaneously engage multiple targets and dangers, making it a great deal overall.

The steel targets are a realistic size and built to last. They come in two different thicknesses, 3/8-inch or ½-inch. The targets are also available for pistols or high-powered rifles.

Champion Center Mass AR500 Pop-Up Target

Steel targets that fall over when you shoot them are some of the simplest and most satisfying ones. They give instant feedback on your shooting, letting you know how well you did. The best ones are the ones that set themselves back up, and Champion offers an economical option with its Center Mass Pop-up.

The pop-up target is quickly set back in place by a strong spring. It is available in two sizes: 14″x4″ and 20″x6″. The 3/8-inch thick AR500 steel target is perfect for pistol shooting.

Magnum Targets Steel Hostage Reactive IDPA

The steel hostage and chest flappers make the traditional silhouette more fun and exciting. They also make it more useful for drills. The steel target is ideal for improving your self-defense skills.

The 12″ x 22″ silhouette can take a lot of punishment from most defensive calibers. It is made from 3/8-inch AR500 steel, which means it can also handle some rifle calibers as long as the bullet doesn’t have too much energy when it hits. Shooting at this target is a lot of fun!

Steel Targets: Everything You Need To Know

Steel targets are an excellent way to hone your shooting techniques. Steel targets give you immediate feedback on your shots and are easier to clean up than paper targets. When choosing steel targets, you need to consider several things, such as the type of steel, the thickness, and the shooting distance.

What Kind of Steel for Shooting Targets

Different types of steel can be used to make shooting targets. AR500 and AR550 steel are two types that are often used. AR400 steel is suitable for low-powered rifle rounds, and AR550 steel is better for high-powered rifle rounds. AR500 steel plates with a thickness of 3/8″ are the most frequently used steel type for shooting targets.

The steel used for shooting targets must be durable enough to withstand bullet impact without being harmed. “AR500” refers to steel with a Brinell hardness rating of 500 or higher. The industry standard for determining the hardness of steel is the Brinell test.

What Are Steel Targets Made of

Steel targets are made of a type of steel that is strong and can take a lot of abuse. The steel is mixed with other elements to make it even stronger. The target is then heated and cooled, so it becomes very hard. Two types of steel are used to make targets: AR500 and AR550.

How Thick Should Steel Targets Be

The thickness of steel targets is determined by the type of ammunition fired. Low-velocity ammunition will only require a 1/4-inch thick steel target. In comparison, larger handgun and rifle rounds require a 3/8-inch thick steel target. Higher velocity or magnum rifle rounds may need a 1/2-inch wide steel target to shoot safely.

The distance you shoot the steel targets will also determine the thickness and steel hardness you need. The further away you are, the less damage the rounds will do to the target.

How Far Away To Shoot Steel Targets

You should shoot rimfire pistols, rifles, centerfire handguns, and shotgun shots at 10 yards or more. When shooting centerfire rifles, shotguns, slugs, or big-bore rifles, you should be 100 yards or more away from the target. Depending on the steel’s quality and thickness, you can only shoot at a target from a certain distance.

How Close Can You Shoot Steel Targets

When shooting at steel targets rated for rimfire or centerfire handguns, they can shoot as close as 10 yards safely. When shooting at steel targets rated for centerfire or big bore rifles, you can safely shoot as close to 100 yards.

However, it is essential to remember that shooting steel is never 100% safe. You should always stay within the recommended distances and use targets rated for your gun type. This will help to ensure that you never have an issue.

What Size Steel Target for Pistol

For pistol shooting at 10 yards, a 6″ AR500 3/8″ thick steel target is the best size. If shooting at 25 yards or greater, an 8″, 10″, or 12″ steel target is a better size. It is a good idea to start with larger targets and then move to smaller ones when training with a pistol.

What Size Steel Target for 100 Yards

A steel target that is 10″ in diameter is the best size to shoot at 100 yards. If you can shoot 1 MOA or less, then a 6″ or 4″ target is good. For pistol shooting, a steel target that is 20″ or larger in diameter is better.

What Size Steel Target for 1000 Yards

A square steel target measuring 18″ by 18″ is ideal for shooting at 1000 yards. Use a 10″ gong at the very least because 10″ at 1000 yards is 1 MOA. A 20″ by 20″ square or larger should be used by beginning shooters at 1000 yards, and as they get better, smaller targets can be added.

Do Steel Targets Ricochet

Steel targets are made to bounce a bullet back after it is hit. This happens when the target can move or swing after being hit or if it is mounted at a downward angle. Any pits, indents, or imperfections on the steel surface could cause the bullet to ricochet in an unwanted direction.

Using the correct type of steel for your shooting is essential. Too mild steel could send dangerous ricochets back at the shooter or bystanders. Ensure the steel target is hung or mounted correctly to avoid this.

How To Hang Steel Targets

To hang steel targets, you can use a 2×4 or EMT frame. Connecting the steel targets to the frame can be done with chains, rubber straps, or steel target hangers. The steel targets must be mobile for bullet deflection to be done safely.

How To Mount Steel Targets

Target mounting brackets are the most popular method for mounting steel targets to a 24 or T-post. For the bullets to deflect in a safe direction, the bracket is mounted onto a 2×4 or T-post, and the target is attached to the bracket at the proper angle.

How To Angle Steel Targets

When using a steel target, it is essential to angling it downwards so that the shrapnel and bullets hit the ground instead of shooting people. This can be done by mounting the target at a 20-degree angle or more significant. If your target is mounted on a post or hanger, make sure that the post or hanger is installed at an angle so that the target will be angled in a safe direction.

What To Shoot Steel Targets With

The best ammo to shoot steel targets with is frangible ammo. This ammo type disintegrates upon impact, which helps limit shrapnel and ricochet. Another popular ammo type for steel targets is FMJ. Avoid using armor-piercing, steel core, or green-tip ammunition when shooting steel targets because they can do more damage. Although frangible ammo is best for hitting steel targets, it can sometimes be a bit more expensive and challenging to find.

Don’t use armor piercing, steel core, or green tip ammo when shooting at steel targets. These types of ammo can cause dangerous ricochets and shrapnel. Plus, they can damage your targets.

Can You Shoot FMJ at Steel Targets

You can safely shoot FMJ ammo at steel targets if the targets are angled 20 degrees downward or can swing when hit. Most FMJ ammunition has a soft lead core and a copper or synthetic jacket that will fragment upon impact with steel. Never fire a steel-core shot at steel targets.

The safest way to shoot steel targets is when the target is stationary and angled 20 degrees downwards. If the target swings, it is also safe to attack, but be careful that you don’t get hit with shrapnel if the target swings back toward you after you’ve shot at it.

Can You Shoot Steel Targets With 22LR

If the steel target can swing or is angled downward at a 20-degree angle, you can shoot it with a 22LR at distances greater than 10 yards. However, it is not advised to use 22LR ammunition for steel shooting if the bullet velocity is less than 400 feet per second.

Nothing beats the sound of bullets hitting targets. Here is what you need to know and what guns to buy for years of shooting enjoyment.

Why Should You Buy A Steel Target?

The sound of a hit lets you know if you’re on target.

Some targets can be used for both pistols and rifles.

With proper care, steel targets will last a long time.

If you shoot regularly, they’re less expensive per trigger pull.

Honestly, steel targets are more fun to shoot than most other things.

Steel targets are very addictive to shoot at. Once you hear the sound of the lead hitting the steel, you will want to shoot more and more. If the steel target bug bites you, don’t worry. You are not alone.

Steel targets have been a place for bullets to hit for a long time. People have started using steel targets more recently because they are very cheap in the long run. Steel targets come in different shapes and sizes and can be exciting to use at a shooting range.

There are many different types of shooting targets to choose from. Choosing the right one for you can be difficult. However, we have discovered five fantastic steel targets that are both practical and enjoyable. Before we get to those, let’s consider why you might want to invest in a shooting target.

Advantages of Steel Targets

Many people think it doesn’t matter what kind of target you use when you are shooting. You can use a Redfield sighting-in target or any other kind of target. But some people also think it matters where your bullet goes once it is shot.

True Enough

Steel targets are good for practice, no matter what you want to improve. But if you look into it more, you’ll find they have advantages over other targets.


The sound of pounding steel targets is both pleasant and practical. The sound gives you instant feedback that you’re hitting the target. If you’re shooting a rapid-fire sequence, the sound will tell you if you’re on target. Choose reactive steel targets to get extra confirmation that you’re hitting the target.


If you want to shoot pistols and rifles at targets, you should buy the right steel targets in the correct sizes. They are easy to configure when you have many, and you can make a challenging course of fire.


Even if you use a lot of masking tape or posters, paper and cardboard targets do not last very long. A shooting session or two is usually the most they can handle. However, if you take care of a steel target, it can last for years.


You pay more initially, but steel targets last a long time. If you shoot a lot, the paper target will not last as long as steel targets. Shooting paper targets cost $35 for 100 and only last a year or less—steel targets cost around the same price as last year.


Some think steel targets are more enjoyable to shoot than other targets. It is subjective, but it can be fun to shoot at steel targets that react when you hit them.

Choosing Steel Targets

You should consider some things before deciding to buy steel targets. You must ensure that you are receiving good value for your money.

If you are shooting most calibers above a .22 LR, you must buy AR500 or AR550 steel targets.

AR500 steel plate is a type of steel that is very strong and can take a lot of damage. It is used for body armor because it can stop bullets from certain guns.

Next, it helps to figure out what type of shooting you will do the most. This way, you can save money by not buying a target that is too big or thick. For example, if you are only going to shoot at targets from 10 yards away with your 9mm, then you don’t need a target that is 17 inches tall and half an inch thick.

You should also consider the type of mounting target systems you will require for the target. The greater the objective, the more resources it will need and the more money you will have to devote to achieving it. However, if you intend to shoot at targets 1000 yards away, investing in a larger and stronger target may be worthwhile.

To learn more about steel targets, click here.

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