Saturday, July 2, 2016

How to Safely Setup Steel Targets

For firearm enthusiasts, shooting steel targets provides much more satisfaction than shooting other types of materials including paper targets and rubber plates or paddles. Steel targets provide the satisfying sound that lets shooters know their target has been hit and easily outlast every other type of material used to make targets. At XSteel Targets, we use AR500 steel to manufacture our targets, stands and target accessories, due to its ability to withstand thousands of impacts from even the larger caliber rifles. Steel targets are extremely reliable, but many people have serious concerns about shooting steel, so we thought we’d go through some of them here to alleviate misconceptions.

  • The Rounds Bouncing Back – When steel targets are properly set up, projectiles should bounce down, not back. When static targets are set up, they should be slightly tilted forward to force all rebounding shots towards the ground. Once a round has struck the target, bounced down to the ground and continued on, the speed of the projectile should have slowed enough to minimize any risk. You will notice that some fragments end up in your 2x4 or 4x4 wooden posts, so we sell protective plates made of the same AR500 steel material.

  • Staying Far Back from Steel Targets – It’s a good idea to stay far back from any target on a shooting range; even rubber targets can be dangerous if not properly set up. With AR500 steel targets, your distance will depend on what you are shooting. For example, when shooting .45ACP handgun rounds, a minimum distance of 10 yards should be maintained. When shooting the 308Win or AR15, a minimum distance of 100 yards should be maintained to minimize any risk of injury.

  • AR500 Steel Targets are Expensive – Have you seen our prices? Modern technology has made manufacturing AR500 steel targets extremely affordable and buying steel targets is an investment that, depending on how often they are used, can last for years. We also use CNC machining to cut our steel targets, which is faster, much more accurate and allows the steel to maintain its integrity. Buying AR500 steel targets also means you will be buying fewer targets.

  • I Don’t Need Steel Targets – Yes, you do. Using AR500 steel targets is the best way to monitor and improve accuracy. Applying a coat of spray paint to your steel targets allows you to see how your groupings are improving by focusing on separate sections of a single target. Using steel targets allows you to adjust your technique or equipment without constantly setting up new paper targets or buying new rubber targets that can only withstand a minimal amount of high impacts. 

We have been manufacturing and using AR500 steel targets for years and have designed our targets, stands and accessories to provide the safest, most reliable shooting experience on the market. When our stands are properly set up and proper distances are maintained, these targets should provide years of safe use as you improve your accuracy with each shot. What are your experiences with shooting steel targets? Share your thoughts below!


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