Monday, October 17, 2016

Why You Shouldn’t Shoot DIY Targets

It can be tempting to take household items out to your gun range and start firing away. But, one of the most important rules of gun range safety is to only shoot approved targets. There is no way to predict how DIY targets will respond upon impact and dangerous ricochets can cause serious injury and even death. Now, if you head out to the country to shoot milk jugs full of water, that’s probably fine and won’t cause anyone any harm. But going to the garage to take an old lawn mower engine apart and firing at its components is never a good idea. Even from a safe distance, target stands can be damaged and metal fragments will fly in every direction. That’s why we only recommend shooting steel targets specially designed to reduce the dangerous ricochets caused by high-powered ammunition and the targets themselves.

It’s possible to cut your own targets or your local welder may offer to cut you targets in a shape and size that resembles professionally made steel targets. While their intentions may be pure, they likely don’t have the knowledge necessary to understand how various calibers will affect different materials. If your local welder is using plasma torches to cut their targets, this will greatly increase the heat affected zone (HAZ) around the edges of the targets. This compromises the integrity of the metal which causes premature cracking that can lead to dangerous fractures and ricochets. Even with higher grade medals including steel plating, your local welder can unnecessarily weaken the medal using inferior techniques. We only use AR100, AR200 and AR500 steel for all of our targets and CNC lasers for cutting to ensure they maintain their durable structure throughout. Even though our targets are able to withstand thousands of rounds, it’s important to maintain a safe distance at all times.

DIY targets may seem like a great way to save money, but they can also cause serious injury to even experienced firearms enthusiast. The only way to ensure you stay safe at all times on the gun range is only shooting steel targets designed for the firearm you are using at the recommended distance. Since our steel targets are extremely affordable, there’s no reason to use questionable household objects or targets made from inferior materials that will cause unpredictable ricochets. So, stay safe out there on the gun range and only use approved XSteel Targets AR100, AR200 and AR500 steel targets.

Share your gun range safety tips and stories in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!