Steel Targets for Shooting: Benefits and Safety Rules

The majority of shooters shoot paper plates, paper targets, and cardboard; however, shooting steel targets is a fun choice to think about. But, when opting for steel targets, it is important to know the kind of targets available and significant differences in steel metals and compositions.

Reasons for Shooting Steel Targets

Quality steel targets are quick and easy to set up. Also, they can be quickly shot at until you no longer have ammo or when you are tired. You only need to put one end of the 2”x4” in your tension mount at the top and the other end in the stand’s bottom. And once you attach the target to the mount with a carriage bolt and wing nut, you are good to go.

Steel targets allow you to have more practice time in a given session since you don’t have to pause to replace or repair targets. But steel targets for shooting are not made equal. Repeated impacts can deform anything softer than AR500 and AR550 steel. Both steels feature a combination of hardness and strength.

It is important to keep in mind that every shooter shoots steel targets at their own risk. You must expect some splatter errantly coming back toward you. However, this risk is often low and when it happens, you will be protected against injury if you wear proper eye protection and clothing.

Must-Follow Procedures for Steel Target Shooting

When shooting steel targets, make sure to follow the following safety rules:

  • Never use just any steel for targets. Steel targets are safe for shooting but only those made to careful specifications. They have a certain thickness and are made from hardened steel designed to handle bullet impact. Only shoot steel that is hard enough to destroy the bullet on impact. Consider using certified AR500 steel for your targets.
  • Know your steel target rating. You need different targets for rifles and pistols. Some targets may be for standard pistol or rimfire calibers only. Others are rated for specific rifle calibers. Ensure you know what you are using to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • Keep an eye on the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe shooting distances. Follow these guidelines for your own safety. If they say you should not shoot your pistol targets from closer than 15 years, then do not do it.
  • Don’t use a damaged target. Whether you see signs of pitting, cracking, or cratering on your target, throw it in the trash. It is not safe for shooting.

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