3 Factors To Consider When Choosing the Best Targets for Shooting

3 Factors To Consider When Choosing the Best Targets for Shooting


Whether you fire with a rifle, handgun, or shotgun, consistent target shooting is the key to increasing your accuracy and polishing your marksmanship skills. It can be difficult to choose the best targets. It requires you to take several factors into consideration including the objective of the drill, the type of gun that you will be using, and more. To help you make the most of your time at the range, we've put together this guide to help you in selecting the optimum target for shooting.


Factors to Take Into Account When Selecting the Best Shooting Targets


Are you looking to purchase new targets but unsure of where to begin? With so many options, selecting the best shooting targets can be challenging. When selecting shooting targets, you should take into account the following three factors:


1) Choose a Target That Is Right for Your Firearm


Targets can be made from a variety of materials. Using the wrong target with your preferred firearm can lead to one of two problems: First, the bullet can ricochet, endangering you and everyone else around you. Second, a target that hasn't been tested with your specific gun will not be able to handle multiple shots.

The following is a list of the different target materials and the guns that work best with each one:


Steel Targets

 A steel target hooked onto a wooden pole

Credit: Magnum Target


Steel targets are the most resilient and long-lasting, and have recently grown in popularity among novice shooters. Many AR500 steel targets can last almost a lifetime with the right maintenance. Many people prefer using steel targets since they can hear the "plink" and obtain instant confirmation that the shooting target has been struck.

Depending on the range, target thickness, and ammunition used, steel targets can be used for rifle, pistol, or shotgun practice. Because steel targets can create sparks or flying metal pieces, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Paper and Cardboard Targets

 A paper target on a wooden pole

Credit: Envato Elements/ westend61


Despite not being reusable, paper targets have several advantages over steel targets. These targets can be easily attached to target boards and target stands and are less expensive than metal targets. They come in a wide variety of styles, such as silhouette targets, splatter targets, game vital zones targets, bullseye targets, hostage targets, etc, and are great for tactical training and handgun shooting.

Although paper targets are typically single-use, they can be reused by filling bullet holes with tiny adhesive stickers known as shooting target pasters. The best part about paper shooting targets is that since there is no risk of ricochet, they can be used with almost any kind of gun.


Polymer Targets

 A polymer target outside in a sandy ditch

Credit: trango_sys


There are numerous types of polymer targets. Some serve as supports for paper targets and offer shooters a reusable target stand that is roughly the same size and shape as your target. Other polymer targets are just targets; they exist in a variety of sizes and forms and are used for different things.

Some of the more well-liked polymer targets include self-healing targets. These targets can withstand thousands of rounds without breaking or losing substance. They are distinctive because when a bullet goes through, the hole it leaves behind rapidly closes and self-seals. Some polymer targets can withstand up to 10,000 shots. Since polymer targets are so good at absorbing energy and minimizing impact damage, they make excellent reactive targets.

Although many polymer targets are not designed for rigorous training, they are robust, responsive, and even fun to fire. If practicing with a pistol is your primary objective, then these targets are your best bet. They are not intended as shotgun or rifle targets.


Tannerite Targets

 A man at an outside shooting range shooting at tannerite targets

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Tannerite targets are made of powdered aluminum and ammonium nitrate and explode when a bullet strikes them. They are great for long-range shooting practice since you can see and hear the explosion even if you can't hear the bullet hit the target.

The disadvantage of Tannerite-exploding targets is that, if handled improperly, they might start fires. These one-time use targets are also quite expensive and untidy.

Tannerite targets normally do not detonate by rimfire ammo, shotgun slugs, or other smaller rounds. They operate best with a center-fire rifle bullet.


2) Consider Your Motivations for Using the Target

 A person pointing a gun wearing a red hat with his finger on the trigger

Credit: Envato Elements/ microgen


When purchasing shooting targets, take into account your intended use.

If you want to improve your accuracy and handgun skills, consider animal silhouettes or bullseye targets. For realistic training and self-defense training, targets like human silhouettes are excellent. If you’re looking to have fun at the range, consider shooting at steel, Tannerite, polymer, or multiple targets at a time.


3) Consider the Cost of the Shooting Targets

 A man looking through a telescope in an indoor room with targets on the wall

Credit: Envato Elements/ StudioPeace


Paper shooting targets are a good option if you want something inexpensive, but if you shoot frequently, you will need to constantly stock up on them. A steel target, on the other hand, is a more resilient shooting target that can almost last a lifetime, but they are also considerably more expensive.

If you choose to use paper shooting targets, be sure to buy them from a reputable company like EasyShot. You can consider getting the target along with the target stickers to make the most of your time at the range.


The Best Targets for Shooting


Now that you are aware of the criteria to consider while looking for shooting targets, here are 4 targets made of various materials that you might want to think about purchasing:


1)  EasyShot Silhouette Paper Targets


EasyShot targets multi pack of paper silhouette shooting targets

 Credit: EasyShot Targets


EasyShot Targets is considered to be a leader in the shooting target industry. They offer excellently made American targets with outstanding visibility.

You can see where your shots hit even in low light thanks to the neon colors on these 18" by 12" high visibility silhouette paper shooting targets. They serve as the greatest teaching tool for self-defense. For basic training, they come in packs of 25, and for a full day at the range, they come in packs of 150.  These shooting targets are made of heavy-duty, high-quality paper and premium professional ink for a long-lasting shooting experience.


2)  Action Target Dueling Tree Rimfire


A blue and black shooting target tree

 Credit: Action Target


One of the biggest manufacturers of steel targets is Action Target. If you've ever been to a nice indoor range, you've likely used some of their gear.

This rimfire dueling tree has six steel plates that swing when hit, letting you battle with friends all day long without ever having to go down range to reset the target. 

The six reactive paddles, which are composed of 1/4" AR500 armor steel, swing from one side to the other when shot thanks to a forward-leaning center stand. The Rimfire Dueling Tree provides you with consistent outcomes and a satisfying experience each time since the target is gravity reset and doesn't rely on springs or other processes.


3) Casey Birchwood Hexagon Ground Strike


A bright neon yellow Ground Strike Hex

 Credit: Casey Birchwood


Some ground targets aren't fun to shoot because they don't move well after being shot. The Ground Strike Hex most definitely does not belong in this group.

The Hex can withstand heavy use and is rated for all calibers. Its self-sealing material is designed to withstand several rounds without wearing them out. Additionally, although being 6 inches in diameter and simple to hit at greater distances, it is easy to spot thanks to its bright neon yellow color.


4)  2 Pound Tannerite® Extreme Range Target


Tannerite targets in a orange labelled bottle with a white lid

 Credit: Tannerite®


Tannerite® is the industry leader for Tannerite targets. They have spent about 20 years working in the Tannerite industry. The 2ET consists of a single 2-pound target, a mixing container, premeasured catalyst packets, and instructions. If kept dry and at room temperature, the targets can last around ten years. These targets must be 200 yards away from the shooter before firing. Since Tannerite targets can cause explosions and fires, use them with caution.




Target shooting is more enjoyable when the proper type of targets are used. Whatever targets you choose, make sure to abide by the range's safety regulations and always prioritize gun safety. If you want reliable shooting targets that won't let you down, be sure to shop at EasyShot shooting targets.


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