man holding rifle

Can You Shoot AR400 Steel?

Target shooting is an exhilarating hobby for many. While paper targets are the standard, steel targets like AR400 bring a new level of excitement and challenge. The clang of steel as a bullet hits is uniquely satisfying. But can AR400 steel handle the impact of bullets safely and effectively? Scroll down below to find out.

What Is AR400 Steel?


steel metal plate with bullet marks
Credit: Shoot Steel

AR steel, often referred to as an abrasion-resistant steel plate, is a high-tensile strength material known for its toughness, thickness, mechanical properties, and resistance to wear and abrasion. It is tempered from iron and carbon and is commonly used in applications where extreme durability is required, such as in construction equipment, mining machinery, and armored vehicles. The 'AR' in AR400 stands for "Abrasion Resistant," and the 400 indicates the material's Brinell hardness number, which falls in the hardness range of 360-440.

Can You Shoot AR400 Steel?


man aiming gun at shooting target
Credit: Envato Elements/ StudioPeace

Yes, you can shoot AR400 steel targets but however, but there are certain factors that you need to consider. Let's break it down:

1) Distance

Shooting AR400 steel at close range with high-powered ammunition is not advisable. At point-blank range, there's a higher chance of causing damage to the steel and creating dangerous splatter. For safety reasons, maintain a safe shooting distance of at least 10 yards when using handguns, and 100 yards when using rifles.

2) Ammunition Type

The type of ammunition used plays a crucial role. Full metal jacket (FMJ) or lead-cored bullets are generally safer to use on AR400 steel targets compared to armor-piercing or steel-core bullets. Avoid using steel-core ammunition, as it can significantly increase the risk of damaging the target.

3) Angle of Impact

The angle at which the bullets hit the AR400 steel is also important. Shooting at a perpendicular angle is safer than shooting at an angle that might cause bullets to ricochet off the target unpredictably.

Safety Precautions When Using AR400 Steel Plate Targets


rifle on table at gun range
Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFieldStudios

Safety should always be a top priority when shooting, especially when using AR400 steel targets. Here are some essential safety precautions:

1) Inspect the Target

Before shooting, inspect the AR400 steel target for any visible damage, such as cracks or craters. If you notice any defects, do not use the target until it's repaired or replaced.

2) Eye and Ear Protection

Always wear appropriate eye and ear protection when shooting AR400 steel targets. This protective gear will shield you from potential ricochets and excessive noise.

3) Set Up Targets Properly

Ensure that the target is securely and properly anchored. This prevents the target from moving or tipping over upon impact.

Benefits of AR400 Steel Targets


gun targets lined up at gun range
Credit: Envato Elements/ MargJohnsonVA

Now that we've established that shooting AR400 steel can be done safely, let's explore the advantages of using AR400 steel targets:

1) Durability

AR400 steel is exceptionally durable and can withstand thousands of rounds without showing significant wear and tear. This longevity makes it a cost-effective choice for shooters in the long run.

2) Instant Feedback

AR400 steel targets provide instant feedback by producing a satisfying "ping" sound when hit. This feedback enhances your shooting experience and helps improve accuracy.

3) Reduced Maintenance

Unlike paper or cardboard targets that need constant replacement, AR400 steel targets require minimal maintenance. A quick inspection and occasional repainting are usually all that's needed to keep them in top shape.


Shooting AR400 steel targets can be a safe and enjoyable experience when done correctly. By following the guidelines mentioned in this guide, you can ensure both your safety and the longevity of your targets.

For a different shooting experience, consider EasyShot paper shooting targets. With EasyShot, you can practice your marksmanship with ease and precision. Shop with us today!

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