If you're planning some trigger time you need to consider what you'll pitch rounds toward. Here's everything you need to know about shooting targets and then some!
What You Need To Consider When Buying A Shooting Target:
- Material best suited to your style of shooting.
- Their longevity — are they one-time use or will you get years out of one.
- The type of target that will enhance your style of shooting.
Never has there been a wider, more diverse and more useful selection of shooting targets available, no matter what gun or discipline happens to be your passion. From precision sight-in options to “dial your riflescope way up” options, to AR500 steel monsters made for the long haul, you have everything you need to satiate your itchy trigger finger and sharpen your skills. With the wealth of shooting targets out there today, the only question really is: Which one is right for you?
The answer, as always when it comes to guns and gear, is “It depends…” If it’s purely pleasure principle, then nearly anything that turns your fancy will do. However, if you aim at something greater, such a skill improvement, then picking your target requires some consideration.
Shooting Target Material
As most know, targets are made from different materials. The four most commonly used are:
- Paper or cardboard
As is usually the case with different materials, each excels at different tasks and flounder at others. In turn, what your target is made of should match up with what you plan to do when you go shooting. Here’s a brief rundown of what each material is good and bad at achieving.
Paper: As the most familiar target material, paper continues as one of the most versatile. An excellent medium for tracking shot groups, it’s a top choice if you need to adjust your sights or scope, or if you need to tally a score in a competitive shooting match. Plain paper targets, at distance, can prove difficult to inspect with the naked eye. However, modern reactive chip targets – where hits create vivid halos on their surface – make them easier to read. Only clays have less longevity than paper shooting targets; however, in most cases, neither will break the bank.
Steel: Gaining more popularity among everyday shooters in recent decades, steel targets are the most durable and longest lasting. With proper care, many AR500 steel targets last nearly a lifetime. Excellent for training, steel shooting targets provide instant auditory feedback when struck – a sound you’ll grow to love. Furthermore, there are a variety of reactive targets made from steel that not only increase the enjoyment of shooting, but they also up the challenge. The drawback to steel targets is many of the larger ones are fairly unwieldy and are a hassle to move around. What’s more, steel costs more up front … but don’t let that make you think they’re not economical over the long haul.
Clay: If you’re a shotgun shooter, you know clay targets. Chances are good that you shoot them when you aren’t shooting birds. While they’re the dominant target in shotgun games, clays are sometimes found downrange from pistols and rifles, generally as a bit of fun. You definitely know when you hit these brittle targets because they break up or evaporate into a cloud of dust. And therein lies their drawback: Clays are absolutely one-time use.
Polymer: Designed to allow a bullet to pass through with minimal damage, polymer targets typically have a decent lifespan. However, they won’t last forever. Predominantly, polymers are used in ground targets – three-dimensional targets that rest on the ground – because they require some sort of backstop. This style of target, however, proves great fun, since they’ll jump like a frog in hot water when hit.
Types Of Shooting Targets
Given the variety of shooting target styles available today, it would take a multi-volume book to catalog them all. But that’s alright, because many of them cater to specific shooters with specific interests and goals.
That said, it’s safe to break down the types of shooting targets into a few different categories to get an idea of what's available. By no means are these definitive: Many of the targets bleed over into other categories. But, in general, this gives you an idea of what you might look for to achieve certain goals the next time you’re fixing to burn some ammo.
Certainly, accuracy is always the top goal when you send a bullet flying … otherwise, what’s the challenge? And there are definitely shooting targets that are adept at improving and evaluating how well you hit the mark. Two of the most common are bullseye and sight-in. The former is perhaps the best-known shooting target and is excellent for new marksmen. It’s ideal for refining a sight picture and learning where to hold, as well as honing the mechanics of making an accurate shot – breathing, trigger control, etc. As a staple of riflemen, the latter is a must-have for zeroing in a scope – as its “sight-in target” name suggests. With a grid laid out across its surface, the target gives you the ability to appraise your groups and adjust your optic’s aim point.
Occasionally, immediate or specific feedback is required to drill down a shooting skill. In turn, a target that lets you know you’re on the mark soon after the trigger is pulled is required. Steel shooting targets are the most familiar variety, with their sweet “Ping!” ringing out when you’ve made a hit. Ideal for rapid fire-training with a handgun or carbine, or for long-range shooting, a good piece of steel gives you the feedback you need.
Here at EasyShot Targets we have the best shooting targets that money can buy. Check out our targets that can be found here. We promise you won’t be disappointed! Go out and buy yourself some shooting targets today!