Not very long ago, Shooting Steel with Handguns targets required membership in a gun club or a visit to a fancy range. Steel targets are now considerably more inexpensive and portable. There’s a reason why so many shooters are purchasing their own. Stapling up targets and pasting holes takes a lot of time, and few of us want to squander at the range.
Steel targets are also helpful for training since they provide instant auditory and visual feedback. There are, nevertheless, specific rules to follow while shooting steel targets with handguns. Before we get into the rules, you need to know why you should hit steel targets.
Why Should You Shoot Steel Targets?
We like shooting at friendly steel targets because they can be rapidly set up and fired at until you run out of ammunition or tire. Place one end of the 2′′x4′′ in your tension mount at the top and the other end at the bottom of the stand. A carriage bolt and wing nut secure the target to the peak. You’re ready to go.
Because there is no break to replace or repair targets, you may obtain more practice time in a given session with steel targets. Steel targets, on the other hand, are not all made equal.
With repeated impact, anything softer than AR500 and AR550 steel may bend. However, AR500, for example, preserves its flat shape even after extensive usage, ensuring that bullets shatter entirely and evenly.
Recognize that firing at scrap steel metal or other softer, non-heated steel targets might result in unexpected effects and unwanted ricochets. People shoot steel for a variety of reasons, all of which are good and we believe it’s plain fun, and we adore its “ring” sound.
Here are some of some reasons for shooting steel targets:
- Obtain immediate confirmation of target hit or miss.
- Visual feedback and audio “ring” sound
- Steel targets survive thousands of hits; for handgun usage, perhaps a lifetime, bullets bounce off or vaporize upon contact with heat-treated, hardened steel.
- There are no paper target holes to fix or cover.
- There will be no regular travel downrange to change targets.
- Is unaffected by rain, wind, or other weather conditions
- Fast target changes – quick spray with low-cost spray paint
- Simple to build and transport/portable
- Made in the United States
- Exciting to shoot!
Rules To Follow When Shooting Steel Targets With Handguns:
The Right Kind Of Hard:
The right kind of hard steel is an alloy of iron and other metals—the qualities of the composition change when the composition is altered. Steel targets should be high-quality, thoroughly hardened – not surface hardened – steel with a minimum Brinell hardness (BHN) of 500 to be safe and practical for use with pistols.
The ability to retain a flat surface and produce predictable bullet dispersion depends on hardness. Soft steel targets will form craters and eventually resemble the moon’s surface. Steel targets with curved surfaces may cause bullets to bounce in any direction, even back at you.
Flat Surface Is Best:
Steel targets with absolutely flat surfaces and no noticeable brackets, clamps, or bolts are the best. While bolts and brackets on the target face are not ideal, they may be safe to fire if the target is engineered to move as the bullet impacts it.
Steel targets that move on contact and have their faces angled downward are two other methods to make them safe to fire, particularly at close ranges. A moving target absorbs energy and redirects bullet spatter, while targets with an angled face drive bullet splatter virtually straight down.
Pick The Right Ammo:
When shooting steel with a pistol, most manufacturers suggest staying no closer than 10 yards away. That is an excellent rule of thumb to remember. However, the bullets you use to fire steel are essential as well.
Low-velocity lead bullets are unsuitable for steel, and steel should never be shot with a BB gun. Frangible bullets are the best for shooting steel.
However, frangible ammo is not inexpensive. The next best choice is standard jacketed bullets, while the polymer-encapsulated bullets used in Federal Syntech ammunition function well.
Steel pistol targets might get you in trouble if you shoot them with a rifle. If they are through-hardened AR500 or AR550 steel, they may be fired with a rifle safely if the distance is at least 100 yards and the weapon’s muzzle velocity is less than 3000 fps.
Allow no idiots to use your targets or play on your range, and examine the face of steel targets before each shooting session. Also, while shooting steel targets at any distance, remember to use suitable safety eyewear.
Steel targets are very adaptable. Spray paint them in whatever pattern or color you like, and even alternate colors to improve training circumstances. The most significant advantage of steel is the time it saves on the range and the rapid response it provides.
It is popular with new shooters and adolescents, and you will also like it. And, if you want to keep your steel targets on the range, the only maintenance they will need is yearly bolt tightening and painting.
The PT Hostage Target from Action Target is our favorite steel target for handguns. It comprises a three-foot platform, an angled 13″ x 24″ torso target, and a swinging head plate that measures six inches. It is likewise constructed of 3/8-inch AR550 armor steel.
Handguns are safe at 10 yards, and rifles are safe at 100 yards. You may move it around the range or quickly transfer it to the field. It is just 57 pounds. It may seem a little pricy at $350, but we have four of them that have been living outdoors for a decade or more and have been shot hundreds of times. They still function as well as they did when they were new.