Video: Learning To Shoot Your Steel Target The Right Way


Follow these simple tips and you get the most out of your steel target, without putting yourself in peril.

For self-defense training, it’s difficult to outdo a steel target. Giving you instant visual and audible feedback when you hit, you know you’re on target without ever having to slow up or halt the drill you’re working on. One might call that indispensable.

Valuable as they might be, there are some important nuances in working with steel target. They’re not hang-and-bang affairs, like their paper cousins. Similar to everything involved with shooting, safety is a key concern when it comes to shooting steel. Neglect this and you can easily find yourself in a world of hurt.

In particular, there are four areas you need to be concerned with if you shoot steel:

  • Shooting the appropriate type of steel — for handguns, at least AR500 through hardened
  • Shooting from a safe distance to avoid bullet splatter
  • Ensuring the target is angled or moves, also to divert bullet fragments
  • Ensuring there aren’t pockmarks on the surface which might divert a bullet back at you

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Additionally, if you happen to invest in your very own steel target you must maintain it. This might sound funny, upkeep of something you pitch bullets at. But again, it’s a safety precaution. Specifically, you must get into the habit of regularly painting your target. While AR500 steel is strong enough to withstand repeated blows from the most powerful handguns, it’s pervious to water, which leads to rust. Given enough time, corrosion weakens the steel making it more likely to crack or pit. In either case, it can render the target dangerous or useless.

Though, if you take care of your steel target, it can prove extremely long-lived and highly economical. This is especially true if you happen to shoot a lot. Even if you don’t, there’s perhaps no more enjoyable way to sharpen your skills.

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