Best Shooting Targets: For Rifle & Pistol Range – 2018
Shooting targets are to marksmanship what punching bags are to boxing.
Imagine a world where boxers would practice by punching each other’s faces bloody every day?
Imagine the same scenario for shooting…as a hunter, you would have to wait until you are facing the boar or deer to learn how to shoot at a target accurately.
The shooting target is a stand-in for whatever you will be shooting at when you are not practicing. Shooting targets are a tangible, practical, direct method a marksman can use to improve his or her skill.
But finding the best shooting target is not an easy thing. And that’s why I have compiled this list of 8 great shooting targets and reviewed them for you.
What is a Shooting Range Target?
Targets have been around for centuries. Even in ancient days, warriors would practice their shooting skills by aiming at bull’s-eyes with their bows and arrows. Fast forward to the present, and the same concept has been taken and applied to the firearm.
Whether pistol, rifle, airsoft gun or BB gun, it does not matter – you can fire at a shooting target while using any one of these.
Shooting range targets are used to help marksmen improve their shooting skills. If you can hit the bull’s-eye consistently several times, it indicates your superior ability as a shooter. It implies that you have learned and mastered three essential skills: trigger control, sight alignment, and precision.
Just as the boxer practices with the punching bag in preparation for bouts with fellow boxers, so too a marksman practices with a shooting target in preparation for when accuracy and quickness may be a life-and-death factor – for instance when you go hunting big, dangerous game.
Shooting targets come in different sizes. Whether the target is big or small does not affect its usefulness – big and small, both are equally useful, depending on individual situation.
For instance, when you want to improve your shooting skill by attempting something difficult, it’s best to choose a small shooting target. The small target will be hard to hit, and for that reason, the more you hit it, the more your confidence and sureness increase. Otherwise, most people go for the bigger or medium-sized shooting targets.
The material also differs. Some targets consist of sturdy paper, others flimsy paper. And for some, it’s steel. Again, it depends on your situation, especially financially. However, I must add that thin, flimsy paper is the worst kind of material since it will rip after a while.
8 Best Shooting Range Target Reviews:
1. Splatterburst Targets 8-Inch Adhesive “Stick & Splatter” Reactive Shooting Target:
If you are looking for the best shooting target, look up Splatterburst Targets, a renowned brand which deals in gun targets. The rifle target I am presently reviewing is of the “stick and splatter” variety. What this means is that when you fire at your gun target, the bullet hole splatters, making your shots visible from long distances.
For instance, this particular rifle target has a black background. And your bullet holes cause yellow splatters. You can see the bright, yellow bullet holes even in dim lighting. You can see them without using binoculars or spotting scopes. If you have reduced vision, this is the best shooting target for you.
As you continue to shoot for an extended period, the yellow splatters form a pattern that can help you see how consistent you are.
It also enables you to figure out if you are biased towards the right, left, upwards, or downwards, and adjust your aim to improve your ability to hit the bull’s-eye.
You can use this target for a broad range of activities. For instance, you can use it for target practice, self-defense, shooting competitions, and concealed carry training. It is indeed one of the best rifle targets available.
- High visibility splatter target which makes it easy for you to view the shots from a distance
- You can instantly see your shots burst bright fluorescent yellow upon impact
- New “Stick and Splatter” high-strength adhesive target which sticks to almost anything at any temperatures
- Each target has 19 cover-up patches per target for more shooting
- Ultimate target for all firearms and calibers including airsoft, BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles, and shotguns
- Perfect for shooting indoors or outdoors, short range or long range
- Patent pending – Made in the USA
2. B-29 Shooting Target Official NRA Police Silhouette:
Every aspiring marksman’s goal is to get to the level where they can shoot accurately at pistol targets from long distances. However, this skill does not come easily, and one has to work extremely hard to attain the levels of mastery.
One way to accelerate your ability is by practicing with small pistol targets at close range. And this B-29 shooting target is just the thing you need to take your skill to the next level. This training method is especially efficacious for pistol marksmanship.
Using this pistol target will help you master trigger control, sight alignment, and precision. You will see how using this target will dramatically improve your accuracy.
At 14 by 22 inches, the target is much smaller than typical gun targets. But if improving your accuracy is what you are after, this is the best pistol target for you. You will also be pleased to know that the paper isn’t of the thin, flimsy variety that tends to tear up when the bullets hit it. What you get instead is thick paper that will last.
- 50-feet reduction from B-27
- Made in the USA
- 14 x 22 inches
- Includes scoring chart
3. Splatterburst Targets 12 x 18 Inch Silhouette Reactive Shooting Target:
Not only is this a great rifle target, but it is also ideal for use with all types of firearms and calibers – such as pellet guns, BB guns, airsoft guns, air rifles, and shotguns.
You can use it if you are shooting indoors, and you can use it if you are shooting outdoors. And whether you are shooting long or short range does not matter – it will serve you well in both instances.
Being a product from Splatterburst Targets, it is a splatter target. Your bullet holes burst into a bright, fluorescent yellow when you fire on the target. Viewing them from long ranges won’t be a problem.
The bright yellow is fluorescent and has visibility. Even when the lighting is dim, your eyes can pick out the vivid color with ease. And if you have reduced vision, it will be easier for you to see your bullet holes with this target than with other rifle targets.
And don’t worry about the paper ripping when you fire at it. The heavy duty non-adhesive tagboard will withstand several shots, enabling the target to last long.
- Made in the USA – Patent Pending
- Perfect for all firearms and calibers, including airsoft, pellet guns, BB guns, air rifles, and shotguns
- Ideal for long range and short range shooting, indoor and outdoor shooting
- High visibility splatter targets
- Bright yellow bullet holes visible in all light conditions
- Heavy duty non-adhesive tagboard that can withstand shot after shot
- You can instantly see your shots burst bright fluorescent yellow upon impact
4. Caldwell Rimfire Resetting Target:
If you want an interactive shooting experience, this Caldwell Rimfire Resetting Target will give you that. Caldwell Shooting Supplies is another excellent brand in the shooting gear industry. You can expect durability, quality, and versatility from this target.
Due to its portability, you can easily take it with you when you go target shooting in the outdoors. It will make your target practice tons of fun.
Some rifle targets are made of weak material. After a short while of firing at them, they begin to show signs of wear and tear.
However, this Caldwell Shooting Target is made of sterner stuff: steel, to be precise. With its steel construction, you can rely on it for lasting durability.
- Made of sturdy heavy duty steel
- Includes 2.5-inch shooting spots; additional can be purchased separately
- Ideal for rimfire
- Resetting target
- 16.8 inches wide by 22.5 inches high by 1.8 inches deep
5. Splatterburst Targets 25-Pack, 12-Inch Multi Bull’s-eye Shooting Target:
This Splatterburst shooting target enables you to see your bullet holes immediately after the impact of your shot. That’s because when your shot finds its target, it bursts bright, fluorescent yellow. Since you can view the yellow from afar, you won’t have to keep walking up and down the range to check if you have hit the target.
This makes it an ideal target for you if you have a problem with reduced vision. It will also work well when you are shooting at night, when the lighting in your environment may be extremely dim. Where other targets are useless due to lack of visibility, this one will continue to be visible.
And if you are looking for something sturdy that can withstand hard shooting from you, this target is it. It has a heavy duty non-adhesive tagboard that will withstand shot after shot. Due to this sturdiness, you can rely on the target to last.
The target will give you excellent service well in any of the following activities: target practice, concealed carry training, shooting competitions, and self-defense.
- Made in the USA
- You can instantly view your shots burst bright, fluorescent yellow upon impact
- High visibility splatter targets
- Bright, yellow bullets visible in all light conditions
- Heavy duty non-adhesive tagboard withstands shot after shot
- Perfect for all firearms and calibers including BB guns, airsoft guns, pellet guns, air rifles, and shotguns
6. Splatterburst Targets 12 x 18 Inch Shooting Target:
This is yet another product from Splatterburst Targets. If you want to improve your shooting technique and accuracy, you must practice often, and this target will provide you with the ability to do so as well.
On impact with the target, the shots burst bright, fluorescent yellow. This comes in handy when you are training for long-range shooting. The bright yellow color is visible from long distances.
Once you purchase this target, gone are the days of walking up and down the range to see where you have hit – instead, you can track your progress without moving a muscle (except the finger that squeezes the trigger).
Just as important as visibility is the durability of your new target. The last thing you want is to purchase a shooting target made of flimsy material which will give way to wear and tear and stress after a few days of use. This Splatterburst Targets product is the opposite – the heavy duty non-adhesive tag board is built to withstand shot after shot.
- You can easily view your shots from a distance
- Heavy duty non-adhesive tag board can withstand many shots
- One-inch grids make sighting easy
- Ideal for use with all firearms. These include airsoft, BB guns, air rifles, pellet guns, and shotguns
- Made in the USA
7. EasyShot Targets 18 x 12 Inch150 Free Repair Silhouette Shooting Target:
If you are wondering what gift you can buy a gun-crazed loved one, don’t pass up this target. It has the features that buyers often go after.
For instance, thanks to the high-contrast blue and red colors, the target is easy to see from long ranges. This makes picking out your mark and seeing where you hit the target considerably easy.
It’s also easier to spot your bullet holes. For that reason, you can improve your scores and have tighter groups of bullet holes as your accuracy and consistency increase with improved visibility.
The target comprises premium grade paper sheet that has four multiple zone targets. As a result, you get more shots per every sheet.
- Easy to see shot placement
- High-contrast blue and red make it easier to pick out your mark to see where you hit
- Premium grade paper sheet with four multi-zone targets to give your more sheets per sheet-18 x 12 inches
- Works well with all types of firearms: pistols, airsoft guns, pellet guns, rifles, and shotguns
- Perfect for shooting both indoors and outdoors as well as both long range and short range
8. Splatterburst Targets 18 x 24 Inch Triple Silhouette Reactive Shooting Target:
This is the last of our shooting target reviews, and it is yet another product from the brand Splatterburst Targets. The most distinguishing feature is the bright, fluorescent yellow which appears on the target every time a shot finds the surface of your shooting target.
Since the color is so bright and vivid, you can see the shot with greater clarity than what you get with other rifle targets. Consequently, you don’t have to waste an excess of your time in checking the target when you are shooting.
You no longer have to walk downrange to take a look at your shots. From a distance away, you can tell if you hit it or you didn’t. You can also view them when you are in a dimly lit environment or if you have reduced vision.
And for durability, you can rely on the heavy-duty, non-adhesive tagboard to absorb shot after shot.
It doesn’t matter which type of firearm you use. This target will accommodate them all: BB guns, airsoft guns, air rifles, pellet guns, and shotguns. It will also serve you well when practicing in an indoor shooting area or in the outdoors. It will help you improve your shooting accuracy whether you are training for short range or long range shooting.
- You can instantly see your shots as they burst bright, fluorescent yellow upon impact
- Bright, yellow bullet holes visible in all light conditions
- Heavy duty non-adhesive tagboard that withstands shot after shot
- High visibility splatter targets easy to view from a distance
- Perfect for all firearms and calibers, including airsoft guns, air rifles, pellet guns, BB guns, and shot guns
- Perfect for use in outdoor and indoor shooting, and in shot range and long range shooting
- Made in the USA
What To Consider Before Getting a Shooting Target?
There are secure, responsible and exciting ways to engage in some shooting activities with shooting targets that are fun and a challenge to shoot at.
Here are simple considerations you should make before you choose your shooting target.
1. Material Used to Make the Shooting Target
Steel targets are great. They react with feedback when the bullet hits them, and they can last for a long time.
Before you invest, you should know the materials used in making the steel target, and the type of gun that is suitable for it.
The most durable targets are made from AR500 or AR550 steel. Here are some few details you should know:
- 1/4 inch AR500 steel targets are made to withstand center-fire handguns of up to .45ACP, which include .38 special, 9mm, .40S&W among others.
- 3/8 inch AR500 steel targets can withstand magnum handguns and rifles of up to .308 and are also suitable for ARs and AKs.
- 1/2 inch AR500 steel targets are designed especially for high-power and magnum rifles, which include .300 and .338 magnum rifles.
Steel targets are usually the heaviest and sadly, very costly.
Follow the manufacturer's guidelines, and these shooting targets may last for decades, if not longer.
2. Caliber Type
It is crucial for you to consider the calibers you will be using the most to get the matching targets.
For instance, a weighty steel target designed for high-power rifles might ricochet a .22 long rifle bullet towards the person shooting.
Moreover, it may have a minute reaction to other smaller types of caliber bullets.
Many steel shooting targets are suitable for well-known handgun rounds, like 9mm, .40 or .45, but might not handle shots from magnum guns, and high-power rifles may penetrate through them.
3. The Size of the Target
A small shooting target might be difficult to hit. Most manufacturers recommend that the user shoot targets no closer than 100yards when using high power rifles.
4. Where You Will Be Shooting
If you are shooting in a grassy desert, you will want a shooting target that is above the grass.
Hanging, and rolling/walking, self-setting, and spinning targets are great options.
5. The Type of Ammo You Are Using
There are some types of cheap ammo that usually have steel cores, which can greatly damage steel shooting targets and spark fires as well.
Apart from the above-mentioned notions, it will be beneficial to learn about the variants of shooting targets available and their usage. As to why let's have a look at them below;
Types of Shooting Targets and Their Usage
1. Steel Targets
These are among the most popular and commonly used shooting targets in shooting competitions and military/law enforcement.
A high-quality steel target is deemed safe because it deflects at an angle of 20-degrees, which ensures that bullet fragments and ricochets will deflect well away from the shooter.
High-quality steel targets normally have a minimum of 500 Brinell Hardness Number(BHN).
BHN is a global standard used to estimate the hardness of steel.Here are some examples of steel shooting targets;
Dueling Tree Targets: These targets are great for challenging a friend/relative to a shooting competition.
They are set up using a long steel pole. Two sets of colored targets on each side are joined to the pole.
Gongs: Agong steel shooting target produces a ‘gong’ sound when it is shot.
Pop-up Targets: Just as the name suggests, these types of targets go down when hit and then pop back up.
Target Men: They are shaped similar to a torso and a head. In these targets, there are two critical shot regions, adjacent to the head and near the heart. Very great for practicing accuracy.
2. Bleeding Targets
They usually take the shape of the upper body of a character like zombies, clowns, wicked politicians, etc. They are filled with loads of paintballs so that they bleed when you shoot them.
3. Color Changing Targets
They do just as the name suggests. When the bullet hits, the color changes.
4. Jumping Targets
These targets are often designed from self-healing plastic, which is plastic that swells up and fills in holes after you shoot at the target.
They can jump and bounce when hit.
5. Spinning Targets
They spin when you shoot at them.
This is a patented explosive made of a mixture of ammonium nitrate, ammonium perchlorate, and aluminum powder. It explodes when it is hit.
To have visuals of these types and see what they are really like, you may head to YouTube and search for each type. You will have plenty of videos to please your eyes. LOL.
How to Make Your Own Fun Home Shooting Target:
If you want to make a shooting target rather than purchase one, I have you sorted out as well. One may not always have the money to spend on store products, and that’s where the do-it-yourself culture comes in to save the day. Here is an easy, practical way to construct a fun shooting target at home.
What You Need:
- Brightly colored craft paper
- Shipping tape
- A can of flat, black spray paint
- A can of spray paint that has a color which will contrast with the black spray paint. Ensure it’s a bright color like yellow which you can see clearly from a distance.
- Cover one side of the craft paper with a layer of the shipping tape. Ensure that it’s wrinkle-free.
- Spray your flat, black paint on the craft paper, and let it dry.
- Use the second can of spray paint to paint bright dots on the black side of your paper. The dots will provide the target for you to aim at. Choose the pattern you like. A basic pattern would be a dot at the center, and a dot at each corner - a total of five brightly colored dots on a black background.
That’s it. It’s an easy, quick procedure, and within a short while, you have a shooting target you can proudly show off to your friends.
If you are not improving, then you are probably regressing. It means your skill is atrophying. If you want to stay on top of your game, you must constantly practice and sharpen your shooting ability until you gain mastery over your firearm.
What other way do you know of attaining this other than by using a shooting target? Shooting targets will surely help you improve your marksmanship. Over time, you would be unstoppable. Just purchase one of the eight shooting targets I have reviewed, and you will see the proof in your progress!