Exploring the Most Popular Types of Shooting Targets

“Practice does not make you perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombard

People say practice makes perfect, but when it comes to shooting and accuracy, I prefer the quote by Vince Lombard. While shooting at bottles and cans can help you improve your shooting skills, more serious shooting requires the use of proper shooting targets. A shooting target lets you dial in your accuracy to an even greater degree and also keep track of groupings. Let’s take a look at the most popular shooting targets that shooters use.

Paper Shooting Targets

Easy, cheap and effective, the paper shooting target is the most popular type from all of them. It is also the most diverse one as there are so many varieties. You can choose from paper bullseye targets and paper silhouette ones to image-based targets (such as an upper body/torso) and so on. This variety of choice makes practice more interesting as well as potentially more useful. Paper targets are commonly used for law enforcement agency qualifications and can also help shooters sight-in advanced rifles.

Metal Shooting Targets

The main benefit of using a metal target is the instant feedback it provides. It allows you to see and hear when you’ve hit the target, something that you won’t get from a paper target. It also allows you to get more practice time in a given session as you don’t have to pause to replace the targets. Another great thing about metal targets is that you can’t make gaps and contortions on them which can occupy the shot once it hits the target. When shopping, look for steel targets that are durable. Make sure they are made of high-quality material and designed properly to fit their purpose. Avoid buying poorly designed targets as they usually end up developing deformations and can be dangerous for the surrounding environment.

Reactive Shooting Targets

Simply put, reactive targets are targets that react when you shoot them. Aside from being fun, they are also a useful tool for building marksmanship skills. Reactive targets come in a number of different forms and serve a variety of needs. The most common type is the spinning model – shoot one and it spins. For those looking to practice for hunt ground-hugging game like grouse, rabbits and the like, a reactive shooting target is a good choice. With this target, you have to reacquire the target and aim after every shot.

The type of shooting target you choose will depend on the purpose of your shooting exercises. If you need it for scoring, a paper target is a good option. For immediate feedback or for training on a more tactical level, however, metal targets are the recommended choice.