The 5 Best Steel Shooting Targets [Ranked]

Shooting Targets

In this post we examine five of the best-selling gong swing targets.

Shooting targets are used to help people become more accurate when using firearms.

Most people start out using paper targets because it’s easy to see how closely the shots are grouped, but paper targets wear out quickly. 

Many people graduate to metal targets, which are much more durable and produce a satisfying sound when struck. Gong targets are especially useful because the shooter can reasonably determine where the round hits based on the sound (Source).

How do they work?

Shooting targets work by remaining stationary while people shoot ammunition from firearms at them. Most metal targets are hung from chain or heavy rope some distance away from the shooter. Shooters then test their accuracy by aiming at the targets and trying their best to hit them.

Buyer Feedback

Buyers recommend hanging these metal targets with rebar or 3/8” chain because anything less and the shrapnel from the bullet is likely to cut rope or cords. Many companies manufacture special hanging kits just for metal targets (Source).

We looked at 5 steel shooting targets all of which are AR500 (abrasion resistant 500 hardness) steel, which is through hardened to offer superior impact and abrasion resistance.

When looking for metal targets, AR500 steel should be at the top of your list (Source).

Shooting Targets Compared

How They Compare


For value, you can’t do better than the XSTEEL 8” AR500 Gong which is one of the best values for the price. Although it costs a bit more, buyers say it’s slightly larger than other targets allowing you to target practice from longer distances.

The manufacturer claims these targets will last forever when using handgun only ammo, but buyers say these targets can handle a variety of calibers without chipping the steel (Source)

AR500 Metal Targets come in a variety of sizes all of which are manufactured in Michigan (American made) and feature a lifetime guarantee. These targets, although being very inexpensive, withstands rounds up to 9mm and are designed to ring louder with smaller rounds. Very durable. Highly rated.

The RMP Gong Swing Target Kit comes with three sizes: 4, 6 and 8 inches and are Made in USA with 3/8” thick AR500 steel that buyers say can withstand most high powered rifles. Buyers also say these targets hold up very well to ammo up to and including .556.

The Tactical Scorpion Gear TSG-GG is one of the lowest priced targets we looked at, and it’s tough to get the quality offered by this target for the price. It’s made with AR500 3/8” steel and features two 1/2” mounting holes with thick ‘ears’ to take hits without breaking. Buyers say they hold up very well to all types of ammo. Very heavy duty and a terrific value.

Lastly, we looked at the TEMCo Gong AR500 steel 1/2” thick plate circle shooting target. Buyers say these plates show very little wear even after much use. Great steel gong for the price and performs just as good as steel gong targets costing much more. 

Best Shooting Targets For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The metal shooting target offered by ShootingTargets7 is sturdy, safe, reliable and a product of exceptionally high quality.

Users love that the gong is manufactured in the USA, but some do note they had issues with the package. The targets are available in several different sizes – 3/16”( rounds up to 9 mm, best for 22 lr.), ¼” ( rounds up to 44 MAG), 3/8” ( rifle rounds up to 7.62), ½” ( rifle rounds up to 338), and several different styles.

Another great feature of the Ar500 shooting targets is that they are made of hardened steel to withstand repeated shots, and they have a limited lifetime guarantee.

A buyer comments that the metal shooting target didn’t even have a scratch on the surface after he fired a 100s of 9mm rounds and that he gladly ordered two more. He highly recommends them as the best metal target for practice. Another reviewer observes that the steel is well-cut around the edges and the surface is smooth and durable. He adds that the ¼” targets are perfect for firing handgun loads and that you should follow ShootingTargets7 distance recommendations.

A user also states that he is very happy with the sturdiness of the AR500 metal targets and that you hear a clear ping when you hit your mark. However, few customers have complained that the metal got dented very quickly and that they received a defective product.

As a side note, there are a bunch of different sizes and styles available: a- 3″ Gong, b- 4″ Gong, c- 6″ Gong, d- 8″ Gong, e- 10″ Gong, f- 12″ Gong, g- 16″ Gong, h- Killzone Gong 10″x16″, i- Bullseye Gong 10″, j- Torso 12″x23″, k- Bullseye Torso 12″x23″, l- Target Mounting Kit, m- Chain Repair Links, o- Stand Extension Legs, and l- Rubber Mounting Straps. 

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Safe
  • Durable
  • High-quality
  • Available in different sizes
  • Hardened steel
  • Limited lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Complaints of defects
  • Metal dents

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are searching for a top-notched metal target, you might take a look at this gong swing target kit offered by RMP. Users love the size and the thickness of the targets, but some do note that the edges got chipped. The RMP target kit consists of three shooting gongs – 4”, 6”, and 8” made from 3/8” thick AR500 steel which is great because they could withstand even

Users love the size and the thickness of the targets, but some do note that the edges got chipped. The RMP target kit consists of three shooting gongs – 4”, 6”, and 8” made from 3/8” thick AR500 steel which is great because they could withstand even high-powered rifles.

The targets feature two mounting holes which are cut with CNC laser to avoid damaging the integrity of the steel. The recommended shooting distance is 100 yards, and the gongs are suitable both for rifles and pistols.

As a whole, buyers agree that the RMP gong swing target kit is one of the best shooting kits, and they praise its stability and durability. A reviewer observes that the targets are made of high-quality steel and that there was no pitting present after firing several rounds of .308. He advises that you always keep the 100-yard distance for your safety and to avoid damaging the gongs. Another happy user mentions that since the target is unpainted, you can color it however you like and that there is a loud, satisfying sound when you hit your mark. He highly recommends them as the best metal shooting targets.

However, some customers have complained that the gongs weren’t packed well and arrived scratched. One purchaser also notes that one of the targets was rusty, but worked well.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Well-made thick
  • Three shooting gongs
  • AR500 steel
  • Mounting holes

Cons

  • Poorly packed
  • Rusty
  • Chipped edges

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This metal target offered by Tactical Scorpion Gear is heavy-duty, sturdy, and an excellent choice if you love shooting. Users love the price and the quality of the gong, but some do note that it arrived rusted.

The Tactical Gear steel gong target measures 6” x 3/8”, and it features two ½” mounting holes, which is great because you can hang it easily. It’s made from AR500 steel using a CNC laser cutting table, and it has a limited lifetime guarantee. Another great feature of this steel gong target is that it’s suitable for a wide range of calibers such as 223, 5.56, 5.45×39, 7.62×39, and 308.

Users love the price and the quality of the gong, but some do note that it arrived rusted. The Tactical Gear steel gong target measures 6” x 3/8”, and it features two ½” mounting holes, which is great because you can hang it easily. It’s made from AR500 steel using a CNC laser cutting table, and it has a limited lifetime guarantee. Another great feature of this steel gong target is that it’s suitable for a wide range of calibers such as 223, 5.56, 5.45×39, 7.62×39, and 308.

In general, customers are extremely pleased with the performance, stability, and sturdiness of the Tactical Gear gong target, and they don’t have any major complaints.

A reviewer comments that the steel shooting target performed better than he ever hoped. He adds that he used various pistols loaded with lead bullets at 10 yards and there was no ricochet. Another buyer comments that after several months of extensive use, the steel pistol targets don’t show any signs of pitting or warping.

He advises that you paint it flat white to see the impact points from a distance. A user also observes that the gong arrived slightly rusted, but it’s easy to clean it with steel wool and alcohol. He says that it’s holding pretty well and the only thing that gets

He adds that he used various pistols loaded with lead bullets at 10 yards and there was no ricochet. Another buyer comments that after several months of extensive use, the steel pistol targets don’t show any signs of pitting or warping. He advises that you paint it flat white to see the impact points from a distance. A user also observes that the gong arrived slightly rusted, but it’s easy to clean it with steel wool and alcohol. He says that it’s holding pretty well and the only thing that gets damaged is the paint.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty
  • Well-made
  • Two mounting holes
  • Hardened steel
  • Suitable for wide range of calibers
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Arrived rusted

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This metal shooting target offered by Xsteel is solid, reliable, heavy-duty, and an excellent choice for handgun practice. Users love that the target is unpainted and suitable for wide range of calibers, but some do note that it’s expensive. The Xsteel metal rifle target measures 8” x 3/8”, and it has ½”mounting holes for hanging.

Another great feature of the metal gong is that it’s laser cut for strong steel integrity and it’s suitable for handguns and rifles up to .308 win. However, be aware that the package doesn’t contain any mounting hardware.

In general, users have a high opinion of the Xsteel 3/8” shooting target, and they don’t have any complaints regarding its functionality and durability. A reviewer comments that the metal gong works flawlessly and that there is no denting after firing 100s of rounds, ranging from 22lr to 40 s&w.

He advises that you paint the steel rifle target to avoid rust and to hang it with a reverse cant, or an angle. Another happy user mentions that there is an audible ping when you hit the target and that there is no ricochet. A user also notes that the hanging holes are big and that it’s easy to mount the target. He adds that he has fired several thousand rounds at 10-15 yards and the target hasn’t suffered any damage.

The buyer highly recommends it as the best AR500 shooting target.  

Pros

  • Solid
  • Stable
  • Reliable
  • Mounting holes
  • Laser cut steel
  • Suitable for handguns and rifles

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No mounting hardware

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are searching for ways to practice your aim, you might consider this AR500 shooting target offered by TemCo. Users love the size and the durable surface, but some do note that they had problems hanging the gong.

The TemCo steel rifle target measures 8” x ½”, and it features an unpainted, raw mill finish and two oversized 1” holes for mounting. The target is made in the USA from AR500 abrasion resistant steel for improved impact resistance. Another great feature of the TemCo steel gong is that it’s available in other thicknesses 3/16”, 1/4”, 3/8”, and 3/4”.

A buyer observes that the metal shooting gong has no sharp or rough edges and that it arrived well-packed with no defects. He adds that he is very pleased with the performance of the target and that he would recommend it without a second thought. Another user comments that the steel shooting target arrived very quickly and that he recommends it highly for any caliber under .50. He warns that the gong was slightly dirty and grease, but that it was easy to clean it with a damp cloth.

Another user comments that the steel shooting target arrived very quickly and that he recommends it highly for any caliber under .50. He warns that the gong was slightly dirty and grease, but that it was easy to clean it with a damp cloth.

A purchaser also states that he bought two of these targets and that after a couple of months they don’t show any signs of denting or pitting. He shares that you can easily hang them off shepherd’s hooks.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Unpainted finish
  • Mounting holes
  • Abrasion-resistant steel
  • Available in other models
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Might be difficult to hang
  • Arrived rusty
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Using Shooting Targets

Having researched the steel shooting targets, we discovered a variety of buyer feedback- many people actually purchase target hangers or even shooting target stands to position their gongs on.

While some preferred paper targets with funny images on them, nothing is quite as satisfying as nailing a black aluminum steel shot on an outdoor target.

Funny shooting targets often have silhouettes that show a bank robber or even a mugger-these are popular at free shooting ranges as well as makeshift DIY backyard shooting ranges.

Oftentimes hunters use these shooting steel target hangers instead of actually foraging through the forest and hunting deer. Some of the more common silhouettes that we've seen include deer silhouettes cardboard silhouettes and even human frame silhouette targets.

In a lot of ways, instead of buying bulk shooting targets, you might want to consider one of these more durable metal options-they can withstand a lot of ammunition being fired at them.

If you want to find the very best bargain, you can search for them at at Home Depot, Lowes, Ikea, Sears, Target, Harbor Freight, Menards, Ace Hardware, Walmart, Walgreens, and even Costco.

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