The 5 Best Steel Shooting Targets [Ranked]
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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.
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||Our Rating||Price ($)|
|The Ar500 Metal Shooting Target||4.8||$$|
|The RMP Gong Swing Target Practice Kit||4.5||$$|
|The Tactical Scorpion Gear Laser Cut Steel Shooting Gong||4.8||$|
|The Xsteel Metal Gong Target||5.0||$|
|The TemCo AR500 Steel Shooting Target||4.9||$$|
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.
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.