View Full Version : Reactive Targets

May 16, 2011, 09:45 PM
Can someone please recommend some reactive targets to practice self defense drills? I'll be shooting 9mm. I'm thinking distances approx 15-20 yards. Don't want a target too small, thinking perhaps 9 inches.


May 16, 2011, 09:59 PM
I had mine made out of scrap metal, the body target area is 12 inches (one square, one circle) with a four inch circle head target that are connected by two half inch rods. I use chain to hang them from the steel frames at the range and just spray paint them black every once in a while. Both body plates are 1/4 inch thick and the heads are 1/2 inch thick. One of them took a 12 gauge slug at 15 yards and other than a dent looks like new when I paint it. I would not recommend shooting at steel any closer than 5 yards due to bullet splash.

May 17, 2011, 08:34 AM
Steel reactive targets are often either not allowed at most ranges, or have to be all the way downrange, at the backstop.
An alternative is to use thick wood.
The bullets either stop in the wood or pass through to the backstop, assuming the targets are at a suitable height.
Wood works quite well, and eliminates ricochets.
And a whole field full of wooden targets cost next to nothing.
The more there are, the longer they last, too.
Just a thought.

May 18, 2011, 04:18 PM
Are steel targets, 5-20 yards, for pistol, dangerous?

May 18, 2011, 09:18 PM
At 5 yards, YES!
At 20 yards, probably not (provided it is good steel and angled so it doesn't splash back at you).
As a personal minimum, I will not shoot steel closer than 10 yards.

I shoot steel at 25yds frequently, and the paper targets 5 yards to the left and right (and about 1yd behind) take a lot of fragments.

You might take a look at targets like these. http://letargets.com/estylez_ps.aspx?searchmode=category&searchcatcontext=~030000~030101

I have a 12inch square plate, that works pretty well.

May 18, 2011, 10:33 PM
I shoot steel targets at 10 meters. It's not unusual to have lead come back and hit you in the forehead, but it doesn't come back all that hard (eye protection is still a must)

May 19, 2011, 10:48 AM
What type of reactive target?

Do you want one that moves or makes sound to clearly indicate you hit it or one that will fall over when hit properly?

If the later, then maybe one of these would be a good idea, bit more expensive than some of the steel ones, but can be use at any distance. I'm planing to get at least one to add to my training options.

LE Target RTS (http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=RTS-REACTIVE)

May 19, 2011, 12:06 PM
Looking for a reactive target to clearly indicate the target has been hit. This won't be used for competition, just for my personal training. The target can either give a visible indicator or if I can hear a steel plate with earmuffs, that will work too.

I suppose I wouldn't mind bullets hitting me as long as I won't be damaged (I'll be wearing eye protection...always). I'm not sure how much energy 9mm range ammo has after hitting a plate. If I can wear a T-shirt and not break skin or get a welt, then it will be okay.

The LE Reactive Target Systems (http://letargets.com/estylez_item.aspx?item=RTS-REACTIVE) sounds almost what I'm looking for (safer than steel and lets you know the target was hit). But, I'd like something that only reacted when center of mass is hit (8-10" circle?). Also want a robust base, as my range is bumpy and soggy.

I'm not quite sure about poppers (http://mgmtargets.com/tstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=28&products_id=1), spinners, and plates.



May 19, 2011, 02:50 PM
Lead comes off a steel target at about 10 degrees. Good commercial targets like Arntzen and MGM angle the plates down slightly, so most of the splatter goes into the ground. 10 yards is the closest to shoot steel - I have been hit and drawn blood at even longer ranges.

Jacketed ammo will send the jackets much further back - 15 yards some times.

DO NOT shoot at a target with a dent or gouge in it! Eventually you will hit on the edge of the gouge, and get most of the bullet right back at you. And due to the curves, railroad rails are really bad for bouncing bullets back hundreds of yards.

I have a rifle rated Arntzen target that I have used for 9 years, and it still holds up - and is lots of fun.

May 19, 2011, 03:02 PM
to clearly indicate the target has been hit.

I use plastic paper type targets that change color where it is shot. The black turns white ect. BB guns will do it so any caliber will also show where you hit ans it is easy to see them from 20 ft or so. I get 2 dozen for 5 bucks use cardboard as a backdrop and use a 2x4 frame to hold the cardboard up.

:) I shoot right off the deck :)

I also have used little plastic cup like targets put a white powder in and shoot it, it goes kabloom, you know you hit it.....

May 19, 2011, 07:10 PM
A coffee can might do. You could even make a stand out of 2x4's, if you wanted.

Deja vu
May 19, 2011, 10:48 PM
my favorite reactive target is http://www.tannerite.com/ but sadly I don't know any ranges that allow it.

I would say 25 yards is the minimum range I would shoot it at though.

May 20, 2011, 01:13 AM
Look up where your local bowling pin or steel shooting league shoots. It's a ton of fun, and your first year of competition will raise your skill level a surprising amount.

Pepper Poppers or 9" plates in racks of 5 or 10 are pretty common, and lots of fun. Yes, you get hit with pieces of lead, but eye protection should be mandatory anyway.