Sunday Funday: At the Range

Which do you prefer: steel or paper targets?

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Both,
Paper I can SEE where I hit.
Steel, its fun to hear and at great distances you can’t really see a hole in paper even with binoculars sometimes.

I have a 3 gun range and you need to be able to hear the hit so the person timing you knows if you hit and you can quickly advance to the next station.

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Like @Fizbin mentioned. It depends what you need: see or hear.
Because of lack of outdoor ranges I shoot mostly paper.
Once I’ve got a chance to be outdoor, steel is a must, it’s so nice to hear the hits :slightly_smiling_face:

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Paper for scoring and sighting in. Steel and reactive targets for everything else.

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Same as others so far…paper primarily…for drills etc…every blue moon steel for fun…

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They both have their purpose. Steel has a fun factor, but I am a paper puncher. I think it’s important to know where you hit, not just if you hit. Even if you are pushing your speed trying to get faster, it’s even more important cause you need to know if you are slipping too far into the margins.

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I agree with fizbin…however, when I took my daughter for the first time shooting when she was 7. Her favorite was the 2 liter bottles of soda and soda cans because they exploded when she hit them. TO this day, she always likes bringing a few 2 liter bottles and cans out to the desert for some fun in the sun.

and for those worried about the trash, I make her run out and collect all the bottles and cans and I pay her double the refund rate and she gets to use the money to buy ice cream or frozen yogurt. So…no mess.

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I love the sound of steel because you can here when you hit the target especially in the outdoors. Steel targets are smaller and at a distance harder to hit with a pistol. You can become more accurate at shooting.

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I get a bang out of both. I like Paper for analyzing my shooting. I like steel for the hit recognition as a more realistic style of shooting.

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or 300 LBs of tannerite packed into a old fridge?

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Paper is my go to because I love seeing where the bullet goes. Steelers fan just to hear everyone’s a while

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We have both on our range. Steel plate racks, dualing, trees, hostage targets…steel gives an instantaneous reward. We have lots of different paper targets, but do like the halo reactive paper. Am jealous of fiz as he has 3 gun. Bucket list is 3 gun and clays to add to our range.

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I deff like steel plates. Just something about that sound that’s so satisfying.

I don’t really have an option right now but paper will safice.

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Steel under paper. I like the tonal feedback on steel and the visual feedback on paper.

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Paper for me. They are cheap and available, I just use an old piece of paper or cardboard and use a marking pen to color a dot onto it. Sometimes I will use one of those 1" orange dots, usually on darker days.
I am sure steel targets must be very safe or they would not be for sale and so popular, but I still fear a ricochet. I remember shooting .22LR at around 50 feet with a group of friends (a dueling tree actually) and we could see the ricochets coming back and hitting the ground perhaps 25 feet in front of us. I am sure this must be the exception, but it convinced us to stop using steel on that camp-out. We switched to bowling pins which was a lot of fun, plus we were not limited to any caliber by the design of the plates. I have stayed away from steel (unless you count an empty soda can) ever since.
An exception would be on some longer range shooting, we were perhaps 800 yards distant. Had to weave the bullets between trees and down a hill also, but we never had any issues with ricochets. In fact, it was really interesting to time the shot to the return sound of the steel. Definitely would use steel for this purpose. Gives you feedback on another dimension (flight time) of your shot.
John

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The steel we have is slightly angled down, so by geometry and science the round would ricochet down.

The other thing I like about steel, is a neighbor, even as far away as they are, can hear your gunfire, bang, bang, bang and the bing, bing , bing and know you’re hitting your “failure drill”. “Don’t mess with that guy!”

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Good thought. I sometimes use similar psychology, to get to my house you have to drive up a steep hill perhaps 250 yards. Garage is separate and below the house., and that is where my short range is. I will often leave a well hit target still taped to the stand (you have to drive within 10 feet of it to pass up to the upper driveway and house). Works in summer, but winter rains (OR) pretty much dissolve the target after a couple weeks. I dont get strangers anyway, maybe 1 every year who is someone lost looking for the neighbor’s house a mile up the road. I have had no bad reactions, and found all who have approached while I am working in the garage to be quite polite. But that is also the nature of my “neighborhood”. In the 20 years I have lived here I have never been approached by anyone with malice. Besides the property being well posted, most people who would even venture (and make it up my driveway) have been polite and kind.
John

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And, yes, to further acknowledge your point, bullets tend to not richoet like a ping pong ball off a wall. Studies show they tend to richoet in a pretty horizontal / flat direction to angle of impact. Something to keep in mind. Just for safety, I rented a backhoe and made sure my target stand was built into an enclave where if a bounce went right or left it would hit a dirt bank, down the ground and up into 150foot fir trees.

John

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Our targets are also angle…with all the neighbors in our 2-3 mile area, most nights we can hear someone shooting. The echo of the our neighbor, the doc’s house, gives another rewarding echo to the ring of steel. His house is so well insulated, he doesn’t hear, and doesn’t mind.

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