Shooting steel targets is probably as intuitive as shooting can get. You get an immediate signal and reaction if you hit your target. Compared with shooting a paper target, where you might not see your hits at all.
With steel you know if you hit, or missed, and can correct your grip, point of aim, stance or whatever mistake you did immediately to see if you improve. If you shoot ten rounds into a paper target you will never really know which ones that hit bull’s eye and those which didn’t, so for training steel has great advantages.
Unfortunately, steel is also a consumable just like paper. It just doesn’t wear as quickly, but it will wear. The wear will of course depend on what kind of caliber and type of ammunition you are using (energy) and what your steel target is made of and treated with.
A .50 BMG on a .22LR target is a no go, as I’m sure you can imagine. But even a Hardox 500 Steel target will get hammered if you shot a 5,56x45mm repeatedly at shorter distances. (Perhaps >200 yards to be on the safe side, but it’s highly depending on the quality of the steel as well)
Another down side is that as your projectile hits the steel there will be a reaction, which partly consists of fragments going in all sorts of directions. You should always wear safety glasses and keep a distance to your steel target. Also, please consider collateral damage to your sides and back stop.
In IPSC practical shooting, the minimum distance for shooting rifle at a steel target is 50 meters. Handgun, 7 meters, and Shotgun 5 meters. These rules are there for a reasons, to protect you and others, so please beware.
Action Target Inc.
Action Target Inc. is a privately owned business based in Provo, Utah. They have more than 4 000 products and 40 patents for the systems they design and manufacture. They deliver systems and targets across the United States, but also to 25 other countries around the Globe.
Their new product is called PT Scout and designed to be “everyday carry”, as mush as carrying steel targets ever become EDC. But I agree with Max Michel in the below quotes and have the same dilemma.
I love shooting steel, but I cannot store it at the range. If I would keep my targets up I will find them with large holes in them, or stolen (don’t know which is worse to be honest) Until I have my own ranch with a dedicated shooting range I cannot store the steel targets other than in my garage at home.
If the PT Scout can help shooters to carry less (targets that is) and be more effective, then I’m sure it will be a success.
Press Release PT Scout
ACTION TARGET ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE NEW EVERYDAY CARRY STEEL TARGET, THE PT SCOUT
PROVO, Utah – May 3, 2018 – Action Target INC., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges and innovative target systems has announced the release of a tool-free target system designed to utilize a 2×4, ring louder, maximize portability and allow for predictable splatter patterns.
The PT Scout is Action Target’s first steel target that utilizes a 2×4. This innovative steel target stand can quickly collapse and locks together for easy storage and transport. Because it can break down into such a small profile and weighs as much as a gallon of milk, it allows for maximum portability for every shooter.
“When developing The PT Scout with Tom Yost and World Champion Speed Shooter Max Michel, we set three objectives; that it would ring louder, be more portable, and be more safe for shooters to use than any other steel targets that are offered today, we met each objective.” Chris Hess, Product Marketing Manager, Action Target.
The PT Scout is designed with a forward leaning 2×4. The smooth target plate sits on top in a bracket parallel to the wood. This means that bullets striking the plate are directed towards the ground and safely away from shooters, splatter and spall do not chew up the 2×4, a common problem in other 2×4 target stand systems. The target is also designed with a smooth target surface, integrating high-strength weld studs on the back of the target plate allowing sound waves to reverberate loudly, giving the shooter a much louder ring.
World Champion Speed Shooter Max Michel explains, “As a Pro Shooter, I get to shoot a lot but don’t have the ability to store all my gear at the range. Therefore, I’m looking for something mobile and easy to set up. It’s extremely light weight and easy to store in the back of the car. Once it’s ready to go, it’s the loudest ringing steel target I’ve shot yet. Not to mention the flat faced plate and angled design base makes it the safest target in the industry. I’m excited to get my season kicked off and training with the new PT Scout.”
I was not able to find a price for the PT Scout, however it will be available this summer from Shop.ActionTarget.com.