Interactive Targets – Are They A Good Idea?

    When hitting the range there are a ton of targets to pick from for shooting. Shooting at indoor ranges you will usually be limited to paper targets only. There are a number of great drills online for paper targets that work fantastic for indoor ranges. I have written about the value of paper targets in a previous article, but today is all about interactive steel targets. Now I know there are certain people on here who will write in the comments below they can’t shoot steel at their range. To you guys. I’m honestly sorry for your luck and feel for you because shooting steel can be really beneficial with practice.

    Types of Interactive Steel

    There are a few different types of interactive steel targets and each one can be used for different training purposes. One of my personal favorites to use with other shooters is the armored dueling tree. A dueling tree can help shooters practice target tracking and transitioning between targets quickly. When thinking of Dueling Trees, most people imagine it being for pistols only. If you find quality dueling trees like my Target Solutions USA tree, you can also practice with rifles. Rifles allow you to practice height over bore shooting as well as transitions. If you really want to push yourself you can even incorporate both rifle and pistol. When looking at purchasing a dueling tree, one important thing is to look at how armored the pieces are overall. You won’t believe what new shooters will hit trying to shoot the steel plates so buying one with pieces made of AR 400 or 500 steel.

    There are different types of steel targets that focus on long-range shooting. I also bought a Target Solutions USA Sure Shot target that is primarily used as a long range target. These can help shooters see what section of the target they hit and make adjustments off the target moving. The great thing about the longer range targets is the fact they can be used with pistols. Targets that have multiple sections to them can help train new shooters on how to diagnose their flaws.

    Training Benefits of Interactive Targets

    If you haven’t noticed, I am a big fan of steel targets as long as they are used properly. If you have two shooters who are proficient with their firearms, it can be extremely competitive and a ton of fun. When shooting with other people trying to make all the arms go to one side will create a sense of urgency and add stress to the shooter. Your flaws as a shooter will always come out when you start rushing and its a good time to analysis yourself.

    When shooting targets on your own, the best part of steel is the fact it doesn’t lie. Paper shows your mistakes but only after you stop firing. I enjoy steel because it immediately tells you if you’re connecting or not. I think its a great training tool. Like anything, if you don’t use steel correctly it can hinder progression rather than help you.

    Overall Thoughts

    Steel targets are a great training tool when used properly. It can be tough sometimes to find ranges who allow shooters to use steel, but it’s well worth the search. When using interactive steel targets the shooter gets the effects of being precise like you do with paper, but get the instant feedback from steel. The key to shooting steel safely is to know safe distances and buy quality steel. I can confidently tell you my shooting ability has progressed because of shooting interactive targets and I will continue to use them as a training tool. Let me know in the comments below what you guys think of using steel as a training tool. If you have questions feel free to send me a message on my social media pages. Stay safe out there.

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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.