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- Target Selection Guidelines -

(see below for more info)

Shooting Distances

  • RIFLES over 2850fps back up so bullet speed is BELOW 2850fps at target. (50 yd minimum with slower rifle rounds)
  • PISTOLS 10yd minimum

Golden Rules

  • DO NOT use ammo with steel in or on it
  • * Speed must be BELOW 2850fps at target to avoid pitting
  • Mount on angle as in mounting kit demo video HERE (page bottom)
  • ALWAYS Wear shooting glasses when shooting Steel Targets

Simple AR500 Thickness Chart

Targets Thickness Chart


QUESTION: If I get thicker ar500 targets will they still pit if the speed is over 2850fps at the target?

ANSWER: YES, pitting has nothing to do with thickness. Pitting happens due to the intense heat underneath the bullet strike zone. Steel falls out due to the rapid expansion and contraction caused by the heat leaving a tiny pit. It may actually pit more as it's heavier and less likely to move out of the way when hit. To reduce this as much as is possible it's important you mount the targets correctly. Rob from did a great job explaining this for us. CLICK FOR VIDEO

QUESTION: How do I get the most sound from my targets?

ANSWER: Buy the LARGEST AND THINNEST target suitable for the ammunition used. Don't expect to hear much noise shooting a 4"x5/8" gong with your 22. Case in point, this is what a 16"x3/16 AR400 gong sounds like when hit with a 22lr. CLICK FOR VIDEO

Note: Gongs thicker than 3/16 or smaller than 12" do not ring as loudly as thicker or smaller gongs but the rule of buying the largest and thinnest for your purpose remains true.

QUESTION: Why am I pitting targets with my AR15! I'm shooting at 100 yds is something wrong with your steel?

ANSWER: No, see the golden rules at the top of this page. An AR15 @ 100yds with 55g ammo and a 16" barrel is very close to 2850 fps. ANY round moving near 2850fps at the target or faster will likely pit them.

The further over 2850fps the worse the damage will be. Pitting can be avoided completely by simply backing up or shooting heavier / SLOWER ammunition. 

As little as 25 yds can make a huge difference so keep that in mind.

See what one of our customers has to say about our targets at 100yds with fast rifles here.

Note that most of the damage shown here was with 22-250 at 100yds one of the WORST rounds to shoot AR500 up close due to it's blazing speed. As noted the AR15 with 55g ammo and 16" barrel will likely pit at 100yds but will be minimal as demonstrated in the customer video above.


DO NOT spend more than you need to by not being informed. Avoid these common first time buyer mistakes I see FAR too often. CLICK HERE  


Enhanced Target Thickness Chart


Chart below accounts for energy in Foot Pounds and velocity in Feet Per Second. The colors represent different thicknesses.

Use key below in conjunction with charts under it to determine thickness for various ammunition to include shooting distances.

PRO TIP: In many cases a thinner target can be safely used at long ranges. Determine your bullets energy at range you will be shooting from and determine thickness needed with energy calculator and key below.

Remember to enter bullet velocity AT THE TARGET.

Bullet Energy Calculator

Enter Weight
Enter Velocity
Bullet Energy

Bullet Chart
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