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Tips And Care For AR500 Targets


Short clip showing bullet "splatter" As you can plainly see in the video above things get a little weird.

When you shoot rounds into AR500 at high velocities something strange happens.
The round liquefies and sprays outward at a rapid velocity. This splatter re-solidifies
almost immediately and can be dangerous to bystanders.

Always observe proper shooting distance recommendations and wear appropriate eye protection.
It's recommended to always mount your targets with a downward angle 5deg to as much as 30deg if desired.
This effectively directs splatter into the ground as well as eliminating a direct impact from the round.


Targets mounted with a downward angle eliminate the possibility of a direct straight on hit.

As a result rounds are deflected downward into the ground and less heat is generated.
Since heat is the real cause of pitting in AR500 targets proper mounting will extend their
lives and is safer for everyone. Our target mounting kits make this angle easily adjustable.

target mounting kit mounting kit



.22 Rim Fire, 9mm, .38 Spl, .44 Spl, .45acp - 8 yards
.357, .40 SW, .44 mag - 12 yards
Shotgun w/ lead bird shot - 12 yards
Shotgun w/ std velocity 00 buck - 20 yards
Shotgun w/ std velocity slug - 50 yards
.30-30 - 100 yards
.308, .30-06 - 150 yards
.223 - 200 yards
.270 Win – 200 yards
.22-250 - 300 yards
300 Win Mag – 400 yards
45-70 – 100 yards

When using a rifle the added distances are for the protection of the target and also the safety of the shooter.
Impact velocities approaching 2850fps can cause slight pitting and edge chipping of the target surface even
with high quality AR500 steels.

It is interesting to note that the damage from these higher velocity impacts is primarily a result of the intense
heat created during the bullet strike and not the impact itself. This intense heat creates a mini HAZ
(Heat Affected Zone) that destroys the temper of the steel and allows the damage to occur in this localized area.

Observing the correct mounting procedures and observing the shooting distances
posted above are two ways to reduce or eliminate any damage to your targets.

Damaged and / or pitted ar500 steel targets can become unsafe at ranges closer than 50 yards due to
increased risk of ricochet or splatter concerns due to the uneven surfaces created.

Copper jacketed or plain lead targets are the only ammo types recommended.
Avoid the use of any steel shotgun slugs, pellets, steel core, green tip, xm-855,
steel jacket or other armor piercing rounds.

Smart use will ensure you get the maximum life from your targets.
With proper use AR500 targets can last almost indefinitely.

See mounting to ensure you practice the correct mounting practices.


Many shooters paint the faces of their AR500 targets after each round of shooting.
This lets you easily see where you have hit the target and ads to the experience significantly.

It's easy to think that since the targets don't have to be pretty they can skimp
on the paint to save some money.

In reality these cheap paints, some selling for as little as $1.50 a can contain
just a small fraction of the pigments used in more expensive quality paints.

Instead of saving money, you end up using 4 times the paint
and need four times the drying time.

A paint that we have found to work well to mask target hits is the flat 

white Rust-Oleum shown below. It dries quickly and coats nicely with just a quick application.

target paint



All of our targets are built allowing for ease of reversal. Reversing or "flipping" your targets
will result in safer targets and longer life. As targets are shot at the surface expands ever
so slightly, this can cause your targets to bow slightly.

For safety we want your targets to remain as flat as possible.
Any strange angles or projections on your targets can also cause unpredictable splatter
or ricochet behavior we want to avoid.

Reversing your targets when you notice and bowing will reduce
this effect by bowing in the opposite direction. This effect is not
significant with typical handgun rounds, but can be a factor with
higher velocity rifle rounds or if using our thinner targets.

We use only the finest steel and with proper care and use your
AR500 targets from ShootingTargets7.com will last a very, very long time.