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8 Best Handgun Training Targets Right Now

by Handguns Online Staff   |  June 20th, 2013 6

Before your next trip to the shooting range, make a list of what you want to practice and head out with a plan of action. This simple step will make you a more effective pistol shooter and give you a foundation for what you can improve on.

When selecting a training target, you need to first consider where you’ll be shooting. Each shooting range will have specific rules about what kind of targets they allow. Indoor shooting is typically restricted to paper, while outdoor ranges expand your options to reactive targets.

That being said, just know where you’ll be shooting isn’t enough. You need to consider why you headed to the range. Targets come in all shapes and sizes for their intended training purpose. Each style will guide your goals as a shooter and enhance the enjoyment you get out of your range sessions. There’s no shame in using plain-old paper bullseye targets—shooting at a round circle of paper is not only boring, it limits your training options to just punching holes in paper—using reactive targets will allow you to see your hits and make adjustments.

Luckily, there are many options to choose from that will help you practice your pistol techniques. Here’s a look at the best handgun training targets for your next range session:

  • BJC

    I buy the Caldwell Orange Peel targets, they are like the shoot and see targets but cost a lot less. I like the 5.5″ Bullseye Target but they come in many sizes.

  • John Wesley Bletsch

    I like using reduced size silhouette targets on 12 X 18 paper. At 7 to 10 yds its like having a longer range shot, while at close range of 5 to 7 yds forces more concentration on trigger press and sight on target. The standard sized targets for LE and CCW qualification that just register center mass hits, though valid, encourage bad habits. I also do more dry fire than I do range live fire. With the cost of ammo, I don’t want to waste ammo getting used to a trigger.

  • t_reese

    For handgun and rifle practice out to 200 yards, I like using simple paper plates. For distance beyond 200 yards I use the reduced silhouette targets.

  • Dale P

    Steel targets win, hands down. I got a couple online from Salute and they have some that have a lot of moving parts and keep the shoot lively. Plus I can just toss them into my trunk to get them to the shoot, and get them all set up pretty quick to start shooting. We just spray paint them before we head out so we can see our hits. Paper is too much hassle unless I’m just sighting in for hunting.

  • Target Is Moving

    We are feeling left out! How do we submit our T.I.M. targets?

  • Ron- Westerville, Ohio

    Depends on the distance. I like a deck of standard playing cards at 20-25 feet. If I can keep the shots on the card there’s not much wear and tear on the target stand. If I’m having a really good day I can turn the stand sideways and shoot at the edge of the card. If I can’t stay on a playing card at 20′ then a bigger target at longer range isn’t going to help.

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