Steel targets for training

We all agree that if you want to get better at the shooting sports you’re eventually going to have to go to the range and actually pull some triggers. Because we’re all busy people, we’re all looking for ways to optimize our training so that we’re spending more time pulling triggers and less time doing other things.

IPSC Classic A-Zone Target
IPSC Classic A-Zone Target

Me, I hate pasting targets. I hate stapling targets. It’s boring and it’s time I’m not doing something fun, like actually shooting. So it’s probably no surprise that I’m a huge fan of steel targets for training, especially if you understand the limitations of steel. First off, unless you’re just trying to improve pure, raw speed, don’t waste your time with the full size steel silhouettes of USPSA/IDPA targets. Instead, get the reduced ones. I like the IPSC classic A-zone target linked above. It’s cost effective, you can set up 3 or 4 of them in a pretty small bay, and practice shooting Alfas to your heart’s content. If you don’t want to focus that much on accuracy, the same company also makes an A/C zone target.

If you want to use a metric target because goshdarnit, this is America and we shoot headshoots here that’s an option as well; MGM makes an ABC zone steel target. Steel targets are great. Set up time is faster, and if you’re using one of the A-zone only targets, there’s never any question as to whether or not you shot an A. Either you hit the target or you didn’t. Sure, there is value at times in knowing how much you missed the target by and I’m certainly not saying you should junk all your paper targets, but come on – no one likes taping and pasting targets. If you have access to an outdoor range for training, go get some steel targets.

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned, I just like their stuff so I bought it with actual cash money.


  1. Steel is sort of a “go – no go” gauge for accuracy/speed, but if the only steel is an A-Zone there’s no metric for “how bad was the miss.” Any suggestions on that?

    1. A-Zone printed on paper and then pasting the misses only.
      It’s a sort of compromise between the time consuming (and boring) pasting and not knowing the placement of misses.

      If A-zone steels are used (too) often, don’t you think some tricky Pavlov’s Reflex can occure (bang=alpha, no bang=no alpha)?

  2. So what do you use for Idpa. I’ve got 8″ plates that i hang and shoot at. Is there really any benefit to having the head on there

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