Rules for Steel Targets at the Outdoor Range

Every so often the topic of steel targets comes up at the outdoor range. What are the rules, guidelines, etc for them? Here they are in detail and with links.

  1. Steel targets shall be AR500 or AR550 grade steel.
  2. Steel Targets shall be hung or mounted so they have a 15 to 20 degree angle to direct bullet impact or splash towards the ground.
  3. If using an overhead hanging device, targets shall use 550 cord, old fire hose, conveyor belt type material or the like. You shall NOT use steel chain, carabiners, clips, etc. as there is no controlling where rounds go if they are hit.
    For a good example of what is approved to use, see here
    Targets on Stands.
    There are of course other companies that make such straps as well.
  4. Targets shall be at a height that if missed, the bullet will always hit the impact berm. That height shall be adjusted if your shooting position changes (e.g. prone, bench, standing.) This is especially critical if the target is placed at LESS than 200yds.
  5. For shooting steel targets at less than 40 yards, you MUST have special approval per target. Every month at the range a special qualifications event is held to approve targets. Please see the club calendar for when these events are scheduled. If your targets are approved, you will receive a badge. You must wear the badge, along with your club badge, to prove your targets have been approved. Please remember, the approval is for the target, not the member. Each individual target to be used at less than 40 yards needs approval.

Thanks to Mark at for the use of their pictures for this post. If you’d like to get some of the rubber straps for your existing steel targets or want some new targets and straps, here is a link to get $10 off your first order.


  1. Jason Coon says:

    Is this a new rule? I have steel targets that have been approved (badge issued) that do hang from chain. Am I not allowed to use those anymore?

    1. Kirk says:

      Hi. Please go to the web site and grab the email address for the executive range officer about this topic. This is where these rules came from. I am but the messenger. Sorry.

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