Shooting bottles and cans are great, cheap and fun but a more serious shooting is going to involve some shooting plates. A person shooting for more than just fun – say to practice shooting skills for concealed carry, competition or hunting – should get the most out of their time at the shooting range. These plates are a great tool to do so.
Metal Shooting Plates for Low-Tech Reactive Shooting
Metal shooting targets are bits of essentially a metal plate. They are incredibly diverse just like any paper targets, and they also happen to be the most basic of reactive targets as metal targets are not generally perforated by bullets the way a paper target is.
The reaction of the target most commonly depends on the target. Some, like gong target plate, merely make a noise. Some fall over, some metal targets, like gun fighter tree, spin after being hit.
Some metal plates feature a free-floating target plate behind a larger plate, like a plate floating behind a silhouette that one shoots at through a hole roughly where the chest cavity would be.
Other Reactive Shooting Target Plates
There are other types of reactive target plates as well. Small hard foam jumping target plates are very fun, as they jump when you hit them. Keeping one in constant motion is difficult.
Another target plate that is popular with the hunting crowd are essentially hard foam cubes, usually about the size of a small cooler. They fall over when struck and can be used as a target for firearm or archery.
Also popular are bowling pin targets. Essentially, one suspends a bowling pin in some fashion – like tapping a hole through the center and threading a metal rod through it – the bowling pin will then react to being shot. Spinning bowling pin targets are a little bit popular and a lot of fun.
There are a lot more advanced reactive target plates available such as those employed in defensive pistol shooting sports and combat ranges, though those kinds of target plates are not necessarily used often by shooters. Only a few shooters have access to a range that has such targets available.
Silhouette Shooting Target Plates
This type of shooting targets can be metal or paper and can be reactive or non-reactive. They also happen to be one of the most useful for developing practical accuracy. Some metallic silhouette targets are shaped in the form of a miniature animal, or a cowboy and many more. Such targets were formerly a prominent shooting target, but it has fallen out of fashion.
More common silhouette targets are shaped something like the upper body of the person. Paper silhouette targets are usually used in pistol qualification shoots, and for good reasons. Silhouette targets, like the FBI’s QIT bottle targets, simulate shooting for vital areas, so they are very good to use when teaching a person to reliably hit center mass.