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DIY Reactive Steel Targets | Un-Welded

DIY Reactive Steel Targets

Regardless of whether they’re in the military, with law enforcement or members of the general public, shooters who want to improve their speed and accuracy practice with steel targets that respond with gong sounds, motion or both when hit. Called reactive targets, they’re typically made from hardened steel and instantaneously display audible and visible reactions when struck, which serves to improve the shooter’s confidence and shooting proficiency. Reactive steel targets are economical, and unlike improvised or soft targets, they won’t shatter and spread debris or litter when hit. They’re also a lot of fun! [+] Read More


What Are AR500 Steel Plates?


Reactive steel shooting targets are safe when properly installed and fired at from a distance. When positioned at a 20° angle, ricochets and fragments from the projectile will be deflected down and away from the shooter. When shooting a smaller caliber handgun, the shooter should be at least 15 yards away from the target. Since muzzle velocity increases in direct proportion to the length of a firearm’s barrel, a distance of 100 yards or more is recommended when firing a rifle at a reactive target.

There are reactive targets on the market that cost only a few dollars, although most will be useless and even unsafe after being struck 50 or fewer times. High quality reactive targets made from tempered steel with Brinell hardness numbers (BHN) of AR500 or higher can sustain 10,000 or more hits. Many AR500 steel targets cost several hundred dollars, although there’s a much more affordable alternative available for DIYers with welding equipment and are willing to outsource angle iron for the target’s legs and base.

Examples of AR500 Reactive Steel Targets

Much of the cost associated with preassembled AR500 steel targets is that they are bulky and expensive to ship. Costs associated with fabricating and assembling the target are also reflected in the price. By offering steel target components in kit form and leaving out the heavy angle iron and metal base to hold down shipping costs, we’re able to pass along significant savings to our customers.

Spartan Armor Systems™ carries a full line of unwelded DIY Reactive Steel Target Kits, along with replacement parts and add-on accessories. Here are a few examples from our selection of unwelded DIY steel target kits:


  • DIY AR500 Dueling Tree Target Kit. Manufactured by Spartan Armor Systems affiliate The Target Man™, the DIY AR500 Dueling Tree Target Kit contains paddles made from 3/8” AR500 steel, pivot tubes, welding jig and assembly instructions. All that needs to be outsourced is angle iron and a base. Buyers can either fabricate a base or order our multi-purpose base (MPB) separately. The Target Man Dueling Tree DIY Target Kit is also available with AR550 paddles. Both kits can be ordered fully assembled for an additional charge.


  • DIY Texas Star Target Kit. Also from The Target Man, our unwelded Texas Star Target Kit includes a rotating hub mechanism, pivot assembly with nylon bearings, five AR500 6” or 8” “knockoff” paddles and all necessary hardware. You’ll need to outsource five pieces of 1.5″x .25″ angle iron for the target’s arms, along with a 1.5” x .25” angle iron for the post assembly. You can either fabricate a base or purchase our MPB four-legged collapsible base, which is compatible with most Spartan AR500 and AR550 steel targets.
  • The Target Man DIY “Triple Tap” Target. Made from AR500 steel, the unwelded "Triple Tap" target is a great way for law enforcement, competition shooters and gun enthusiasts to sharpen their tactical shooting skills. The versatile Triple Tap target system is an all-in-one system that simulates various tactical situations, including a head shot, a center mass torso shot and a gut shot. There’s also a partially visible hostage profile the marksman must avoid hitting. As with our other unwelded AR500 and AR550 reactive steel target DIY kits, you’ll need to provide the angle iron and either purchase our Multi-Purpose Base or build your own.


Learn About Target Kits and More from Spartan Armor Systems


Questions about our unwelded DIY steel target kits, body armor or other quality products? Call us at 520-396-3335 or contact us online. Members of the military, law enforcement officers and first responders receive a 10% discount on all products, and when you order from Spartan Armor Systems, shipping is always free.

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