Will Shooting Steel Targets Ricochet?

Will Shooting Steel Targets Ricochet?

Shooting steel targets can be an exciting and effective way to improve your shooting skills. However, one common concern is the risk of ricochet when firing at steel targets. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the factors that influence ricochet potential and provide actionable tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable steel target shooting experience.

Understanding the Basics of Steel Target Ricochet

Before diving into the specifics, it's essential to grasp the fundamental concepts behind steel target ricochet:

  1. Angle of impact: The angle at which the bullet strikes the steel target significantly affects ricochet potential. Shallow angles increase the likelihood of ricochet.
  2. Target hardness: Harder steel targets are more prone to causing ricochet compared to softer steel variants.

Browse our selection of top-quality AR500 Armor steel targets for your shooting practice needs.

Choosing the Right Steel Target Material

The material of your steel target plays a crucial role in minimizing ricochet risk:

  • AR500 steel: Known for its durability and resistance to penetration, AR500 steel is a popular choice for steel targets. Its hardness, however, can contribute to increased ricochet potential.
  • AR550 steel: Slightly harder than AR500, AR550 steel offers enhanced durability but may also pose a higher ricochet risk.

Consider investing in a high-quality AR500 Armor 1/2 Steel Target - Silhouette for reliable performance.

Selecting an Appropriate Target Shape and Size

Target shape and size can influence ricochet behavior:

  • Flat targets: Flat steel targets are more likely to cause ricochet compared to angled or curved designs.
  • Small targets: Smaller steel targets present a greater ricochet risk due to the increased likelihood of hitting the target's edge.

Opt for larger, angled targets like the AR500 Armor Reset Silhouette to minimize ricochet potential.

Maintaining a Safe Shooting Distance

Shooting distance is a critical factor in ricochet prevention:

  • Handguns: Maintain a minimum distance of 10 yards when shooting steel targets with handguns.
  • Rifles: For rifle shooting, a distance of at least 100 yards is recommended to reduce ricochet risk.

Equip yourself with the AR500 Armor Rifle Long Range Target System (LR-1) for safe long-range steel target practice.

Using Appropriate Ammunition

The type of ammunition you use can affect ricochet behavior:

  • Avoid steel core ammo: Steel core ammunition increases the risk of ricochet and can damage steel targets.
  • Frangible ammo: Frangible ammunition is designed to disintegrate upon impact, reducing ricochet potential.

Stock up on ammo specifically designed for steel target use to ensure safer shooting sessions.

Employing Proper Target Placement

Strategic target placement is key to minimizing ricochet hazards:

  • Angle targets downward: Position steel targets at a slight downward angle to direct bullet fragments toward the ground.
  • Avoid hard surfaces: Place targets away from hard surfaces like rocks or concrete, which can increase ricochet risk.

Utilizing Protective Barriers

Incorporating protective barriers can help contain potential ricochets:

  • Plywood walls: Construct plywood walls around the shooting area to catch stray bullet fragments.
  • Tire stacks: Position stacks of tires behind steel targets to absorb ricochets.

Wearing Essential Safety Gear

Donning appropriate safety gear is crucial when shooting steel targets:

  • Eye protection: Always wear impact-resistant eye protection to guard against ricochet fragments.
  • Ear protection: Use ear protection to shield your hearing from the loud noise generated by steel target impacts.

Invest in high-quality protective gear from Pivotal Body Armor for optimal safety during steel target shooting.

Inspecting Targets Regularly

Regular target inspection ensures the integrity and safety of your steel targets:

  • Check for damage: Examine targets for dents, cracks, or excessive wear that could compromise their performance.
  • Replace as needed: Replace damaged or worn targets promptly to maintain a safe shooting environment.

Adhering to Range Rules and Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with and adhere to the specific rules and guidelines set by your shooting range:

  • Follow range-specific regulations: Each range may have its own rules regarding steel target use, so be sure to comply with their guidelines.
  • Respect range safety officers: Always follow the instructions of range safety officers to ensure a secure shooting experience for everyone.


While shooting steel targets can be an enjoyable and beneficial practice, it's crucial to prioritize safety and take measures to minimize ricochet risk. By selecting appropriate targets, maintaining safe distances, using suitable ammunition, and employing proper safety gear, you can significantly reduce the chances of ricochet incidents.

At Pivotal Body Armor, we are committed to providing top-quality steel targets and safety equipment to enhance your shooting experience while prioritizing your well-being. Browse our extensive collection of steel targets and protective gear to find the perfect products for your needs.

Remember, the key to safe steel target shooting lies in understanding the factors that influence ricochet potential and taking proactive steps to mitigate risks. By following the tips outlined in this guide and investing in reliable equipment from Pivotal Body Armor, you can confidently enjoy the benefits of steel target practice while maintaining a secure environment for yourself and others.

Share this informative article with fellow shooting enthusiasts to promote safe steel target practices within your community. Together, we can foster a responsible and thriving shooting culture that prioritizes safety without compromising the joy of the sport.

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