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Action Targets

By 
Philem Withlead
   ·   
Published Sep 06, 2021
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Our Top Picks For Action Targets

Reviews Of The Best Action Targets From Our Research

Action Target Rimfire Dueling Tree

Action Target Rimfire Dueling Tree
  • All the fun and excitement of a full size PT Dueling Tree...
  • Just like our full size PT Dueling Tree, the Rimfire Dueling...
  • The Rimfire Dueling Tree consists of a forward leaning...
  • Specifications: - Weight: 35 lbs. - Dimensions: 40” H x...

The Action Target Dueling Tree is a great way to quickly practice fast target acquisition and engage multiple targets.  It can also be used as a supplement to USPSA or IDPA matches where the competitor only shoots one gun from concealment.

The dueling tree is put together with 1/2" plywood and stands 4 feet tall with two 3 foot or four 1.5 foot dueling limbs on each side of the main stand.  The steel shooting targets are placed approximately 6 feet away from the shooter.

Two pairs of ground stakes are included to secure the tree in windy conditions.

Features

  • Fun and exciting action target
  • Six steel target plates that swing from side to side when hit.
  • Good for sporting.
  • Audible feedback.
  • Designed for .22 rimfire ammunition.
  • Weights 35 lbs.
  • Dimensions of 40” x 14”
  • 10+ yards shooting distance.

Pros

  • This is definitely the most fun type of action target.
  • If you are practicing for a competition, this will give you an accurate idea of your split times and how quickly you can transition from one target to another.
  • It is also great to use to practice shooting quickly on the move or engaging moving targets like varmint hunters would do.
  •  The movement of the targets makes it more challenging.

Cons

  • The price tag is on the higher end, but you are also getting a loaded dueling tree with multiple limbs, steel plates.

ACTION TARGETS VTAC-P Viking Tactics TRAN TRGT 10 Pack

ACTION TARGETS VTAC-P Viking Tactics TRAN TRGT 10
  • Offers added versatility of 2 different targets on 1 sheet...
  • Extra heavy sheet of bright white paper
  • Silhouette w/ visible skeleton on one side / (4) SR-1C...
  • 100 pack

Viking Tactics has partnered with Action Target to make a 10 pack of AR 500 steel targets.  Each target is 3" x 4", and the set comes with 5-inch squares, two different-sized circles, a large center dot, and two swinging silhouettes.

These are great for shooting 5.56, 223, or 7.62x39 at close range because the steel is 3/8" thick AR500 rated, giving you a good life at pistol distance (25 yards) but still back quickly when you hit them.  The targets are also designed to be used with handguns and .22 rimfire firearms.

Features

  • The versatility of 2 different targets on 1 sheet.
  • Extra-heavy sheet of bright white paper
  • Silhouette skeleton.
  • Bull's-eye targets
  • 100 pack

Pros

  • If you are looking for a 100 pack of paper targets, this is the cheapest option.
  • The paper is bright white, and there is a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • The silhouette skeleton is a good way to practice precision shooting.

Cons

  • They will fall apart after a day of shooting, and they can easily be ripped by a hit from a .22 rimfire.

Action Target - B-27E and FBI Q Combination Paper Target

Action Target - B-27E and FBI Q Combination Paper Target -...
  • Size: 23" x 35"
  • Blue & Red
  • This one target combines both the full size B-27E silhouette...

These are the cheapest of all the options.  They come in 100 packs and are available for handguns, .22 caliber rimfire, shotguns, and rifle calibers up to 308. They make a great beginner paper target for anyone who is on a tight budget.

They are a great way to learn how to aim, and they can't be beaten for the price.

Features

  • Dimension of 23" x 35"
  • Blue & Red color.
  • 10 Pounds.
  • 100 pack.

Pros

  • Good for teaching beginners how to aim and shoot accurately.
  • Can put them out at a distance of 15-20 yards and use them with .22 rimfire firearms.
  • Comes at a decent price.

Cons

  • The color choice is pretty limited, and they don't hold up well.

Action Target - 5 Bull's-Eye Paper Target with Orange Centers

Action Target - 5 Bull's-Eye Paper Target with Orange...
  • Orange center 5 bull's-eye target.
  • Shaded black outside to light grey with bright orange...
  • Black & Orange
  • Size: 23" x 35"

These paper targets come with the popular bull's-eye design with a bright orange center.  The high visibility color makes it easier to shoot accurately and practice precision shooting.

These targets are meant to be used with rimfire firearms only, and the paper is thin, so it does not hold up well with centerfire calibers.

Features

  • Orange center 5 bull's-eye target.
  • Shaded black outside to light grey with a bright orange center.
  • Black & Orange
  • Size: 23" x 35"

Pros

  • High visibility center makes it easy to see.
  • Good for precision shooting.
  • The silhouette skeleton paper target comes in.
  • Great for precision shooting, like when you are using a rimfire firearm.

Cons

  • The paper is thin, and it will not last long.

Action Target - B-27E Pros Paper Target

Action Target - B-27E Pros Paper Target - 100 Pack - Paper...
  • B-27E Target with shaded scoring rings starting outside &...
  • B-27NCJA silhouette with bottom cut off.
  • Black & Gray & Orange.
  • Size: 23" x 35"
  • ON 50# IVORY PAPER

If you are looking for a target to last and hold up well under heavy use, this is the best choice.  It is made with AR500 armor steel, which will stand up to multiple hits from centerfire rifle calibers like .308 or .223 without showing much damage.

They also come in different variations, such as the FBI Q (5-inch center circle), the VTAC-P (Viking Tactics), and a hanging silhouette.

Features

  • Target with shaded scoring rings.
  • Dark to light with a bright orange center.
  • Silhouette with a bottom cut-off.
  • Black & Gray & Orange.
  • Dimension of 23" x 35"
  • IVORY PAPER.
  • 50 packs

Pros

  • The paper is bright white, and the dark to light shading makes it very clear how accurate you are shooting.
  • Useful for teaching precision shooting.
  • The targets come in different styles, like FBI Q (5-inch center circle).
  • Improves shooting muscle memory.

Cons

  • It can't be used for mid-range shots like 10-15 yards.

Buyer's Guide For Action Targets

For the unwary shooter, shooting action targets can be a confusing world. The choices are vast, and it can be hard to sort through them all.

A quick internet search will lead you to dozens of sites selling paper targets with points values or "instant" reactive targets that pop up when hit.

Here is a quick rundown of the action targets available and what we feel is the best option for shooters.

When you are purchasing paper targets, make sure they are bright white, and there is a variety of shapes. This will allow you to practice shooting at different distances with pistols, shotguns, or rifles. Here are some of the factors to consider before buying action targets:

Size

Action targets are available in different sizes. The larger the target, the more expensive it will be. You can find them anywhere from 4"x 6" to 24" x 36".

Make sure you know what size firearm you are using and how far away you will be shooting before purchasing a paper target. You can also buy a paper target in a roll and cut it down to size.

This will allow you to save money if the size isn't perfect for your shooting area.

Shooting Distance

Action targets are available for handguns, rifles, and pellets shotguns only. The paper used is thick enough that it won't tear when shot with a .22 rimfire.  The targets are only available in a range of 150 yards, so you can't use them to practice shooting at a closer distance.

Shooting Style

Not all action targets are the same shape or style, and there is a variety of features offered by different manufacturers.

This means that you will need to take into consideration what style of shooting you will be doing. Some styles have a silhouette so that you can practice target shooting with a .22 rimfire, large calibers, or a pellet rifle.

Some feature a bull's eye, and some have a V-shape cut out in the center. You should also consider what color to go with as darker colors are useful for bright white paper.

Price

Most action targets will be more expensive than general paper targets and can cost anywhere from $1 – $5 per target depending on the size, style and quantity bought.

Some people think that because the paper is so cheap, they should not bother buying a quality target. This is incorrect as you do not want your paper to rip.

If you are practicing for self-defense or hunting then you will need to know that your firearm is accurate and that it is capable of hitting the target every time. Marking up a cheaper target regardless of how inaccurate you are can give you unrealistic expectations on where to aim during an actual encounter with an aggressor.

Hanging

Action targets are traditionally used by hanging them on a metal structure called a "plinking rail". This can be set up in your backyard or at the range.

If you don't have a place to put up a plinking rail then it is possible to buy paper targets with grommets and hang them with string instead. This is a cheaper option and can offer the same quality of results.

Material

Action targets are traditionally made of paper. Some have a bit of rubber mixed in with the paper to add resistance when shot, allowing them to last longer before tearing.

Some have a very thin amount of vinyl on top so you can easily wipe off dirt and grime.  If being used for self-defense or hunting then the best material will be sturdy paper as this is more likely to stop a bullet than thin vinyl. Quality steel material is also never not a great option.

Color

Action targets are traditionally white, and some manufacturers offer different colors on the market.

They offer many options such as: red, orange, green, and blue. Getting a color target can help you quickly identify your shots day or night without having to walk down range.

FAQs For Action Targets

What are action targets?

Action targets are paper targets that have been designed to be shot with pistols, rifles, or shotguns. They are most commonly bought at gun clubs, shooting ranges, or by sportsmen who want to hone their skills.


Where can action targets be used?

They can be used anywhere there is a safe backstop and target holders. If you want to maintain a clean backyard, it is recommended to set up a plinking rail and hang the target from there.

If you don't want to do this, you can buy paper targets with grommets and string or wire them onto sticks instead of using a metal structure.


What materials are action targets made from?

They are traditionally made out of paper. Some manufacturers include rubber to add resistance and allow the target to last longer before tearing. Others have vinyl on top for easy wipe down when it becomes dirty or grimy without harming the paper underneath.


What firearms can action targets be used with?

Action targets are generally used with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. If you want a smaller, more compact target, you can use a .22 rimfire, pellet rifle, or air rifle.

This is helpful if you are practicing in your backyard so as not to annoy your neighbors. With any firearm, it is important to make sure you are using the correct ammunition for your gun.


How do action targets work?

Action targets work by allowing you to shoot at them and then quickly marking where your shots hit. This will show you what areas of the target are effective or not so that when practicing, you can focus on improving those areas.


How long do action targets last?

Depending on the conditions they are used in, simple paper targets can last up to 3 years. Action targets that have rubber mixed into the paper will last significantly longer than those with vinyl on top as this is not designed to stop bullets like thicker paper is.


What are the best action targets?

The best action target can be used in different situations and conditions reliably for many years. The most important factor of an action target is the ability to save your valuable time when training for defensive or hunting situations.


Are action targets reusable?

Action targets are reusable in the sense that they can be shot again. Some targets have parts of them labeled so you know which areas you should focus on improving based on your previous shots at them.


When are action targets used?

Action targets are typically used for training purposes when practicing defensive or hunting situations. If being used for self-defense or hunting, then the best material will be sturdy paper as this is more likely to stop a bullet.


What are some alternatives to action targets?

Steel targets are an alternative option for those looking for something different than using paper. They require less time to set up and can last longer. However, they cost more money and aren't reusable like paper targets.


Are action targets good for beginners?

Action targets are good for beginners as they will help you focus on what you need to improve during your practice. If you are using them for defensive or hunting, then it is important that the paper used is sturdy enough to stop most types of ammunition so that there isn't any ricochet danger.


What size action targets should be used?

The width and height of your target depending on what distance you will be practicing at and what you want to achieve. If you are an advanced shooter, then a smaller size or even a headshot-only target may suit you.

However, if it's the first time that you shoot with a pistol, rifle, or shotgun, it is recommended to start off with as large as possible, so you don't miss.

Would action targets be more effective if they were human-shaped?

The size of your target is down to what you are trying to practice.

If using an active target for self-defense or hunting, then a life-size torso would certainly be the best way to improve your accuracy.

However, wherever possible, it is recommended that you find a suitable backstop or other forms of protection before actually firing at a human target to avoid any injuries if the target doesn't stop your bullet.


Where can I purchase action target?

Action targets can be purchased from many retailers that sell gun accessories and in any action target store. Just make sure you read what size they are and how sturdy the paper is before purchasing them to get the best results when practicing your shooting.

Where possible, it is recommended that you use a backstop or something else to stop bullets from ricocheting off of hard surfaces if using an active target for self-defense or hunting.


Where can I use action targets?

Action targets can be used anywhere there is space to aim at them. If using an active target for self-defense or hunting, make sure you use a backstop or something else that will stop any ricocheting bullets in order to avoid injuries.


What are the advantages of using an action target?

The main advantage of using an action target is that you can track your progress and figure out what areas of your shooting you need to improve on. They are also reusable, unlike steel targets which means they save money in the long run compared to purchasing new steel targets each time.


Final Thoughts

Action targets are great for tracking your progress.

Just make sure you have a backstop or something else to protect yourself in case the target doesn't fully stop your bullet.

If using an active target for self-defense or hunting, it is important they are made out of sturdy paper so they can safely stop any bullets from being fired at them.