How To Build Your Own Reactive Target

In this second DIY video I show you how to create your own reactive (or resetting) steel target for under $20 (not including the steel plate). Shooting steel is extremely fun and breaks you from monotony of shooting paper targets. The audible “Ping” created by a hit is good for training purposes, especially at longer ranges, and is also useful in Run N Guns, as will be shown in later videos. One of the main drivers that caused me to make this video was the drive to save you money – a frequent theme that my channel revolves around. Reactive targets from various manufacturers are either cheap (and some are therefore dangerous) and fall apart quickly, or overly expensive (as the market for this type of product is apparently not large enough for companies to offer options at reasonable prices) making reactive targets too expensive for the average shooter’s budget. With this design you could build yourself 3 reactive targets for the price of buying one the lowest end models available.

The steel itself can be any of a variety available from a host of different target companies (although I discuss the specs I think are necessary for a safe target). In this example I use a “Steel Challenge” target made by a company called Quality Targets. They have reasonable prices and are a great “Made In The USA” company. The company is appropriated named, as the steel they create is of excellent quality, and the price is right. Please be sure to check out their website, they are now added to my “approved list” of companies who do good business:

To build the target as shown I used the following materials:
8′ of 2×4
3′ of 2×4 for the target arm
4-5′ of 1×5 ¼ plank
3′ of 1×2
½” threaded rod, 15″ long
2 bungee cords approximately 24″ long
4 large steel nails to be used as stakes
1 Lawn mower/tractor tire
Assortment of various washers, nuts and bolts
3/8 thick, 8″ diameter, Steel Challenge target in AR500 steel (Quality Targets – $60 shipped)
Total Price including steel: UNDER $80!!!!!!!

As you can see the design is not anything overly complicated. Using 2x4s I fashioned a base 24″ in length. The remaining 2x4s are used are used for width and additional strength, measuring 14″. The planks serve to mount on the bottom of the target for added stability. The arm of the target is placed so that when the target plate is seated there is a slight downward angle, approximately 20° to 30°. The steel rod is placed so that the 2×4 arm rests at the aforementioned angle by drilling holes in the 2x4s accordingly. The bungee cords are secured on the back of the 2×4 target arm with a screw and washer and are aligned down along the arm, underneath the target and then connected to the steel rod. The tractor tire has two holes drilled into it with a bolt and nut secured into it so that the tire will seat behind the target arm into 2 holes drilled on the small plank arms which are used to make sure the target arm will fall directly backwards upon impact. Then the steel nails are secured into the ground through 4 holes drilled into the base support planks with a rubber mallet.

At the end of the first section I show footage from the actual shooting of the target.

In the second section of the video I talk a little bit about the science behind shooting steel. It is a little long winded but is a good starting point on the basics on shooting steel. I am not a scientist; everything I talk about is from my own research. I have only recently started in steel shooting and there are not a lot of great sources to find information, so what I tried to do was compile all the relevant details to help those who, like me, are interested in shooting steel. That being said **SHOOT STEEL AT YOUR OWN RISK** I am not responsible for anything that you may try. Follow the directions as the manufacturer of the steel you decide to use instructs. If you are new to shooting steel, I do recommend that you watch the entire second part of the video. The information contained therein, as well as doing your own due diligence is important to steel shooting safety.

If you have questions on the design specs or process, please feel free to get in touch with me via PM or comment. This target is easy to set up and very fun to shoot. I hope that you can create your own target and have just as much fun with it as I have had with mine. Thanks for watching and always, have fun and stay safe!

Post time: Jun-13-2017
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