The 10 Best Shooting Targets

Updated June 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Practice makes perfect, and you'll never be a skilled marksman if you don't put in serious hours at the range. Of course, to get better, you need to have a reliable indication of how you're performing, which is why it's essential to use a high-quality shooting target. Our selections will help you correct any mistakes, so that you can hone your skills. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shooting target on Amazon.

10. Birchwood Casey Battle

If you're looking to mix things up, then the Birchwood Casey Battle gives you the thrill of taking on a friend in a game of "Battleship." Of course, the difference is that with these, you can see where his ships are located. The question is whether or not you can hit them.
  • wide variety of patterns
  • ideal for training young shooters
  • dots are hard to see from a distance
Brand Birchwood Casey
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. MarksmanSklz Diagnostic

If you're determined to be the best pistol shot around, then you need to pick up the MarksmanSklz Diagnostic. They provide instant feedback on your technique based on where you're hitting, allowing you to make real-time adjustments for the most helpful practice possible.
  • different versions for dominant hand
  • great value for the price
  • print too small to read downrange
Brand MarksmanSKLZ
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Thompson Human Silhouette

The Thompson Human Silhouette lets you take aim at specific organs, so that you can be sure to get in a debilitating shot on your quarry. It shows skeletal structure and highlights critical zones, allowing you to practice taking an intruder down with a single round.
  • meets tactical training specs
  • bright high-density inks
  • available in three sizes
Brand Thompson Target
Model pending
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. EasyShot Hostage

Let's face it, shooting's more fun when you're saving the day from the bad guys. That's why the EasyShot Hostage is such great entertainment, as the photo-realistic sheets show a criminal absconding with a beautiful victim. You're not going to let him get away, are you?
  • perfect for practicing head shots
  • paper produces clean holes
  • includes 150 repair stickers
Brand EasyShot Targets
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. MarksmanSklz Shooting Bottles

If you want to feel like you are in the Old West and getting ready to go track down some cattle rustlers, the MarksmanSklz Shooting Bottles can help. Each one sports a different, high-visibility color, and they come in either a three- or six-pack.
  • shatterproof construction
  • include a hanging cord
  • made in the united states
Brand MarksmanSKLZ
Model pending
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Splatterburst "Stick and Splatter"

You can spice up your practice routine with the adhesive Splatterburst "Stick and Splatter". These two-inch stickers can be slapped on to an aluminum can, cardboard box, or anything else you can find, allowing you to mix up what you shoot at without sacrificing accuracy.
  • excellent for bb guns
  • lets you reuse old papers
  • also includes some one-inch stickers
Brand Splatterburst Targets
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Champion Redfield

The Champion Redfield are great for dialing in rifles, as they have one-inch grid lines that allow you to walk in your shots from hundreds of yards away. The white background really makes the red markings stand out as you take aim.
  • ideal for working on trigger squeeze
  • sight-in instructions at bottom
  • five targets per sheet
Brand Champion Traps and Targ
Model 47387
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Caldwell Rimfire

If you like to enjoy your target practice in the field rather than an indoor range, the Caldwell Rimfire is a great choice. It is made from heavy-duty steel that can last through years of use, and the shooting spots automatically reset themselves after being hit.
  • wide and stable stance
  • lightweight and easy to transport
  • deflects ricochets safely downrange
Brand Caldwell
Model 902365
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. EasyShot Silhouette

The EasyShot Silhouette is perfect for shooters who like to milk every last drop of life out of their targets, as it has four bullseyes per sheet, plus it comes with stickers that allow you to paste over your holes and reuse the paper again and again.
  • includes a shooting tips e-book
  • available in packs of 10 to 200
  • vivid contrast to the silhouette
Brand EasyShot Targets
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Splatterburst Silhouette

Once you get sighted in on the Splatterburst Silhouette, you'll never go back to plain white paper again. The fluorescent impact holes are visible even in low light, so if you have an outdoor range, you can keep shooting and still see where you hit well past sundown.
  • immediate feedback for corrections
  • bright red center mass bullseye
  • makes life easy for spotters
Brand Splatterburst Targets
Model pending
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Competitive Shooting

For most of human history, being able to hit a target with a projectile has truly been a matter of life and death. If you missed your prey with your spear, your family didn't eat — and if your arrow missed your enemy, you didn't come home to your family at all. As a result, marksmanship competitions have been a staple of both military and civic exhibitions for thousands of years.

The first purely social shooting clubs cropped up in Germany around the 13th or 14th century C.E. Over the next few hundred years, these clubs continued to expand, using both bows-and-arrows and flint-lock muskets.

By the 16th century, rifles were being used. Competitors took aim at festively-decorated wooden targets, and many competitions were held in public, with shooting festivals often hosted on religious holidays or other important occasions.

As settlers began to venture across the pond to America, shooting proficiency became even more important, as potentially-hostile tribes of Native Americans and vicious wildlife were a constant threat. Many communities organized "turkey shoots," with the most-accurate shooter taking home a turkey or similar prize.

Around 1825, Americans pioneered the use of trap shooting, using live pigeons. A few years after that, artificial targets were introduced using glass balls filled with feathers, which no doubt looked incredible when they shattered.

After the Civil War came to an end in 1865, a pair of Union officers lamented the poor marksmanship exhibited by both sides. The two men would go on to form the National Rifle Association, with the express intent of training the next generation of shooters to be better aims than their fathers.

This time also saw the rise of dedicated, professional marksmen (and women) — people like "Buffalo" Bill Cody and Annie Oakley, who both made a living touring the country and putting on shooting exhibitions.

International events began to spring up around the turn of the 20th century, with men's shooting being one of nine competitions at the inaugural 1896 Olympic Games. Ever since those first Games, shooting sports have always been the first to be awarded medals, because the entrants are both armed and impatient.

Today, shooting competitions are held year-round, both formally and informally. If you want to test your prowess as a dead-eye, you can likely find a venue not far from where you live that will let you put your skills to the test.

Just remember, though: in every contest, it's not whether you hit the bull's eye that matters — it's whether you have a believable excuse for when you miss the whole target entirely.

Ways To Spice Up Your Next Practice Session

If your practice routine has gotten stale, here are some ways to liven up your next day at the range.

First off, you should know that you don't have to use boring targets. There are a variety of options that can make practicing more fun, including ones with bad guys to shoot at or games like "Battleship" to play. There are even some that glow in the dark, if you want to try a little nighttime shooting (or if you want to host a "Chernobyl Night" party at the range).

You can also get creative with home-made targets. Anything that pops, like inflated balloons, or makes a huge mess on impact, like soda cans, is always a fun choice.

One fun game to play with friends is Texas hold'em. Simply staple a few cards to the target downrange, then deal two cards face-down to the competitors, who have their backs turned. Then, each shooter flips over their hole cards and fires three shots at the cards on the targets in order to form the best five-card hand.

You can even get a dart board and play a quick round. Same rules apply, or you can make up your own rules (we're not going to tell you what to do — after all, you have a gun).

There's always a way to spice up even a plain target, or to re-purpose old junk you have lying around the house. Even better, you'll discover you can never get a bad Christmas gift again (thanks for the fruitcake, Grandma — I know just what to do with it!).

Quick And Easy Ways To Improve Your Accuracy

If you don't want everyone at the range to know you're a rookie, here are a few tips to quickly improve your accuracy.

The most important thing you can do is not be afraid to ask for help. Chances are, your range holds classes to teach the public everything from basic safety to improved marksmanship, so take advantage of that. Also, you should know that there's nothing a gun aficionado likes more than to tell another marksman how to shoot, so don't be afraid to ask a neighbor, either.

For rifle shooting, the easiest thing to do is to get a high-quality rest and be sure your gun's properly sighted-in. From there, it's simply a matter of practice.

Handgun accuracy is a little harder to come by. There are different schools of thought as to the proper stance, so explore several and find the one that feels most natural to you.

One of the best ways to improve quickly is through dry-fire practice. Many novices flinch or apply too much pressure to the trigger when firing, but by practicing with an empty gun, you can get used to the trigger without the stress of waiting for it to go off. Once you're able to fire without moving the gun, you can move on to the real thing.

Ultimately, however, shooting accuracy is a skill honed by thousands of hours of practice. Once you find your stance and get acclimated to your pistol, you'll have to put in the work to see improvement.

Oh shucks. I guess that just means you'll just have to spend even more time at the gun club.

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Last updated on June 05, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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