How to Build a Firearms Range: Target Suppliers

Full descriptions of additional companies that sell targets for firearms practice.

Beacon Target Turner

Beacon Target Turner, based in Johnsburg, Ill., also offers reasonably priced turning target systems. The Beacon Static Model is a base model that can be built to hold from two to 36 targets, including “slave” targets that can be attached to main or “master” targets to move at the same time. Target holders are 24 inches wide and hold a pair of 1-inch by 2-foot strips of lumber to allow for height adjustment. Several spacing options, from 40 inches apart to 72 inches apart, are available. A sturdy standalone portable turner and popups are also available from the company.

LaRue Tactical

LaRue Tactical in Leander, Texas, focuses on meeting the needs of law enforcement and military snipers with its simple, standalone targets. Currently in use by United States military snipers fighting the war on terror overseas, LaRue Tactical’s battery-powered sniper targets are designed to automatically reset 1800 times without recharging. They can also be used for shotgun and handgun courses. Because the targets are battery operated, they require no wires or hoses, and no setup or assembly. Each target is completely portable but can be left outside year round because it is weatherproof. The 3/8-inch thick 500-Brinnell target is made to withstand .223 and .308 caliber weapons, while a one-inch thick version handles .50 BMG. A remote controlled version allows an operator to turn the target on or off, raise or lower the target, and to control a single target or up to five groups of several targets each.

Metalmasters Target Systems

Charlotte, Mich.-based Metalmasters Target Systems sells a wide range of targets and accompanying products, such as polyfoam target backers. But its most versatile offering is the Portable automated Target System. One machine allows officers to train in right or left door entry, as well as react to twin pop-up and twin edge and face scenarios. It’s a great device to use in a shoot house. Weighing only 47 pounds, this unit is completely portable and setup is fast and easy. The addition of an optional battery pack also makes it ideal for use in remote locations. The included wireless remote control can operate one or more units up to 100 yards, while an optional remote can operate units from a mile away.

Qualification Targets

Qualification Targets of Rogers, Minn., sells all manner of different-looking targets, from basic bull’s eyes to photo-realistic, life-size targets, to basic silhouettes. The Anatomy-1 model is a photo target with hidden liver, spleen, heart, spinal column, and pelvic girdle that allows shooters to better judge the damage done to an “assailant” target. Life-size targets are true to size so the rangemaster doesn’t need to adjust the placement of the target to simulate a realistic size. A variety of overlays are available to change the image from a bystander holding a cell phone or nothing at all to a gun-toting threat.

Range Systems

Range Systems of New Hope, Minn., has a team of in-house experts that aid in developing custom shooting facilities. Its In-range product line includes paper targets, a large assortment of reactive steel targets with custom designs available, and target systems for indoor and outdoor use that are rail or cable operated and use runningman and pop-up targets. The company’s paper targets are photorealistic and portray people of different genders, ages, and ethnicities.

Realistic Target Company

Bloomington, Minn.-based Realistic Target Company specializes in photorealistic targets—both photographs and lifelike illustrations—complete with overlays to change the target from a friend to a foe. Adhesive back strips make placing overlays easy. Targets and overlay images are slightly larger than life size to make it possible for shooters to accurately judge and shoot at maximum range and in low-light conditions. All of the company’s targets and overlays are printed on durable non-glare paper suitable for outdoor use. Overlays available include various firearms, a knife, open palms, a credit card, a Molotov cocktail, and binoculars. A handheld badge is another overlay option used to condition shooters to recognize a brother officer.

Specialty Targets

New Albany, Miss.-based Specialty Targets creates targets ranging from simple target plates for training in accuracy to fully interactive targets for training in target assessment, reaction time, speed of draw and shoot, and accuracy under the stress of return fire. TACT Response, the company’s high-end fully interactive target, includes a field selectable reaction time that the shooter must meet or the target will return fire with a paintball projectile. It can be used as a single target or with the company’s multiple-target system. The multi-target system includes a single portable control system capable of controlling up to eight individual targets at once. Each of the targets can be configured individually. TACT Response targets operate on 110 Volts AC or rechargeable battery and are made to be portable and durable.

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