Many of those working in the world of law enforcement know how important it is to remain aware at all time. Statistics show that 62 out of the 66 law enforcement officers who were killed in the line duty died as the result of a firearm assault. Many police departments outfit their offices with armor vests. Statistics show that these vests have helped save the lives of over 3,000 police officers over the past 30 years. In addition, the likelihood of dying as the result of a gunshot wound to the torso area is 3.4 times more likely to happen for police officers that don’t wear these vests. While these vests go a long way to help keep law enforcement officers protected, it’s imperative that you regularly practice your shooting skills. From using reactive targets to stationary counterparts, using these devices are great ways to keep your shooting skills sharp. Steel targets are incredibly popular shooting targets but you’ll want to know how to use these items in a safe manner. Considering that, here are four tips to follow while shooting steel targets.
- Not All Steel is Created Equal
You might find it tempting to simply begin shooting the piece of steel you come across. With that in mind, you’ll want to know that not all types of steel are made to safely handle the impact of a bullet. Steel targets are made to meet specifications that help the consumer know how to properly use a specific target.
- Ensure You’re Aware of Safe Shooting Distances
While practicing with shooting targets, you’ll always want to remember safe distance guidelines. In many cases, you’ll find these guidelines in print inserts that are placed inside of a steel target container. These guidelines are created to help ensure that you are firing your weapon at the proper distance. Firing a weapon from too close of a distance can lead to many potentially dangerous situations.
- Know Which Target Thickness You’ll Need
As previously mentioned, there are dangers that can take place when you aren’t following proper safety procedures while using steel targets. Considering that, it’s important that you’re choosing targets that are thick enough to handle the weapon you plan on using. For instance, there are certain AR500 steel targets that have been specially made in order to safely absorb this type of weapon.
- Understand When to Discard Targets
It’s understandable that most steel targets that are currently in use sustain a lot of punishment. Considering that, it’s important to watch for signs that your targets have taken too much damage. Steel targets that sustain extensive damage can begin to lose their flatness. After this happens, the likelihood increases that these targets will be unable to safely disperse the impact of a bullet. In the event that you continue to use damaged targets, you could find yourself dealing with an increased risk of ricochets taking place.
To summarize, there are several safety tips that you’ll want to follow while practicing your shooting skills using steel targets. It’s important that you only order steel that is made for use with target practice. Picking up the first piece of steel you find isn’t safe due to the fact that using these items can cause bullets to ricochet. You’ll find it important to learn and follow any and all distance guidelines for the steel target that you plan on using. It’s important to ensure that you are using steel targets that are able to safely absorb the impact of ammunition that you’re shooting. If you’ve noticed that your current steel target show any signs of being warped or cracked, it’s time to get rid of them.