Shooting target

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A "splatter"-type paper target shot with 69-grain Sierra MatchKing .223 Remington bullets fired from a Savage 10FP rifle — 25 shots at a distance of 91 metres (100 yd), all hitting inside the bullseye within a 25 millimetres (1 in) grouping
An electronic scoreboard used for stangskyting in Norway in 2007 showing the number of hits for each shooter after the first half.

Shooting targets are objects in various forms and shapes that are used for pistol, rifle, shotgun and other shooting sports, as well as in darts, target archery, crossbow shooting and other non-firearm related sports. The center is often called the bullseye. Targets can for instance be made of paper, "self healing" rubber or steel. There are also electronic targets that electronically can provide the shooter with precise feedback of the shot placement.


Most targets used in shooting sports today are abstract figures of which origins often are not given much thought, but given the military and hunting origins that started most shooting disciplines it is not hard to understand that many of the targets at some point originally resembled either human opponents in a battle or animals in a hunting situation. For instance, the well known circular bullseye target might originally have resembled a human torso or an animal being hunted.[citation needed] Notable instances of shooting targets with martial origins which are considered abstract today, are the field targets used in Det frivillige Skyttervesen where the original intent was to resemble amongst other wheels of vehicles (S25 target), barrels (tønne), bunker openings (stripe 30/10 and 13/40) or enemy personnel (1/3, 1/4, 1/6 and 1/10 figure, minismåen, etc.). The origin of these targets are not usually given

Types of targets[edit]

by Action[edit]

Paper target

by Reactivity[edit]

Balloons can often serve as a weak explosive target, as they are very cheap and visible (and disappear in a very obvious way when hit), and when punctured the rapid pressure release also produces an audible pop. There are also commercial air compressor devices that pressurize plastic bottles to produce a much louder boom when the bottle is breached by a bullet. Similarly, water balloons and used paperboard cartons/plastic jugs filled with water can also hydrostatically create a visible (and sometimes quite spectacular) splash when shot with a high-power bullet.
  • Interactive — various targets are displayed on a bullet-proof screen that capture the impacts. The impacts are visible on the target screen and on the remote monitor via an electronic scoring system. It's called by many names: 'multi-functional virtual target system', 'interactive live fire shooting simulator', 'live fire targeting system', 'interactive video projection shooting range wall'...

by Material[edit]

  • Paper or cardboard
  • Steel targets - metal silhouettes
  • Foam - used in 3D archery
  • Frangible (such as clay or tiles)
  • Self-healing rubber target
  • Electronic
  • Explosive - Targets are designed to explode when stuck with a bullet traveling at a suitable velocity to induce detonation.

by Realism[edit]

  • 2D
    • paper or metal silhouettes
  • 3D - usually models of real life animals in archery.

by Color[edit]


Mostly important for paper targets.

  • yellow, red, blue, black and white rings
  • yellow, red and blue rings
  • yellow and black rings
  • white and black rings
  • ...

Archery sports[edit]

World Archery Federation[edit]

FITA targets are used in archery shooting competitions within the World Archery Federation. The targets have 10 evenly spaced concentric rings, generally with score values from 1 through 10. In addition there is an inner 10 ring, sometimes called the X ring. This becomes the 10 ring at indoor compound competitions, while outdoors, it serves as a tiebreaker with the archer scoring the most X's winning. The number of hits may also be taken into account as another tiebreaker. In FITA archery, targets are coloured as follows:

  • 1 & 2 ring: White
  • 3 & 4 ring: Black
  • 5 & 6 ring: Blue
  • 7 & 8 ring: Red
  • 9, 10 & inner 10 (X) ring: Gold

3D archery targets[edit]

3D targets are life-size models of game used in field archery.


Dart targets are a special form of bullseye targets.

Firearm sports[edit]

Air rifle field targets[edit]

In the outdoor air gun discipline field target metal targets of various shape and forms are used. The metal plates are often shaped to resemble small game animals, although there is currently a move towards simple geometric shapes.

Clay pigeons[edit]

Clay pigeons are clay discs thrown into the air to imitate flying game birds for various clay pigeon shooting disciplines (e.g. trap, skeet, sporting clays), formally known as Inanimate Bird Shooting.

International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations[edit]

In fullbore target rifle within the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA), competitions can be held in either a short range or long range format, with distances either in yards or meters. F-Class shoots at the same targets as Palma, but during the scoring process an extra inner ring (which is half the diameter of the V-bull) counts only for F-Class. While short range is shot at a different target size for each of the six distances, long range is shot at the one and same type of target at different distances.[2] Below are the official target sizes, and approximate subtensions in milliradians and arcminutes depending on distance.

Metric ICFRA International Match Targets and F-Class Targets (Short Range)
at metric distances:
(image missing) (image missing) (image missing) (image missing)
300 m 400 m 500 m 600 m
Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size
Aiming Mark 600 mm 2.0 mrad 800 mm 2.0 mrad 1000 mm 2.0 mrad 1000 mm 1.7 mrad
Extra inner ring
(F-Class only)
35 mm 0.1 mrad 47.5 mm 0.1 mrad 72.5 mm 0.1 mrad 80 mm 0.1 mrad
V-Bull 70 mm 0.2 mrad 95 mm 0.2 mrad 145 mm 0.3 mrad 160 mm 0.3 mrad
Bull 140 mm 0.5 mrad 185 mm 0.5 mrad 290 mm 0.6 mrad 320 mm 0.5 mrad
Inner 280 mm 0.9 mrad 375 mm 0.9 mrad 660 mm 1.3 mrad 660 mm 1.1 mrad
Magpie 420 mm 1.4 mrad 560 mm 1.4 mrad 1000 mm 2.0 mrad 1000 mm 1.7 mrad
Outer 600 mm 2.0 mrad 800 mm 2.0 mrad 1320 mm 2.6 mrad 1320 mm 2.2 mrad
Metric ICFRA International Match Targets and F-Class Targets (Short Range)
at imperial distances:
(image missing) (image missing) (image missing) (image missing)
300 yds 400 yds 500 yds 600 yds
Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size
Aiming Mark 560 mm 7.02 moa 745 mm 7.00 moa 915 mm 6.88 moa 915 mm 5.73 moa
Extra inner ring
(F-Class only)
32.5 mm 0.41 moa 42.5 mm 0.40 moa 65 mm 0.49 moa 72.5 mm 0.45 moa
V-Bull 65 mm 0.81 moa 85 mm 0.80 moa 130 mm 0.98 moa 145 mm 0.91 moa
Bull 130 mm 1.63 moa 175 mm 1.64 moa 260 mm 1.95 moa 290 mm 1.82 moa
Inner 260 mm 3.26 moa 350 mm 3.29 moa 600 mm 4.51 moa 600 mm 3.76 moa
Magpie 390 mm 4.89 moa 520 mm 4.89 moa 915 mm 6.88 moa 915 mm 5.73 moa
Outer 560 mm 7.02 moa 745 mm 7.00 moa 1320 mm 9.93 moa 1320 mm 8.27 moa
The Metric ICFRA International Match Target and F-Class Target (Long Range)
at metric and imperial distances:
(image missing)
Subtension Angular sizes
700 m 800 yds
731.52 m
800 m 900 yds
822.96 m
900 m 1000 yds
914.4 m
Aiming Mark 1120 mm 1.6 mrad 1.5 mrad 1.4 mrad 1.4 mrad 1.2 mrad 1.2 mrad
Extra inner ring
(F-Class only)
128 mm 0.18 mrad 0.18 mrad 0.16 mrad 0.16 mrad 0.14 mrad 0.14 mrad
V-Bull 255 mm 0.4 mrad 0.3 mrad 0.3 mrad 0.3 mrad 0.3 mrad 0.3 mrad
Bull 510 mm 0.7 mrad 0.7 mrad 0.6 mrad 0.6 mrad 0.6 mrad 0.6 mrad
Inner 815 mm 1.2 mrad 1.1 mrad 1.0 mrad 1.0 mrad 0.9 mrad 0.9 mrad
Magpie 1120 mm 1.6 mrad 1.5 mrad 1.4 mrad 1.4 mrad 1.2 mrad 1.2 mrad
Outer 1830 mm 2.6 mrad 2.5 mrad 2.3 mrad 2.2 mrad 2.0 mrad 2.0 mrad

International Practical Shooting Confederation[edit]

In matches organized by the International Practical Shooting Confederation, both steel and paper targets are used. Currently the only paper targets used for handgun is the IPSC Target (formerly Classic Target) and the 2/3 scaled down IPSC Mini Target (formerly IPSC Mini Classic Target). The center of these paper targets is called the A-zone. Additionally, for rifle and shotgun "A3" and "A4" paper targets and the "Universal Target" is used. For steel targets, standardized knock down targets called "poppers" are used. The two approved designs are the full size "IPSC Popper" (formerly IPSC Classic Popper) and the 2/3 scaled down version "IPSC Mini Popper" (formerly "IPSC Classic Mini Popper"), while the Pepper Popper and Mini Pepper Popper is now obsolete.

International Shooting Sport Federation[edit]

Within the International Shooting Sport Federation mostly various bullseye targets are used, with variances depending on disciplines. For shotgun clay targets are used.

ISSF 25 meter Rapid Fire Pistol target.svg ISSF 25 meter Precision and 50 meter pistol target.svg ISSF 25 meter Precision and 50 meter pistol target.svg 10 meter air pistol target.svg
25 m Rapid Fire Pistol 25 m Precision Pistol 50 Meter Pistol 10 Meter Air Pistol
Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size
Inner Ten 50 mm 2 mrad 25 mm 1 mrad 25 mm 0.5 mrad 5 mm 0.5 mrad
10 Ring 100 mm 4 mrad 50 mm 2 mrad 50 mm 1 mrad 11.5 mm 1.15 mrad
Ring Increase
80 mm 3.2 mrad 50 mm 2 mrad 50 mm 1 mrad 16 mm 1.6 mrad
Aiming mark 500 mm 20 mrad 200 mm 8 mrad 200 mm 4 mrad 59.5 mm 5.95 mrad
(image missing) 10 meter running target.svg
50 m Running Target (Rifle) 10 m Running Target (Rifle)
Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size
Inner Ten 30 mm 0.6 mrad 0.5 mm 0.05 mrad
10 Ring 60 mm 1.2 mrad 5.5 mm 0.55 mrad
Ring Increase
34 mm 0.68 mrad 5 mm 0.5 mrad
Aiming mark 30.5 mm 3.05 mrad
ISSF 300 meter rifle target.svg ISSF 50 m Rifle.svg 10 m Air Rifle target.svg
300 m Rifle 50 m Rifle 10 m Air Rifle
Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size Subtension Angular size
Inner Ten 50 mm 1/6 mrad ≈ 0.167 mrad 5 mm 0.1 mrad (Determined by scoring gauge) -
10 Ring 100 mm 1/3 mrad ≈ 0.33 mrad 10.4 mm 0.208 mrad 0.5 mm 0.05 mrad
Ring Increase
100 mm 1/3 mrad ≈ 0.33 mrad 16 mm 0.32 mrad 5 mm 0.5 mrad
Aiming mark 600 mm 2 mrad ≈ 95.7 mm ≈ 1.9 mrad 25.5 2.55 mrad

Metallic silhouette[edit]

In metallic silhouette shooting only knock down steel targets featuring animals are used.


The Popinjay (from the French papegai, or "parrot") is an ancient form of target for crossbow shooting. Originally a bird tethered in a tree, it developed into a complex painted wood target atop a tall wooden pole. The popinjay would form the centrepiece of a major shooting contest and many shooters would try their skill repeatedly against the same target. Scoring was awarded for shooting off various parts of the target.

Human silhouette[edit]

Human silhouette targets are use for military, police and civilian firearms training.


Mannequins are sold for use as practice targets. Examples include The Ex, which resembles a woman, and another resembling former United States President Barack Obama.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Target archery".
  2. ^ ICFRA F-Class Technical Rules 2014 of 3 Sept 2014

External links[edit]