Fri. Sep 18th, 2020

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

After a short hiatus, TacStrike Steel Target Systems is back in business.   TacStrike Targets have been popular with some big names in firearms training in the past, and I’m sure the new batches will be as well.  When I heard a run of quarter-scale silhouette targets was in-process,  I knew it was time to add more steel to my collection.

…with a little help from my friends

In order to avoid heavy shipping costs, I got a few friends to pitch in on 2 pallets of 5 targets each.  5 targets fit nicely on a small (2′ X 4′ pallet).  The targets consist of a steel “H-base” – which can double as a paper target base, the steel target stand, and the target plate itself.   If you have a group of folks looking for targets,  you can save significantly on shipping be ordering a pallet (minimum of 5 targets).

Durability

Several magazines of 62-grain open-tip match rounds at 80- 100 yards made no impression on these targets.   A coat of paint pretty much obscured any evidence that these targets had ever been used.   Steel targets tend to be a little vulnerable at the edges, it’s just physics – it also depends on how the steel was cut and if any heat was used that could affect the temper of the steel.   Edge hits usually leave chips or pits on steel targets, but in my testing the edges of these targets seemed to shrug off hits without the deformation that I’m used to seeing.

A rifle round on the edge of a steel target almost always leaves a deep dent. These edge hits from 62gr open-tip match at 100 yds disappeared with a coat of paint. This is probably what impressed me most about these.

While my testing of these targets indicates they hold up amazingly well to standard copper-based gilding metal jacketed ammo; the steel jacketed or steel cored stuff (e.g. Wolf or M855 green tip/M855A1) eats in to the surface of any steel target much more rapidly.  The other problem, of course, with using steel jacket ammunition on steel targets is the ignition hazard from sparks on easily-ignitable foliage in dry climates, as well as an increased danger from steel bullet fragments – which tend to be larger and heavier than traditional copper-based gilding metal bullet jackets.

For working target systems – that’s life.  I’ve seen TacStrike targets used in carbine classes with oodles of green tip fired at them.   Even a target that shows significant cratering and pitting is still very functional as a long-range rifle target.  Once a steel target has surface pitting though, it’s days as a close-range pistol target are over.  Those pock-marks on the surface can send dangerous pistol bullet spall back at the shooter instead of directing it down and to the sides.  TacStrike uses a reversible target plate system, so targets can have a dedicated rifle side and a dedicated pistol side.  This swap can be made with no tools simply by lifting the target out of the brackets, flipping it, and dropping it back down in the brackets.

Ouchless Stand

A number of steel target companies rely on 2X4 or 4X4 wooden stands.   These are sponges for razor-sharp bullet jacket fragments and spall and attempting to handle them without some type of work glove usually results in blood.  TacStrike stands are square tubing that doesn’t absorb spall.  What’s even better, the first few inches of stand beneath the target are protected by AR500 plate.

The first few inches of target stand below the target are protected by an AR500 steel plate. This not only protects the target stand from high-velocity spall, but also from errant pistol and rifle rounds.

This protects the most vulnerable portion of the square tubing stand from spall, as well as getting dented by pistol rounds or perforated by rifle rounds.   Of course hits below this protective plate will leave marks.  These are mostly cosmetic, but paint hideth a multitude of sins.   Some skill (or a skilled friend) with a welder and grinder easily remedies this.

Easily Transportable:

These targets disassemble into their three main components in seconds without tools.  For transportation or storage, that is a great advantage.

The simple breakdown of these targets makes them easy to transport to the range – an important detail for instructors who need to transport plenty of steel for large classes.

 

Final Thoughts:

TacStrike offers professional quality steel targets at affordable prices.  Compared to similar mass-produced targets from other suppliers there is a significant savings without sacrificing performance.   The quality is in the details, like the protective plate on the stands, the multi-purpose base, tool-less breakdown, and the use of quality materials and manufacturing processes.  The owner is also a veteran and a family man, so you’re supporting a small, veteran-owned business when you buy from TacStrike.   As I stated at the beginning of this review, TacStrike took a little break and they are just getting back in business, but look for their product line to grow.

Material Disclosure:  I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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