What targets do you use?

What targets do you use?

Would you use a pistol to take out a target at 1 mile? or would you use a rifle to shoot at a target 16-feet away? No, unless left as a last resort, no one in their right mind would. Knowing this is considered basic in the shooting community. I argue the same does not goes for selecting your targets, but should.

Knowing when to utilize the right target can make the difference between being effective at the range vs. wasting time.

Walking into most gun shops today you’ll find different types of paper targets available along with some steel targets. Among the designs will be everything from the standard black silhouette to zombies, overlarge spiders, creepy clowns, and more. The steel targets you find will include: everything from a single falling target (pepper popper) to plate racks to dueling trees to single 8”x 12” steel targets. With such a variety of targets available, not to mention all of the virtual systems and improvised targets, how do you know what’s best to use and when? 

romtes targets

According to Lt. F Borelli, the proper selection and use of a given target should depend on the skill objective being trained. If a shooter is relatively new or simply wants to focus on basic marksmanship at 16-feet, a paper bull’s-eye or standard silhouette target will suffice. If the shooter is sufficiently skilled and simply wants to add some entertainment to the shooting practice, any of the zombie/creepy clown/huge spider target assortments can be used. They usually still have scoring markings on them and make the training day more interesting than shooting plain paper. Additionally, to this paper target option the Romtes SCT Pro also provide scoring based on 8 different scoring zones, that provide both positive and negative scoring options.

The thing to understand about paper targets is that they are primarily used for basic skill development and/or administrative scoring. Shooting paper does not prepare anyone to survive and emerge victorious from an actual gunfight or other lethal use of force situations. Some challenge to skill can be created by having the paper targets move—laterally or in-line with the shooter (closer or farther away) and by having the shooter move to cover, issue verbal commands, etc. while shooting. 

In the end, shooting paper is shooting paper and once the holes are counted, the score tallied and recorded, what’s been accomplished is exactly that: holes in paper and a measure of basic shooting skill. Contrary to the paper targets, Romtes SCT Pro do not have to be patched and scoring will be done instantly. Thus reducing the amount of time you need to walk to the target.

When you have a group of shooters who are competent and have reasonably decent marksmanship skills, adding reactionary targets increases training options and can add a level of enjoyment. For instance, falling plates, either on a rack or stand-alone, both make a sound and fall when hit. Falling targets can be set to require two hits before they fall; that’s two consecutive hits within a limited time or they “reset” and the first hit did no good overall. The Romtes SCT Pro has the ability to be used at any distance and with the sound of the hit made right next to you at the shooting line without the influence of wind or other external influences that can impact sound.

Plate racks, falling singles and dueling trees can add fun via competition as well. Remembering that the goal of firearms training is to; have shooters who can hit a target with skills they have mastered and without the extended time of concentrated thought. Putting two of them side by side and having them shoot a “duel” adds a competitive flavor to the training. If you have a six-plate dueling tree—a steel “tree” that has six plates that will swing from left to right or right to left when hit— you can set it up with three plates on each side. One shooter is on the left and one shooter is on the right.

The goal, within the given time or ammo limit, is to have all the plates on the other guy’s side. To accomplish this, one shooter has to shoot accurately and just slightly faster than the other. Such competition puts an emphasis, however subconsciously, on the application of basic marksmanship. It’s training with the only score being who won, this time. With the Romtes SCT Pro scoring system you are able to have fun and compete with other shooters.


The single steel plates that don’t fall but can be placed on stands or hung from mounts are good; for longer distance engagements where holes in paper targets can’t be seen. For instance, from 25 yards or more, seeing a 9mm hole in a black paper target is near impossible depending on the lighting. But if you hang or place a 12”x 18” plate instead, then every hit or miss is obvious. A shooting instructor or coach who counts the hits out of a given number of shots can produce a score for the string and, depending on the backstop, may be able to give the shooter an indication of where they missed: high, low, left, or right. Romtes targets are for shooting up to 1 mile.

The ultimate goal of any training program is to produce a shooter that can shoot accurately, under duress, in compressed time limits; but within all applicable federal, state, county, and city laws as appropriate. Further, the shooter must be able to articulate why he chose to fire the shots and why he chose to stop shooting. Developing that level of competency simply can’t be done using only a paper target or steel targets. The Romtes SCT Pro provides this flexibility for shooters and instructors alike.

In conclusion, the SCT Pro by Romtes is an adequate replacement for the paper and steel targets. The Romtes SCT Pro is an target system that give you the flexibility. To not only use it at any distance up to 1 mile; but also to use the but also provides the automated scoring system and also instantly hear the the a sound when you hit the target. Together with this you are also able to use it for weather you are a professional or new to marksmanship.

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