Different targets have different training objectives.  This is our guide to some of the best targets for defense training.  A defense target is considered a target that enhances your ability to react in a defensive situation rather than an offensive situation.  A defensive situation includes things like an active shooter, an assault/burglary or any other situation where you are reacting in a manner where you were not anticipating to use your weapon.


A Defense Target can either be a paper target or a steel AR 500 target.  Different paper targets and steel targets will offer different training opportunities.  We like to shoot on steel because it offers that audible instant feedback.  However, paper targets can often offer more drills with specific shapes or images.

So here is our quick guide to some of the best defense targets:

  1. KRATE AR 500 Steel Target

The Krate AR 500 steel is great for defensive drills because it offers instant feedback when a round strikes the steel.  This defense target is relatively inexpensive and unlike paper can be shot over and over again.

Want to improve your marksmanship? Read our blog, 5 Gun Targets to Increase your Marksmanship

2. Kill Zone Target

The Kill Zone Target makes for a great defense target because it gives you an idea of how your shot patterns might affect a human body.  The target has an overlay of anatomically correct human anatomy, featuring all the major organs and bone structure.  In addition, the target has an IDPA overlay that can be paired with a number of drills readily available online.

3. FAB Defense TargetOne of the best defense targets on the market is the FAB Defense Target.  This has a special, self-healing plastic that can be reused a number of times.  In addition, like the steel target, this target reacts when hit.  We like this option because they are a lot lighter than the steel defense targets and there is no minimum safe stand-off distance.

4. The Active Shooter Target

The Active Shooter Target is a great defensive target because it helps give you target recognition as well as see if your shot placement is within the vital areas of a human body.

Need work on your target transitions? Read our blog, This Drill is Designed to help work on your Target Transitions

5.  A Zone Splatter Target

The A-Zone Splatter Target is a 7 x 12″ splatter target that is designed to fit the standard USPSA A Zone.  This A Zone represents the rough size of the vitals of a human body.  This is a great defense target since it can be applied to any target and gives instant feedback with high vis orange splatter.

Don’t have the finances to buy new targets? Read our blog, Free Printable Shooting Targets