Shooting sports are generally very safe activities; however all precautions should be taken when participating or observing in any and all shooting sports. Misuse or mishandling of firearms and targets can cause personally injury and even death, as well as damage and loss of personal property. Shooters and observers should always where ear and eye protections and follow the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety.
10 Commandments of Firearm Safety
1) Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
2) Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
3) Don’t rely on your gun’s safety.
4) Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
5) Use proper ammunition.
6) If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.
7) Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
8) Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
9) Don’t alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.
10) Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.
Shooting Guidelines and Recommendations
Shooting paper, cardboard and 3D targets is very safe. When shooting cardboard or 3D targets the most important thing to remember is to know what lies beyond your target(s). The cardboard, 3D targets and the wood furring strips will not cause any type of ricochets, fragments or debris to come back at the shooter and are perfect for shooting up close.
Some precautions need to be taken with steel targets. Shooting steel targets can be very safe and fun when some simple rules are followed. When the steel is hit by a bullet, the bullet fragments into many little pieces and showers these fragments across the face of the target and at a small angle away from the target face. When a steel target is angled down toward the ground, most of the fragments will shower down into the ground. The larger the bullet and higher velocity will increase the amount and distance these fragments can be reflected. For this reason we have recommended some minimum shooting distances with different types of firearms and ammunition; however please keep in mind that the shooter and bystanders can be hit with small bullet fragments and other debris due to unforeseen circumstances. When hit by these little fragments there is usually no harm done; however minor cuts and scratches can occur. On extremely rare occasion more serious injury can occur, even death, but is typically the result of irresponsible shooters, shooting damaged targets, shooting too close to targets, hitting other objects around the target (i.e. the stands or rocks) that can cause ricochets from bullets or other material being hit to return to the shooter.
The following guidelines are strictly recommendations for shooting distances based on the most typical firearms used in target shooting. P3DT cannot anticipate or make recommendations based on every individual situation.
- Rifles: No closer than 150 yards or impact velocity above 2800 fps and no steel core or armor piercing bullets.
- Handgun: No closer than 20 yards and no steel core bullets.
- Shotgun: No closer than 50 yards with shot and 100 yards with slugs. No steel shot.
*Shooters are solely responsible for the distance they shoot from and the type of ammunition being used. They are also solely responsible for any and all actions when using P3DT products.
Damaged steel targets should never be used, because it will increase the risk of injury to the shooter and bystanders. Do not shoot steel targets when they are cracked, cratered or have holes in them. Damage to steel targets usually happens slowly over long periods of time when shooting occurs at the recommended distances. Not following these recommendations may cause increased wear and damage to the targets, as well as increase the risk of injury. All steel targets will eventually wear out, especially when using high velocity rifle rounds. The life of a target can be extended by unbolting and rotating the targets so the bullets are impacting the alternate side of the target face.
Please be aware that the above are simply recommendations and are not legally binding. It is impossible to anticipate every situation that may be involved with the shooting sports. The above recommendations will help to keep you safe and have fun while engaged in shooting sports. Please read the disclaimer prior to check out.
Always follow the 10 Commandments of Firearms Safety. Be sure of your targets and make sure anyone and everyone you are shooting with also follows these rules. Above all, P3DT wants you to be safe and have fun while participating in shooting sports!