Frequently Asked Questions

MGM Targets FAQ’s passes on our decades of experience in both the shooting industry and steel fabrication.  This enables us to apply this unique combination of knowledge to create world class products that are practical, affordable, and exceptionally durable.

Every MGM center fire rifle rated target is made in the United States of America from 3/8″ premium 550 Brinell steel, also known as AR550, the equivalent of Armor Plate. Our Rim fire series are also made in the USA and depending on the specific product, made of 3/16″ AR400, 5/16″ or 3/8″ AR550 steel. To further insure the longevity of every target, we require certification of the steel’s hardness rating.

Setting industry standards in quality and innovation for over 20 years, MGM Targets has grown to be the most well known brand of Steel Targets world wide. Preferred and specified by every branch of the US military, Law Enforcement agencies, State Governments across the country, numerous departments of US Government and great sport and competitive shooters internationally… They all call for MGM Targets – Leave Nothing To Chance™.

Combine all that with our “No Bull” warranty and our outstanding customer service and you won’t find a better product anywhere at any price.

The hexagon target shape is a registered trademark of MGM Holdings, Inc.

Bullet Proof©


What is the MGM “No Bull” Warranty?

If for any reason you don’t agree that the performance, design, craftsmanship, and overall quality of our products constitute the best target value, return your purchase within two weeks for a 100% refund.  No questions asked.  We want you to be satisfied.

Every component of every product which is not intended to be shot is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. This means if a component not intended to be shot is damaged by gunfire, it is not covered by warranty.

If ANY weld breaks at any time, we will replace the part for free, including shipping.

When using a PISTOL EXCLUSIVELY, we warranty the target plate itself FOREVER.

With that said, we know and expect that targets shot with a center fire rifle will show a mark for every shot and will ultimately fail due to multiple hits in the same area, along with cracks, breaks and holes shot through them. This is not a manufacturing defect nor is it a defect in the steel and therefore is not covered by the warranty.

We manufacture a full line of steel targets for civilian, competition, Law Enforcement, and Military firearms training. We would be honored if you would consider MGM for your steel target needs. Our products are competitively priced and there are no higher quality steel target products available anywhere. Please call us at 888-767-737 or send us an email at

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What are your targets made of?

Every MGM center fire rifle rated target is made in the United States of America from 3/8″ premium 550 Brinell steel, also known as AR550, the equivalent of Armor Plate. Our Rim fire series are also made in the USA and depending on the specific product, made of 3/16″ AR400, 5/16″ or 3/8″ AR550 steel. To further insure the longevity of every target, we require certification of the steel’s hardness rating.

AR550 is comparable to roughly a 52 on the Rockwell C scale, which is also about the same hardness as a good knife blade. While ‘AR550’ steel is a common  industry term, and a steel mill designation, but not all AR550 actually has a Brinell hardness of 500 and in fact is often as low as 465. The manufacturing processes vary resulting in varied hardnesses. MGM Targets has considered this and to maintain more consistent material and the highest standard of performance from our products, we require the hardness of the AR550 steel we use be not less than 495. MGM’s acceptable tolerance measurements on steel is the tightest in the industry and we require our steel suppliers to contract and supply to this tolerance.

In fact, in a recent review of numerous mill certs for our steel, the Brinnel hardness of our steel measured an exceptional 510-522.

– The best steel, the best methods make the best targets.

In addition to the chemical composition of the steel, a ‘quench and temper’ process at the steel mill further enhances the steel hardness and toughness. In comparison, your car is made of mild steel, about 135 Brinell, and T-1, (the old steel for targets) is about a 235 hardness. AR550 can withstand literally thousands of rounds from reasonable distances without significant damage.

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How long does it take to get the product after I place an order?

Usually an order will ship within 10-14 days after receipt of the order in to our system. On occasion the order may take longer if we are in production of that specific product. Always ask about availability if you have a deadline. We will most likely be able to accommodate you.

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Payment methods and terms & GSA

MGM accepts all major credit cards and will process credit card payments at the time the order is placed. MGM happily accepts payment by check and will ship orders paid by check promptly upon the bank’s notification that the check has cleared. Of course, MGM also accepts US dollars for cash payment. Distributor and government agency accounts are welcomed and can be established. Please contact our office for details at 888-767-7371. We appreciate your business.

Pricing: Only full pallet orders of cardboard targets receive free shipping. Individual boxes of cardboard targets are not included in the MGM Targets free shipping program. Discounts are not applicable to cardboard targets.

Discounts: Special or sale pricing or discount codes may not be combined on purchases.

GSA: MGM Targets is a GSA contractor. GSA Contract No. GS0-7F-0205N. GSA orders cannot be placed via

Please call 888-767-7371 for GSA sales.

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What methods do you ship?

We ship UPS, DHL, and FedEx Freight. UPS and DHL are used for smaller orders that do not require the use of a forklift for loading and/or unloading. If necessary, we can also ship via the US mail.

Transit Damage: Thank you for choosing MGM Targets. We take great care in packing all orders to arrive in the same condition as when they ship from our facility.  However, when shipments leave our docks, the level of care applied by shipping companies is inconsistent and damage occasionally occurs.  If your order arrives with visible damage to the packaging, please DO NOT OPEN it.  Rather, so we may quickly address the issue, please take a moment to shoot photos from multiple angles depicting the damage and immediately send the photos to Your efforts will enable us to expedite shipment of any necessary replacements to you.  Thank you for your cooperation and for choosing MGM Targets.

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Where do you ship?

We can ship all over the world though additional shipping charges will apply for orders being shipped out of the continental US.

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How do MGM’s prices compare to other Vendors?

MGM’s costs are all competitive with our competition. Comparing ‘apples to apples’, if you find a competitor’s product that sells for less than MGM’s, there is a darn good reason for it! VALUE. Value has almost nothing to do with ‘cost’. If you are only going to be shooting for a year, there are a mountain of products that our competitors offer that will meet that need adequately, and will cost you less than MGM’s product. If you anticipate extended usage of your targets (like 5-10 years and more), you can’t afford NOT to buy our products.

We have put out two challenges. First, to our competitors – We’ll match our product against theirs, with real guns and real bullets, anytime, anyplace. The only stipulation is, there will be a third party there to photograph and write up the test results, and the test results will be published on the web pages of BOTH companies.

The second challenge is to our customers – We’ll pay $100 to the first person who is able to show us a competitor’s product that is better than ours at ANY price!

Like the first classroom scene in ‘Top Gun’, Maverick answers “YES” to Viper’s question “Do you think your name is going to be on that wall?” Viper’s response is “That’s a little arrogant, don’t you think, considering the company you’re in.” With all due respect, we can afford to be a little arrogant. We make the best equipment in the business.

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Early MGM HexPlate hexagonal shaped targets…

Please note, early iterations of some MGM hexagonal shape targets were made measuring ‘tip to tip’ measurements. Since that time, all MGM HexPlate™ targets have been standardized with the hexagonal shape measured by ‘flat to flat’ dimensions which correlate to a 13% larger area than the same diameter round plate. The ‘flat to flat’ standard has also been adopted and approved by the USPSA. We apologize for any inconvenience. – 17 August 2016


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How close can I shoot steel?

MGM 3/8″ AR550 targets can be shot with pistols from 15 yards or more. Closer range risks increased incidents of fragment bounce-back

MGM strongly discourages shooting ANY steel at closer than 15 yards with handguns and from less than 100 yards with rifles. Details on various rifle ammunition and target types are addressed in the ‘Can I shoot my rifle at your targets‘ category below.

Shooters AND spectators (especially children) should always wear ear AND eye protection, regardless of target composition (steel or paper). Any closer than 15 yards presents a significant risk of the shooter or spectators being hit by bullet fragments. Generally speaking, MGM targets will easily handle hits from any traditional defense caliber handgun without significant marking.

Regarding bullet fragments hitting shooters and/or onlookers, ANYTIME you are shooting steel, this is a possibility. I don’t know anybody who has shot steel, that hasn’t been hit by a fragment hard enough for it to draw blood. It is usually so insignificant that it doesn’t even require a BAND-AID®, but I suppose that it could be much worse.

The MAIN reason bullet fragments hit people is because the surface of the target is damaged. Damage is usually the result of 1) the target was shot with a rifle (or shotgun slug, or .41 Mag -or larger-), or 2) the steel was too soft to be a satisfactory target, in which case, traditional pistol rounds could have damaged it, or 3) any combination of the above. If the target face is smooth, bullets hit it and splatter like an egg thrown against a wall. If it is dimpled or cratered, bullets hit it and ricochet out of the craters in any direction. I personally know of bullet fragments from a high powered rifle that flew back over 200 yards, to then hit the wall behind the shooter. (That was NOT an MGM target!!) Damaged steel should not be used, even with extreme caution, regardless of the distance the shooter is from the target.

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Can I shoot my rifle at your targets?

Of course, that is what many of them are designed for! MGM targets can withstand an incredible amount of wear, but even Armor Plate can be abused. Every shot from a centerfire rifle at 150 yards is going to put a visible mark on the target. These small marks are what cause the bullet frags to come back.

Generally, If you’re planning to shoot the target with something other than a 5.56 or 7.62 (or something similar) we recommend putting a couple of rounds on the target to see if the amount of wear is acceptable for the distance you would like to shoot it at.  We do our best to cover all of the bases but there are so many rounds and other variables involved, we offer these guidelines.

* Here is a good guideline.  At 150 yards and further, using ammo without a “penetrator core” or “bi-metal core” (standard FMJ’s are fine) should be fine for rounds that are traveling less than 3000fps and weigh less than 185gr.

* Depending on firearm and ammunition, following a visual check of targets after initial shots, the MGM TAC BCC-Zone target can be shot at 50 yards or more with a rifle.

* For long range firearms using high velocity ammunition – over 2800 fps, non steel core, non bi-metal, non multi core bullets, MGM recommends shooting at distances reasonable for the rifle and ammunition, 200 yards or more. In this case, The MGM TAC BCCZone target can be shot at 100 yards or more.


* MGM 3/8″ AR550 targets can be shot with pistols from 15 yards or more. Closer range risks increased incidents of fragment bounce-back.

* MGM 3/16″ AR400 reactive targets can be shot with rim fire ammo at range of 15 yards or more.

* Shotgun slugs will also significantly mark the steel, and are not recommended at distances less than 50 yards. Steel shot should NEVER be used with steel targets. Buck shot of any size will not damage the steel, any more than twelve .38 caliber pistol bullets fired individually will. 00 Buck is fine.

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Why Steel Targets Live or Die…

We don’t have the time or space to address every conceivable factor impacting the life (and death) of steel targets. Nor will we deal with the highly technical side of bullets impacting steel, such as how deep did each bullet penetrate a specific type of steel. I don’t care how deep one bullet penetrated a piece of steel. I want to know what thousands of rounds will do to it! Hopefully the following information will simplify this target business, and eliminate some of the “mystery metal” characteristics that tend to surround targets today.

Hardness is of course the single most critical element affecting target life. The hardness of steel is most typically measured on one of two scales. Brinell or Rockwell. Rockwell is used primarily in machine shops. Brinell would most commonly be used in a welding or heavy equipment repair shop. There are conversion tables available, but we have not included them here.

To put hardness into perspective, please consider the following:

  • Mild Steel (like I-beams, angle iron, channel, pipe is 112-163 Brinell.
  • T-1 (ASTM A514) which has been the target steel of choice for years, has a Brinell hardness of 235-293. All our standard targets are 550 Brinell (495-540). This converts to roughly a 52 on the Rockwell scale.
  • ARMOR PLATE is 550 Brinell, and has been Ballistically tested and certified.

You will notice that each material has a range of hardness that is acceptable to the manufacturer and the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials). I suspect that, with the exception of the Armor plate, this is because each material is designed for a particular application or purpose. The hardness will affect that application, but hardness is not the primary design criteria. It is easy to see that the harder material is, the better it will stand up in a target application, as long it is not brittle. Some steel (like tungsten carbide) is harder, but you can break it with a hammer. Target steel has to have the right amount of hardness, coupled with the necessary chemical properties to make it tough, and able to stand up to the impact and vibration a target is subjected to.

Two other major factors to consider in target design are weight and movement. Physics: An object at rest tends to stay at rest. If your target is too heavy for the bullet to move, or is designed to not move, the target face has to absorb 100% of the bullet energy, and is consequently going to sustain more damage than a target that can fall down, or is spring loaded. The same is true for a stationary target. We have seen penetration much deeper on a 3/4″ 550 Brinell immobile target, than on a 3/8″ target of the same hardness, that could move. There are some applications where you have to go thicker, simply because the bullet carries enough energy to penetrate the target plate.

Check out our section on target repairs, and how heat affects the hardness of target steel.

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Target Maintenance and Repair Suggestions

Someplace back in time, maybe 50 years ago, U.S. Steel developed a product affectionately known as T-1, designated by the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) as A-514. Some time after that, shooters decided it was a great steel to use for targets. It did a great job then, but there are better products out there now. The catch is, virtually all of them are heat hardened steels, so there are some complications related to repairing them.

The easiest and best way to repair damage to steel targets is to purchase steel that isn’t easily damaged. Pretty basic, but frequently overlooked while trying to save a relatively inconsequential amount of money. That’s why we use the 550 Brinell hardness material on everything we sell.

If your organization has old steel, like most do, I hope the information that follows will help you make better repairs until you can replace the old stuff. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me – I’ll be glad to help however I can.

One of the most misunderstood, or overlooked factors impacting target life is heat. Virtually all target steels in use today are “quenched and tempered”, meaning that at the time they are rolled (at the mill) they are heat treated. The chemical content of the steel certainly plays a big role in target life, but any heat applied after the mill heat treatment will adversely affect the life of your targets. This stuff isn’t mild steel, so you can’t treat it as such.

There are some manufacturing processes that affect hardened steel during fabrication. The first thing that comes to mind is the cutting process. The hardened steels cut nicely with an oxy-acetylene torch, but the heat that is put into them when the torch travels at 30-40 inches per minute is great. We cut all of our steel with a high definition plasma, laser, or water-jet. The heat affected zone is minimal, basically only at the extreme edge of the target. Long ago it was believed that the “blow out” seen when a rifle bullet hits the edge of a steel target was because of the Heat Affected Zone. After many years, we came to believe that the blow out at the edge of the target is NOT related to the HAZ, and is ONLY related to the fact that there is nothing outside the point of impact to support the edge steel The same thing happens if you hit a piece of wood with a hammer right on the edge. You can clearly “blow out” the edge of the wood. If you hit the same piece of wood 1” in from the edge, there is no blow out.

If you have to repair cracks, our recommendation is to use the edge of a grinder to grind the crack out, all the way to the bottom. You may need to grind some from both sides, rather than all from one side. If you don’t remove the cracked material, and just weld over a crack, the life you’ll get out of the repair will probably be half (or less) than if you do it right. It is unreasonable to think that your repair will never crack again. You have a heat treated, hardened area, coupled to a chemically hard but soft area (softened by the heat you introduced into it), coupled to a soft weld area. “Ductility” is the technical word describing the rates with which metals flex or bend. The ductility of the three areas of your repair are all different. You WILL get another crack there. The only question is, when? If you are the person who did the welding, don’t take it personally. Without the technology, welding facilities, (and expense) of NASA, everyone should expect a new crack at some point in the future. Like death and taxes, it’s inevitable.

When you weld on any heat treated material, use multiple small, hot beads, rather than a large one. The object is to limit the amount of heat you put into the steel as much as possible. Let the first weld get cold enough to touch before you make the second pass, or before you make a pass on the other side. This will minimize what is technically called the “heat affected zone”, and consequently minimize the amount of temper that is removed from the parent material. Heat on mild steel has very little effect on it, but it is critical when you are working with heat hardened steel.

If some a) clown, b) moron, c) yahoo, d) expletive deleted shoots a hole in one of your targets, or if they shoot it with a shotgun slug, castration is always in order. After that, you’ve got two real problems. First, all of the area surrounding the weld repair (or plug) will be softened because of the welding heat. Second, your welding filler material will be the same hardness as mild steel. The trouble with this is, you have a spot of 135 Brinell hardness on your target. This is going to significantly crater the first time it sustains a direct hit from a .38 Super, or something similar. Your welding supply store may be able to suggest a much harder filler metal than the traditional E-7018, or E70S-6 wire, but in any case, it’s never going to be as hard as it was before the repair.

In general, re-heat treating damaged/welded steel isn’t cost effective. If you happen to have a high tech heat treater in your vicinity, You’ll find it terribly expensive. It will probably cost you half the replacement cost of the targets, or more, especially if you have to pay freight there and back. Additionally, they usually need to know specifically what type of steel you have, and what you want done to it. They might be able to recommend a generic treatment, but it is a safe bet they aren’t going to guarantee anything without knowing the specific chemical composition of the material.  If you are the original purchaser of the material, you can probably find that out from your supplier.  If the purchaser has moved on and you can’t locate the source of the steel, you may be out of luck.

When and Why to Turn Steel Targets Over?

There appears to be some confusion as to if and when it is appropriate to turn steel targets over, in an attempt to get additional life out of them.   It is our intent to clear that issue up, and share some general information with those tasked with range equipment maintenance.

To apply some context, years ago the steel being used for targets was primarily T1, manufactured by U.S. Steel.  It had a Brinell hardness rating of about 235.  When it was shot a lot, it would become concaved (i.e. dented in), in the impact area.

The steel we use at MGM Targets today has a Brinell rating of 500 and does not become concave when shot. 550 Brinell steel is much harder and consequently, the result of bullet impacts is dramatically different.

Envision a penny on an anvil being struck repeatedly with a hammer.  It gets much thinner, and at the same time, larger in diameter.  Exactly the same thing is happening to the face of our pistol targets as we pound them with bullets.  The hardness of the current steel allows only the front of the target to be peened, (enlarged).  Therefore, if the near side of the target is growing (from the constant hammering) but the back side does not grow, the only thing that can happen is for the target to bow.  It will often become CONVEXED, and bow toward the shooter – Yes, exactly opposite of what T-1 targets do.

With that said, to extend the life of the target and maximize its value and performance, as we begin to see some bowing of the plate, periodically it should be turned over.  The bowing caused by previous shooting will have caused the target plate to begin to ‘cup’ very slightly.  By turning the target plate over/around and shooting the ‘new’ side, the target can begin to be peened flat again.  AFTER it is turned, you will be shooting into the cup.  To further clarify, after it is turned, if you lay the target down so the face of the target is UP, the “cup” will hold water. Repeating this turning process will exponentially extend the target’s life and preserve your investment.

So, when should you turn the targets over?

More often is better.  All ranges have resource limitations.   Try these guide lines as a place to start, but modify them to suit your usage.

Generally, for every 12 inches of target area, a ¼ inch of bow in the target face indicates that it is time to turn the plate over. To check the amount of gap, simply place a straight edge on the back of the target and observe the space between the straight edge and the target plate.

For example, if you measure top to bottom on a 42” pepper popper and see about 1 inch of gap, or ¼ inch if measuring left to right on the 12” round portion of a target between the straight edge and the target, it should be turned over.

What else?  All MGM Targets are bolted and NOT welded to their brackets. This method of attachment has multiple advantages, including the preservation of the temper (hardness) of the steel.  Welding introduces extreme heat to steel, effectively softening the steel and devaluing the product. Another benefit of bolting is the previously described ability to turn targets over and shoot the other side.  This greatly extends the target life. If a target is welded to its bracket, (a common practice of some target makers), the hardness of the steel is compromised AND it can only be shot on one side, causing premature wear and replacement. Additionally, MGM uses only lasers to cut the target plates, and not plasma torches. Plasma cutting is a common less expensive practice used by other manufacturers.  It introduces considerable heat which damages the quenched and tempered hardness of the steel.

Bolts.   All steel targets are subjected to a LOT of impact.  MGM uses grade 8 bolts, and similarly hard Grade C all metal lock nuts to connect targets to brackets.  When replacing them, we strongly recommend they be installed with an impact wrench.  Many times re-used bolts/nuts will not stay tight as well as new hardware.  As long as that is not a problem, there is no compelling reason to change them out.  When it starts to be a major issue, the used hardware should probably be replaced with new.  Any INDUSTRIAL hardware store should have them in stock.  Probably not big box home stores.

We don’t have all the answers, but we’ll be glad to help you to the best of our ability. Just give us a call.

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Is Financing Available?

We offer leasing programs for some orders over $5000. Please email or call 888-767-7371 for information and details.

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GSA Information

If you’re wondering if MGM Targets is a GSA contractor, you’re in luck. In the past MGM was GSA certified, and we are working on a Recertification. We chose to drop the GSA certification when Biden came out with some ridiculous requirements affecting ALL of our employees, having nothing to do with contract sales. Those requirements have been done away with. If you have a purchase that can ONLY be done on the GSA, we can make special arrangements with them to accommodate you. Please call.

Please call 888-767-7371 for GSA sales.

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MLS vs Steel Challenge hangers and target plates

While we’ve got some great videos on the subject, MLS vs Steel Challenge hangers and target plates is a question we sometimes get.
The long and short of it is if you have or are looking to buy any of our MLS Target plates, those targets will work with ANY of our MLS hanger systems.  This includes our MLS T post hanger, MLS 2×4 cap and hanger, MLS 2 Target Package, and the MLS AR Post with MLS Hanger.The Steel Challenge 2×4 cap will work with any of our Steel Challenge target plates.We’ve done our best to make sure that both versions of the target plates are clearly marked and located in the correct locations on the website to reduce any confusion.  Another way you can tell if you’re purchasing the correct target plate and the correct target hanger system is by the shape of the plates.  The ONLY shapes we offer that work with the Steel Challenge hanger systems are 10″ round, 12″ round, and 18×24 rectangles.  We picked these shapes because they’re the only ones that are specifically approved by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association.  We also only do “target only” sales for these shapes by special order in an effort to reduce confusion.  They can be purchased as sets, but if you want just the target plate give us a call and we’ll get you taken care of.That’s about it for the differences between the MLS Hanger product line and the Steel Challenge product line. If you’ve got any more questions or need any additional information, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll do our best to get you taken care of.

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