As a World and National Champion, no one is better equipped to make steel target recommendations than professional 3-gunner Josh Froelich. Froelich puts a backpack full of rounds downrange daily, and his preferred targets are steel. But as Froelich explains, not all steel is made equal.
To most of us, steel is steel, and one plate is as good as any other. In reality, steel quality and durability can vary significantly even inside a given category. For example, AR550 is commonly used in steel targets. But the designation AR550 refers to the hardness of the material within a given tolerance, not the recipe that made it. In Froelich’s experience, those variations in the recipe can translate to severe defects or discrepancies in durability. “Look at the edges of used steel targets. As I travel around the country, I see targets that get shot and chunks come ripping out of them. My Shoot Steel targets have clean edges, and I’m hitting those edges on a regular basis. I’m shooting fast, and I guarantee you my hits aren’t always in the center, and my targets still look great. They’re holding up well. Shoot Steel targets are just super heavy duty and high quality.”
For Froelich, the quality of a steel target comes down to the quality of the steel, the simplicity of design and the craftsmanship. “Shoot Steel targets just hold up. The welds are strong, and the designs are simple. Simplicity leads to durability when you’re talking about something that you beat on as much as you do a steel target. You can pound on those things, and they last a long time. I’m still training on Shoot Steel targets I got seven years ago. The design is super solid. They’re good people, they’re great at customer service, they take care of their clients, and they stand behind their products.”
On his home range, Froelich trains with a wide-variety of Shoot Steel targets, some reactive and some static. Froelich used the Shoot Steel Spring Popper to prepare for his 2018 World Championship. It’s still one of his favorite targets, and after tens of thousands of rounds and a few Minnesota winters, it’s still in great shape. Froelich also uses round plates and IPSC targets to replicate competition and defensive training. “I train with the IPSC C-Zone targets because, in competition, anything outside of the c-zone is a pretty big penalty. I put them on a solid stationary stand because when you hit that, there’s a super solid ring. That way, whether I’m at twenty yards or two hundred yards, it’ll let me know when I’m getting good hits.”
Josh Froelich took Gold in the 2018 IPSC World Championship in France. He has also won multiple National Championships in several professional multi-gun disciplines.