Whether you're a hunter or a target shooter at some point you need to practice. For practice you'll need a good target. As with most things today there's a multitude of different styles on the market. Bags, foam blocks, 3D targets and good old paper targets top the listings. Some are good for field points, some best for broadheads, others designed for powerful crossbows and compound bows. In this roundup we're going to review some of the best archery targets available today and introduce you to our top picks for each style and type of user.
Bag Targets (Field Point)
Block Targets (Broadhead Friendly)
3D Targets (Broadhead Friendly)
Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices.
There are 4 major styles of archery target that you'll find available today. Bag targets, block targets, 3D targets and good old paper targets. Each has a different purpose and a different user base.
The exterior of Bag targets are usually designed from the type of stranded material you'll find other hard wearing outdoor bags and covers made from. They can be rectangular and designed to stand alone, rest against another surface or be mounted on a target frame.
What differentiates one target bag from another is normally down to the filling and how it is structured. A good target bag will allow you to hit any part of the shooting surface without damaging the bags integrity. Normally this type of target is designed to stop an arrow using layered material inside. The contents of the bag will usually last longer than the bag itself which is why some come with replaceable covers.
Target bags are not usually broadhead friendly, they are designed for field tip arrows. You whilst you could use a broadhead you'll find they would chew up the external and internal materials and destroy the target too quickly.
Designed from different foam compounds either layered or in solid blocks this type of target can offer more diverse types of shooting surface than bag targets. You get foam as inserts in life-like deer and boar 3D target models and as standalone targets in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Foam is designed to stop both field and broadhead points using friction. Once an arrow enters the foam the fiction caused by the arrow pushing the foam air bubbles apart will cause it to slow and eventually stop.
Some types of foam target claim to be 'self-healing'. Be aware that this is a marketing term. Foam cannot (yet) actually heal itself and what you see from the foam in these targets is the foam expanding again and closing up around the arrow hole when the arrow is removed. Repeated shots to the same spot even on a self-healing target will eventually begin to degrade and chip away at the foam. They will however last you longer than bag targets.
Foam targets are normally more expensive than bag targets but they come with the benefit of being able to take shots from a broadhead or a field tip arrow without degrading as fast as a bag target would. Foam will last longer and is generally lighter and more portable than a bag target.
Most good modern targets, both foam and block are designed to handle field point shots from powerful compound bows and crossbows with IBO speeds that can exceed 400 fps. If you want to shoot broadheads however you need restrict yourself to foam.
To practice with your broadheads you need a foam block target. Either a 3D target with a foam insert or a standalone foam target. Broadheads will chew up the exterior and interior of a bag target too quickly. Foam targets will dull your broadheads. So make sure you practice with practice broadheads and save your best for the hunt!
If you really don't want to splash out on something manufactured then you can always make your own! There are quite a lot of YouTube videos and articles out and about on good material choices for making targets.
Burlap sacks, DIY foam blocks made with foam from the hardware store. All these will work, the difference is that they may not last as well as a manufactured target and you'll need to take risks with some of your arrows when shooting them.
A powerful bow may just shoot straight through whatever you've put together and damage your arrow! The reason you'd pay is for quality that you know will stop your expensive arrows and allow you to remove them relatively easily.
Here's a video from TPV Productions that shows one process for making a cheap archery target using plastic insulation.
Morrell are a company that started in a garage in 1986 and today produces a wide wide range of archery targets all designed and made in the USA. The Supreme 3 is one of the most popular mid-range offerings designed specifically for field points. This is a bag target that should take thousands of shots and because it's weatherproof you can leave it outside year round.
As you'd expect from a bag target it features 2 mounting holes and a handle so you can sling it around easily (it weights 27 lbs). This design features 10 targets, 5 on each side. Per side you get 4 hexagonal 3 ring targets and one hexagonal 2 ring bulls-eye surrounded by a wasp design. The dimensions of this bag are 23"x12"x25".
As a target, this works well and is an excellent choice. You can shoot field points from bows at 320 fps from about 10 yards into this and all you'll get is about 2-3 inches of shaft embedded in the target which is then easy to pull with just 2 fingers. This is no doubt down to the structured multi layer internal design which has 54 individual layers designed to slow and capture the arrow yet still make it easy to remove. That design also means that every area of the target, not just the scoring rings will take a shot.
What's better about the Hurricane field point bag target from Field Logic vs other bag targets? They're assembled by hydraulic presses and feature a tri-core design, which we suspect consists of 3 layers of fabric. They're also printed with high-visibility color designs that are easy to see at distance and the centers of the target front and back are designed so that they are offset from one another. Repeated bullseye shooting on the front should not affect the back! The front has 9 3 ring target designs whilst the rear is a deer target showing heart/lungs and liver scoring zones.
This bag is designed to stop any field point from any bow. This will stop crossbow bolts moving at over 400 fps and allow you to remove them easily.
You can get this particular bag in 3 sizes (WxDxH). Large 28"x12"x28", Medium 25"x12"x23" and Small 20"x10"x20". The largest weighs in at around and the smallest at 21 lbs and the largest around 37 lbs.
Morrell again with another field point bag that's designed to take even the most powerful crossbow and compound bow shots (upto 400 fps). This is a freestanding cube design that won't fall-over in windy conditions and doesn't need a stand. It's also weatherproof so you can leave it anywhere, sun, rain, or snow and be sure that it will last. The cube design also features extra target surfaces and with this one you get 4 different targets to aim for. There's a deer vitals target, a nine-ball target, a dartboard and a set of 5 differently sized 4 ring bulls-eyes on the remaining side. There are a couple of handles to allow you to lug all 32 lbs of target around and this one sizes in at 19"x19"x19".
This target has a nucleus core and is designed to last longer, no doubt that's why it gets the name 'double duty'. Morrell are confident that this is going to stand up to pretty much anything you can throw at it too because it comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty.
If you want a portable, light and easy to store target that doesn't take up as much room as other field point bags you might want to take a look at this discharge bag. This isn't designed as a compound or crossbow primary target. The idea behind this target is for use as somewhere to discharge your crossbow when you have no other target. Whilst it features the same, weatherproof, layered and structured technology that Morrell use in all their targets this is light and small and designed to be portable. There are no hanging grommets, just a handle. However at 6 lbs and 10"x15"x8" in size you can easily take this anywhere and it will stop high powered crossbow and compound field points.
Seeing as it costs a third of the price of the larger Morrell targets it's a great way to get most of the benefits of larger more expensive targets without the price tag.
Block Targets made the original and legendary? Block target and claim that this is simply the best 2 sided archery target on the market. Block targets are layered foam that is designed to stop an arrow using friction. As your arrow (or bolt) enters the foam the speed of entry heats the foam and causes it to get sticky and slow. Then once cooled you can easily remove the arrow again. You can certainly shoot broadheads into this and they'll come out without too much of a struggle. It should be said though that this isn't self-healing. Using fields points on this will make it last longer. Continual broadhead shooting in the same place will degrade the target foam quickly and cause high poundage bows to shoot straight through.
Even though this is a block and designed to be free standing you only get 2 sides with target faces. The other 4 sides are used to shore up construction and keep things together. That construction does contain some hard plywood elements so beware you don't shoot too close to the edges.
You can get this in 3 sizes, 18", 20" and 22" square (all are 14" deep). They weight about half as much as bag targets from about 14 lbs for the small upto 18 lbs for the large target.
Rinehart is a family company named after the founder John Rinehart back in 1997. They produce a wide range of 3D and other archery targets from the one you see above to life-size giraffes! Rinehart use a foam compound developed by the founder that offers self-healing properties. Now we're skeptics, and we know that's a marketing term. The foam isn't organic and the little joins between the air bubbles inside won't actually grow back. However because of the compression and expansion ratios in the compound you get the effect of it healing as any indentations will close up once an arrow is removed. Hit the same spot enough and you will eventually chip away at the foam, nothing lasts forever!
It's going to take a while to wear this out though as it's a 26 sided shape, that's a rhombicuboctahedron if you're interested :). It measures 15x15"x15" and weighs about 14 lbs. There are 18 target surfaces that are square and that you can shoot at. Now they're so confident that this will last if you managed to actually shoot out all 18 sides they'll replace it free of charge! If you want the details on that warranty look here.
If you want something slightly bigger (18"x18"x13") and with more variety of target faces than the 18 faced Rinehart broadhead target you'll not go wrong looking at this RhinoBlock XL. This only has 6 target sides, 4 of which are high vis target zones but the other 2 are 3D deer targets. One shows anatomical organs whilst the other has a 3D deer target zone. This one weighs in at around 25 lbs and has a rope handle to allow you to carry it around. The major benefit of the XL over the standard RhinoBlock is that you can purchase replacement target inserts for the main circular target on the largest side. This makes an already long lasting durable target, something you can keep shooting for years to come.
This 3D buck target comes from Field Logic. It's a life-size 3D target with the body approximately the size of a small buck standing 48" high. Unless you secure this when you hit it with something sharp and fast moving it will topple over, that's why you are provided with stakes in the bottom of the legs to secure it into soft ground. If you need to use this on hard ground you'd have to purchase the stand specially designed to work with it.
The vital organs of the buck are represented on an insert that you can replace for less than half the cost of the whole target. You can shoot at if from either side too. That means you'll can get exceptional wear out of it and you can replace it when it finally starts to allow you to shoot through.
A lifelike boar from Rinehart. This has a replaceable insert where the vitals of the board are located that's made from the same self-healing foam you get with the rest of the Rinehart series of targets. That foam won't last forever but it does stop any field point or broadhead from any type of bow you'd care to shoot at it. The insert has 3 scoring rings. The more you shoot this the easier it becomes to move arrows like broadheads until eventually you need that insert replacing.
This boar is 22" high and 39" long and it's designed to be about the size of a 75 lb Woodland boar.
These are 3 or 5 spot Vegas style targets that are made of good quality heavy duty paper. They're designed to limit hole size and make for a long lasting target and you get get these from Longbow Targets in bulk sizes of up-to 200. You can use these for more than just archery, they're fine as shooting targets too.
The more traditional FITA / WA style target that everyone is familiar with is available from longbow in both 40cm and 80cm sizes. These are again printed on thick paper that should stand up to several uses and can be used for more than just archery.
I hope this roundup was useful and led you in the direction of a quality target for your setup. Please let us know if we're missing your favorite and need to add it to this review, or if there are any aspects of any of the above we've not covered correctly! Either leave a comment or send us some feedback!
Hi there! I'm Dave, the founder of targetcrazy.com. I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. I created this site to share my knowledge with you and help you make more informed choices! Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!