First Shot Targets: Overview and Interview

First Shot makes steel, reactive targets for recreational as well as competitive rifle shooters Their targets are perfect for those who are sick and tired of lugging hundreds of pounds of targets, shredding paper targets, or just the old-fashioned shooting of bottles and cans.

How They Work
First Shot Targets are reactive which means they ping, move sideways or have a kill-shot area that flips up and flashes a dash of orange to show you a hit. Their steel gongs will swivel and ping when hit and can be heard from thousands of feet away allowing shooters to practice without a spotter and still get feedback on accuracy.

What’s So Special?
First Shot Targets are made of AR-500 armor plated steel so they not only make a nice ring when hit, the bullet will not penetrate the target. These are lighter weight than their competitors and therefore much more portable and easy to set up. These targets enable the recreational as well as competitive shooter to practice alone if necessary.

Everything You Need, Almost
These are innovative portable target systems that can be carried and set up by one person. They come with their own in-house designed T-Bar bracket that enables you to change the height of the target and allows it to drop on contact. All you need is a piece of rebar you can get at any home store outlet for your stand and you’re in business.

How can a Target be Green?
The nice thing about these portable targets is they don’t leave a mess. When folks shoot at bottles, cans or even paper targets, there is always some trash left on the ground. These leave no trash; you just position them where you want, (and where it’s safe,) then shoot away, pick it up and carry it out; no mess, no fuss.

How Much?
A basic gong will go for $26 and the fancier counter sniper with scope reactive target or coyote with a reactive target sells for $350. You get everything you need except that piece of rebar which is a couple bucks at Home Depot, Lowes or other fine home supply stores.

aerDarrin Dahlberg, CEO and founder of First Shot Targets which sells portable, reactive, steel targets for the recreational or competitive rifle shooter, sat down with us for a talk.

Michael Ryan: Why did you start First Shot?
Darrin Dahlberg: The biggest reason is I shoot at tactical shooting competitions and there is really no place to go out and practice long range shooting. You can go out and set up your own paper targets but you can’t get any feedback on your hits if you’re hundreds or thousands of feet away. With our targets you’ll hear a ping from our steel gongs or see a change from our reactive targets giving you immediate feedback on your accuracy.

M.R.: What exactly are reactive targets?
D.D.: Technically our gongs are reactive because they ping and move but some, like on our counter-sniper target or coyote target the kill zone flips up, flashes orange and then resets.

M.R.: What sets you apart from your competitors?
D.D: Everything we make is with the idea that the average shooter can go out, even by themselves, and set up and shoot. Our systems are lightweight and portable. You can carry them in the trunk of your car and walk out into a field carrying them by yourself. We use AR-500 armor plated steel which not only makes a nice ping which you can hear from even up to a mile away but the bullet doesn’t penetrate it.

M.R.: How many different products do you offer?
D.D.: We have steel targets and Gongs. We have a hostage taker target along with a counter sniper with a scope. We also have reactive coyote and gopher shaped targets. We’re the only target company with T-post mounting brackets that allow you to change the height of the target and allows it to drop when hit.

M.R.: Where can folks find you?
D.D.: The majority of our sales are on line at We also have a Facebook page and help sponsor several shooting competitions. We were a principle sponsor at the recent Stillwater Tactical Steel Challenge in Reed Point, Montana and the International Snipers Hide Cup 2014 in New Raymer, Colorado. We also were honored to be a sponsor at the Wounded Warriors Impacting Neighbors Shooting Competition for Veterans near Byers, Co.

M.R: Do you still shoot at these competitions and if so, how are you doing?
D.D.: We have a First Shot Team that just took 5th in the Stillwater Team Competition. These are 2-people teams with a shooter and spotter with each team member shooting and spotting.

M.R.: Anything else you would like our readers to know about First Shot Targets?
D.D.: We are geared toward the recreational as well as competitive shooter and make targets you can carry and setup on your own. Instead of using paper targets or worse, bottles and cans which leave litter, you can set up our targets, without having to lug hundreds of pounds like other targets require, then shoot, pick-up and bring it home.

Own a piece of gear that you're dying to review? Read our submissions page and let's get it up on the interwebz!

Like Gearography



Michael Ryan

Michael is a full-time musician and freelance writer residing in Morrison, Colorado. He enjoys downhill skiing, traveling and attempting to play golf. He excels in the sport of extreme napping so if you must call, make it after noon.

You may also like...