Have you ever looked at an archery target and wondered what they were made from? You have a few common types of materials that people use to make archery targets.
What are archery targets made of? The common materials that they use to make archery targets include high-density foam, rubber, hay, cloth rags or layers of scraps. What they use to make the target depends on the manufacturer because each one will have their own way of making it.
As you can see archery targets consist of a variety of materials, and in the coming article, we will cover the best materials for archery targets.
High-Density Foam in Archery Targets
When looking for a high-density foam archery target, polyethylene foam makes for the best archery targets because of the high 6-pound density for archery targets. This foam also tends to be waterproof, and it can last for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the foam won’t offer the same durability as straw or other materials for targets. However, foam can handle harsh weather from extreme heat to extreme cold.
The type of foam used will determine how long it lasts. More expensive targets will last for longer than the cheaper ones. Someone who shoots more frequently may see the benefit of a more expensive archery target. If you’re interested in learning why archery targets are so expensive, check out the article that I wrote here.
Polyethylene sticks to its mark without going through or bouncing off, which makes it easier to remove. Polyethylene has the added benefit of being lightweight. High-density foam is one of the most recommended archery targets. Especially the companies that make 3D targets will use high-density foam to make the target.
Rubber Used for Archery Targets
Some people will use rubber as a backstop for the arrows. This has the advantage of durability in that it lasts longer than high-density foam, but the disadvantage is that rubber weighs a lot. You don’t see this used in the archery targets unless they were homemade, but they can work.
Hay for Archery Targets
I have personally done this one where you take a hay bale and add a target over the top of the hay. The hay serves as a backstop for the arrow while you take shots at it. Beginners like this choice because of its size and low cost, since you might pay $3 to $10 per bale. Especially if you live on the farm and have hay bales laying around, you can easily make use out of it. The biggest downside of using hay as an archery target comes from the fact that the hay disperses as you shoot, or it may prove more difficult in removing.
In ancient times, people used hay as an archery target, and that practice continues today. This works best when you have a bow with low poundage. For this form of archery target, you will need a straw bale and a paper target, but it doesn’t cost much to pull it off.
Box Full of Rags as an Archery Target
A solid target will stop the arrows better, but if you can’t afford an archery target, you might choose to make one. Grab a box and fill it with old clothes or rags. The one problem with this method comes from the difficulty of removing the arrows. They don’t remove well, which makes this a less popular choice. You do have manufacturers who pull off the box full of rags well. For example, SpiderWeb is one of the examples of a company that makes this type of target.
Eventually, the arrow shots will shred the clothes, which makes it less than ideal. For around the same price as cheap clothes, you can buy cheap foam. It may not last as long, but it still lasts a while.
This archery target works because of how it dissipates the energy from the arrow into the soft cloth fibers.
Foam Most Common with Manufactured Targets
High-density foam ranks as the most common material used for manufactured targets. You can choose from a wide variety of high-density foam targets, and some will do better than others. Let’s say that you want to shoot long-distance shots. We would recommend that you buy larger targets to practice for those shots.
Targets consist of a variety of materials, depending on the manufacturer. People who make targets may use an even greater variety. Some people, for example, have found that old carpet works well for targets. A good material for an archery target will be durable enough to handle arrows as they fly at the target. It won’t break down easily. You won’t need to replace it as often. Archery targets of superb quality will last anywhere from 20,000 shots up to 55,000 shots. If you make your own targets, you may find that they don’t last as long.