3D Archery Target Review – The Top 3D Archery Targets on the Market

Outdoor Author
By: Ted Karr

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which 3D target is best?  Well…each has its pluses and minuses.  We break down four different 3D target in this review.  I have to admit, this was one of the more fun product reviews we have done.  Lining up a handful of 3D bucks and flinging a bunch of arrows their way is a great way to spend your evening.  Add a couple buddies and it is even more enjoyable.

Full Draw
Full Draw
Best 3D Targets
Targets Downrange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For each of our comparison reviews, we like to identify in advance the features or factors we believe are important.  For this review, we set out to compare targets based on the following criteria:

  • Target stability and durability
  • Ease of retracting different types of arrows (carbon, aluminum)
  • Ease of retracting field tips and broadheads
  • Arrow penetration
  • Availability of replacement parts
  • Quality

One thing we learned early on in this review is that the targets need to be secured to the stand.  We had a couple targets that swayed significantly with heavy arrows due to the posts used to secure them.  Even if your target comes with a flat steel base for the leg posts, we recommend that you add bricks, weights, or something heavy to keep the target stationary.  Though, I suppose a moving target is actually a bit more realistic😊

We reviewed the following targets.

  • MORRELL TARGETS BIONIC BUCK 3D
  • DELTA MCKENZIE HOOSIER DADDY 3D
  • FERADYNE GLEN DEL 3D
  • FERADYNE BIG SHOOTER 3D

Our reviewers were Chris, Austin and me.  Chris was shooting a Hoyt Carbon Defiant.  He has a draw length of 29 inches and shoots 70 lbs.  He was shooting 530 grain FMJs which really put these targets to the test.  Austin was shooting an Expedition Archery bow.  He has a draw length of 31 inches and shoots 70 lbs.  He was shooting 500 grain arrows.  That draw length and poundage also results in a wallop when the arrow hits the target.  I was shooting a Bowtech Realm RS.  My draw length is 26 inches and I shoot 65 lbs.  I was shooting a variety of different arrows made of varying materials and different weights.

Here are the results.

3D Target
Morrell Buck

MORRELL TARGETS

First, we will start with Morrell Targets.  Morrell makes a number of different targets, including bag targets, foam targets and a couple 3D targets.  While 3D targets are not their core focus, they still build a great 3D target.  We reviewed the Morrell Targets Bionic Buck 3D Field Point Archery Target, Brown, Model: 315.  This target is life size and very solid.  In fact, it is probably the heaviest of the targets we tested, but not in a bad way.  It can take the weight of a heavy arrow being slung from a 70+ pound bow at 20 yards.  It is made of a polypropylene cover, plastic wrapping, netting, burlap, target stuffing fabric then burlap with chipboard internal frame system.  This is one stout target, which I really liked.

The Bionic Buck comes shipped disassembled in a box.  However, the target is very easy to put together.  It takes about 3 minutes.  The body has vitals marked on both sides.  Also, the head and tail are reversible on the body so you can turn the target around after the cover on one side begins to wear through.  This feature is great to add longevity to the target.  Given the price point, you will want this target to last awhile.  If the target does begin to wear out, you can order a new cover for it, which is another great feature.   Here is a run-down of how this target stacks for the features we were testing:

  • Target stability and durability: the Bionic Buck is very stable and durable; this target stood the test of time in having arrows shot at it from 20-70 yards. After 3 months in the rain and sun we could see some signs of UV damage, but nothing out of the ordinary.  The material was barely discolored but was not breaking down or getting weaker.  The following picture was taken early in our review.  You can see the separation in the material where the arrows penetrate.
    Best 3D Target
    Morrell Target
  • Ease of retracting different types of arrows (carbon, aluminum): Given the design of this 3D target, arrows are relatively easy to retract. The type of arrow really did not seem to make much of a difference.  Also, arrows that were shot out of a 70 pound bow were easily stopped by this target.  In fact, we found the arrow penetration to be less for this target than for the others, by 2+ inches.
  • Ease of retracting field tips and broadheads: We had no problem whatsoever retracting field tips, assuming the field tips are the same diameter or smaller than the arrow shaft. If you shoot an arrow with a field tip that is a greater diameter than the arrow shaft you will find that the field tip gets stuck on the surface material when you retract the arrow.  Morrell warns against using field tips that do not fit the shaft diameter of the arrow.  Note: you cannot use broadheads on this target, which does limit you the last couple weeks before the season when you want to test your broadheads.  Morrell clearly marks on its packaging that this target is for field tips only.  They make other great targets that permit broadheads.
  • Arrow penetration: relatively speaking, the arrow penetration was lowest on the Morrell target. As noted above, we found that most arrows penetrated this target on average 2 inches less than on other targets.  I think the foam core on this target is compressed nicely to reduce penetration.
  • Availability of replacement parts: you can purchase replacement parts for nearly all components of this target.
  • Quality: this is a high quality target that will stand up over time; in fact, even the head and legs are high quality and they will not hurt your arrows or fletching in the event you miss the vitals zone.
Best Field Point Target
Buck is hammered

COST:  $329.99

WHERE TO BUY:  Amazon

DELTA MCKENZIE  – HOOSIER DADDY BUCK

Hoosier Daddy Buck
Hoosier Daddy Buck
Big Buck
Delta Buck Full

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delta McKenzie makes great targets and this one is no exception.  They offer one of the most complete lines of targets in the market, including 3D targets, bags, foam blocks, and layered targets.  They also offer probably the most extensive line of 3D targets for the backyard and for pro tournaments with nearly every huntable animal imaginable offered.

The Hoosier Daddy target comes shipped in a box and must be assembled.  However, it is very easy to assemble and it has a dovetail locking system for improved stability.  We found this target to be very stable.  The Hoosier Daddy Buck is made of a durable foam which is 100% self-healing.  When you retract arrows from this target, the foam heals itself.  See the photo below.  You can see where the arrow hit, but the foam closes in on itself.

pulling out
Arrows Out

This target also has self-healing foam legs, which is a bonus.  The head is made of foam as well in case you miss the vital area.  You can use both field tips and broadheads on this target and this target also comes with an arrow puller, which is a nice bonus.  The target has an oversized body which helps reduce “misses” and it comes with vitals markings and circles for scoring.  The target is compatible with recurve, compound, and crossbows.  This is a solid target with a lot of mass to help stop heavy arrows.

Here is a run-down of how this target stacks up against the features we were testing:

  • Target stability and durability: the Hoosier Daddy Buck is extremely stable and durable; this target is solid throughout and stood the test of time in having arrows shot at it from 20-70 yards. After 3 months in the rain and sun we could see very little sign of UV damage.  The surface of the foam was just barely discolored.
  • Ease of retracting different types of arrows (carbon, aluminum): Arrows are relatively easy to retract from this target. The type of arrow really did not seem to make much of a difference.  Also, arrows that were shot out of a 70 pound bow were easily stopped by this target.
  • Ease of retracting field tips and broadheads: We had no problem whatsoever retracting field tips and broadheads from this target. The target did not tear or rip at all, perhaps due to the self-healing foam.
    pulling out
    Ease of Pulling Arrows Out
  • Arrow penetration: this target does a great job stopping field tips and broadheads. We had a broadhead just peak out the other side of this target when shot at 30 yards from a 70 pound bow, but arrow penetration was never an issue.  Generally speaking, this target was second to the Morrell in terms of stopping arrows, and it performed better than the Feradyne targets.  However, that might be due in part to the larger body size of this target.  The target is not lightweight by any means.
Just the tip
Arrow Penetration
  • Availability of replacement parts: One downside to this target is that you cannot purchase a replacement for the vitals section like you can with the FeraDyne targets. With that said, the self-healing foam appears to provide longevity to the target life, which will definitely help offset the need to replace the vitals section.  However, over time, the vitas section will show signs of wear and tear.
  • Quality: this is a high quality target that will stand up over time; in fact, even the head and legs are high quality, and they won’t hurt your arrows or fletching in the event you miss the vitals zone.

COST: $197.49

WHERE TO BUY: Amazon

 

FERADYNE – GLENDEL

Best 3D target
GlenDel Full of Arrows

Feradyne offers a number of targets such as bag targets, block targets and various 3D targets.  Feradyne allowed us to test two of their 3D targets, which we really appreciate.  We tested the GlenDel and the Big Shooter.  The GlenDel is the better of these two targets in terms of quality and durability.  However, the Big Shooter has some advantages that we will cover when we get to that target down below.  The GlenDel is a great 3D target and is a very solid target for its price.

The GlenDel comes shipped in a box and is also very easy to assemble.  The rear and front legs attach as does the head and horns.  This target has a replaceable vitals section, and you can turn the vitals section around once the material begins to wear down from arrow penetration and removal.

Here is a run-down of how this target stacks up against the features we were testing:

  • Target stability and durability: the FeraDyne GlenDel is stable and durable; this target is also solid throughout and stood the test of time in having arrows shot at it from 20-70 yards. After 3 months in the rain and sun we could see very little sign of UV damage.  The surface of the foam was just barely discolored.
  • Ease of retracting different types of arrows (carbon, aluminum): Arrows are relatively easy to retract from this target. The type of arrow really did not seem to make much of a difference.  Also, arrows that were shot out of a 70 pound bow were easily stopped by this target.
  • Ease of retracting field tips and broadheads: It was more difficult to remove the arrows from this target, perhaps due to the type of foam used. We did have an instance where this target ripped a bit when removing a kudu broadhead.  The tear was near the surface of the target.  Fortunately, it was in the replaceable vitals section.
  • Arrow penetration: this target also does a great job stopping field tips and broadheads but arrows penetrated on average 3 inches further into this target than they did in the Morrell and on average 2 inches further than they did in the Delta McKenzie.
  • Availability of replacement parts: This target has a large replaceable vitals section, which means this target will probably last you a very long time. This is probably one of the best features of this target.  If you shoot a lot of arrows in a season, you can purchase a replacement for the vitals section for around $40.  This is a huge plus making this one of the best 3D targets on the market, especially at this price point.
  • Quality: this is a high quality target that will stand up over time; in fact, even the head and legs are high quality and they won’t hurt your arrows or fletching in the event you miss the vitals zone.

COST: $169.99

WHERE TO BUY:  Amazon

 

FERADYNE – BIG SHOOTER

Big Shooter Buck
Big Shooter

The Big Shooter comes shipped in a box and is also very easy to assemble.  The rear and front legs attach, as do the horns.  This target has a small replaceable vitals section.  The body is made of foam, as is the head.  The legs, however, are hollow hard plastic.  This target is very lightweight and easily transportable.  It is the smallest and lightest of the four targets and it is also relatively inexpensive.  Both of these features make this a great target for an entry level archer, or perhaps a youth archer that is just getting started in archery, or for a seasoned hunter that wants to take the target to hunting camp.

  • Target stability and durability: the Big Shooter held up nicely to rain and sun exposure over three months. The material surface was slightly discolored but was not breaking down or getting weaker.  The Big Shooter is very lightweight and was the least stable and least durable of the targets we tested.  Heavy arrows shot from a 70 pound bow caused this target to separate where the body and back legs attach.

Shooting a big buck

Big Shooter Shot

  • Ease of retracting different types of arrows (carbon, aluminum, wood): Field tips are relatively easy to retract from this target.  However, broadheads can be more difficult when shot from a 70 lb bow because the broadhead penetrates the target and sticks out the other side. We found ourselves removing the broadheads from the arrow shaft in order to pull the arrows out of the target.
going all the way
Pass Through
  • Ease of retracting field tips and broadheads: no problem retracting field tips. As noted above, we found that broadheads often penetrated the narrow body of this 3D target so we had to remove the broadhead to retract the arrow.  See the above photo.
  • Arrow penetration: arrow penetration was on average similar to that with the GlenDel, but occasionally was most significant for this target, due in part to the width of the body of the target. The type of arrow (carbon or metal) did not appear to be a significant factor in arrow penetration.
  • Availability of replacement parts: you can purchase a replacement part for the removable vitals section of this target. Note: the removal vital section relatively small and is tapered.  Make sure you are shooting at the correct side of the target.  Otherwise, you will find that the vital section pulls out each time you try to remove your arrow.
oops shot
Oops, the middle is out
  • Quality: the quality of this target is on par with the price point. The quality is not as good as the GlenDel.  Also, the legs are hollow plastic.  If you hit the target in the leg, you will lose your arrow fletching.

This is a relatively inexpensive 3D target and is great lightweight option for a target that you might want to move around.

COST:  $127.36

WHERE TO BUY: Amazon

CONCLUSION

All four of these targets do a great job for helping hone your archery skills.  In fact, all four provide that realistic “life-like” experience when shooting.  If you are consistently shooting in the vitals section, each will serve you well.  The plusses and minuses are noted above in detail.  Here is what I like best about each target:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bitnami