Whether plinking with rimfires or practicing defensive handgunning, the positive report of bullets on steel provides positive feedback. Targets with some movement, like the SME handgun spinner, grab our attention. Here’s a closer look at the sub-$50 steel rig. 

Meet the Handgun Spinner

SME Spinning Reactive Target
Note the angular design of the pivot point, which is designed to keep the target returning to its neutral position. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

Comprised of a main beam target arm culminating at either end with smallish, angular target paddles. Assembly is simple and took only a few minutes as only two bolts with lock nuts hold the vertical post to the H-frame base. In a thoughtful move, the company includes a set of four stakes for anchoring the base. 

The target arm, which comes pre-lubricated with heavy grease, slides onto the main shaft and is held in place with an included roll pin. The angular design of the shaft’s top allows the target arm to “spin” or, rather, pivot partway around when shot and still return back to its neutral position. 

Firing Time

We packed the spinner for several range sessions. Over that time, it was banged around in the back of the truck. But the real beating came from firearms. We used a 9mm compact Ruger, .22 LR rifle, .22 LR revolver, .38 Special revolver, and a few rounds of .204 Ruger and .223 Remington for good measure.

SME Spinning Reactive Target
The included stakes are appreciated and help keep the whole rig in place at the predrilled points on the base during plinking fun. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

We shot from 30 to 40 yards for the first four and 100 yards for the more powerful rifles. Anchoring it into the ground is a must as even rimfire shots wanted to tip the unit if not stabilized. Once anchored, it was game on.  

Hits and Misses


SME Spinning Reactive Target
The rig comes with stick-on targets, but they won't last long. We think that hardly matters much because a little paint is all it really needs from time to time. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

The target is built of steel and rated for a wide caliber range. It’s specially marketed to handgun shooters and claimed to handle .38 through .45-caliber handgun rounds fired at a minimum distance of 30 yards. It is important to use only soft nose lead projectiles, which is stated on both the box and in the instruction manual. 

Measuring only 3.25x4 inches, the actual target portions are quite small for a spinner intended to be shot offhand with a handgun at distances greater than 30 yards. However, that old adage of aim small, miss small holds true. 

The automatic reset claim doesn’t work quite the way we anticipated, but it is better than a standard target. We found it rotated well with just about all chamberings. Even .22 LR at 30 yards got a half revolution. Better still, the steel quality held up to multiple .204 Ruger rounds at 100 yards, and those babies are zooming well over 4,200 fps at the muzzle. 

Plus, you can just reverse the rig if you wear down one side over time and make it last even longer. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

Moreover, we used ballistic tip .204 Ruger rounds, which is not technically recommended by the target manufacturer. The soft point handgun rounds left some legit marks on the steel and splatter on the base, but all parts held up as they should. 

The included adhesive paper bullseyes don’t last long, but that’s really inconsequential. There are numerous stickies included, but we don’t believe they’re necessary. Like any metal targets, we’ll be repainting them soon enough anyway. 

Though advertised as portable, i.e. “easy to pack up and assemble at desired shooting location,” we wouldn’t care to remove the bolts and lock nuts each range session. In fact, the unit is small enough to travel with assembled, measuring only 14.5 inches high and 16 inches wide when fully dressed. 

In terms of steel targets, the price on this one is quite appealing. We didn’t expect stellar quality, but it has proven to hold up surprisingly well thus far. The target arm is designed to be reversible, increasing its shootable life should one side get too pitted or damaged. We had the most fun shooting the paddles while the target arms were still in motion and attempting to keep the unit spinning, thus making full use of both sides of the steel. 

The target paddles are on the small side for rifles, but ideal for our prairie dog and varmint practice. All in all, the target assembled easily, continues to hold up well, and represents a literal good bang for the buck with added range-time feedback. 

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