Base Basics | Which base is best for your steel target system?

  • June 24, 2020
  • By tatargets

One of our greatest goals is to connect people with the correct target systems that will help them train to higher standards and become better defenders of life. This is why we constantly add new products to our lineup and we re-invest and refine old products. In our last blog we talked about choosing the right target plate for your needs, in this blog we will be discussing our base options. My goal with this is to arm you with the knowledge so you can make the best decision for your training needs and budget.

1.) 20″ Round Base

Our 20″ round base is widely known and it is a signature of our company. We created this design in 2015 and the goal was a simple base with a 360 degree footprint that was solid and offered a ton of versatility for anyone using our steel targets. The inside diameter measures 20″ and the outside measures approximately 24″. All of our target systems were designed with “offset” meaning that the center of gravity of the plate hangs perfectly over the center of our bases. With the 20″ base there is no assembly as the unit is welded. This is by far the simplest option for the A-DAP system and it is the least expensive option.

On the front there are two tubes welded to the ring which means our customers can enjoy steel targets or switch out to cardboard silhouettes. Or if you want to get really exciting, shoot both at the same time. We’ll do more content down the road showing this in action.

If you fall into some of the below categories, the 20″ Round base may be the best option for you:

– You are on a tighter budget

– You value simplicity and do not want any setup

– You like to be able to easily move the assembled target around (the bases allow easy movement of assembled targets on the range. They roll around easily)

– You shoot on flat to slightly hilly terrain

– You don’t shoot on a lot of rocky terrain (The Arachnid may be a better option on rocks)

– You don’t expect to shoot the paper holders on the front of the base (most shooters in your group are not novices

– You are purchasing your first target system

– You like to be different than other H bases that are seen on the market

The 20″ base is perfect for nearly anyone looking to get into steel. The only downsides are the fact that the paper holding tubes are not armored. This means if you shoot a lot with novice pistol shooters, low impacts may hit and damage the paper holders. Seasoned shooters will typically not have this problem, however newer shooters may occasionally hit these tubes which CAN render them useless depending on caliber and impact location. This base is fairly compact but it does not break down any further than it’s current form. This means smaller cars will not fit as many bases.

The 20″ Round Base weights approximately 20 pounds.

Overall, if you shoot any A-DAP system with calibers up to 300 winmag, this base is a solid first option.

2.) The Arachnid Armored Base

The Arachnid Armored Base is an upgrade that is available for all of our A-DAP target systems. This aggressive base was built from feedback over the years from customers who wanted an even more aggressive base for loose or less than ideal terrain that also offered some protection for the paper holding tubes. What came out of over a year of R&D is an epic, aggressive, ultra stable base that will be a perfect solution for many shooters.

The big benefit of the Arachnid base is it breaks down. This means that you can fit even more targets into smaller spaces for transport. The front shield is 1/4″ AR500 steel which is designed to last longer than normal steel for those occasional low hits. The paper holding tubes are behind this front armored shield and lock into place without the need for tools. This means they are protected from low hits, but they are also replaceable if they are ever lost, stolen, or damaged somehow. The center legs/support and the rear shield are mild steel which balances strength and cost. These shields will easily resist wear and tear from fragmentation. We will note, however, the mild steel shields are not bullet resistance. No worries there, they are hidden behind the armored shield.

The Arachnid features a total of 8 biting legs that sink into loose gravel, sand or soil. This creates and incredibly stable platform for all shooting types. It features a nearly the same footprint as our 26″ base but packs down into a size smaller than the footprint of our 20″ base.

If you fall into some of the categories below, this base may be perfect for you:

– You have a more flexible budget (The Arachind is more expensive than the 20″ round base)

– You want the most stable base possible

– You want the protection of the armored front shield

– You drive more compact vehicles or want to fit more target systems into your cargo area

– You like the aggressive stance and look of the Arachind

– You want a base that is unlike anything else on the market

– You don’t mind some setup time before shooting on the range (setup takes about a minute per base, no tools needed)

The downsides of the Arachnid are really only cost and weight. The Arachnid is about 10 pounds heavier than the 20″ round base and it is more expensive. With that being said, many people purchase the upgrade during checkout and find the Arachnid to be an awesome option for many shooting styles. If you are looking for an aggressive, armored base, this may be for you.

We will note, however, that the Arachnid is NOT offered for our Falling or Dueling Trees. This is because the arachnid has some looser tolerances in the center section to ease in installation on the range. Because of this, the Dueling Tree and Falling Tree targets are able to sway when paddles are struck which can cause inconsistent paddle rotations. For the Falling and Dueling Tree targets, we always recommend considering the 20″ or 26″ round base.

3.) 26″ Round Base



The 26″ Round base is a larger base than our 20″ round base and is often found on our Goliath and Rifle Dueling Tree Systems. This base is most applicable when considering our larger target systems. This base was specifically designed to be heavier and larger, offering a better footprint for flatter terrain and less rocky situations. It is the best option when considering targets that are going to be used for 50 BMG. We also highly recommend this base for the Armored Rifle Dueling Tree as it creates the most stable platform possible with this system.

At this time we don’t have an option for the C Zone, Mod A Zone, or Mini A-DAP systems to upgrade to this base. These particular systems work perfectly with either the 20″ round base or the Arachnid Armored Base and for most shooters these two options are the best balance of cost, flexibility and stability. If your range or department absolutely needs the 26″ base with our regular A-DAP systems, contact us at info@tatargets.com for a quotation.

If you fall into the categories below, the 26″ base may be the best for you:

– You are purchasing a Goliath or Rifle Dueling Tree

– You are shooting big bore calibers like 338 Lapua up to 50 BMG

– You have a larger vehicle that has ample space for larger bases

– You don’t often shoot paper

– You don’t need a base that can be used for paper targets

– You are shooting 308 at our Rifle Dueling Tree (26″ is the best base for this use)

For the 26″ round base we do not include welded tubes for furring strips to shoot cardboard. We went this route as this base has very specific functions in our lineup and removing the tubes from the base has kept the cost at a minimum to our customers. For shooters looking to shoot big bore calibers at our Goliath Target or shoot 308 at our Rifle Dueling Tree, this is the base to steer towards.

4.) Double 26″ Base

The Double base currently only serves one function: Our Double Falling Tree. We designed this base specifically for this system and for the time being this is the only target system utilizing the double base. We do plan to experiment in the future with double A-DAP systems and other new targets however at this time we only recommend the double base to be used with our Double Falling Tree System.

It is extremely important to invest in a stable base that is designed to offer longevity and safety. Many companies on the market are overlooking the base and the result is poor designs that can sometimes even be unsafe. We have spent years refining our systems so that they are ultra stable and last for many years to come.

Regardless of what style of shooting you enjoy, we have created a base that will fit your needs perfectly. Hopefully this blog made the decision easier so you can spend less time worrying about which base is right for you and more time becoming a better shooter and defender of life.

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