The A-DAP System | Which Plate Should You Purchase?

  • June 16, 2020
  • By tatargets
TA Targets Manufactures steel target plates from the highest quality 3/8″ and 1/2″ AR550 steel. We use highly refined mounting methods and hardware to create robust, refined steel target systems that serve most avid shooters for their lifetime. Our signature Steel Target System is our A-DAP system and is the most popular AR550 Steel target system in our lineup.

If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you probably already know a little bit about our A-DAP system. You may have seen us talking about it on social media, you might have even caught a YouTube video featuring our A-DAP system. For those who are newer and don’t know about it, the A-DAP system is our adaptive AR550 silhouette target system that, to date, is our most popular line of products we offer. That doesn’t surprise us, it really does everything well and for most people these are lifetime target systems. We believe the A-DAP system is a staple to every good range layout and we offer a few different plate shapes and sizes to fill different roles.

That brings up a good question: Which plate size is best for YOU? Well, that depends on a lot of different variables but my goal with this blog is to help point you toward whichever plate is best for your current and future needs. Let’s dive into this. I’m sorting the plates by my all time most recommended. Keep in mind, the ones at the bottom of the list are not bad targets, they simply serve more specific purposes. Chances are you’re looking for a target that can do everything well, so let’s start there.

The five plates above are as follows, left to right: Goliath, D Zone, C Zone, Mini A-DAP, Mod A Zone A-DAP.

1.) The Mini A-DAP system:

Our Top recommendation usually lands at the Mini A-DAP. This target is a reduced C Zone which means it is approximately 30% smaller than our C Zone A-DAP system. The plate measures approximately 8″ wide and 16″ tall. This particular version of the A-DAP system is offered in 3/8″ AR550 and 1/2″ AR550 steel. A steep forward lean, audible feedback, and awesome price points make this our most popular target system we offer. If you fall into one or more of these categories, odds are this target system is for you:

– You want to have more steel within your budget (lower entry cost)

– You want a smaller target to train accuracy (training to higher standards)

– You train to protect your family and community

– Portability and light weight is important to you

-You train with carbines and pistols at closer distances than 100 yards

– You don’t have a massive range to train on. This is perfect to simulate further shots on a C Zone.

The Mini A-DAP fills many roles well. If you are looking for a smaller target for the ultimate balance of accountability and audible feedback, this target is probably for you.

2.) The C Zone A-DAP System:

Maybe the Mini Checks off a lot of your boxes, but you just aren’t sure about a smaller plate. The next most purchased and suggested target system by our team is the C Zone A-DAP system. This target plate is based off USPSA Specifications for a C Zone Target system and it measures approximately 12″ wide by 24″ tall. This is a much larger target system than the Mini A-DAP and it produces a substantial ring every single time it is struck. It features our steepest forward lean of any target system in our lineup. This beast is purpose built for ultra high volume training. It is overbuilt by design because we know how much ammo our customers are putting down range. Hint: a lot. This system is also offered in 3/8″ AR550 and 1/2″ AR550 steel. If you fall into one or more of the following categories, this may be the perfect target system for you:

– You want a true C Zone target shape and size

– You want to train on a target very similar in size to a human torso

– You need the loudest report from any of our targets in our lineup

– You Shoot ultra long distance (this target can be easily heard over 1000 yards away)

– You desire to have up to a 45 degree forward lean

– You have a more permanent range or have the means to drive your targets downrange (this has more weight than the mini A-DAP)

– You qualify on C Zone sized Cardboard

– You are on the range weekly or bi weekly

– You consume a large amount of ammunition yearly.

– You are a beginning shooter. A Larger target helps build confidence quickly. (after skills are established, begin incorporating smaller targets or adding distance)

The C Zone A-DAP is a beast of a target and the ringing report from the 1/2″ version is second to none in the industry. If you are a department or unit looking for a more traditional size target, we definitely would say you should consider this steel target plate.

3.) Mod A Zone A-DAP System:

The Modified A Zone A-DAP (Mod A Zone for short) is our skinniest target plate. It is also the lowest entry price of our lineup. We took the A zone of a USPSA carboard target and combined it with the head A Zone on the cardboard target. The result is a target that measures approximately 6″ wide x 17″ tall. This target system is ONLY available in 1/2″ AR550. This target is for serious marksmen who want the ultimate accountability target system. If you fall into one or more of the categories below, this target may be the right one for you:

– You already have C Zone targets or some Mini A-DAP target systems

– You care more about the size of the plate versus the audible feedback it produces

– You want a steel target close in size to an A Zone target

– You already have a foundational set of shooting skills and are looking to push growth

– You want to have an extreme challenge when shooting and moving

– Your focus is heavily centered around handguns

The modified A Zone is the perfect target system to hone in accuracy. We especially recommend this target for closer distances with handguns. If you do not do your part, you will miss this target even at 7-10 yards. This is a target that forces you to be accountable for hits. We ALL should be training to this standard but for these reasons we recommend this target for shooters who already have a basic foundation with regards to handgun basics.

4.) Goliath A-DAP System


The Goliath A-DAP system immediately looks a bit different than our other A-DAP target systems. The four bolts give it away immediately. This target system measures approximately 24″ wide x 38″ tall. This is noticeably larger than a C Zone target plate. The Goliath A-DAP system is ONLY offered in 1/2″ AR550 steel. There is no option for 3/8″ AR550. You might be wondering: What is this target for? Originally our Goliath target was purpose built for 50 BMG. At the end of 2019 we revised the old Goliath and created this current system. The Goliath is offered with a few different base and post options. For this reason it is very versatile even for shooters that are not using larger bore calibers. If you are using 50 BMG, however, then this is the A-DAP system you should be looking at and you should purchase this one with our Armored post and 26″ round base for ultimate longevity with 50 BMG. If you fall into one or more of these categories, this target system may be the right one for you:

– You shoot 50 BMG at your steel targets

– You need the beefiest steel target silhouette system we offer

– You like the idea of a very large steel target

– You are teaching many new shooters how to shoot handguns well. The bigger target can help with confidence building early on as they develop good foundations

– You have a permanent range where you can leave this beast set up

While most people tend to lean towards the C Zone A-DAP, the Goliath does have a very valid place and it is a very capable target system. Shoot 50 BMG at this beast all day without fear of flipping it over or punching holes through the plate (with proper ammo). If you need a big, bad target system, this might be the one.

5.) D Zone A-DAP System:


The D Zone A-DAP is a direct model of a USPSA Cardboard silhouette target. This target reinforces the basics and helps shooters by offering a true to life sized D Zone target. We would recommend this target if your department requires this size for qualifications or you want consistency between your steel targets and cardboard targets. We will note: At some point in every shooters journey we HIGHLY recommend adding smaller steel targets. Larger targets, if not used properly, can reinforce bad habits. Shooters hear the ring and immediately think it is a successful hit when the hit may actually be far outside of the center of the target. If used properly, these are useful for many styles of shooting. They are offered in 3/8″ AR550 at this time and they are built to order if requested. If you fall into one or more of the categories below, this target system may be right for you:

– You qualify on steel that is this size

– Your department requires D Zone sized steel targets

– You are brand new at shooting

– You train people who pay to take your classes (newer shooters)

– You value consistency between your steel and cardboard targets

The D Zone is a target system currently made to order but we do plan to have some stocked in the near future. If you would like to purchase a D Zone A-DAP, please contact us at info@tatargets.com for a quotation and lead time.

The A-DAP system is the back bone of every range. Regardless of your style of shooting, we have a target size and shape for you. If you are serious about your shooting skills and want to perform to higher standards, consider one of our A-DAP AR550 Steel Target Systems to further you along in your journey.

Feel free to contact us anytime if you have further questions about any of our products shown on our website.

Thank you all for your continued support!