All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

This report covers:

  • Big target
  • Tough
  • Safe
  • Portable
  • Assembles without tools!
  • Paddles of two different thicknesses
  • The secret
  • How large is it?
  • Knockdown
  • Many patents
  • Test

You may not remember me telling you about this action target in one of the reports on the 2017 Texas airgun show. Today I start my report about it.

Big target

The manufacturer does not call this a Texas Star, but they acknowledge that it works like one and most people will call it that. But if our sun is a star, this target is Betelgeuse! That’s a red supergiant start that, if it was in the same place as our sun, its rim would extend past the orbit of Mars! I’m saying the 503-1 is BIG. You might plink at regular Texas Stars at 35 yards — this is one you can move out to 75 and even 100 yards!


Besides being big, this target is tough. It will work with your 65-foot-pound AirForce Condors and 100 foot-pound Escapes, yet the same target will function with a puny Diana model 27. It will work with a .22 rimfire (long rifle) and handgun cartridges up to the power of .380 ACP. At the show I watched the inventor knock the paddles down with a child’s beanbag from 3 feet. When I tell you how it works you will understand how this is possible.


This target has been designed to deflect every bullet and pellet away from the shooter. All the angles are set to make that happen. The inventor also stressed safety when he showed me the operation.


The materials the target is made of are very rugged, yet also lightweight. It all fits into a rugged box that’s about 3/4 the size of a military foot-locker. The box has a rope carrying handle to make it extremely portable. That should appeal to clubs that have to set up their ranges on somebody’s property and knock them down after the event is over.

503-1 target box opened
Open the box and remove the top foam layer and this is what you see. Each layer is precision cut to fit the parts that go in it exactly.

I can see one of these being used for a big bore airgun match at a future Texas airgun show. Yes, the maker says it will handle big bores that don’t exceed 500 foot-pounds at the muzzle and use lead bullets. It would just be positioned far enough away that the bullet’s energy would diminish to around 300 foot-pounds.

Assembles without tools!

He sold me when he showed that it went together and comes apart without tools! And it goes together fast — about two minutes when you know what you’re doing. Actually let me refine that. I put it together the first time in under two minutes by referring to the instructions twice.

Paddles of two different thicknesses

The 503-1 comes with two sets of paddles. They are the targets at the end of the arms. They are all the same diameter. The thin ones are for airguns and the thicker ones are for rimfires, handguns and big bores. It takes just seconds to make a chance, because each paddle is held on my a magnet.

503-1 thick paddles
These five paddles are for the firearms and big bore airguns.

503-1 thin paddles
These thin paddles are for airguns rated to 1,000 f.p.s.

The secret

Magnets are the secret to how this target system works and why it works with such a broad spectrum of guns and power levels. The paddles are held in place by strong magnets, yet once moved slightly away they release freely.

503-1 paddle and arm
The paddle is held to the arm by one of those two magnets in the arm.

503-1 paddle on arm
Once the paddle is on the arm the magnet holds it securely until a pellet or bullet moves it.

How large is it?

I took the target outside and set it up, which is how I know how fast it goes. Then I took a picture with me standing next to it for perspective. As you can see — this ain’t no little job!

503-1 Tom with target
Yeah — it’s THAT big! This is a serious action target.


I broke it down and put it away almost as fast as setting it up — maybe three minutes, tops. Surprisingly, there were no parts left over! As a father who has assembled toys and bicycles on Christmas Eve, I was so glad there were no Tab As and Flange Bs. The guy who designed this target designed it for himself to put together, take apart and store easily.

Prior to writing this report I stared at that big box for weeks with trepidation. I knew I could get it out and assembled, but would I ever get it back inside? In fact that box with the layers of precision-cut foam are part of what makes this target so easy to assemble and to pack up again. I know the box cost thousands to design and I’m guessing each one costs $50. You would need to buy them by the thousand to drop by some amount, but not by that much (is my guess).

Many patents

The inventor was wise to protect his design with many patents, so it isn’t likely that you’ll see this one being knocked off anytime soon. I say that so none of you get any bright ideas. Build one for yourself if you want, but forget production.


The cost hadn’t been determined the last time I checked. I will tell you when I find out. But it isn’t going to be cheap.


I haven’t told you about the bearing in the hub of this target yet. It allows the target to spin for minutes if it is balanced. Or, once one paddle falls, it begins swinging from imbalance. I will learn more when I start shooting it.

You do have to go downrange once all the paddles have been knocked off, so there is that to consider. I will soon be showing you some smaller Texas Stars that you don’t have to go downrange to reset — you can shoot the paddles back up.

At any rate, I do plan on testing this one thoroughly.

111 thoughts on “All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    That was smart of him to use magnets to keep his plates in place, especially the part where the thicker plates (3/8″ mild steel?) are held by two magnets instead of only one. How heavy is it? Wouldn’t it be better to use FPE to determine what paddle you should use as a target instead of the FPS?


    PS Some edits needed.
    Paddles of two different thicknesses section last sentence: “It takes jkust (just) seconds…”
    How large is it? section first sentence: I took the target outside and set it up, which is n=how (how) I…”

  2. B.B.,

    I like it. It definitely looks like a club oriented target. The magnets are a great tool/idea. Your one picture shows you mounting a target, but still leaves 1 magnet exposed. What is the other one for? How thick are the paddles and what diameter?

    Most of all, I like seeing someone have an idea, make it materialize and do so in an easy to construct and well packaged product. Some careful thought went into it. I do admire that a lot.

    Good Day to you and to all,… Chris

  3. B.B.,

    That’s big enough to double as a Wheel of Fortune mechanism. The magnets would be excellent for holding the wheel in place, too. We often figure out how to make household items useful for airgunning, but here we might have an airgun product that can serve double duty.

    Very nice.


  4. What an innovative take on something that didn’t seem improvable. Most airgun targets are scaled down versions of firearm designs, to be able to scale something up and still be a functioning airgun target is fabulous. And with so many options powerwise with airguns this seems like a very versatile and fun target. My only concern is that the legs seem to be in the line of fire, however I’ve not used this type of target yet to really understand it’s function.

  5. BB,

    I just recieved from a LG cal 4,5 mod 55 walther’s patent air rifle. It’s a great gift, and I would like to keep it in good condition. I live in Europe though, And like most Europeans, I know almost nothing about guns.
    Could you write an article about basic airgun maintenance and important things to check when laying hands on an old gun?
    Thanks in advance for any help,


  6. What a well thought out shooting target.

    I’m a sucker for reactive targets. This reminds me of the most popular target on my range with all airgun shooters, the motorized Caldwell Shootin Gallery. I replaced the paddles that came with the target with ones that were made for airguns and wired a remote control so it can be turned off and on without going downrange. Great competition for two shooters that try to hit the emerging paddle before the other guy does.

        • Kevin,

          Here’s a target that is also fun to shoot with a buddy. You’ll have to make one yourself though because its for bbs ( and it’s safe ) not powder cartridges, and I couldn’t find one anywhere on the web. If you or anyone else would be interested in making one I can provide some details and pics to help you out, but I made it in my head as I went along ,so I don’t have plans, per say.

          I think you probably can tell how it works and that it is modeled after the Dueling Tree, but for others, I will explain. Two shooters stand side by side at 7-10 yards facing the “tree”. At the count of three they both begin shooting the paddles on their side of the tree.The paddles will flip to the other side and display your opponent,s color. He is trying to flip them back onto your side and on it goes until one of you manages to get all the paddles on his opponent’s side and becomes the winner. If you use all the paddles and play against someone of similar skill it will take several fast mag reloads to finish a game. The flags lift out so you can shoot at fewer for a shorter game if you don’t have extra mags.

            • Coduece,

              If you like shooting action type BB pistols, you can’t beat it. I spend hours just shooting it by myself, alternating from on side to the other, bottom up , top down, flip each over, then immediately back,always trying to increase speed with accuracy. I am planning to build another one from materials that are cheaper ( I sound like an air gun bean counter) and more readily available to the average guy. This one uses some aluminum and steel parts that some people may not have access to or would deem too expensive. I would like to design one that any “handy” person could build, because it is so much fun, and I couldn’t find one online anywhere for sale or as a DYI project. I’ll give it away once I get it developed but I can’t believe one of the low cost airgun makers hasn’t built one for sell yet. I buy two BB guns at a time so I’ll have one for me and one for a friend to use, and I use a boatload of CO2 and BBs because I want to practice,practice,practice. It would be a moneymaker for someone IMHO. It’s just really FUN.

      • Halfstep,

        Bought the targets from Ben at Steelplinkers. He makes a variety of them to replace those heavy ones that come with the Caldwell Shootin Gallery. As you can see in the youtube video I linked, it’s easy to change out the target paddles. You just remove a carter pin.

        The remote is a garage door opener type. You can buy them at any auto parts store. A buddy of mine wired it in. Took him about 10 minutes. Works great

  7. I definitely like the target.

    Would be fun with the Wildfire up close. And could have some fun plinking with the HW30s.

    But would be real cool with my .22 Maximus out at a hundred yards.

    Just need to know how much and when they are available.

  8. I have shot a lot of Texas Stars in Cowboy Action. The trick is to shoot the top one first, then the next one to the right. The star then turns and brings the next one on the right up right to where you shot the second one. Next you shoot the bottom left star and then the last one remaining on the right as it moves to the bottom. With that method, you get very little movement of the star which makes them easier to hit! It is a lot of fun. But, don’t miss or you will have problems.


  9. For those that expressed an interest in Blaster plastic BBs, I have done some shooting with them and have some information to report.
    I was firing them from an Umarex XBG CO2 BB pistol. I have 10 magazines for this gun and have had reason to believe that this and other
    mag fed BB guns group differently depending on which mag you use and was testing that theory as well as trying out the Blasters. I have
    engraved each mag with it’s own number for that reason and may refer to the numbers as I go along here, so that’s what I mean if I say “mag 4″etc.
    I used this gun because I get over 150 useful shots with steel bbs. I mounted a cheap and inoperable laser to the Piccy rail at the front of
    the gun and clamped that in a Jaw Horse vise, then I set up a target holder at 7 yards and fired each mag with first, 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs,
    then changed targets, reloaded the same mag with Blasters and repeated this until I had fired ten of each brand out of ten different mags.
    The firing was done to a cadence of “Fire,2,3,Fire,2,3…”,so about a 3second interval. I was also firing, indoors at 70 F, over a PACT
    Precision Chronograph using infra red sensers. So that gave me 10 shot accuracy and velocity data to show you. If all goes well, you should see a chart of the results in a photo below. I’ll pass on more info in further comments.

    • Halfstep
      I see something I like already with the Blaster bb’s. They group better. And the fps is higher.

      Do you plan to see if you can push the distance on the Blaster bb’s. I had a air soft rifle some years back that actually shot cans out at 35 yards consistently. And even a 1 gallon plastic milk bottle out at 50 yards.

      So would definitely be interested in some longer distance shooting with maybe a smooth bore air gun if you have one to try out with the Blaster bb’s.

      • GF1,

        I plan on shooting at longer distance as part of my testing, but If you look at my 12 yard test farther down, you will see why I don’t hold out much hope.

        I have all kinds of guns to shoot them from, including a Crosman MKII, Crosman Model 73, Crosman 1377, and Colt Python BB. Because they are plastic I’m even going to try my Daisy 777. Honestly, I’ll probably end up shooting them from everything I own in .177. 😉

  10. BB
    That sure is a nice looking target – would look good on my range.
    I have 2 questions.
    The airgun and firearm paddles have a single and double mount tab and it looks like the paddles would hinge back and fall when hit. More so with the firearm paddle leaving the outboard magnet really exposed. What are the chances of shrapnel causing damage to the magnets. Are spare parts going to be available
    How is the target finished. Paint or powder coat? Does it look like it will stand up to harsh outdoor conditions?

    • Dave,

      The magnets are on the back side of the arms, so they are shielded. It looks like a powder coat to me. Yes, it is made to withstand range conditions. I wouldn’t leave it outside when not in use because there is a bearing in that hub.


  11. For those that expressed an interest in Blaster plastic BBs, I have done some shooting with them and have some information to report. I was firing them from an Umarex XBG CO2 BB pistol. I have 10 magazines for this gun and have had reason to believe that this and other mag fed BB guns group differently depending on which mag you use and was testing that theory as well as trying out the Blasters. I have engraved each mag with it’s own number for that reason and may refer to the numbers as I go along here, so that’s what I mean if I say “mag 4″etc. I used this gun because I get over 150 useful shots with steel bbs. I mounted a cheap and inoperable laser to the Piccy rail at the front of the gun and clamped that in a Jaw Horse vise, then I set up a target holder at 7 yards and fired each mag with first 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs, then changed targets, reloaded the same mag with Blasters and repeated this until I had fired ten of each brand out of ten different mags. The firing was done to a cadence of “Fire,2,3,Fire,2,3…”,so about a 3second interval. I was also firing, indoors at 70 F, over a PACT Precision Chronograph using infra red sensers. So that gave me 10 shot accuracy and velocity data to show you.
    If all goes well there should be a chart below showing those results. I’ll pass on more info in further comments.

  12. As you can see, every group was significantly better with the Blasters. You might also notice that the grouping varied from mag to mag, especially with the steel BBs. I plan to test my theory about how accuracy might be tied to which mag you are using more, in the near future. If those results would be of interest, let me know and I’ll report them here.

    The point of impact at 7 yards was between 1″ and 1 3/8″ higher with the Blasters. It’s not hard to understand why since the velocity was around 150 fps higher!

    Someone here ( along with myself ) wanted to know if these BBs are reusable and I’m happy to report that they are. I fired Blasters that I trapped from previous firings, this time using the 3 most accurate mags ( #3,#8,#10), three times each at the same target. That would be 57 BBs fired three times each for a total of 171 shots. the resulting group was 2 3/8″ H X 1 3/4″ W and should be in the pics below.

  13. I also fired one mag each ( used mag #8 since it was the most accurate with the Blasters) of the Black Diamonds and the Blasters at 12 yards and got a 19 shot group of 4 7/16″ for the Black Diamonds and 4 1/16″ for the Blasters. They are still better at 12 yards than the Hornadys, but not by much. I had my chronograph set up in front of the target in this test to see how they retained their speed. The average velocity at twelve yards dropped off over 150 fps to 393fps and the point of impact was 3 3/4″ higher than the Black Diamonds.

    If you buy one of these guns they come with one mag and extra mags are sold in pairs. This same mechanism is used in several other guns that are branded as Umarex and under other companies as well, and are just different skins on the same gun. That leads me to believe that there may be a number of folks out there with a gun and three mags, so I duplicated how these BBs would perform if you loaded three mags, fired them, collected the used BBs, set up new targets, reloaded the mags then fired them, and kept doing this until the CO2 cartridge was empty. I did this over my chronograph so I will put the graph in an image below.

    Again, using mags #1,#8, and #10,( I mistakenly said 3,8,and 10 in the comment above the Seven Up can pics) I got groups of 2.13″ on shots 1-57, 2.26″ on shots 58-114, 2.33″on shots 115-171, and a group that was elongated at 3″ high X 1.9″ wide as the cartridge petered out on shots 172-209.

    I measured the Blasters to see if maybe that was radically different from a steel BB and maybe is what made it more accurate and found that it was different in size. The Black Diamonds measured .172″ and the Blasters measured .176″. AND they fit nicely in a 1077 or Wildfire rotary clip!! Probably others as well. I know that I’m gonna try ’em ! Being plastic they shouldn’t hurt my pellet guns ( I hope ) If anyone would be interested in my findings when I do, let me know and I’ll post them here.

  14. BB,

    I asked you once about doing a report as a long comment ( for those of us that don’t really know how to do one the “regular” way) and you said it would be OK. Well, this is the sort of thing I had in mind, as well as gun reviews, and since you didn’t have the opportunity to put the kibosh on it before it got posted this way, I thought I would ask you once more if this sort of thing will be OK.

      • Chris USA,

        Thank you,Chris.
        Even if no one else got anything out of it, I’ve walked away with an even greater respect and appreciation for what it takes for BB to blog every day. It takes so much time, for one thing. So ” Hats off !” to you BB.

          • GF1,

            After I posted it I guess I was just second guessing myself a little bit. Thinking it might not be a topic of widespread interest. Mostly what I was saying, though, was that now I have a better understanding of the work BB puts into this blog. The stuff I was doing in my little report was fun as heck, but it was also considerably time consuming and took a certain degree of effort. I’m glad it interested you. You are one of the people that I posted it for.

            Enjoy your day,Half

            • Halfstep
              Yep know what you mean about the work that goes into it.

              And yes glad you did. I was going to ask you about the Blaster bb’s and kept forgetting I suppose.

              And for sure will still be waiting for the other info you gather with the Blaster bb’s.

            • Halfstep,

              I guess that the way I look at it is that (you went over and above) a regular post. You put the time in, gathered data,… and then put it all together. On top of that, you did it (with a product that most of us know little about),… let alone have shot. That is what stood out to me. You are sort of a ground breaker in that sense. 🙂 Plus,… B.B. did not have to put in a bit of work in it. At the very least, you got the ball rolling and put out some real tried and true data. That is always good,.. no matter who does it.

              • Chris USA,

                I think I remember you wondering if plastic Blasters will ricochet from hard surfaces or if they shatter. Well, the answer is, Yes. If they hit a really hard surface like sheet steel and concrete they will shatter and the pieces will bounce back with little energy. A glancing blow will deflect them with a very pronounced ping of of a cartoon ricochet.( maybe because a tiny chunk gets knocked off the pellet?) On the other hand, if they hit something that is only medium hard, like plywood, they tend to bounce back at you with quite a bit of force. If you didn’t ask this, but remember who did ( it was in a comment in a recent report on a bb gun), please let me know so I can send him the info. He won’t see it here unless he rereads all the comments.

                • Halfstep,

                  I shot the TX200 indoors at a 2×2 block,… my version of an indoor shooting gallery. Not so much. The .22 pellet bounced back to my right off a wall, proceeded onto the wall behind my head and then onto the front of the stove and fell to the floor in the kitchen. Open floor plan. That was the last time I did that. That was several years ago.

                  My indoor traps now are 1/2″ OSB boxes, cut out in front, shoot through corrugated card board, target attached. Works just fine. Even a .25 M-rod at 5 feet. Gunfun did recommend 2×4’s as a prelude to the 1/8″ steel backing inside for the M-rod. Good advice. 100+ shots penetrated the 2×4 and there was a big single ball of lead. The 2×4’s slowed them down enough that there was no denting to the plate.

  15. BB
    A little off topic but maybe not!
    I’m always looking for good targets for my range. The smaller armour plate targets scare me because the chances of firearm rebounds back to the 50 yard firing line is always there.
    So far (mostly .22LR) on the big 1½” thick armour plate everything that hits it disintegrates and sprays shrapnel sideways. The supporting posts for that 150 pound armour plate are getting fuzzed up really good.
    Tin cans are OK for airguns and make lots of noise but have a limited life span. .22LR really chews them up and they don’t make much noise.
    The conveyor belt material I’ve used for several targets including a Hikok45 cowboy stands up well to pellets but because of the fiberglass reinforcing thread which blows out the back from .22LR will have a limited lifetime as it tends to cut up the rubber. I figure only a hundred shots or so on the painted badge area before it will need replacing. Same for the other round w/built in hanger strap targets that I have.
    Hockey pucks and tennis balls are great for airguns. Suspended on a piece of cord they give a good hit indication. At 50 yards they make a loud “whap” sound. With .22LR tennis balls have a usefull life of a few hundred hits and hockey pucks much less as they seen to break up a lot easier and quite often trap a .22 slug within their mass. This in my opinion makes them too dangerous as .22LR targets. Pellets only!!
    The flourescent red street hockey balls are OK for pellets, nice and noisy but just explode and break up with .22LR.
    The flourescent red foam practice pucks are great for .22LR but entrap pellets so shoot one or the other – not both.
    One of the best targets for both airgun and .22LR is the dogs chew toy that I have tripped over for years. She’s a Tibetan Mastiff and has yet to make a mark on that Kong chew toy. Looks like a Michelin Tire Man (the toy, not the dog) – 3 balls squished together, the bottom ball is about the size of a tennis ball and the top ball is a bit smaller than a golf ball. When hung on 18″ of rope at 50 yards it makes a satisfying “thwap” with the .22 Browning leverage. A little Camo Beige spray paint and the pellet hits really stand out. It swings nicely as well to indicate a hit.
    Yesterday I put over 100 shots from my .22LR Savage Mark II w/24X scope into that Kong. About 35 shots into each section with the end result being the Kong is peppered with tiny pinholes. Both entrance and exit holes the same little pin prick in size and no sign of any other disintegration. I think these Kongs will stand up pretty well. I’ m going to get a few more for targets including a replacement for the one I took from Pooh Bear! Will let you know how they stand up.
    That’s about all for now, It’s a sunny and warm afternoon and I have to go and mow the lawn, hopefully for the last time this year.

    • Redrafter,

      I, too, am always looking for targets. I have a box ( or maybe boxes ) of discounted and clearance STUFF that I have picked up for pennies that I know I can use for targets, so I like how you think. I believe I have seen the chew toy that you are referring to somewhere but if you could tell me where you got yours it would remove any doubt.

      • Hey Halfstep
        Wallmart or Amazon – Amazon calls them Extreme Dog Toys – in both Ca and Us stores. Mine came from a small WallyWorld just outside of Calgary.

        • Redrafter,

          I found small, medium and extra large and nary a dimension on any of ’em. Do you know what size yours is? Also,out of curiosity, Is that “Redrafter” as in, “one who roughly composes it, again” or Redrafter as in ” I would never have gotten out of my inflatable here if I had known they were going to be painting this fire engine, just now”?

          • Hey Halfstep
            XXL – : 15.2 x 9.9 x 9.9 cm ; 540 g
            XL – 12.7 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm ; 227 g
            L – 10.2 x 7 x 7 cm ; 195 g
            The one I’ m useing is XL CDN $13.99
            Amazon also has Kong balls up to 3″ in diameter.

            • Re Drafter or Red Rafter ? Draft of a letter or someone who stepped out of his inflatable raft just in time to get accidentally spray painted red. ( If fire engines are not red in Canada I wouldn’t expect you to get it. Many people that don’t get my jokes do so with much poorer excuses! 😉 )

              • Hey Halfstep
                Neither – the rafters in my barn are old fir with the reddish patina that comes with age. Hence my ranch name and brand is two capital R”s hanging off a single post faceing opposite directions. Also my main gate posts are held together up top by two red painted rafters and beam centered with a longhorn cow skull.
                After all I’m located just a few km from the International “Cowboy Trail” here in Southern Alberta and I have to keep the Cowboy Theme alive n’ kickin’…tic,tic.

          • Redrafter and Halfstep,

            There is an older scifi novel by Janet Kagen title “Hellspark” which was the name of the planet in the story. According to the storyline the correct way to pronounce it was to alternate between Hells-Park and Hell-Spark.

            So maybe the correct pronunciation is to alternate between Re-Drafter and Red-Rafter.

            Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.


  16. On an unrelated topic, I was watching cooking shows with my daughter yesterday and who was the host? Rossi Morreale, the guy is talented and I predict a successful career ahead for that young man.

  17. Hi BB

    That’s a big un! I’m really interested to know what people have dreamed up as DIY responsive targets. E.g. tin cans get boring quickly, but powdery mint sweets make a nice explosion if one can figure out a way to mount them to shot at!

    Off topic, but will you finish the Lov 21 pistol review (I could not see a part 3)? I may be tempted to buy one of these as there are a couple of UK stores with them.


  18. BB,

    Under “Big Target”, the phrase, ” our sun is a start” should read “our sun is a star” and in “That’s a red supergiant start that if …. sun its rim” should read (I think)” …supergiant star that (comma) if it was ….sun(comma) its rim…..

    If I am wrong, feel free to tell me where I can stick my commas!! 😉

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