2D VS 3D Target Selections Guide

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Targets
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Targets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but not all of them are created equal. 

In this target selection guide, Let's discuss 2D VS 3D targets for personal defense training, and how it can impact our ability to develop our skills as shooters.

2D VS 3D Targets

2D Target

uspsa target

A standard two-dimensional target with a 4 X 6 A-zone and an 8.5 X 11 B-zone, along with a cranial circle and a little triangle on the top. This is a good choice to represent human anatomy, which is important for self-defense focused shooting.

3D Target For Serious Training

3d targets

Three-dimensional cardboard target that creates a very basic three-dimensional approximation of a human being. This is important because people are three-dimensional, and as the target's presentation changes, your point of aim is going to have to change as well. 

If you're aiming for center mass and the target is oblique or flank, center mass isn't where you think it is. You have to shoot for the core of the body, the center line of the body, regardless of presentation.


The biggest reason that three-dimensional targets aren't more popular is tradition, but cost is also a factor. Three-dimensional targets are more expensive than high-quality paper targets, and they're more complicated to assemble. Some ranges also may not allow you to use them, or the target stands may not be able to turn.


I thoroughly test every firearm product before recommending it for civilian use. This involves personally purchasing or borrowing each product and rigorously using and testing them for content creation.