MOA Targets Reactive Mini-Mozambique Review

Mini-Mozambique AR500 Steel Reactive Target Review

By Olin Coles

Manufacturer: MOA Targets LLC
Product Name: Mini-Mozambique AR500 Steel Reactive Target
Model Number: Mini-Mozambique
Price: Starting at $245 (MOA Targets Online)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by MOA Targets.

MOA Targets LLC is a finished-goods manufacturer of steel shooting targets, located in Palomino Valley of northern Reno, with an office in Sparks, Nevada. Designed for the do-it-yourself shooting enthusiast, MOA Targets cuts all their steel with a 4000-watt CNC laser to prevent brittle edges and ensure the target maintains the Brinell hardness their customers pay for. Taken from their website, here’s what company founder Mitch Gerlinger has to say on the matter:

“Laser cutting results in a heat soak zone typically less than 1/32”, as opposed to the ¼” to ½” heat soak that is the result of typical plasma or oxy-acetylene cutting. Water-jet and plasma-underwater do have a smaller heat soak zone, however, they require immediate treatment to prevent rusting from immersion in water. Here at MOA, we’d rather have steel cut with a freaking laser than water anyhow, no one ever dreams of having an awesome water pistol.”

MOA Targets Mini-Mozambique AR500 Steel Reactive Tactical Pistol & Rifle Shooting Target Review by Olin Coles

For this review, GunWarrior investigates the Mini-Mozambique AR500 steel reactive target made for tactical pistol shooting, which is the reduced-size version of their Mozambique target system designed for medium and long-range rifle shooting. Both targets share the same IPSC silhouette profile, and both are made of high-quality AR500 steel, cut with the aforementioned 4000-watt CNC laser.

When purchased from their web store, MOA Targets offers free ground shipping (to the lower 48 states) and includes a modular base designed to stand the Mini-Mozambique upright with a length of 2×4 lumber (not supplied). Additional options are available, which add to price and shipping costs.

In the spirit of keeping things simple for do-it-yourself builders, MOA Targets offers their Mini-Mozambique target in every trim level from a bare-bones kit that you weld together yourself (and save $40 off the cost), to a mid-level kit that includes an angle-iron stand, or get the works and treat your ‘Mini-Mo’ to an armored stand with upright (shown on this page – lumber not included).

MOA Targets Mini-Mozambique AR500 Steel Reactive Tactical Pistol & Rifle Shooting Target Pop Up

The concept is simple: Make a head shot, and the reactive target falls. Make a follow-up shot on the round vitals target in the middle of the IPSC torso, and the head target is lifted and reset. Alternatively, you can practice double tap drills where the shooter fires at the torso vitals first, which will then display the head target for the second shot.

When starting with a reset target, the Mini-Mozambique displays a 4-1/2″ rounded square head piece made of 3/8″ AR500 steel that reacts by falling behind the torso when struck. The head target is reset when the shooter hits the 5″ round vitals target, allowing the cycle to repeat with immediate visual feedback.

MOA Targets Mini-Mozambique AR500 Steel Reactive Tactical Pistol & Rifle Shooting Target Shot Down

MOA Targets does indicate that a minimum of 350 ft/lbs of energy at the (vitals) target is required to reliably reset the Mini-Mozambique’s head target, which was designed for standard pistol cartridges (9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP) at 12-yards distance. Other pistol cartridges that fire bullets with sufficient energy should also work without issue, as should rifle .223/5.56 NATO cartridges fired (200+ yards recommended).

The 1/4″ hinge mechanism is constructed with welded mortise and tendon style joints, while the reset arm utilizes 1/4″ AR400 for additional strength and abrasion resistance. MOA Targets has disclosed that they will soon have an add-on rimfire modification that replaces the head and vitals target plates and mechanism, expected to be priced at $75.

MOA Targets Mini-Mozambique AR500 Steel Reactive Tactical Pistol & Rifle Shooting Target Hinge System

When MOA Targets initially offered the original Mozambique (“Big” Mo), I tested the reactive target at 800 yards with a high-power rifle and had an absolute blast with it. The feedback is instant and repeatable, allowing you to see how far off you are from vitals before taking the more difficult head shot. The same praise is true for the Mini-Mozambique, which is perfect for pistols, but also capable of withstanding light rifle (.223 Remington) strikes when set around 200 yards or more (300+ yards for .30 Cal cartridges).

The Mini-Mozambique AR500 steel reactive tactical target is built to withstand a lifetime of proper use, and requires almost no maintenance. We painted our target with easy to identify contrasting colors, since the target arrives with bare metal finish to suite the user’s palette. See it in action below (9mm fired at 25 yards):

Users must keep in mind two very distinct variables when it comes to shooting steel: velocity and energy. Velocity is the projectile’s speed of travel, and energy is the projectile’s force. A high-velocity bullet fired too close may cause surface damage to AR500 steel targets, while a heavy bullet with lots of energy may penetrate or deform the steel. It’s never safe to fire at steel targets so close that it causes damage.

Used properly, the Mini-Mozambique reactive tactical target can be used for high-speed pistol drills, slow-fire precision pistol, medium-range light rifle practices, and long-range high-power precision. Built of high-quality AR-500 steel, I expect this target to outlast my passion for this hobby (which has already lasted thirty years and counting). Check out the Mini-Mozambique and dozens of other clever target systems at MOA Targets.

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