By Dan Kidder
Managing Editor

I messed up on this review. I got in a dueling tree to review and normally, I am a stickler for details. In this case, the Birchwood Casey World of Targets Handgun Dueling Tree arrived as we were headed to the range to test out a long-range precision hunting rifle. In my rush, I missed an essential word on the dueling tree; the word HANDGUN.

We took the dueling tree to the range and shot it multiple times at 200 yards with a 6.5 Creedmore long range precision rifle bullet travelling at many times the speed of the average handgun. This error could have been catastrophic, if the World of Targets Handgun Dueling Tree were made of metal other than AR500 steel. But since it IS made of AR500 steel, the paddles simply flipped sides and didn’t show a mark, other than the flaking off the bright yellow paint at the site of impact and the disintegration of the stick-on orange target dot.

Other than making a major error in my review process, the superior engineering, worksmanship, and materials saved my bacon in what could have been a major catastrophic failure.

The heavy AR500 steel paddles took all the abuse, the quality retaining pin stayed straight as an arrow, and the base never budged.

The entire dueling tree comes packed in a plastic rifle case and assembly is very simple. Just line up the paddles with their spots on the frame and slide in the retaining hinge pin. The top and bottom paddle are a different shape and have smaller slots on the uprght. I was able to set it up intuitively, without looking at the directions; a process I frequently use in reviews to test how intuitive it is to set up the product. Had I needed the directions, I might have noticed it was designed for handguns and not high powered rifles.

The stand is made of much thinner and lighter mild steel, which when it comes time to set up is a welcomed relief. If it were heavier, the dueling tree would be a bear to handle. As it is, it weighs 57 pounds.

I recommend attaching the base with the dueling tree upside down by sliding on the locking plate and then interlocking the two legs so the short side is facing the front. Once you turn the tree over, the locking plate will slide down over the support legs and keep the whole contraption upright and leaning slightly forward to deflect bullets at the ground.

The six bright yellow target paddles are heavy duty and as I learned, can take tremendous abuse. The center V-shaped support post is made of a mild steel and angled to deflect direct hits and bullet splatter. In this regard, I am thankful that the rifle was accurate and kept its hits on the paddle targets.

So, even though I haven’t yet had a chance at press time to test the Birchwood Casey World of targets Handgun Dueling Tree with a handgun, I can definitely attest to its durability and capability with a high powered rifle. I don’t recommend you do this, but if for some reason, someone who doesn’t know any better takes a pop at it with a rifle, you can know that it will stand up to the abuse.

  • AR500 steel paddles

  • Includes hard molded carry case

  • 6 shooting paddles

  • No tools required to assemble

  • Centerfire handguns

  • USA made target

  • Size: 48.5" H x 28.5"W x 23"D Size: 48.5" H x 28.5"W x 23"D

  • Weight: 57 pounds