The Grizzly Reactive Auto Reset Target 220 is one of those rare products that not only does what it claims, but impresses you from the minute you take it out of the box The silhouette shaped target is laser cut from heavy-duty, galvanized 3/8 inch thick AR500 steel. This thing should be nicknamed “the beast” or “the tank” because everything about it suggests massive over-engineering. The 25 pound target is assembled with enormous bolts and the rugged stainless steel spring will surely keep it operating for a lifetime of shooting. The unit’s faceplate is 14″ high and 4″ wide at its widest part of the circle. The entire target is 23″ long, 23″ high, and 18″ wide.
AR500 steel is typically used in the manufacture of severe duty mining equipment and has a proven track record of excellent abrasion resistance and the ability to withstand repeated high impact stresses. It is an excellent choice for a target being subjected to high volumes of rifle fire.
Testing the 220 proved somewhat difficult. Living in an urban area, I am dependent on a small number of nearby public shooting ranges for my shooting fun. Unfortunately, none of them were keen on allowing a steel target to be used at their 100 yard rifle ranges for fear of ricochets. A privately owned 600 yard highpower rifle range also turned us away.
My initial reaction to being turned down was that the rangemasters were being overly cautious. However, several conversations and a bit of research revealed that ricochets can occur and caution must be used when employing steel targets, especially when using high velocity rifle bullets.
Some simple precautions can be taken to avoid any incidents. First, use the right steel target. The Grizzly’s AR500 steel is excellent for its intended application and will minimize the risk of ricochets. Unlike softer steels, AR500 does not deform and the full energy of the bullets is dissipated on its hard surface, resulting in only minor bullet splatter. Additionally, many steel shooters recommend that you cant the target slightly upward or downward so that any metal fragments coming from the inclined surface are deflected away from the firing line and travel either upward into the air or downward into the dirt. When using a spring-loaded target like the 220, this becomes less necessary as any solid hits on the target face will cause the target to fall and angle away from the shooting position. Finally, when using steel targets, place them a safe distance away from the firing line (at least 100 yards when using centerfire rifle rounds) and always wear high quality ballistic rated safety glasses.
Testing of the Grizzly Target was finally arranged by turning to my friend “JC”, a firearms instructor for a large metropolitan police force in my area. Coincidentally, the department was getting ready to run a week-long sniper training session and my offer of letting them use the Grizzly 220, with this writer recording the results, was readily accepted. The 220 was placed at a distance of 240 yards at was shot repeatedly during the course, absorbing a large volume of hits from Federal Gold Medal .308 caliber Sierra MatchKing (SMK) boat tail bullets. The 220 performed as advertised, falling and then returning to its vertical position quickly. The shooters were well pleased with the Grizzly 220 and all were impressed by its solid construction and quality components. As you can tell from the accompanying photos, the shot-up target surface shows minimal wear.
My only quibble with the 220 has nothing to do with the product itself. The target was received via UPS already assembled but the shipping package left a little to be desired. Bubble wrap, cardboard and binding straps were not sufficient to keep one of the target’s legs from penetrating clear through the box. Given the bombproof construction of the product, it is doubtful that any harm would have come to it. Nevertheless, the manufacturer should consider sturdier packaging or perhaps disassembling the legs from the main frame of the target itself.
That aside, the Grizzly Reactive Auto Reset Target 220 performed beautifully. The AR500 steel used in its construction will contribute to a very long life and minimal risk of ricochets. If you are in the market for such a target, take a close look at this one. You will not be disappointed. The retail price is US$ 179 and it can be ordered at www.grizzlytargets.com