If you’ve never shot at steel targets out at the range let me just tell you, you’re really missing out. For years I shot at paper targets. I walked out to them during line breaks to check my grouping and staple new targets etc, until one day I had the chance to shoot at steel. The first time I heard that “PING” I had a grin from ear to ear. Don’t get me wrong, paper targets still have their place and they’re not going anywhere, but that instant satisfaction of knowing you hit what you were aiming for is hard to beat. So is not having to walk down range to set up new targets all the time.
When we got this sweet target in the mail from Grizzly Targets I was pretty impressed with it right out of the box. The Reactive Auto Reset 220 from Grizzly Targets is laser cut from 3/8″ thick AR500 steel and is 100% Galvanized to prevent rusting. They’re all made in the USA out of Tampa, Florida. The steel they use in the construction is also from the USofA, no cheapo imported steel here. It weights in at 25lbs and measures 23″ long, 23″ high and 18″ wide. The target’s faceplate is 14″ high and 4″ wide at the widest part of the target’s circle. It came packaged really well too, not that it would be damaged during shipping. This target is built like a little tank and right out of the box I could tell it was a beefy, but how did it do at the range?
Unlike other types of steel, AR500 steel is able to take repeated hits from pistol and rifle rounds and is also used in armor applications. AR500 steel is also optimal for shooting applications because the chance of ricochets is far less than with mild steel. The Grizzly Target silhouette target is hinged and bolted to the AR500 steel base with two Grade 8 hardened steel bolts with a coil spring that pops the target back up after every hit.
The picture above shows the target plate base after our testing, you can see where the bullet splash hit the base. It held up pretty well after all the abuse we put it through, the surface was pretty roughed up but it wasn’t that bad at all. The spring and hinge held up extremely well, it continued to pop-up just as it did right out of the box even after the thousands of rounds we hit it with. The only issue we had with the spring mechanism was it was a tad too slow for double taps, you had to wait a bit for the target to come back up before you could fire the next round. If you’re shooting it out past 50 yards or so or with your rifle out past 100 it wasn’t really an issue.
According to Grizzley Targets their targets are designed to take thousands of rounds of abuse, as King Leonidas would say, “we put them to the test!”. We shot around about two thousand rounds at it, we’d shoot more but ammo is hard to find these days. From 15 yards with pistol and rimfire ammo to around 200 yards with 7.62x54R the Grizzly Targets reactive target took a beating and kept on working. In all we fired around 500 .22lr, 500 or so 9mm, .40S&W, and .45acp, around 300 rounds of .308, 300 rounds of 30-06 and the rest 7.62x54R (steel core and non-steel) from a trusty old Mosin Nagant and a few shotgun slugs and buck shot for the heck of it. After all that abuse the galvanizing was shot off and there were some pretty big dimples, most of which where from the 7.62x54R at 100 yards. Just a warning, you don’t want to shoot steel core ammo like we did, it can penetrate the plate or ricochet. Also, we spray painted the entire target face orange so we could spot it out at 200 yards in case you were wondering what was up with the paint.
Like I said earlier I’m a huge fan of shooting at steel targets and the Grizzly Targets Reactive Auto Reset 220 definitely won me over. I’ve destroyed other steel targets in the past and this one from Grizzly took all the abuse we gave it. For training, speed drills etc steel targets are where it’s at. For sighting in your gun and to test how well it groups paper is still king, and paper cost quite a bit less too. At $179 the Auto Rest 220 target isn’t cheap, but the time it saves at the range is time that you can dedicate to more training and that definitely makes it worth it in the long run. Check them out at GrizzlyTargets.com.