If you have ever had the chance to shoot steel targets at a range, you already know the fun they can bring to your shooting experience. If you were the one setting up the range, you already know how expensive steel targets can be. If you are new to steel targets, consider this review the beginning of your education into quality steel targets. Grizzly Targets has come out with a new line of targets for 2014 that tries to provide the same shooting steel experience in a budget oriented target system. They have introduced their new "Build Your Own Range" (BYOR) target system. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to review both their IPSC Torso and Trifecta Reactive targets and have been extremely pleased with their quality, durability and performance, so I was very excited about getting the opportunity to review their new Build Your Own Range targets.
The Build Your Own Range series of targets consists of the following seven items with the MSRPs listed.
These next two photos show all the Grizzly Targets in the BYOR series. If you click on this photo (or any other in the review), it will bring up a higher resolution photo showing greater detail.
This next photo may make it a little easier to see and understand the BYOR series targets. Later in the review, I go over the details of each these target system components.
The targets came individually packaged as shown below. The intent is that you purchase these components individually and add to your range when finances permit, but most likely I expect you would purchase more than one target to get started.
During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the text in colored italics throughout this review was taken directly from the Grizzly Targets website on 5/18/14 and gives the key features for each of the Build Your Own Range products.
Some things I want to point out that are common with all the products in the BYOR series of targets are that all the parts intended to be shot are made from either 1/4" or 3/8" thick AR500 steel. AR500 steel is considered to be the standard for quality steel targets and will ensure long life, provided you use some common sense with calibers and distance. The 1/4" thick targets are intended primarily for handguns and the 3/8" thick targets can handle either handguns or rifles. Second, all other portions of the target are made from a lower strength steel and come completely galvanized. Last, all the bolts that have the potential for taking a bullet strike are Grade 8 bolts to ensure maximum durability. The remaining features that are unique to the targets relate to size, shape and motion and are described below.
3 Gun Flat
The 3 Gun Flat Target is the least expensive and simplest target in the BYOR series. If you are willing to make the walk to reset the target, this could be a good option for setting up your own plate rack by installing multiple targets on a board. The action on this target is simple. Hit the target and it flips over. The target is made from 1/4" AR500 steel and is 6" in diameter.
The target base comes with two sets of holes. The larger diameter set is easily seen below and the smaller diameter set is nearly below the hinge line. The stand width is 4" and made from 1/4" steel. The 1/2" diameter hinge bolts is Grade 5 and comes with a nylon insert lock nut.
The stand length is about 12.6" and the top of the plate is about 8.5" above the bottom of the stand. The bent up portion on the front of the base should protect the hinge portions of the target.
This target weighed in at 7.4 lbs.
3 Gun Post
The 3 Gun Post target is very similar to the 3 Gun Flat target because they are both non-resetting targets that utilize the same 1/4" thick 6" diameter AR500 steel target weldment. The 3 Gun Post is intended to sit on top of a 2x4 piece of lumber and would be a great target to finish off a dueling session or other type of match. At an MSRP of $69.99, I'm not sure why there is a $20 difference in price for the Post Target over the Flat Target because the only parts different are the mounting hardware. I'm sure Grizzly Targets has their reasons, it just surprised me.
These next photos show the target in the up and down (flipped back) positions. The angle iron in front is 6.5" in length and protects the rectangular tube and hinge portion of the target. The target rests on top of the hinge bolt when installed on a 2x4.
This target weighed in at 8.76 lbs.
This next photo shows a hypothetical installation of the 3 Gun Flat on top of a dueling tree supported by the BYOR Stand.
Sometimes it's the simple things in life that you appreciate most and this sums up my thoughts on the BYOR Stand. It is so simple, yet so functional that in my opinion the MSRP of $59.99 is well worth a lifetime investment. The photo below shows some scrap 2x4s installed, but even at a length of ~12" on each of the lower boards, the stand was very stable. Depending on your situation (ground slopes, hill slope, tall grass, etc.), you can make the 2x4 post nearly any height to meet your needs. Keep in mind that the taller you make it, the greater footprint you might want on the other three 2x4s. Another great feature about this stand is that it will collapse into a small compact package. For those who don't have the opportunity to have their own range, this could be a huge benefit.
The BYOR Stand weighed it at 11.9 lbs.
The Grizzly Targets Dueling Plate is another example where a simple design makes an extremely functional target. They have taken the same rectangular tube and angle iron mounting concept and integrated a 1/4" thick 5" diameter AR500 dueling plate on the back.
The pivot mechanism is spring loaded to hold the target in place on either side of the post to prevent any bounce back issues with different caliber firearms. During my range testing, I was impressed with how well these dueling plates performed. They quickly and crisply locked in place when flipped from one side of the post to the other.
The dueling plate target weighed in at 7.4 pounds.
This next photo shows two of the Dueling Plates installed on a short post. Over time, I feel most people would work towards getting a multiple target configuration. At $89.99 each, a six target setup isn't cheap, but if you start comparing centerfire dueling trees, you will find the price is comparable. Keep in mind that even a single target or two adds a great deal of fun and versatility to any range.
In my mind, a potential improvement would be letting the angle iron on the front of the post extend down so that it would touch the lower target so you can maintain proper spacing and protect the post from taking hits. The targets are held in place on the post with a thumb screw that tightens against the post.
As I mentioned earlier, I reviewed Grizzly Targets' ISPC Torso & Base last year and have been 100% satisfied with the targets performance. This IPSC Mini target has all the same features and construction as the torso target, but in a smaller package. The basic shape of the target is the full (all zones) ISPC original style target, but at an approximately 1/2 (45%) scale . The target plate is 3/8" thick AR500 steel and is 13" tall and 8" wide.
Since this target required a stand, the stand and target combined MSRP would be about $210. If you compare this price against their normal torso target that comes with a stand which has an MSRP of $280 and is 10.25" taller and 3.75" wider, the $70 savings seems to be very reasonable and would allow you to potentially purchase one of the other BYOR products.
The target plate is attached to the mount by two Grade 8 carriage bolts. The target hangs in a tilted position and pivots about a hinge bolt. The mount interfaces with a 2x4 just like several of the other BYOR products. When hit, the target has a swinging action. The lower you hit the target, the more it will swing until it contacts the 2x4 post.
One nice feature is that if you damage one side of the plate, you can flip the plate to switch sides and start again with a fresh plate.
The Mini Torso weighed it at 14.4 lbs.
Popper Stake In
The BYOR series of targets comes with two popper style targets. This first is the Popper Stake-In which is a non-reactive target that is very simple.
As the name describes, this popper style target just stakes into the ground via two 14.5" long stakes which are integral to the stand. The actual popper target is made from 3/8" thick AR500 steel and is 14" tall and 4" at the widest part. The steel thickness and overall size and shape of this target makes it more suitable for rifles, but you can still have fun shooting handguns at the target.
The main portion of the stand is a piece of 1/4" angle steel that can be used as a place to drive the stakes into the ground with either a hammer or your foot.
The target is attached to the stand with two Grade 8 1/2" bolts and includes lock nuts.
This target weighed in at about 6.6 lbs.
The second style popper target in the BYOR series is the Reactive Popper. This target is very similar to their Trifecta Reactive Target that I reviewed last year with the main difference being the BYOR target has one reactive popper instead of three. Unfortunately, the BYOR Reactive Popper is not 1/3 the price of the Trifecta target, but at $189.99, the price is not too bad.
Since this target came in a box, I decided to go ahead and show the sides of the box that have print that may be of interest. Click on a photo to see the detail.
The components came in the box as shown below. Assembly was only a matter of bolting the two feet portions of the stand to the main body.
This next photo shows the stand fully assembled with the target in place ready for the first shot. The popper is the same 3/8" thick AR500 steel plate as the Stake In popper and measures 14" tall and 4" wide. The popper is attached to the hinge plate with Grade 8 bolts. The top of the target is 20.5" from the ground when mounted on the stand.
In the photo below you can see how the spring action works to pop the target up after each shot. Also you can see that the target assembly weighed in at 20.7 lbs.
During my range testing, I shot primarily 9mm and .223 Rem along with a few other handgun calibers. In all honestly, I pushed this target system to the limits by shooting the 1/4" AR500 plates with a .223 rifle. I was actually surprised at how well the 1/4" plates held up to the the .223 round, but I would not recommend you using centerfire rifles on the 1/4" thick plates. It was clear that the 1/4" plate deformed slightly under impact. The targets (3 Gun Flat, 3 Gun Post and Dueling Plates) with the 1/4" plate are clearly geared towards a handgun range setup, although I wish I had shot them with a rimfire rifle because I think there is a potential they would have worked great. Each of these 1/4" plate targets handled the 9mm without issue and the only indication of being shot was the splatter mark on the surface.
The 3/8" plate targets (ISPC Mini, Popper Stake In and Reactive Popper) held up great to the .223 rounds at 50 yards and handgun rounds. If you want to maximize the life of your targets for rifle use, try extending the distance beyond 50 yards for your range setups. For each of these targets, it is possible to unbolt and flip the plates and shoot a new surface in the event you damage one side. The video below is a little lengthy (kind of like this review), but it shows some good footage of these targets in action.
This is the third opportunity for me to review some Grizzly Targets products and I believe Grizzly Targets is positioned to take a piece of the target market with their products and specifically this Build Your Own Range series. My personal preference is a target that does not require manual resetting, but there is value to having some of the more simple targets on the range. Their ISPC Mini, Reactive Popper, Dueling Plate and BYOR Stand are "home runs" in my opinion. The quality, durability and function of these or any of the other Grizzly Targets should last most people a lifetime. If you are shopping for quality steel targets, make sure you consider the Grizzly Targets products.