If you are into the shooting sports long enough you will eventually hit a tipping point in your recreational/training lifespan; especially with smaller arms like handguns and most things rimfire. What is that tipping point?… You will become exceedingly bored with paper targets (and that is where steel comes strolling in). While paper targets can be great for confirming group sizes, are an old standby for rifle shooting, and still serve a ton of value, I flatly get bored out of my mind shooting paper when I have handguns in my range bag. For that reason, plinking at steel gongs and targets of all sizes and orientations has grown in popularity like wildfire over the last decade. Bearing all of this in mind, today we are going to look at one popular company’s steel target and see if it truly has mettle (pun intended). So, let’s dive in and see what the Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle is all about!
Specifications: Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle
When it comes to steel targets they share a thin thread of commonality with holsters in that people overlook the amount of engineering, thought, and deliberate construction that is placed into the good ones. On the surface they can look incredibly simple – it is a chunk of steel we blast – but is it safe? Will it hold up? Does it do secondary functions like purposefully fall over upon impact? Does it spring back into place? These are questions we will look to answer here today. All of the specifications for the 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle can be read below as presented by Grizzly Targets:
- 3/8 thick AR500 6 inch target face
- Industrial spring resets after impact
- Spring can be removed for knockdown shots.
- Uses grade 8 hardware and springs
- Stake into ground for desired height using welded target wedges
- Stake is made of hot rolled steel
The Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle has a current MSRP of $64.95 per target. It is also backed by the Grizzly Guarantee where, like all of their targets, they are “Built to Last.” Every component that is not intended to be shot — known as a non shooting surface (NSS) — is covered by the limited lifetime warranty. Grizzly Targets goes on to further explain their 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle here:
The Grizzly Reactive/knock down checks a ton of boxes. Fun to shoot, great for competition and training, easy to set up, portable and like all Grizzly products… Built to Last. In reactive mode the need to go down range and re set is eliminated. Just stake the target into the surface using the welded wedges and start shooting. The spring can also be removed to make the face a knockdown. User re-sets(but does not have to go down range and pick up the target off the ground) the 6 inch target rests on to the AR5oo stake plate.
assembly: Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle
Here is the part I hate… Whether you just bought some new Ikea furniture or got yourself a sweet new steel target to shoot at, everyone (that’s me… I’m everyone) hates staring at an ominous cardboard box thinking, “Sweet baby Jesus… may assembling this actually go well.” Maybe it is the PTSD of assembling guns and then finding an “extra” piece leftover, or maybe it’s from assembling Swedish furniture where they purposefully give you extra pieces and you start panicking when you are done. Regardless, no one likes assembling stuff when all they want to do is start shooting.
Here is the part I love… The Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle comes fully assembled in the box, hallelujah! So, with that being said, there are still a couple points of install we would want to touch on. If you know where you are specifically going to be shooting that the sediment/soil is soft, you could simply “step” or push this steel target in with the heel of your foot. If the ground is rocky, or in my case beginning to freeze, then a sledgehammer for some gentle taps can be very beneficial.
I was able to successfully step my Grizzly Targets steel target into the ground most of the way, but Mother Nature prescribed that I would be pulling out my sledgehammer as well. Depending on how deep you want to seat the post of this target into the Earth, you could pound the triangular wedge flush with the dirt (the part I am standing on above), or you could use the rounded, eyed triangle as a pounding surface to seat it even deeper for a more sturdy position. I would seat the post of the target as deep as you would deem necessary for the cartridge you will be shooting. For me, I shot some .22 Long Rifle and 9mm so I did not send my post home to Middle Earth; only a moderate depth.
range time: Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle
When it came down to actually shooting that was the fun part! I shot from distances of roughly 10 – 25 yards both suppressed and unsuppressed with a .22 Long Rifle and 9mm with good results. All of the lead splattered downward in a flat line right in front of the target. There was no lead splatter projected back at the shooter and virtually none went beyond the target either. I shot on a pretty frigid and snowy October day and that was to my benefit to see the results of where all the lead got deposited.
Aside from the dopamine hit you get from hearing your well-placed shot connect on steel and it safely deflecting away from you, the Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle can be utilized in either a spring-loaded (rebounding fashion) or a knockdown (non-rebounding way) if you remove the spring from the back side. I personally prefer the spring-loaded or rebounding way it was set up direct from Grizzly Targets, but if you got several of these and lined them up, then I would likely remove all of the springs so they could be knockdown targets.
final thoughts: Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle
So, what are my final thoughts?… When it comes to steel targets I don’t want to read the directions, there should not be directions, and everything should be intuitive. Not to downplay the deliberate thought put into making them, but the Neanderthal in me just wants to pull the bang-bang switch on my pistol and hear it go smacky-smack on steel. No college degree required. By this metric, the Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle passes with flying colors. Furthermore, I would want any steel targets to be moderately affordable, easy to get into the ground, and hold up over time. Again, the Grizzly Targets steel target performed wonderfully. In short, anyone who is in the market for a steel target would thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle.
In closing, I want to say thank you to Grizzly Targets for allowing TFB and myself the opportunity to try out their Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle. That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think? Do you believe that the Grizzly Targets 6″ AR500 Steel Reactive/Knockdown Circle is something worth spending your money on? Would you like to own one? Christmas is coming… As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.