Have you ever had the opportunity to shoot steel? I mean shoot it, really shoot it. Not an old street sign, not a car door, I am talking about AR500 Steel plate. This is the stuff that makes you buy more ammo.
You can shoot at paper, you can work on your groupings and you can dial and dope all day long. At the end of the day, 3 tidy little holes at 100m makes me feel pretty accurate, but 300 loud rings as I spend all day dumping mag after mag into those things is damn gratifying.
Blue Rhino Industries sent us a really nice hanging plate rack with two of their AR500 Steel targets, one large and one small. Let me tell you, these things are not screwing around. In the video I tell you that you can take them to the range, set them up, shoot ‘em up and break them down by yourself. I will tell you in writing, don’t try and be a hero and carry it assembled or in pieces all at once. It breaks down for not just ease of travel and storage, but also to save your back. This is made of no BS materials and is built to take a pounding. Once you get it all downrange and set up though, it is worth every minute of it.
Before we get into what it’s been through, lets get the nitty gritty out of the way. Blue Rhino Industries is a company based in Arizona that is known for their “HITman” reactive steel targets (which are also really cool) as well as other shapes and models. The model we tested is the Hanging Plate Rack and she showed up at our doorstep in gorgeous blue powder coat. It has two “T” shaped legs that go together with two heavy bolts each and sits at a subtle angle to help mitigate ricochets and assist the steel in hanging in an optimal position to swing. The actual plates themselves are quality tested and certified AR500 and you can tell just by holding one of them that you can just abuse these things forever. The legs and the target plates are all held together by a SOLID cross member that also doubles as deflection and protection for the simple hinge hardened steel rod. You pretty much have to be really, really trying to break this thing to actually do some damage.
I cannot tell you enough how much fun this thing is to shoot. We have pretty much used this target for every video since we got this setup. It has taken several thousand rounds at this point (seriously, Superbowl gets a little nutty with .22’s so that is a valid statement) and I will give you the full rundown of tested calibers we have fired at the Blue Rhino.
.22, .223, .380, 5.56, 9mm, .40, .45, 12g Bird, 12g 00, 12g Rifled Deer Slug, and 7.62 were all run at these plates. All these calibers were run at not only the prescribed distances for longevity from Blue Rhino, but some were run inside those ranges not on purpose, but because we gotta test stuff out. Now, before the safety nazi’s go nuts on us, we not once experienced a splash or ricochet outside of 5-10 feet from the target. In fact, most rounds, FMJ and hollow would either disintegrate on contact or fall in the immediate vicinity or underneath of the plate rack itself. After all was said and done, when I break out the Krylon, they always look as good as the day they arrived.
Having shot the Blue Rhino steel I have no reservations about saying it is worth every penny. When you first look at prices on steel targets there is a lot out there on both sides of the price range. For what you get out of the package we tested, the pricing is right in the middle with high end quality. I have complete trust in the reliability and many rounds this target and stand can take. In the video I mis-spoke a little and said we put some holes in it. By we, I mean me, and by holes, I mean I may have skipped a round or two off the leg and/or cross member that did not put a hole in anything, but definitely highlight how much energy is behind these rounds. These plates and stand continue to take a beating and I load them up in the truck EVERY time we go to the range. Take a look at Blue Rhino and for the price, I don’t know if you can get a more complete package with the sizes they offer for the prices they do for such rugged steel and quality of product. [Blue Rhino]