Lyman Auto-advance target stand - test and review
PUBLISHED: 18:04 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:04 08 March 2017
An in depth test and review by Chris Parkin of the Lyman Auto-advance target stand - put an end to traipsing up and down the range to change your target sheets!
A very nice targeting system that is ideal for rimfires on your own shooting grounds
Deflector bars were bulletproof; just be aware that the lead will still deflect somewhere downward from the upper bar!
I’d like to have seen some shorter bars included for prone shooters to keep targets closer to the ground
You will still need a spotting scope to monitor on-target performance, especially with small rifle bullets
The 22 rimfire is the basis of all shooting training and kit testing for me. I love shooting them and the Lyman will make life much easier for me. Cut down some shorter steel bar for the legs though, and don’t forget your backstops and ricochet potential from any bulletproof surface
Lyman’s Auto Advance target stand seeks to end the requirement to walk back and forth down the range to refresh your targets.
Designed for rimfire rifles and made bulletproof in AR400 steel, the 50-foot roll of polymer target film is available in four styles. As standard, the ‘5 target’ pattern supplied carries four 31/8” dots with a 5¾” white border. These surround a single 5¼” circle with a 9½” white border for extending your range. The film seems to have been biaxially drawn and does not tear easily from the bullet holes, which paper targets do!
Assembly takes a couple of minutes with all heavy-duty steel components slotting together and tightening in place with wing nuts. Only the battery-powered mechanics are shielded and bulletproof, but as there are only two rollers to protect, this has so far worked perfectly.
The main problem for targets is bullet ‘splash’, which happens as vaporised and fragmented lead and copper spreads laterally, but here, since the bullet will pass straight through the target film, you have nothing to worry about, other than the usual concern for secure backstops with full bullet capture.
Eight AA batteries power the target unit from up to 200 yards away. A button press from the 9v PP3 powered remote will draw the sheet from the top roll downwards, and the second button stops it. Other designs are a fig.11 silhouette, NRA .22 rimfire scoring bulls, and a prairie dog/crow/squirrel/hare. For those wanting to customise, you can easily stick other designs on top. The upper roller has a sprung tensioner wheel to prevent the film billowing in any wind and, when you do run out of targets, slotting in a new one is a 60-second task. After disengaging the lower roller from the power drive, a crank handle is supplied to re-roll the target back up if you want to patch over. Just beware that the small diameter roll suits larger stick-on patches or target sticker designs.
It’s a neat product and not overly expensive. Yes, I have directly shot it, and yes, it is bulletproof; where it’s not, parts are not critical and are easy to replace with stock steel if the worst should happen. One hundred yards is quite a long way for .22 rimfire, and .17 HMR will stretch further beyond that, but, to be honest, I can quite easily see serious centrefire shooters using these right out as far as their remotes will work. I had function beyond the promised 200-yard range but – as with all remote devices – surrounding terrain, buildings and structures can interfere and shorten that range. My armoury has about as many rechargeable AA batteries in it these days as rounds of ammo, but one set of rechargeable Duracell AAs outlasted my four shooting sessions and, when recharged, hardly seemed to have been diminished at all. The overall width and height of the metal frame through which you thread your bullets is 24” high by 23” wide, and that is 27” from its base above the ground. With an overall footprint of 29” front to back, and a width of 23”, it is totally stable when freestanding. Four steel pins are supplied to peg down the corners if it is windy. With both tubular bars supporting the upper frame being 29” in overall length, and 1” in diameter, I’d have liked to have seen a couple of 12” bars included, allowing the target to be positioned closer to the ground for prone shooters, rather than just benchrested or standing shots. One-inch steel tube isn’t hard to get hold of, and I will be cutting some pieces of my own for this purpose, so it’s no big deal.
I deliberately shot the AR400 guard plate below the target five times from 50 yards. Nothing was damaged but for a few marks on the orange powder-coated steel, which is angled about 30 degrees downwards to divert the lead towards the ground. I didn’t shoot the upper frame in a similar way because I was slightly concerned that the deflected lead, when redirected down and backwards, was going in the general direction of the lower rotating roller and battery compartment. Time will tell if this is an issue, but I suspect not; I just didn’t want to directly tempt it. I didn’t weigh the entire unit but I’d estimate that it balances the scales at around 20lbs. It would all fit in a heavy-duty backpack for transport and storage but I wouldn’t want to be carrying it too far. The powder coat was durable and I think it will last well, but I’d rather not get any of it too wet; if it does get wet, I’d wind off the rollers and make sure the film is dried out well. If damp, nothing will stick to it, but applied targets stickers onto a dry surface remained securely attached. There is little more irritating than your dots blowing off in the wind! Bullet holes are not easy to see on the black target dots so you will still need to use a spotting scope or good old legwork to walk to the target and view it close up. The thicker shoot ‘n’ see-type targets tended to peel off and de-laminate when wound around the film roll, so are perhaps best avoided.
Lyman Auto-Advance Target Stand
Spare target rolls
Hannam’s Reloading Ltd
01977 681 639