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CountryJackG's Product Review
of

Sportsman's Guide
Large Bore Shooting Tree

Buyer Beware!!!
NOT as claimed in mail order catalogs
up to and including Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog

Updated : 17 Sept 2011

Country Jack's Deer Hunting Page

Enjoy watching us shoot holes in the "defective by design" Large Bore Shooting Tree
and the FALSE CLAIMS made by Sportsman's Guide even in their current mail order Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog.

See what happened when ferretwulf shot the "defective by design" Large Bore Shooting Tree from 100 yards with soft point .223Rem

25 March 2011 - scroll down for most recent posts

My wonderful wife purchased a Large Bore Shooting Tree from The Sportsman's Guide for me for Christmas 2010. I was really happy to get it because I wanted a Shooting Tree (dueling post) that could handle soft point centerfire rifle fire and this one is advertised with the following words: "Target this 9 mm to .30.06 Tree that puts the fun back into shooting." "6 targets to take on all your pistol, varmint and buck calibers" So that sounds like exactly what I was wanting. I already had a shooting tree (dueling post) I made myself which can handle pistol fire so I already knew how fun they are and I was really looking forward to being able to have that same quick action fun with centerfire rifle soft point rounds.

On the evening of 16 March 2011 I finally got a chance to try my new "Large Bore Shooting Tree" (unit 1). I slung my rifle on my shoulder, carried the shooting tree and a hammer and headed out to our 100 yard range. The ground at last was thawed enough to pound the stakes in that would hold up the shooting tree when fired upon. I set it up and then went back to the bench at 50 yards. I shot .223 Rem 55gr. soft points and started out using iron sights and was gratified to see the topmost target swing over to the opposite side when the trigger break occurred. After flipping the first two over with iron sights I put the scope on and flipped the rest over then a few back to original position. I was having a great time. Our Yellow Labrador Retriever had been setting back behind me on command and suddenly couldn't take it any longer and ran down range to see what he could retrieve (strong instinct) so I unloaded the gun and walked down to examine the target myself. I couldn't believe my eyes as I counted up 13 holes shot through my Large Bore Shooting Tree by my 55gr .223 soft points - and Sportsman's Guide claimed "6 targets to take on all your pistol, varmint and buck calibers." All I can say is "my foot!!!"

Large Bore Shooting Tree

Large Bore Shooting Tree (unit 1) from The Sportsman's Guide - did NOT perform as claimed.
Large Bore Shooting Tree - Target 1 - Rockwell C test

This shows Target 1 (unit 1)- you can see the .223 Rem 55gr Winchester Power Point went clear through.
You can also see where a local heat treat shop tested it for hardness - it did NOT even register on their Rockwell C hardness tester -
the local heat treat shop claims the target is AISI 1010 low carbon mild steel and has not been heat treated at all.
.223 Rem - 55gr soft points - Winchester Power Points in DRS Reman Loads

.223 Rem - 55gr soft points - Winchester Power Points in DRS Reman Loads

looking back from behind target toward bench 50 yards away

This photo was taken from between the back stop and the Large Bore Shooting Tree -
looking back toward the 50 yard bench which is about half way back to the Red loafing shed with the white vent/window.
That first building is just over one hundred yards from the backstop.

Later on the evening of 16 March 2011 (after putting away my equipment) I emailed Sportsman's Guide Customer Service and sent them photos. They came back telling me they would either refund my money or replace the item (with another of the same "not as claimed" item.) In the chain of emails which followed I told them I had tested their product and would be posting a product review on my deer hunting page (as I have done.) Accordingly I suggested that all I wanted was for the product to perform as claimed so I actually got a shooting tree that could stand up to centerfire rifle rounds per their claims (get what was paid for.) Accordingly what I requested they do to "make things right" was send me "proper grade" steel replacement targets so that I could try them out and see if the product then worked as claimed in both their hard copy catalog and their online catalog. I suggested this course of action (making it work right - match its claims) because that would allow a "they sent replacement targets that work" addendum to an initial negative product review. I also suggested they should forward the email and photos to Founder, Gary Olen, so he could consult them on proper course of action. Thus far I have received several emails from various Customer Service Reps including one offer for a refund plus $15 towards another target. Regrettably I have yet to actually see any effort being made toward insuring the product works as claimed. And nine days after emailing them initially and despite several emails and even a resend of all the photos (more than I posted here) I am EXTREMELY disappointed to report that even this evening 25 March 2011 as I write this review they still have up on their online catalog the following FALSE statements about the product. "Target this 9 mm to .30.06 Tree that puts the fun back into shooting." "6 targets to take on all your pistol, varmint and buck calibers" --- As you may realize I normally put links to products I test - beware that this Large Bore Shooting Tree is FALSELY advertised and I don't want you to fall prey to their FAR overstated claims. They claim it can handle .30-06 which has over twice the energy of the soft point .223 that went right through. BUYER BEWARE!!!

Yours for truthful mail order and online catalog claims,

"Country Jack" Griffes

29 March 2011

Well very interestingly tonight I ran a Dogpile Search and then a Google Search for Large Bore Shooting Tree and along with discovering my review was already on page one of both those searches I discovered that Sportsman's Guide has known about the "not as claimed" problem for a year more or less before I reported the problem to them. That puts a whole new light on it - doesn't it? So take a look-see at what .308Win did to the Large Bore Shooting Tree at 100yards - and remember .308 is just a wee titch less energy than .30-06 which Sportsman's Guide claims this Large Bore Shooting Tree can handle. I found links to two .308 photo reviews of the Large Bore Shooting Tree targets shot through at 100 yards. I have provided a link to the one posted on a family friendly forum below. And again BUYER BEWARE of this product - the Sportsman's Guide Customer Service Department is still stalling claiming that the Product Department is reviewing it - you think that review has been ongoing for a year? I wonder.

"Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:34 pm Post subject: Nifty "shooting tree" from SG."

Yours for truthful mail order and online catalog claims,

"Country Jack" Griffes

2 April 2011

Does it tick you off, like it ticks me off, when Sportsman's Guide sends you catalog after catalog claiming their Large Bore Shooting Tree can handle 9mm to .30-06 and then you find out it can't even handle wimpy .223 soft points at 50 yards - the 55gr soft points just go right through the "not as claimed" targets? Does it tick you off even more, like it ticks me off even more, when you find out that Sportsman's Guide kept claiming their Large Bore Shooting Tree could handle up to .30-06 for over a year after they were told and shown by another couple of customers that .308 Win would go right through their "not as claimed" Large Bore Shooting Tree every time at 100 yards? Well if it ticks you off why not let their Customer Service Department know just what you think of that kind of business practice. Maybe they just don't get it. Maybe you can help them understand that we sportsmen don't like folks pulling the wool over our eyes. When you write or call them please mention that you saw the "Large Bore Shooting Tree" product review posted on "Country Jack's Deer Hunting Page" - and thanks for your help encouraging honest business practices.

Sportsman's Guide Customer Service
custserv@sportsmansguide.com
Phone Number 1-800-888-5222
Fax Number 1-651-552-5305

Yours for truthful mail order and online catalog claims,

"Country Jack" Griffes

4 June 2011

The Sportsman's Guide, without even talking to me, sent me another alleged "Large Bore Shooting Tree." I wondered why they would do that - turns out they were contacted by the Michigan Attorney General office and that spurred them to send a second Large Bore Shooting Tree which will hereafter be referred to as "unit 2."

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Does Sportsman's Guide believe that "Large Bore Shooting Tree" = "Rimfire Shooting Tree"?? Take a look at this photo and decide for yourself.

Large Bore Shooting Tree = Rimfire Shooting Tree



And here is a screenshot of The Sportsman's Guide online catalog page for "Large Bore Shooting Tree" captured 3 June 2011 more than year after photos appeared on the internet showing that centerfire rifle bullets with less energy than .30-06 pass right through the targets like a hot knife through butter. My goodness I even sent them my photos showing them the same back on 16 March 2011 and that is now two and a half months ago. Shameful. Surely looks like false advertising - perhaps even willful fraud on consumers. Shameful.
.........screenshot begins............. Sportsman's Guide online catalog 3 June 2011 with commentary added............screenshot ends.......


Yours for truthful mail order and online catalog claims,

"Country Jack" Griffes

6 June 2011

"I understand what type of bullets you used and as we were informed by our vendor, this should not have happened as he had personally shot at the item himself. He is hoping, as well as our Product associate, that the new tree will work as advertised as you may have gotten a bad unit.

As for the distance used to shoot at the item, our buyer has stated that 50 yards should work just fine as it is the minimum distance we put on these targets. As I had stated, the only thing different they found, at the moment, that is different from the ad is that the item should not be shot at using FMJ rounds. I understand this is not the type of ammunition you used, just a simple observation for our records.

Should any new developments arise, let me know."
Stefanie Harvey, Supervisor, Customer Service, The Sportsman's Guide

quoted from Mon, June 6, 2011 12:29:10 PM email sent by Stefanie Harvey, Supervisor, Customer Service, Customer Service Phone Number 1-800-888-5222, Customer Service Fax Number 1-651-552-5305, The Sportsman's Guide, 411 Farwell Ave, So St Paul, MN 55075

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

7 June 2011

"While we appreciate all the information and research you have provided our company, at this moment we are going to be standing by our ad for this item. We are giving you the okay to go ahead and test the new shooting tree to see if the same issue happens again."
Stefanie Harvey, Supervisor, Customer Service, The Sportsman's Guide

quoted from Tue, June 7, 2011 3:04:08 PM email sent by Stefanie Harvey, Supervisor, Customer Service, Customer Service Phone Number 1-800-888-5222, Customer Service Fax Number 1-651-552-5305, The Sportsman's Guide, 411 Farwell Ave, So St Paul, MN 55075

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

12 June 2011

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Apparently Sportsman's Guide believes that targets well under 20 Rockwell C can withstand ANY centerfire rifle bullet (other than FMJ) from 50 yards up to .30-06 in energy level (approx. 2900 ft-lbs Muzzle Energy) based on emails from Sportsman's Guide Customer Service Supervisor, Stefanie Harvey. Stefanie claims both their vendor and also a Product Associate have field tested what SG sells under the name "Large Bore Shooting Tree" and they both had no bullet pass through. Accordingly she expresses confidence that unit 2 should work "as claimed" and that I should go ahead and give it a REAL thorough test including still photos and video.

As the first step in our REAL Centerfire Rifle Test of unit 2 Large Bore Shooting Tree on 10 June 2011 I buffed the paint off a spot in the center of each of the six targets on unit 2 "Large Bore Shooting Tree" aka "Rimfire Shooting Tree" which Sportsman's Guide sent me without me requesting it (unsolicited) because the Michigan Attorney General office contacted them. Later that same evening Jeff Myers and I used one of his Rockwell C Hardness Testers on the buffed off spot on the center of each of the six targets. The tester pushes a carbide tip with a repeatable amount of spring pressure into the metal to be hardness tested - then a calibrated reticle in a pocket microscope is lined up with one line on bottom of the indentation and the hardness read based on where the top of indentation falls on the scale. Jeff got one decent photo in super macro mode - see the indent - see the line at bottom of indent and see that the top of the indent extends well up past the 20 on the scale meaning the target material is significantly softer than 20 Rockwell C. That means the target material is mild steel. Conventional wisdom suggests it takes impact resistant steel hardened to approx. 55 Rockwell C to withstand centerfire rifle bullets. So what magic does Sportsman's Guide possess to keep centerfire rifle bullets from passing right through the mild steel targets they sell claiming they will stand up to .30-06? My guess is "no magic at all" and "no truth in the claim" either - just PURE HYPE that will soon enough be literally "shot full of holes."

All six targets tested under 20 on the Rockwell C hardness scale



Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

23 June 2011

By way of an update. The REAL Centerfire Rifle Test of unit 2 Large Bore Shooting Tree (Sportsman's Guide = SG) is set for 6pm EDT Wednesday 29 June 2011 rain or shine. Six riflemen and a professional videographer are lined up - each rifleman will be firing a different centerfire cartridge at one of the six targets on unit 2 Large Bore Shooting Tree. The test will be videotaped for posting on YouTube (CountryJackG). Stefanie Harvey, Supervisor - Customer Service, Sportsman's Guide has told me in writing via email that their vendor says the Large Bore Shooting Tree can take centerfire hits without bullets penetrating the metal targets if shot from a minimum distance of 50 yards so long as FMJ bullets are not used. Results on unit 1 back on 16 March 2011 very clearly indicate otherwise but apparently that isn't enough evidence to convince SG. So with Stefanie's blessing we will have a LOT of fun shooting holes in Sportsman's Guide myths. Regrettably Stefanie has declined my invite to attend as a witness or a shooter. -- Come on back to see the results when unit 2 gets shot full of holes from 50 yards with soft points or hollow points from the following cartridges:
1) .223Rem 55gr Soft Point DRS Reman loads Winchester PowerPoint bullets 2995fps 1095Ft-Lbs
2) 7.62x39 125gr Hollow Point Silver Bear 2216fps 1362Ft-Lbs
3) .32WinchesterSpecial 170gr Soft Point (Remington Core Lokt) 2088fps 1646Ft-Lbs
4) .243Win 100gr Soft Point 2831fps 1780Ft-Lbs (regrettably this rifle was out on loan and not available for the test - JG - 1 July 2011)
5) .270Win 130gr Soft Point 2920fps 2462Ft-Lbs
6) .30-06 Springfield 150gr Soft Point 2766fps 2548Ft-Lbs
Velocity and Energy shown above is "at 50 yards" - as bullet strikes target based on Remington Shoot! Ballistics Software

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

29 June 2011

Relative to a product they call "Large Bore Shooting Tree" Sportsman's Guide claims "6 targets to take on all your pistol, varmint and buck calibers." "9mm to .30-06" All I can say is "my foot!!!" First photo shows unit 1 on left (tested 16 March 2001 with .223 soft points at 50 yards) and unit 2 on right (tested 29 June 2011 with soft or hollow point bullets in.22LR, .17HMR, .223, 7.62x39, .32WinSpl, .270Win, and .30-06).

Neither unit 1 nor unit 2 Large Bore Shooting Tree from Sportsman's Guide performed as claimed.
Both were shot full of holes with soft or hollow point rounds from 50 yards.

unit 1 and unit 2 Large Bore Shooting Tree


See below a few photos of our test of unit 2 "Large Bore Shooting Tree." A 150gr soft point .30-06 went right through the angle iron frame (which tested as being significantly harder than the target material) - after penetrating the angle iron frame that same 150gr soft point .30-06 bullet nearly severed the target arm near the pivot point - the force of impact then broke two 3/4" welds which completely separated one target assembly from unit 2 "Large Bore Shooting Tree" and threw it back about 4-6ft behind the "Large Bore Shooting Tree." Incidental hits to the frame of a shooting tree (aka dueling post/tree) will occur and a properly constructed unit will not be damaged thereby - but a unit made of inferior materials (relative to claims made) is not going to stand up - rather it is going to be a "disposable - good for one use only" piece of trash.

"So much for Sportsman's Guide's FALSE claim that it can take "9mm to .30-06!!!!"


Large Bore Shooting Tree unit 2

Large Bore Shooting Tree unit 2

Large Bore Shooting Tree unit 2

Large Bore Shooting Tree unit 2

The only round that didn't damage the target at 50 yards was the .22LR 40gr LRN HV - and the target did NOT move to other side when hit with that round - so "no damage" but also "no action" equals poorly designed for rounds the targets can stand up to. The .17HMR rounds did damage the target - mildly cratered it - would eventually chew through it with repeated hits to same area - but they also did NOT turn the target. The 7.62x39 Hollow Points were the only other round that did not fully penetrate but they left a deep crater and a significant bubble on opposite side - on first hit. Any successive impact to that weak area then caused full penetration. The .223Rem, .32WinSpl, .270Win, and .30-06 soft point bullets all went right on through the target material. Incidental hits to the angle iron frame by both .30-06 and 7.62x39 fully punctured the angle iron - and incidental hits will happen in head to head competitions so any respectable unit has to be made to take incidental hits to non-target areas.

"BUYER BEWARE!! This item doesn't closely approach Sportsman's Guide's FALSE claims that it can take "9mm to .30-06!!!!"


Large Bore Shooting Tree unit 2

Large Bore Shooting Tree unit 2



I am EXTREMELY disappointed to report that even this evening 29 June 2011 as I write this second test report Sportsman's Guide still has the audacity to have up on their online catalog the following FALSE statements about the product they call "Large Bore Shooting Tree." "Target this 9 mm to .30.06 Tree that puts the fun back into shooting." "6 targets to take on all your pistol, varmint and buck calibers" --- As you may realize I normally put links to products I test - beware that this Large Bore Shooting Tree is FALSELY advertised and I don't want you to fall prey to their FAR overstated claims. BUYER BEWARE!!!

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

8 July 2011 - Unit 2 "test of claims" video - please watch it and share it - thanks

Enjoy watching us shoot holes in the "defective by design" Large Bore Shooting Tree
and the FALSE CLAIMS made by Sportsman's Guide even in their current mail order Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog.

Now how about contacting The Sportsman's Guide and letting them know what you think of FALSE advertising claims or post our video and your comments on their Facebook wall. Customer Service Phone Number 1-800-888-5222, Customer Service Fax Number 1-651-552-5305, Products Dept email products@sportsmansguide.com

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

1 August 2011 screenshot from SG online catalog

Sportsman's Guide online catalog 1 Aug 2011 with commentary added


6 August 2011 - BUYER BEWARE!!

The mail order Sportsman's Guide Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog is still claiming "9mm to .30-06" and "six targets to take on all your pistol, varmint, and buck calibers." Online forums with both photos and text testify that SG knew those were FALSE CLAIMS during March 2010 (if not earlier) so despite their excuse making there truly is NO excuse. Even if first notice to them came on 16 March 2011 they still stand with NO excuse for putting those same FALSE CLAIMS out in their Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog. All I can say is "BUYER BEWARE!! And it leaves you wondering how many other false claims reside in the pages of their catalogs - doesn't it?"

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes



13 Sept 2011 - BUYER BEWARE!!

Another copy (different cover) of the mail order Sportsman's Guide Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog arrived in the mail today and it is still claiming "9mm to .30-06" and "six targets to take on all your pistol, varmint, and buck calibers." Online forums with both photos and text testify that SG knew those were FALSE CLAIMS during March 2010 (if not earlier) so despite their excuse making there truly is NO excuse. Even if first notice to them came on 16 March 2011 they still stand with NO excuse for putting those same FALSE CLAIMS out in their Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog. All I can say is "BUYER BEWARE!! And it leaves you wondering how many other false claims reside in the pages of their catalogs - doesn't it?"

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes



17 Sept 2011 - BUYER BEWARE!!

The alleged head of Customer Service at Sportsman's Guide called my home at dinner time on Thursday 15 Sept 2011 as my youngest daughter and I were preparing to go out for the first evening deer hunt of the year. Very bad timing on his part. He called in response to an email I sent to their CEO, Jay Berlin. He had not fully done his homework on this issue before he called which was also FAR from impressive. He outlined a number of wonderful policies they allegedly follow "all the time" but which somehow mysteriously were not followed when the shoot through problems became evident with the Large Bore Shooting Tree back in March of 2010. He had boat loads of excuses none of which match up with the real time table of events even if you start that timetable on 16 March 2011 when I first emailed SG photos I took after 55gr softpoint .223Rem sailed right through the targets. His stated timetable actually indicates a whole lot of foot dragging rather than working hard to insure customer's aren't being sold junk claimed to be high quality merchandise. He sung the praises of "Guide Gear" and I explained I was wearing a pair of Guide Gear boots that were falling apart with less than a years worth of part-day use (I wear a different set of boots all day every day at work - these Guide Gear pieces of junk only get worn after work). Near the end of our conversation he quipped that the Large Bore Shooting Tree should have been put on hold - removed from possibility of sale - while the problem was being investigated. I then said that should have happened back in March 2010 in which case we wouldn't be having this conversation. --- I am happy to report that one thing he claimed is actually accurate - if you call in to place an order for the "defective by design" Large Bore Shooting Tree from the Fall 2011 Shooters Catalog which still carries the false claims they do indeed tell you there is a note attached to this item and read you the "new claims" of 100 yards - handgun or low-velocity rifle ammo - so at least they have taken that step although they have had MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME to actually have the hard copy ad changed - even if they started 16 May 2011 rather than starting March 2010 like a reputable company should have.

If you want my advice relative to Sportsman's Guide - do NOT buy Guide Gear nor "no name" products from them. It just isn't likely a coincidence that both the Guide Gear walking shoes and the Guide Gear boots I bought both started falling apart LONG before they should have. --- Be extremely wary of ad copy claims which are at times completely fictional as per the Large Bore Shooting Tree. --- You can get some good deals at times on Name Brand merchandise - but do your research on the product somewhere other than with Sportsman's Guide - read reviews - watch video reviews by private citizens - then if those outside sources confirm it is a good product and IF Sportsman's Guide has the best price - then by all means buy it where you can get the best deal. But do remember "Buyer Beware" needs to be always on your mind if you are contemplating a purchase from Sportsman's Guide.

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes

Enjoy watching us shoot holes in the "defective by design" Large Bore Shooting Tree
and the FALSE CLAIMS made by Sportsman's Guide even in their current mail order Fall 2011 Shooter's Catalog.

See what happened when ferretwulf shot the "defective by design" Large Bore Shooting Tree from 100 yards with soft point .223Rem

Yours for truthful claims in mail order and online catalogs,

"Country Jack" Griffes




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Certified Farrier - Barefoot Horse Specialist - Jack Griffes

"Go afield with a good attitude, with the respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk.
Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person."
--Fred Bear--






: 17 Sept 2011


Accessed times since 12 June 2011