Hitting the Target

Whether it be ATVs and/or Rugers

Published in the April 2013 Issue April 2013 Steve Janes

Yamaha has introduced two new recreational vehicles in a unique way—with a bang. The Rhino 700 Special Edition and the Grizzly 700 Special Edition are as similar as they are different … and they both highlight Yamaha’s distinctive twist for outdoorsmen.

Tactical Black is the look for these two models based on the theme that has been popularized by the gun industry. To set the table for its model introduction, Yamaha invited journalists representing the ATV, hunting and firearms industries to participate in a “ride and shoot” at Gunsite—a world- renowned firearms training center that occupies 2,000 acres about 25 miles north of Prescott, AZ.

For three days journalists received first-class training from Gunsite instructors on firearm safety and use while incorporating the Rhino 700 SE side-by-side and Grizzly 700 SE ATV to access target ranges. Rugar Firearms provided two popular guns—the SR9c compact pistol and SR-556 AR carbine rifle—to each journalist and Hornady added boxes of ammunition.

You may ask how much similarity can tactical shooting have with ATVs. Well, remarkably, about as much as a four wheeler has with a side-by-side—a lot.

First the ATVs. Yamaha’s Rhino 700 shares a lot of common technology with the Grizzly 700. Both have a 686cc liquid-cooled, lightweight four-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection to ensure peak performance, cold starts and optimal performance at any elevation and nearly all conditions.

An industry-exclusive fully automatic Ultramatic transmission offers the most advanced drive system available and maintains constant belt tension, reducing wear, offering great throttle response and providing all-wheel downhill engine braking.

Another industry-exclusive feature—the three-position On-Command In/Out 4WD feature lets you switch between 2WD, limited-slip 4WD and fully locked differential 4WD—all with the simple push of a button.

A fully independent double wishbone four-wheel suspension with five-way preload-adjustable shocks for maximum control and comfort over rough terrain delivers a smooth ride to both the Grizzly and the Rhino.

Throw on a specially designed full stainless steel exhaust system with aluminum heat shields and a screen-type spark arrestor and you get great power with minimum noise output.

And then there’s the four-wheel disc brakes, heavy-duty CV joint guards, digital instrument multifunction LCD display … and the list goes on and on; not to mention that both are assembled in Newnan, GA.

Naturally, both the Rhino and Grizzly have unique features designed specifically for their own respective markets and ride characteristics.

As unique and specialized as the Yamaha ATVs are, Gunsite is also a unique and specialized operation—designed for enjoyment while providing a necessary and important function.

Gunsite is a firearms training academy where you receive personal instruction on how to safely and responsibly use small arms in self-defense. Whether you are just someone who wants to feel comfortable around guns or you’re a member on an elite military or law enforcement swat team, Gunsite instructors provide individualized instruction to meet your needs.

During the three days we were at the facility, we were able to utilize the trails on the 2,000-acre high mountain desert facility to evaluate the Grizzly and Rhino in between the times at the shooting range where we were punching holes in targets—sort of the best of two worlds … shooting and riding. For both, safety was top priority.

During part of the training, we were actually riding the ATVs through the desert landscape in search of the next target to be shot—all while receiving instruction from the Gunsite staff. Recognizing the importance of proper handling of firearms and proper handling of ATVs made this event beneficial to both the invited ATV and firearms journalists.

The lesson learned was simple—whether handling a gun or an ATV, there is great responsibility to operate both with great respect at all times. Both can provide a valuable function and immense recreational enjoyment… but both should be treated with respect.

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