Originally Posted by swamprb
Lodge Sportsman here.
I have one too. I have two gripes about it. First, it's unbalanced so when I pick it up by the bail, it tips forward and the stoking door flops open. Second, the beautiful seasoning that it is covered with burns off from the heat of the charcoal. The grate is easy enough to season, but the rest, not so much.
On the plus side, I like the cast iron grate. I even use it on my Weber kettles, laying it on the wire grate to provide a better grilling surface. In addition to the thermal mass of the cast iron, the bars are close enough to help keep smaller things like vegetable slices from falling through.
I also like the heat controls. Opening or closing the draft doors really does make a difference in temperature. Also it is neat how you can turn the grate over to move it closer to the coals.
I just ran across a review of the Sportsman Grill yesterday and the owner found the same issue with the seasoning coming off. He got some high temperature paint and painted the exterior surfaces of the grill.
Wish I'd have thought of that. I see that Rustoleum has a paint rated for 2000° F and is flat black. I'm going to get a can of that, burn the rest of the seasoning off and try painting mine. I'm also going to look for something to counterweight the grill so it doesn't tip when lifted by the bail.