Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

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Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DirComp on 10/4/2013, 11:37 am

Greetings fellow bullseye shooters, from NRAHQ Competitive Shooting.  I have finally found time to register and join the forum. 

In years past I was a very active member of this forum, although it was in a different format then.  I also was a co-host of the annual picnic, which went by the wayside some time back.

I am now the Director of Competitive Shooting for the NRA, something that this lowly competitor never thought would happen.  However, it has changed my life dramatically.  Although I managed to get to one bullseye match early in the year, the needs of competitive shooting in the many disciplines that I oversee prohibited me from attending additional events.  I will try to do better next year.  As an example of my schedule, between July 1 and August 31, I had 3 days off.

I'll give you a short update on a couple of things related to pistol.

I am still working on electronic targets.  The main difficulty with this is that, because we are on a military base, nothing permanent can be done to the ranges, so the system we purchase must be totally portable and easy to put up and take down each year.  I have made contact with Oakwood Controls, Sius-Ascor, and Kongsberg target systems.  I am constructing a business model to present to the NRA on what the system will cost, what NRA's savings will be, and how long it will take them to recoup their investment.  I'm trying hard to get a system up and running for 2015.

Coupled with the electronic target system comes a question.  Because we will be able to run through the course of fire in a shorter time frame, we can shorten the number of days that it takes to complete the National Championships.  In a previous competitor's meeting and in some side talks with competitors, I was told that shortening the events is NOT what they want, because they want to take full advantage of their once-a-year opportunity to meet with friends and go to dinner with them.  Your opinions?

Budget.  I've looked over some comments before I signed up here regarding what the NRA should do to make things easier and better for competitors.  Believe me, that's exactly what I want to do.  However, the NRA is NOT a giant pot of unrestricted money that can be spent any way that I want to.  Like every business model (just like where you probably have at work), I have a budget and I'm expected to work within that budget.  There are lots of things that I would like to do at Camp Perry but I'm restricted by the fact that we don't own Camp Perry so must always take into account what the military will let us do, and restricted by how much money I have available.  I may be further restricted by how much money the military has available to support us.

When looking at what it costs to run Camp Perry, my budget far exceeds the entry fees that I take in, so the NRA actually ends up subsidizing each and every competitor, even after sponsorship is figured in.  When looking at the costs involved at Camp Perry, please consider the per diem, housing and travel costs of volunteers; consider the hourly pay costs for the range staff that keeps the trash emptied, arranges for porta potties and cleaning, maintenance of the equipment, and provides coffee, water, etc.; consider the hourly rate of the  target crew that pastes all those targets on cardboard and delivers the targets to the range; consider the cost of supplies like targets, cardboard and glue to make sure that you have targets available; and consider the hourly rate costs of the people in the Stat Office to compile and produce results for almost 700 competitors and the costs of their equipment like computers, printers, ink, etc., and this is only a partial list.

Would I like to do more at Camp Perry for you?  You bet I would but I have to find a way to pay for it.  But please also remember that our support consists of more than Camp Perry.  I need to look at how I can better serve the local matches, sectionals, and regionals as well.

Pistol Committee.  The Pistol Committee will be meeting on October 26th here at NRAHQ.  Many suggestions were made either at the competitor's meeting or via email and additional suggestions can be sent here at NRAHQ or to any committee member.  Suggestions sent here should be directed to the National Manager of Pistol, Tom Hughes, thughes@nrahq.org  Your Pistol Committee this year is; William Allen (Chairman), Ted Carter (Vice-Chairman), Kenn Boyd (Chief referee National Matches), Jim Lenardson, Il Ling New, Tim Pawol, Brian Zins, and your secretary is Tom Hughes.

That's a brief statement regarding pistol but I will stand for questions and try to answer them on a timely basis.  However, most of my days lately have been focused on the 2015 World Palma Rifle Championship that we will be hosting at Camp Perry.  Talk about a lot of work!!!!!!!!!!!

Dennis (Denny) Willing
Director of Competitive Shooting
National Rifle Association

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by CR10X on 10/4/2013, 1:59 pm

Denny: 

Thanks for the update and posting.  Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Nationals this year (first time I missed in 13 years).  And I can say I'm still disappointed I had to miss it.  

If we can get electronic scoring targets and get the logistics and operations (crossfires, refires, score review, challenges, etc. worked out), I would still like to have the matches as we have today.  That is; .22, CF,.45 and CMP on separate days.  It is a National Match and the shooters deserve to have time to shoot and recover rather than rushing the matches.  It would also give the range officials and callers some extra break or down time as well. In addition, it would give us a buffer when (not if) we have sever weather, eagle feeding , boats down range, etc. delays. 

I do think we can use the extra time to get some other activities or better interaction will all the shooters.  For example, rather than having the Mayleigh cup shooting on Centerfire day when there are other relays firing, we can have it after the CF relays so all the other shooters have an opportunity to attend and watch.  Something like the finals format for International, with the shot screens and scores coming real time.  Imagine a giant picnic with 300 or more people watching the Mayleigh Cup!  Same thing if we restart the NRA / USA Team matches.  Most people don't even know about these matches or have the opportunity to watch the very best competing.  

Also we could use some time to get the DR and Reeves matches moving a little faster and not being crunched up against the SAFS as sometimes happens.  Since we have a fantastic Air Range available, we could also have a NRA AP match of some sort as well.

Denny, anyway what I'm saying is that if we can save time with a new target system, but let's use the time to find ways to get more participantion and experience into the Nationals rather than trying to shorten the time.  The 700 or so of us that make the trip (almost) every year probably would not benefit from a shorter match.  Those that just want to shoot the Nationals and CMP can do so in 2 work days and 2 weekend days already.  As for the NRA financial support, we appreciate that and that's what's why I and many, many others run NRA sanctioned matches throughout the year and send in the money.    

Finally, thanks for all your help in the past.  I've enjoyed our discussions and learned a lot from you (and the other refs).  Thanks again for your time.

Cecil Rhodes

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DirComp on 10/4/2013, 2:15 pm

Cecil,

Thanks for the reply and it mimics much of what I heard in the competitor meetings - don't shorten it, change it for the better.  I will work on that.

As for NRA/USA coming back, I don't see anything on the horizon for that.  All of the other teams have dropped out leaving no one left to compete with.  However, as a result of this, I have asked the President to approve another program to replace NRA/USA, only this program will span all disciplines.  I spoke with him personally about my ideas and he asked when he would see it cross his desk, so I submitted it timely.  We'll await his approval and I'll let that cat out of the bag when he does.

I like the idea of a larger picnic following Mayleigh Cup.  Perhaps we can find a sponsor who would like to help out.

An Air Gun event would be nice and I can talk with CMP about it, but they are asking big dollars for use of their indoor ranges, both a facility charge and a personnel charge, so we have been looking elsewhere for our Air Gun programs.

I'm thinking about a program for each discipline called "The Director's Guest", who would be one person selected to attend the National Matches on me.  I don't yet know how this person would be selected or the criteria to be used.  It's just one of those things lurking in the back of my head.

Keep the ideas flowing, that's how we get better at what we do.

Denny

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rodger Barthlow on 10/4/2013, 2:56 pm

Congratulations Denny on become our director we know you will do right in promoting and keeping our sport running.

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/4/2013, 2:58 pm

Dear Denny,

Thanks for reminding everyone to submit their rules suggestions to the rules committee before October 26 which is right around the corner!

If the acquisition of the electronic target systems are successful, perhaps NRA can do some "trial runs" with the equipment at some spring matches to give the shooters (and the NRA) some better indication on exactly how much time will be saved.

Even though the week long national pistol matches are a tradition, and the variable conditions day to day are a part of the history of Camp Perry, if the shooters end up only being on the firing line for 30 minutes twice a day, I just can't see many shooters justifying the expense of a week away from home for a few hours on the firing line.

I'm starting to think that the week long event is one of the reasons the pistol matches were so poorly attended this year.

I love spending the week with my friends, but it is costly....

Many younger shooters just can't get away for Camp Perry--they just can't get away from work for that many days.  I wouldn't mind shortening the program if these electronic targets can speed things up.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DavidR on 10/4/2013, 3:04 pm

Welcome Denny, while there are lots of the same people here this is not the bullseye L of old, it is still up and running as google group email list that works like the old one did here is a link so you can join it too if you want to. Ross Chesley is the moderator, contact him for info on how to join,

ross.chesley@gmail.com


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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DirComp on 10/4/2013, 3:06 pm

Rob,

To help fill the void in the day I have other things planned for all that extra range space.  Let's assume that Ranges, 1, 2 & 3 are gone.  I can then bring in vendors to sponsor and promote their own events that will allow you win guns.  We do this at Bianchi Cup and it' very successful.  Imagine shooting an event for free and have the opportunity to win guns.

Perhaps you would like to see what it's like to shoot at a target 1000 yards away.  We can do that where Range 1 sat.  With electronic targets you wouldn't even have to go down range to see the result.  Bring and rifle and ammo and have at it.

Perhaps you'd like to try Action Pistol.  We have a Moving target and a Falling Plate rack here at HQ that we could bring and run you through two of the Bianchi Cup events.  Maybe you could even win something.

Whenever I traveled to shoot, that's what I wanted to do, pull the trigger on everything as many times as I could.  I plan to provide that and not waste your time doing nothing.

Denny

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by john bickar on 10/4/2013, 10:21 pm

Hi Dennis,

I have fired thousands of rounds at Camp Perry, and on electronic targets at World Cups, World Championships, and the like. (You may remember that I was a collegiate shooter when the NRA changed the Collegiate Pistol Championships from paper to electronics.)

My opinion is that electronic targets fundamentally change the format and rhythm of a shooting competition. Changing to electronic targets at Perry would alter the National Championships into a format that is unrecognizable to those who compete in bullseye pistol anywhere else in the country, and for the worse.

Electronic targets offer a false economy, in that they are just as expensive in the long run to maintain on a given range, and they have a chilling effect on participation at the local level.

Feel free to contact me off-list for further elaboration.

-John Bickar


Last edited by john bickar on 10/4/2013, 10:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ETA college)
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Schaumannk on 10/5/2013, 12:27 pm

My concerns are somewhat the same as John Bickar's concerns, and as a former contracting officer for the Air force, my biggest concern is that the initial bid from the electronic target manufacturers will be a small fraction of the total cost, and maintenance of a weather hardened portable system suitable for Camp Perry.  

The NRA, as a private organization, cannot just print more money, when the costs escalate out of control, above the initial estimate.

Worst case, it could destroy the National pistol matches all together.

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Jack H on 10/5/2013, 11:10 pm

Then there is storage, setup and take down, repairs.  Just handling will cause damage.  And are they tyro proof. 

Oh and what backup plan is there for when one goes out during a RF string.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DavidR on 10/7/2013, 9:09 am

Seems to me the simple most cost effective way is just to go old school and protect the integrity of the matches by just recreating the old system using the top materials and craftsmen of today. They held up for many decades no reason they wouldn't again.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Al on 10/7/2013, 9:34 am

DavidR wrote:Seems to me the simple most cost effective way is just to go old school and protect the integrity of the matches by just recreating the old system using the top materials and craftsmen of today. They held up for many decades no reason they wouldn't again.
Excellent point.  Unless there is another better proven system out there, we should reconsider the system that has worked for a very long time.  It's been there functioning, albeit with a few quirks, for decades and the weak points are known.  Rethink and redesign the weak points as needed, but we should keep that option open.

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Schaumannk on 10/7/2013, 9:45 am

Al wrote:
DavidR wrote:Seems to me the simple most cost effective way is just to go old school and protect the integrity of the matches by just recreating the old system using the top materials and craftsmen of today. They held up for many decades no reason they wouldn't again.
Excellent point.  Unless there is another better proven system out there, we should reconsider the system that has worked for a very long time.  It's been there functioning, albeit with a few quirks, for decades and the weak points are known.  Rethink and redesign the weak points as needed, but we should keep that option open.
       Some money spent on raising the firing points, and target line, and putting in some drainage ditches, would be a good start on making Perry a more pleasant place to shoot in years like 2008, and 2013.  
     I would venture to guess, that this ground work would be necessary prior to any installation of an electronic system anyway, so it would be a logical beginning for either an upgrade of the existing system, or eventual replacement with something better.

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/7/2013, 4:33 pm

Electronic targets or not, how will we know when to shoot if the targets don't turn?  My brain knows to start shooting rapid fire when the sights appear over the black.  Am I supposed to anticipate a horn?  That's way harder than just shooting when the target appears.

If NRA is going to own these things, and there are enough of them for Camp Perry, why wouldn't there be enough for 4 smaller sets of them to travel in 4 regions of the country for some of the state championships etc?
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by SteveT on 10/7/2013, 7:12 pm

Like many my first thought about electronic targets is a fear that the character and tradition of Camp Perry will be lost. I love the fact that there have been so few changes ove the years.

But I also remember the disappointment my first time there at the primitive conditions. It is the National Championships after all.

I guess familiarity breeds affection and change is scary.

I admit if the National Matches become a formal and organized system effiiently moving all the shooters through as quickly as possible it will probably take some of the fun out of it, but I am sure there are ways to make the Camp Perry experience something worth the journey.

I like the idea of a picnit behind the line while the Mayleigh is shot. Finals in the same format with the top ten shooters for the day would be fun too.

It'd be great to have other disciplines and games on the spare ranges. International Rapid Fire and practical Pistol comes immediately to mind.

Fun 'game' matches would be good. I like the concept of Rattle Battle but haven't thought of a good version for Pistol.

Good luck Dennis. I think you've been good for us so far and I wish you the best of luck going forward. Keep looking for good ideas. I wish I had more for you.

Best regards,
Steve Turner
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DavidR on 10/8/2013, 10:03 am

I shoot at several nice perfect working ranges that use modern equipment, Camp Perry should have always been kept to a higher standard than local matches, IMO electronic targets could be fun to shoot but it will end a long running tradition as it becomes a NEW GAME, this could even effect long standing records if shooting the electronic tends to see higher or lower scores. This is a old sport rich in heritage and history it should be kept the same format as it began only the national matches should have the best working conventional target system available which by what ive read here and other places will cost less to build and less to maintain. One other thing, one of my local ranges recently had some electrical relay issues with the motor that turns the 25 yd targets, we shot several matches with them just faced and the caller blowing a whistle to stop or start, this was very difficult to get use to. I would not want to shoot matches this way at camp perry or any other range unless the rules were changed and all matches at all ranges were run this way.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DirComp on 10/11/2013, 3:46 pm

I have received an email from Col. Dean Brown, Commander of Fort Ohio.  He advised that 50 new style huts should be available for 2014 and 50+ more available for 2015.  These huts will be raised above the flood plain and have sidewalks, have an upgraded electrical service, will have heat/air conditioning, energy efficient windows, and steel door.  Pricing should be about the same as for the old huts.

The ranges will receive a new drainage system, which might be occurring now.  I have reports of lots of construction going on at Camp Perry.

The pistol range equipment is severely tapped out.  When I arrived at Camp Perry in 2012 we started having problems and Range 3 had to be shut down.  For a while, Range 4 was getting unusual voltage that was affecting the targets to the point that they had to be turned manually, rather than by timer, to insure that proper timing could be maintained.  When I asked our maintenance crew how long the target system would last I was told, "Five years ago."

I then had to begin the process to replace the range.  My options are to replace 100 year old technology with much of the same or upgrade to future technology.  Whichever route I chose to go, the NRA would be using that system for many years to come.

The specifications of electronic targets would include many of the items mentioned above, and these have been addressed verbally with the manufacturers.  They can even be made Tyro proof by adding a steel facing around the sensors that will protect from .45 hardball.

Will this change the face of the game?  Absolutely.  But from what I see, if we don't do something soon the game will die away because we did nothing.  Have you seen all the gray hair on the line lately?  Few juniors are coming into pistol shooting.  So few that the National Junior Pistol Camp was cancelled due to lack of interest.

To keep or establish interest I have to look at creating a new atmosphere.  By requiring you to spend less time just shooting bullseye (and you will still shoot the same course of fire), you will have more time to socialize, shoot other events, spend time with your family, go fishing, and in general make somewhat of a vacation out of it - a vacation that still allows you to compete.

Anybody remember how close we all used to be before modules and almost every one of us lived in huts?  Remember how every other hut had a cookout and you'd be invited to eat or have a beer when you walked by?  Remember when commercial row was open until 11pm?  With the new huts and a change in the way we play I hope to see some of that come back.  I'd like to see us as a community again.

 Sorry for rambling on and taking so much of your time but I'm just trying to let you know what I'm thinking.  My goal is to move us forward and I hope that that you will give me your ideas to help me accomplish that.

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by DavidR on 10/11/2013, 4:21 pm

Im all for improvements but with them maybe we should safe guard our set records by making scores from these new (if electronic) targets new records not letting them over run those set the conventional way.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/11/2013, 5:14 pm

Dear Denny,

The dynamic that I am still worried about is the loss of turning targets.  I guess I can't visualize these electronic targets to understand how they work.
--Is there a website that has a system like what we would be shooting on? 
--Is there a way to make the target turn for the correct amount of time? 
--Is there just a standard target in an electronic holder that detects the shot?
--If turning targets aren't needed anymore for national matches, will they be optional for the rest of the world in the future?
--If there is no way to make the targets appear or disappear at the appropriate time, what will the signal to fire and stop be?
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Schaumannk on 10/11/2013, 6:20 pm

Just a note on Junior shooters.     My kids played tennis in high school. Almost none of the high school students continued playing after they were no longer Junior tennis players, but amazingly enough many people start playing again, in their 40's and fifties.  
     Almost everyone takes a break from shooting to have a career or raise a family.   Go out to a golf course, and look at the average age of the recreational golfer.   Golf is not a dying sport just because you see a lot of grey hair out on the links.   

        We have several new shooters at our local matches.   None of them were junior pistol competitors.    Instead they are former rifle shooters, former recreational shooters, or former military that really enjoyed shooting, and now have the time and the money to get back into it.  Bullseye isn't for everyone, and in totally changing the format, you risk alienating your base.   
      How many competitors did having electronic targets add to USA shooting?     Or is it their rigid rules, high entry fees, huge travel costs for very little shooting, and their elitist attitude and separate membership fees that drove people away?  (Not trying to dis USA shooting, just repeating what has been said to me by NRA shooters who used to shoot both but no longer do)
     Don't get me wrong, I enjoy an occasional USA shooting event  but I don't seek them out, and if I have a choice between an NRA 2700 or even an NRA international event, i pick the NRA event.   It is simply more fun.  And I hope it remains so.  

Bullseye's problem right now, is not the lack of junior competitors.   The problem is that we are competing against action pistol events which are drawing huge numbers.  

If Camp Perry can become just a little more senior citizen friendly, With gravel firing points, reachable target frames, and adequate housing I think you will see a lot of shooters come back.
     As a woman, individual competitor I have been unable to get any housing on post of the last two years.  If I was easily deterred, by the NRA's lack of concern in this area, i probably would have shot my last match at Perry, but the Canton Regional makes it worth while for us westerners to attend both.   If any format changes are made to the National matches, one of the big considerations should be how having Canton right before the National matches helps encourage people to come to both.   I am afraid any changes that would seperate the two matches time wise, would hurt both of them a great deal.

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Schaumannk on 10/11/2013, 7:13 pm

For those of you interested in what a match shot on electronic targets, looks like.    Here is a link.

I hope it works.   Green light means target is active, red means, it is not.    

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LJsf3NU6qIU

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Jack H on 10/11/2013, 9:51 pm

Olympic shooters are one thing.  NRA tyros......better have spare light bulbs.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/11/2013, 10:43 pm

I think the eye will pick up the row of lights going on even if some tyros shoot theirs out.  I'm going to miss the skidders I shoot when the targets first turn.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Guest on 10/12/2013, 9:42 am

Schaumannk wrote:For those of you interested in what a match shot on electronic targets, looks like.    Here is a link.

I hope it works.   Green light means target is active, red means, it is not.    

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LJsf3NU6qIU
The problem is the red and green lights.  The most common form of color blindness in men is red/green.  I know because I am red/green colorblind.  That is why red stop lights are on the top and usually larger, or on the left side if lights are horizontal...so colorblind people can tell the difference.  They need to put the red light on one side and the green on the other.

Chip

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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/12/2013, 10:26 am

If you watch the video, the red lights are on the top and the green are on the bottom.  At perry your peripheral vision is going to see a whole line of lights.
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