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

First topic message reminder :

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 GrumpyOldMan on 11/17/2013, 1:13 am

Rob Kovach wrote:
Jack H wrote:One thing missing from NRA proposal of electronic targets is a real justification, or simply said, a goal. What is the end game here? More shooters, less cost, less days, more matches, all the above, or what? And how would electric targets accomplish any such goal item? And how will the new requirements be met to store, service, RUN the electric system.
Great questions Jack.  These are the answers I would like to see also.  If the answer is, "the current setup is worn and needs repair so this sounded like a good solution..." then I have to say stick with what we already have and repair the existing equipment.
Gentlemen:

I thought from DirCom's posts that the following motives drove the inquiry and investigation:

1. The current decades-old way of doing thing is a big financial drain on the NRA Competitions Division.

2. The labor intensity and time spent to prepare for, run, score and post scores of BE Pistol matches is a large part of the NRA's financial subsidy of the National Matches.

3. Reading between the lines (or was it said out loud???), either NRA HQ or Competitions Division does NOT want to jack the entry fees at Perry to make it financially self-supporting.

4. There is an opportunity to make a change with the maximum return on investment because the turning target systems at Perry are in bad repair, and enough of that is just plain worn out. Either spend the dough to refurbish the ranges and STILL have the number of participants shrink every year, OR take a big step into the "future" and swap out all that junk for electronic systems.

At least that's how I read it all.

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

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/17/2013, 8:50 am

I agree on the motives that you list.  What is missing is:
1. Do the consumables and upkeep on a new electronic target system create a positive economic change for the NRA?

2. Does the amount of money saved on personnel costs (for the target making and scoring people) bring a positive return on investment before the maximum service life of the target system is exceeded?

3.  If either of the answers to 1 or 2 are "no" or "We don't know yet", that's a problem.

4.  OR jump headfirst into an empty pool of possibly faulty electronics full of unexpected costs and other unexpected problems AND the loss of competitors
a) through the same attrition all shooting sports have been experiencing
b) others who stop coming because they want turning targets
c) some who are resistant to change don't show up in protest
d) shooters who don't trust the sensors to be as accurate
or some combination of all of those things.

NRA can work with vendors to develop the technology and work to answer those questions.  The National Match is NOT the appropriate guinea pig for this experiment...

Denny, it doesn't make sense to develop this system to use it only 1 time in July, then stow it away for 11 months.  Have the vendors create a scalable system with 10 firing points, put a few sets in trailers and let a few state NRA arms use the sets for a year, then rotate the system out to other states.  Have the sets available for club level matches for a couple years.  See how it works at the grass roots level first.  Clubs will determine if the sets will perform adequately, plus give shooters a chance to digest the change gradually.  If they really are great, it will give club's boards of directors a chance to see them in action at their club, and have a demonstration of their practicality. 
If they don't work at the club level, we just can't have them at our National Match.  Our National Match is too important to just try it and see how it turns out.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by bdutton on 11/17/2013, 9:31 am

Rob.  I am familiar with the electronic systems used and they are a proven technology but also do require people certified in their operation to monitor and handle scoring challenges.  But you raise a great point.  Purchasing the electronic systems for once a year use doesn't make much sense.  It would hover be useful to have them broken down and shipped and used to a few of the 'super regionals' like Canton for example.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by dronning on 11/17/2013, 9:39 am

The economics for Perry and local clubs is completely different, but I'll leave that for others to discuss.

I love technology (home automation geek) and I have been looking at electronic targets for my own range.  When a competition is over I'd love to have my targets emailed to me and in my inbox before I get home, BUT I DON'T want electronic targets installed where I shoot matches locally.

Why? well a big appeal of bullseye competition is the social interaction with fellow competitors while going down to score and change targets.  This social aspect would be forever lost if we went to electronic targets.

I remember when starting out I had shots off paper and everyone only talked about my good shots and I got encouragement from those around me.  I remember my first target where all the shots were in the black.  I remember it because of the comments made to me about how fast I was improving.  These are the things that make bullseye special to me.  I'm afraid shooting at electronic targets and staying in position between matches isn't as appealing to me.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/17/2013, 10:08 am

dbutton wrote:I am familiar with the electronic systems used and they are a proven technology but also do require people certified in their operation to monitor and handle scoring challenges.
No matter how proven a technology, they will have a negative impact on the participation of Bullseye.  Perception IS reality.

I definitely don't want to advocate this change at Canton either.

My point is that there MUST be acceptance by a majority of bullseye shooters BEFORE the flagship matches switch over to electronic targets in order to avoid a backlash.  You don't do that by altering existing successful matches that already have loyal followers.  You do that with additional matches that showcase the new technology.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Jack H on 11/17/2013, 11:04 am

If I shot my first ever clean 50yd SF on an electronic target, what do I hang on my wall?
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Fire Escape on 11/17/2013, 11:56 am

I don't think that my opinion here counts for much. I am new to shooting 'Conventional Pistol' and may not ever get back to shoot at Perry in any discipline. I find much of the draw to shooting competition (experience thus far being Smallbore Rifle, Hi-Power and now Bullseye) is the 'warmth' (sometimes despite weather or temperature) of joining a group of 'like minded' individuals for a few hours. Yes, I like to see where I stand, even if it is at the bottom but if all that I cared about was the score, I could just go down the road and set up my targets in a sandpit and shoot. I would in all honesty be bored to just stand on the line and shoot continuously (not that my hip and back would ever allow it to happen) as one of the benefits that these electronic targets are expected to permit. Time spent scoring has always been enjoyable to me, whether behind the line in Smallbore or in the 'pits' for Hi-Power (or now down-range in Bullseye). I appreciate the 'break' in concentration and very much enjoy the people that I meet. To me it is a part of the whole shooting experience. I can't speak of the tradition of shooting at turning targets at Perry but I would hate to see it end without there being some really great benefit being gained in it's place. All of the shooting sports seem to be down in attendance these last few years, I believe that there are many reasons with cost being a big one (and just being able to find ammunition rating high this year). Being able to shorten the length of time required to shoot 'the course' at the Nationals would certainly NOT be a plus for me, If I am going to travel that far, I'd rather spend enough time to make it seem 'worthwhile'.
I have spent more than a little time during 'Cease Fire's waiting to get boats cleared from the impact area. I guess I just don't trust electronics enough not to expect plenty of Cease Fire's do to failures of the scoring system.

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

Post by scrum derringer on 11/17/2013, 12:14 pm

Jack H wrote:If I shot my first ever clean 50yd SF on an electronic target, what do I hang on my wall?
absolutely!  It might have to be emailed in pdf form?
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by togfish on 11/17/2013, 4:18 pm

As a relatively new bullseye shooter, I can speak for the benefits to me in manual scoring. Once bitten by this bug, I went online and to books to find out as much as possible about the ins and outs of this sport. Found great stuff on the web and also on this forum and others. BUT. I have gotten the most benefit from shooting and scoring with others. Whether it was my clubs pistol league, or outdoor NRA matches. I have gotten much, well appreciated advice and coaching from some very good shooters that has helped me get better. This could not happen with electronic scoring.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Guest on 11/17/2013, 8:22 pm

Just trying to find a way to deal with coaching, scoring issues raised. Isn't there a way to record scoring on electronic targets and either printing it or emailing it to you?  Can't it also show the order of shots?  I ask because I know SCAT trainers can save recording of your shots.  I understand it is not as nice as holding a paper target with holes in it.

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

Post by 9146gt on 11/18/2013, 8:25 am

GrumpyOldMan wrote:
Rob Kovach wrote:
Jack H wrote:One thing missing from NRA proposal of electronic targets is a real justification, or simply said, a goal. What is the end game here? More shooters, less cost, less days, more matches, all the above, or what? And how would electric targets accomplish any such goal item? And how will the new requirements be met to store, service, RUN the electric system.
Great questions Jack.  These are the answers I would like to see also.  If the answer is, "the current setup is worn and needs repair so this sounded like a good solution..." then I have to say stick with what we already have and repair the existing equipment.
Gentlemen:

I thought from DirCom's posts that the following motives drove the inquiry and investigation:

1. The current decades-old way of doing thing is a big financial drain on the NRA Competitions Division.

2. The labor intensity and time spent to prepare for, run, score and post scores of BE Pistol matches is a large part of the NRA's financial subsidy of the National Matches.

3. Reading between the lines (or was it said out loud???), either NRA HQ or Competitions Division does NOT want to jack the entry fees at Perry to make it financially self-supporting.

4. There is an opportunity to make a change with the maximum return on investment because the turning target systems at Perry are in bad repair, and enough of that is just plain worn out. Either spend the dough to refurbish the ranges and STILL have the number of participants shrink every year, OR take a big step into the "future" and swap out all that junk for electronic systems.

At least that's how I read it all.
+1

Tom

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

Post by DeweyHales on 11/18/2013, 8:59 am

The technology for electronic targets is at least 20 years old, and they are used to award Olympic medals. 

Every venue I've fired has differences with respect to targets. At Quantico, the targets vibrate long after turning. At Butner, they are lightning fast. Central Jersey has an easy turn and side bars that indicate the exact target center. Perry is unlike anywhere else especially the view behind the targets. 

Most electronic targets have a monitor for the shooter to see their results. Would targets at Perry be the same?  If so, spotting scopes would no longer be needed.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Fire Escape on 11/18/2013, 11:26 am

Quote:
4. There is an opportunity to make a change with the maximum return on investment because the turning target systems at Perry are in bad repair, and enough of that is just plain worn out. Either spend the dough to refurbish the ranges and STILL have the number of participants shrink every year, OR take a big step into the "future" and swap out all that junk for electronic systems.
Quote

Yes, if the current system at Perry is just plain worn out you would see a maximum return on investment.
I fail to see where that corolates with the number of participants continuing to shrink Or anything to 'prove' the implication that taking "a big step into the future" and swapping "all that junk for electronic systems" would in any way reduce the shrinking number of participants.
From what I observe of comments in this forum changing to electronic targets would guarantee a reduction in participation.

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

Post by GrumpyOldMan on 11/18/2013, 12:36 pm

Bruce:

One thing I am consistently hearing from the current NON-participants is reluctance to devote an entire day to a pistol match. So one research question to consider is whether electronic scoring would attract and keep more new shooters than would possibly be lost from losing the socializing during target changes element.

True, there is no better place to discuss how many a new shooter kept in the black than downrange when retrieving targets. But I wonder whether our "programming" as gregarious creatures would simply find another time/setting during the match to accomplish the same ends.

In the ISSF setting, the technology IS proven. Our skepticism needs to be directed towards whether the ISSF uses have included enough outdoor setups, and set up/tear down setups, for us to have a reasonable expectation of it working for BE pistol.

Last time I was at the local outdoor range, I was looking at the spacing between baffles and wondering whether a line of one controller and nine slave targets could be safely tipped up out of the line of sight like indoor basketball hoops are during volleyball games...with adequate weather-proofing and enough resistance to the up-angle richochets there.

I'm pretty sure that branding and marketing and creating some "social movement" is NOT all that needs to be done to make the game thrive. Sure, maybe that alone on the grassroots level, and maybe coordinated with some new "I'm the NRA" type ads touting the joys of the precision shooting sports, could up participation to the capacity of our existing (translate--REMAINING) ranges capable of handling BE Pistol...

But when I consider the LOSS of ranges that were open when our population was HALF of today's numbers, such a goal seems like setting the bar way too low. The ones my Dad shot at included Boulder City, NV; Henderson, NV; some place in or near Pasadena, CA (is one in/near there still operating???), maybe Hawthorne, NV (definitely an HP Rifle range was there), and Barstow, CA.

If BE shooting is to come back to any of these areas that have lost ranges, I still wonder whether electronic targets could be enough easier than installing turning targets to make growth more likely.

With what I know about electro-optical systems, sensors at the bottom and behind a nice truly bulletproof barrier can even "calibrate" to the aiming dot--even if the aiming dot were moved a bit between firing strings. Auto-zeroing. Whether the existing *target* systems can do this, I don't know. But I mention it because I cannot imagine it being impossible or deal-breaker expensive to have a target turner or a raise-the-target servo as part of what's provided for each firing point. Thus no lost points because the aiming black didn't return to the exact same spot in space where it was when the shooter checked the gun's zero.

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

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/18/2013, 3:50 pm

We could just look at ISSF participation and see if the changeover from standard to electronic targets had any positive impact on participation trends.  If it didn't help, then I think it makes sense to stick with paper targets.

GrumpyOldMan brings up a point about zeroing the aiming black.  What is that about?  Does ISSF and Rifle shoot spotters to zero the target when they are shooting at these electronic targets??  How would that work for bullseye?
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Colt711 on 11/18/2013, 4:59 pm

GrumpyOldMan wrote:
 Thus no lost points because the aiming black didn't return to the exact same spot in space where it was when the shooter checked the gun's zero.
Does this mean if these systems don't "return to the same spot in space" the shooter is spergoggled?  You can bet the  Marksmanship Unit will have a setup @ Benning  so they can figure it out ahead of time. Where will this leave the shooter who doesn't have the opportunity to familiarize himself with the system as there aren't other ranges so equipped? How do these units work? What is the shooter shooting at? An image projected on a special surface. From the discussion it's not paper.

Does the scoring setup on these units allow for "incremental" values? In other words does the 9 that just plugs out (of the 10)score higher than a 9 that "just" plugs in? If not, why not? I would think that would be a major reason for their adoption. Can the incremental value be re programmed?

I think it's time, if it hasn't already been planned, to survey all Perry shooters from the last 3 or so years.

Ron

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

Post by Mike M. on 11/18/2013, 9:09 pm

I like the idea of putting the whole setup on a series of trailers...and renting them out for smaller matches.  Maybe do a deal with USA Shooting to share equipment.

This hasn't been a big deal for the ISSF.  Very few ranges have this sort of equipment.  I've shot in nine World Muzzle-Loading Championships - eight on paper targets.  The adoption of electronic scoring was more for the TV contract than anything else.  

Having said that, it's very nice to have.  We shot the 25th World Muzzle-Loading Championship on these in Germany last year.  They had the targets being projected on a big screen, so spectators could follow the match in real time.  At the end of the relay, all stats were instantly updated.  And we got printouts of our targets.  Very spiffy.

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

Post by Dave C. on 11/19/2013, 8:41 am

Muzzle-Loading is fired on turnning targets?

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

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/19/2013, 3:15 pm

I've noticed there have been a rash of shooters who like the electronic targets in THEIR disciplines trying to tip the scales on this issue.  They don't seem to understand that turning targets in an important part of bullseye.

The target being paper or something digital is immaterial.  The turning target format of our sport is the important part and needs to be preserved.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by bdutton on 11/19/2013, 3:35 pm

Very few ranges that host USA Shooting matches have electronic targets.  These are still pretty rare.  The Orion scoring system is getting some interest around here but that also requires having clean dry targets to turn in for scoring.

Bottom line only the elite ranges/matches will invest in the electronic systems.  National Matches would fit that description.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by john bickar on 11/19/2013, 10:25 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:I've noticed there have been a rash of shooters who like the electronic targets in THEIR disciplines trying to tip the scales on this issue.  They don't seem to understand that turning targets in an important part of bullseye.

The target being paper or something digital is immaterial.  The turning target format of our sport is the important part and needs to be preserved.
You've stated this over and over (and over and over) in this thread, but I can tell you from experience that the shift from turning targets to lights and electronic timing is completely beneficial to the shooter. You get a more consistent timing (i.e., the full 10 seconds), plus a buffer of .2 seconds, during all of which the target is fully facing you, not diminishing in width.

There are many valid arguments against electronic targets in general, and at Camp Perry in particular, and I've been pretty clear in my opposition to both. The fact that the targets "don't turn" is a non-starter.

Regarding any "us vs. them" mentality: I'd like to think I have enough experience in both bullseye and ISSF pistol to be qualified to comment on either.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by Rob Kovach on 11/19/2013, 11:22 pm

No offense meant to those who have shot at least 1 Hardball match in their lives or earned a bullseye master card...

John, the reason a good campaigner always reiterates their message is so no other distraction can take over the most important point.
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Re: Hello Bullseye - L (Disscussion of Camp Perry and other from the NRA Shooting Director

Post by GrumpyOldMan on 11/20/2013, 1:37 pm

I was stating my prior knowledge of the capabilities of various systems, and stating aloud my expectation that the various technologies had crossed over and become part of an integrated system.

No, I don't know if electronic target systems involve live-fire zeroing. My own preferences are for that to be allowed at every target. Smallbore rifle background.

But I *would* trust an electronic AND turning/popup aiming bulls IF the shot sensors are linked to an optical sensor that essentially zeros them to the actual physical/optical location of the aiming black. The technology, based on stuff I've read about starting maybe 20 years ago, is available and well-developed in other contexts.

As far as electronic scoring, I had first-hand reports from two different personal friends about them (both at Ft. Benning IIRC) in the early to mid-1980s.

It is yet another thing to determine whether it would "change" the sport too much by just doing a monkey-see/monkey do thing with ISSF and keeping a static bull and adding visual signals to the rules.

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

Post by GrumpyOldMan on 11/21/2013, 10:34 pm

This thread elsewhere appears to have run its course:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=734294

I recommend reading the whole thing. The voices there include those who we will never get to try it out, some who used to shoot BE, and many who have some interest.

Just know that there is some thread drift the last two pages.

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

Post by john bickar on 11/23/2013, 2:04 am

GrumpyOldMan wrote:This thread elsewhere appears to have run its course:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=734294

I recommend reading the whole thing. The voices there include those who we will never get to try it out, some who used to shoot BE, and many who have some interest.

Just know that there is some thread drift the last two pages.
I read the whole thread, it was painful.

You asked a bunch of people who don't shoot bullseye what it would take to get them to shoot a bullseye match, and the most common response was (to paraphrase), "Change it to something that isn't bullseye."

No offense, but no thanks.
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john bickar

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

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