I have had several inquiries since the announced purchase of ten HEXTA electronic targets by Reade Rifle range. I wish to take a moment to give an overview of how we came to this decision and the testing that was done at the range in early December 2016.
An agreement was made in early October after our leagues annual business meeting to research the possibility of electronic scoring system for the range. Scott Thomas and few other members took the responsibility to analyze different scoring systems. Several members, including myself, had fired on the systems prominent here in the US. I did not experience any issues with the system that I had used, however many who we spoke with reluctantly complained of troubles at matches they had attended. I say reluctantly because no one came out and trashed the systems they fired on. There were only complaints of missed shots, systems shutting down, lap tops and tablets going dead, and not being able to see the scoring devices. After nearly two months of research Scott had come to the conclusion that electronic systems available were not reliable enough for the range to make the investment. At this point I gave Scott a business card given to me by Rick Ratzlaff of goballistic. Rick and I had spoken briefly at the Southwest Nationals earlier that year and at that time his system seemed to be to expensive compared to the others that were available. Scott contacted Rick and after some conversation, and a skype call with the target manufacturer in Australia, we decided the HEX system had more to offer than other target systems and we wanted some testing.
Rick left Alberta Canada with two target systems uncovered on the back of his flat bed truck. He traveled nearly 2500 miles through rain, snow, and sleet with the targets laying flat completely exposed to the elements. We pulled the targets off the truck, placed them on the ground and made makeshift braces out of 2x4 lumber to hold them upright, powered up the 12 volt system, and placed MR1 faces on then moved back to the 600 yard line to start testing. I must add at this point there was no calibrating necessary as the systems are pre-calibrated to the two daylight readable monitors that come with each target. We had six different shooters firing 6.5x284, .308, and .223. At the end of the day all shots had been recorded and were compared to plot sheets for scoring accuracy. The total firing time of that day was about two hours.
Day two of the testing was done on the SR & SR3 targets. Our names were already in the administrative server, so by just starting to type in your name it would come up on screen, then you select the type target you're firing on and the amount of sighters needed for the match. We fired many simultaneous rapid strings and no shots were lost or extras were present on either target. We also created several alibi strings to see how the scorer was to correct the score. Rifles used this day were .223 & 6AR. Again testing took about two hours.
We found the monitors quite easy to use. They are a rugged laptop style. The shooter is able to shrink or enlarge his plot while firing, and view other targets during a string. These target systems are very rugged. Each target weighs over 100 lbs. This is a consideration at if you plan on moving them for daily matches. However the other side of the coin is that the systems reliability comes at the cost of maneuverability.
If you have never fired on an electric scoring system, or your are considering one for you range, we welcome you to come and try the HEX system here at Reade range. Our plans are to be up and running by spring 2017. Hope to see you there.
Website / goballistic.us