Cool New Range Tech

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The Longshot R.A.I.S.E. Camera System provides a clear view of a target up to 50 yards away. Customers
can confirm groups in real-time from their lane, which reduces wear and tear on target carriers.

The generation gap between traditional shooters and today’s MILLENNIALS/GEN Z is real. Older shooters may be content to plink at paper targets and mark their shots with spotting scopes, but the up-and-comers want flash and high tech.

They’ve grown up on video games and graphics that pop, and they want their shooting experience to provide the same kind of entertainment.

The good news? Cool new technologies able to generate this level of excitement are within reach of almost every range.

Projected Live-Fire Targets

Doug Hague is one of the owners of Evolve Range Solutions. Evolve is a family-based, veteran-owned company that began as a shooting range — Vandalia Range and Armory. The company has been operating an indoor range in Vandalia, Ohio, for 17 years and has a range in New Castle, Ind., as well.

“They are both NSSF 5-Star ranges, and both carry 15-plus lanes,” Hague shared. “At the range in Ohio, we have 100-yard lanes for rifles underground, along with 20 lanes for handguns above grade.”

One of the goals Hague and the other owners have is to reach out to younger shooters who gravitate toward technology.

“They’ve been playing games on some sort of a console their whole lives,” Hague noted. “This fact is where we drew the concept from, and we went from there. It’s a live-fire projected system that marks the target and scores the hits.”

When a guest goes into a range equipped with one of Evolve’s Advanced Hybrid Shooting Range Solutions systems, she’ll find a tablet on the wall beside her. She’ll enter her range code on the tablet, select the target she wants projected on the screen and start shooting. She can choose a replica of a paper target, an array of bowling pins that “fall” when they’re hit or any one of a number of other traditional and nontraditional targets.

“We have knockdown targets, exploding targets and games,” Hague stated.

The target face — the paper “screen” that targets are projected onto — rolls up after each shooter, so every shooter has a fresh target face for his or her targets. Because many shooters like to take their target with them, the system will email targets to the guest at the end of his or her session.

As they’re shooting, guests can see their hits on the tablet beside them.

“When they shoot the target, there’s a momentary red marker that covers the shot, so they’ll have an easier time locating where they’re shooting,” Hague described. “Then it disappears until the next shot.”

“[Younger shooters] have been playing games on some sort of a console their whole lives. This fact is where we drew the concept from, and we went from there. [The EV-R] is a live-fire projected system that marks the target and scores the hits.”

Doug Hague | Owner | Evolve Range Solutions

Many of the targets are similar to video games kids — and even some older adults — play. Others mimic metal resetting targets they would find on an outdoor range. In training mode, the system tells them not only why they missed the center of the target, but also how to correct the problem.

“Another thing we’ve been able to do with this system is reduce the footprint of a range,” Hague added. “If you have a 25-yard range, you have to put up about 120′ of building. Now we can put the equivalent of a 25-yard range in 60 lineal feet of building. It saves our customers quite a lot of money on new builds.”

The system also is designed to allow advertising so ranges can promote other local businesses, upcoming events or in-store specials.

Most recently, Evolve Range Solutions released the EV-R Target System for ranges, entertainment businesses and even residences — it’s the same concept as the live-fire system, but for airsoft pellets. This system has an intrinsic cost advantage, as it doesn’t require air filtration, armor or trap.

“The EV-R benefits are too good to ignore! It works amazing, and we have a little more versatility on where/how we can set them up,” said Alex Hague, Evolve Range Solutions co-owner. “In mid-June, we had a set up at the Northwoods Mall in Peoria, Ill. They’ve been slammed, and since it’s non-lethal they can rent it to kids, etc.”

The ROMTES Short Circuit Target system can be used at both indoor and outdoor ranges.
An Israeli system, it’s being sold in the U.S. by American Tactical.

Evolve Range Solutions’ EV-R Target System combines the latest in hit detection technology
and gaming to bring an interactive and entertaining experience for guests.

Taking It Long Range

Though completely different from the Evolve system described above, the ROMTES Short Circuit Target System is equally cool.

ROMTES Technologies is an Israeli-based research, design and manufacturing firm that has been developing and producing interactive live-fire targets and tactical training target systems for the miliary and law enforcement for 25 years. The system is being sold in this country by American Tactical.

American Tactical’s Sales Manager Jaime Ramos said the ROMTES system was set to debut in the U.S. in late May this year.

“The ROMTES Short Circuit Target system is easy to use and inexpensive to maintain,” Ramos noted. “The target consists of several layers of material, two of which are conductive. Once a round penetrates the target, it creates a short circuit between the two layers. This is detected by an electronic system and then recorded.”

The signal created by the target is transmitted to a receiver in the shooting stall so the shooter can see the location of the shot on the target.

“You can use the system indoors or outdoors,” Ramos shared. “We can put the receiver up to 1,400 yards away and it will tell you which target you hit, wirelessly, with no problem. You can shoot from a mile away. Regardless of the caliber you’re shooing, the system provides instant feedback of the hit location in up to eight different scoring zones, and the time between shots.”

Less Wear-And-Tear On Target Retrieval Systems

Longshot Cameras, founded in 2013 by Clay Rhoden, Richard Rhoden and James Hoffman, brought closed-circuit TV technology to shooting. After Clay Rhoden took a trip to the range and forgot his spotting scope, the three of them pieced together a system with existing components that let them use an app to see the target downrange. For the past several years, the company has offered a range of camera systems allowing shooters to see their targets up to two miles away on a phone or a tablet.

The most recent addition to their line of products is the R.A.I.S.E. Camera System, which allows indoor ranges to have the functionality of the Longshot app platform in a shooting stall.

“The R.A.I.S.E. camera system allows any user to come into a shooting stall, and at the touch of a button, the system automatically adjusts to provide the shooter with a clear view of the target from up to 50 yards away,” noted Cameron Kaufhold, VP of sales and marketing. “The system allows users to interact with their targets in real time with shot-marking capability.”

In the shooting stall, a wall-mounted tablet has the app installed, so shooters need only tap the tablet to see the target close up. The camera portion of the system has 36X zoom capability and is mounted above the shooter.

“This generation may have been raised on video games and virtual targets, but by bringing the same look and feel onto the range, we’re showing a lot of them just how much fun shooting can be.”

This means no camera damage from stray shots. Since the camera in each stall is a separate unit, there’s no limitation on the number of lanes the system can be used.

“When the user walks into the stall, the tablet is mounted right next to the carrier system” Kaufhold said. “You can pre-set focus points; so if the carrier stops at 5, 10, 15 of 20 yards, you can pre-program the camera to focus on those distances.”

A number of ranges already have Longshot Camera systems up and running.

“We have about 100 lanes with units in use across the U.S.,” Kaufhold informed. “Some are just one lane, and some are 16 lanes at a range.”

One benefit some of those range owners have noted is a reduction in wear on target-retrieval systems, as shooters aren’t bringing the target retriever back every time they want to see their targets.

As shooters are changing, ranges are adapting to meet their desires. This generation may have been raised on video games and virtual targets, but by bringing the same look and feel onto the range, we’re showing a lot of them just how much fun shooting can be.

For more info: evolverangesolutions.com, americantactical.us, longshotcameras.com

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