Author: Jonathan Turnbow

Controlled Pairs, Double Taps, or 6-Shot Rhythm?

by Jeffrey Denning

Editor’s Note: The views in this article are the author’s own and don’t necessarily represent those of Action Target, Inc.

The phrase “The shot heard around the world” refers to the single gunshot that began the battle of Lexington and Concord of the American Revolutionary War. In historic times, rifles could only shoot one round at a time. As time progressed, John Moses Browning and other inspired gunsmiths drastically changed the weapons in modern gun fighting by designing firearms capable of semi- and fully-automatic shooting. Today however, most shooters and firearms trainers continue shooting only two rounds at a time.

This type of culture asks the questions: Why and how did this phenomenon occur, and secondly, why pause in the middle of a gun fight? How is it that we’ve arrived at this point? Does it matter? This two-shot-only practice has been around for decades.

We’ve programmed ourselves to let the majority of our multiple shot drills be only controlled pairs or double taps-hammers accelerated pairs. Why? Examining the history of this trend is not as important as outlining the pros and cons and what we should do to improve, right?

So here it goes.

The usual tactical axiom states, “One hit is better than ten misses.” Which means, two shots are better than one, but why not three, four, or five shots?

Innovative Training Solution AutoPopperMany people have survived getting shot multiple times. The cliché “one shot, one kill” should be discarded from the war-fighter lexicon. This is especially the case for gun rounds, but also true with most every caliber of long gun used for close-quarters engagements.

So, how can we change our thinking and training?

Utilizing Action Target’s innovative Pepper Popper target is a great place to start. This target allows a shooter to shoot three, four, or even five shots as quickly as possible before the target falls. Adjusting the tension allows you to make the most of every shot as you train. Since most engagements are close in range, place this target within the distance Action Target recommends to ensure a realistic handgun training scenario.

For long guns training, try the new RTS Self-Healing Reactive Target . It is important to keep your shots fast, your groups tight, and have good balance with an aggressive stance as you fire three, four, or more shots at a time. Training with the RTS Self-Healing Reactive Target is a fun experience that mimics how many rounds you should take in real-world lethal encounters.

Action Target Hold PlusOne of the most enjoyable drills for me personally is a six-shot rhythm drill with my handgun. I use paper targets on my AT Hold target stands, and attempt really tight shot groups as rapidly as I can. Usually, I practice from 5-7 yards.

When using iron sights, try to get a flash-sight picture—where the front sight isn’t in perfect alignment, but slightly bobbles around in the rear sight. If you’re close enough to the target and have a smooth trigger, you’ll hit your target. Also, when you’re doing these drills, shoot as fast as you can.

We have come a long way since the ancient wars of the past. We must remember that if we want to win—keep shooting. The briefest remedy to survive and win any gunfight is to shoot faster and more accurately than the threat(s).

Until next time, continue to hone your skills and keep adding to your tactical toolbox.

About Jeffrey Denning

Jeffrey Denning is a former SWAT team leader, security contractor, undercover Federal Air Marshal, and Iraqi War Vet. He is the founder of Warrior SOS and writes tactical articles for Guns.com.

Discounted RTS Hit Counting System

During the entire month of November, we are offering our RTS Hit Counting System (Full Package) , designed for nine lanes, at a discounted price as part of our Target of the Month program. This offer is available at the Action Target Store or by contacting the Territory Manager for your region.

Enter the code FULL2011RTS when placing your order in the online store for the discount. Only one code per order. There is NO LIMIT on the number of products ordered. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or specials. Offer expires November 30, 2011.

Regular Package Price: $4,826
November’s Price $3,799

New ATI Accessories in Time for Holiday Season

Action Target recently unveiled four new accessory products that are now available in the online store. In addition to purchasing each accessory separately, an Accessory Package is also available which includes all four products at a discounted price, just in time for the holiday season.

AT Drop Pouch: The AT Drop Pouch is a great range tool to hold your magazines, rounds, and even a water bottle. The pouch includes a bungee cord closure and a Velcro flap to secure contents. A reinforced 1/2″ hole at the bottom allows any unwanted debris or water to drain out. This pouch can mount to any belt or rig for easy access. Read More →

AT Gun Case: The AT Gun Case is fully padded and can hold one handgun and five magazines. The dual padded inside zipper pocket and the lockable zipper slides add additional safety and protection. The reinforced carry handles provide an extra convenience when transporting your firearm. There is an outer Velcro piece for adding patches. Read More →

AT Shooter Bag: This shooter bag is made from durable, heavy-duty nylon and features nine total pockets (including a large central pocket), seven magazine compartments in the outer zip front pocket, a removable carrying strap that clips to two chrome plated steel D-rings for quick attachment, an external ID pocket, and full wrap-around nylon handles. Read More →

AT Utility Tool: This multi-functioning utility tool includes a can opener, a bottle opener, wire cutters, one two-inch ruler, a standard-sized flat head screwdriver, a small flat head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a mini saw, a knife, one two-sided file, regular pliers, and needle nose pliers. The utility tool also comes with a nylon case for easy carrying. Read More →

Accessories Bundle*: Christmas is just around the corner, so Action Target is offering a holiday special. This Accessories Bundle includes an AT Shooter Bag, AT Drop Pouch, AT Gun Case, and AT Utility Knife for just $75.00 $64.95, including shipping and handling. *Quantities are limited. Free shipping and handling only applies to orders placed before 12/02/11 Read More →

Visit www.shopactiontarget.com or www.actiontarget.com today to purchase your Action Target accessories in time for the holiday season.

Shooting Steel Targets (Part 3)

*Note: This is the last segment of our three-part series entitled “Shooting Steel Targets.” Part One was published in September and Part Two was published in early October in the Action Target Journal.

Many people are hesitant to shoot on steel targets because of bad experiences they have heard of, been the victim of, or witnessed. Over the years, Action Target has been approached time and again by those who have access to steel, welding equipment, and the ability to shoot on their property. Each and every time we hear similar scenarios: I cut up this piece of steel [usually 1″ thick or greater] to use as a target. It should stop the bullets, but they either go right through it or cause unsafe ricochet and splatter.”

That would make anyone a little skeptical to shoot on steel, wouldn’t it?

So, as we publish the concluding segment of information dedicated to shooting portable steel targets, it is vital to include some facts about steel. We have included some information about what steel actually is, the hardness and quality associated with different ratings of steel, and some truths about steel that affect safety.

With more and more companies and individuals manufacturing steel targets, the water has become increasingly muddy where accurate information is concerned. With technical data provided by the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington D.C., this report is designed to cut through the recent hype and establish a basis of fact for accurate evaluation and comparison.

What is Steel?

Steel is an alloy metal composed of iron and varying amounts of carbon and/or other elements such as chromium, nickel, tungsten, manganese, and so on. Steel with specific properties and characteristics is created by adjusting the overall chemical composition or by altering the various production processes such as rolling, finishing, and heat treatment. Because each of these factors can be modified, there is potentially no limit to the number of different steel recipes that can be created. Currently, there are over 3,000 cataloged grades or chemical compositions of steel available. Steel can utilize a wide variety of alloying elements and heat treatments to develop the most desirable combination of properties.

Steel Hardness and Quality

For steel targets to be functional and safe, they should be made of high-quality through hardened steel that has a minimum Brinell hardness number (BHN) of at least 500. The steel must also provide sufficient strength, toughness, and impact resistance. The Brinell hardness test depends upon the resistance offered to the penetration of a carbide steel ball (1.6 mm diameter) when subjected to a weight of 12.6 kg. The resulting hardness value is computed as the ratio of the applied load to the area of the indentation produced. This test is accepted as a worldwide standard for measuring the hardness of steel.

Truth: There are Two Factors that Affect the Hardness of Steel

The first is the amount of carbon and other alloying elements in its chemical composition, and the second is the manner in which the heating and cooling of the steel is manipulated. These factors are determined at the most fundamental level and affect the finished steel as a whole.

Truth: Steel Hardness Is a Critical Safety Issue

The hardness of the steel is so critical because only a smooth surface will generate predictable splatter patterns. Steel that is not sufficiently hard can develop pits, craters, dimples, and other hazardous deformations. When a bullet hits one of these deformations, it is impossible to predict where the splatter will go, thereby creating an unacceptable training environment.

There are many steel mills located around the world, but only a select few are able to produce steel that is hard enough and of sufficient quality to be safely used for steel targets. HARDOX / SSAB, Bethlehem-Lucas, Oregon Steel Mills, and NKK are major producers of such steel. Each of these companies may have minor proprietary differences in their production methods, but they all must make sheets of hard steel in essentially the same way.

Nevertheless, some suppliers of targets and shooting range equipment attempt to muddy the water and create perceived differences in steel quality where none exist. One particularly misleading claim refers to AR steel as “surface hardened” only. We state the following with all possible force:

Despite the inaccurate claims, AR steel is NOT surface hardened. It is through hardened. Witness the quotes listed below from steel suppliers around the country.

  • Heflin Steel: “Heflin REM 500 abrasion resistant plate is a premium grade wear plate, ideal for extreme abrasion coupled with resistance to impact. REM 500 plate is through hardened up to a 3″ thickness for maximum hardness and abrasion resistance.” (Source: http://www.escocorp.com/heflin_steel/wear/materials.html)

Note: These companies are steel suppliers, not manufacturers or producers. They buy steel from the actual manufacturers like HARDOX / SSAB, and then re-sell it to their own customers.

Action Target uses only high-quality, through hardened steel with a Brinell hardness rating of at least 500, and we use it in every one of our ballistic steel products.

Be careful not to get caught up in the “more is better” mindset. Just because a Brinell hardness number (BHN) of 500 or 550 is good, it does not mean a rating of 700 is better. While you must use steel that is hard enough for the task, going overboard only impacts your checkbook and not the product.

For more information on portable steel targets, Action Target has created one of the most comprehensive documents on the subject. The Action Target Steel Resource Guide (PDF) provides details on the properties of steel, how they relate to steel targets, and why they are important and so much more.

If you are looking for information about a specific target, visit our Portable Targets page of our website.

Action Target Becomes an NSSF Voting Member

Action Target is proud to announce its recent acceptance as a voting member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

Founded over 25 years ago, Action Target began with two high school friends working out of their garage. Today, Action Target has become the world’s largest shooting range equipment manufacturer.

Holding more than 40 patents, Action Target has steadily increased its inventory to include over 4,000 products. In addition to manufacturing, Action Target also designs, delivers, and installs indoor and outdoor range equipment throughout the world. Action Target is the preferred choice for the firearms training programs of US & international commercial/sport shooters, law enforcement, military, Special Forces groups, and tactical training schools.

Action Target is honored to be accepted as a voting member by the NSSF’s Board of Directors. It is our pledge to assist in the NSSF’s ongoing mission to promote, protect, and preserve both the shooting industry and the heritage we all share. As private ownership of firearms increases, the need for safe facilities to practice shooting has become crucial. Action Target and the NSSF will work together to enhance the presence of commercial shooting ranges in the USA while supporting the many programs they offer.

About the NSSF

Following a series of industry meetings in the late 1950’s—sponsored by Field & Stream Magazine—the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) was chartered in 1961 to promote a better understanding of and a greater participation in hunting and shooting sports.

In 1963, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) merged its promotional arm into the NSSF enabling the foundation to expand its efforts and establish its own headquarters in Riverside, CT.

Recognizing the growing urbanization of America, NSSF first sought to build public awareness of the sportsman’s role in conservation and their contributions to wildlife management through landmark efforts such as the annual National Hunting and Fishing Day, established in 1973.

Over the years, the foundation has continued its public outreach efforts while also developing a wide array of programs to encourage new and added participation in hunting and target shooting sports. In the early 1980’s, NSSF was at the forefront of promoting the then-new sport of sporting clays and generating widespread publicity for shooting games of all kinds. An example was the 1988 “Sportsman’s Team Challenge”—the first made-for-TV shooting competition appearing on ESPN, which continued through the 1990’s.

Over the past several decades, NSSF has greatly expanded its efforts to strengthen hunting and shooting sports traditions through nationally based efforts such as STEP OUTSIDE, the Families Afield initiative, First Shots, and the Hunting Heritage Partnership, which provides grants to state wildlife agencies for programs that improve access and opportunity.

Since its inception, NSSF has been a leader in building opportunities so future generations can continue to enjoy hunting and shooting sports. NSSF is a major supporter of the nation’s youth shooting programs and has created its own programs such as the Scholastic Clay Target Program along with other similar efforts at the collegiate level.

Firearms safety education has also been a fundamental mission of NSSF throughout its history. Over the years, the foundation has distributed millions of safety brochures and delivered safety messages through television, radio, and print media outlets. Initiated in 1999, NSSF’s Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 35 million firearm safety kits throughout all 50 states.

The NSSF is actively engaged in representing its members in respect to key legal, regulatory, and legislative issues through its Government Relations division.

Since 1979, critical funding for NSSF’s many programs and activities has come from the NSSF-owned industry trade show, SHOT Show. From an inaugural event of only 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, the show has grown to some 700,000 square feet of exhibit space today and is the largest trade exposition of its kind in the world.

NSSF’s foundation represents the broad scope of the hunting and shooting sports industry. Members include manufacturers of sporting firearms, ammunition, a wide array of accessories, and equipment manufacturers as well as distributors, retailers, shooting ranges, and many other companies and organizations in the hunting and shooting sports community. Today’s membership includes more than 5,500 companies and organizations.

Shooting Steel Targets (Part 2)

*Note: This is the second of a three-part series entitled “Shooting Steel Targets.” Part One was published in the Action Target Journal in September and Part Three was published in October.

Action Target produces the finest and most sought after portable steel targets in the world. As a world leader for shooting range development, our steel targets have been developed in conjunction with law enforcement and the US Military for the last 26 years. As a result, our steel targets are among the safest around, which allows you to predict splatter patterns and ricochet. We do not allow any exposed bolts or brackets on the shooting surfaces. This is a limitation to many designs, but the result is the safest possible steel target available.

Why are portable steel targets important?

Instant feedback reinforces positive behavior and programs muscle memory. Just like hitting a baseball, your body subconsciously remembers how to orchestrate all the variables required for a successful shot. If you do not get instant feedback, your mind and body are not able to accurately correlate which variables produce positive results, and which produce negative results. The more senses you involve in the process, the more powerful and more rapid the conditioning becomes.

Sight

The target shouldAction Target 3-D Targets bounce, spin, rock, wobble, explode, fall, or give some other visual indicator when hit. High contrast paint on a shooting surface will increase visual feedback, but paint must be reapplied frequently. Paint can also be used to reduce visibility if desired.

Targets do not have to be made of steel to provide visual feedback. Plastic can provide some of the same effects, and cardboard targets can be equipped with various types of hit sensors. Balloons by themselves can be simple reactive targets, and they become even more effective when used with a three dimensional cardboard torso like our reactive 3D Target .

Sound

Steel is required for a target to produce a “gong” sound when hit. The size and thickness of the steel will affect the quality of the sound produced, as will the method by which the target is mounted or suspended. If the target is mounted so it is not too restricted and can move when hit, the gong will be louder and more effective. Although quality steel targets will cost more upfront, the savings in training time and ongoing cardboard and paper target replacement will more than pay for your original investment.

Shoot More, Waste Less Time

Action Target Evil Roy Practice TargetIn addition to providing effective visible and audible indicators when hit, steel targets greatly enhance the steel efficiency of your training as well. Instead of changing out paper or cardboard targets, you can spend more time actually shooting. The 30 or so minutes you save each day really add up over the course of a year, especially if you are working with a large department.

If You Build It, They Will Come

A final benefit of reactive targets is the pure entertainment factor. This may seem frivolous, but it can provide an enormous benefit to your training program. Would you rather shoot holes in paper all day, or would you rather participate in tactical shooting scenarios that involve movement, communication, and targets that drop, fall, spin, dodge, and charge you? The more enjoyable the training process is, the more often people will come to the range.

If you are looking for information about a specific target, visit our Portable Targets page of our website.

AT Swinger for Only $175

Action Target SwingerDuring the entire month of October, we are offering our AT Swinger for only $175 as part of our Target of the Month program! This offer is available at the Action Target Store or by contacting the Territory Manager for your region.

Enter the code OCTSWINGER when placing your order in the online store for the discount. Only one code per order. There is NO LIMIT on the number of products ordered. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or specials. Offer expires October 31, 2011.

Self-Funding Shooting Ranges

A New Way of Looking at Shooting Range Viability

By Addison Sovine

While the top-level view of a commercial indoor shooting range may appear simple and direct, the economic reality is often the opposite. If one were to take the cost of a range based on today’s market value and implement a state-of-the-art range featuring approximately ten lanes, the initial investment would be well into the millions. A range costing a million dollars would require $50,000 in range fees just to cover the interest payment alone. If a range yields $10 per participant for each hour of range time, five hundred shooters would be necessary to simply cover that interest. In addition to start-up fees, heating and cooling of the facility can be substantial when variables like airflow and heat are factored in.

Expenses that add up quickly

Another five hundred shooters—if not a full additional thousand—would be necessary to cover the cumulative cost of operations and physical utility bills. This does not include costs associated with labor, maintenance, or any other expenses, causing the cost of an operation range to accumulate.

Making Your Good Range Great

Over the past 26 years of leading the industry, the men and women of Action Target have learned that an indoor range in and of itself is not as viable a solution as an indoor range used in conjunction with a retail store. However, a guiding principle sometimes forgotten is that a good range validates a good store. A good range makes it possible for a store to perform a service that dealers and stores without a range cannot perform. Clients can test firearms prior to making their purchase. AT Constructs Indoor Shooting Range for OrlandoRental or lease programs are realistic possibilities, allowing for more informed decisions to be made. A singular offering like an on-site range provides a service unavailable elsewhere, meaning you are selling not only the firearms, but also a rare service–your expertise.

Your ability to provide a critical service as an expert in the shooting industry, in conjunction with the services of a range, allows you to train and demonstrate that which you sell. A range also gives the opportunity for relevant, adjacent offerings, such as personal protection classes, concealed carry classes, and other things not available from people who would need to rent or borrow a range. With this in mind, reconsider the economic validity of building or purchasing a range.

A Model of Economic Viability

Supposing your range will consist of ten lanes, the last thing that you want to worry about it is the required maintenance. Any mechanical device follows a single objective rule—the more complex the device, the more expertise necessary in its service and maintenance. Just a few years ago, having an automobile with a motor, a carburetor, and a little common sense may have been the only necessary tool in order to adjust the carburetor. Today, however, the proliferation of computer controlled, microchip-fueled components makes it incredibly difficult to do so. Accidents or problems can necessitate repairs that are far more expensive now than they may have been ten or fifteen years ago.

The laws of physics hold domain over any space, including ranges where bullets are being fired. Combined with constant historical trends of human innovation, we can see that whenever someone builds something to stop a bullet, someone else will build a bullet strong enough to go through it. Thus, it is only a matter of time before an equipment failure or breakdown on a range occurs.

AT Builds New Shooting Range and StoreThe value of simplicity, then, is clearly demonstrated. On a typical commercial range, there is no need for fancy, high-end target retrieval systems. The most cost-effective system on a range is a simple toggle switch on a track and a motor that takes the target down to a distance—this distance determined perhaps by a line painted on the wall or a line painted on the floor. This distance is determined and used as the operator runs the target down by holding the switch. As the operator brings the target back, they will run the switch until the target returns. While this may not sound like sufficient technology for training law enforcement, it truly is the only necessary mechanism for target retrieval.

If you are going to donate your commercial range to local law enforcement, understand what that could entail. Even with donations of use, local law enforcement agencies’ use of your range will be a small fraction of its cumulative use. You will not be able to properly maintain your range or even break even based upon the rental of that range with your law enforcement under typical circumstances.

*NOTE: This has been the first section of many Action Target White Papers being released to the public. All white papers can be accessed through our website. To read the rest of the Self-Funding Shooting Ranges White Paper, you can download the entire PDF document by clicking on the link provided. You can also watch the full video presentation.

About Addison Sovine

Addison is the Executive Vice-President and Co-Founder of Action Target. He has over 26 years industry experience and has personally designed, built, and maintained thousands of shooting ranges.

Range Project Spotlight: Winston-Salem, NC

Designing and building ranges for many years with Action Target, Mike Stilwell has been actively involved in countless shooting range projects, including his own successful 16 lane commercial range, Rangemasters of Utah. Having 13 years experience of owning and operating an Action Target range is what made Stilwell an excellent person to help design and build a range for the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD).

When Stilwell first became associated with the WSPD, they presented him with hand-drawn sketches, lots of notes, and passion to build a world-class indoor training facility. WSPD required more than the typical 25 yard police range. They wanted to build one of the longest indoor ranges found in their geographic region.

Stilwell first met the team from WSPD four years prior to this range build. He met Sgt. Bricker and Sgt. Hinson at Action Target’s Range Development Seminar held each year at Camp Butner, NC. Due to the lengthy process of getting their range started, Sgt’s Bricker and Hinson were no longer on the police force when the range was completed; however, the personnel change did not stop the project from moving forward. Stilwell is currently finishing the ranges with Sgt. Nelson and Lt. Watson to make the dream of building a world class training facility a reality.

The Winston Salem Training Academy is an indoor shooting range project currently being installed. It has two ranges, with one being 50 yards and the other 100 yards in length. There are tactical ranges with multiple Total Containment Traps–Version 4 (TCT4) bullet traps, with an open mouth throat for cross lane and tactical shooting. The TCT4’s have a screw conveyor lead collection system, inverted dual track runners, and 180 degree turning D-TaPS Target Systems. Both ranges are rifle rated and have 3/8” AR500 steel in the trap and on the baffles. The walls and ceilings are treated with PEPP acoustical material to ensure generous sound dampening, creating a comfortable area to practice shooting. The Winston Salem Training Academy is designed by the world-class A&E firm of Clark Nexsen with Dan Walker and Bobby Cummings taking an active role. The GC awarded the project was Branch & Associates from Roanoke, VA with Jerry DeVault as the Project Manager (PM). Clark Nexsen and Branch also designed and built the ranges at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), which ATI was fortunate to be a part of.

Action Target and Stilwell consider it an honor to be a vital part of this world-class facility and to work with all of the individuals who made this project happen. Special thanks goes out to the Firearm Instructors of Winston Salem, both past and present, Bryan Dahlberg—Project Manager for Action Target—and Jerry DeVault—Project Manager for Branch & Associates—for their long, tireless hours.

If you’re ever near the WSPD, give them a call to set up a date and time to take a tour of their new facility. If you are considering an indoor or outdoor range project and are in the Mid-Atlantic States region, contact Mike Stilwell at mikes@actiontarget.com

Other recently completed projects include:

  • South East Territory – Browns Ferry Police Department
  • South West Territory – Orem Police Department
  • South Central Territory – Midwest Police Department
  • North Central Territory – Green Bay Police Department
  • North East Territory – Montgomery Police Department
  • North West Territory – Three Sites
  • East Central Territory – Shooters Edge, LLC

Shooting Steel Targets (Part I)

*Note: This is the first of a three-part series entitled “Shooting Steel Targets.”  Part Two and Part Three were published in October.

As the world’s leader for shooting range development, Action Target has a diverse line of products to meet the needs of all its customers. If there is ever a request for a target system not currently offered, we have a full team of Research & Development personnel to explore the creation of a new target solution. Many times, however, the training need can be met with some of the simplest targets.

Line-up of AT Portable Targets

Action Target has been hailed as the #1 steel shooting target manufacturer based on our unique designs, which have been developed and modified over 26 years. Our steel targets have been influenced, tested, designed, and used extensively by law enforcement, the military, and Special Forces groups around the world. These groups prefer our steel targets since they do not allow any exposed bolts or brackets on the shooting surfaces. This is a limitation to many designs, but the result is the safest possible steel target available.

When using any of our portable steel shooting targets, please remember these safety guidelines to ensure that your experience of shooting targets is a fun and safe one:

STEEL TARGET SAFETY RULES

1.         Always obey the Firearms Safety Rules listed belowMan shooting with PT Swinger

2.         Always wear hearing protection and wrap-around shatter resistant eye protection

3.         Always stand at least 10 yards from the target when using handgun calibers

4.         Always stand at least 100 yards from the target when using shotgun slugs

5.         Always stand at least 100 yards from the target when using rifle calibers like .223 and .308

6.         Never use rifle calibers on handgun rated targets

7.         Never use ammunition that exceeds 3,000 feet per second at the muzzle

8.         Never use ammunition that travels below 750 feet per second

9.         Never shoot BB’s, steel shot, or air gun pellets at steel targetsMan Shooting Bobbers Over Shoulder

10.       Never use more powerful ammunition than the target is rated for (green tip, armor piercing, etc.)

11.        Never shoot on steel that is cratered, pitted, or damaged in any way

12.        Hard ground surfaces under the target should be covered with plywood or boxed pea gravel

13.        Targets should be placed with a 3-foot lateral and deep offset from the adjacent target

14.        If shooting multiple targets, the angle of engagement should not exceed 20 degrees

15.        Use only non-toxic paint on steel targets

16.        Inspect all targets before use for damage, functionality, etc.

17.       Shooters and observers must wear long pants (no shorts), long sleeve shirts, a cap or hat with a brim, and closed toed shoes

18.        Instructors and observers should stand behind the shooter and observe all safety rules

19.        If using frangible ammunition, it is the responsibility of the Rangemaster to test fire all frangible rounds to determine the following:

  • That the projectile pulverizes completely on contact
  • That the projectile does not damage the steel target at the distances you intend to shoot from

For more information about our steel targets or the importance of safety while shooting targets, visit our Portable Targets page on the Action Target website.

The Muzzle-Discipline Solution

By John Krupa III & John Farnam

At a recent Urban Rifle Course held at an outdoor range, a student with the muzzle of her AR (patrol rifle) elevated had a ND (negligent discharge), which put a single 5.56 x 45 bullet over the berm and off-property. The bullet in question subsequently impacted, at a high angle, a lake a half-mile downrange. No injury or property was damaged as a result, but several local fishermen reported the incident to the local sheriff’s office, and I heard about it shortly thereafter.

Berm heights vary widely from range to range. Most are 10 feet or higher. Even so, sending a bullet over the berm is still easily done, no matter the height. Some fancy ranges even have downrange, overhead “baffles” designed to keep bullets–inadvertently launched at a high angle–from leaving the range; however, even at these facilities, bullets occasionally seem to find a way off-property. Additional efforts to contain them invariably convert the “outdoor range” into an indoor range!

The better solution to this issue is muzzle-discipline.Action Target September Newsletter

“Muzzle-Down” is the by-word on all DTI (Defensive Training Institute) Ranges. All rifle, pistol, and shotgun handling is with the muzzle no higher than horizontal. Elevating muzzles past horizontal during administrative processes, and during reloading and stoppage-reduction, is commonly taught in some quarters, but it is wrong and dangerous!

In the incident described above, a rifle muzzle was inadvertently elevated during the loading process, as the student was relying on previous training. We corrected it, of course, but not before that single round departed range property.

When ND’s occur with the muzzle down and angled toward the berm, the bullet hits the ground between the shooter and the berm and can still subsequently jump over to the other side. However, these ricochets are typically low energy and far less dangerous than direct launches. “Muzzle-Up” is bad practice for other reasons too. Handling guns with the muzzle up is an invitation to a disarm, and rifle barrels angled upward will reliably betray an operator’s position and intentions, particularly when he/she is behind cover.

So, our students need to become accustomed to keeping all muzzles continually at a downward angle, coming up to horizontal only when aiming at a target. All administrative processes-loading, unloading, and performing a chamber-check can be (and must be) done with the operator facing in a relatively safe direction with the muzzle angled downward.

With escalating numbers of novice gun owners, preventing gun accidents is rapidly emerging as a critical priority. Gun-fear, trigger-locks, and the “empty-gun/never-ready” philosophy represent only a false and fraudulent myth. Genuine Operators, who carry and deal with loaded guns every day, need a legitimate and dependable gun-handling procedure that is adhered to without fail, and keeping muzzles down is an integral component.

About John Krupa III

John is a police officer with the Orland Hills Police Dept. and has over 20 years of experience in LE. He has previously served as a beat officer, rapid response officer, and firearms instructor with Chicago PD. He is a graduate firearms instructor from the Secret Service Academy, FBI, DEA, and FLETC. John is founder and president of Spartan Tactical Training Group, Director of Training for the DS Arms LE Training Division, and has previously presented at ASLET, GTOA, IALEFI, ILEETA, ISOA, LETC, MTOA, NTOA, and TTPOA training conferences. To learn more about John Krupa III or Spartan Tactical Training Group, click here.

About John Farnam

John has been a police officer since 1971, when he joined the City of Elroy Police Department as a patrolman. He is presently a fully commissioned deputy sheriff Training Officer for the Park County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office. John has written articles about defensive shooting and tactics in addition to several books. To learn more about John Farnam or Defensive Training Institute (DTI), click here.

* The views are the authors’ own and don’t necessarily represent those of Action Target, Inc.

AT Dueling Tree AR550 for only $425

PT Dueling Tree

During the entire month of September, we are offering our AT Dueling Tree AR550 (Heavy Duty) for only $425 as part of our Target of the Month program! This offer is available at the Action Target Store or by contacting the Territory Manager for your region.

Enter the code FSAR550DT when placing your order in the online store for the discount. Only one code per order. There is NO LIMIT on the number of products ordered. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or specials. Offer expires September 30, 2011.

Identifying and Pursuing Funding Opportunities

by Ian A. Reeves, AIA | Vice President | Architects Design
and
Jean Pierre LeBlanc | Research Coordinator | Group Research Coordinator – Center for Public Safety

*This article first appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of Florida Police Chief Magazine and has been republished with their consent.

Editor’s Note: It seems as if anything related to firearms is controversial. If you want to sell, carry, train with, or build a shooting range, you will always be confronted with some type of challenge. Therefore, it is vital that when key information becomes available to help navigate the complexities and minutia of firearms-related issues, it be passed on through multiple mediums to further educate us all. We know this information is important and our subscribers would appreciate it, which is why Action Target has chosen to republish this article in our own weekly newsletter, The Action Target Journal.

One of the primary factors in the consideration of any new Law Enforcement or Public Safety facility is the necessity to identify a funding source, or as is true in most cases, a variety of funding sources. In essence, it is important to not only qualify a project’s spatial needs, but to also provide meaningful information as to how a project can be funded.

Assistance, in this regard, can generally be provided by City/County staff, either a Budget or Finance Director, or by City/County Administration. The more you can assist them in this endeavor, the greater are your chances to see your prospective project move forward.

While Federal grant funding has traditionally been rare for local facilities, the events of September 11th, coupled with the current economic expansion, created an environment which resulted in funds becoming available in a wide variety of locations. Many cities and counties, in that respect, have initiated studies in order to have appropriate documentation assembled for Federal grants. Additionally, they have contacted their respective legislative delegation members in order “to make their case.” Clearly, time becomes of the essence, as when Federal Funds become available, they will go to those that are prepared and who are situated in a geographically and politically important location.

Current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) philosophy is patterned along these lines: If your community feels the need to support the premise of public safety, then it should be willing to provide the basic necessities for that to occur.

These basic necessities include:

  • Buildings to work from and house equipment
  • Manpower; in the form of either paid employees or volunteers
  • Vehicles/Specialized Equipment

While there are a multitude of potential funding sources, such as Development Impact Fees, General Obligation Bonds, Law Enforcement Trust Funds, Franchise Fees, and Federal Legislative Requests, this article focuses on Grants which can provide some funding for the development of new Law Enforcement/Public Safety Facilities. Below is an applicable outline, including links for more information. Several of these grant programs have closed for FY 2011, but are expected to be available for FY 2012. We suggest you begin planning now, as this process requires a strategic approach that takes time to develop.

1. State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecasted Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 4/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $890 million

Purpose: SHSP is a core assistance program contained within the overarching Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). SHSP provides funds to build capabilities at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels and to implement the goals and objectives included in state homeland security strategies and initiatives in their State Preparedness Report (SPR). Activities implemented under SHSP must support terrorism preparedness by building or enhancing capabilities that relate to the prevention from, or response to, and recovery from terrorism in order to be considered eligible.

Eligible Applicants: Applicants to SHSP are the designated State Administrative Agencies (SAAs) of each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. Available funds are distributed to each state based upon the risk and effectiveness scores associated with each application and also on a minimum allocation consistent with the statutory formula set by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov

2. Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecast Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 4/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $930 million

Purpose: The FY10 UASI program focused on enhancing regional preparedness in 64 major metropolitan areas, and the list of areas is expected to remain relatively unchanged in 2011. The UASI program directly supports expanding regional collaboration in the National Preparedness Guidelines and is intended to assist participating jurisdictions in developing integrated regional systems for prevention, protection, response, and recovery. In 2010, DHS elevated three previous Tier II areas to Tier I (Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Area), bringing the Tier I area list to 10, and added two new areas (Bakersfield, Calif., and Omaha, Neb.) to Tier II.

Eligible Applicants: Applicants to UASI are the designated SAAs of each state/territory containing a UASI Area. Eligible area candidates for the UASI program are determined through an analysis of relative risk of terrorism faced by the 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas in the United States, and funds are allocated to each area based on risk analysis and the anticipated effectiveness of proposed investments by the applicants. Similar to previous years, the FY11 program is expected to direct approximately $598 million, or 63 percent of the total funding, to the 10 highest risk urban areas (Tier I), and the remaining urban areas (Tier II) will receive approximately $352 million.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/uasi/index.shtm

3. Emergency Operations Center Grant Program (EOC)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecast Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 2/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $31.5 million

Purpose: The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Grant Program is intended to improve emergency management and preparedness capabilities by supporting flexible, sustainable, secure, and interoperable EOCs with a focus on addressing identified deficiencies and needs. Funding is intended for construction or renovation of a state, local, or tribal government’s principal EOC. Similar to FY10, it is expected that if EOC receives funding in FY11, a portion will be allocated via congressionally directed spending (earmark) and the remainder competitively awarded.

Eligible Applicants: SAAs apply for EOC funding on behalf of eligible state, local, and tribal EOCs.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/eoc/index.shtm

4. Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecasted Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 2/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $50 million

Purpose:
IECGP provides funding to states, territories, local, and tribal governments to carry out initiatives to improve interoperable emergency communications. All activities proposed under IECGP must be integral to interoperable emergency communications and must be aligned with the goals, objectives, and/or initiatives identified in the grantee’s approved Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP). If an SAA and SCIP certify that its state or territory has fulfilled its SCIP’s governance, planning, training, and exercise objectives, the program provides the flexibility to purchase interoperable communications equipment with any remaining IECGP funds.

Eligibility: All 56 states and territories are eligible to apply for IECGP funds. SAAs are responsible for the administration of this program. SAAs are required to coordinate with the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) and/or SCIP point of contact to ensure IECGP program requirements are met. The SAA must obligate 80 percent of the funds awarded under the IECGP to local/tribal governments within 45 days of receipt of the funds.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/iecgp/index.shtm

5. Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grants
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $75 million

Purpose: PDM is one of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs. Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. The PDM program provides funds to states, territories, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, and communities for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster event.

Eligible Applicants: The state emergency management agency or a similar office (i.e., the office that has primary emergency management or floodplain management responsibility) of each state, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible to apply. Each state, territory, or tribal government designates one agency to serve as the applicant for each HMA program.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pdm/index.shtm

6. HMGP – Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Funding Agency: FEMA/DHS
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $23 million
Purpose: Authorized under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster declaration.

Eligible Applicants: The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is only available in States following a Presidential disaster declaration. Eligible applicants are: State and local governments, Indian tribes or other tribal organizations, and certain private non-profit organizations. Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however, a community may apply on their behalf. HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem, for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project’s potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/hmgp/index.shtm

7. CDBG – Community Development Block Grants
Funding Agency: DOA (Department of Agriculture)
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $3.804 billion

Purpose: The CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to: acquisition of real property, relocation and demolition, rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures, construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes, public services, within certain limits, activities relating to energy conservation, and renewable energy resources.

Eligible Applicants: Principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s), other metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000, and qualified urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 (excluding the population of entitled cities) are entitled to receive annual grants. HUD determines the amount of each entitlement grant by a statutory dual formula which uses several objective measures of community needs, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.

For more Information: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/

8. USDA – Rural Facilities Block Grant Program
Funding Agency: DOA
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $25 million

Purpose: The Community Facilities Grant Program is typically used to fund projects under special initiatives, such as Native American community development efforts, child care centers linked with the Federal government’s Welfare-to-Work initiative, Federally-designated Enterprise and Champion Communities, and the Northwest Economic Adjustment Initiative area. In most cases, grantees are able to leverage Community Facility funds with private and state dollars to enable completion of more construction than might have otherwise been possible.

Eligible Applicants: Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments. In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms. Regarding Essential Community Facilities, the USDA Rural Development Community Programs has invested $1.2 billion in rural communities. Of the $1.2 billion in the loan portfolio, 33% was invested in rural health care, 12% in public services, 27% in public safety, 9% in cultural and educational facilities, and 4% in transportation services.

For More Information: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HCF_CF.html

10 Tips for Getting More Grants
Source: Homeland Security Today
1.    Learn as much as possible about each program to which you intend to apply.
2.    Involve others in your project but be judicious-have a purpose for their involvement.
3.    Customize each proposal to the requirements of the funder.
4.    Include only support letters that demonstrate a real commitment on the part of the sender.
5.    Get reviewers’ comments for rejected proposals and use their feedback in future proposals.
6.    Make grant seeking part of your agency’s strategy–don’t put all your eggs in one basket and look for funding from only a single program.
7.    Be specific in your budget–most foundations have generous allowances for budget length.
8.    Don’t include materials other than those specifically requested by the funder.
9.    Have an outsider edit your proposal before you submit it.
10.    Follow the funding guidance meticulously.

“New Age” Strategy
There are a number of things you can do to properly cope with these new challenges:

  • Re-educate yourselves and your governing bodies to the new landscape that exists regarding federal funding.
  • Do the research and learn what is available now for you to consider.
  • Learn what the grants will or will not fund. Look at past grants to see what they funded in previous years, and match your needs to those programs.
  • Set aside local match monies so that you can apply and more importantly, accept an award when you are offered a grant contract.
  • Adjust your budgets to eliminate using your own funding for items that grants will supply and then re-invest those monies into capital investment funds that are managed by professional money managers. This will allow you to have a 10 year replacement program for vehicles, building improvements etc. and will let you take advantage of the miracle of compound interest.
  • Stop procrastinating and quit “bellyaching” about what the other guy got and figure out what you need to do to get what you need.
  • Apply! Grants are like the lotto-you can’t win if you don’t play!

While grants can provide the “seed” money to get a project initiated, very rarely will it provide necessary to complete construction of a project. There are a multiple of other funding options that should be considered for, as we know, there is not a singular source of revenue that represents a “silver bullet.”

ADG and CPS take pride in assisting our clients and colleagues in the Public Safety Community with pursuing and achieving supplemental funding for their projects. Please consider us as a resource in your pursuits of launching these important projects.

Biographies

Ian A. Reeves, AIA is the Law Enforcement Design Specialist for Architects Design Group (ADG). Mr. Reeves received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Architecture from the University of Florida. He has dedicated his architecture career to Public Safety facility design, was the project manager for the recently completed Sarasota Police Department Headquarters and the Sanford Public Safety Facility, and has served as project manager for numerous other projects among the last ten years. Mr. Reeves is a graduate of the City of Winter Parks Citizen Police Academy and the Orange County Citizens Sheriff Academy. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Chiefs, the Florida Police Chief’s Association, and the International CPTED Association.

Jean Pierre LeBlanc joined the Center for Public Safety (CPS) as the grants researcher and coordinator. He brings a unique skill set to CPS, able to blend his years of private sector business leadership experience while working with federal government agencies. His area of expertise focuses on research and knowledge in the field of public safety grants at the state regional and federal levels for law enforcement, fire service, emergency communications, and dispatch clients. Mr. LeBlanc tracks a multitude of grants and works with ADG and CPS clients to assist them in grant awareness, applications, and management.

* The views are the authors’ own and don’t necessarily represent those of Action Target, Inc.

Range Project Spotlight: Junction City, KS Commercial Range

Action Target is widely known for constructing the toughest and most challenging shooting range projects in the world. Working together as a team allows us to overcome various obstacles we face as we design, build, and create ranges for our clients. For example, Action Target was approached by the Federal Reserve Bank to design and build a shooting range on the 17th floor of a major office building in Chicago, Illinois. When considering the noise, ventilation, and other items associated with a range, constructing a range in a skyscraper surrounded by offices was a challenge, but not an impossible task for Action Target. Through careful planning and execution, we created a .50 BMG rated shooting range complete with three lanes, stalls, and retrievers.

Action Target Builds New Commerical Range in Junction City, KSAction Target’s challenging builds don’t end there. When Chris Hart, Action Target Range Consultant of the South Central Territory, was approached with an equally challenging range project, he welcomed the opportunity by stating, “It’s not every day that you install a modern shooting range in a building from the 1800’s.”

Every commercial shooting range project requires two key elements to get it off the ground- passion and hard work. When it comes to Godfrey’s Indoor Range, Todd Godfrey had plenty of both in reserve when he embarked on this project. Todd, an officer with the Junction City Police Department, envisioned opening a commercial indoor shooting range to serve not only the citizens of Junction City and his fellow police officers, but also the soldiers stationed at neighboring Fort Riley.

In 2008, Todd toured Kansas City PD’s 30 lane tactical indoor range with ATI Midwest Range Consultant Chris Hart and Bill Provencher from Carey’s Heating and Air Conditioning, as the two companies worked together to build this range several years earlier. After viewing the range, Todd decided that Action Target was the partner to have. With a visitor’s pass from Action Target, Todd attended this year’s SHOT Show where he secured everything he needed to run his range business, from firearm distributors to inventory software (we are also happy to help all of our future range clients attend the SHOT Show with us).

Junction City, KS Commercial Range Build by ATIFor this commercial range, Todd secured some prime real estate in downtown Junction City–three vacant buildings totaling 20,000 sq-ft. on a main thoroughfare. However, this perfect location came with one catch–the building dates from the 1800’s. Building a range in a building this old would be challenging, but not impossible, for Action Target. Using ATI’s detailed range drawings, Todd began building out the structure to accept the modern range equipment. His company (yes, Todd has three jobs!), Godfrey Construction and Renovation, LLC, installed new ceiling trusses and concrete work. He also remodeled the building with a new store front that includes a luxurious lounge area for those waiting to shoot.

To accommodate the expected high volume of shooters, Todd chose Action Target’s Total Containment Trap with Dust Collection Unit, Rifle Rated Ceiling Baffles, Digital Smart Target Retrievers with SmartRange Master Control System and Level III clear Ballistic Glass Shooting Stalls. To enhance the realistic training environment, he connected the SmartRange system to his P/A system so he can broadcast sound effects such as gunfire, screaming, and sirens. The range also has police light bars to simulate felony vehicle stops. Carey’s provided a fully automated range ventilation system guaranteed to meet all OSHA and EPA regulations.

Junction City, KS Commercial Range Built by Action TargetGodfrey’s Indoor Range opened to the public on July 31, 2010 and was named Junction City’s 2010 Business of the Year within five months of opening. However, that wasn’t enough for Todd–he then got creative with his extra space and installed a state of the art 6,000 sq-ft. 3D archery range. To further service his range customers, Todd leases 4,000 sq-ft. of retail space to Quantico Tactical.

If you’re ever near exit 296 on I-70 west of Kansas City, do yourself a favor and stop by to meet Todd and his great staff and send a few rounds downrange while you’re there. Todd is currently available for consulting on range franchise opportunities and the construction of range facilities.

www.godfreysranges.com
Godfrey’s Shooting and Indoor Archery Ranges Facebook Page

Other recently completed projects include:

  • Smith & Wesson Range – Houlton, ME
  • Watts Bar Nuclear Range – TN
  • Triad Gun Source Range – NC
  • Denton County Sheriff’s Department Range – TX
  • Atlanta State Penitentiary Range – GA

Rangemaster of the Quarter – Nicholas Roberts

We were astonished at the number of submissions we received for our Rangemaster of the Quarter award. After careful consideration, Action Target is pleased to announce that Nicholas Roberts of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake, UT has been selected as Action Target’s National Rangemaster of the Quarter for Q2-2011.

The National Rangemaster of the Quarter program obtains feedback about individuals worthy of consideration from the Action Target staff, but most importantly, from other Rangemasters. These peers have a deep knowledge of the individuals being considered and play a significant role in Action Target’s selection process.

Rangemaster Roberts has been an active member of law enforcement for over 32 years and currently serves as Rangemaster for the Office of the Sheriff of Salt Lake County and the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake, UT. He oversees all firearms-related training for the following organizations:

  • Unified Police
  • Protective Services Officers of Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office
  • All the weapons-certified Corrections Officers for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office

He has also provided instruction to the following:

  • 3rd District Court Judges and Juvenile Court Judges
  • Salt Lake County Fire Department
  • Salt Lake City Division of the F.B.I.
  • Union Pacific Railroad Police
  • Salt Lake City Airport Authority Police
  • 625th Military Police Company of the Utah National Guard
  • West Valley City Police SWAT team
  • U.S. Army Special Forces
  • Weber County Sheriff’s Office
  • U.S. Coast Guard Unit small arms training program.
  • Firearm instructors and armorers for other outside law enforcement agencies

Captain Kendra L. Herlin of the Unified Police Department and the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office stated, “Rangemaster Roberts is a very proud member of the Unified Police Department and the office of the Sheriff of Salt Lake County. He represents the departments well and is a fine example of a member who has dedicated his career to public service. His passion for safety and exceptional ability for all those who train under his direction is unmatched anywhere.”

Rangemaster Roberts began his service in this field as an armorer and firearms instructor in 1978 for the Riverton City Police Department. In 1989 he was transferred to the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office Firearms unit. In 1990 through 1993 Roberts was promoted to Corporal of the Firearms Unit and served as the Firearms Unit Supervisor from 1993 to 1996. He has served as the director of the Firearms Unit and Rangemaster since September of 1996. He graduated from Session 192 of the F.B.I. National Academy in March of 1998 and is a Master Instructor for Colt LLC, Sig Sauer, Pepper Ball Tec., and Security Equipment Corp. (Sabre). As such, he protects officers throughout the country by teaching all over the United States to increase the knowledge of armorers and instructors. Roberts is also a certified NRA Instructor and was invited to Israel where he trained with I.M.I. and Sturm Ruger to develop a new police carbine.

Rangemaster Roberts also serves on the National Institute of Justice TWG regarding body armor. He was selected to sit on this board when the failure of soft body armor occurred in 2002. Rangemaster Roberts was influential in the new standards for the NIJ 06 Body armor standard throughout the law enforcement community.

Rangemaster Roberts has benefited the Office, community and surrounding states by designing and building the first environmentally safe firearms range in Utah, and has been invited to teach at both the state and federal levels. He is responsible for donations of land and continued construction of new range facilities in Salt Lake County. Furthermore, he instituted new non-lethal weapons systems for the 2002 Winter Olympics that were later used in patrol functions.

Rangemaster Roberts has been recognized for his service and training by many citizen groups. Some of these groups and individuals include U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, the Utah Law Enforcement Olympics, the Salt Lake City YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, the Murray City Civil Service Commission, the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance Board, and the Salt Lake Community Advisory Board.

Responsible for instituting training that exceeds the required legal standards of POST, Rangemaster Roberts also directs all personalized training not only on firearms, but other weapons as well. Recently, Rangemaster Roberts supervised the implementation of the training of additional firearms instructors to increase the number of instructors to trainee ratio.

With Rangemaster Robert’s extensive experience and training, he is commonly called upon as an expert witness in numerous firearms, OC, and Taser incidents involving police agencies. He has testified in front of city, county, state and federal courts. He is also considered an expert in these areas for development of new and better firearms and related products to increase the safety of officers in the field.

With such an impressive career, we want to congratulate Nicholas J. Roberts for being selected as the Q2-2011 Action Target National Rangemaster of the Quarter!

About the Rangemaster of the Quarter Program: Prior to launching this award program, Action Target spoke with many industry professionals to help establish aspects a nominee must have to qualify. Each nominee should have at least several of the following:

  • Lifetime of service/years of Service
  • Contributions to their department’s firearms training
  • Contributions to their region, state, and industry in firearms training
  • Changes to POST requirements
  • New/innovative training standards
  • New/innovative tactics
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Subject Matter Expert for firearms and/or training
  • Active resource for feedback on training, tactics, equipment, and standards
  • Partner to develop/modify equipment to enhance training effectiveness

This recognition program is not exclusive to law enforcement or Action Target customers. It is for Rangemasters of U.S. Military and Law Enforcement organizations in the U.S. Those selected for the award receive recognition in the Action Target weekly newsletter, the Action Target website, and travel to the Action Target main office to receive a personalized award.

If you would like to nominate a peer, first provide some preliminary information located at the Action Target Program Page. Second, send a letter written on your organization’s letterhead via email to Action Target’s National Rangemaster of the Quarter detailing your nomination’s qualifications and accomplishments. We look forward to getting more nominations for Quarter 3.

YouTube Training Videos with Rob Leatham

Action Target has recently released the first of five training videos on YouTube featuring world champion shooter Rob Leatham. The videos feature instruction from Rob and the drills he uses in his own training. Each video showcases a different type of steel target in Action Target’s Portable Target line.

The first video includes drills and skill demonstrations as Rob practices on the PT Plate Rack . The remaining four videos, to be released in the upcoming weeks, will emphasize how to train on other steel targets like the PT Static and PT Dueling Tree . This group of training videos was filmed at Rob’s home range located at the Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club in Mesa, AZ.Screen shot of Action Target's YouTube Channel

“The cool thing about these videos is that they are real training videos and not some promotional piece where we only talk about Action Target,” said David Mathis, Marketing Director at Action Target. “Rob shows you some of the drills he uses in his own practice, and explains the purpose and relevance of each one.”

Rob’s resume proves that these drills work. Rob began shooting in the late 70’s and soon became one of the top shooters to watch at local and national competitions. He currently holds 24 national titles, including five world titles and 16 consecutive years as the Single-Stack National Champion. A professional shooter for over 20 years, Rob currently shoots for Springfield Armory and Safariland. When Rob is not competing, he is a sought after firearms instructor for both law enforcement and military.

“Working with Rob on this was a great experience and it really showed his level of skill,” added Mathis. “Except for one or two drills later in the day when we were all hot and tired, each of the drills you see was shot in one take. Rob is just that good. And his level of understanding of the mechanics and what is going on while you are shooting matches his shooting ability.”

We are excited to bring this form of virtual firearms training to shooters around the world through the Action Target YouTube page. Whether viewed by a law enforcement officer, a casual shooter, or a serious competition shooter, these training videos are designed to help all shooters increase their skills when using a pistol.

Go to www.youtube.com/actiontarget to view the first training video with Rob. To receive updates on when other videos are released, visit the sign-up page for the free Action Target Journal newsletter or subscribe to the Action Target YouTube channel.

End of the Fiscal Year Drawing Near

With the end of this fiscal year right around the corner, now is the best time to obtain one of our innovative training solutions with your remaining budget. At Action Target, we understand that each company’s internal dynamics have different needs and time lines. That is why weapons training units, Rangemasters, firearm instructors, and others associated with their organization’s training division continually reach out to us during this critical time of year.

Action Target Conducts Firearms Training

Spending your remaining training budget at the end of a fiscal year – to minimize the risk of losing it next year – sometimes takes creativity. Last year, we worked with an agency whose training budget consisted of five different accounts. Each account had varying levels of funds still available requiring an invoice for each one. With a little strategic planning, this agency placed five different orders with Action Target that were shipped at same time but charged to their different training accounts. Our dedicated sales staff helped this agency with their complex purchase and provided them with the equipment they needed. We are ready to do the same for you.

Whatever your training needs, we have the solution. If you are under a significant time constraint, we can help. Call us today and let our sales staff help you maximize your remaining budgets by providing the best training solutions available.

For an immediate purchase, visit our online store: www.shopactiontarget.com

Our current online specials:

For product requests not available through our online store, please contact the Range Consultant for your geographic territory. They will work with you to stretch those last few budget dollars into your training solution.

Go online or call today!

AT Plate Rack for Only $899

During the entire month of August, we are offering our AT Plate Rack for only $899 as part of our Target of the Month program! This offer is available at the Action Target Store or by contacting the Territory Manager for your region.

RTS Static Target Package

Regular Price: $999
August’s Price: $899
Coupon Code: RACKDEAL2011

Don’t wait any longer! Purchase your AT Plate Rack today. Visit our Action Target Online Store and use the appropriate coupon code to receive your discount. Offer ends August 31, 2011. Only one coupon code may be used per order.

Action Target Releases New Catalogs

Having a diverse line of firearms products for personal and training uses can be challenging as needs among the firearms industry are ever changing. That is why Action Target continually creates new products and forms partnerships with the top companies in the firearms industry. To help educate our customers about all Action Target changes, we recently released new catalogs showcasing our new products and partners.

At Shot Show 2011, Action Target received thousands of visitors to our booth. The size and impressive layout of our booth were not the only things that caught people’s attention this year – the introduction of many new products and partners took center stage during this year’s show. One of the most popular products this year was the Hufcor Flex Tact reconfigurable shoothouse technology. Great for law enforcement, military, and firefighters, many people were able to experience this innovative training tool firsthand through actual demonstration.

The Action Target Portable Target (PT) also unveiled some new product lines. Prior to the Shot Show, Action Target partnered with Reactive Target System (RTS), making us their exclusive worldwide product distributor. Some of the many benefits of the RTS system include the ability to use the targets for close quarter live fire trainings, to the ability to count every round on target with the Mobile Wireless Shooting Range.

New partnerships and products like these are one of the many reasons Action Target wants to put our new catalogs into the hands of our valued customers. Now available at our web site, our new catalogs include:

For more information about Action Target’s full line of products and services visit our web site, www.actiontarget.com. To purchase Action Target products for drop shipment direct to your U.S. range or facility, shop online at www.shopactiontarget.com . For all other range-related needs, visit our subsidiary website at Law Enforcement Targets.

Action Target at the Bianchi Cup

Action Target, Inc. recently upgraded the target systems used at this year’s NRA/Midway USA Bianchi Cup match range in Columbia, MO. This year’s upgrade was completed as part of Action Target’s sponsorship of this prestigious championship, preserving the long standing relationship Action Target has with this event.

Nearly 20 years ago, Action Target’s Co-Founder, Addison Sovine, traveled to the Bianchi Cup to install new target systems at the Chapman Academy Ranges. Since then, Action Target equipment has powered all the range systems for this event.

“I remember when we first arrived at the range, Ray Chapman took a look at what we were doing and you could tell he was a bit skeptical,” said Sovine, recounting his first year at the Bianchi Cup. “But by the end of the week, everything had worked great, Ray was convinced, and he and I became good friends.”

Even though Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club has taken over range operations, Action Target continues to provide the target systems for both the range and the Bianchi Cup. This year, Action Target upgraded the turning target systems on the Practical and Barricade ranges by including a new control system that retains compatibility with the previous shot-timer controls while adding the option of computer or wireless controls for the future.

Action Target also manufactured new steel plates for the Falling Plate and Colt Speed events. They also upgraded the control system for the Falling Plate event. This event was controlled by a computer for the first time this year.

In addition to the main event ranges, Action Target provided a new Reactive Target System (RTS) to the Bushmaster Tactical Carbine side match and new portable plate racks to the Bianchi Cup Practice Range. RTS targets are designed from a self-healing polymer capable of receiving several thousand rounds each and also features an electronic scoring system to record hits on each of the targets.

“It’s been a great privilege for us to be involved with the Bianchi Cup. This is one of the longest running championships in the shooting world and Action Target is honored to be able to add our name to the list of organizations that support and sponsor the match,” stated attendee David Mathis, Director of Marketing at Action Target. “The match has operated with Action Target systems for years and we plan to continue our support to keep the Bianchi Cup going for many years to come.”

In addition to being the official target sponsor of this year’s match, Action Target also sponsored the Women’s Award with Jessie Abbate winning the Women’s Championship.

Dave Mathis and Jessie Abbate
Director of Marketing for Action Target, Inc. David Mathis with the 2011 Women’s Champion, Jessie Abbate.

Outdoor Shooting Done Right with Action Target

Summer has arrived! To complement these long sunny days and make outdoor shooting even better, Action Target is offering multiple products for July’s Target of the Month program!

Setting up targets for outdoor shooting can be a daunting and exhausting task. Most outdoor setup requires carrying heavy targets across uneven terrain to set up a single shot. That is why we are proud to offer our exclusive self-healing target line by Reactive Target Systems (RTS). These systems are light and easy to assemble, making shooting outdoors more enjoyable.

Our RTS targets are not only great for outdoor use but they are also the best close quarter combat targets for live fire training scenarios. In addition, they can be placed in front of steel targets with no splatter, making them great for indoor range use. During the entire month of July, we are offering our RTS Static Packages at a discounted price:

RTS Static Target Package

  • 1 Target Torso
  • 1 Target Pole
  • 1 Target Base

RTS Static Target Package

Regular Package Price: $140
July’s Price: $115
Coupon Code: JulyRTSStatic

RTS Reactive Target Package

  • 1 Target Torso
  • 1 Target Pole
  • 1 Target Base
  • 1 Smart Joint

RTS Reactive Target Package

Regular Package Price: $185
July’s Price: $150
Coupon Code: JulyRTSReactive

AT Torso Collection

To ensure a perfect target visual, we offer our Torso Targets in six different vibrant colors.

Don’t wait any longer! Purchase your RTS targets today. Visit our Action Target Online Store and use the appropriate coupon code to receive your discount. Offer ends July 31, 2011. Only one coupon code may be used per order.

Discount Prices on RTS Packages

During the entire month of July, we are offering our RTS Static Packages at discounted prices as part of our Target of the Month program! This offer is available at the Action Target Store or by contacting the Territory Manager for your region.

RTS Static Target Package

RTS Static Target Package

  • 1 Target Torso
  • 1 Target Pole
  • 1 Target Base

Regular Package Price: $140
July’s Price: $115
Coupon Code: STATICSRTS

RTS Reactive Target Package

RTS Reactive Target Package

  • 1 Target Torso
  • 1 Target Pole
  • 1 Target Base
  • 1 Smart Joint

Regular Package Price: $185
July’s Price: $150
Coupon Code: RTSREACTIVES

AT Torso Collection

To ensure a perfect target visual, we offer our Torso Targets in six different vibrant colors.

Don’t wait any longer! Purchase your RTS targets today. Visit our Action Target Online Store and use the appropriate coupon code to receive your discount. Offer ends July 31, 2011. Only one coupon code may be used per order.

New Features for Action Target Website

We received some great feedback following the launch of our new Action Target web site a few months ago. We know that the firearms industry is constantly growing and developing new ideas, products and solutions, which is why we are continually improving and adding new features and offers on our site.

Screenshot of the new Action Target Home Page

These great new features include:

Search: Have you ever wondered if our Action Target Journal has an article discussing a specific question or training need you may have? Or maybe you are looking for a certain target but are not sure which category it is under? To make navigating through our site easier, we have added the search bar to the top of every page to help you find the information you want faster. → Search for Action Target Journal Articles

Home Page: Another way we’ve made navigation easier is by updating our Home Page. The new Home Page design provides access to our three most recent Action Target Journal articles. There are also new scrolling boxes that contain information and specifications about recent Action Target builds, highlight featured products and feature our high-quality range products. A scrolling ticker also informs of recent Action Target and industry news. All of this information is just one click away when you visit www.actiontarget.com. → Visit the Home Page

Webinar: Action Target now presents webinars, or free online trainings. Each webinar is highly informative and entertaining, presented by various experts on topics that help you have the most successful range and training programs possible. Our recent webinar introduced the Total Containment Trap. During the webinar, Addison Sovine (co-founder of Action Target, Inc.) gave critical information and tips for those considering a new bullet trap, answered common questions concerning bullet traps, presented an overview of the Total Containment Trap, and explained why Action Target is an invaluable partner in shooting range planning and construction. Our Online Training page also provides information about upcoming trainings and hosts archived videos of past webinars. → Visit our Online Trainings Page

Partners Page: At Action Target, our top priority is to provide high quality firearms training products and solutions. To ensure this high level of standard in all we do, we have taken great care to only partner with companies that uphold these same standards. We are proud to be partners with some of the greatest companies in this industry and we look forward to working with you to provide the best shooting range equipment and training solutions available in today’s market. To get to know our partners better, visit our Partners Page where you can access their web sites and other great sources of information in the “Links of Interest” section. → Visit the Partners Page

Careers Page: Be a part of our team! Action Target is built around a team of proven executives, skilled engineers and machinists, dedicated sales representatives and tireless customer service technicians. Our team has passionate, knowledgeable and skilled people who are creative and driven to develop innovative new firearms training technology and support in this industry. Now you can be a part of our team by visiting our Careers Page and applying for open positions today! → Visit the Careers Page

Programs Page: We have added a new page devoted to our exclusive Action Target programs. Currently there are two programs, the Brass, Ammo & Firearms Trade-In Program. Check back soon as we will be adding more programs in the near future. → Visit the Programs Page

Online Contact Form: In addition to providing contact information for all of our Territory Managers, we have provided another easy way to contact us – our Online Contact Form. Submit your question, comment, or praise, and we’ll get back to you quickly. →Visit the Online Contact Form

We are incredibly excited about the new changes we have made and we will continue to add more features to ensure the best online experience possible for our customers. If you have any feedback regarding our improved site, we want to hear from you! Simply leave a comment telling us what else you would love to see on our site, what you like about our new design or anything else you want to address.