NRA’s American Rifleman Tests the AWD Pro
Training With the Action Target AWD Range System
by B. Gil Horman – Wednesday, February 22, 2017 (Via AmericanRifleMan.Org)
Although we spend a good deal of time discussing firearms and ammunition on this site, they wouldn’t be all that interesting to own without quality shooting ranges where we can exercise our rights. One company that’s often overlooked by the average shooter for its important contribution to the industry is Action Target of Provo, Utah.
Founded in 1986, Action Target started out by providing a pneumatic turning-target system for the Provo Police Department to use for training its officers. Over the years, this company has developed top-grade range technology favored by military and law enforcement around the world.
If you attend SHOT Show, you’ll find that Action Target takes up a section of floor space more like a city block than a booth slot. Today’s in-house options from Action Target include a variety of equipment such as portable interactive steel targets, eco-friendly bullet traps and entire training structures like the ALERRT shoot house. A tour of its production facility revealed just how much steel the company processes into range equipment.
As much as we can appreciate the services and facilities that help keep our country’s service personnel sharp, most of us will never get to use them. I wanted to learn more about how Action Target is tackling the training needs of John Q. Public. To answer this question, I was invited to company headquarters where I was introduced to the AWD Range System, one of the more advanced options currently installed at commercial indoor ranges.
The AWD, or All Wheel Drive target support (called a target retriever), was just one part of the complete set of furniture at the test range I visited. The shooting stalls, ceiling-mounted rails, noise abatement, bullet trap and ventilation were all selected from Action Target Offerings. These elements all came together to form a professional grade, clean-lined shooting environment that was comfortable and convenient to use.
Traditional square ranges, which wheel paper targets back and forth, are useful for developing important marksmanship skills such as forming a sight picture, trigger press and reloading. Paper targets also have the advantage of being fairly inexpensive. However, back-and-forth targets don’t offer much more than that. Even the most devoted shooting enthusiast can, at times, find traditional square ranges to be a little tedious.
The AWD system employs the rail-mounted target retriever paired with a programmable, wireless touch-screen control pad. The retriever is fast, smooth and quiet, traveling at up to four yards per second. It’s also accurate, consistently stopping along the rail within 0.5″ of its programmed position. The retriever’s paper-target clamp is motorized to rotate 360 degrees. This allows it to display the front, back and side edge of the target toward the shooter and present a variety of shoot/don’t shoot configurations as the target changes locations.
What makes the AWD system such an interesting and useful update to square-range shooting is software programmed into the wireless touch control. To keep folks engaged, it’s preloaded with more than two dozen different games and drills developed by professional instructors. Beginner, intermediate and advanced formats are available for pistols and rifles. The Pistol Qualification Drills can be used by civilians or law enforcement to practice using standardized qualification scenarios. The personal-defense programs provide self-guided training with charging, reload and decision-making drills, while the game programs keep things interesting.
One of the system’s programmed behaviors that was refreshing and challenging to work with is called a “tease” function. There are times that when the target is turned edgewise, it will twitch as if it’s about to turn, but then it doesn’t. In other words, it tries to fake you out once in a while! If you’re too quick on the trigger you’ll send a round hurdling downrange into empty space.
The AWD’s programmable controls and the option to use a wide variety of different paper targets make the system one of the most flexible indoor shooting experiences available. Using a duty-size Smith & Wesson M&P 9 mm pistol provided by the staff, I started off with a basic shoot/don’t shoot drill with the target stopping, turning to face me and then moving further away for the next series of shots. Simple exercises are a great place to start for the beginner or to get warmed up.
Then we switched over to an intermediate skills drill using a target with much smaller round strike zones. The target’s face times were much shorter, varied in length, and the target would tease me from time to time. This was much more challenging. For those ranges that choose to add it, the system includes advanced lighting features. Choose from a constant on “daylight” white light, or low-light situations that include simulated muzzle flashes or police-car strobe lights.
The shooting session wrapped up with self-defense scenarios, which can provide a real eye-opening experience. Unlike most ranges, where the targets usually rest a good ways out, the AWD can be programmed to drive a paper target straight toward the shooter at high speed to simulate the charge of an assailant. In my case, we used an image of an attacker wielding a knife. I caught myself “rubber necking” with this target a couple of times.
When drivers become focused on an accident at the side of the road, their hands will turn the steering wheel toward that spot, causing the car to drift out of its lane. As the target charged me from several yards away, I had a few shots drift from center to the left side of the target as it rushed up to me. That’s where the knife was, over on the left side. As the threat drew closer, I let my attention drift from center mass to the knife. As a result, the shot placement followed. Details like these can only be learned through personal experience.
The Action Target AWD system has been installed at commercial shooting ranges all around the country. Just follow this link and use the map at the bottom of the page to locate a facility near you. And as long as you’re on the site, take a few minutes to look over the top-notch selection of portable steel targets the company offers as well.
DUEL RUNNING MAN PRO
ACTION TARGET LAUNCHES THE DRM PRO,
DELIVERING AN ADVANCED RUNNING MAN TRAINING SYSTEM.
PROVO, Utah – September 26, 2016 – Action Target INC., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, is pleased to announce the launch of the Dual Running Man Pro, the most powerful and feature-rich running man system ever designed.
The DRM Pro boasts 3HP motors, ultra-wear resistant pulleys, speeds up to 20 fps, realistic acceleration, and an easy to use control interface for use on tablets and mobile phones. The DRM Pro uses two lateral traveling, non-turning target carriers capable of moving independently from one another because they are mounted on two separate tracks that run parallel to each other.
The DRM Pro includes industry leading technology, with added features such as built-in Wi-Fi, easy to use control interface that runs on a tablet or smart phone. The DRM Pro integrates with our range control software for advanced features and functionality. All components of the DRM Pro are IP54 compliant for year-round outdoor and indoor use. The DRM Pro is capable of traveling at variable speeds, up to 20 feet per second, which allows for a more advanced target acquisition training. The DRM Pro boasts high precision encoders to ensure target positions are accurate to within 6 inches. The modular ratcheting mechanism on the DRM Pro make cable tensioning quick and easy.
The DRM Pro is the perfect running man training system because it allows users to advance their training by having duel targets moving independent of one another. This allows trainers to designate one as a non-shoot and the other as a target. This will add stress and reality to training scenarios, allowing the user to develop and improve their decision making skills.
For more information about the DRM Pro or to purchase yours today, call 801-377-8033
ALL WHEEL DRIVE PRO
Action Target Elevates Shooting with New Retriever
PROVO, Utah – Action Target Inc., the leading manufacturer of shooting ranges, today announced its release of the All Wheel Drive (AWD) Pro: a new target retriever proven to take ranges to the next level.
The wireless AWD Pro retriever is the most engaging and robust retriever on the market. It features a modern, easy to use interface with 27 addicting games and training scenarios for all skill levels. These programs offer shooters an unparalleled experience, improving both novice and expert shooters and keeping them at the range longer.
“Shooting at a static target is no longer sufficient to engage this new generation of shooters. They expect more from their equipment and are looking for an entertaining experience. The AWD Pro engages shooters like never before, with its intuitive interface, self-guided shooting scenarios and easy-to-setup drills. Not only will shooters benefit from this new equipment, but the range will as well,” said Jesse Nelson an Action Target Product Marketing Manager.
The AWD Pro was recently installed at Nashville Armory in Nashville, Tennessee, where shooters were ecstatic with the update. After the installation, ammunition consumption increased over 23% and 89% of shooters said they enjoyed the new retriever over traditional range equipment. Another interesting statistic was that over 80% of shooters interviewed said they would drive farther and pay more to use the new equipment over traditional range equipment.
These numbers can be attributed to the addicting shooting scenarios the AWD Pro offers. These preloaded games and drills were developed by leading firearms trainers and challenge every shooter no matter their skill level. Whether shooters are trying to improve their previous score on a drill or are competing with their friends with one of the games, shooters will find themselves using more ammunition and feeling more satisfied when they leave the range. Plus, the fun environment of competing with friends on challenging drills adds an element that shooting ranges have lacked in the past and will keep shooters coming back for more.
The AWD Pro’s friendly touch screen user interface also plays a part in the new shooter experience. With its intuitive and engaging design, users are able to control more including: shooting distance, stall lighting, target lighting, target behavior, time drills and more. All of these features give the shooters more freedom, putting them in charge of their experience at the range.
“This product is just one of many future developments that testifies of Action Target’s long-term commitment to developing the shooter’s experience as well as breathing new technology and innovation into the shooting range industry. We are convinced the AWD Pro will meet the needs of today’s shooters by promoting skill building, competition and an overall higher engagement with the shooting sports,” said Kevin Tomaszewski, Action Target’s Vice President of Marketing and Engineering.
The AWD Pro gives shooters a whole new experience of improving their shooting skills while having a good time, making it the reason ranges with the AWD Pro will become the go to destination. To learn more about the AWD Pro visit link: www.actiontarget.com/products/awd_pro.
Trending: Women and Shooting Sports
“For the gun industry, women are the next big thing… Gun industry courts women with pink guns.” These are just a few headlines that have appeared in the news lately. The rise of women in the shooting sports industry has been a popular topic recently, as female participation in the sport continues to increase.
Recent numbers from the NSSF stated that nearly 80% of gun retailers reported an increase in female customers in 2012. In Florida, 22% of the concealed carry permits are held by women. In Texas, women hold 28% of concealed carry permits, up sevenfold in the last 10 years.
According to the NSSF, the women’s market is a very real one, and it is growing, untapped, and undeveloped. The retailer who meets the demand for specialized equipment will find a group of enthusiastic, supportive buyers as well as loyal customers. The industry has already seen an increase in businesses servicing this demographic as more products are released with women in mind. Custom gun cases, smaller frame pistols, accessories dressed up with bling or pink, all of these products are created to target the female market.
Some marketers have the philosophy that the products need to be pink or glitter to attract women, while others are focusing more on the gun design or an increase in friendliness and customer service. While one idea or product might not be appealing to 100 percent of women, they can all find something to appreciate in the industry’s new initiative to tailor products to their wants and needs. In turn, most businesses and organizations are discovering women are a driving force in the industry, and listening to them yields positive results.
Many shooting ranges across the country have weekly ladies nights or host chapters of women’s gun clubs. One shooting range owner said 47 percent of his customers are women. He says women are a large part of the sport’s growing population, and it’s important their opinions are heard and they are taken care of.
Organizations have also been created to advocate women’s participation in shooting sports. Many of them have Facebook and Twitter accounts with a large following and relevant content. For most of these organizations, education and empowerment are the driving purposes. Karen Butler, founder of Shoot Like a Girl, realized the number of women involved in the shooting sports was growing, but felt like there were still factors limiting a woman’s development in the sport. Butler felt like there needed to be more opportunities for women to try equipment that fit in a safe environment. Shoot Like a Girl is just one example of the many organizations that have given women a voice and a place within the shooting sports industry.
As the shooting sports industry continues to grow, women look to be a key factor in the sport’s constant development. The retailers and businesses that see women as a valuable sector of their customer base will find new growth and a group of customers who want to be educated and skillful in shooting sports.
Please note, the tips included in this message have been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.