Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Alabama has become the first public school in the nation to have electronic air rifle target systems installed in their Army JROTC air rifle range.
Their dream for a new range started a couple of years ago after school and JROTC leaders visited the Tom Lowe Olympic Shooting Complex near Atlanta to see first hand the electronic target systems that were installed there for the 1996 Olympic Games shooting competitions. LTC Dave Sutton, Senior Army Instructor, members of the school administration and JROTC unit staff spent time with Duane Tallman, Maintenance Supervisor for the Olympic shooting facility. They examined the target systems and toured the facility. The possibility of having a planned addition for the JROTC department to their school that would include a shooting range with state of the art target systems was about to become reality.
One of the disadvantages of the conventional electronic target system is that the targets remain at a fixed 1.4 meters height. To shoot three-position air rifle events on fixed targets, it is necessary to fire the prone and kneeling positions from tables. Planning for the new Enterprise range led to the development of motorized target elevators that would allow the targets, not the shooters, to be adjusted to the correct height for each of the three shooting positions. This innovation promised to make the Enterprise range a true premier facility.
Pictures accompanying this article illustrate how the motorized target elevators work. A motor-driven carriage travels up and down an aluminum stand to position the target at the prescribed height for the position chosen. Controls to make these position changes can be operated from the firing line so that no one has to go downrange to make the adjustments. There were also special stands to bring the monitor and controls closer to the shooter in each position. This was done with a constant force spring system that offset the weight of the monitor and controls so that manually lifting and lowering the monitor requires little or no effort. The complete system also includes TV monitors for each target that are mounted in a ready area where they can be viewed by spectators.
October 20, 2004 was the history-making completion day for the 18-point range and the installation of its target systems. Members of the Enterprise Army JROTC Rifle Team fired test shots on each target to assure that every new target was operational. The official “First Shot Ceremony” will be conducted in the near future to honor and mark the beginning of an incredible accomplishment by a public school district.
Martin Edmondson Enterprises was privileged to be a part of this exciting shooting range development by being chosen to provide the International Shooting Sports Federation approved electronic targets made by SPIETH Target Systems in Germany. Tim Conrad, Front Range Design and I developed and manufactured the target elevators and monitor stands that were installed in the new range.
The new range and target systems will make it possible for JROTC cadets to spend more time in actual firing exercises, the cadets will be using electronic targets that make their marksmanship endeavors so much more exciting and enjoyable and the JROTC instructors can spend more time teaching marksmanship and less time on administrative tasks like changing and scoring targets. The Enterprise High School Army JROTC plans to run local, state and regional competitions on their new facility so that junior shooters in the southeast can also have the opportunity to fire on these targets. They also want to host training camps and even national team training. Any schools or clubs interested in participating in events at Enterprise High School should contact LTC Sutton at 334-393-2338 to work out details or just to congratulation him and his staff setting an incredibly high standard for high school air rifle ranges of the future.
Anyone interested in electronic targets or other international style range equipment should contact Martin Edmondson at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719-351-1135 (mobile).