Targetvision Short Range Wireless Spotting Scope Review

At SHOT Show 2014 I met Clay Rhoden one of the co-founders of TARGETVISION at media day at the range. Having just finished reviewing a similar short range target camera viewing system, I was interested in seeing what TARGETVISION had done differently. Two of the most noticeable things I first saw was that it was a self contained camera and wireless transmitter housed in a plastic tube vs. the tool box the other company uses. The other thing was the HD camera that they use.

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There were three items total that were shipped to me. The camera system, the charging cord and a small tripod that the camera screws into. This means there isn’t much to misplace. This is a big thing for me since I carry a large amount of gear to the range.

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When I first used the camera, the picture (seen below) was blurry. I called the company from the range and spoke with Clay at TARGETVISION. He, at first, thought it might have been a defective camera. After a couple of conversations, he wanted me to try some different things before we shipped it back. In the meantime, for whatever reason, the camera recalibrated itself when we got home and the next week we had a very clear and crisp video.

At the range
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A week later.

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I am a red blooded male and I admit I do not like to read manuals. As a reviewer, I admit, I should know better. TARGETVISION sent not one, but TWO guides. The 19 page manual and birthday card size quick start guide. Again, I did not read either of them and I thought more was wrong with the camera than really was. The camera tube is meant to be 10-15 feet away from the target and off to the side so you do not shoot it. We were use to my other system, which sits about 6 feet away from the target. Don’t be like me and skip reading the important information TARGETVISION sends you. It is not because they want to send you one more booklet for you to lose but so you know how to use your $595 targeting system.

Setting the System

As you can see in the pictures, there are no wires you have to mess with. The TARGETVISION System is pretty much turn the device on, connect to the devices to wifi, open the app and shoot.

App

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I used the system on my iPhone 4s, 6 and my android (don’t judge me) tablet. The system worked great across all three devices. I do prefer to use the tablet over the phones simply because of the larger screen.

Overall Thoughts

I am a big tech fan and I like seeing how new technology is helping me become a better reviewer and better shooter as we have more and more things to assist in giving us instant data to get the round on target better and faster.

I have to note that when the TARGETVISION system is sitting in a 100 yard long wind tunnel with 12 foot high walls of steel belted radial tires the camera does not always connect quickly or stay connected. I don’t spend much time in them so it wasn’t really a problem but it was worth noting. This has to do with how wifi signal carries and not the device.

A feature I would like to see is integration of a ballistic calculator in the app. Also on that note, I would like to see more community involvement so integration can be like the health app on the iPhone which allows you to better track your health with different devices all in one app.  The more data we can share all in one place the better and safer shooters we all become.

TARGETVISION is one of the companies who first had a product like this. I liked the camera for 3 reasons: It was easy to set up, easy to use, and all self contained. Being able to mark your shots is important but it is a feature on the other cameras so it doesn’t play as much of a factor into my review as that is the norm.

Poll: What Type Of Target Do You Use?

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Poll sponsored by OmahaTargets.com

Video: Jerry Miculek shooting 1000 yards with a Barrett .50BMG in 2 seconds

Jerry Miculek is fun to watch. He is always trying to make cool trick shots that are just incredible feats. I had to watch this video twice to understand what happened. He was using the balloon as an aiming point and not as a target. The reason for the balloon popping is the splatter from the .50 hitting the steel plate. I am fascinated by how people are pushing the envelope of what people thought was possible.

Magpul dynamics is teaching people to take .308, which we thought to only have a max effective yardage out to 800-1000 yard and they are pushing them out to 1200+. For those of you who believe you can take this shot with ease like he did, I challenge you to pull off his 9mm revolver stunt and hit the steel plate at 1000 yards.

 

VIDEO TUESDAY!!! TAOFLEDERMAUS Experimental Shotgun Rounds

 

TAOFLEDERMAUS back at it working with his experimental 12G shotgun shells. I do not advocate that ANYONE mimics or tries what he does with testing these experimental rounds but I do think it is an interesting thing to watch. Something I would personally love to see is the inside of that Mossberg barrel. He has shot some rather strange items through it and I am curious how it has stood up to that.

New Magpul Black Book data precision rifle data books.

A short look at the Magpul Dynamics™ Precision Rifle Data Book & Precision Rifle Quick Reference Cards

Magpul Dynamics™ Precision Rifle Data Book 2.0

 

Magpul Dynamics™ Precision Rifle Data Book 2.0 (Open)

Magpul Dynamics™ Precision Rifle Data Book & Precision Rifle Quick Reference Cards

Magpul Dynamics™ Precision Rifle Quick Reference Cards

Magpul Dynamics™ Precision Rifle Quick Reference Cards (Open)

Walther Arms– Colt Government 1911 A1 Rail Gun .22lr Review

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Caliber:   .22 Long Rifle
Mag Capacity:    10 or 12 rounds
Weight w/out Mag:    2.25 lbs
Overall Length:    8.6 in
Barrel Length:    5 in
Barrel Twist:    1 in 13-3/4 in
Grooves:    6
Operation:    Blowback
Trigger:    Single Action, 5.5 lbs
Rear Sight:    Drift Adjustable
Front Sight:    Removable, Drift Adjustable
Safety:    Manual Thumb Safety, Grip Safety, Disconnector
Extractor:    Internal + Pinned Ejector
Muzzle Thread:    M8x.75mm

 

Last year I reviewed the Colt Government 1911 A1 .22lr that was made by Carl Walther and distributed by Walther Arms (distributed by Umerex when the review was written). At SHOT 2013 Walther introduced the FDE 1911 Rail gun.

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I wanted to get my hands on one to review so I contacted Walther a few months back to see if we could review the FDE (Flat Dark Earth) but due to a shipping error we got the black rail gun instead (same gun just different paint jobs).

Short history of the name:

The Colt 1911 as suggested by the name was formally adopted by the US Army March of 1911 and given the designation M1911.

Looks:

Since this is a replica of the real 1911, Walther made this gun to look and feel like a full .45 ACP 1911 straight down to the weight which matches the the real colt rail gun.

I think the 1911 is a work of art that has clearly passed the test of time.

Feel:

The gun is not made of plastic so it doesn’t feel like a toy in your hand. This feels like a real Colt 1911 because it is one. 

Price:

The Colt 1911 Rail Gun chambered in .45ACP retails for around $1,200 where as the Walther Colt Rail Gun chambered in .22LR MSRP is $449.99 for the black and $499.99 for the flat dark earth.

.22 Caliber:

The .22 caliber 1911 has a few benefits really worth talking about.

1. You can train with the .22 version at the range if you plan to carry a full frame 1911 and not worry about spending the $18 for a box of 50 .45acps

2. You can train with use of a new laser or flashlight that you plan to attach to your full frame 1911 rail gun.

3. Smaller children can shoot this gun without worrying that the recoil is going to hurt them.

4. .22 LR is a fun round to shoot all day without worrying about how much it is costing you.

Shooting:

This gun shot every type of .22LR rounds that we could find without malfunction.  I really enjoy going to the range with this gun.  It feels like a real Colt 1911. 

Overall Thoughts:

The 1911 is one of my favorite pistols of all time.

The Walther Colt 1911-22 is a great addition to anyone’s collection who is looking for a quality .22 version of the iconic 1911.

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Bullseye Camera System

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SwedishPhish338 sent us this link (Bulleye Camera System review) to check out and I have to say this is a really cool system.

The Bullseye Camera System is designed for shooters and archers to help them track their shots.

Tannerite: Anatomy of a Binary Exploding Rifle Target

Anatomy of a Binary Exploding Rifle Target

Tannerite® paints picture of the category it created

Pleasant Hills, OR (August 9, 2013) – Long-range target shooters are perennially challenged. With a squinted eye, spendy spotting scope or long anxious walk down the firing range, they discover either punctured paper and a bull’s-eye or an unharmed target. An earthly poof of dust, of course, nulls the need to examine the target – um, that’d be called a swing and miss.

Dan Tanner wasn’t satisfied with the paper or the poof. With a clever mind and dogged persistence, the Oregonian and Arkansas native set off to create a target that would clearly (and audibly) reveal long distance rifle hits. Tanner sought out to produce something that triggered the senses of sight and sound but without any byproduct risk of it causing a fire.

So he developed the first binary rifle target. And with a background in mixing elements and catalyzing reactions, it was natural to stir-in a geological “ite” and concoct the name Tannerite®, the brand.

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Life

It’s good to be first. But along with being an inventor, a pioneer, comes the eventual blow of being copied. Far less ingenious sorts bust out the smoke and mirrors in hopes of capitalizing on innovation with only profit margins in mind. Consumers, ultimately, become the casualty.

Because this dreaded down spiraling process is underway, it’s prudent to describe, in detail, the original exploding target, Tannerite®. We surely can’t guarantee what other ingredients the competition blends in, but we can say with certainty what goes into the first and safest binary exploding targets, Tannerite®.

THE ANATOMY LESSON

Before discussing the anatomy of a binary exploding target, we should examine explosives and propellants in general.  Virtually all explosives and propellants such as black powder and smokeless powders are comprised of two components; an oxidizer and a fuel.

In many explosives such as nitroglycerin, TNT, RDX, and HMX, the oxidizer and fuel are part of the same molecule. These one-part systems are extensively used for civilian and military applications. The second class of explosives and propellants are those in which the oxidizer and fuel are different chemicals that must be mixed to form an explosive composition. Examples of these include black powder, binary exploding rifle targets, and variety of ammonium nitrate-containing formulations used in commercial blasting.

Binary exploding rifle targets intended for use with high powered center-fire rifles were invented and patented by Daniel J. Tanner of Pleasant Hill, Oregon. These targets employ ammonium nitrate for the oxidizer. Ammonium nitrate is a very interesting chemical as it contains both an oxidizer (the nitrate component) and a fuel (the ammonia component) in the same compound. Fortunately, it is extremely difficult to initiate the reaction (explosion) of these two components which gives ammonium nitrate the stability to be used in a variety of industrial applications.

Binary exploding rifle targets take advantage of the ability of aluminum to make ammonium nitrate more sensitive to detonation. In the case of these targets, the aluminum can be considered a catalyst which provides a lower-energy pathway to initiate a detonation. The energy required to detonate is low enough to be useful as a shot indicator, but high enough to safely handle the mixed composition. This is the basis for Tannerite® brand binary exploding rifle targets.

Detonation of the target is initiated by impact of a bullet fired from a center fire rifle. The bullet should be approximately 40 grains or larger travelling at 2000 ft/sec or higher. Note that a pointed bullet will be a better initiator than a blunt bullet since the energy provided is concentrated to a very small area. The bullet impact provides sufficient energy to initiate a reaction between aluminum and ammonium nitrate that results in detonation of the composition. This detonation is a very energetic process and binary targets should be treated with respect. Be sure that all observers are over 100 yards away from the target and that no foreign objects are in close proximity to the target that could serve as a source of shrapnel.

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Life

Factors Affecting Target Performance

The major factors affecting binary exploding rifle target performance include the purity of the components, the particle size of the components, the ratio of oxidizer to catalyst, and the uniformity of the mixed composition – Tannerite® brand target formulation is precise in all instances. Changes in any of the aforementioned factors will affect the chemical pathway taken during detonation which can result in fires, increased energy required for detonation, and sound amplitude variations. In addition, the stability of the mixed composition could be compromised.  A properly formulated and mixed binary rifle target will provide a loud report; will consistently detonate on bullet impact; will not start fires; and will be safe to handle. The use of impure ammonium nitrate or aluminum, wide variability in ammonium nitrate and aluminum particle sizes, the wrong ratio of aluminum to ammonium nitrate, and poor mixing can lead to targets that may start fires, may be less safe to handle, and have erratic performance. Again, the Tannerite® brand target formulation is precise. 

Safety Essentials When Using Binary Targets

Given the above discussions, we recommend the following guidelines for a safe and fun experience with binary targets.

  1. Treat all binary targets with respect. Misuse of binary targets could result in serious injuries or death.
  2. To ensure a homogeneous composition, be sure to use a mixing container – Tannerite® comes complete with a mixing container.
  3. Place ½ and 1 lb targets down range at least 100 yards before shooting. Place 2 lb targets 200 yards down range before shooting.
  4. Do not shoot targets larger than 2 lbs.
  5. Remember that the legal use of these targets is as a shot indicator only.
  6. Mix the targets at the range and shoot them immediately. Do not transport, store, or sell the mixed composition unless you have the appropriate explosives endorsements. 
  7. Always wear shooting glasses and hearing protection when shooting.
  8. Be sure to use in a remote area only and respect the adjoining property owner’s right to tranquility.
  9. While Tannerite® brand binary rifle targets will not start fires; many knock-off brands of binary exploding rifle targets are poorly formulated and use lower quality materials that may start fires.
  10. Never place these targets on any surface that could produce shrapnel or within another object.

A Plea for Common Sense

Given the popularity of binary exploding targets, there are a huge number of shooters using these targets in a safe and fun manner. There are, however, users doing unwise things with these targets. Please be sure to use these targets as a shot indicator only and away from populated areas. Continued misuse of these targets may result in restrictions on their use. The future of these targets is in your hands, so please use them properly.

The Tannerite® Advantage

We would like to point out that Tannerite® brand binary exploding rifle targets are the original and the best available. They are properly formulated, use only the highest quality explosives grade ammonium nitrate and pyrotechnic grade aluminum powder, and will not start fires. The safety of the mixed composition has been demonstrated by Myth Busters, and is the best selling binary rifle target on the market today.  Remember that the easiest way to ensure safety is to use genuine Tannerite® brand targets. There is a misconception today that the chemical composition used in all exploding targets is a chemical called “Tannerite” and this is not the case. Tannerite® is the registered trademark for Tannerite® brand binary rifle targets. 

We wish you good, and safe, shooting.   

ABOUT Tannerite®

Tannerite® brand targets employ a binary explosive used as a shot indicator for long-range firearms practice and training. Tannerite® brand target detonations occur at a very high velocity, producing a large explosion and a cloud of water vapor. Small caliber rim-fire or slow moving pistol ammunition will not initiate a detonation.

In use, a long-range rifle shooter places Tannerite® targets downrange, retreats to his firing position, and fires. The shooter does not have to walk down range to see if the target has been hit, as the Tannerite® will detonate and serve as an indicator.

Since the two components that make up Tannerite® targets are not explosive until mixed, they can legally be purchased in the USA without a license. Tannerite® targets are exceptionally stable when subjected to less severe forces such as a hammer blow or being dropped and they cannot be initiated by any kind of flame or electricity.

Tannerite® is the registered trademark for Tannerite® brand targets and binary exploding rifle targets are a patented invention by Daniel J. Tanner.

Ghost Targets

Last week I was contacted by Casper (Mike) over at GhostTargets.com wanting to meet up with us to review his reactive targets.

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The targets are about the size of a cap of chap stick all the way up to the size of a large marshmallow. The targets come in 3 sizes 5/8″, 7/8″, & 1 1/8″.

Ghost targets are a proprietary chalk looking target that poofs when you hit them. As we learned from talking and shooting with the owner of GhostTargets.com the targets work best if they are not sitting right on a backing that you might attach paper targets to so you want to hang them so they are dangling 6 inches or more away.

Ghost Targets are for firearms that are zeroed in only. Since you don’t want them against a paper targets you have to know that you are zeroed in.

I’ve been asked how I came up with the idea for these targets and the name. It started when I was watching the TV show Top Shot on the History Channel it seemed everything they shot exploded or re-acted in an extreme way, then was shown in slow motion, very cool! It was so cool that I was inspired to create targets that would re-act in the same way and be safe for kids to use. About 50 formulations later and I had my targets.

The name was thought of after talking to my friend that runs a shooting range and he said he just ordered the hottest new target “Zombie” targets. I asked what they did and he laughed and said they don’t do anything they’re just paper with pics of zombies. Zombies made me think of dead things and dead things lead me to ghosts and I had my name, Ghost Targets!

[From GhostTargets.com]

 

Panzer and I will be working on sighting in his new .30-06 and plan to have these targets up once we are zeroed in for a little friendly competition.

They might not seem all that much fun if you have never tried them but after hitting the three in a row I was ready to reset and keep blasting them. It reminds me of shooting and dusting clay pigeons when shooting shotguns.

This is a fun way to change-up your shooting trips and if you are looking for a way to test your sharpshooting skills this is a good way to do that.

The targets are hung up using small rubber bands and paper clips which helps keep the cost low for the targets as well as make it easy to replace if you hit the rubber band or paper clip and miss the target as I found out.

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