TargetTalk

A forum to talk about Olympic style shooting, rifle or pistol, 10 meters to 50 meters, and whatever is in between. Hosted by Pilkguns.com
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 Post subject: Target mechanics
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:23 am
Posts: 254
Location: Colorado
I watched a lot of Biathlon this year on the Olympic coverage and am still confused as to how the targets work.

I understand the thing about prone shots having to hit the center of the target to make the score, but how does the target know whether you are shooting prone or offhand? Are these a simple mechanical device or are they computer controlled.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:08 pm
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Take a look at page 23 of the attached link.
https://www.coloradobiathlon.org/forms/CObasic2.pdf

You'll see the target from the backside. A hit is recorded by the black metal circles rotating backwards after being struck by a bullet. The big metal sheet with holes in it sets the size of the target. Right now it is in standing "mode" where the big holes are lined up with the black metal circles (excuse my lack of technical terminology). When you want to shoot prone, the plate will slide down one unit to the right and the small holes will line up with the black metal circles. The plate can be operated electronically (with a remote) or mechanically (with some sort of string pull so you don't have to walk downrange). Does that make sense?

Note this is only one setup; there are a couple companies that make these and they might have different mechanics.


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 Post subject: Re: Target mechanics
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 28
Location: Duluth, MN
Marc Orvin wrote:
I understand the thing about prone shots having to hit the center of the target to make the score, but how does the target know whether you are shooting prone or offhand? Are these a simple mechanical device or are they computer controlled.


At the World Cup level most venues have electronic targets. I believe these operate on radio frequencies and can be set/reset or changed from standing size targets to prone size targets with the push of a button from behind the athletes. A "hit" or "miss" is actually calculated by the measured impact of the round. If it is above a certain threshold the flap will close indicating a hit. You will notice if you watched on the Olympics when they show a close up of the targets you can see where the bullet impacts the black paint to show where the shot was located. The flaps are actually on a short timer delay so you can see the impact before they close.

At most non-World Cup venues there will be mechanical targets. Basically an opening circle cut out on a steel faceplate. If the shot goes through the opening, it contacts a paddle behind the open, which pushes it backwards and then a white flap covers the hole from the front indicating a "hit". These type of targets are less reliable and have known to malfunction from time to time. They are reset from the firing line with a long rope. A light tug on the rope resets the flaps while a more forceful tug slides a steel aperture from behind the target that controls to size of the target - prone or standing. Pretty ingenious design actually.

It is more on the athlete to know what shooting lane to ski to for the correct sized targets. In most events the right half of the shooting lanes will be set to prone targets and the left half will be set to standing targets. For example on a typical 30 point range, lanes 1-15 are set to prone and lanes 16-30 are set to standing. It is the athletes responsibility to select the appropriate lane.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:08 pm
Posts: 5
Here is the description of the electronic system from the company that manufactures them (it's translated from German, so may be a little confusing to read):
http://www.hora2000.de/en/products/targ ... -biathlon/

They also make much simpler mechanical targets which operate as I described above:
http://www.hora2000.de/en/products/targ ... e-targets/


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:23 am
Posts: 254
Location: Colorado
WOW!! Thanks so much for the incredible detail. You all had great answers and examples. Makes the targets much easier to understand.

I appreciate the knowledge level on this BB more every day.

Marc


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