Event Report: Camp Atterbury Pistol Event (June 2017)

This past Saturday, June 10th, Pass It On-Outdoor Mentors sponsored an extremely unique event held at Camp Atterbury just south of Indianapolis, IN. The event was held on one of Camp Atterbury’s pistol ranges that include computerized “pop-up” targets.

The targets are hinged at their forward edge and are mechanically raised and lowered via computer control. The surface of the target is sensitive to bullet impacts and can score either a “hit” (a strike on the periphery of the target) or a “kill” (a strike to either the central chest or head areas of the target). If the target is struck in the “kill” area it will automatically lower; otherwise, the target will remain up for it’s programmed duration.

Around 10 of these targets are present at varying distances (from 10 yards to 30 yards) on each lane of the pistol range. The computer can be programmed to display the targets one at a time or in groups of two or more as well as in a myriad of different patterns, timing and duration. All this adds up to a range session that will challenge even the most competent pistol shooters; indeed, this very range is used by the military for Special Forces training.

We used the Military Police Qualification program during our time on the range. You can get an idea of what the target presentations are like by watching this video (you can see more videos from the event at FlyswatterThe1’s YouTube channel):

This event was designed for pistol shooters with a fair amount of experience and to maximize actual time spent on the firing line. Little to no instruction was provided; attendees were expected to already know basic range safety rules and be able to competently handle their firearm. This was an event for the experienced shooter to put into practice his or her prior training at a facility unlike any other in the state of Indiana.

Six people attended the event which allowed everyone but a father/son pairing to have their own lane on the firing line. Shooters could draw from a holster if they desired. After a set of five “stages” there was a break to reload magazines and for each shooter to be given their hit/kill scores for each stage. Thus, there was the immediate feedback of targets falling when hit in the “kill” zone plus the additional feedback of your hit/kill scores after each set of five stages.

With the exception of time spent loading magazines, the entire time was spent on the firing line. Each shooter reported a round count of from 600 to 800 over the course of a little more than 4 hours. A short break was taken for a fantastic lunch of pulled pork, BBQ baked beans and chips provided by Brett Thompson.

After lunch we completed a couple of additional stages before we reluctantly turned the range over to a National Guard unit who had been having problems with the operation of another similar Camp Atterbury range they were assigned. No one grumbled too much as we had each already put the better part of a case of ammunition downrange and thumbs were tired of loading magazines. We all greeted the Guardsmen, thanked them for their service and wished them an enjoyable remainder of the afternoon on the range.

Pass It On-Outdoor Mentors plans to host a similar event later this summer or early fall.

Additional photos from the event: