Jim Laughland has more patches commemorating all the different years he’s shot at the National Matches than there are rounds fired in a LEG Match. The very friendly and excellent shooter shares some of his many stories and pictures in our interview below.
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Overall, electronic targets provide an exciting match environment with immediate feedback for shot placement, quicker matches, and less time spent walking back and forth between the pit and firing line.
Electronic targets have been used in ISSF since the 1980s. Switzerland, a small country one quarter the size of Wisconsin with a populuation of about eight million, is home of electronic target maker Sius AG.
In 1949, Sius AG designed and developed its first visual/acoustic target signaling system. By 1954 it was successfully used at the World Championships in Caracas and the Olympic Games in 1968. The International Shooting Union UIT (now ISSF) certified their systems in 1979 for all International competitions. As with the understanding of all marksmanship skills, Sius-Ascor’s development began in formal competition shooting and has trickled down to military and law enforcement training.
The Swiss take their shooting seriously and don’t segregate civilian and military marksmanship. Unlike America, they have few casual gun owners as nearly all Swiss gun owners regularly attend various organized, formal shooting events and competitions. Cantonal shooting festivals, Schützenfests, are integrated civilian competition and military qualification. Sius-Ascor sponsors its own annual tournament (Sius-Ascor Cup), shot with match and service rifles, at the Oeschgen range in Frick, a municipality in the Aargau Canton. In Switzerland alone more than 12,000 Sius-Ascor units are in use at over 1,000 ranges. Consider that Switzerland has less than eight million total population and landmass slightly larger than Maryland State, while the United States boasts 80 million gun owners alone, with five million NRA members. How many automatic scoring systems and Schützenfests does your range host?
The United States is slowly catching up. Outside of tiny pockets of International/ISSF shooters in America, the Civilian Marksmanship Program has been pushing for electronic scoring at CMP events. Talladega Marksmanship Park make nearly exclusive use of such units.
In the article, The Future of High Power Rifle Using Electronic Targets Col. Denise Loring (ret.), former commander and Team shooter with the USAR Marksmanship Program goes over the current state of electronic scoring in our country.