The Field
February 2, 2020 Baudouin

The Field

Cinema-quality backdrops and instant feedback offer an unique chance to practise your rifle and shotgun technique before facing big game. Michael Yardley gives indoor shooting practice a go.

Eastern Sporting’s Marksman ST-2 simulator, which opened about two years ago, is another remarkable new training aid based at one of the South-East’s best-known and fastest-growing gunshops. Surprisingly realistic, it can simulate many game and clay situations, not to mention being useful for rifle shooters, too (stalking and driven boar shooting scenarios are part of its capability). At £75 an hour for one to four people, it is excellent value – significantly cheaper than most forms of live firing but no less enthralling (or addictive).

Unlike the magnificent H&H simulator, the ST-2 system does not allow for the use of live ammunition. Instead, a camera is attached to the barrel of the gun and projectors put an image (background plus a moving mark) on either a large 6.8 x 3.4 metre horizontal screen to your front or a narrower, vertical screen for high-bird/driven work.

Gyroscopic technology is employed to monitor barrel position relative to the image of the moving target. You take your shot and you can freeze the screen image getting immediate visual feedback on where you put the pattern and a detailed breakdown of many aspects of the shot. The degree of data available is stunning. You will see precisely where your barrels went relative to the bird’s line and what part of the pattern you hit with (if you did). Alan Walker of Eastern Sporting notes: “The simulator is a lot of fun as well as being very useful. It’s fundamentally visual, when you are shooting in the field you are often left wondering what happened if you miss your mark. Here you can see with absolute precision what’s going on – where your shot went, how your barrel travelled to and past the bird or target (if they did), any tendency to shoot behind or below.”

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