Long-range rifle target shooters who need instant feedback on their shots in a portable package can stop looking. Earlier this year, I traveled to the rolling hills of Southern Pennsylvania, where I spent the day at the New Holland Rifle and Pistol club, along with the folks from Oakwood Controls, manufacturers of the H-Bar LOMAH (Location of Miss and Hit) electronic target system.
After speaking to the president of Oakwood Controls, John Huang, I learned just how passionate both Oakwood and John are about not only ballistics, but competitive shooting in general. Shooting at distances of 300 and 600 yards, the LOMAH system didn’t skip a beat during the demonstration.
Setup was a breeze, taking less than ten minutes to get the unit unpacked and deployed down range with the entire system weighing less than fifteen pounds. At the 600-yard line, all that needed to be done was place the H-Bar on the ground parallel to the firing line, and mount the tombstone aiming target to the H-Bar.
The tombstone is made of a water-resistant fiberboard (similar to this) and is extremely durable. According to John, “Replacements are very inexpensive, but last for hundreds of hits.” Protected by a low berm, the tombstone target is the only portion of the LOMAH system visible from the firing line. The system is accurate to +/- 5 mm throughout the scoring area and once the tombstone target was properly aligned and set, it took less than a minute to connect to the tablets back at the firing line.
The range of the long-distance radio that communicates with the tablets is five kilometers, but John told me, “We’ve only used it for actual shooting out to 3500 yards. We haven’t found anyone that can keep bullets supersonic beyond that!”
In addition, the LOMAH scores, hits and misses in a large detection window, allowing long-range competitors to shoot without perfect ballistic data. It will detect both hit and miss supersonic shots of over 1200 FPS. Furthermore, being battery-operated, the system uses six acoustic sensors which send a signal back to the computer via Wi-Fi. The delicate electronics within the unit are well-protected from adverse weather conditions, and therefore can be used in any climate.
Additionally, The LOMAH system allows a competitor to shoot at targets downrange, score and save the shot series via any Windows laptop, or a modified Toughbook tablet supplied by Oakwood. On our day at the range, we used the Toughbook tablets. Equipped with a touchscreen display, the Toughbook was very easy to read, even in bright sunlight. The software shows more than just hits and misses, and all shot and group information can be displayed in a multitude of formats.
While testing the equipment, I found that Oakwood’s LOMAH system is extremely fast and reliable. The amount of data available to the competitor via the user interface is staggering. You literally have all the details of your shooting right in front of you, including precise locations of hits and misses, group size and center location. All shooting information can be displayed in inches, centimeters, MOA and MIL. Shooting coaches will be happy to hear that detailed notes can be saved for each shot group, for each shooter, and sessions can be stored for later review. Even better, there are options to view the data of other shooters using the system.
Another great feature is there is no need for a spotting scope with this electronic target system because the display gives you instant feedback. In fact, this electronic target system was so fast, I would find myself looking at the monitor immediately after pulling the rifle trigger. Much like a golfer, I had to remind myself to follow through after firing, then look up at the monitor.
So if you want to move squads faster through your next competition, the LOMAH system can definitely help. Allowing competitors to spend more time shooting and less time scoring targets makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Even more valuable—the robust data sets that are available at the touch of a finger.
For more information on Oakwood Controls and the H-Bar LOMAH target system, visit their web site at www.oakwoodcontrols.com.