CORNELIUS – Shooting targets at The Range at Lake Norman will no longer be limited to paper and steel.
The range, off Bailey Road in Cornelius, debuted Dec. 16 its new target technology known as a “video target system,” whereby clients can take aim and shoot at moving video targets.
Shooting range owner Brian Sisson, who also served as a member of Huntersville’s town board from 2009 to 2011, said the technology should enhance the experience of visitors.
“This takes target shooting to a whole new level,” he said.
Having the targets inside the video screen move closer or farther away to make the shot more difficult can simulate changing distances.
The technology, developed by North Wilkesboro-based Open Fire Systems, has been used by Sisson and beta testers. Sisson’s first response to firing at exploding cans and bottles on a video screen?
“That’s too cool,” he recalled saying. “Shooting at a paper target gets boring.”
Open Fire Systems is developing roughly 1,000 different targets, which can be downloaded from the Internet and applied to the video screens at the range. No other shooting range can boast of a similar technology.
“The responses we’ve gotten from beta testers has been very positive,” Sisson said. “It’s important to us to have cutting-edge technology. Our customers expect the best.”
The Open Fire Systems developers reached out to Sisson’s shooting range earlier this year in hopes of having the range act as a testing grounds for the video system.
Range Safety Officer and Gunsmith Adam Gulick said the video target system has the potential to not only help ranges keep longtime customers, but also attract new ones.
"It's better than just a static paper target," Gulick said. "What's nice about this range is that it's catered to everyone. We're one of the first five-star ranges in North Carolina, so we're glad to get the chance to have this technology. I've been shooting at paper targets for years. You shoot, and bam, you get the target. With this, you can shoot at a video target and you can keep track of it. There's a lot of potential with this, and we've heard good things about it in our first couple of days."
Plans are in the works to have animal targets added to the video target system to simulate hunting. Sisson agreed with the concept that the video technology breeds video games with real-life shooting ranges, for a more varied experience. One developer joined Open Fire Systems’ ranks from the nationally renowned “Call of Duty” video game series, he said.
Sisson said it'll cost visitors $29 to try out the video target system.
Customers’ results from the video target system will be tracked instantly. They'll also be used on a worldwide scoreboard once other shooting ranges adopt the technology, so customers can compete with friends to see who can get the highest score on a specific target.
“We’re excited to have this and to be able to move forward with it,” Sisson said.
Want to go? The Range at Lake Norman is at 10913 Bailey Road in Cornelius. Visit www.therangeatlakenorman.com or call 704-895-3155 for more information.