February 16th, 2009

Target Cam System for Long-Range Shooting

We recently tested two large spotting scopes and two high-magnification riflescopes to see if they could resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. In ideal, early-morning conditions, we could see 6mm bullet holes in the white with all four optics (Pentax PF100ED, Swarovski 80mm ATS, March 10-60, Nightforce 12-42 BR). However, as the day wore on, and mirage increased, it became increasingly difficult to see the bullet holes, even with the big spotters.

It became obvious to our crew of testers, that if you want to see 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards and beyond, in all conditions and against any background color, some kind of remote camera system may be easier on the eyes than even the finest high-power glass you can buy.

CLICK HERE to READ Complete Target Cam Article With Hardware Tips

target cameraAdvantages of Target Cam System
By placing a remote camera relatively close to the target, you bypass many issues that compromise optical resolution. You can see the target clearly even in misty conditions or when the mirage is extreme. You can view your target easily on a large screen… that means no more straining with tiny (1mm) exit pupils with ultra-critical eye relief (move your head slightly and you lose the “view” completely). Over an extended period, you’ll experience much less eye fatique using the target cam.

Components of a Target Cam System
You can put together a good long-range target cam system for under $1200.00. This will include camera, tripod, remote wireless transmitter, receiver and monitor/display screen. You can shop for your own components through catalogs. Or you can contact Forrest Foster, an AccurateShooter.com Forum member and long-range shooter from South Dakota. Over the last couple of years, Forrest has experimented with a variety of Target Cam components. He’s field-tested different cameras and transmitter/receiver packages and come up with an affordable system that works reliably at 1000 yards and beyond.

target cam

Foster offers his target-cam set up in two configurations. For $825.00 he supplies a quality Sony video cam, wireless transmitter and receiver, cables and powerful, rechargeable 12 volt batteries. All you need to do is add a monitor or small TV set. If you already have a video camera, Forrest offers the same package, without the Sony camera, for $525.00. For more information, call Foster at (605) 342-8320, or email FFoster [at] dsginc.biz.

Target Cam System in Use
Forum member Donovan has used Foster’s target cam system extensively, and currently has it deployed using an older camcorder rather than the Sony device. Shown below is Donovan’s screen displaying a target placed 1000-yards away. Note you can see the bullet holes clearly.

target cam

Donovan is highly pleased with the set-up and says it works great all the way out to 1000 yards. Donovan writes: “For those interested, I am one of Forrest’s system testers. With a cheap Sanyo 21″ TV, I get a great picture of the target at 1000 yards. With a Samsung 151MP flat screen, I get a better target view yet. The video camera that Forrest sells with the system features a variable focal 5-50x lens. In testing, I have placed it as close as 5 feet and as far as 75 feet (25 yards) away from the target with no difference in quality of view on the screen. Just simply adjust the zoom to the amount of target you want displayed.

When set up at 300, 600, and 1000 yards, I did not see any difference in picture quality, as received back at the bench. 1000 yards is the farthest distance at which I’ve used the Target Cam system, but I’m sure it would transmit and receive further.”

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