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July 27th, 2019

SCATT MX-02 Training System Works for Centerfire Shooters

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

The SCATT MX-02 is an electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow tested this product for AccurateShooter.com. As fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle, Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for MX-02 3000-word Review.

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Some time ago, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Here we test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its suitability for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.


CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review »

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Competition, Gear Review, Shooting Skills No Comments »
May 6th, 2016

SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer Product Test and Review

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens
by Tony Chow
In recent years, the use of electronic trainer systems has revolutionized training in all disciplines of position shooting. By capturing (and illustrating) key performance variables like the steadiness of a shooter’s hold, accuracy of aiming, and the timeliness of trigger release, these devices can offer tremendous insights into the strengths and weakness of a shooter’s position and technique, making high-level marksmanship training less voodoo and more of a science.

Until now, electronic trainers all suffered from one critical limitation: the inability to be used outdoors in live fire training. Now, however, SCATT has introduced the next-generation MX-02 electronic trainer, a product that can finally support outdoor live firing in broad daylight, as well as dry firing indoors. In addition, the MX-02 is the first electronic trainer to support centerfire rifles. It goes without saying that, when we at AccurateShooter.com were offered an MX-02 test unit to review, we jumped at the opportunity.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that “sees” the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. Data points from the trace are also available in a tabular spreadsheet format. This allows the shooter to “crunch the numbers”, revealing strengths and weaknesses in his gun-handling and aiming technique.

In our testing, we confirmed that, like SCATT’s earlier indoor-only WS-01, the MX-02 offers excellent support for indoor dry-fire training, which will continue to be the primary means through which position shooters sharpen their fundamental skills. Since the new SCATT uses the same familiar Windows software for data capture and analysis as its predecessors, shooters and coaches upgrading to MX-02 will have no learning curve to overcome, and newcomers to the SCATT platform can tap into the wealth of institutional knowledge accumulated over the years by the shooting community on how to interpret shot data.

It’s in the support for outdoor live firing, however, that SCATT MX-02 distinguishes itself from its predecessors and the competition. Shot trace data captured by MX-02 during live firing turned out to be every bit as valuable (and revealing) as we had hoped. The ability to correlate SCATT tracing with real shots on target gave us a better understanding of the shooting process, and helped the reviewer, already a high-level smallbore prone shooter, uncover a significant problem in his shooting. SCATT MX-02’s outdoor capability is therefore an invaluable feature, particularly for experienced shooters aspiring to world-class performance.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

In summary, SCATT MX-02 is an outstanding product that delivers on its promises. We heartily recommend it, both for first-time users of electronic training aids, and also for those shooters who may wish to upgrade their current electronic training system. The MSRP for SCATT MX-02 is $1,799, $500 more than its predecessor, the SCATT WS-01, which is still available. In my view, the $500 premium for the MX-02 is justified by the MX-02’s enhanced capabilities, making it a better long-term investment.

Our complete, 3600-word MX-02 review of the SCATT MX-02 can be accessed through the link below. This full review contains many more photos plus detailed field test results. For the time being, the review only covers our experience with the product in smallbore shooting. An upcoming addendum to the review will include test results from centerfire shooting. Those attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas next week can examine SCATT MX-02 in person. SCATT will have the MX-02 on display at Booth 111.

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 11th, 2015

High-Tech SCATT MX-02 Training System for Dry Fire and Live Fire

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens
by Tony Chow
In recent years, the use of electronic trainer systems has revolutionized training in all disciplines of position shooting. By capturing (and illustrating) key performance variables like the steadiness of a shooter’s hold, accuracy of aiming, and the timeliness of trigger release, these devices can offer tremendous insights into the strengths and weakness of a shooter’s position and technique, making high-level marksmanship training less voodoo and more of a science.

Until now, electronic trainers all suffered from one critical limitation: the inability to be used outdoors in live fire training. Now, however, SCATT has introduced the next-generation MX-02 electronic trainer, a product that can finally support outdoor live firing in broad daylight, as well as dry firing indoors. In addition, the MX-02 is the first electronic trainer to support centerfire rifles. It goes without saying that, when we at AccurateShooter.com were offered an MX-02 test unit to review, we jumped at the opportunity.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that “sees” the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. Data points from the trace are also available in a tabular spreadsheet format. This allows the shooter to “crunch the numbers”, revealing strengths and weaknesses in his gun-handling and aiming technique.

In our testing, we confirmed that, like SCATT’s earlier indoor-only WS-01, the MX-02 offers excellent support for indoor dry-fire training, which will continue to be the primary means through which position shooters sharpen their fundamental skills. Since the new SCATT uses the same familiar Windows software for data capture and analysis as its predecessors, shooters and coaches upgrading to MX-02 will have no learning curve to overcome, and newcomers to the SCATT platform can tap into the wealth of institutional knowledge accumulated over the years by the shooting community on how to interpret shot data.

It’s in the support for outdoor live firing, however, that SCATT MX-02 distinguishes itself from its predecessors and the competition. Shot trace data captured by MX-02 during live firing turned out to be every bit as valuable (and revealing) as we had hoped. The ability to correlate SCATT tracing with real shots on target gave us a better understanding of the shooting process, and helped the reviewer, already a high-level smallbore prone shooter, uncover a significant problem in his shooting. SCATT MX-02’s outdoor capability is therefore an invaluable feature, particularly for experienced shooters aspiring to world-class performance.

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

SCATT MX-02 MX02 rifle trainer lens

In summary, SCATT MX-02 is an outstanding product that delivers on its promises. We heartily recommend it, both for first-time users of electronic training aids, and also for those shooters who may wish to upgrade their current electronic training system. The MSRP for SCATT MX-02 is $1,799, $500 more than its predecessor, the SCATT WS-01, which is still available. In my view, the $500 premium for the MX-02 is justified by the MX-02’s enhanced capabilities, making it a better long-term investment.

Our complete, 3600-word MX-02 review of the SCATT MX-02 can be accessed through the link below. This full review contains many more photos plus detailed field test results. For the time being, the review only covers our experience with the product in smallbore shooting. An upcoming addendum to the review will include test results from centerfire shooting. Those attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas next week can examine SCATT MX-02 in person. SCATT will have the MX-02 on display at Booth 111.

READ FULL REVIEW of SCATT MX-02 Electronic Trainer

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 26th, 2014

SCATT MX-02 for High Power Shooters

The SCATT MX-02 is a revolutionary electronic shooter training system that is capable of operating outdoors with live, centerfire ammunition, at distances from 25 yards to 600 yards. Tony Chow recently tested this product, as fitted to his AR-15 Service Rifle. Tony concludes this is a very useful tool that can help High Power competitors refine their technique and thereby shoot higher scores. CLICK HERE for Full 3000-word Review.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

How the SCATT MX-02 Works
The SCATT sensor mounted on the end of the barrel has a digital camera that recognizes the black bullseye in the target, even in broad daylight outdoors. Using the bullseye as a reference, the SCATT software tracks the movement of the muzzle relative to the center of the target. The unit can plot these movements as a continuous trace, which appears on a monitor as a squiggly, colored line. By sensing the exact moment of shot release, the SCATT can also interpolate relative shot placement (for a single shot or series of shots) — but this is not the same as an electronic target which actually records the exact shot impact location on the target.

SCATT MX-02 training digital camera sensor target

Back in January, we reviewed this product from the perspective of a smallbore competitive shooter. (Read Previous Review.) Recently, we had the chance to test SCATT MX-02 again, this time on an AR-15 service rifle, in order to assess its implications for the High Power competition community.

We put the MX-02 through its paces in all three High Power shooting positions and in various environmental conditions. We wanted to find out whether the system can reliably operate in the harsher outdoor settings and withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle. We also wanted to assess whether it provides added values for High Power shooters over older generation of electronic trainers such as SCATT’s own venerable WS-01.

On both counts, we came away impressed. The SCATT MX-02 stood up to centerfire recoil after hundreds of shots and was able to consistently recognize the often less-than-pristine High Power target faces. Both indoors and outdoors, the MX-02 acts as SCATT should and dutifully captures useful aiming traces and other data. It does that even during outdoor live-fire sessions, where shooter performance often differs from indoor dry-firing due to the sensation of recoil and environmental factors.

SCATT Rapid Fire Results (paper target on left, screen on right).
Scatt MX-02 shooting trainer camera

In particular, SCATT MX-02 allows shooters to effectively troubleshoot and improve their rapid-fire performance, a service that no previous-generation trainers are capable of providing. The unit isn’t perfect — the SCATT MX-02 had some mounting issues with small-diameter barrels, but a cardboard shim provided a quick and effective solution.

CLICK HERE for Full SCATT MX-02 Review.

Overall, performance was impressive. In most realistic training conditions that High Power shooters experience, the system performed well. We can certainly recommend SCATT MX-02 as an extremely valuable tool for High Power competitors looking to take their performance to the next level.

Test Drive the MX-02 at Camp Perry
SCATT electronic training systems are currently on display at the NRA National Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. Interested shooters can try out SCATT at Champion Shooters on Commercial Row, Building #1023B.

For more information or to order SCATT products, including the new MX-02, visit ScattUSA.com or call toll-free: 1-855-57-SCATT (72288).

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
September 2nd, 2013

USA Shooting 300M National Championships Held at Fort Benning

Report and Photographs by Tony Chow
On August 12th to 16th, USAMU’s Fort Benning range hosted the 2013 USA Shooting 300m National Championships. This match, held every four years, nominates athletes to represent the United States at the 300m World Championships, due to be held in 2014, in Granada, Spain.

300m Championships Fort Benning

300m Shooting — A World-Class Challenge
300m shooting is a challenging discipline. With much smaller scoring rings than NRA targets, the 300m target can bedevil even the most experienced High Power shooters, especially in tricky wind conditions. While European 300m shooters typically use expensive rifles from the likes of Gruenig & Elmiger (G&E) and Bleiker, less costly American-made equipment has proven to be every bit as competitive. Case in point are the free rifles used by the USAMU team, all of which are built from American target actions such as Panda and BAT, fitted with Krieger barrels, and glass-bedded into Anschütz stocks.

The competition took place in unseasonably mild weather for this time of the year in Georgia. As the popularity of 300m shooting is limited in the United States, 21 shooters in total took part in four days of competition. Despite the light participation, the athletes included some of the best international rifle shooters in the country. The relaxed and club-like atmosphere belied intense and high-level competition on the firing line.

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Electronic targets record all shots as 10, 9, 8, etc., with the X-count being the first tiebreaker. Each whole number score is accompanied by a more precise score that ranges from 0-100. An official 10, for example, could be anything from 91 (on the edge of the ring), all the way to 100 (dead center). The more precise score is NOT used officially for score keeping in ISSF competition, but could be in the future, as already is the case in 50m prone and 10m air rifle.

300m Championships Fort Bennign

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3P Course of Fire and Results
The 3P events occupied the first two days of competition. Athletes shot in three positions–kneeling, prone, and standing — using free rifles, mostly chambered in 6BR. Under ISSF rules, men fire 40 record shots in each position, while women fire 20 record shots in each position. Each event is repeated on the second day, and the two-day aggregates determined the winner. In Men’s 300m 3P, USAMU’s Joseph Hall, who had never shot a 300m match before, beat his more experienced teammates Joseph Hein and Michael McPhail to take gold. Among women, USAMU’s Erin Lorenzen edged out 2008 World Championship veterans Reya Kempley and Janet Raab for the gold.

The prone and Standard Rifle events followed in the second half of the competition. The 300m prone match is shot by both men and women, using same free rifles as in the 3P events. The Standard Rifle match is another 3-position event, except contested only among men, using rifles strictly limited in external shape and adjustability. Cooler temperatures and intermittent rain made conditions trickier to read than during the first two days. In men’s prone, USAMU’s Eric Uptagrafft took gold, edging out Unit teammates Hall and McPhail. In women’s prone, Erin Lorenzen once again came out on top over Reya Kempley (photo below) and Michelle Bohren.

300m Fort Benning National Championship Tony Chow

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In the Standard Rifle event, AMU’s Joseph Hall continued his good form and took another gold over teammate Joseph Hein. Equally noteworthy is the third place finisher Steve Goff. Goff, an AMU Hall of Famer who now competes as a senior in USAS matches, beat back much younger challengers to earn the third and final slot in the 2014 US Men’s Standard Rifle Team.

Cartridge Options for 300m Shooting — by Tony Chow
The cartridge of choice in 300m is 6mmBR Norma (aka 6BR). The AMU shooters all shoot Norma Diamond Line 6BR factory ammo, loaded with moly-coated 105gr Berger HPBT bullets, with the notable exception of prone match winner Eric Uptagrafft, who shoots handloads with HBN-coated bullets in his 6mm Dasher. Civilian shooters mostly shoot the 6mmBR as well, also preferring Berger bullets. I was the odd man out shooting a Gruenig & Elmiger (G&E) chambered in 6.5×47 Lapua. That cartridge was actually the result of a collaboration between G+E and Lapua to create an alternative to 6BR, though in the 300m world, it never managed to catch on. There was one shooter using 6.5-284 and another shooting a wildcat cartridge called “.260 BMR (boomer)”.

6BR 6mmBR Tony Chow 300mI’m not the authority on the pros and cons of various calibers. I doubt that most world-class 300m shooters concern themselves too much with these matters. The 6BR is simply good enough. It holds well inside the 10-Ring, is relatively economical, and offers extremely long barrel life when using mild factory loads. G+E rates its chrome-moly, cut-rifled 6BR barrels as capable of lasting 7,000 rounds. The AMU gunsmith, Glenn Sulser, told me that the AMU’s policy is to re-barrel at the 4,500-5,000 round mark.

Longer cartridges such as 6.5×47 and 6XC are supposed to offer easier feeding, but in my observation, the nose-heavy nature of 6BR is, in practice, not a major problem for 300m shooters. One of the advantages of 6.5×47 is even longer barrel life, and that’s the reason I went for this caliber myself. But looking back now, the greater recoil and extra cost in brass and powder are probably not worth it.

Factory Ammo vs. Handloads — Cost Considerations
One of the advantages the AMU shooters enjoyed over the civilians is that the Unit marksmen had an unlimited supply of ammo, and therefore could shoot as many sighters as they wished. In a 15-minute sighting-in period, it was not uncommon for AMU shooters to fire 20+ sighter shots, just as they do in smallbore. We civilians had to settle with under 10 sighters, in order to leave enough for the match.

Unless you are filthy rich or have someone else paying for the ammo, reloading is definitely the only way to go. A reloaded round costs under 50 cents a piece. The European factory ammo costs nearly $3 a round these days (as sold in the USA).

CLICK Photos to See Full-Screen Images:

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Permalink Competition, News 12 Comments »