The PoliceOne Firearms Corner
with Ron Avery
Bullseye! This camera system makes precise shooting a breeze
If you want to be really precise, know your hits' precise distance from the aiming point, dial in rapidly, and make your corrections fast and accurately, then this system will be a major convenience for you
Have you ever had to walk endlessly downrange to check target hits because your spotting scope was not letting you see well enough at long range? How about having to shoot a lot of shots from a variety of firearms while sighting in and figuring out which shot was which after 20 shots or more?
Would you like to be able to see your last shot fired and be able to label each hit; all from the comfort of your shooting bench? At SHOT Show2014, I came across an interesting system that I think will be of interest to law enforcement, firearms instructors, and armorers who work on a variety of guns.
The system is called the Bullseye Camera System and consists of a CCD camera, battery pack, a wireless router, antenna and flash drive, all contained in a plastic carry case. The bullseye camera system truly is a self-contained unit. All you need to do is provide a laptop.
How it Works
What the system does is constantly scan the target and send the image back to your Wi-Fi capable laptop via the wireless router.
As each shot is fired, you hit the space bar on your laptop and the last shot fired will start blinking, as long as you hit the target within view of the camera.
You can then mark the shots via the software package on the flash drive. If you want to sight in a different gun, you then start a new firearm and repeat.
There are two systems — a 500-yard unit and a 1,000-yard unit — and I tested the latter system. In the future, I’ll be testing it at that 1,000-yard distance, but in the meantime, I put it through its paces at 200 and 300 yards with my Bravo Company 18” AR-15 and Kahles 1-6 Scope.
I was trying to get the scope reticle dialed in with the Black Hills 55 grain and 77 grain Sierra load I was using. I wanted to get the reticle sighted in at exactly 200 yards. After initial shooting at 25 yards to get it close, I moved the target to 200 yards, using my TPC 5” black circle target.
I set the camera up per the instruction sheet and focused on the target area. I then set up the lap top and flash drive. As I fired each shot, I noted that the sun was shining directly on the camera lens and was giving a not-so-great picture of the target area.
I went back downrange, put up a makeshift sun screen on the system and moved the camera a bit closer to the target — four feet from the target and offset a couple of yards.
Now we were in business! It took about five minutes to figure out how to work with the system. As I fired each shot and hit the space bar, I saw the last shot blinking on the screen. I would then mark it with a label and shoot again.
I was able to quickly dial the reticle in to an exact zero with the 55 grain load and then move on to the 77 grain load. Without having to go downrange, and with at least 20 shots on the paper to test how accurately the camera could discriminate each shot, I was able to dial in the scope quickly.
Now I took the system to 300 yards, using a black metal target with an orange sticky on it. The system was able to discriminate the shots on steel but not for all shots fired. There was not enough contrast on the steel as there would be with holes on paper. However, it did a more than adequate job and I was able to dial in 95 percent of my hits, even with shots an inch apart on steel.
I liked the simplicity of the system. You only plug in three plugs from router, antenna, and camera to the battery and then plug in the flash drive.
The software is actually the biggest bonus of the system and why this system is superior to just a standard spotting scope setup. I liked the ability to see the last shot fired amid a cluster of shots and also the ability to mark each shot. You can identify different loads with different markers as well as different guns shots. When you are shooting a lot of shots or different guns, this is a bonus feature that beats a spotting scope. Using this for load development, you can shoot groups and ladder test, marking each group, and figure out which one shoots best in your rifle without becoming confused by too many shots on target.
At longer ranges, in mirage conditions, it can be hard to spot shots with a spotting scope. This is where the system should really come into its own. Next I will be testing it between 500 and 900 yards in mirage conditions to verify the system. The system also has the ability to zoom into the target area and then back out again if you like to spot shots that are outside of the target area.
One of the biggest bonuses is the ability to store the data from your shooting sessions, so you can review your sessions over time and keep an accurate record on your laptop. This is superior training and record keeping and helps you retain vital information on your individual weapon systems.
The CCD camera image quality, while adequate, could be better. I would pay more to have better image quality on paper. It is not a deal breaker but it is something that could be improved upon. I also think the camera needs a sunshade of some sort when you are dealing with sun issues on the lens.
Is it worth the money? Yes, especially at longer ranges. You could get by with a spotting scope and steel targets at long range. But if you want to be really precise, be able to see the hits, know their precise distance from the aiming point, dial in rapidly, shoot and then see the shot blinking and make your corrections fast and accurately, then this system will be a major convenience for you. If you are shooting two or three rifles at a time, it’s that much better.
You can go to bullseyecamerasystem.com to see the product. MSRP for the 500-yard unit is $449 and the 1,000-yard unit is $549.