Sports Minister Steven Dickson congratulates Andrew Mayfield watched by Member for Chatsworth Steve Minnikin and Hex Systems Bruce DanielSports Minister Steven Dickson congratulates Andrew Mayfield watched by Member for Chatsworth Steve Minnikin and Hex Systems Bruce DanielThe Queensland Rifle Association officially entered the electronic era with the commissioning of 12 new permanent high tech targets on the Duncan Range at Belmont on Thursday, October 23.

The Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Steven Dickson headed the guest list launch of the HEXTA-002 electronic targets.

The Queensland Government through Mr Dixon’s Department has made an initial investment of $100,000 in the project which is expected to have an all up cost of just under $300,000.

The project has been managed by a syndicate of four Belmont-based rifle clubs – Brisbane Mariners, Natives, Pacific and University of Queensland.

The commissioning is an important first step in preparations for the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in 2018 when all shooting competition will be held at the Belmont complex.

The addition of electronic targets will further enhance full bore target rifle shooting as a spectator sport at rifle shooting headquarters.

The contract for the targets was awarded to HEX Systems in April this year after a tendering process which included rigorous field testing protocols, the first time that this has been carried by target rifle shooting clubs in Australia.

HEX Systems is an Australian company based in Sydney, which obtains all of its materials for its electronic targets from Australian suppliers, where it can do so.

The goal of the company marketing manager, Mr Bruce Daniel, is to penetrate the large US market and already HEX had successfully applied for their system to be patented in the USA.

 

Back to the future for Johnno

For Johnno Johnstone the new electronic targets just installed at Belmont have actually been a long time coming.

At the launch on October 23, he was reacquainted with an article published in the Australian Rifleman way back in October 1990.

The article reported the NRAA was testing new electronic targets and was complete with a photo of Johnno test firing the system in Sydney.

He recalled that there was no such thing as wifi (or the internet) in those years and the target system was hooked up with a mass of cables everywhere. The system had its own portable power generator.

It was interesting to note that the preferred set-up being discussed was a fixed firing mound with sensors and aiming point either moved or staggered down the range. 

Geoff Grant from MarinersGeoff Grant from Mariners   
 Sports Minister Steven Dickson with John Johnstone and Member for Chatsworth Steve MinnikinSports Minister Steven Dickson with John Johnstone and Member for Chatsworth Steve Minnikin  
 Steven Dickson Andrew Mayfield and Bruce DanielSteven Dickson Andrew Mayfield and Bruce Daniel