SCATT is a simulated shooting system designed to train beginners through Olympic and professional shooters. The Minot Rifle and Pistol Club set up SCATT during the recent KX Outdoor Sports Show. Shooters young and old were eager to take aim.
"It is a training tool utilized by colleges and Olympic teams to improve shooting," said Wes Thomas, MRPC junior shooting instructor. "It shows the mistakes you make when shooting."
The system is entirely electronic. No shells or pellets are fired. Instead, an invisible beam tracks the shooter's aiming process on a computer screen. A large dot displays where the simulated round would have struck the target.
A shooter takes aim at a target using SCATT, an electronic training system used at the Minot Rifle and Pistol Club. The pink dot on the computer display marks a simulated hit on the target.
"Its big value is as a training aid. It was designed by a former Olympic competitor," said Paul Oster, MRPC membership secretary. "It allows you to practice any sort of marksmanship you can imagine, from BB guns to 1,000-yard targets."
According to SCATT, their simulators are "an essential tool for the identification of the smallest errors that escape discovery otherwise, but still have a detrimental effect on the final results. A few hours of SCATT training and a thoughtful and careful analysis of your shots can yield greater results than weeks of traditional training at the shooting range."
The rifles used by the MRPC for the recent SCATT display are designed for precision shooting. The rifles were Aunschutz, a high-grade target rifle such as those used in Olympic biathalon and other professional competitions.
When a shooter takes aim at a target using the SCATT system, the point of aim is tracked as a green line on the computer screen. Shooters utilizing the system for the first time are generally startled to see the display which reveals considerable movement even though the shooter may have thought otherwise. Movement due to breathing, high heart rate and excessive trigger pressure are common.
"That is SCATT's real value, specifically figuring out the sight picture," said Oster. "An instructor can see what the shooter is tracing on the screen. Poor trigger performance really jumps out at you."
Although SCATT is a tool in the Junior Shooting program at MRPC, experienced shooters can also learn from its usage.
"We've had very positive response," noted Oster. "I'm just not sure if it's the kids or the dads who enjoy it more."
No official opening date has been set, but the 2013-2014 Junior season at the MRPC generally begins in October. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Season registration is $10 for the first child in a family and $5 for each additional child. The program is open to both boys and girls. MRPC provides all necessary equipment including air rifles, air pistols and .22 caliber rifles.