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Can I Have a DryFire Demonstration?

[spoiler]Absolutely – Dryfire Ireland has is own dedicated Dryfire Demonstration Room in Ashbourne, County Meath where you can test Dryfire for yourself. We recommend that you bring your own gun which we enter into Dryfire with details of what chokes you use and cartridge information re shot size and velocity. You are then ready to test Dryfire. If it is not convenient to bring your own gun we always have a demonstration gun available.
Call Michael on 086 3309730 to arrange a demonstration. Appointments can be made 9am to 8pm Monday to Fridays and weekends by arrangement.[/spoiler]

You Mean All It Does Is … ?

[spoiler]Heard at the local shooting ground from a visitor who knows nothing about clay shooting:
“You mean all it does is throw a coloured disk into the air and you shoot at it? That sounds easy.”
As we all know, it is easy! (Cough, splutter!)
We often get the same thing said about DryFire:
“You mean all it does is move a spot of laser light across a wall and you shoot at it? That sounds easy.”
Yes, that’s all it does – move a spot of red laser light across the wall in front of you and you shoot at it.
The trouble is, that spot of laser light is following exactly the same angular path as a clay fired from a trap and it is moving at exactly the same angular speed. You have to do exactly the same things you would do on the stand to hit it: take up position, wind back, look back toward the trap, acquire the target, mount, swing, allow for lead, fire and follow through.
To hit a target generated by DryFire, your technique and body movements must be exactly the same as when shooting at a real clay – if you get it wrong with DryFire you will miss – just as you would miss a real clay. That’s what makes it such a powerful training aid.
Of course it’s easy – to someone who has never done it![/spoiler]

Do you shoot at the target – like using a rifle?

[spoiler]Answer:Absolutely not! No way! Never!Clay shooting is nothing like rifle shooting, clay pigeon shooters rarely aim directly at the target. Clay shooting is about accurate and smooth body movement and the key word is “lead”. Aim at a crossing bird, squeeze the trigger and you will miss several feet or yards behind because the clay will have moved on by the time your shot arrives. The speed of the target, its distance away from you and its angle of flight determine how much lead you have to allow.
DryFire simulators take all this into consideration.DryFire is NOT like laser shooting where a reflective clay is fired into the air and the shooter fires a beam of infra red light directly at it from a special gun. This system relies on reflection to detect hit or miss so you must aim directly at the target – great sport in itself but nothing to do with the hardest part of clay shooting – judging the right lead.[/spoiler]

Can DryFire Handle Simultaneous Doubles?

[spoiler]Answer:Both single and dual head units can handle simultaneous doubles.
Version 3 and Version 4 dual head units show both targets at the same time.
Version 4 single head units (and earlier versions) have a single laser to generate the target spot representing the clay. When you select simultaneous doubles the simulator displays the first target and, when you fire, it immediately switches the laser to follow the path of the second target. So, if you are 1 second into the flight of the first target when you fire, DryFire will pick up from 1 second into the flight of the second. On Skeet station 4 your left-to-right high crosser will switch immediately to the right-to-left low crosser.
“On-report” doubles are obviously no problem – as soon as you fire at the first target DryFire will release the second.
When you have taken both shots (or failed to take both shots!) DryFire will show you the shot location for both targets.[/spoiler]

Single Head or Dual Head Unit?

[spoiler]The dual head unit has the advantage of showing you both targets of simultaneous pairs at the same time – so you can mentally keep your eye on the second target as you take the first one. We originally produced the dual head unit for American ATA Double Trap but it is equally of use for skeet and sporting doubles.
The single head unit also offers simultaneous pairs but it shows the first target then, when (if) you hit the first one, it shows you the remaining path of the second one.
The choice is yours and may also depend on your budget.[/spoiler]

How accurate are the DryFire targets?

[spoiler]Very accurate. The path and speed of the target, the amount of angular lead you must allow, the moment when you first see the target, the moment it disappears (a rabbit between bushes for example), the moment it goes out of range, the effect of a strong wind blowing the target towards you or away from you – all these are programmed into the software.
DryFire works with angles – when standing on station 4 of a skeet range the angular distance from the high house to the low house is about 105 degrees. When you are standing behind your DryFire simulator the angular distance from the high house to the low house is about 105 degrees – you are standing fairly close to the wall the target is projected on so the movement from left to right, or right to left, requires EXACTLY the same swing as on the range.
The skills required to hit the moving spot of light are exactly the skills needed to pulverise clays on the range – that’s what makes the DryFire simulators the perfect way to improve your clay shooting skills.[/spoiler]

How Fast Do Targets Cycle?

[spoiler]Answer:Interesting question. Let us explain…DryFire provides singles, simultaneous doubles and on-report doubles so in theory the cycle time is zero – simultaneous means that the simulator is processing data for two targets at the same time.
However, the question probably means “what is the time between calling “Pull” for one target and then for the next?”The software allows you to fire two shots at a target (assuming two barrels or two cartridges in a semi-auto). It then sets up ready for the next target (or the same one again if that is what you have selected) and off you go again.
We do not recommend keeping your shotgun at the shoulder and just call “Pull” repetitively – in our opinion that is not genuine practise and the gun will soon get very heavy! Lower your gun between targets and take your time before calling “Pull” again – that’s far more realistic.[/spoiler]

Where’s the hold point and what about target speed?

[spoiler]Michael Hurst of Moline, Il, USA asks: “I am a competitive skeet shooter and I have specific hold points (where I hold the gun just prior to calling “;pull”) and these are mostly found by comparing the barrel to the skeet house, using it as a reference point. For example I hold at 1/3 of the distance out from the high house to the center stake, and as high or higher than the top of the high house when I am about to call for High 4. Can I see the simulated high house on the wall to use as a reference?”
DryFire displays the path of the clay not the actual trap or trap house. It is of course a simple matter to mark the start of the target’s flight on the wall with something like a Post-It note but this is usually not necessary since getting to the right hold point quickly becomes instinctive – just as it does on the range. In fact, it is a good idea to practise closing your eyes, taking up position and winding back to the hold point before opening your eyes and calling “;Pull”. This way muscle memory does most of the work for you and you can focus 100% on the target.
Note: DryFire Version 3 & 4 can use its laser to show trap, hold point and stake (hoop). You can program in your own hold point percentages.
Michael also asks: “the web site says it duplicates target speed. Does this mean the target slows down the further it gets across the field, as does a real target?”
It certainly does. Watch a skeet target – it hurtles out of the trap house, rises to its highest point (it rises because the shape of a clay resembles an aerofoil) then begins to float down to the ground (the undercamber of the clay acts like a parachute.)
DryFire accurately represents the speed and angular trajectory of the target as seen by the shooter on the stand. If you want to simulate wind conditions by entering wind direction and speed it will also show the effects of wind on the target.[/spoiler]

Trap Disciplines with DryFire

[spoiler]Call a few targets then use a strip of masking tape on the wall to mark the location of the trap house as a reference point for hold position. The target laser movement starts from the trap position (lower down inside the tap house the laser will not appear until there is nothing between it and the shooter), therefore for left going targets it will appear to the left of the trap house and for right going it will appear to the right.[/spoiler]

Layout Designs

[spoiler]DryFire Version 4 base module does not include any course design facility. An optional module called DryFire Course Designer will become available during 2012.
Course Designer will use a graphics screen and allow you to “drag and drop” the objects you want on the screen. You will be able to move objects around and edit the individual properties of any object (the release angles and clay speed on traps for example.)
Within a few minutes of installing the module you will be creating your own layouts, more details on Course Designer will become available over the next few months.[/spoiler]

Does DryFire work with American Trap targets?

[spoiler]The question is, “Do the targets change angles randomly or do you program each shot for a change? i.e. hard right from station 5 is thrown until you change the program to throw a straight a way station 5, or does it change angles after each shot from station 5?”
It does what the rule book says! (And what Trap shooters in the USA have said when they helped us develop the layout!)
Rule K: “A trap machine which throws targets at an unknown angle shall be used.”
In our implementation the trap changes angle (within the limits permitted) after each shot you take. If you do not fire it counts as a “No bird” and you can shoot at the same angle again.
For doubles it is different – the trap angles are fixed (Rule N). Version 3 dual head shows both targets while the single head system has one target spot so for doubles it shows the first clay until you hit it then it carries on with the flight of the second. In the case of ATA Trap Doubles it releases the right bird first for posts 1-3 and the left bird first for posts 4-5. This seems to be the way that most ATA shooters take the clays.
DryFire is infinitely flexible – if someone wants a layout which works in a slightly different way (like locking the angles until you press a screen button or something) then we could make a layout that did that in a future release of the software.[/spoiler]

Can DryFire support American shotgun shells?

[spoiler]We have broken this down into two parts:
Can you define a shotshell performance i.e. velocity, hardness of shot (such as trap, or tungsten, or hevishot for waterfowlers), amount of shot?
How about a Ruger Red Label 28 gauge configuration for my son, could this be modelled?
We supply a sample set of cartridge data and you can add as many as you wish. Normally you specify the cartridge by weight (24g in the UK for example), shot size (7.5 for example) and muzzle velocity. If you want to get very technical you can set the percentage of the pellet energy available to break the clay – the lower the percentage, the softer the pellet. We treat clays in a similar way – the amount of energy required to break the clay at a specific angle towards you – it takes more energy to break an edge-on clay than to break a face-on one for example.
Our 12g muzzle insert is made of soft nylon so that it cannot damage chokes or bores and it can be squeezed down in size. We may add more muzzle insert sizes in the future depending on demand.[/spoiler]

How Does The Simulator Work?

[spoiler]The simulator contains a safe, low-power light source generating a sharp beam of light which can be projected onto almost any surface a few feet or many yards away. Place the simulator on a table, or mount it on a photographic tripod, point it at a wall and stand behind it with your gun. You are ready to start.
The target laser is mounted on a mechanism that allows it to be directed at almost any position in front of you. The simulator is connected to a PC which controls all of its activities and, when you call “Pull”, generates the sequence of movement instructions that makes the target spot move along exactly the same path, and at the same angular speed, as a clay thrown from a trap.
The muzzle-mounted laser is activated when you press the trigger and it sends out a pulse of invisible light from the barrel. The state-of-the-art image detection system built into the simulator detects the pulse generated when you shoot, does its calculation of lead required, and knows whether you had a hit or a miss. If you had a miss it knows by how much and in which direction and the PC shows you a “freeze frame” picture of the target and your shot.
The system automatically accounts for lead so you must aim at exactly the same angular position ahead as with a real clay – i.e. so far ahead for a crossing target or almost right at it for a going away or driven target.[/spoiler]

Why Not Shoot At A Projected PC Image?

[spoiler]We could do this:
it is easy – just software;
no need for a simulator – a cheap webcam could spot the shot;
it would be cheap to produce and we would make a lot more profit.
the only realistic targets that would fit on a projection screen are some trap targets;
you could not fit crossers, tower or rising teal targets on a screen;
you could not project most of the path of many other targets on the screen. Skeet 1 high for example appears from over your left shoulder – not simply in front of you;
you would need to buy a PC projector to use this system – and they are not cheap;
it would be a little like an arcade game rather than a serious training aid.
So, on balance, we felt that we should offer all type of targets – not just those that would fit on a screen.[/spoiler]

Is DryFire a competitor to the shooting range?

[spoiler]Absolutely the opposite.
Ask any shooting ground owner about his “conversion rate” – the percentage of visitors/trial lessons he turns into long-term shooters. The majority of people who come along with friends for a trial shoot, or as part of a corporate day, get disillusioned about how hard it is and they are never seen again.
Having a DryFire simulator in the club allows a new shooter to get a lot of practise within a very short period of time. A good instructor is essential but when the lessons are over the novice can take up position behind a simulator and really work on technique while looking at results and problems on the PC screen. No longer does he have to rely on someone with a good pair of eyes looking over his shoulder and spotting the shot pattern – with DryFire he can see exactly where his shot pattern went in relation to the target.
Knowing that you are “behind and below” is very helpful but the software goes further than that. If you are firing low it will advise you to raise your eyes slightly off the comb or to make sure that your muzzle is raised to the flight path before called for the target. The software knows what has happened and it can provide a list of suggestions to rectify it.
So, the novice gains confidence and the next thing may be an order for a gun and a lifetime of cartridge sales, membership fees and competition fees.
Corporate entertainment days
DryFire simulators are perfect for use by shooting grounds on Corporate Days or when the weather is not suitable for everyone to be shooting in the open. There is nothing worse that a group of visitors hanging around in the wet with nothing to do![/spoiler]

How Does the Laser in DryFire Work?

[spoiler]Answer: DryFire uses an infrared laser in the shotgun muzzle attachment but it is of low power (for safety reasons) and it is not modulated. The reason for this is simple – with DryFire you do not have to aim directly at the target – you have to allow the same amount of angular lead as when shooting at a real clay. The camera in the DryFire simulator has to do two jobs:
Tell when you have fired
Tell where you have fired
There is also an infrared filter over the camera so that it is only sensitive to infrared light and it will “see”a bright spot when you press the trigger. It uses the location of the spot to calculate whether or not you have a hit – taking into account the trajectory and speed of the clay, the muzzle velocity of your cartridge, the type of cartridge, your barrel length and the chokes in use.
DryFire does not modulate the infrared laser because it is using a camera to detect exactly where you fired and a camera “sees” the world at about 30 frames a second – far slower than the frequency of modulated light. With laser clays the receiver does not care where the modulated signal comes from so it does not use a camera but a simple photo-sensitive device which just knows that somewhere in front of it, anywhere in front of it, is a source of modulated infrared light.[/spoiler]

Is There Any Recoil When Using DryFire?

[spoiler]Answer:There is no recoil when you press the trigger with DryFire. You hear the “bang” on your PC speaker, and you can turn that up as loud as you wish, but you get no recoil.Recoil can bring about its own problems – flinch (the anticipation of recoil) being the main one. Watch a shooter the very first time he uses DryFire and 9 times out of 10 you will see him move slightly backwards when he presses the trigger – he is anticipating the recoil and it shows that many more people suffer from flinch than realise it.
We do not claim that DryFire is a cure for flinch but it does do two things:
It identifies if you do flinch when pressing the trigger.
It allows you to practise with no recoil until there is absolutely no movement of your shoulder when you press the trigger.[/spoiler]

Is A Laser Dangerous?

[spoiler]Lasers are part of our every day lives – your CD player, DVD player and PC laser printer contain lasers. Looking directly at the bright midday sun is a very dangerous thing to do – don’t do it unless you wish to risk blindness. The same rule applies to a laser light source – never look directly into a laser.
The DryFire simulators direct the beam of light in front of you for projection against a wall or building. The beam is switched on only while the target is moving – thus minimising the time it is in any one position. The beam and the spot it projects on a wall are certainly not dangerous – you can safely put you hand in the way of the light beam.
The laser source used by DryFire simulators is very low power and is the same as that used by laser pointers so it meets all the requirements for the safety regulations defined for them.
The pulse of invisible light sent during shot detection is of such short duration (a few thousandths of a second), and such low power, that it creates no danger of eye or other damage.
Never stare at the sun, never stare into a laser – both can damage your eyes![/spoiler]

PC Requirements

[spoiler]Minimum PC Requirements:
Microsoft Windows XP (Service Pack 3) or later.
PCI/AGP 3D graphics card with minimum 16MB of memory.
A spare USB port.
Internet access for upgrades and technical support.
Note: As with most Windows applications, Dryfire will run faster when used on a PC with a faster processor and/or more RAM.
Trademark Notices
– Microsoft and Windows are the trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the US and other countries.
– Adobe, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Reader are the trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated.[/spoiler]

What size is the simulator?

[spoiler]The base is 185mm x 140mm x 45mm (7.25″ x 5.5″ x 1.75″) and the camera head(s) add another 65mm (2.5″) in height.
Underneath the base is a tripod bush for fitting to a camera tripod.
To find out more information and pictures of the system in the go the simulator section of the website.[/spoiler]

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