Automated shooting range


[Steve] was discussing airsoft with a friend when he came up with this idea. His friend was lamenting the lack of “action” style targets for their airsoft hobby. [Steve] took this as an opportunity to make his own automated target system. The targets themselves are made from Construx, a paper target and a piece of cloth to stop the airsoft pellets. Controlled by an Arduino and an ioBridge module, it has a web interface so he can switch programs from up range. You can see a video example of him shooting some targets after the break. Next,he should make it twitter where each target was hit.


  1. TheZuke! says:

    “down range”?
    Most targets _are_ changed “down range”,
    changing a target from “up range” (where the
    shooter is) is a nice convenience.

    (insert here Mel Gibson singing
    “dah, dadadah, da dada, da dadat da, dah dada dah”
    as targer moves up range in Lethal Weapon (I) )

  2. jay says:

    K’nex? Those look like the old Construx to me.

  3. Alexander says:

    An even cooler use would be detecting when the target was hit, flipping it around and starting up the next sequence.

    Good hack though.

  4. Jeremy says:

    yep, definitely Construx.

  5. matt says:

    These are construx not k’nex.

  6. Caleb Kraft says:

    Yup, definitely construx. I’ve been on instructables too much.

  7. numen says:

    Should add some kind of sensor to each one to count hits and keep score.

  8. mister says:

    yeah, a hit/miss counter would be great.
    then you make the code increase the rate according to your accuracy. So 100% hit rate would keep you on some expert curve but a lower rate would lower the challenge curve.
    Also the targets need to be farther apart!

    or just make it into a drinking game and skip the code.

  9. kd5uzz says:

    Or have two paper targets on each target. It spins one way for a ‘bad guy’ target, the other and you get a ‘good guy’..try to not hit the good guys. A hit detector shouldn’t be too hard, but a miss detector wouldn’t be quite so easy. Maybe use a PC and a microphone to detect the sound of the shot? A shot sound + hit = score++, sound + no hit for x period of time = miss++

  10. tecNik says:

    Put the targets between a light source and a webcam. The code to detect the light coming through the holes should be easy in ‘Processing’.

  11. Gryphin says:

    I’m just amazed there are still Construx out there. Miss those things from when I was a kid.

  12. rvisokey says:

    No Safety Glasses!! You’ll shoot your eye out!

  13. fractalrock says:

    Caleb is trying to get me all riled up about twitter. :) heheh, I see right through you, buddy.

    good job on the target system. looks like a ton of work….a mini-engineering project.

    my complaint is with the iobridge stuff…not open source; requires iobridge servers to work; etc. Of course there isn’t much of an alternative without some serious programming (unless you want to have a computer hooked up via rs 485/serial)

  14. frollard says:

    a piezo on each target plus piezo on cardboard backdrop would detect hits and misses (hits would register both sensors). Twitter it to a scoreboard
    ‘downrange’ Dead simple.

  15. polymythic says:

    Yeah, they are indeed Construx. I had some ideas on “hit detection” but after all I can see the holes in the target face for scoring. Still, its really good feedback and ideas. I really like the one with the speaker detection and also the good/bad guy one.

  16. polymythic says:

    yeah, you’ve got it. Construx.

  17. polymythic says:

    Yeah, I had some ideas for this. I can at *least* check the target face before its torn to shreds (in full-auto on the pistol, it goes swiss-cheese in a hurry). Thanks!

  18. deacon says:

    I’d use a couple of servo’s and a PCI servo controller. But Im a big noob in this kind of engineering.

  19. bullzebub says:

    tat doesnt seem so healthy for the wall behind the targets! actually .. why didnt you made the BB stopper stationary and just flip the target? that would make it possible to flip them faster too since you have lesser mass :-)
    cool project neverless :-)

  20. The Mainline says:

    While you are at it, why not add a sensor that would be able to sense the location of impact, for airsoft training.

  21. dgarman says:

    That’s awesome. Looks like a fun project. I agree with what people are saying about having a score counter though.

  22. polymythic says:

    The cut up shirt for the trap worked pretty well in fact. Nothing go through (unless I missed and did hit the wall, of course). The mass of the target face is very light, and very neutral, so I not even up against the torque limitations of those little servos yet. The code is posted on my site, so dropping some of the delays would speed the targets up even more. Good idea though, and thanks for the feedback.

  23. eric says:

    Looks like something that the blackwater group sells for lots n lots of $$$ for big guns.

  24. K'nex Guns says:

    You can make it out of K’nex too though.

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  27. Paintballing says:

    Thats pretty cool that you can get the targets to move freely. I downloaded some Olly Lang tutorials from one of his paintballing websites on improving his accuracy and they are all pretty boring if you don’t have another player to peform them with.. Hours of fun to be had with that system..

  28. Paintball says:

    Yeh it would hone your skills big time!

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