OCAT: Record Your Targets On A PC In Real Time


OutWest Systems has developed the system I have been desperately wanting since when I started target shooting many years ago. The system uses a camera and spotting scope to monitor your targets in real time to give instant feedback on your shooting. It also records your targets for reference at a later date.

I have kept just about every official target shooting target I have shot since I first started shooting. It is nice to go back in time to see how much better (or worse!) I am today, but thumbing through a large pile of targets is time consuming and not something I can do regularly. Having all my targets, not just official targets but also informal range practice targets, digitised would be a dream come true.

The kit does not come cheap. The most basic system which includes the software, camera and a spotting scope mount costs $549. The deluxe kit which includes everything pictured above and a laser training kit for practice without live ammunition costs $765.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • TOPO

    There are some cheap solutions out there… you can get Magnifi (http://arcturuslabs.com/) if you’re Iphone user to record or photo your sessions, it’s cheap and universal to use with your own optics.

    As I’m not an Iphone user I bought on Dealextreme a rigid case for my samsung an an universal 30mm to 40mm ring (for bike accesories) and home-made a case attachment for my binoculars, one eye with the phone camera and the othar for my biological analogic eye ;D That cost me 1 hour work and 9 euros in dealextreme.

    You can even go to universal telescope adapters (but ranges for 75 bucks or so)

    There are plenty of solutions cheaper than USD765

  • gunslinger

    looks like an interesting setup. but for 550-800 bucks, not for the backyard shooter.

    i wish i could see the video, but work won’t allow it. i’ll have to check it out later.

  • Bryan S.

    Not hauling a laptop to the range… how about getting a tablet compatible version out there!

    • http://www.doubleaughtmedia.com ChrisB

      “Hauling”? How much does your laptop weigh? 4-5lbs maybe? You’d already be bringing a heavy rifle, ammo, range bag, and a spotting scope. As long as it’s not a significant drain on the battery, I wouldn’t mind. A tablet would be more convenient, of course, but I’ve brought my laptop to the range to aid in a variety of other tasks and it’s not a big deal.

      • Bryan S.

        Most of my dedicated range sessions are going to last longer than the laptop battery, and most useful laptops I come across from people are still 5lb boxes.

        Its just another bag to add to the mix.

  • http://www.ocats.com Jim Cline

    I saw some of the comments and I like to try to answer people’s questions if I can. I am one of the developers of the OCAT System.

    Price. We believe that you get what you pay for. This system has been in development for about 3 1/2 years. We don’t just record your live first sessions. We track them in a database allowing you to look at previous sessions. You can compare multiple shooting sessions. Get shot group sizes. We also record the order and timing of each shot. So you can tell the amount of time between shots or the total time for a shooting session. When using the system in laser dry fire mode, you can shoot in your basement and save money on ammo. The laser round we use is good for 5,000 trigger pulls and the replacement cap for the end is only $35.00. That will end up paying for itself.

    AS for not taking a laptop out to the range, we do work with the high end tablets that are coming out. We are doing a lot of processing and the lower end tablets just don’t have the power to do that.

    • Eugene

      It would be nice if you had more information about the software – screenshots, more detailed description, trial version, video demo, etc.
      OS X version would be great too.

      • http://www.ocats.com Jim Cline

        We have videos and a lot more information on the site. http://www.ocats.com. A Mac OS version isn’t going to be coming any time soon, due to time constraints. We do have some people testing it using VM software on the Mac. Right now we just suggest people use bootcamp and boot into Windows of they own a Mac.

        We can’t really support a trail version because of the additional hardware that goes with even the basic system.

  • Lance

    Very cool the military has something similar. But this is nice IF you can afford one a pencil and paper with your spotting scope may be none tactic cool but works and is cheaper.

    • http://www.ocats.com Jim Cline

      We also track the timing of each shot. Not very easy to do with your pencil and paper. We also support laser dry-fire training that is a little hard to tack with a pencil and paper.

      • Lance

        Thats if you got thousands of $ to spend on the system.

      • http://www.ocats.com Jim Cline

        Thousands? Our basic laser system if you already have a laser is $295. If you need a laser, we supply the SureStrike LE Ultimate system, that gives you the ability to fire in 9mm, .40, .45 and .223. All of that for only $495. We think that is a pretty good bargain. Now you do need a computer, but the laser system can be hooked up to your home computer and you are ready to start practicing.

  • Chris

    For less than $200 you can set up a webcam to stream video to your laptop. There is also this system out there that I came across while researching webcams for shooting. I have no affiliation with the company in the following link.

    http://www.bullseyecamera.com/

  • Pascal

    @Jim Cline

    I think its a great system and as someone who works in software development I understand the effort and the need to recoup costs. I do not believe it is too expensive and does have value provided a few things.

    1) The hardware components better have more than just a 30 days or 90 day warrenty. I like this setup better than placing a camera down range.

    2) If you charge me over $50 for upgrades, the values starts to go down and hopefully the upgrade process is flawless and requires no silly procedures.

    3) I like it, but this is a niche product. I do not see the casual or backyard shooter picking this up. I see it better than keeping piles of targets just taking up space.

    4) Hopefully you have good technical support to get things running or at least offer a money back guarantee if you cannot make things work.

    On the value front:

    1) This has great value for instructors like myself to give students feedback. What would be better if you could hook up a user supplied second video camera or HD webcam and sync the video of the shooter to the shot so you can examine flinches or other poor technique. Similar to video used for golf strokes, this would be great and add great value.

    2) The ability to take a shooting session and save it to a common editable format like MPEG. This could then be used to add notes to each shot or review in a class room or simply to send to your buddy you took along to shoot with you.

    3) If you combine a shooting log or firearms log the software has more value offline as well as at the range.

    A few questions:

    1) You say you keep track of shot time. Can it handle something like a 25 bull Benchrest target? What would be great is if you could sound a buzzer to start the session and keep track of time and then sound a buzzer when time is up.

    2) I assume since you are just looking for holes, this will work with airsoft pistols as well?

    The video is not working for me, hopefully I can see more info.

    This will be on my wish list

    • http://www.ocats.com Jim Cline

      To address a few of your concerns.
      1. We use good products and we support what we sale.
      2. There will be two type of upgrades, minor versions (free) and major versions (paid). The minor ones will be available to any one with that major version. They will be bug fix and feature upgrades that are not major overhauls. The major upgrades will not be required and will give a lot of new features and we believe will be more than worth the price we will be selling the for.
      3. We really designed the product for any shooter that wants to improve their shooting. The laser version without laser comes in at $295, and they can pick up a laser for around $100. This gives them training when and where they want it without burning through the cost of lives rounds. They can then upgrade to the full version to take it out to the range.
      4. We have had shooters with NO technical experience get the system up and running with little difficulty. We do support and back our products.

      Value front:
      1. There is nothing stopping you from using two cameras and recording the information yourself.
      2. We don’t same the shooting sessions as video files. Way too much storage needed for them. We store the shots as raw data. This is stored in the database and can be used as you wish. With the play back feature you can play back the shooting session any time you wish.
      3. The data base can store a lot of information besides the shot data. It can store the shooter, grip, stance, location, weather conditions, firearm, cartridge (and specific cartridge info, power, round weight, etc.)

      Questions:
      1. The buzzer is something that we are planning for a minor update in a release fairly soon.
      2. Much of the testing we did was with airsoft. Works great.

  • TCBA_joe

    For anyone thinking this system is over priced, go check out Oakwood Control’s targeting systems. They work great bu be prepared to mortgage your house. This version seems viable for anyone who would need it.

  • http://www.ocats.com Jim Cline

    Just got a review out about the system. Go take a look; http://everydaytactical.wordpress.com/

  • Nicks87

    Really? Why the hell would anybody need this.

    Do yourself a favor and drop $549-$765 dollars on some ammo or some training courses from a real live instructor. I guarentee you will be better off.

    This device is definately for the “more money than sense” crowd