T&E: IDTS Targets – The Evolution of Range Time

Several months ago, I attended a Gun Day event at Weyer Tactical here in Ohio.  As I pressed the flesh and spoke with local shooting enthusiasts, Joe Weyer, the owner of Weyer Tactical, introduced me to Tatiana Whitlock, an entrepreneur and the designer of the IDTS target.  We exchanged information and promised to get in touch for the purpose of allowing me to check out her target system.  Several months passed before we were successful in linking up.  In the interim, I attended a combat carbine course at a facility where Tatiana herself had trained on several occasions.  The weather was perfect, meaning it rained all day, and our paper targets were taking quite a beating from the moisture and wind.  We repeatedly had to cease fire in order to repair and replace our paper targets.

To resolve this issue, the staff at Alliance Police Training brought out 3-dimensional targets that appeared to have photos superimposed over them to make them look like people.  Low and behold, I was about to experience the IDTS target in real time.  Although relatively light and flexible, the IDTS targets mocked our rainy weather and maintained their menacing gaze on the firing line.

The IDTS target was perfect for rainy weather.  This is just one configuration of the IDTS target.

The IDTS target was perfect for rainy weather. This is just one configuration available from IDTS.

During the carbine course, the targets were heavily peppered with both handgun and rifle rounds that counted into the hundreds.  They withstood the abuse and were still standing rigid when we were finished.

The author approaching a group of IDTS targets during a "shoot and move" portion of the training course.

The author approaching a group of IDTS targets during a “shoot and move” portion of the training course.

Soon after the carbine course, Tatiana contacted me and arranged for a test pack of the targets to be delivered for my evaluation.  The targets come in a variety of  visual configurations as well as either rectangular backs or silhouette shaped.  Each Target comes with repair pieces – a new face for the target made of the same sturdy material; and adhesive pieces that can both repair used targets, or change the configuration from a threat to a non-threat by replacing a knife or pistol with a cell phone image.

Some of the options available with the IDTS system.  The targets also come in a either red or white shirted bad guys.

Some of the options available with the IDTS system. The targets also come in a either red or white shirted bad guys.

I took the targets down to my local indoor range and experimented with them.  As you can see in the target photo below, even though these targets are heavier and more durable than paper targets, they apply to common, hanging range cardboard with simple tape or staples.  I spent a good hour shooting up these targets and I never had to put it back up once it was taped in place.

The IDTS target taped to common range cardboard.

The IDTS target taped to common range cardboard.

As for durability, as I stated above, these targets withstand a lot of use and abuse.  For my personal testing, I used my .45 pistol to ensure the largest penetrations possible.  The result was just large, clean, easy to see holes punched into the target.  At 20 feet, I punched a neat hole into the center of the target but it neither deformed or collapsed while missing a sizeable chunk of its chest area.  I then fired shots into random locations of the target to see if impacts in different regions responded differently.  They did not.

Bullet holes in the unique target have no effect on its shape.

Bullet holes in the unique target have no effect on its shape.

After shooting it up a little, I retrieved the repair pieces and applied them to the target.  The result was a fresh, reusable target that I continued to abuse for about 50 more rounds.  I apologize for the visual on this one.  The flash on my camera made it look much less impressive than it was.

The repaired IDTS target, ready for another round on the range.

The repaired IDTS target, ready for another round on the range.

My overall assessment of these targets is that they are fantastic.  With the available options for changing the target configuration, they are perfect for shoot/don’t shoot training, shoot houses, and any outdoor range that wants to continue operations through less than ideal weather conditions.  The silhouette shaped targets also have holes through them that allow them to be mounted on sticks or pole as opposed to standard target stands.  Especially with small caliber projectiles like 5.56 and 9mm, I suspect these targets can be reused over and over again with no difficulty whatsoever.  Military ranges, law enforcement ranges, training centers, and anyone interested in reusables and recyclables would benefit from use of the IDTS targets.

I seem to have lost the final photograph of my range time with IDTS.  That was almost the coolest aspect of it.  When I was finished with my testing, I simply pulled the target down and wadded it up like butcher’s paper before tossing it into the trash.  The material is both durable and pliable and allowed it to be discarded quite easily.

Pricing on these targets could not be described as cheap, but the value added by being able to train year-round and reuse them repeatedly easily offsets the cost.  They come in a variety of packages for everyone’s needs – from the single shooter to the large scale operation running dozens of shooters per day.  These are now on my “Highly Recommended List” of things any respectable training center should have.

For more information on the IDTS targets, visit their website HERE. 

Or, visit their Facebook page – IDTS on Facebook.

Until next time, Train Safe, Train Hard, and Stay Alive.

Ross

 

 

 

 

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  1. Pingback: Ross Elder on the IDTS 3D Target System - RECOIL

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