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On Target: Jedburgh Target Systems

It is impossible to predict when an assailant or threat is going to react to the rounds a shooter delivers, even if they are properly placed and delivered in large numbers. So too is it impossible to predict when a Jedburgh Target System target will drop – even if the rounds put on it are properly placed, and delivered in large numbers. That is the point, according the the designer of the JTS targets. Most shooters engage either paper targets or steel or both and though a reaction can be obtained therefrom, that reaction is relatively one-dimensional – the plate either drops, or a hole appears in the paper and it is incumbent upon the shooter (or instructor) to make sure he maintains coverage in case a further application of firepower proves necessary.

“We've taken traditional steel targets, we've given them brains…the shooter doesn't know what it's gonna take to win,” says designer Scott Watson. “His job is to get good hits. When the target goes down it's over and he can move on to another target.”

The JTS simulates as realistically as can be done on a square range the uncertainty of a gunfight. The target may drop with a single center-mass strike, it may require multiple hits to put down – just like a possible assailant. Designed by a US Army infantry and SF veteran (4 years with the infantry then 7 with Green Berets of 5TH SFG), he is actually a West Point Academy graduate with a degree in Engineering. After several tours in Iraq he came home and put that Engineering education to work. The JTS reactive targets are the result of that labor. They can be randomized or controlled with preset courses of fire, even controlled with an iPhone. You only have to watch any of the JTS videos to see how even proficient shooters fall prey to that training scar that says, I've shot two to the body, one to the head, I can scan, reholster and secure.

This is an excellent training tool for anyone who wants to legitimately train for the worst case scenario. Though potentially entertaining, it is not a sport target. JTS steel is a way to simulate the unpredictable effects of drugs, willpower, body armor, adrenaline, religious fervor, whatever. No matter what the shooter is training for, be it home defense or concealed carry or working On The Job with a badge, Jedburgh Targets are a way to reinforce good habits in training: continued proper application of good hits on demand until the assailant responds and there is no longer a need to apply deadly force.

The only thing that could make it better, in our mind, is if there was a chance the target could stand back up. This would force the shooter to continue covering the threat and maintain threat awareness. Who know, perhaps Scott Watson is working on that very thing.

Take a look at Jedburgh Target Systems.

Bonus points if you know the etymology of the name without using Google Fu.

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