Firearms safety is always a primary concern (or should be), and while the big four firearms rules always apply, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to improve. The SAFESHOOT safety system is one such way. This system is designed and developed to increase firearms safety and awareness particularly in situations where you may not be aware your gun is pointed in an unsafe direction.
The system is broken into two pieces, the Shooter portion, and the Defender portion. As the name implies, the Shooter device is attached to a firearm or optic via standard Picatinny rail. The Defender unit is carried by another person or even an animal. It can be fit to a backpack like the GPS Range Bag, a cargo pocket, or carried in the included pouch.
Whenever the Shooter is pointed in the vicinity of anyone or anything carrying a Defender module, the Shooter module sounds an alarm and flashes red LEDs to let you know you are pointing your firearm in the direction of a Defender unit.
It’s a simple concept, but their video provides a good illustration of how it work:
The system runs off of two CR123 batteries. The Shooter and Defender devices are somewhat large, but not as heavy as you’d imagine. They work off of a combination of radio frequency, MEMS sensors, and GPS to coordinate with each other.
The overall effective range is 900 yards, and there is no reliance on line of sight for these systems to function. I tested the maximum range between them and found the rating to be accurate. I started at 100 yards and used a compass to check the degree reading as I moved backward since a 900-yard straight line wasn’t an option.
I got as far back as 1,000 yards and the device still worked. However, that exceeds the advertised range, and just because it worked doesn’t mean I’d trust it at that range.
I also found that the claim that the system doesn’t require line of sight to be accurate. I positioned the units so that houses and forest lands were between the Shooter and Defender units and the system still worked perfectly. When the Shooter unit is directed at a Defender module, it issues a long, loud, and constant beep while the two red LEDs glare back at you.
There is a minimum distance standoff that makes a lot of sense and is only about 5 yards, but at that range, you should know who or what is in front of you.
Also, the SAFESHOOT alarm will shut off if you aim the Shooter module upward or downwards from the Defender. It seems to shut off several feet either above or below the Defender unit.
The Shooter unit doesn’t just identify the Defender when it’s aimed directly at it. It actually gives you lots of space to the left and right of the unit to prevent near misses. Maybe 15 feet or so in either direction.
If the SAFESHOOT Shooter is mounted on the left side of a long gun as it’s designed to be (for right handed shooters) the notification distance to the left is noticeably longer than the distance to the right of the gun.
The system works regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. It seems to work perfectly fine in the dew-covered morning with fog still hanging in the air.
Application of the SAFESHOOT System
The applications of the SAFESHOOT system are pretty much limited by your imagination. If you have a multitude of people hunting in an area, then each can be equipped with a Shooter and a Defender device. This can help prevent accidents when members of the hunting party split up. Even when people hunt together, one member of the group may wander off the find a comfortable tree to pee on.
A SAFESHOOT Defender unit can be attached to a dog or dogs working fields. Think of pointers flushing birds in tall grass. A Defender could be left to mark vehicles, barns, ATVs, hunting blinds, etc. That would prevent property damage as well as protect the people potentially using those objects. Each device needs anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to establish a GPS connection and connect to each other, but after that, they run until the batteries die.
The downside of the SHOOTSAFE system is the clumsy setup process. Before you can run the devices, you have to use a computer to configure them. The computer can be either Windows or MAC.
First, you have to create an account at SAFESHOOT. Then, using the Dashboard, you have to activate each device via its serial number. The website will then spit out a new set of numbers for you to write down and save.
Next, you have download a program to our computer. Then plug in the included Bluetooth dongle and ensure that only one device is on at a time.
Launch the application when it’s finished downloading. You’ll have to run as administrator and allow it certain permissions.
The application will then ask for those numbers you’ve written down. Now, for some reason, it took a half dozen tries for me to activate the devices. I entered the numbers as they were presented and, eventually, it just worked and activated the devices. The devices beep, and now you know you are good to go.
Fortunately, you only need to do this once per device. It’s a neat idea, a little clumsy, but effective within the advertised parameters and it’s the only device of its kind on the market.
Specifications: SAFESHOOT Shooter Safety System
Effective Range: 900 Yards
Weight (Defender): 6.1 Ounces
Weight (Shooter): 6 Ounces
Length: 3.94 inches
Height: 2.76 inches
Width: 2.17 inches
Price (Defender): $369.99
Price (Shooter) – $429.99
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics * * * *
They are a little bit clunky, but hardly heavy. The controls consist of one simple button that clicks in with ease and has a long enough press that it will not be easily accidentally activated.
Usability * * *
The start-up process is very slow, and not one I want to repeat. The devices work effectively once they’re set up and outdoors. The big bulbous sensor hanging off your gun may get old and requires you to figure out the best way to mount it that works for you.
Effectiveness * * * * *
The SAFESHOOT system delivers a bright visual and loud audible warning when the Shooter unit crosses paths with a Defender unit. It works as advertised and at the range advertised quite effectively and efficiently.
Overall * * * *
The SAFESHOOT system is a neat setup. It does what it’s advertised to do, though it’s a little on the clunky side, size wise. It’s also expensive, without a doubt, but provides an innovative safety system that we haven’t seen before.
This genuinely looks intriguing, and I’m sure there might be a good application for it in some locales for training purposes. For me, however, I don’t think anything should permanently replace the Four Rules and always controlling your muzzle unless/until you absolutely have your intended target identified. If you aren’t certain of what you’re looking at, then you aren’t in a position to point your gun.
My 2 cents.
After taking some time to think about this, and coming back to read the article again, I realized that the devices must be registered online and then attached to your gun. And then I think “Wow…what a great idea…willingly placing a GPS locating device right on my firearm! After all, no nefarious bad actor has ever hacked anything from his computer in the recesses of China, Uganda, or the Philippines, so no danger to my privacy, right?”
Hard pass. Like, diamond hardness.
Couldn’t agree more. A device that gives the user reason to relax on the basic rules of gun safety (“The gadget will keep me safe!”) PLUS it is a GPS tracker with an online registration?
How could this appeal to anyone?
use a ‘puter box at the lieberry.
Drink in the diamond hard logic of the inestimable ‘I Haz A Question’. His words are so important he even replies to himself. Such greatness!
I guess it got old shadowing James Campbell. It will get old with I Haz A Question. Already haz.
That’s right. They’re gonna use it to kick in your door first.
I admit, I was captivated until:
“Launch the application when it’s finished downloading. You’ll have to run as administrator and allow it certain permissions.”
Lol wut? Compromise system sec protocols the very first step, and then read online registration on a GPS device. IDC how useful it is, it’ll be a 0° K day in a very hot place before that’s going to happen, y’all out your minds. No no, zero.
This is a grabbers wet dream con right here.
I thought the same put a tracker on my gun NOT.
After reading the article and realizing that a pair costs in the vicinity of $700, I’m just intrigued who has such money to waste on such a simple thing. Is it really that difficult to keep your rifle pointed in a safe direction that you need GPS, MEMs accelerometers, and radio inter connectivity to perform such a simple job for you. It’s really quite laughable. I might as well buy a $500 coffee mug to go with it.
dogs are expensive. mine is priceless.
So it’s a devise for liberals……
Those look like a penis but also take batteries.
If it’s electronic…it can be hacked or interfered with…but pretty cool idea
You sound like my 75 year-old father. He has no idea what he’s talking about half the time either.
You ought to learn how to respect your elders.
Yeah. I’ll do that when you show me how to hack into my blender, pops.
mmm… blender pops…
Knock yourself out:
Biggest hacks on the planet have been executed by zombied botnet IOT devices like blenders being compromised on a mass scale.
I know people are probably going to drag this item but I think it’s actually a pretty good idea. It certainly doesn’t replace training/common sense and I won’t be getting one myself but can see the utility, especially if it can be miniaturized.
“I know people are probably going to drag this item but I think it’s actually a pretty good idea… It certainly doesn’t replace training/common sense and I won’t be getting one myself…”
So, not really such a good idea, at least not good enough for you, huh? There seems to be no end to “cool” tech gadgets marketed primarilly because they can be made and someone needs to make a buck. Play with things like this if you want or have some loose cash but the reality is, accidents will happen in any endeavor so long as it is operated by a human in a less-than-absolutely controlled area.
Clever. That said, those who would install it probably are the ones that don’t need it.
Maybe useful for businesses that do hunting tours or something?
“those who would install it probably are the ones that don’t need it”
Word. The only exception I can think of is a usually-safe young person with buck fever.
$800?!? Eight HUNDRED dollars?!?
(in my best ’80s used car salesman’s voice)
“But can you really put a price on your life? Would your wife and kids want you to skimp on your safety and risk not coming home tomorrow? Please sign here…”
You forgot the line – ” If it will save just one life ! “. Doesn’t fit my budget.
“(in my best ’80s used car salesman’s voice)”
“What the hell is this? 800 dollars? That’s too fvcking high!”
“We blew the shit out of that overpriced mother fvcker!”
That was one of the best movies ever- Spielberg produced it IIRC. Bet the BLM crowd ain’t a-gonna like the last scene, though…
This seems like v.1. The investment has been made, now, test the market place. How many do we sell at this price point? What objections, feedback do we receive? Is it worth investing in v.2? Which improvements are likely to drive sales and to whom?
Economy family packs?
Feature enhancements, model branches, market segments and strategies, how to drive sales.
I hear Dick Cheney is buying a set.
BAH HA HA HA HA!!
Nicely done!! Wonderfully cynical and satirical.
(golf clap & wry grin)
Not needed not wanted & surely over priced. You’d have to be a complete moron to think this will help anything.
Makes sense for rifle hunting large game in cover your big-game bullet can go through a lot of cover that you cannot see through. Sometimes in the south you have deer drives, where several people are on foot, though usually the shooters are elevated to limit bullet travel beyond the target. I think one step further would be a mini-version of the Garmin Rino radio that frequently transmits locations amongst each unit in a group where you can keep track of those out of sight but potentially within range. Only reason such a device couldn’t be the size of a wristwatch is current technology power usage / battery life. Wondering about other non-firearm applications if they shrink this down. Could be the world’s most basic camp/vehicle locator, for that time you get yourself turned around.
“…Sometimes in the south you have deer drives, where several people are on foot,…”
Us kids too young to hunt were the dogs….in the days of riding in the back of trucks, no internet. no cell phones, and going to the moon was a thing.
…and you could still buy, subject to gov approval, newly minted mg’s. Remember fondly serving as bird boy, collecting quail, duck, & goose until I was deigned old enough to be the one bringing them down, instead of just bringing them back. It was just prior to being legally able to apply & purchase a brand spanking new FA gun, the Hughes Amendment took that away.
I won’t forget, nor forgive that. Nostalgia mixed with a slap in the face by reality.
Seems mostly useful for field dogs.
Liberal cities will be outfitting all officer’s firearms with this system. All non-caucasians will soon be required to wear the defender device. This will be the greatest invention since smart guns.
For easy application it will be worn around the neck, and to solve the power supply issues will be powered by a 10′ extension lead.
You don’t want the damage your property while they’re on the plantation.
If I ever see one on a range or a hunt I’m packing up and going home pronto. It screams,…I dont know what the **** I’m doing.
Damn good point, Mr. C.
I could see it for initial training of large groups, but that’s it.
Even then, not so much. It’s stupid to have so many students the instructors can’t keep an eye on them…
The company’s website offers no explanation why they require online registration to activate a device you bought from them. I view this with massive suspicion. If they are legit in their goals, there should be no need to register online to make use of the device. You should be able to pair the two parts just as any BlueTooth device can be paired, such as a smart phone and headset or the hands-free feature of many cars these days.
On further thought I suppose if you hunt with a dog or dogs, it could be useful if not for the forced registration.
Or, if you are a hunting guide and concerned about the caliber (mental capacity) of your clients, again it could be useful there. Right up until you get into that forced registration thing again.
Of course it is ZERO benefit at all if you shoot in the direction of another party not using the system (normal people), or even if someone else is randomly out there but their gadget isn’t linked to your gadget.
Thus the FOUR RULES must not be relaxed in your mind over this widget!
The Four Rules
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to shoot).
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Some states will probably mandate thus for hunting. For the children.
Well now I see my second comment was deleted?
I said that on second thought I can see how this could be useful to certain types of users. Maybe hunting guides concerned about the brain power of “clients”. Maybe the hunter who runs dogs, which could be out of view in the underbrush. Those I get.
But the registration makes no sense to me. Endless BlueTooth devices on the market have no need of online registration. You “pair” your smart phone to your car or a hands-free wireless headset. So many gadgets work that way. I’d need a very detailed explanation, a convincing argument of why this registration is needed.
Even then I wouldn’t voluntarily hand over my personal data to yet another corporation.
you should self delete.
Know what costs less? Like $800 less? Not being an idiot. Pay attention to your surroundings and act safely.
I was going to bash this ( I never do that to new fangled gadgets) then it dawned on me what a great hunting safety measure this would be. Drive hunting for deer, pigs,varmint hunting, any time one would hunt with multiple partners. This is a pretty good idea for those who have the money and hunt with multiple partners.
No fuck dat, read more of the article. Uh huh, another spy device. Leave them Cell phones home.
Whoever designed this system seems to be unaware of the concept of windage and bullet drop. The cone of detection is far too narrow to ensure safety. I also am suspicious of the need to register the units on line. Then again, I’m one of those people who is unconvinced about eating blaze orange. If another hunter is to stupid and careless to differentiate between a deer and a human being, I really don’t want them to see me at all.
I want folks to be safe and maybe there is a place for it but a device should never take the place of personal responsibility. If your too incompetent to be above Dick Chenying someone, or so desperate to take shots, then you don’t need to be in the field. Devices can’t replace good sense, common sense and maturity.
At $800 and all the programming nonsense it won’t be in the hands of many hunters anyway.
The lawyer Cheney shot not only accepted all blame, he apologized for getting in the way of Cheney’s shotgun pellets.
Still amazes me.
This makes a lot of sense for dove hunting in the desert. I frequently push tanks and wind up working opposite sides of a tank with a buddy I can’t see due to brush. It’s be nice to have a second layer to ensure they’re not accidentally muzzled.
AND since you have to pair the devices, it offers no protection to an unknown third party whose “defender” that isn’t paired with your “shooter.” Seems kind of hokey to me.
mail the reciver to soros. tell him it’s a pendant.
The article implies the only warning is when a “Shooter” devices points in an unsafe direction at a “Defender” device. A “Shooter to Shooter” situation will produce an alert as well. So very effective for a group of hunters, dogs & non-shooter (like kids) in the woods together. I wish “The Truth About Guns” would have run this article by us at SafeShoot prior to publishing it. We could have corrected that error.