Generally, we do not use the NROI blog space to do product announcements or endorsements but this product is different, very different, and we would be Fools if we didn’t avail ourselves of the opportunity to showcase this amazing new product.
In the product announcement press release, inventor and company president Raymundo Hoorst announced that the new “Trust ePopper” from Range Maestro Industries, LLC would be available for sale soon. “We had hoped to make a huge splash at SHOT this year but of course COVID cancelled that, again, so instead we are doing an online launch today, April 1st, 2021.”
The Trust ePopper is unique among range hardware in that it is fully instrumented with strain gauges, vibration sensors, accelerometers and is BlueTooth enabled.. When hit, the Trust ePopper can determine the competitors Power Factor within 0.1%. The competitor surrenders one round of match ammo at check-in, that bullet is weighed, and the weight entered into the scoring database. With the ammo shortage, saving those extra seven rounds could be the difference for some shooters.
The scoring tablet on each stage is connected to a Trust eHub by BlueTooth and each popper is also connected to the Trust eHub. Steel is scored automatically when hit, if hit with a bullet delivering the proper Power Factor, whether the popper falls or not.
“The Trust ePopper is a huge advancement for all USPSA competition.” said Hoorst. USPSA President Mac Pharley echoed Hoorst’s sentiment. “This is huge. We can eliminate the Chronograph stage and the staff at Chronograph who mostly just sleep all the time anyway. Competitors that are trying to cheat by using underpowered ammo are automatically shooting for no score, if they declared Minor, or shooting Minor if they declared Major. It’s a win-win for everyone except the cheaters. We intend to make the use of the Trust ePopper mandatory at all Level II and higher matches starting in 2022.”
USPSA Marketing Director Jock Markins was similarly thrilled. “This will give every major match another bay to use for vendor demos! We have an exciting lineup of USPSA endorsed products to demo this year including our new sunscreen and wheeled range recliners.”
USPSA Board Member Brice Gray was effusive about the new product as well. “It has a 100% chance of working because Windows Vista isn’t anywhere near it. If Apple had built a popper, and we do paint our popper white so there’s that, this would be that popper.”
USPSA Board Member Brice Wheels wasn’t so sure. “I’m old school and I only trust things I can touch. Metal, machine tools, ice cream, stuff like that. I just am not sure about this ‘e-Everything’ these days.”
NROI Instructors Geoff “Waldorf” James and Paulo “Statler” Fernandez were similarly unimpressed. “Dammit, first they come out with smokeless powder and now this.” fumed James. “Where does it end?” said Fernandez.
When asked about any rule changes that might be necessary, DNROI Tory McMeanus indicated that the Board was working on any rule changes and he was sure there would be plenty of notice before they were published and went into effect. “One thing we know for certain is that the Trust ePopper will eliminate threads on the forums about being F&%#@d by a popper. Technology never fails, as long as it isn’t Windows.”
The Trust ePopper will retail for $4,121 plus freight with a substantial discount for USPSA affiliated clubs. Quantity pricing will also be available, buy 4, get 1 free. Extra proprietary battery packs will be $41 each. The Trust eHub will retail for $401. Each Trust eHub can support up to 41 Trust ePoppers so can easily support multiple stages in adjacent bays. An annual subscription of $41 for each eHub is required for software updates which will be released the Thursday before each Major USPSA match.
When asked about retrofit kits for existing poppers, Hoorst stated “We will see if there is a demand.”