Target shooting for the physically challenged


A puff of air is all it takes to shoot a firearm, so disabled people can now participate in target shooting and even hunting.

Target shooting and hunting are pleasures most people cannot participate in if they do not have steady control of their arms or hands. Jeff Malloy changed all that. Jeff was an avid outdoorsman until 2004, when an accident robbed him of his ability to go deer hunting or even fire a weapon. Undeterred, Jeff developed the Equalizer Adaptive Shooting System, which allows people to fire rifles and shotguns even with limited use of their upper body.

Equalizer Adaptive Shooting Systems LLC faced many challenges designing its revolutionary adaptive shooting system for moderate and severely disabled persons. One such challenge was coming up with a reliable, sensitive, and easy-to-use trigger actuation system. With those factors in mind, Jeff created a simple air pressure system with technical assistance from engineers at World Magnetics Co., Traverse City, Mich.

Now, with a simple puff into a straw, an operator is able to activate the trigger mechanism to reliably shoot a firearm. The DesignFlex PSF103 pressure switch, from World Magnetics, was chosen for this application because of the need for a durable, compact sensor that would switch a 12-V supply. Available in a wide selection of pressure ranges and port configurations, this  pressure switch was adapted to meet the Equalizer Adaptive Shooting System’s exact needs.

Individuals with different levels of disabilities can wheel up to the Adaptive Shooting Bench, aim a firearm using an 8 way ultra-sensitive joystick, and fire the weapon with a single puff of air. The air puff actuates the PSF103 switch, which energizes a trigger actuation circuit. The system can be bench mounted or custom mounted to a wheelchair.

Click here to see video of the system aiming and firing a rifle that hits a jug of water from 300 yds. The Equalizer website has other videos of interest to hunting enthusiasts and has Jeff's summary of how he develped this novel system.

Click here to see an article in our sister publication, Machine Design, about similar technology used for helping disabled people with fishing.

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Alan Hitchcox

Alan joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987 with experience as a technical magazine editor and in industrial sales. He graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University and...

Leah Scully

Leah Scully is a graduate of The College of New Jersey. She has a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering with a mechanical specialization.  
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