Xero S1 Trapshooting Trainer: Questions From the Pros

We’re not bragging when we say there’s nothing quite like the Xero S1 Trapshooting Trainer. Garmin aims to make unique products that help its customers “beat yesterday,” and the first trapshooting trainer with near real-time, live-fire feedback is a prime example.

However, there are drawbacks to such a large leap forward in innovation, and one of them is, well, doubt.

Another is confusion.

So, we took Xero S1 to the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s 2019 Grand American World Trapshooting Championship to let folks test it out; to get feedback and opinions from amateurs and professionals.

And everyone had the same reaction — in the same order:

Skepticism before shooting.
Amazement when shooting.
Follow-up questions after shooting.

“This device tells you so much about your trapshooting game,” says David Miller, shotgun product manager and pro shooter for CZ-USA, “When I first was introduced to this unit, I was skeptical. I was like, What? This does what?

“It tells you where you hit the target, it tells you how well you hit the target, it gives you a break factor, it tells you why you hit the target.

“Seems to me that most people want to know why they missed, but no one ever asks why they hit. This tells you why you hit. This device is worth its weight in gold when it comes to learning how to shoot trap, training a new student as a coach, getting dialed in on a new shotgun … this is the item you need to buy.”

So what is Xero S1 capable of? How durable is it? How many people can use it at one time? Well, we hear you. At the Grand American 2019, hundreds of shooters tried Xero S1, and here are the most common questions we received from coaches, and professional, novice and expert shooters.

Chad VanCamp, a Garmin product manager and fellow trapshooter, provided some answers.

Question: How many phones or devices with Bluetooth capability can be paired with my Xero S1 at the same time?

Chad VanCamp: Your Xero S1 can only pair to one device (that has the Xero App) at a time. The paired mobile device is what retrieves data from the S1 and sends it to the cloud. Once the scorecards are in the cloud, the Xero app combines all that data to show you amazing statistics about your shooting. While it is designed to track your stats alone, it is possible to see statistics for multiple gun setups or multiple shooters using gun profiles.

Q: How many gun profiles can be stored?

CV: 10  profiles.

Q: Is the data stored on the phone or tablet shareable in an easy-to-read format?

CV: Absolutely. It wouldn’t be all that useful otherwise. You can share certain stats and scorecards directly from the app with friends and family and share posts on your social media accounts.

Q: Will this unit work at the 27-yard line?

CV: Yes. It can track clays out to approximately 45 yards from the shooters. Accuracy tolerances increase slightly the further out you shoot, but the data still provides invaluable insight into your shooting trends at those distances.

Q: Does the color of the target matter?

CV: No.

Q: Will the Xero S1 function if it was sitting 10 feet behind an exposed clay machine in Upland mode (i.e., no trap house)?

CV: In Upland mode, we recommend the Xero S1 is positioned beside the thrower, but it will still work at 10 feet — provided that the thrower is not in the field of view of the camera and the clay remains in the field of view of the camera.

You can also set the S1 to Trap mode, but still launch clays from out in front. If that is the case, ensure that the metal stack of the thrower is completely under the top edge of the alignment box when you set up your S1 and be sure to accurately select the handicap yardage you are shooting.

Q: In Upland Mode, can the unit calculate in lots of 100 rather than 25?

CV: The device scorecards and the app are both built on the foundation of a 25-shot round. If you wanted to isolate 100 rounds for analysis, you would shoot four rounds of 25 shots each and give each of those rounds a specific gun profile or location (i.e., a way to identify that the four rounds are a specific test). Then within the app, under the statistics tab, you would hit the filter icon in the upper right and filter for just that gun profile or location to see just those 100 rounds.

Q: Can multiple Xero S1 run independently on the same trap field without interference?

CV: Yes, they do not interfere with each other. We run squads of five all the time. In some cases, your device may “detect” the shot from the station in front of you, but it will quickly reject because it didn’t “see” the shot happen directly over the S1. In those instances, you may see your status change from “Ready” to “Not Ready” while it rejects that shot, then it will go quickly back to “Ready.”

Q: If my tripod is taller than 36 inches, would the Xero S1 work the same?

CV: Yes. You just need to make sure you don’t have it mounted so high that it interferes with your shooting or shell management after the shot.

Q: Can the unit read doubles?

CV: No, this model only tracks one clay going away from the shooter and one report from the gun. Therefore, it can only be configured for American Trap Singles and Handicap. It could potentially work for Olympic Trap, but in some cases, a very hard left or right plus a long reaction time could cause the clay to leave the field of view of the S1 before the shot was taken.

One way to practice doubles currently is to use a snap cap in your first barrel and only fire at the second bird. This helps with reaction time on the second bird, which is critical. One thing to note is that this method will not work on inertia-driven triggers.

Q: Is Xero S1 shock-proof? What if it gets knocked over?

CV: It’s rugged. While we don’t recommend dropping it, it is built to withstand some abuse. If you do drop it and you feel the internal alignment of the camera may be off, please contact product support for further instructions. 

Q: Is it water-resistant?

CV: Yes, it’s water rated to IPX7, which means it could be submerged for 30 minutes at a 1-meter depth.

Q: Is it heat-proof?

CV: Yes. We’ve had them out in open daylight for hours in the middle of the afternoon. While it does get hot, it still performs.

Q: Is there a discount for teams?

CV: We are proud to offer a volume discount to coaches who want to help support their team’s continued improvement. Inquiries can be made on the Xero S1 product page.