A question for some shooters, how come you don't shoot in competitions?


April 17, 2003, 02:54 PM
I'm curious. For those of you out there who are hard core gunnies. How come you don't shoot in competitions?

I come from an IDPA and 3 Gun background. I can say in all honesty that my shooting has improved dramatically since I've taken up competition. Plus it is major fun.

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Mad Man
April 17, 2003, 03:00 PM
Because it's not fun.

April 17, 2003, 03:00 PM
For me, it's mostly due to a shortage of free time and extra cash.

Greg L
April 17, 2003, 03:02 PM
Nothing within a reasonable driving distance that I've been able to find.


April 17, 2003, 03:04 PM
Mad Man, why?

April 17, 2003, 03:08 PM
I went to check out IDPA.

It looked really fun and I tried out and practiced with the organizer of the local chapter.

This is what I found out..

My nerves are too frayed to shoot, hit things, remember to reload under high stress with someone standing behind me and a crowd watching.

If I had the competition setup in my yard It would be fun to practice by myself.

Stress level is too high for me, I can feel my blood pressure about blow out the side of my neck when shooting competition

April 17, 2003, 03:09 PM
Hard to find a friendly group to compete with.
This is the sort of thing where you need a "mentor" to bring you in if you want to enjoy it right away. Breaking in cold is very hard, as many of us are introverts in real life.
I tried to get into shotgun sports by going to the local trap/skeet range during a competition and trying to make contacts. Felt very cliquish. Was not able to interest anyone in talking to a new shotgunner. Was it me? Was it them? Does it matter? I think it answers your question, either way. :confused:

April 17, 2003, 03:19 PM
I guess I'm just the opposite - I ONLY shoot in competitions (I include practicing for matches in that too). Bullseye primarily, plus combat pistol with my Guard unit's team. Just going out and plinking does nothing for me.

April 17, 2003, 03:20 PM
"My nerves are too frayed to shoot, hit things, remember to reload under high stress with someone standing behind me and a crowd watching."

I can relate to that. I can hit a 5" steel disk consistantly at 30 yards at semi- rapid fire with my BHP at a friends house. put me in front of a crowd and I'm lucky to hit a 50 gallon drum with a shotgun.

April 17, 2003, 03:24 PM

That is the best reason TO compete. Imagine the stress of an armed encounter. A gun at your front is much more stress than a crowd at your back.

For me its location primarily. I'm rather remote. There is a one club 30 miles off, went to watch once, didn't care for the format.
Shot IDPA once, rules didn't fit my training regimine. I won't sacrifice good training for the sake of competition. Plus it is a ling way off. Add to that a 3 month old and a 3 year old and "Who has the time?"

I have my own range, I can shoot when it fits my schedule. What I want, when I want, how I want.

April 17, 2003, 03:25 PM
I don't find it interesting. I know exactly how well I shoot and that's good enough for me.
I'm sure there's hunters here who would ask why you don't hunt for the same reason.

I just like to shoot targets for fun. My friends and I prefer impromtu competitions among ourselves.

I can't imagine taking my best form of relaxation and giving it a high level of stress by competing.

I like to bowl but I'm not on a team. I like to throw a football but I never play for real. I run, but I don't race. I rev my engine at stoplights but I never (ok I do like to burn some rubber :) )

I "might" try cowboy action shooting someday if time and money permit.

April 17, 2003, 03:27 PM
Not interested anymore ... besides ... might blow my cover as double naught spy!

April 17, 2003, 03:30 PM
Larry, you already know my answer - too little time! Between Scouts, family, Hunter Education, etc. I barely have time to make it to a Cowboy shoot 3-4 times a year! Actually, for those who don't like the pressure of competition, you should try Cowboy Action some time. If you don't take yourself too seriously (pretty easy NOT to dressed up as a cowboy), it can be lots of fun. But I digress.

I shoot when I can...which isn't often enough, generally speaking. Luckily (I hope), most of the time I spend on the range is spent teaching.

Now when I retire......:D

Jesse H
April 17, 2003, 03:31 PM
Hard to find time and money.

April 17, 2003, 03:34 PM
I'll be brutally honest and offer fear of embarrasment. I will evetually shoot competitively, mainly because my wife wants to (bless her :D ). I recognize all of the benefits. However, the performance anxiety of shooting for time/accuracy/technique in front of a bunch of strangers who I assume are better than me is daunting.

El Tejon
April 17, 2003, 03:38 PM

1. They are dangerous. The level of gunhandling always makes me ill. Takes the fun out of it for me. But I'm the resident safety ninny.

2. It is hard to keep focus. Once you open up the group you will find those who lose sight of the goal and only want recreation (which is cool, but not why I do it).

3. It is hard to find like-minded individuals.

4. The rules of the game often conflict with reality. What it takes to win a game and what it takes to win a fight are often on separate tracks. Male competition may obscure the objection, see supra #2.

I do not doubt that games help and if you have a good crew, then by all means. I do not thus I do not.

BTW, CAS is wonderful fun.:cool:

April 17, 2003, 03:46 PM
I' a very competitive personality and honestly think that if I went into it full force with a competitive weapon (1911 or CZ75-type) it would be the end of my time for anything else. I've been shooting the 1911 since... forever and feel completely comfortable with my skills. I recently bought a Kahr and once I'm comfortable with it, I think I may do a few competitions just to get the use of it drilled into my head. :p Honestly, I've never been to one. I plan on going to one May 10 with another member on this forum to see what it's all about.

April 17, 2003, 03:51 PM
Already been said but here goes:



Very few ranges that hold those types of competitions in my area.

I do casual bullseye at the local indoor range, but that's about it, though I'm considering getting into highpower rifle- I need to find out what basic equipment is required.

edit- I'm also really thinking about .22 BR50/50. Looks like fun.

John Forsyth
April 17, 2003, 04:35 PM
Maybe its how you look at things. I shoot all the IDPA I can and I am about to start into USPSA. I shoot several majors every year including the IDPA Nationals. I can say without a doubt that the people I have gotten to know through competitive shooting are the best I have ever met. I have never seen such a diverse group of people that have only one thing in common, shooting.

Now are there some stuck up SOB's out there, yep. But they are out there in life as well. Are you going to get spanked the first time you shoot competitively, most likely, unless you are Matt Burkett (a real great guy by the way). I started to shoot competitively when I got my carry permit and started to carry on my person all the time. I am amazed by the number of people who have carry permits and do not shoot or practice with what they carry. Rob Leatham has nothing to worry about from me, but that gangbanger better think twice about that over age hippy with a pony tail.

Andrew Wyatt
April 17, 2003, 04:56 PM
I don't shoot in IDPA or any other sanctioned competitions.

Pretty much for the same objections el tejon voiced.

I do think that competetive shooting is a vital part of training, however. It can be likened to the exams in acedemic studies, where your skills are tested and you learn what to improve.

training in general is more like homework.

April 17, 2003, 05:11 PM
There aren't any in my area, to my knowledge.

Besides. I shoot on my own time for recreation, and to improve my rifle skill. But mostly it's relaxing, a good way to spend an afternoon with a couple friends.

I'd verymuch like to do training ala Thunder Ranch, but no funds...

Carlos Cabeza
April 17, 2003, 05:47 PM
I am very interested in trying to do IPSA/IDPA and maybe some 3 gun. I thought I would get some combat training and then pursue it more aggressively. I have been a bit apprehensive because of reasons others have stated but the range owner/operator said after I got my training at his facility I could use it anytime I wanted as long as there wasn't anything going on. I thought I might watch a few matches then do a little "run and gun" on my own. Build up some confidence then go and kick some old geezer butt !:D J/K. I thought it would be better for me to meet some of the people and show some genuine interest and I'm sure one of the Ol' Farts will take me in........hopefully !

April 17, 2003, 05:50 PM
shoot a few seconds wait a half hour, shoot a few seconds wait a half hour. boring! 187

Standing Wolf
April 17, 2003, 06:04 PM
I used to compete in N.R.A. bullseye matches with great enthusiasm and moderate success.

Along came computers, and I stopped shooting for a long time. When I resumed shooting, I discovered I couldn't still see well, and arthritis and computer wrist had taken quite a toll of my steadiness.

I compete against myself these days. Once in awhile, I shoot reasonably well, but wouldn't be an asset to a team. I've thought about trying some of the combat-style shooting disciplines, but all I've heard of are center fire, and I can't count on my wrist to hold up through a match.

I enjoy shooting every bit as much, and probably more so, but will always miss matches.

Carlos Cabeza
April 17, 2003, 06:04 PM
oneeightyseven, It certainly wouldn't be boring. Of course the idea is to HIT the target while under some stress/pressure. I think it would beat the hell out of shredding paper and dogfood cans just don't do it for me any more. :cool:

April 17, 2003, 06:18 PM
I love competition, even if I suck at what I'm doing. If I am relatively sure I can improve, I'll keep at it. Sure, the first few times you're nervous, but the really cool thing is that after a little while, you learn to control that nervousness and focus it. You learn to block out the fact that people are watching you. When I get up to the firing line, I am not aware of the timer behind me, nor the fact that there are people in the room. It's just me, my gun and the scenario for 18 seconds. (or however long the stage takes me to shoot)

Regularly shooting in competition not only keeps my gun handling and safety skills sharp, my overall shooting skills in practice, but it also challenges me to learn new skills such as shooting while moving, kneeling, prone, from behind cover, and shooting at moving targets.

I know it's not for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoy it. Plus, I love getting the trophies. (hey, I like to win, what can I say??) ;)


April 17, 2003, 06:40 PM
Well, I already know that I am the best shot in the history of the universe... why should I have to prove it to the rest of you?

But really, folks... Money, time, and commitment.

I can barely afford shooting as it is.

For me, it is a non-competitive activity, for the most part. Sure my friends and I jostle over who has the smaller group size, but that is as far as I am willing to take it.


April 17, 2003, 06:40 PM

April 17, 2003, 06:47 PM
I've spent the last decade mostly outing with a career military friend of mine and gotten tax refund in the form of range time, cool hardware use and ammo. No incentive to join any sports club there. Now that he decided for a better career in the civil world, these resources are no longer available though... so now I'm on an IPSC course with the local club and hope to prove my hand in a few matches this summer!

There's also a developing 3-gun format under the military reserve sports organization here. They accept IPSC licence holders as "safe shooters" according to their standard so I hope to get to see some of that as well.

April 17, 2003, 06:48 PM
For me, the main issue is schedule. I may have nothing to do for weeks on end, then be working seven days a week, with no predictability. And I rarely can set aside the better part of a day to hang around for a competitive event.

April 17, 2003, 06:58 PM
Until I actually tried High Power, I was really intimidated by some of the guys I saw practicing at the range. They had all this specialized gear and took their shooting so seriously. Then I showed up for an actual match, and one of them helped walk me through the course of fire and called my adjustments.

April 17, 2003, 08:11 PM
Time mostly. 9 years ago, while shooting upwards of 500 rounds a week, I was "scouted" by an interested member of a local IPSC club. Was asked to join their somewhat exclusive club. I guess you couldn't just join; you had to be scrutinized for your shooting prowess, and they had a finite number of members. I probably shot better then than I ever had in my life, due to the amount of weekly expenditure of reloading components and time at the bench. Anyways, I made up my mind to join and was very happy that night. The phone rang and it was my company telling me that my electrical apprenticeship was to begin the following Monday. This meant college, long hours, and for the most part, no fun time. There went my possible competition right out the window. I guess I should have been thrilled to be able to better myself the way I did, and after all, thinking of your family comes first. But I will always have that nagging feeling that I could'a been a contender.:D

Now, I might just as well wait til I retire to see if I can put it back together.

April 17, 2003, 09:07 PM
I do and find it very enjoyable. Up here, it's the only way I can shoot in the winter (indoors).

April 17, 2003, 09:42 PM
I'm like most of the others here. Working 6-7 days a week doesn't leave much time for shooting, much less for competition. I've watched an IPSC match, heck I went out and bought and XD-40 so I can shoot at the major level. I just don't have the time now.:(

April 17, 2003, 10:02 PM
I think most shooters who don't compete are just afraid of the truth, they can't shoot as well as they think/say they can. The truth can be quite brusing to the ego.

I shoot just about every Tuesday afternoon at Rio Salado. The range is about 21 miles from my apartment and takes about 30 minutes to drive there. I'm a member of the range so it costs me $8 to shoot Tues. Nite Steel, but non-members can shoot it for just $10. There are four stages and I've never used more than 80 rounds. The match takes about two hours to get through if I'm not in a hurry. If I bought the ammo for my .45 ACP the entire thing would cost me less than $40 as a non-member to shoot, including gas to drive there and back, and the whole thing only takes about three hours out of my afternoon (I'm almost always home by 18:30 and the match starts at 16:00).

I don't do as well as I'd like, usually place in the middle of the group, but I improve a little each week and I learn something new every time. Not bad for less than $18 a week.:cool:

The fact remains, if it was important to them, they would make it happen.

happy old sailor
April 17, 2003, 11:18 PM
competition is the best "practice" you can get. no do overs. what you shoot is what you got.

blasting away 200 or 500 rounds on saturday is just that: blasting away. all the do overs you want until you get a target that suits you.

write down the score of each shot you fire. determine the average. work to improve your average. improve your average and you have improved your skill. not as much fun as blasting away, but, pleasantly satisfying.

reply is getting long, so, one last thought: the guns shoots where you point it. if you shoot a seven, that is where the gun was pointed when you fired it. work on control, especially of the trigger.

Steve in PA
April 17, 2003, 11:48 PM
I'd love to shoot in some competitions........PPC, Highpower Service Rifle.......maybe even some IDPA.........

just don't have the time right now........so I try and get out atleast once a week just to shoot something. My job as a LEO varies my days off..........so half the time I'd be working on the weekend when most competitions are held anyway :(

April 18, 2003, 12:45 AM
My work schedule is great.
Except when it comes to that bit where it conflicts with every local shooting competition, be it bullseye or three gun.

When I was in school I practiced bullseye-style once a week, and shot at least one IDPA match a month. Heck, even when out with friends we'd sometimes get a competition going. Whoever knocked all the pins down didn't have to buy after-range Margaritas.

I am slowly but surely getting into high-power; shooting reduced-course matches when I can, and picking up gear as I go along.

April 18, 2003, 12:58 AM
I absolutely hate crowds--that means waiting for 4 shooters to finish, for my turn.

Thankfully, I am extremely fortunate; I belong to a range that provides steel plate targets and those cardboard torso targets (IDPA/IPSC?? targets) that have the perforated rings in the middle of them. I can use them anytime, on certain days of the week, and I get a fair amount of practice in with my electronic timer. That also allows me to avoid the poor gun-handlers and hot dogs that seemed to turn up now and again.

History has shown that I don't do any worse in 'official' competition. Actually, it was a rare occasion when I didn't do better under pressure, I don't know why, I guess I took it more seriously. Anyway, I don't worry about "validating" my scores. And I can practice from a shoulder holster, IWB, or even some of the more imaginative short-range LEO drills.

April 18, 2003, 01:47 AM
Lack of funds to buy enough practice ammo is what keeps me from even thinking about it. Also, at present, I'm at least an hour away from a range that does this stuff.

April 18, 2003, 01:50 AM
Conflicting work schedule. :( I'd love to get regular Action Pistol practice.

The few shoots I've been to taught me little more than to switch my carry gun from Sig to 1911.

And that's about it. :uhoh:

April 18, 2003, 02:03 AM
Because I shot for years and it ceases to be enjoyable--
You get to a point where you are no longer trying to shoot well, but you are trying not to drop any points--
As you progress in classes you'll find that you get to a level where if you drop a point or two -- you're all done and you might as well go home-- That just puts more pressure on you and stress-- ALso -- If you shoot LE matches, You'll find you get tired of not being supported by your department when everyone around you seems to be--

I've shot Trap, PPC, and Ipsc -- Now I just sharpen my skills occasionally (Kinda like qualifying for myself:rolleyes: )

April 18, 2003, 02:16 AM
I would keep thinking of those pro geeks with the full race guns and all the goofy outfits...............straght off the bass boats!

I like shooting out in the woods anyways as the Army was enough 'organized' shooting fun for me.

April 18, 2003, 08:21 AM
I've been interested in IDPA since watching a videotaped match about a year ago. 3 gun sounds intriguing too and have read results of the SOF Match. But just check my grid coordinates. Where or what am I going to compete against or with out here?:confused: :rolleyes:

April 18, 2003, 03:56 PM
Shoulder weight lifting injury will not allow me to shoot bullseye anylonger. Shot cowboy action for awhile but it ceased to be fun with all the "win at all costs" shooters that would argue every shot. Now I just go plink with my cheap milsurps and make the hotdogs with the 2000 dollar guns look bad at the range......chris3

April 18, 2003, 04:46 PM
I use to 20+ years ago and did quite well with muzzeloaders and rifles but sportsmanship became progressively worse, cheating was becoming too much a part of the game and from what I hear it still is. Anything above college level competition and below NRA State level competition, I'm not sure what the "good" shooters are good at, shooting or cheating. A lot of effort is put into both "skills". I'll take an informal, friendly match anyday. Much more enjoyable and proves the same point.

April 18, 2003, 05:00 PM
I shoot high power service rifle.

Bought a new M1A NM right after the ban so I paid a fortune for it. Started going to matches carrying my gear in a plastic milk crate and using a strip of carpet rolled up for a mat.

I won a $500 world series baseball pool and replaced the milk crate and carpet. Got precision loading dies and a bunch of other stuff. Now I shoot a AR15.

I love it! I shoot in competition so I am a better shot when hunting.

It is fun and the other competators will loan you the shirt off their back. You aren't really competeing with them as much as against yourself. Last match I was at a guy asked around for extra ammo before he was called to the line. Seems he had forgot to throw in one of his boxes of ammo. He had 5 guys offer everything from handloads to Federal Gold Match.

I had a newbie shooter inquire about my Creedmore coat. I said "Hell, just use it during your relay". He really appreciated the offer.

Like it has been said before, I think the shooters are really a friendly bunch.

Ol' Badger
April 18, 2003, 05:38 PM
Well its Money!
Cant aford good equipt. And I dont like to compete infornt of crowds.

But if you open a Chipmunk shoot, I'll be the 1st in line. You know, A Chipmunk tied to a rotating pole. Yup. It sure beats a Turkey shoot! ;)

April 18, 2003, 05:43 PM
I prefer to compete with myself and with friends.
Still, I went to my first IDPA qualifier recently (didn't do too well). Might go back.

Nothing wrong with organized competition, but I prefer less formal competitions. Kcustom45 and I try to get together once a week to do a quick private match and we play for the expended brass. I've beaten him a couple of times, but he's generally a better shot.
Honestly, that's what I like. He seems to enjoy the IDPA shoots quite a bit, though.

Steve Smith
April 18, 2003, 05:56 PM
Correia, I think it starts early. Some folks never made a habit of having "me" time. Before all this gun business I was the founder of a very large 4x4 club that was very vehicle specific (Toyota Land Cruiser). I made a point to make every club run and activity, and some others did too, but there were always ones who never could find the time. After a long time I figured it out. Those folks had built a life around "not having time" so they couldn't transition. Everyone in their world expected them to be meeting some responsibility every weekend, and the time wasn't there for themselves. They'd lament that they never had time to do "fun" activities.

So, you young folks just starting out on your own life...make sure that you schedule "me time" and stick to it, or otherwise your "responsibilities" will grow too large to get away from. When X weekend comes, everyone should already know that you are unavailable. Can't reach you? Tough!

"Oh, you called? Gee, I didn't realize my cell phone wasn't turned on! Oh well, I couldn't have heard you at my BI-MONTHLY HIGHPOWER MATCH, anyways."

If I'm important enough to contact on the weekend, I'm important enough for those folks to know what I'm doing. Now my friends and loved ones are trained. My voice mails sound like this, "Steve, you're proabably shooting a match somewhere. Good luck! When you get done, call me."

El Tejon
April 18, 2003, 06:45 PM
Steve, technology was to free us, but it just made us slaves.:D

I am my office, I am open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That's why I take refuge in technological ignorance.:p

Art Eatman
April 18, 2003, 07:20 PM
Back some 20+ years ago, I got into the learning curve of self-defense pistol shooting. This led to IPSC in the pre-race-gun daze. It was fun. But, it's sorta BTDT, now.

Most of my shooting has been for fun or load development and testing or for hunting. Sorta tied into relaxation, really.

I guess if I ever wanted to go back into some sort of competition, it would be a return to my sports car racing...

:), Art

April 18, 2003, 07:21 PM

I get to matches as time and Susan's health & Rescue schedule allow - and I'd absolutely love to get to more (though someone else has to do the driving)!

Some of you don't because of feeling uncomfortable in front of a gallery, or preferring to be around like-minded people? Step into my sneaks for a month, folks. I guess I view isolationism as the surest road to stagnation - so I make a conscious effort to join in whenever I can!

It's educational for all concerned. . .

The stress of IDPA? OK, I absolutely can shoot a match like it's no more significant than paintball - but I seek out the emotional connectivity, the "crisis" mindset that demands I do my personal best. The rewards for shooting a match absolutely safely and well enough to be personally satisfying is immeasurable - and it gives me hours of food for thought to chew over on the way to even incremental self-improvement.

Money? I'm on a fixed income - and what Susan and I have for discretionary income is rarely above two digits for any month - so we happily sacrifice a little to shoot. It's that important to both of us.

At least the honesty I've read here is proof of people with good conscience - and maybe that'll erode some of the reasons that have been voiced in time.

We look forward to seeing you all at the range!


April 18, 2003, 08:45 PM
Money and time , and being in the land of blissninnys they don't talk to much about it around here , I like to practice at my own pace and against my freinds ( some are LEO) and I am one who likes to buck the rules ... (well in a real gunfight .....and yes you sometimes have to dump a full mag into mr coked up perp:D )there are no rules in reality ...

April 19, 2003, 10:15 AM
i shoot one match a week in the hartford, ct area and this is my first season. we shoot 50' .22 auto. one hand ,,,

theres a few other matches around but i haven't gotten involved yet.

i've never met a better bunch of people than those in the league.

i can tell you the ones who are winning are not cheating,

and neither am i

theyre good shooters, they don't have to cheat

i'm lucky enough to be on the same team as at least 2 former ct state champs. they are both quite approachable and down to earth. they have both contributed to the improvement of my shooting.

i think they might be sorry now cause i just whupped everybody hard in slowfire at the last match, too bad my timed fire wasn't so good.

most shooters are always willing to give a few pointers, its such an individual sport that we all find ourselves teaching someone the rudiments at one time or another.

you don't need all sorts of fancy gear to shoot at an acceptable level. just the basics will do for starters, and practice

as far as groups of people watching you shoot, most of them are no better than you, so go out, yuck it up and have a good time.


Pappy John
April 19, 2003, 06:30 PM
I tried smallbore silhouette. Very little shooting....lots more standing around doing nothing than I can stand easily. :(

April 19, 2003, 06:50 PM
Arthritis. My knees and hips won't let me compete at the level that I once could. I was about as hardcore an IPSC shooter as there is, but I can't run, jump, and twist without serious pain. I've got the memories,the developed skills, a room full of trophies, and a lot of friends from competing. At the end I also developed a dislike for the preponderance of goofy courses of fire, but if it was a choice between not shooting and shooting the goofy courses- "are you ready?" BEEP!

April 19, 2003, 06:57 PM
I really enjoyed it, had fun, learned a lot. I liked the pressure and the experience to perform under pressure, weather, and all kinds of "obstacles".

I decided to return to College. I decided to focus on some other disciplines. I compete against myself, and a select few for more 'real world' experience,at this time.

April 19, 2003, 08:07 PM
Are the only organized competitions I do any more.
I wish my club would put on a Running Deer match more often.
What I like about both of these is their informality - you pay your $ and you shoot. You don't have to stand in line or have some Range Turkey trotting along behind you to count your shots and play Nanny to your shooting habits.
I don't think competition is training for anything but...COMPETITION = It's gotten too 'Refined' to have any resemblence to real shooting for fun or protection.
I did High Power for years and shot International Rapidfire mailmatches in college.
Now I shoot what and when it pleases me... and since I have a target collection, I can compare my past and present results...
I've been very good for a long time.:D :evil: :neener:

April 19, 2003, 08:41 PM
How come you don't shoot in competitions?

Because I suck. :D

April 19, 2003, 09:06 PM
At first it started out as just being unsure (read: scared) about my abilities. The last thing I want is to be witnessed as weak or incompetent; call it a wide streak of machismo. Immature and unrational, I'll admit, but it's there.

Then I got the chance to go through the NC Quals for my SecOff license...and it was a blast. The competition wasn't very competitive (read: the other shooters sucked), but I had a good time competing against myself and ended up shooting a perfect score. All I had to do, really, was keep all of the holes inside the 8-ring on a B-27 target. Not hard to do when range didn't go past 15yd and I practice slow and fast on smaller targets at 25yd.

Anyhow, with that experience under my belt, I was all set to start shooting some IDPA at the local club. I wan't to run a qualifier course first, but that never happened. Then my work schedule changed and I'm stuck working on Sundays....when the matches are held. I guess I could take a day off, or arrange something, but on top of being afraid of failure, I'm lazy.

I guess all the excuses don't amount to a hill of beans, though. I took the Skunkabilly Oath of Education and have a long way to go to meet or exceed what I've spent on guns so far. :(

April 19, 2003, 09:14 PM
Went to a pin shoot at a local club, looked like fun. Needed a big bore single action & double action revolver & a large auto to compete, didn't have any.
That winter they held indoor .22 pin shoots. Sounded like fun. Needed a .22 auto & two mags - no problem. Also needed two single action & two double action .22's - problem. Guys from the club loaned me their guns so I could play that night, told me to come back but I don't make a habit of borrowing things.
Cowboy Action is pretty popular here, once again requires different equipment than I have or want to buy.
I like to shoot for rexlation, really enjoy going to the range on a weekday and having the whole place to myself.

April 19, 2003, 09:58 PM
My work schedule makes getting into one particular sport very difficult. I work kind of a rotating schedule where I am not off the same days two weeks in a row. Another thing is that all the local matches are scheduled on the weekends (like everyone in Las Vegas works 9-5 Monday - Friday). Again, ALL, the matches are on the weekends. So, if I want to shoot small bore silhouette, that means I can't shoot IDPA because they are held at the same time. I wanted to try IPSC rifle shooting, but that is held at the same time as IDPA and small bore silhouette. So, I compete when I can, and pick and choose what sports I participate in.
I can state for the record that no matter how much shooting I have done on my own, I would never be as good as I could through organized competition. As was mentioned, the reason is because there are no do-overs. If the course of fire is 40 rounds or 80 rounds or whatever, each one counts. And the results are there for all to see. There is no bragging about something you can't prove; and there is no self delusion. The proof is in the pudding. At the end, you might have missed winning by one or two points and you think back to those couple shots where you jerked the trigger or you fired when your sights weren't aligned and you think, if I hadn't done that I would have won. That doesn't happen when plinking. If you wern't satisfied with your shot, you just shoot again. Afterwards you remember the good shot and the bad shot is in the distant past. I badgered one of my shooting buddies to try competition. He had many of the same arguments you guys do, but the big one for him was that he didn't want to make a fool out of himself. I told him over and over that he was plenty good enough and he would do fine. He finally agreed to shoot his first match ever, but on the way he qualified himself in the negative again and said that he was going to go slow and just try to make it through-no competition for him, he was just giving it a try. When he saw the first stage he realized that he COULD do it and ran the stage at top speed. If I remember correctly he beat me that day.
By the same token, I found that when I started out with each competitive shooting sport, I was better than I thought. At first I worried about making a fool of myself and all that crap, but when I actually tried it, I found that I could hold my own, and in some sports win occasionally.
I have never run into any safety issues in an organized match. In fact the safetly aspect becomes almost ridiculous. My own informal shooting is no where near as safety conscious as the worst match I ever attended and I think I am a pretty safe shooter.
How practical a given shooting sport is is up to you. If you go out with the goal of winning, odds are you will do some things that arn't tactically sound. If you choose to do that, that is a dicision only you can make. You can approach the whole thing from a purely tactical point of view if you want and I have seen that done many times. No one ridiculed them for it, they just had a different focus. Same goes for the race guns and expensive equipment. If you buy them or not is up to you. I know when I was shooting IPSC on a regular basis, I knew I couldn't win. I didn't have the skills or the race gun (which does make a significant difference, don't believe otherwise). But, what pulled my chain in a big way was to see how many guys I could beat that were using expensive custom guns while I was using my bone stock 1911. So, it was a match within a match, within a match for me. Another aspect that many people don't seem to realize is that you are working on building your shooting fundamentals. You are laying a ground work that become second nature through practice. And with practice under pressure. Just because you shoot a match that isn't exactly like a shooting senario you envision doesn't mean it wasn't valuable. After all, you would be using the same set of skills in a different cicumstance. You practiced your draw, you trigger control, your sight alignment, your reloads etc. and that is the goal. Another example. I shot rimfire silhouette for awhile. Now most of my rifle hunting doesn't involve making offhand shots. I use a rest whenever I can and if I can't find a rest, I use a steadier position than offhand if possible. But, since shooting offhand is the most difficult position to shoot from, I improved my shooting from all positions as a result. I might never take a shot at a game animal from the offhand position, but the skills I learned shooting offhand will still come into play.
Another similar aspect of shooting that I recently experiecned for the first time is a shooting school. Same idea. You do stuff that you would never do when you are out plinking. You pay attention to how much ammo is in the gun and don't just run it dry. So, you make reloads when you can on the fly. If you experience a jam, you clear it as fast as possible and without hesitation. There is no standing there for 10 minutes examining the gun and extracted round to figure out what happened, you clear it and keep going. You also get to use target equipment that you probably wouldn't have at home. An example would be shooting at moving targets. I had never done that before other than hunting. We also shot at much longer ranges than I would normally shoot.
I have never understood this whole idea of standing around waiting to shoot. No, I don't like it either, but it isn't going to prevent me from shooting competitively. The match is only one or two days a month for me. I can shoot all I want the other days of the month. One thing I noticed from people I work with is that they complain about something being boring, yet they have no trouble staring at the television for countless hours, no mattter what is on it. And then say that something else is boring.
Everyone enjoys the shooting sports in their own way. I support anyone's right to have fun in the way he sees fit. But if you have never tried formal competitve shooting, I urge you to give it a chance. If you are like me, you realized that you were missing out on a great thing.

April 19, 2003, 10:20 PM
Been there, done that, got a T-Shirt to prove it.

Seriously, I prefer to practice drawing from concealment and double tapping targets for speed and accuracy, along with casual plinking. Less stress and much more enjoyable..

April 19, 2003, 10:35 PM
Needed a .22 auto & two mags - no problem. Also needed two single action & two double action .22's - problem. Guys from the club loaned me their guns so I could play that night, told me to come back but I don't make a habit of borrowing things.

One of the reasons I started the Mail in Match for Fellow THR Members. Some casual competition for fun featuring many different weapons and always an Open class so everyone can shoot.


April 20, 2003, 12:48 PM
For those who say they don't like standing around, QUIT STANDING AROUND! Unless you are on deck, or in the hole, you have things to do. Like taping, resetting steel, picking up brass, reloading your mags (because you just shot), working as score keeper, working as RO/SO, or maybe helping someone who is new and is trying to figure it all out.

I am never the best one there. That means there are people there that I can LEARN from by watching them. You can also LEARN things from the ones who screw up. As far as being nervous, unless you have mental health problems (in which case you shouldn't have a gun) those "feelings" will go away after a while.

I must admit that being in OKC is a blessing as far a shooting goes. First Sat- OKC Gun Club IPSC match. Second Sun- OKC IDPA Club match. Third Sat- Sandsprings Match. Fourth Sat- Oil Capital IDPA match. And there are other matches on those weekends as well. As far as money goes, I have no other vices or habits that I have to feed.

So, "Quit your bitching, and shoot."

April 20, 2003, 04:45 PM
WHy I dont shoot in competitions.....

I am not a good enough shot.

With my XD @ 50 feet I can put 100 rounds into a man-size target.... but I'll be damned if I can take out the 10-ring... Im sure I'll improve with more practice.


April 20, 2003, 11:30 PM
I have done the IDPA, and it is ok. I like the 3 gun a bit better because it is a bit more open (no lame mag cap restrictions and such).

But there is a new group forming out here in the west. It is made up primarily of the military, LEO's and gun nuts that want more realism and want to be able to put themselves under stress and pratice hitting a target and and practicing reloads and other drills.

The plan is to start with a few stages at first and include a bit of instruction from guys who have actually been in a combat or civilian shooting.

Here are the three basic catagories:

Handgun: Any handgun
Shotgun: Any shotgun
Rifle: Any rifle.
Magazines, optics and equipment.: If you can look me in the face and tell me you would carry it on the street or in the woods you can use it. (whether or not it is a good idea is what we want to find out.)

The dividing line, I think, will not be between what type of weapon you use or what it has on it, but the type of gear you shoot the match in. Because we wish to keep things practical, and we wish to test out our theories and ideas about equipment and tactics the classes should be:

CCW: The guy who carries.

PATROL: Someone who wants to shoot in basic patrol gear, or for the guy who is just getting started buying his gear. This class should be a good proving ground for what works and what doesn't.

FIELD: For that masochist who aint getting full value unless he's running the hundred with a 60 lb ruck, LBE and mask. (those crazy 18 series guys)

Anyway, it is just getting off the ground and I know they are open to suggestions from guys who have been involved with this kind of thing before. So if anyone has any, send them to me and I will pass them along.

April 20, 2003, 11:54 PM
Shot a match Saturday.

I was the only woman there.

If I were a normal woman instead of myself, I wouldn't go back. Being the only woman there ain't much fun.


Fighting is essentially a masculine idea; a woman's weapon is her tongue. -- Hermione Gingold

April 21, 2003, 12:15 AM
I guess it's a good thing that you ain't normal pax!:neener: :D

Andrew Wyatt
April 21, 2003, 12:16 AM
Pvtpyle: why bother with a class system?

the non affiliated matches i shoot in don't have thoem, and i don't notice the lack.
there is score keeping, but it's not competetive, and there are no prizes. (it's really more of an R&D program)

April 21, 2003, 12:32 AM

I'm used to it by now. :D


The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. -- Rita Mae Brown

April 21, 2003, 12:44 AM
Andy, I guess they want it to level the scores between the catagories. You could compete in more than on catagory from month to month, but I would stick to the Patrol group. I would not expect the guys from CCW to compete against the patrol and whatnot. But then again, it is run-what-ya-brung so it would make more sense to run them all together. I will run that by them.

I guess it is to keep the gamers and mall ninjas out, but they would not like it anyway. When the BTDT's started talking about how to carry your loadout kit and actually shooting people (and the aftermath of it personally and legally) I would imagine that they would either be weeded out or pack it up and go home.

Andrew Wyatt
April 21, 2003, 05:08 PM
we usually announce ahead of time that the stageis a field rifle event or what have you, so people can use appropriate gear.

usually we have a couple categories of event, and we use all three guns (usually not during the same event)

field events are run what you brung out in the field type events, usually not on square ranges, ranges may be longer or shorter, depending. vests and alice type gear probably more appropriate.

then there are the non field events, where it's more urben type skills, in which case the patrol or ccw type gear would be more appropriate.

we generally tend to let the event dictate the gear.

April 21, 2003, 07:54 PM
Don't have the money to practice enough to make it worth while. I've never competed before but I did go to an IDPA match last month and had a blast hanging out with the people there. I will definitely start competing when I've got the money to afford all the practice ammo I'd need to be as good as I used to be. Time and location are not a problem for me since I don't usually work on the weekends and the range where I'm a member hosts the competitions.

April 21, 2003, 08:17 PM
Though I have competed in the past and may do so again, I usually don't bother.

First of all, most of the competitions have as much to do with reality as reality series on television does. I can't help but laugh sometimes as we go through elaborate two reload scenarios or have to top off. I can scarcely think of any civilians who do that, let alone any professionals.:rolleyes:

My practice routine for my service pistols is usually draw, double tap, at various sized targets at various ranges from standing, kneeling or prone. This is about as close as I get to the elaborate Secret Service fantasies prevalent in so-called practical shooting. My most likely SD scenario is down the hallway of my own home and that will be with a shotgun. My most likely CCW scenario is on the street at close range with one of my tiny Beretta pistols. Fishing one of those out of a pocket, readying it for action and putting all seven or eight rounds into a paper plate at six or seven feet, at head height, as rapidly as possible, is the drill on those guns.

My deep concelament gun would make for a pretty boring competition, but those pocket guns are the one's I practice with most as they are the only ones constantly carried. Maybe I will begin a .380 and below handgun competition called "Dispatching a Goblin to Hell." :evil:

The service sized nines and .45s are for fun and to make it all the way from the nightstand to the closet where my shotgun resides. Fun and community are the only things I really get from competing against static targets with staged reloads and no return fire.

Simunitions or the old MILES gear and blanks would be the best training, but few can afford it.

April 21, 2003, 11:46 PM
A question for some shooters, how come you don't shoot in competitions? Because I see my handguns as tools for self defense first and as tools for fun second. The unrealistic scenarios and, worse, unrealistic tactics that one must practice in even the "practical" shooting sports could get one killed in real life.

If your sport tries to use somewhat "tactical" situations and to simulate a self defense situation but your equipment or tactics aren't exactly what you'd use in real life, well... In a multiple assailant situation competition calls for the same tactics you'd use w/ one (double tap, then head shot if needed) even though that could get you killed in real life (double tap one or two and his "boys" will have more than ample time to get a shot or three off on you), with multiple assailants one must adapt and use the best tactics which naturally wouldn't be the same as if you only have one (single shot on each to save time, threat assessment, head shot to anyone still a threat). Only one "tactics" example here, but one that could get you killed. If your equipment is different then the skills, even when the tactics are sound, may not transfer. If you are one of those who recognize these potential dangers and think you can thus avoid the pitfalls, ask yourself: which set of equipment and tactics do you practice more often (keeping in mind that under a high stress situation you are most likely to revert to what is most practiced as it will not be something you are going to be consciously thinking about at the time).

I would like to go to a couple training schools for my defensive skills. Games are simply not training. Everytime someone recognizes the problems and tries to institute something new to address the shortcomings (as was the case I believe w/ IDPA) it doesn't take long before the "competitors" come out and start pushing the competition envelope with unrealistic equipment and then scenarios (probably to make things tougher) which quickly make the "new" game look nothing like its beginnings/intentions. They quickly cease, no matter how good the founding (and stated continuing) intentions, to be useful from a truely practical standpoint.

Someday, I might get involved in some types of competition just for fun. The kinds I'd consider though don't pretend to be "practical". Long range rifle, silhouette, .22 bullseye, fine. These are more specifically marksmanship and they don't play with non-practical, unrealistic "practical" games. You don't practice skills that are close enough to what you'd actually need that you may return to your competition practice in a real situation. Pretend I am training and do "practical" competition- no thanks. If I am unlucky enough to ever need to use my guns to save my life or someone else's I'd rather not stack the deck against me by practicing unrealistically.

April 22, 2003, 01:39 AM
I agree w/ chaim that becoming a highly skilled 'practical' shooter can really detract from your real world 'tactical' skills. That being said however, I enjoy IPSC considerably. I don't treat it like 'combat shooting' or 'training'. It does things for me, I work on my trigger control, my ability to shoot rapidly and accurately, and my stress management skills.
My favorite sport however, is Highpower. Regarding someone's comment "it's really tough to break into a sport cold without a mentor". Really?
I started shooting Highpower by walking to a 200 yd. line once at 8:00 am saying, "Hi, can I shoot a match?" I'd never fired a centerfire rifle in my life (I was 18 at the time). They were super nice. IPSC same thing. Went to the place asked the guys what I should buy, they said, "blade-tech, blade-tech, wilderness, wilson's mags", I did and next thing I new I was punching paper.
Regarding shotgunner's cliqueishness. I dunno about them, but all the rifle and pistol guys I've met have bent over backwards to bring new shooters into the fold.


April 22, 2003, 06:53 AM
I would... but I'm too lazy to get up at 8am on a sunday when the local organizations meet up.


April 23, 2003, 05:54 PM
I shot IPSC a few times but I found it to be an equipment race instead of a shooting competition. Seems like every shooter was trying to find out how far they could bend the rules. IDPA has been the same thing. The only competition I have been doing now is the Michigan MICOP shoot to fund the families of downed police officers. Non-police can shoot as well. No gimmicky robocop holsters allowed. No dot sight, comped, guns with 24 round magazines of down loaded ammo. Just normal firearms and factory spec ammo. The shoot is done with the lights on, lights off and with a police cruiser light bar on with the lights off. There are literally hundreds of shooters. More than 500 last competition. You get your time to show up over a three day period. No waiting for hours, maybe 60 minutes wait max. I won 4th one time with a stock CZ75B. There are separate categories for autos, revolvers and race guns. The race gun guys are a very small group. Most shooting competitions seem to gravitate towards the game mentality of how far can I push the rules before it is officially cheating. Even when it does not start this way, it will gravitate that way because those that need to win will do anything to get that ego boost. Highpower Service rifle is the same thing except for the Garand Match. There you get a rifle off the rack and shoot it with ammo you are given. Sight in and shoot. Service rifles in Service rifle competition are hardly service rifles. It has become an equipment race. I think that those that need to win take all the integrity out of the competition. If a gunsmith is involved at any point in the prep for competition, I don’t enter. But hey this is why I don’t compete for the most part. I enjoy shooting and rule benders make it unenjoyable.

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