Why Don't You Shoot In Local Matches?


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Justin
March 12, 2011, 01:06 PM
The discussion entitled "Why aren't you a Cowboy Action Shooter?" has generated a large amount of discussion, and a fair amount of information, both about the sport, and the reasons behind why some people choose not to participate.

So, let's widen the scope of the discussion to all forms of competitive shooting.

If you don't shoot at local matches, why not?

If you've never shot a match in your life, what's keeping you from trying one out for the first time?

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Claude Clay
March 12, 2011, 01:07 PM
stopped most events due to early start times

Deanimator
March 12, 2011, 01:38 PM
I used to.

I've been out of work for more than two years.

Shooting was a luxury. Buying cases of CCI Standard Velocity .22lr AND paying league fees was an INSANE luxury.

I JUST got a job. When things settle down, I will probably start shooting on my old club team again.

gym
March 12, 2011, 01:49 PM
I would imagine for most, that money, and "other responsibilities" are the two biggest reasons. Most folks in the "middle class" have a limited amount of time and cash to spend these days.Priorities like the mortgage, vechicles etc, make spending a couple hundred dollars periodically a difficult pill to swallow, maybe taking the family out to dinner would come first. Single guys with more disposable, incomes are more likelly to be able to have the time and money to do things like this. Also many families may not be interested in spending their time together, shooting. My wife won't go, she used to, but has no interest anymore. I tried everything, she has no interest at all her hands are arthritic. So I either would have to go without her, or not go.Being that she works hard to keep us afloat, I would not feel right, even if I could go, other that the occasional hour or so, to function test, and stay somewhat sharp.
I think that 20 years ago I would have answered this question completelly different. When you are healthy and money is flowing, things are much easier.
I think that no matter who you speak to, these days, if they are retired or can't work or make what they are used to ,or unemployed. Things like gym memberships shooting frequentlly, restaurants, boats, even movies,replaced by "netflix" "blockbuster" and all the things that are not essential, go on the back burner. That's just life right now. Maybe if the economy comes back, more folks will get back in the pool.
I find that most of the guys who I shot with when I was younger 20-50, have either slowed down or stopped. And fixed income after retirement, makes plinking money down on a regular basis, tough.
Also many of us can't keep a schedual because of health reasons, or work.The same would hold true for any hobby or activity in these times.

wally
March 12, 2011, 01:52 PM
Too much standing around, not enough shooting.

Besides practicing once a week won't be competitive. Perhaps after I retire ....

oneounceload
March 12, 2011, 01:56 PM
If you don't shoot at local matches, why not?

Define "matches"................

That can encompass many types of guns and aspects of shooting

Patriotme
March 12, 2011, 01:57 PM
I work shift work and you need to be there very early. It's always on the other side of town and it's easy to plan on going to the match but it's a lot harder getting up after going to bed about 2am.
It's also hard to sit around for 3-4 hrs (IDPA) and only shoot for a couple of minutes all day. Make it 1 to 1 1/2 hrs for steel plate matches and about 2 minutes of shooting.
I shoot a couple of matches per year and it's fun but it's bit of travelling, a long wait and not a lot of shooting. I will say that most of the shooters are a bit standoffish as well.
Matches are fun but they aren't that fun (especially after working the night before).

straybullet
March 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
Watched a couple of IDPA matches the last few months, just unsure if I want to buy a pistol for it yet. All I have now are .45lc single actions.

Owen
March 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
The two biggest reasons I've heard/witnessed is that "I want to get good before I start going to matches, and people like to spend the weekends with their kids.

texas bulldog
March 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
1. money
2. time

I wish I could claim it was more complicated than that, but it isn't. I supposed if I was interested enough, I'd overcome those. But as it stands, other responsibilities, priorities, and interests trump competing in any sort of firearms matches.

ants
March 12, 2011, 02:04 PM
Yes, I do shoot in local matches. Lots of them. But I understand Justin's question, for the sake of discussion. Here are several learning points that local clubs may consider:

Many local matches are run by a small clique of guys who run it as their own private event. If you're not an insider, you're an outsider. That turns off LOTS of potential competitors.

Some local clubs don't communicate well. When do they shoot? What matches do they shoot? Who do you call to find out? The best kept secrets are thousands of local matches held all across America by fine people who just don't know how to communicate.

Cost. Club fees, entry fees, membership fees, range fees, extra fees if you're not a member. These costs often add up to be greater than ammo cost. When many clubs allow their own RO's and other officials to shoot for free, that leaves the common member paying the burden for everyone. Keep the cost down, and spread it out evenly.

Owen Sparks
March 12, 2011, 02:04 PM
I used to and may again but as others pointed out, there is too much standing around. The typical IDPA match takes up about five hours all for about 90 seconds of cumblitive trigger time. The wait between turns is well over an hour. I came to the realization that the standing around part was some peoples social life and I have better things to devote my Saturdays to.

yeti
March 12, 2011, 02:10 PM
I shoot in the Wednesday night trap shoots in the spring and summer:), though if you have ever seen me shoot trap you might wonder why:o. And I still don't know why I have to pay the full amount for each round:banghead:... they can just go out and pick up 20 or so of my birds and use them again for the next round... figuring on 2 or 3 'ground kills' per round:(...

Do participate in a few rifle matches each year, and there are always a bunch of informal, pick-up pistol matches to join (that's what happens when BP, Customs, State, Sheriff, and the locals LEO and nons, all informally use the range for training... those Customs guys cheat like heck...and they need to!:neener:).
:D:D:cool:

Jorg Nysgerrig
March 12, 2011, 02:12 PM
I'm afraid I might suck. :)

BLB68
March 12, 2011, 02:17 PM
No money.

yeti
March 12, 2011, 02:20 PM
I'm afraid I might suck.

I stayed away from the weekly trap matches for the same reason, and take it from the "World's Worst Wingshot" being afraid you might suck is actually much worse than finding out that you do suck! :cool: Just don't fall for those low score buys the beer matches... don't ask how I know...:what:

Smoovbiscuit
March 12, 2011, 02:24 PM
I don't really have any match grade guns.

My 22 is a single shot pre serial number remington target master with no scope. Shotgun is a 20 gauge sears and roebuck break barrel, rifles Mosin Nagant 91/30 and winchester model 94, handguns Ruger p95 and S&W model 60 3".

Would love to get into competitions if I had a proper gun. Maybe someday.

Joe Demko
March 12, 2011, 02:31 PM
Money. Nothing more. I used to fool around with bullseye shooting back in the 90's, but ammo is a lot more expensive these days and my dad gave away all my reloading stuff the last time they moved.

Deanimator
March 12, 2011, 02:35 PM
Many local matches are run by a small clique of guys who run it as their own private event. If you're not an insider, you're an outsider. That turns off LOTS of potential competitors.
That's the reason why I considered IDPA, then rejected it.

Our club has an active IDPA program. Unfortunately, the guy who runs it is NOT a good ambassador for his discipline. A friend and I who shoot bullseye competitively went to see what they did. The first thing out of the guy's mouth was smart remarks about bullseye shooters, then anger when he received a response in kind.

I shoot because I enjoy it. If somebody is determined to make his discipline NOT enjoyable, I can get all of the shooting in I want doing something else.

I tolerate petulant three year olds. Petulant sixty three year olds, not so much.

ThePenguinKnight
March 12, 2011, 02:40 PM
I would love to get into some kind of match, but being in college severely limits my resources. Also, I don't even know where to start to find a group that competes, or which type of competition to try. It all costs time and money, neither of which do I have in abundance, so there ya go. I'll have to look into it over the next year, and maybe this summer or next year after graduation I can try my hand...

braceyourself07
March 12, 2011, 02:47 PM
I am a relatively new shooter and started participating in local matches last October. The indoor range I go to has a 25yd pistol bullseye competition every other Saturday for $10 and I find it's a great time to meet the other 'regulars'. I was hesitant at first because I simply did not know much about it or about the people who shot at the competition. As a new shooter, I think it takes a certain amount of mojo-gathering in order to take the first step and participate, especially if you go by yourself. I was afraid of the same things many people had mentioned--competitions not being announced, cliques, my own skill, etc... My first time I was 2nd to last and was glad that all of my rounds just hit the paper let alone the bullseye... but I had a great time (and discovered that they had free breakfast--even if it was just a big pile of sausage biscuits).

But once I started participating, I got to know some of the regular guys and they turned out to be very welcoming. There have been a couple of enthusiastic new shooters who have joined the 'regulars' since then and it's a lot of fun trading stories about when I was the new guy and what had helped me out. Many of the new shooters ask a lot of questions and are apprehensive about the competition itself since they don't know what the competitive pressure is like. Simply getting questions answered by the staff or other range members helped my apprehension... I'm the kind of guy that likes to know every detail before getting into something.

After participating for a while, one of the other guys invited me to shoot IDPA with him. I have since been to my first IDPA competition and am looking forward to the next time this month.

So if you have the time/ammo and are trying to decide on whether or not to participate--just do it. Don't be hard on yourself if you don't do well, and take the competitive banter with a grain of salt. You'll have a good time and it gets better and better.


Mike

Tinpig
March 12, 2011, 03:21 PM
I only get to the range about once a week...much less often in Dec, Jan, and Feb. When I'm there I like to shoot my rifles and handguns on my own and on my own schedule. I go weekdays and usually have the range to myself.

To me shooting and working on my accuracy, skills, and handloads is fun for its own sake. At 67 I don't really need competition, regimentation, and hanging out with the guys.

Tinpig

jcwit
March 12, 2011, 03:22 PM
Years ago during the '60's & '70's I shot blackpowder competition, was fairly good at it, usually finished in the top 3 places.

I now no longer like the pressure of competition, find it hard to make trips to the range justifiable with gas now at $3.75 a gal., range is 30 miles 1 way, so that comes to around $8.00 a trip, not counting ammo and other expenses. Frankly, someone on a VA Disability does not have case to throw around in todays world, not complaining, just stating a fact.

However the bigest factor is the pressure of competition, I take enough meds to keep my blood pressure down.

DeepSouth
March 12, 2011, 03:31 PM
If you've never shot a match in your life, what's keeping you from trying one out for the first time?


I know of no matches within a 2 hour drive of me. If there were something to do within an hour or so I would participate when shift work allowed me to.

SaxonPig
March 12, 2011, 03:43 PM
Because I suck at competitive shooting and I hate to embarrass myself in public.

Also, I have a history of experiencing equipment breakage in match shooting. If I want a gun to break all I have to do is sign up for a match.

kayak-man
March 12, 2011, 03:48 PM
For me its the money. I just started working again, so I'll finaly be able to afford things like a holster and the reloading gear because on a lifeguards salary I can't afford a whole ton of WWB.

Time isn't much of an issue for me right now, although if I get the Volunteer Position at the Fire Dept I wont be able to make the tuesday matches.

The other big one is the lack of matches: I'm lucky enough to have a monthly USPSA match at my club, but I'm lusting for a shot at 3 gun, and they only have one match a year in my neck of the woods. If the fire dept doesn't work out, I may move to CO or someplace where I can shoot 3 gun on a regular basis.

Saxon Pig, you should use that talent to your advantage! Call up Ruger, S&W, GLOCK, Browning, and Mossberg and tell them about your situation. Tell them they should pay you to shoot their guns and ammo in a competition as the ultimate torture reliability test. They will sell a lot more guns once they are Saxon Pig Aproved. :evil:

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

SuperNaut
March 12, 2011, 03:53 PM
Because I suck.

oneounceload
March 12, 2011, 04:15 PM
I'll be shooting one tomorrow, but again, it isn't something I see too many here discuss - that's sporting clays and FITASC. This particular club does have some long-yardage rifle matches and some pistol ones, but it is over 1-1/2 hours from my house, so sporting gets the priority.

I never worried whether I would suck or not - the aspect is to have some fun, and if you go those placers, there are always many folks willing to help a new person out with tips and pointers - point is - go shoot because you want to and have some fun, not because you feel you "have" to

Larry Ashcraft
March 12, 2011, 04:19 PM
I'm afraid I might suck.
I never let that stop me! ;)

Seriously, we shot IHMSA handgun silhouette competition back in the early 1980s, and loved it. Our club shut down because it was built in the windiest place in the state, and people would get fed up with all the preparation and driving only to have the match called off about 1/3 of the time. We started out using a shared Super Blackhawk, and after three years we each had our own unlimited guns. I was classified AAA Unlimited, and my wife was either A or AA, I don't remember.

That was a great time, but our aging eyesight makes shooting with open sights at 200M almost impossible now, and I have no interest in shooting in the Any Sight category.

I competed in IPSC a few years ago when my son was shooting. I sucked at it, but at my age I really don't care, as long as I'm improving and having fun. My son had to quit because wife, kids and job got in the way.

I really enjoy Sporting Clays and Five Stand now, but a round of SC for the wife and I costs $100, plus travel expenses, so it's not something we do very often.

We do manage about a yearly trip to the Whittington Center, where the kids and grandkids get to do a lot of shooting, and we get in a round or two of shotgun games.

Jorg Nysgerrig
March 12, 2011, 04:20 PM
I'll be shooting one tomorrow, but again, it isn't something I see too many here discuss - that's sporting clays and FITASC.
Now sporting clays is a game I want to try. Maybe this year.

Dr.Rob
March 12, 2011, 04:31 PM
Every match I've attended has been a bit of a drive but well worth it.

If I waited until I was 'good' I wouldn't have ever started. I gave myself three goals. #1 BE SAFE, #2 TRY AND LEARN SOMTHING #3 HAVE FUN. If you're safe, you can work on accuracy. When your'e safe and accurate you can work on speed.

I've never been a top finisher in any match (with one exception) but honestly without shooting these matches I wouldn't GET the trigger time I currently do. Besides my local range doesn't let me shoot on the move, at varying ranges from 10-400 yards with a rifle or let me do holster work. Plus you get to meet some awfully nice people. I've gotten better over time, particularly with handguns. My tactical rifle skills have a ways to go, but I plan to keep at it.

Lately my Roller Derby time has been cutting into my range time. I try to skate 3 days a week for 2-3 hours a pactice, not counting game days. Sometimes this eats into my Sat/Sun afternoons.

kimbernut
March 12, 2011, 04:38 PM
Just like in business the quickest , most efficient way to get up to speed and accuracy is to work alongside folks who are tops in their field.
You can do it on your own but it will take you longer and the journey isn't nearly as much fun.

essayons21
March 12, 2011, 04:51 PM
I work on most weekends, which definitely makes it hard to make it to most matches.

hso
March 12, 2011, 06:24 PM
Time

I'm always short of time. I have a demanding career that doesn't start at 8 and end at 5 (or on Fridays), a daughter I spend time with, martial arts classes to attend, housekeeping, cooking, etc.

I could drop moderating or posting here and maybe have a little time for matches.:evil:

Robert
March 12, 2011, 06:28 PM
Money. I feel really terrible using my friends powder and cases to reload when I know there is no way I can pay them back. Powder is not cheap no matter what you are shooting.

Rembrandt
March 12, 2011, 06:33 PM
Seems the majority of matches are scheduled for Sunday mornings......the good Lord has already spoken for that time slot.

MattTheHat
March 12, 2011, 06:40 PM
> the whole sucking thing

I'm not too worried about not shooting too well. I'm a bit hesitant because I have no idea what's expected of me. In other words, ow in the heck does the match run and what to the shooters do and when. I suppose a visit to a match would help me understand that better.

So, I guess for me it's the unknown. Not sure what equipment I need as well. As I mentioned, I suppose watching a match would answer those questions, but that sure seems like a boring way to spend a day. :)


-Matt

Robert
March 12, 2011, 06:43 PM
So, I guess for me it's the unknown.
In every match I have shot there is always a prematch meeting where are the rules are explained. Then the RO for the various stages does a walk through of the stage where you can dry run and ask questions. This is pretty standard fare at any match. Or just ask the Director or one of the ROs. Most of these guys are more than willing to help.

bannockburn
March 12, 2011, 06:46 PM
Number 1 reason: not enough time to practice, to reload ammo, to travel, and to compete.

Larry Ashcraft
March 12, 2011, 07:28 PM
I'm a bit hesitant because I have no idea what's expected of me.
Before we shot a match, Hoser ran my son and I through a safety course so we knew what to expect. Also, they won't usually make a new guy go through the course first, so you'll have time to watch how some other people do it.

ny32182
March 12, 2011, 07:55 PM
Regarding IDPA, for anything about finding a club/learning what is expected in terms of gear/gun handling rules/time/place/etc, just go to www.idpa.com , look in the left column until you find the "club finder", then click on your state. A full list of affiliate clubs and contacts for those clubs will be listed. Call up the contact, and he/she will answer any list of questions you want.

I bet other sports have something similar.

Regarding "I think I will suck". If you have never shot a match, yes, chances are that you will. No big deal. Anyone you see there, including hotshots, started at the same place you are. No one expects a new shooter to be a hotshot. All anyone wants to see the first time or five out is good safe gun handling. Learning the game, and skills improvement will come, and it will only come through participating. There is very little you can do shooting-wise on most square ranges to prepare for an action pistol match. The trick is to just go do it.

Regardless of the economy, our level of participation at the clubs around here only ever seems to go up. Some newbies return, most dont. Just the way it is. For people who LOVE a sport, it is hard to understand why everyone that tries it is not hooked instantly, but consider that the vast majority of sports you've ever tried, you no longer play. I'm the same way; everyone is. But if you like to shoot, in my opinion you owe it to yourself to at least try the games that involve your favorite guns at some point.

SharpsDressedMan
March 12, 2011, 07:57 PM
I don't want anyone to know how good/bad I am! :D

bigalexe
March 12, 2011, 08:23 PM
Because I haven't found any local clubs with Adult smallbore rifle leagues!

As for trap... well I do shoot at my club every few months but unless I shoot 3-4 weeks consistently I hit 2-3 birds of 25. If I am gonna shoot like that why pay $25 or $50 for 50 birds on the weekend when I can pay $8 to shoot during the weekly league at my own club?

As for pistol... well I am shooting NRA Bullseye league at my club this summer.

Wes B
March 12, 2011, 08:28 PM
I just moved and didn't know where the local ranges were, they must have had an off year. Before now, I worked way to much, way to far away to ever be around enough to do anything.

But, I have found the local range; they have scheduled 3 gun events. Not sure if my savage 243, Taurus .40 S&W, and Remington 870 12.ga will work but I'll give it a shot. Also talked with a person I work with and he directed me to the shotgun range.

I'd worry about the whole "Not being any good" but I don't get that worked up about most things. Unless the people at the ranges are jerks, then I'll probably look at the other range 40 miles down the Interstate and try again.

So, not so much I don't more of, getting back into it.

Justin
March 12, 2011, 10:47 PM
Define "matches"................

That can encompass many types of guns and aspects of shooting

That's the point. :)

For the purposes of this thread, a match would broadly be defined as a shooting event that is regularly scheduled, has a consistent set of rules, is open to the public, and includes the tracking of results. The event may or may not be overseen by a regional or national-level governing body.

Due to the tremendous variety of shooting sports available, I wanted to leave the question open-ended in order to get the broadest possible cross-section of responses.

Macrosill
March 12, 2011, 11:46 PM
Because I haven't found any local clubs with Adult smallbore rifle leagues!

Me too!

I would like a league setting similar to a bowling league. A 50yd Small bore league shooting similated distance shooting with limited rifles and ammo. Something affordable and fun.

wrs840
March 12, 2011, 11:52 PM
I went to an IDPA match last Saturday for the first time, because I found out it's held the first Saturday of every month (except December and January) just twenty minutes from where I live. I didn't shoot, just watched.

Everybody was really friendly. Of the 27 competitors, most were better than me, a dozen or so were way better, and I may have bested a couple of them. I think I'm going to try it next month. I'll be nervous for sure, but I bet that will decrease with a few matches, and everything I've read about IDPA indicates it's a great way to take almost any shooter's skills up a few notches. At 52, I'm getting old enough not to embarrass easily, so I figure, why not try...

kingpin008
March 12, 2011, 11:53 PM
I'm a full-time student on a fixed income so yeah, money & time. ;)

Like a few others, there doesn't seem to be any matches in any discipline I find interesting anywhere reasonably close to me. While I could practice on my own and hike a few hours to a match every once in awhile, it would get old real soon for me. To be honest, I haven't had the time and money to visit the range in over a year, but I still hang around here for the community. It's the same with shooting at matches - the shooting is great, but without the community and camaraderie, it's not worth my time.

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 12, 2011, 11:55 PM
There are none.

Sam1911
March 12, 2011, 11:56 PM
There are none. Seriously? I can point you at some in NJ and lots in PA right over the border. :)

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 12, 2011, 11:58 PM
Seriously? I can point you at some in NJ and lots in PA right over the border.

I go to a club in Easton (EFGA) that has various matches but it's over an hour away and on weekends. I was considering going last year but never got around to it, now I'm in school M-F and end up working most weekends so I have a hard time getting there. There are some clubs in NJ but from where I am they're about an hour (Cherry Ridge, CJRPC) and too expensive for me to afford :(

Someday I will.

Sam1911
March 13, 2011, 12:00 AM
It's the same with shooting at matches - the shooting is great, but without the community and camaraderie, it's not worth my time.


You know you're just across the border. If you can find Rt. 83 you can probably be at Ken's & my club in under an hour. First Sunday of the month ... think about it. Chris Rhines is planning to come up next month, so you'd already know three guys at the match. Maybe even share the ride. :)

Just sayin'

Sam1911
March 13, 2011, 12:03 AM
I go to a club in Easton (EFGA)Yup! Got friends at Easton. Including their IDPA MD(s). In fact, I think one of them lives in NJ. Good folks!

Or are you closer to Old Bridge? http://www.obdogs.com/

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 13, 2011, 12:07 AM
Yup! Got friends at Easton. Including their IDPA MD(s). In fact, I think one of them lives in NJ. Good folks!

Or are you closer to Old Bridge? http://www.obdogs.com/

Yeah, I like EFGA a lot. Everyone I have met there has been really cool and especially friendly. Almost strange because I'm not used to people that friendly. I left a box of targets there one day and the guy who found it actually figured out my phone number, called me, and offered to meet me there with my targets one day to give them back to me.

Old Bridge is nice I have heard but it's about the same drive as Easton from me so I figure I may as well go to there.

mljdeckard
March 13, 2011, 12:17 AM
I have resolved to do so. I have maxed out the training and learning I can do on my own. (And the army certainly doesn't help.) I will do it if I have to cast my own bullets and build my own guns one piece at a time to afford it.

earlthegoat2
March 13, 2011, 12:25 AM
I always say how I cannot get along with other gun people just because we usually see things differently. So one day I get talked into shooting at a club meet by a guy at my work. It was a steel challenge type event with pie plates and bowling pin targets.

There were fellows there with race guns but most had standard pistols and revolvers. I was trying not to talk to anyone because most of them were blowing a bunch of hot air about this and that.

I show up with my well worn HK P7 and I win the thing by a few full seconds and was basically glared at for it. I guess they thought I was cheating by using a heel magazine release which is effectively a handicap. Screw that.

Justin
March 13, 2011, 12:46 AM
There are some clubs in NJ but from where I am they're about an hour (Cherry Ridge, CJRPC) and too expensive for me to afford

In most cases, you don't have to be a member of a private shooting club in order to attend a competition held there.

esheato
March 13, 2011, 01:01 AM
A lot of surprising answers in here. People with high post counts, knowledgeable contributors scared to participate.

I never would have thought. I figured you guys were the ones winning the local matches.

Justin
March 13, 2011, 01:05 AM
I show up with my well worn HK P7 and I win the thing by a few full seconds and was basically glared at for it. I guess they thought I was cheating by using a heel magazine release which is effectively a handicap. Screw that.

If you're really that talented, you ought to be competing more, not less. State and regional-level matches will often have prize tables...

Smokin Gator
March 13, 2011, 01:28 AM
Yep. No challenge. Too easy. Nothing left to learn. Just walk in and win those pie plate matches. That's why most people don't compete. I guess......

Patrick R
March 13, 2011, 01:30 AM
I shoot in my clubs events.

Winter Bullseye pistol & Indoor 22 LR Rifle.

Summer CMP, High Power Bench, ARA .22 LR Rifle Bench & we have a AR 15 Bench shoot as well (Many people have ARs these days). Much fun.

We get all kinds of people shooting. 99% of new shooters return & shoot again.

I started out taking last place. It did not take long for me to get my first win.

(About 2 months)

David E
March 13, 2011, 01:40 AM
I don't really have any match grade guns.

My handgun is a Ruger p95

You DO have a "match grade" gun! You can easily be competitive with your P-95 in USPSA/IPSC's "Production Division." You'd be shooting against Beretta's, Sigs, Taurus, etc. In IDPA, you'd shoot against those same guns in "Stock Service Pistol" division. I've seen several folks start out with a P-95 and KICK BUTT with it.

You could do the same.

Because I suck at competitive shooting and I hate to embarrass myself in public.

Also, I have a history of experiencing equipment breakage in match shooting. If I want a gun to break all I have to do is sign up for a match.


Shooting competition is the fastest way to get better. Me, I'd rather break my gun at a match than in a defensive shoot-out.

Use the "club finders" at these sites to find a match near you:

www.uspsa.org

www.idpa.com

Beetle Bailey
March 13, 2011, 01:47 AM
I used to shoot USPSA with a few friends but there were a couple problems. First was that I'm not a morning person. Second problem was that because we were a big group of mostly newbies, I was ending up shooting one stage per hour! There was a lot of down time and that look away a lot of the fun. The match directors were very cool and out of maybe 100 competitors, 98 were very friendly. Yes, there were a couple of "those guys" who had negative attitudes, but I didn't let them ruin things. Then my boring personal life got a lot more interesting so I had to give up going to those matches.

Now most of the guys I shot with either moved away or otherwise stopped shooting USPSA so it wouldn't be the same. However I finally did start shooting High Power Rifle, which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time. Early morning matches are still tough for me but once I get out there, it's fun since I really love AR15's. It's funny because the match director told me most guys he talks to say they want the perfect rifle before they start competing. Or they want to get better first so they don't embarass themselves. Or they want to develop the perfect handload that will take them to the top.

Someone actually told me "I gotta get better first. Those scores get posted online and I don't want people to see bad scores next to my name." He's not famous and it's just a local match so I don't know what the big deal is, but there you have it. As for me, I know my eyes will go someday so I want to shoot HP while I can still see 600 yard targets. Haven't met many bad attitudes but regardless, I don't care what other people think.

Pete D.
March 13, 2011, 01:55 AM
"too much standing around"...?
Then you may be at the wrong kind of competition. Try a 2700 Bullseye match. You are shooting pretty much the whole time (scoring the guy next to you between stages.)
"not good enough" "afraid I'll suck".....matches are the best practices.

Pete

RX-178
March 13, 2011, 03:56 AM
In my case because I don't know of any yet. Still getting used to the brand new surroundings.

hermannr
March 13, 2011, 03:58 AM
I competed when I was in the Army in Germany and the US. It really is super when someone else pays for your ammo. (ie Uncle Sam)

I have competed in Canada at my BIL's club (small bore rifle and pistol) and with shotgun with another BIL in NY state.

My problem now is the closest club I could compete with is 250 miles of 2 lane highway and a mountain range away. I live on the wrong side of the mountains for that stuff. Just shoot in my back woods now. I was told by the local police chief (we live 20 miles out of town) that there is a small club here the police use and was invited to come try. Don't know, just might do that if I can get the wife well.

SuperNaut
March 13, 2011, 10:35 AM
A lot of surprising answers in here. People with high post counts, knowledgeable contributors scared to participate.

I never would have thought. I figured you guys were the ones winning the local matches.

Since I suck, I train a lot. My goal is to someday compete in 3-gun and my pistol skills are not there yet. But I can see how not competing might come off as fear.

CajunBass
March 13, 2011, 10:41 AM
I used to. I don't any more. Been there, done that. After a while I started to realize that it just wasn't fun anymore. It was becoming work. When you get to a point where you "have" to do something, it's work.

I can say the same about tournament bass fishing. I want to go shooting, or fishing, when I want to. Not because I feel like I have to.

Sapper771
March 13, 2011, 10:50 AM
I dont shoot in local matches because there is no where to shoot local. I had to drive an hour to shoot my first IDPA club match. I loved it, but my work schedule only allows me to go 2-3 times a year.

smince
March 13, 2011, 10:51 AM
If you don't shoot at local matches, why not?Nearest 'local' match is over an hour away, usually on Sunday.

Or on a week night at an indoor range. I don't get off work in time to make it.

InkEd
March 13, 2011, 11:01 AM
It's a combination of time, money and location. My work schedule usually conflicts with
the times for them. Alot of the "local" tournaments are at a range that is a good bit away and rural. Lastly, I just don't want to spend the money on it.

On a plus side, the range where I prefer to shoot is now starting to organize more rec-league type activities. I may choose to do one of them, other things permitting, just to have fun rather than seriously compete.

I shoot mostly to relax and don't want to compete.

SaxonPig
March 13, 2011, 12:50 PM
I would add one more thing. About 3 times out of 4 when I have attended matches I was made to feel unwelcome. There was an established clique among the competitors and newcomers were not encouraged or appreciated.

JoeMal
March 13, 2011, 01:02 PM
Don't have enough time
Don't have enough money
Don't really feel welcome; it's hard being the 'new guy'
Don't have the right guns

earlthegoat2
March 13, 2011, 01:05 PM
I would add one more thing. About 3 times out of 4 when I have attended matches I was made to feel unwelcome. There was an established clique among the competitors and newcomers were not encouraged or appreciated.

This.

I dont think I am that good but I could probably score in the middle at a high attendance event. Shoot and move competitions would be a little trickier for me because I have never practiced it before and cannot because of range rules.

Shooting competitions are the heart and soul of the Good ol' Boys Club. Im from the North and I live in the South. You do the math. It was hard enough for me to get a job down here let alone fit in with what I perceive to be like minded people.

gym
March 13, 2011, 01:53 PM
So it turns out that it is ,
1)time, and 2)money, followed by family, church and other activities. also let me ask you this. are most of the guys who shoot competitivelly married or single. Because if I tell my wife, I am dissapearing for the day to go compete more than a few times,on her day off, I am in for a world of crap. Little things like dinner, laundry, and the like, will cease to function at their curent levels. I may wear the pants, but she washes and irons them. Getting married at 50 has spoiled me, My wife works, cooks 3 meals a day, "she leaves my breakfest and lunch prepared, drives 1 1/2 hours each way, and cleans constantlly, "no maid" I don't rock the boat, unless it is something I really want to do. All she asks is my preasence when she is home. And has gone to gun shows, "hated them" has no interest in guns, "she used to",And getting up early and driving then standing around all day, is something that doesn't scream "fun" to me. My reward is the shooting itself, a trophy, "although pretty" doesn't make it any more or less rewarding.I would rather save that money and buy another gun or gun related toy.
Skiing had the same appeal to me, I hate getting up early to face the below freezing temps, and stand on top of a mountain, still half asleep. Then get shot out of a cannon and try to avoid killing myself while navigating rocks trees and other people who have thought it was a good idea.In life you are competing all the time, I don't want to compete when it comes to my hobbies and the things I enjoy to escape from the hectic life around me.I tried that with the GYM, and it was a big dissapoinment. Just because you enjoy something for 30 years, doesn't mean that you are going to like doing it on a schedule. Once you take the fun away and make it something competitive, it changes the concept.
I don't want to, "break chops" ", any more so I sufice it to say, that people know what they enjoy, and will find a way to do those things.
So cowboy shooting or race guns shooting or pole vaulting Karete' etc are all great if you are interested in competing, I just love guns. I like to look at them touch them, and take them apart to see what makes them tick.I also enjoy altering an occasional gun to improve or change something that I may see that I feel confident doing. I don't knock anyone for what they enjoy,God bless them, as long as they don't try to get me to do it with them.

Sam1911
March 13, 2011, 02:09 PM
are most of the guys who shoot competitively married or single. Married. Three (and a half) kids. Competitive shooting (and being a Match Director in support of that locally) is my one solitary hobby. My wife is very understanding of that, and knows that everything else I do beyond work, I do with the entire family or as many as are able.

Shanghai McCoy
March 13, 2011, 02:23 PM
Matches are on weekends and I can't count on weekends off , or being on a shift that I'd be awake on a weekend day...
Been working every weekend this year so far.

shootr
March 13, 2011, 02:25 PM
Deleted.

earlthegoat2
March 13, 2011, 02:56 PM
I understand I have what it takes to win prizes. I have to work and spend more time at home too though. Back when times were good and I had a day job and no weekends things could happen. Not so anymore.

SuperNaut
March 13, 2011, 03:01 PM
I've got to add that I don't think that the ultimate goal of training is to compete. I don't want new shooters to think that competition is anything other than what it is. Just because you jog doesn't mean that you need to compete in a marathon.

gym
March 13, 2011, 05:51 PM
shooter, I quote you,
"interesting read. Personal insecurity manifests itself in different ways and is a show stopper for many. Probably everyone's been there at some time but most figure out it's best to push on through"
That's a bold statement to make considering you don't know most of these fellas.
Speaking for myself,To eqaute Personal insecurity to shooting a gun on weekends, is a stretch that is intergalactic, being that you have no idea who many of the people that you are speaking to are quite accomplished even though they don't have the same hobbies you do. They just don't brag about it.
I can't fathom any other way to take a comment like that other than as an insult to every member who was polite enough to answer the post.
If I misread something please let me know. how many people have you encountered who shot back at you, many of our members are serious gunmen .Just because they may not enjoy what you do doesn't give you the right to be rude. Calling members insecure, because they don't play the same games you do is just not acceptable. Nor is it the High Road.

sawdeanz
March 13, 2011, 06:02 PM
I'm a new shooter still.
After my most recent range session with my neighbor and mentor, he seemed impressed with my progress and started mentioning the Macdill (sp?) AFB and the tactical pistol courses and 3 gun matches they have there, so now I'm really excited that soon I might be able to participate in something like that.
Then he mentioned the annual machine gun shoot and that really caught my attention too :D
If my friend didn't have so many connections though I'm not sure how I would even be aware of these matches.

btg3
March 13, 2011, 06:15 PM
FWIW, a 30-something single female showed up at IDPA with a brand new .45 Kimber which was her first gun. She wanted to learn, period. She was safe, accurate, and slow. I saw her again at a couple more matches. Her speed and confidence were amazing.

We've got a great IDPA group that would help any new shooter. Come on out!

Mike OTDP
March 13, 2011, 06:38 PM
I grew up shooting among very serious competitors, so I never understood the issue. Yes, you'll do poorly the first time out. But you'll get better. That's the point. Improving your skills.

As for distance, I drove 3 hours each way to a black powder match Saturday - then drove an hour each way Sunday to shoot free and air pistol. The furthest trip? 10,500 miles. The World Muzzle-Loading Championships.

GEM
March 13, 2011, 06:43 PM
We had three IDPA venues. Now we have two. The remaining are great folk and very supportive of new shooters. As far as not doing well, my theory is that I compete against myself to do better. It's like weight lifting, do I make progress? Then I'm happy. We have national champions that shoot with us and all are nice folks.

The one venue that failed was because it was a joint IPSC/IDPA venue that was at war with itself. While a club, the IPSC side had no business sense and IDPA attendance folded and the IPSC guys were happy. There are also more friendly IPSC venues around.

The steel folk are also nice. So go out and do your best. If a club becomes an incestous Children of Corn clique - find another.

It's a problem with all clubs - becoming a clique.

SlamFire1
March 13, 2011, 07:03 PM
Because I suck at competitive shooting and I hate to embarrass myself in public.

I totally understand, but having embarrassed my self for a couple of decades, I promise you, the more often you suck, the less it hurts. :D

I used to shoot a lot of IPSC, the guys were great, but it became an equipment race and I had too much down time between relays. You would shoot for 30 seconds and wait an hour.

I got into rifle matches. If you are shooting highpower you are either on the line or you are in the pitts. You are always busy, and when you are in the pitts, you get to BS with the best of them.

We love our new shooters and pump them so full of advice it comes out their ears. :uhoh:

Smallbore has been fun and at my range it has really taken off. With one relay you shoot from 900 to 1215, when it is hot we put popups for shade, the only downtime is changing targets and scoring.

At the Small Bore Nationals it is more of a vacation, shoot for one hour, sit around for one hour. It was very relaxing and the first year I finished a book about Concrete, (concrete is far more complicated than you ever thought!) and the second year a book on Gettysburg. When I get tired of reading, I go bother buds, or spend money on Commercial row. Which is always fun!

Jim Watson
March 14, 2011, 08:34 AM
There are reasons and there are excuses.
Work long hours or have no competitive urge in your psyche? Reasons. So don't do it and don't feel you have to defend your decision.

Most other posts are excuses, "id like to shoot comps but..." and can be overcome if you try.

No spare time? Most of us have more spare time than we think. Turn off the tv or pc and do those chores you were leaving until Saturday.

Not good enough? Nobody cares as long as you are safe and can follow instructions on what and when to shoot. Competition isn't practice, it is a test of what you have practiced and a guideline to what you need to practice more.

Don't know where to go? That is what the gunboards are for. Say where you are and somebody in the area will tell you what and where he shoots.

Too expensive? Don't be afraid of your sensitive side, shoot .22s. There are all sorts of things you can do with a .22. My club has a different .22 activity every Saturday. In contrast, we shoot IDPA and CAS each once a month and Highpower maybe twice a year.

Too far to go? A matter of priorities. I am 700 miles from home, having just completed an IDPA state championship. I do have friends in the area to crash with, though. Otherwise, my guideline is that I will travel to shoot wherever I am on the range longer than it took to get there. Usually means a 2.5 hr drive; which gets me to a match of some sort every week.

ny32182
March 14, 2011, 09:36 AM
Regarding "down time" at action pistol matches, if you have much of any real down time, you should be using it to help reset the stage, and everyone would then have less down time.

Sam1911
March 14, 2011, 09:54 AM
Regarding "down time" at action pistol matches, if you have much of any real down time, you should be using it to help reset the stage, and everyone would then have less down time.
That's something I don't really see. "Downtime?" Yes, there is time between the moments when you are shooting, but I don't find a lot of actual downtime. Pasting, resetting, prepping, loading mags, and watching/analyzing the other shooters work through the stage (I learn a LOT from that, both from the tricks and efficiencies of the Masters, and from the snares and pitfalls discovered by the less adept) takes up just about all of my time. At smaller club level matches you can add helping with score-keeping to that list.

But, when I'm at 'home' I'm doing the M.D. thing, and when I'm elsewhere, I probably work as an S.O. at more than 2/3rds of the matches I shoot so match days for me are always intensely busy.

kd7nqb
March 14, 2011, 11:44 AM
The biggest thing that keeps me out of local shoots is that I work weekends However I could take a day or two off. But most matches take several hundred rounds of ammo and ammo aint free. So overall expense is the biggest hurdle for me.

pockets
March 14, 2011, 12:25 PM
Just because you jog doesn't mean that you need to compete in a marathon.
My sentiments exactly.
I shoot for my own relaxation and enjoyment.
To me personally, competition with others is not relaxing nor enjoyable.

Justin
March 14, 2011, 12:34 PM
The biggest thing that keeps me out of local shoots is that I work weekends However I could take a day or two off. But most matches take several hundred rounds of ammo and ammo aint free. So overall expense is the biggest hurdle for me.


In my experience, even a large six stage local match will require no more than 200 or so rounds.

Bullseye pistol matches won't require more than 270 rounds, and 90 of those are .22.

High Power matches require less than 100 rounds.




Sent from my Android smart phone using Tapatalk.

swingpress
March 14, 2011, 01:02 PM
WHEN I don't compete, it's mostly because of the travel, expense, and because I like to do things with my wife who is no longer enthusiastic about competing.

She got tired of having everyone and their brother trying to tell her how to shoot and is now less interested. She liked to shoot USPSA single-action with a revolver and did fairly well, considering, but didn't like the advice of people who correctly advised her that she would do better shooting double-action - she just didn't have the confidence yet. Now, she may never. The icing on the cake was the day someone challenged her holster.

I really wish these guys hadn't ruined it for us.

Texas Moon
March 14, 2011, 01:11 PM
One of the things that bummed me out was the small amount of shooting I would actually get during a match.
Get up at 5am, drive 70 miles, truck full of gear, stand around waiting for hours to actually get to fire 80-100 rds, get back at 6pm.
No thanks.
I want to shoot not B.S. all day.

oneounceload
March 14, 2011, 01:19 PM
One of the things that bummed me out was the small amount of shooting I would actually get during a match.
Get up at 5am, drive 70 miles, truck full of gear, stand around waiting for hours to actually get to fire 80-100 rds, get back at 6pm.
No thanks.
I want to shoot not B.S. all day.

Perhaps you should try sporting clays - lots of fun, you get to take a nice stroll through the terrain, and then get your butt kicked by a crafty target setter who makes you think the target is doing one thing while it is really doing another..........:D

jfdavis58
March 14, 2011, 01:47 PM
This is quite long as forum threads go--four pages and still strong

I have a bunch of reasons:

Crabby shooting widow. Wife has alternate weekends off, she doesn't care for matches or getting a husband home after one completely exhausted.

Poor match organization. I want to shoot. I'll take my turn with brass clean-up, scoring, taping and resetting steel, but only my turn. It takes a lot out of the several people who participate even if only one person stands around looking 'special'; having several 'specials' in a squad is pure hell. Having a 'shoot-through' is an even higher burden.

Challenge. I want variety and some physicality. One short field course and three long technical 'standards' is excruciatingly boring. From the other side, it's tricky and problematic to score too (file under been there, done that).

Excessive politics. I could tell a story too strange to believe but still true, about this topic. In short, I needed a lawyer, spent upwards of $1500.00 and still couldn't completely restore my reputation after being slandered by other club officers. In the end I stayed married, kept my home and car (and guns). One of them went to prison and drug rehab, the other does well trying to ignore the past and refusing to discuss the problems created.

You learn a lot about character when shooting competitively--your own and that of everyone around you. That's pretty heavy stuff to wade into and through every couple of weeks just to shoot a handful of rounds, get a score that reflects nothing about reality, a sunburn and possibly a bunch of dirty or broken gear.

The BS factor. Everyone who shoots competitively has a story-most embellish freely and repeatedly. The more stories I heard the more quiet I became, the more I realized it was ALL a game and mostly BS. For a while you will notice some improvement. Especially improved will be your gun handling skills and safety. Your marksmanship will also gain some, as will your ability to work under stress. And it will be fun.

But at some point you will either quit to regain your own sense of life balance or you will get sucked into some official duty. Once you're appointed or (worse) elected the fun stops and the real work starts. It's (for me) too big a price to pay.

I had the foresight to acquire a considerable stash of targets and related equipment. I have a few close friends who shoot and we can hook-up the trailer of stuff, go to the range, set-up, shoot, clean-up and come home in about 1/4 the time spent with an organized or club event. We all know what to do and there is no BS.

That's my nickles worth...

merlinfire
March 14, 2011, 02:15 PM
Some of the events I'd be most interested in happen during church time on Sundays, or too early in the day for people who work 1st shift.

Guess I'd have to be retired to participate to the fullest?

armoredman
March 14, 2011, 03:30 PM
I checked those links - no matches/clubs nearby, and with today's gas prices, "nearby" shrinks every day. Great local, free, and well maintained city range is not too far away, love shooting there. I have seen people doing things that look like matches, (one time they had a barbeque going on at the same time - do you know how hard it is to concentrate with aroma of barbque wafting through???), and some other guys doing what was obviously a match of some kind on one of the pistol bays - but have been thoroughly and completely rebuffed, politely, but very obviously disinvited to watch, much less participate. "Good ol Boy" club in full swing, oh well.
We used to do "IDPA style" at the indoor range I worked at 10 years ago, as we had no sacntion, but tried to run it like IDPA. Employees could play, too, which was cool. Won exactly one match the whole time I did it, most of the time I was bad to adequate. :)
Worst experiance was being RO for a bowling pin match many years ago, when a VERY lightly loaded 38 bounced back off a pin and smacked me square in the groin. Down I went. Peanut gallery in full guffaw. Hurt a tad at the time, hilarious in retrospect - saved the bullet somewhere. Shooter apologized for a week.
Back to subject at hand, if there was a club close that would let me try out, as some of them obviously shoot during the week, I would be happy to try again, though I will probably be a bit rusty, more like rusted shut - annual Qualification has nothing to do with an action match.

shootr
March 14, 2011, 04:44 PM
shooter, I quote you,
"interesting read. Personal insecurity manifests itself in different ways and is a show stopper for many. Probably everyone's been there at some time but most figure out it's best to push on through"
That's a bold statement to make considering you don't know most of these fellas.
Speaking for myself,To eqaute Personal insecurity to shooting a gun on weekends, is a stretch that is intergalactic, being that you have no idea who many of the people that you are speaking to are quite accomplished even though they don't have the same hobbies you do. They just don't brag about it.
I can't fathom any other way to take a comment like that other than as an insult to every member who was polite enough to answer the post.
If I misread something please let me know. how many people have you encountered who shot back at you, many of our members are serious gunmen .Just because they may not enjoy what you do doesn't give you the right to be rude. Calling members insecure, because they don't play the same games you do is just not acceptable. Nor is it the High Road.
Gym,

No offense meant, my comment wasn't directed at any one person and I didn't call anyone anything. Think you read a lot into it that wasn't there. Quite a bit of irony in your assertions concerning me. That said, not my intent to stir anything. Post removed.

gym
March 14, 2011, 04:56 PM
Thank you for doing the right thing

ny32182
March 14, 2011, 05:09 PM
Several people listed personal insecurity ("I think I will suck/be embarrassed") as a reason why they have not tried matches. I don't see any reason to not recognize that and address it if it is indeed the last barrier standing between someone and an activity they would like to try. Nothing insulting about it.

howlnmad
March 14, 2011, 06:33 PM
- Time

- Money

- Knowledge

- I don't enjoy looking foolish

I'll stick to plinking and shooting clays with the family and friends.

btg3
March 14, 2011, 06:51 PM
I know several folks who belong to a golf club and have a standing tee time (or two) on weekends and play weekdays when there is enough daylight. Shooting is like that for some, not for others. Whatever "my/your thing" is there is the opportunity to obsess, find balance, move on to another "thing"... depending on priorities, however rationalized.

Good posts in this thead and good food for thought. Thanks all!

Larry Ashcraft
March 14, 2011, 07:44 PM
I don't enjoy looking foolish
You won't. When my son was shooting IPSC, the late and great Eddie Rhodes talked me into trying it because I knew him from business. He was a Grand Master and I, quite frankly, was very lousy at it.

Eddie always had a big welcoming grin and a hello when I showed up. If he paid any attention to my scores, he never let on. Believe me, nobody will care how slow or inaccurate you are, as long as you are safe and helpful (brassing and taping).

The one thing that would have embarrassed me would have been to get DQed, so I was very careful not to let it happen (although anyone who shoots long enough will eventually get DQed, they say).

22-rimfire
March 14, 2011, 10:50 PM
The gun club I am a member of has matchs monthly. I joined expressly to start shooting in the small bore matches. It took me 4 years just to get in. Then I saw the equipment being used and I felt a bit out gunned. I don't mostly because I'm busy and somewhat lazy about shooting. The gun range is not the first thing I think of when I have some time on my hands.

gym
March 15, 2011, 02:25 AM
Maybe with more time, and a better system to get more people shooting faster and waiting less time to shoot. That seems to be the biggest complaint from the eye of an outsider looking at what's been said. Change the way somethings done and you can chnge the outcome. Spending your day off driving hours to shoot minutes has to wear a man down. You loose the edge and get bored, there needs to be a better time management technique integrated into the equation. You hit a peak in your day, and once you are forced to sit and wait, it breaks your rythem. Not being into this type of shooting, I can only compare it to other similar things.
To me if I have to wait, I won't go back, since my youth. I like fast moving things, driving and waiting to shoot a few minutes would just ruin my day. Not just shooting but anything. Almost everyone has that complaint, then the money and the family time being diminished.
If you could break it down so the entire thing would take 2 hours, would it still be possible, you come you shoot and leave. If you won you get a call, hey , you won.I don't know if that's possible but if you want more intrest you sometimes have to change the way it's done.I know the thing I love about shooting is similar to working out, I don't have to wait for anyone to go. Can't do either as well due to injuries but that is what makes certain things unique, you can go do them without waiting, waiting in todays times is a drawback for anything. Ever see a kid wait for anything. If you want to attract the youth of today it has to be faster.

doc2rn
March 15, 2011, 02:37 AM
It's also hard to sit around for 3-4 hrs (IDPA) and only shoot for a couple of minutes all day. Make it 1 to 1 1/2 hrs for steel plate matches and about 2 minutes of shooting.
I shoot a couple of matches per year and it's fun but it's bit of travelling, a long wait and not a lot of shooting. I will say that most of the shooters are a bit standoffish as well.
Matches are fun but they aren't that fun (especially after working the night before).

Patriotme already nailed it for me. Lots of down time vs. actual shootin, especially after workin all night.

TreeDoc
March 15, 2011, 03:16 AM
To macho for me, rather shoot some clays with friends behind the barn, take the 22 out and make a can dance for awhile. Competitions were to structured and seemed to take the relaxed fun out of shooting. Hunting at a young age with my father is where my love of guns started and after somtime has returned full circle.

burnt09
March 15, 2011, 03:37 AM
Has any mention been made of online matches? I shoot in a couple rimfire and air pistol online matches that are great fun. The air pistol matches can be shot in the garage/shop/house during cold weather.

Shoot66
March 15, 2011, 04:43 AM
The same as TreeDoc above. Even including his last sentence.

Ignition Override
March 15, 2011, 05:06 AM
My interest in guns began very late: in late '07 at age 52, and my only shooting tips began about a year ago, from two friends at the 100 yard range (MSSA) 100 yards. Never tried 200 etc.
One set two US records with the AR-15 (200 and 600 yards).

I don't really know the correct prone or kneeling stance. Most of my shooting is alone at a river, just blasting things in the mud from the high, steep river bank, enjoying nature and freedom.

It might be fun to try out the Garand or one of my Enfield #4s after trying to learn those positions, but I've never seen a match except on Youtube. Should do something before the eye vision really goes downhill.

makarovnik
March 15, 2011, 05:50 AM
I'm not shooting/practicing nearly enough these days. Ammo and range fees are too expensive.

Justin
March 15, 2011, 04:37 PM
Maybe with more time, and a better system to get more people shooting faster and waiting less time to shoot. That seems to be the biggest complaint from the eye of an outsider looking at what's been said. Change the way somethings done and you can chnge the outcome.

If time waiting between stages is really a big deal breaker, Steel Challenge would probably be the way to go. The stages are much simpler (five steel targets per stage) but you get to run each stage multiple times, and there's very little down time between shooters.

The downside, of course, is that the stages are pretty simple.


If you could break it down so the entire thing would take 2 hours, would it still be possible, you come you shoot and leave. If you won you get a call, hey , you won.I don't know if that's possible but if you want more intrest you sometimes have to change the way it's done.

Again, Steel Challenge can fill that niche. During the summer my local range runs a Wednesday Steel Challenge match. I show up at 5:30, shoot until about 6:15 and then go home.

Results are generally sent out via email.

Ever see a kid wait for anything. If you want to attract the youth of today it has to be faster.

I don't know, in the past couple of years, I've witnessed a significant influx of new shooters to the practical shooting sports, many of them members of Gen-X and Gen-Y. Downtimes are a bummer, but ultimately you can get out of that time what you put into it by helping out, speaking with better shooters and picking their brains for techniques and tactics and the like.

Not to say that the downtime is a positive. If there were a way to score, brass, tape, and set a stage in, say, less than a minute per shooter, I'd be all for it.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 15, 2011, 05:23 PM
I started shooting IDPA and 3-gun because I wanted to continue to do the kind of shooting I was getting to do in training without having to shell out the money for training. However, as others mentioned, there was a LOT of standing around waiting to shoot. At first, it wasn't too bad, I learned a lot by talking to other shooters and comparing the different types of equipment used. But eventually you've seen your 101st Glock with a fuzzy grip or STI 1911 and you just don't enjoy standing around for 4 hours to shoot six stages. I also felt limited by the rules that were designed to keep beginners safe but made no leeway for more experienced shooters.

Once I found a range that trusted me enough to let me do my own IDPA/3-gun style shooting, I started using that range. However, I'd still shoot the occasional IDPA match because they had much better equipment than I did. Slowly though, I started gathering more and more of the gear I needed, until I had most of what I needed to do my own IDPA stages. The upside was I got a lot more shooting done; and while there were fewer people involved to share ideas with, the quality and knowledge of those people tended to be higher than the average IDPA match.

What ultimately made me cut back on shooting was just time and money. I could still come up with the money; but I could no longer justify a 4 hour round trip to the range in order to be able to shoot like I wanted. What used to be a once or twice a month trip is now more like a once or twice a year trip.

Justin
March 15, 2011, 05:43 PM
Because I suck at competitive shooting and I hate to embarrass myself in public.

Even if you come in dead freaking last, you still beat every single gun owner who didn't bother to get off the couch and show up.

Baldy
March 15, 2011, 05:53 PM
I shoot because I enjoy being with other like minded folks. Score wise I am at the bottom of the the board. I did shoot on a winning bullseye team one time but the other fellows carried me. I sure didn't add much, but I had a good time. :)

gym
March 15, 2011, 05:53 PM
Why would you?

jcwit
March 15, 2011, 07:14 PM
For the compition, same reason for football, baseball or any other competive sport.

Simple question, simple answer.

Sam1911
March 15, 2011, 07:39 PM
Why would you?

Got that covered:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=580557

gdcpony
March 15, 2011, 10:09 PM
1. Availability
2. Money
3. Time

ch45x7
March 16, 2011, 12:29 AM
I have been thinking of getting into the garand high power matches, but have run into several problems.
First, I have to belong to the range to take part in them, locally at least. That's $250-$400 a year for range fees, because only the most expensive ranges around me have them. Add onto that the cost of ammo, range fees for the event, practice time to even compete, and I just can't justify or afford it.
I find I have a better time just shooting with a friend for a few hours, mostly .22 maybe some high power. However, I greatly advocate Appleseed. I went to my first last year, and can't wait to do another. The people there are helpful and nice, unlike most of the guys I have meet at the local clubs that if they don't already know you have no interest in getting to know you. Around me clubs and ranges are struggling because they don't seem to want to engage new members in club activities.

Nuclear
March 16, 2011, 03:49 AM
I still shoot pins, but I stopped shooting IDPA. It is too early on a Saturday, takes up too much time, takes me away from my family time, and the safety nazi's that run the local matches managed to come up with a way to make them less safe by using steel on the cover. Not to mention it is too much of a game for me. I can't carry for IDPA the way I normally conceal carry, can't shoot my BHP with the "magazine safety" disconnected (which leads to a less safe manner of showing the gun is safe) and I can't use a laser sight.

marv
March 17, 2011, 12:43 AM
I shot pins, USPSA, BR .22. I quit because of advanced age and its fringe benifits, loss of vigor, cataracts, arthritis, prosthetic joints. Still have my guns, still shoot , but not in competition.

wrs840
March 17, 2011, 01:00 AM
Why would you?

Because I believe it's a good path to being a better shooter?

HGUNHNTR
March 17, 2011, 12:21 PM
Back when I was single I shot matches every week, sometimes several times a week. Well....family, children etc take over as priorities and the availablility of free time for shooting lessened for sure.

GEM
March 17, 2011, 03:01 PM
Well, I can't shoot the local match this Saturday. Because - we are getting a new couch and chair delivered!! Wahhh! Isn't that a macho reason!

But it's a trade. New couch - new gun. My 1911 is called my living room drapes gun because of marital negotiations.

Did shoot yesterday though, took some newbies to the range and had fun!

JoeMal
March 17, 2011, 05:01 PM
But it's a trade. New couch - new gun. My 1911 is called my living room drapes gun because of marital negotiations.Those must have been some expensive drapes!

GBExpat
March 17, 2011, 05:21 PM
If you don't shoot at local matches, why not?

If you've never shot a match in your life, what's keeping you from trying one out for the first time?

Same answer for both questions, it just doesn't appeal to me.

Cosmoline
March 17, 2011, 05:24 PM
Interesting responses. Here are some of my reasons:

--I don't like competitions in general
--I have trouble holding to a set schedule due to work demands and travel difficulties.
--I shoot for the enjoyment, not to win a game
--Few of the shooting sports I know of look very interesting to do
--Frankly I'm only a passable shot at best, and do not have the talent to grab trophies in shooting matches. My eyes are losing their acuity too.
--The gear requirements and costs are high, and would run counter to the kind of firearms I prefer.

That said, I would be interested in it if it were less fixed on narrow requirements of speed and accuracy. Some of the shooting games on that reality TV show actually looked pretty fun. I'd also like to see a less competitive competition. The example that comes to mind is randonneur style bike riding. This is a bicycle style that has you going from checkpoints to checkpoints along a certain path with in certain broad time parameters. There are no places for finishing, you either complete the brevet or you don't. I did one of those this winter and really liked it. I plan to do more.

wrs840
March 17, 2011, 07:18 PM
The gear requirements and costs are high...

IDPA really wants you to compete with what you would consider a SD carry-rig, and they specifically exclude competition hot-rodded guns, because they want you to improve with your street-gear, and they also understand that an "arms race" would create a cost-barrier and exclude many potential new participants.

The IDPA group near where I live are a really friendly bunch and from what I've seen, the "competition" is more like bowling buddies gathering to enjoy the match and hone their skills.

Smokin Gator
March 17, 2011, 11:24 PM
"I'd also like to see a less competitive competition. The example that comes to mind is randonneur style bike riding. This is a bicycle style that has you going from checkpoints to checkpoints along a certain path with in certain broad time parameters. There are no places for finishing, you either complete the brevet or you don't. I did one of those this winter and really liked it. I plan to do more."

Sounds like fun. But it also sounds like when they have kids play sports and don't keep score. No one can be a loser. People are often complaining about setting things up like this and what it teaches the kids. It's not really a competition at all.

"I shoot for the enjoyment, not to win a game."

Do you really think that in a match of 100 shooters with maybe 10 divisions, that the only people who enjoyed themselves were the 10 winners. Nearly everyone of the other 90 shooters are enjoying themselves too, I guarantee.

__________________

ms6852
March 18, 2011, 01:49 AM
I have being shooting for more than 45 years and I love it. I do not do competition simply because I feel that it would take the fun out of it. I don't like to have to trick out a gun for several hundreds or thousands of dollars just to make it more accurate. I like the pure skill of the shooter and the weapon with minor modification but not out of the world ridiculous. Some of us old farts can break eggs with a 22 lr at 200 yards free hand...that is shooting.

Justin
March 18, 2011, 03:17 AM
IDPA really wants you to compete with what you would consider a SD carry-rig, and they specifically exclude competition hot-rodded guns, because they want you to improve with your street-gear, and they also understand that an "arms race" would create a cost-barrier and exclude many potential new participants.

The IDPA group near where I live are a really friendly bunch and from what I've seen, the "competition" is more like bowling buddies gathering to enjoy the match and hone their skills.

The same can be said for USPSA as well. There seems to be a misconception that it's all $3K race guns with comps and red dots.

This is not the case. At any given match, most of the shooters are likely to be competing with nearly stock guns in Production Division, or somewhat modded guns in Limited.

If you show up with a box-stock Glock, you're not going to be put in the same division as the guys with an STI open gun, or the guys with the single-stack 1911, or the guys with the revolvers.

If you're the sort of person who isn't interested in competing against others, there's nothing that says you have to look at the match results or compare yourself to other shooters. When I started, I rarely paid attention to match results at all.


Sent from my Android smart phone using Tapatalk.

9mmforMe
March 18, 2011, 06:59 AM
Money and not having a match close to me that I know of. I'd love to shoot competition though, sounds like great fun.

Sam1911
March 18, 2011, 09:05 AM
I'd also like to see a less competitive competition. The example that comes to mind is randonneur style bike riding.I'm of two minds about this. (And my experience is mostly in IDPA these days.) On the one hand, yes, as competitors get closer to the tops of their classes/divisions, they do seem to notice scores more keenly and there is a bit more friendly striving to best your closest rival-pal.

But for the majority of the shooters who won't be taking home a plaque, there seems to be very much a sense of shared accomplishment (an esprit de squad if you will), which I think must be similar to the randonneur ride you describe.

We set out together in the morning and with great encouragement, fellowship, and humor, we faced our six, twelve, sixteen or however many challenges/threats as we came to them in our grand march around the range bays. Then, in the afternoon we gather around the clubhouse, pass out some plaques for those who happened to come in with the fastest times, eat some pizza, and swap tales of the little victories and hilarities that occurred from the adventure we've completed together. Walking through the clubhouse after a match, the place is always abuzz with guys retelling how they handled the sudden pop-out target on stage 6, or pantomiming how they took the cover-shot on stage 10 from some goofy position, or jokingly lambasting the M.D. for coming up with the evil whatzit on stage 2 that was so tricky -- all to gales of appreciative laughter from their pals who shared the experience. Veterans all, of a shared campaign to face down the flat cardboard enemy. ;)

I can see how there is less of this in something like bullseye or highpower where the targets are identical and designed to demonstrate a pure, distilled skill, and the matches are solitary, focused, introspective events. But the scenario-based "action" shooting sports provide a totally different vibe, and I think that's why they've become so popular.

Cosmoline
March 21, 2011, 05:03 AM
People are often complaining about setting things up like this and what it teaches the kids. It's not really a competition at all.

Except I'm not a kid, I'm 40, and I'm not interested in having my hind end kicked around for fun. Besides there is competition in a brevet--against yourself and the clock. It's more like trying to get up a very high slope than running a race.

Maybe it comes down to the difference between people who like to shoot in groups and those who shoot alone. I'm absolutely in the second category.

SuperNaut
March 21, 2011, 06:24 AM
Maybe it comes down to the difference between people who like to shoot in groups and those who shoot alone. I'm absolutely in the second category.

You nailed it. I can't stand going to the local "official" ranges anymore. I have great spots out in the desert where there isn't a 2-second rule and I can set up to shoot 360 as well as hundreds of yards. Free brass too...

ShortFatHokie
March 21, 2011, 11:56 AM
Many local matches are run by a small clique of guys who run it as their own private event. If you're not an insider, you're an outsider. That turns off LOTS of potential competitors.

Some local clubs don't communicate well. When do they shoot? What matches do they shoot? Who do you call to find out? The best kept secrets are thousands of local matches held all across America by fine people who just don't know how to communicate.




^^^THIS^^^

kimbernut
March 21, 2011, 12:12 PM
Communication is a two way street. Many clubs and even the NRA programs are not promoted so that everyone has access to the information needed to participate unless one is serious about getting involved. A little searching on the individuals part on the internet or gun stores will open more doors than you want to open. This forum itself is an excellent source for places to shoot and compete all over America. www.wheretoshoot.org is a great start.
Our club has competitions in handgun, .22BR, CMP, and shotgun every month and yes there are a few there who are there for the "competition" but the yast majority are there for the competition with only themselves- to improve. The best and quickest way to improve as a shooter IMHO is to shoot with shooters better than yourself. The years of knowledge and the willingness to share it is there. Sometimes it takes courteously prying it out and sorting through the BS but I have found no better source.

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