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fast and furious or slow and methodical - which?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Snaktail, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Snaktail

    Snaktail Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Messages:
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    I'm a silhouette shooter and some of our disciplines are dying off.

    I have an idea for a new sport that uses the same targets, but is faster and lets you use modern technology. My goal is to introduce new shooters to a shooting sport that almost anyone can participate in and have fun doing it. No need to buy new stuff!

    The "old" silhouette is slow and methodical - your precisely shoot at and knock over animal shaped targets at fixed ranges.

    I'm suggesting that we use the same targets and same distances but speed the game up, and allow "new" equipment, like AR style rifles/handguns with scopes

    The "old" game calls for 5 shots in 2 minutes. The "new" game changes to 5 shots in 30 seconds...this will be somewhat easy at 40 and maybe 50 yards, but at 75 and 100 yards it become a challenge.

    My question to the forum - should I pursue this? Would speeding up the game and introducing new equipment revitalize the sport?

    I'd like to try it, but I may be alone with this thinking. Let me know if this is worth introducing (would it bring new shooters?)

    Thanks
     
  2. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,363
    Question (actual question, not an argument): Who would this attract who isn't already getting the same (but more) with 3Gun or Precision Rifle? Is the intent to be easier than those sports? Easier to get into? Some kind of middle ground between the slow disciplines and the actually-fast ones?

    Observation: A lot of people seem to continually suggest that the key to the popularity of gun games is making sure the equipment requirements are very low and easily met by anyone with 3 or more guns in their house. I'm not sure it works that way at all. People who are interested in competition - regardless of whether it is in shooting or some other activity that can either be purely recreational or competitive (e.g., golf, bicycling, sailing, etc.) - generally tend to be "into" gear from the outset. I am skeptical that there is a large population of people who own just a couple of guns, are unwilling to lay out any additional money for different guns or gear, but are eager to go shoot in public in front of other people who are likely better than them, etc. Most casual shooters are just not going to do competition. The ego-protection afforded by never comparing performance is too comforting.

    BTW, I've never shot silhouette, but I'm saddened to hear it is dying off. I like the innovation it brought to revolvers and their cartridges! I liked the idea of there being a game for big-bore/magnum-power wheelguns.
     
  3. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    The rule for the everybody can play speed games is the targets are sized so 90% of the people can hit them 90% of the time.

    Real Silhouette as a sport is just too hard for most folks, should you lower the standards so everyone can play?

    Another problem is resetting targets, knock overs must be manually reset, a lot of extra work for people who are not that motivated to do compared to steel which reacts but does not need to be reset.

    I might like traditional silhouette a little more if it was shot all prone, after two hip replacements I don't shoot offhand as well as I used to.
     
  4. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I've never heard that before, but it doesn't sound way-off to me. It is certainly the case that somewhere between 90 and 100% of the shots at a typical action-y match are shots that a moderately proficient competitor could make every time... if time pressure were not a factor. It's the pressure to do it faster than your competition that makes the shots "hard." (Just as anyone can eventually get a golf ball into a hole without losing it by hitting short shots... it's only the attempt to do it in a few shots that leads to big swings and the risk of wild misses and lost balls.)
     
  5. hot chili powder

    hot chili powder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
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    Location:
    Green Bay (Titletown), WI
    Like Bwana John said......getting help to run the match......when we shot silhouette yrs ago everyone loved to shoot but not many helped run it. If you can get helpers great......maybe 60 seconds per 5 shots, just sayin'!
     
  6. Snaktail

    Snaktail Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
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    Silhouette is not dying off. In some parts of the country it more poplar. Here in Texas the majority of shooters are seniors - introducing a new sport is an attempt to being in new shooters - those who want to compete with their Tacticle or 10/22 rifles.
    You don't need bench rest accuracy, we'll let you use a scope, the hardest part is loading your magazines.
    Getting help is not an issue here!
    Gee - I never thought it was "too hard". Challenging and fun, but never too-hard. If you can't hit a coffee can size target at 50 yards with a 3-9 scope - well, maybe it is too hard.
    I'll wait to see if there are any further comments before deciding about developing the matches.
    M
     
  7. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    1,955

    I never thought it was "too hard". Challenging and fun, but never too-hard. If you can't hit a coffee can size target at 50 yards with a 3-9 scope - well, maybe it is too hard.

    ??? Either you are not familiar with "real" metallic rifle silhouette (the Mexican derived sport), or you already lowered the bar, with a .22 rifle the closest target (chicken) is 44 yards away and is at most 2.2"x2.6".

    With a centerfire rifle the closest target is 200 meters away and 11"x13", and the farthest (ram) is 500 meters away

    Most folks use 16x to 25x scopes, and it is shot offhand with a hunting weight rifle.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallic_silhouette_shooting



     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    24,189
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    If getting new shooters into the shooting sports with minimal financial input is your goal, it's already being done with the Ruger Rimfire matches.

    It seems to me 3gun covers the faster part.

    That said, don't stop trying to find new ways to attract new shooters. It's a good thing to do.
     
  9. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Sep 10, 2004
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    Interesting notes about the Rifle Silhouette.
    You must shoot from a standing position with no support, no slings, no heavy leather shooting gloves or shooting jackets are allowed.

    The average score for a first time shooter is 13 of the steel targets knocked down out of 60 total targets (based on 120 known first-time scores).

    The average score for a Smallbore Rifle Silhouette match in Phoenix match is 29 of the steel targets knocked down out of 60 total targets (based on 20 consecutive 60 target matches I had data for).

    In other words... It is possible for everyone who has the determination to continue with the sport of Rifle Silhouette to improve their rifle shooting skills by 100%.

    87% of the first time shooters hit less than 1/3 of the steel targets (based on 120 known first-time scores).

    Listen to the shot to hit time on the Chickens and compare it to the Rams. It takes 1/4 of a second to hit the Chicken, 2-1/2 times longer to hit the Ram.

    A 10 mph crosswind will blow the bullet about 4.5 inches by the time it gets to the steel Ram target at 100 meter range in Smallbore Rifle Silhouette.

    A 10 mph crosswind will blow the bullet over 2 feet by the time it gets to the steel Ram target at 500 meter range in High Power Rifle Silhouette.

    You must be able to read the wind correctly while you are shooting and the wind is pushing your body around.

    Even though Smallbore Rifle Silhouette is exactly 1/5th the scale, High Power Rifle Silhouette is much more difficult.

    There are no sighting shots after the match starts as in benchrest. When the match is underway you better know your sight settings because every shot counts.

    Because the skill level is more important than the equipment, it only takes a basic .22 rimfire rifle with a scope to try out the sport.

    Because of its difficulty, it is designed for the person with a marksman/hunter type of mentality.

    The easiest steel target to shoot, the metallic silhouette of a Pig, is like attempting to shoot a standard business card from a range of 50 yards.

    The hardest steel target to shoot, the metallic silhouette of a Turkey, is like trying to shoot a baseball from a range of 100 yards.

    The steel targets for the High Power Rifle Silhouette Turkey is only 18 yards short of a quarter of a mile.

    The steel targets for the High Power Rifle Silhouette Ram is 107 yards longer than a quarter of a mile.

    The handicap system, the 5 different NRA Classifications, really balances out he competitors so that each person is competing against others with the same skill level.

    Only 10% of the first time shooters will knock down 23 or more of the 60 steel targets (based on 120 known first-time scores).

    Only 9 people shooting the High Power Hunting Rifle have an NRA Grand Slam Award - see awards.

    There are not a lot of female competitors but... the average experienced female competitor will score better than the average experienced male competitor.

    It's a fun arcade style game just to shoot the steel targets and watch them fly off the stand.

    http://www.riflesilhouette.com
     
  10. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,955
    Snaktail,

    After reading your post about "cowboy silhouette" I am guessing you do not intend to use 1/5 rimfire targets at regulation rimfire distances, or full sized targets at regulation centerfire rifle distances, but full sized targets at greatly reduced ranges. (Chickens 4x closer, pigs 3x closer, turkeys and rams 2.5x closer than regulation rifle distances or subtensions?)

    Again to repeat my first post... to make it "interesting" and "fun" the targets need to be much easier, so speed can be factored in.

    I do believe that autoresetting targets would make the sport more appealing. Knock over and manually reset targets can be a lot of extra work especially at regulation distances, unless you got a Boy Scout Troop in the pits right next to the targets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
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    4,205
    I'm with @ATLDave - it sounds an awful lot like you're trying to blend a traditional precision game into an action game, where is already a lot of competition. There are plenty of Precision Rifle games and plenty of Action Shooting games out there.

    I played Silhouette a bit in the past, if I were retired and there were a club an hour or less from me with regular matches, I'd play again, but since I'm about 25yrs from that, and a lot more than an hour drive, I don't think it'll happen.

    The silliness in ANY effort to "popularize" sports like this, is the impossibility of simplification. Many people don't compete because they don't believe they can succeed (maybe winning is out of reach, but shooting well and placing well is success for many folks). It seems like the OP feels a certain combination of characteristics is what drives a perceived low impression of potential success - the distances and the sizes of the target make it hard to shoot quickly, so moving them closer would make them easier to shoot quickly, such then a time component and "action" could be a part of the game... It is NEVER easy to win in any developed competition - the guys who regularly win because they regularly shoot really small groups take just as much skill as the guys who regularly win because they regularly shoot really fast - and vice versa. Winning takes gear and skill, gear takes money, skill takes time, experience, and practice - and practice also takes money... No matter what rule set you use, there's no way to ensure success for beginners unless you develop specific beginner-friendly classes and stages where they all compete against eachother only, effectively giving out participation awards... The participation awards the beginners SHOULD earn is the range time and line time learning from the experienced shooters, not some "newbie class winner's trophy."

    So say you make those changes to make Silhouette less about precision, more about speed...

    The guys who were good at transitioning targets and making impacts on smaller, farther targets will still be good at transitioning, so you likely won't see a big shift in the rankings. You'll see more ties, because you'll have less dispersion when more people make higher percentages of hits. You still won't pick up any of the true action shooters, because true action shooters will still be bored by your game because it's still not an action game, it's just a really easy "static speed stage." You're not moving your feet, the targets are big and close enough to be shot quickly, so now it's a race, not an impact based score. You will, however, lose some of your more ardent precision shooters, who feel the new targets are too easy to hit, and they'll get frustrated when so many guys clean the banks... So then the rules will have to evolve to incorporate the SPEED into the scoring, which drives more towards action games - and again, your fixed firing line range will have to evolve to a dynamic firing line, otherwise your evolved speed/action game will just be the most boring action game on the block...

    If silhouette isn't dying off, then it's only because it never has been hugely popular - as it certainly isn't popular. I'm sure there are clubs in certain parts of the country still going strong, but most of the clubs I shot with a decade ago aren't running any longer, and I sure don't see much growth in popularity.

    Fixed firing line, known distance, precision shooting sports are not growing, and likely never will again. People seem to like to move and shoot, they like to have speed AND precision aspects, multiple stages and stages of varied types. Action pistol sports, 3 gun, and precision rifle sports are growing. Single skill games like Trap and skeet, bench rest, F-class, Bullseye, Highpower/Service Rifle, 3/4 Position, Silhouette, etc, they don't have the appeal, and likely never again will find an era where they gain favor. It's not an uncommon trend: if we look at athletics, marathons don't fill their races, but mud/obstacle runs sell out. 3D archery and the Total Archery Challenges continue to grow, whereas spots games as waning. Traditional martial arts and boxing associations have lost competitors, whereas mixed martial arts "leagues" are thriving. People like variability in the games, and are more easily adoptive of multi-aspect games (speed AND precision) rather than single challenge games.

    Some shooting sports have done "ok" by adding "base class" divisions - where there are specific firearm and optics models allowed based on a general rule of thumb for price point and quality. The headache there is policing the division for modifications, and of course, it does leave the door open to a salty mid-level competitor to sweep the base division by choosing to shoot base qualifying equipment instead of Open gear.

    Marketing/advertising, organized operation, and sustained positive culture is what keeps clubs and sports alive. If young newbies come in and get cold shoulders from 60yr old men, they won't come back. If folks don't hear about shooting opportunities, they can't come try them the game the first time. If they come to their first match, stand around bored for 4 hours, and shoot for 2min, they won't come back. If you can get folks on site, get them in the game, and ensure they have a good experience, they really won't mind how many targets they miss. We have a couple guys in our precision rifle club near me which occupy the bottom spots of every match they shoot, missing 80% or more of the targets. But they have a blast every time, and they're a blast to have at the matches. The shooting challenges entertain them, the people are great to be around (squadding is a great aspect of precision rifle games), and there's a high level of involvement throughout the day (NOT hanging/painting/pasting/shagging targets), so it's a great social opportunity which involves a great shooting challenge... "Success" is a factor of perception...
     
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