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Why do you participate in shooting matches?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Smokin Gator, Mar 12, 2011.

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  1. Smokin Gator

    Smokin Gator Member

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    There's now a second topic being discussed about why shooters don't participate in shooting matches. Let's see why people do choose to participate in matches.

    It is true that you may go to a match for 4 or 5 hours to shoot for a couple of minutes. I find that the opportunity to shoot the varied types of stages and the different targets that most clubs have available in a timed and scored event has helped improve my shooting and gun handling. This includes shooting on the move and around barriers.

    I also just enjoy the heck out of the matches too. All of the disciplines have things that could be improved, but I find the benefits of the ones that I participate in far outweigh the negative aspects that they may have.

    As far as costs go, some people really are stretched to the last dime and can't afford to participate. Others could afford it but have other priorities. I could have spent $15,000 more on a bigger fancier truck, than my Tacoma, that does what I need, but some people want that big truck, even if they don't actually need it. We don't spend a lot of money on some things that others do, going out to dinner, top of the line cell phones, for instance. Luckily, I can afford enough guns and reloading components to shoot when I want.

    Bottom line for me, I enjoy it and I've improved my shooting far more than when I used to try and practice at the range on my own. Smokin Gator
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Because it is a ton of fun, I meet some great people, and I learn more about my shooting and my rifle in a competition then I do on bench.
     
  3. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    When I used to as a kid, sometimes I asked the same question. It was only after about a three-hour match where there was a tie between two of us (out of about 20) and, first, they were going to call the "LAST TARGET" the winning target, until they saw mine was better than the other kid's who frequented that (indoor 50' .22 rimfire) range.

    So, they told us both to shoot another target. I was really worn out, it had been a long afternoon and the other guy shot better than I. He won the trophy and I went home wondering if I was going to continue in any kind of competitive shooting again, and I never did, and that was back around 1969!
     
  4. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Get people to pick up my brass

    Few felons, all friendly armed polite people. I only have a 27" TV.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Many reasons.

    I think my biggest is that competition gives me a reason -- a compelling, constant, driving reason -- to try every week to work a little harder and push my skills a little more. Without that, it is very hard to imagine a very realistic driving force that would make me push my shooting practice beyond the comfortable, sedate, self-congratulatory plinking I'd be likely to do on my own.

    Most folks I know have the possibility of needing to defend themselves with a firearm as a compelling reason to buy a gun, learn to shoot, maybe take some training, and even practice. A bit. For a while. But the years pass and most of us aren't attacked. Most of us don't have to face real lethal threats even once in their lives. Therefore, the impetus to develop, sharpen, reinforce, and hone our skills dwindles, and complacency is often only a few "decent" bullseye groups away.

    Competition is, of course, far from training to defend one's self, but mastery of gun-handling, maneuvering, and shooting on demand and from odd positions, while moving, weak hand or strong hand only, at occluded targets, and such skills are part of the mindset-skillset-toolset equation. And the continual pressure to exceed your past performance, or even to best your peers, is a useful substitute for the kind of personal eternal vigilance that would drive us to strive for mastery on our own.
     
  6. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    - Because comps are a motivating reason to build skills, and a fun way to maintain/grow those skills.
    - The guys and gals work together to put on a creative event (social).
    - Cheap way to pick up and share some great tips.
    - Quality trigger time, for score against the clock.
    - Chance to compare your progress against that of others with similar skills - get a sense of your own progress.
     
  7. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    It's fun, I learn a lot, the people are usually nice and a day shooting is a day better than a day at work!

    I started competition to learn to shoot better (handguns) and stick with it for the enjoyment.

    I have shot IDPA, Tactical Rifle and ONE High Power match (though I'd like to do that again with an AR instead of a 1903A3).
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  8. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    I compete first and foremost because it's a tremendous amount of fun. I get to shoot in complex scenarios that I would have no hope whatsoever of being able to set up and run all on my own.

    Competing also gives me regular access to shooters who are way more talented than I am, and more often than not they're willing to give pointers and share what they know about shooting. It's pretty cool when a Master or Grand Master gives you some hints on how to do something better, and you find out on the next stage that those tips work.

    Competition also offers the most objective measure of my abilities to handle a firearm in an induced-stress environment. Sure, it sucked when I first started and I was ranked as a D-Class shooter. However, that crummy feeling from a low initial ranking gave way to a feeling of accomplishment as I became a better shooter and achieved a higher rank.
     
  9. esheato

    esheato Member

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    I could literally cut and paste everyone's responses from above me.
     
  10. russ69

    russ69 Member

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    I like to compete and I like being around others that work as hard (competing) as I do. I will admit that it's hard work (highpower) and I have less energy for it than I did when I was younger.
    The lack of participation, I've seen in other sports in addition to shooting, is a growing trend. A lot of younger guys just don't like competing. They have more interest in activities that are subjectively judged rather than head to head competition. They will all take shooting classes and are really into shooting but few are interested in anything that has a raw score to show how well you shoot. Things are changing, guys are more social shooters than competitive shooters.

    Thanx, Russ
     
  11. esheato

    esheato Member

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    With all this talk of shooting competitions, could we make a poll to see what people participate in?

    I'm curious about the breakdown.

    Something where we could select multiple disciplines would be great.

    Anyone else interested?

    Ed
     
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...why shooters don't participate in shooting matches..." Most are not confident in their skills and are afraid of looking bad. They don't seem to understand that nobody cares and that most experienced shooters will go out of their way to help a new shooter.
    Gets worse when a guy's lady out shoots him.
    Match shooting is far too much fun to worry about any of that. Some guys you just can't convince though.
    "...meet some great people..." Absolutely. Even the rectal orifi, found at any club, are better than the non-shooting rectal orifi.
     
  13. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    My hands still shake a bit when I finish a competition stage, just like they did 40 years ago when I was on the high school ROTC rifle team. When I stop getting that rush, I will stop competing!!
     
  14. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    This 69 year old enjoys kickin' butt.
    Cowboy yesterday. 5th overall out of thirty some. Tried too hard.
    Saturday, I will purpose to be better than the middle of the pack at PCCA.
    I will improve in Ruger Rimfire.
    I will get up enough nerve to qualify for CDP:cool:. Then SSP.:D at Caswell Ranch.
    Then I will...........
     
  15. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    If there's one commonality to the participants of every form of competition I've tried, be it Ten Meter Air Pistol to Bullseye, to High Power to USPSA and 3 Gun, it's this.
     
  16. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    I compete because I enjoy it and enjoy hanging out with like-minded shooters. A day spent in the sun (or rain, or wind, or whatever) at a Highpower match sure beats a day at work anytime.

    This winter I've been shooting a smallbore league for fun and to keep my skills from getting too rusty. It's another great challenge I've found frustrating and enjoyable at the same time. (For the record, shooting a .22LR at 50' indoors WELL is deceptively harder than it looks.)

    Besides, what would I do if I didn't shoot rifle matches? :confused:
     
  17. swingpress

    swingpress Member

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    I compete for the usual reasons; to get some trigger time under stress, hone my skills, with rifle - to get immediate shot feedback at long range, and to have FUN.
     
  18. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    There are many reasons, but most of them can boil down to:

    1) Competition offers infinitely more variety of shooting scenarios and challenges than 99.9% of people will ever have the means to set up on their own. Definitely me included.

    2) And this is the big one; even practicing by yourself against a clock is not the same or even close. Competing, preferrably head to head against someone of similar skill, with at least a few dozen people watching and recording for posterity's sake :))) takes the stress up to a level you simply can not duplicate in any other situation I have found.
     
  19. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk Member

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    Ninety-five percent of bullseye competition is mental. I enjoy the challenge.
     
  20. Patriotme

    Patriotme Member

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    The few matches that I shoot in every year are fun but extremely time consuming. They are however great skills builders and they help to point out weaknesses. Most of the places that I shoot don't let you move and shoot. The matches require it. This is just one example. The use of cover is another example. Most of the matches require the use of cover and many of the shooting positions are not allowed at my local ranges.
    Now if only there wasn't 90 seconds of shooting and 2 hrs of standing around in order to shoot a match.
     
  21. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    The primary reason is that competitive shooting is more fun than anything else I've ever done.

    The second reason is I think that skill at arms is important, and competition is the best way to develop such skill.

    Third is all of the cool people I meet at the matches.

    -C
     
  22. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    fun

    I get free coaching from good shooters

    I'm motivated to practice more

    shoot better today than I have in over 40 years
     
  23. yeti

    yeti Member

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    Cause I know I suck so I am free to just have a really good time.
     
  24. burnt09

    burnt09 Member

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    Our club has two, informal, no-stress, spring Bullseye leagues that are designed for beginners and experts alike. One is a "Friday Night Stress Relief League," and the other a "Fun" league. Any safe handgun is allowed, and they even allow two-handed hold for beginners. Being Bullseye matches, everyone gets to shoot a lot, (no waiting an hour then shooting 1 minute). Great fun with no stress.

    I also enjoy shooting in several online matches each month. Several over at RimFire Central and a couple on the Crosman Air Pistol Forum. Strictly the honor system, but still fun, (the air pistol competitions requires that you post an image of your target, though). The air pistol shoots allow to shoot in your garage/shop/house. Great for when it's been raining for a week straight.
     
  25. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    1. It improves my shooting.
    2. It makes me calmer under pressure.
    3. I get to meet other shooters and see their guns and gear.
     
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