OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

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OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by CR10X on 10/20/2014, 6:54 pm

From the number of posts with general questions (and opinions) from new shooters and not so new ones I've come to a disturbing conclusion.  Since I started bullseye shooting some time ago, there appears to have been an unnoticed but slow decline of that species known as "Old Fart Bullseye Shooter" or OFBS.   

When I started shooting, there were a number of models and various vintages to choose from and they were somewhat needed to guide the new shooter through the undocumented and strange evolution into a "Bullseye Shooter".  The proper selection, care and feeding of one or more of the OFBS species would provide a substantial amount of useful (and most times considerably opinionated) material and information.  For the most part, in the pre-internet era, they were the holder of the information and opinions needed to get into the bullseye sport.  On the other hand, the typical OFBS may also have been the holder of another type of "BS" depending on the subject at hand.  Therefor the selection of a OFBS was crucial to the development of the beginning bullseye shooter. Overall however, the OFBS was the backbone of developing bullseye shooters throughout the country.  Sadly, from the number and types of questions posted on this list and elsewhere, it appears the OFBS supply is depleted or in serious decline.
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Now don't get me wrong, the selection of an OFBS and his new shooter should not be taken lightly.  The new shooter would be engulfed from all sides with various shooting types, intent on parting their select brand of wisdom, and the selection of the first OFBS was often a random event.  As the beginning shooter became more adept at shooting, scoring, reloading and listening, they would typically graduate to the next level OFBS as needed or available.  The progression through the various classes would generally see the bullseye shooter add another OFBS to his or her collection.  And the OFBS would generally have another bullseye shooter coming along as well. 

Now this was not a one way relationship at all.  Both parties would see benefits from the relationship, learning about the sport, rules and competitions and providing support and assistance to each other throughout the years.  I witnessed many shooters helping their shooting partners navigate matches, carrying gun boxes for older shooters, watching out for them at the bigger matches and Perry, providing rides, guns and even scoring so they would not have to make the trip to the line.  Lifelong relationships across generations were developed, and I got to watch and be a part of that.   At the time, I did not realize what was happening.  And we, as bullseye shooters, may be missing the decline of a former integral part of out sport.   I sincerely hope not and have penned this short note to bring it to our attention.

Now, all joking aside, to my former OFBSs, Tom Burch, Bob Way, John Torres, and all the others that took me in hand and showed the the ropes, how to score, marking brass, what leg point are, scoring refires, etc. etc, etc.   Thank you from the bottom of my heart.   Hopefully, I can become as good a OFBS as you were to me.   Thanks again.

Cecil Rhodes

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/20/2014, 8:34 pm

You may not be seeing it as much because you now are an OFBS, but the tradition is alive and well.  I already have shooters who look to me--even though I'm still reaching for my goals, and I have OFBSs that I look to.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by kwixdraw on 10/20/2014, 11:38 pm

I haven't shot enough matches recently to comment about the current situation with much authority but I think much of the decline in BE, if there is a decline, is because younger shooters are enamored with the fast moving, shoot a bunch of reactive target type games. That stuff has come to be viewed as "Practical" as opposed to our precision shooting challenge. In 24 years of police work I have only found a few officers who wanted to shoot BE style precision or even learn some of the techniques. It just not what you see the "cool" guys do on the movie screen.
My re entry to BE has come 30 years after I shot a few matches in the late 70s. The OFBES' that I shot with were equally as helpful as Norm Keepers was when I first tried BE. The advice, and willingness to loan equipment seems to be the same as it was before to me. Nice thing is that the gear I purchased way back when was pretty good and still able to do the deed if I do my part.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by Jack H on 10/21/2014, 1:27 am

The image of BE at the match is still pretty much the same as always, IMO.  Today there is also the internet image.  Today it is "instant expert, just add internet".



Above award is a 9"square cast aluminum plate.  I think these days are gone.  Before the internet, in the 70s, I had my OFBE mentoring me with his wisdom from shooting with the likes of Joe Benner, and his qualification of being a SAFS instructor in the late 50s.  LtC Miller even had stories of coaching the post teams in rifle and pistol.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by CR10X on 10/21/2014, 7:40 am

The post was intended for a couple of reasons, primarily to remind me to be a better OFBS. Maybe also to get some interest in the newer shooters in cultivating their own OFBS and OFBS in finding some new shooter. It was not intended to imply the demise of bullseye at all. Our state match had a full line and most local matches are close to capacity around here. I just noticed a number of questions on the list recently, the number of new faces at our matches, and was reflecting on how I began my journey into learning about Bullseye.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/21/2014, 8:04 am

Let's just put the bullseye decline topic to rest by saying I personally believe the decline is over and the numbers at Camp Perry bear that out.  We will never see the numbers we did in the 60s, as we lost numbers to other shooting disciplines, volleyball tournaments, xBox, iPads, other sports tournaments for our kids, you name it...

but everywhere I look in bullseye, I see growth.  Sure it's modest growth, but I keep seeing new faces.  They are faces that I have introduced to bullseye in some cases, and new faces dragged in by others--but there are more of them than people who are leaving the sport behind.  The good news is most of the people who I don't see at matches right now haven't sold their gear--that means when they have more time, they will be back.

Cecil's and Jack H's post illustrates that bullseye isn't like it used to be.  I started out in the pre-internet era and remember what Cecil is talking about--that the OFBS was the only way to know what to do or how to learn the sport and get good.

Now we have OFBS and "virtual OFBS"--which I would argue is better.  The club I started shooting with in 1997 didn't have very good OFBS--nobody shot matches outside of the club league.  As a result, there was no growth in ability.  Really stagnant shooters content with NMC scores in the 230s.  No way to meet the next level of OFBS.

Now in the internet era, even those shooters can meet a "virtual OFBS" like Cecil, or Jack H.  They have both been on my list for opinions that I appreciate for some time now.

I believe that this forum creates that dynamic where it is missing in a shooter's home club, and this fosters the growth I have been seeing.  Thank you OFBSs on this forum.  Keep up the good work.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by kwixdraw on 10/21/2014, 11:46 am

www.OFBS.com ?  Nice. I think Ron nailed it. As far as the growth he sees, maybe in more urban areas. Im still adjusting from a move from the L.A. area to rural TN. One of the striking things I see here is that the shooting doesn't include much in the way of real ranges and competition. Kids only get exposed to plinking and long held hunting mythology. I still have to drive well over an hour to get to any organized event. Im looking for a way to get things stirred up around my new home.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by Rob Kovach on 10/21/2014, 2:17 pm

One of the things I'm going to work on in the coming year is creating "match director seminars" so people like you can create the matches and leagues for your area.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by kwixdraw on 10/22/2014, 12:15 am

Great idea Rob. That might be great if I can get the fellow who does our local CCW classes to allow the use of the range he has access to.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by Vociferous on 10/22/2014, 4:54 am

Cecil, you're an OFBS to me, and many, many others in NC.  Thank you.  Bullseye shooting is a long road, one I intend not to stay far from; I'd like to see where it leads me.  
OFBS = what is right about America.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by DavidR on 10/22/2014, 10:00 am

I think the internet and the search function on forums like this is the new OFBS, people learn more from many sources than they ever could from one or two old timers. The learning process has just evolved and I see it everyday helping build our sport.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by john bickar on 10/22/2014, 2:16 pm

The OFBS's I started out with just made a habit of taking my quarters.

Can you imagine??? Taking quarters from a poor teenager...
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by kwixdraw on 10/22/2014, 2:59 pm

Yep. It teaches them the value of things.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by TexasShooter on 10/22/2014, 4:24 pm

DavidR wrote:I think the internet and the search function on forums like this is the new OFBS, people learn more from many sources than they ever could from one or two old timers. The learning process has just evolved and I see it everyday helping build our sport.


With all due respect, I have to at least partially disagree. This forum is great and certainly should be one of the resources we learn from. However, as  a pure source of information the internet isn't overloaded with information about bullseye. A google search for "how to get started in bullseye" gives you this forum, the Encyclopedia of Bullseye, and hundreds of descriptions of bullseye (after reading one description I really don't 2 million more). The two websites are pretty much it as far as truly useful resources. Search for "how to run a bullseye match" and you're pretty much out of luck. Just for the sake of comparison, do a search for "how to grow tulips". You'll find everything you want to know without ever contacting an actual person.

We started having matches at our club 9 months ago, and without some of the old-timers (both on this forum and live) we would have just been wandering in the dark. We were able to get some great advice from a long time bullseye match director outside Dallas, a couple of our own club members have been incredibly helpful, and the folks on this forum have shown vast amounts of patience with my questions. This forum allows an alternate means to find and reach those old-timers, but it's still the people we are learning from.

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by dronning on 10/22/2014, 5:23 pm

I am an admitted tech junkie I research things to death.  The internet is a valuable tool and certainly jump started my bullseye journey.

What the internet can't do is watch what I am doing and say to me "  __________ " fill in the blank with good observation/feedback. 

The internet has made it a little easier for the OFBS because they don't have to answer as many noob questions as before, for many things they can just point us here.

- Dave
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by Sa-tevp on 10/22/2014, 6:34 pm

I've also found and hour or two with an skilled person older than me is worth two months of online and printed research. Problems which can or could take weeks or months to sort out can be quickly fixed with either the direct feedback of conversation or coaching.

I got lucky and learned this fact at a young age as a military brat before my career started. When some quiet individual takes the time to explain something to you, it is good to listen, particularly when it starts with the words "You probably don't want to do that..." or "Let me show you a better way to do that."
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by CR10X on 10/22/2014, 8:29 pm

(When someone says "You probably don't want to do that..." what we really mean is probably a lot deeper than that.)  

Cecil


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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by beeser on 10/23/2014, 7:39 am

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by dronning on 10/23/2014, 8:27 am

beeser wrote:
................Although I disagree that a mentor is essential to the learning process ....

Sorry this feels just wrong to me,  if you're talking about learning the sport and just getting out to shoot then maybe yes, but to advance and excel then no I don't agree, even Tigre Woods has a coach.

This is a sport where many wrong turns can be made, it would be a long, hard, frustrating journey to High Master without some support.

- Dave
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by beeser on 10/23/2014, 8:54 am

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by dronning on 10/23/2014, 9:22 am

Fan of Ben - I use to chase the little white ball.

From the Hogan book The Man I Knew
"He did, however, have a deep understanding of how players must continually strive to improve and use every advantage available to reach their full potential."

- Dave

Some go down that road of self discovery never knowing when they took a wrong turn.
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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by beeser on 10/23/2014, 9:27 am

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by beeser on 10/23/2014, 9:30 am

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by CR10X on 10/23/2014, 9:32 am

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

Post by beeser on 10/23/2014, 9:32 am

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Re: OFBS - Gone or Simply Unused?

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