Aged Shooters Common?

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Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Jon Math on 10/5/2017, 2:10 pm

I started shooting in a league this year.  This last week we shot against the final team in the league, so I have seen every shooter on all the teams finally.  If my area is typical of the rest of the US this sport is in grave trouble.  I do not believe I have seen more than 10 shooters under 40 years of age (and that is being generous) in my 8 team league.  Even in the 40 to 55 age range the number of shooters is not that high.  In another decade if this local trend continues we'll need to build wheel chair ramps to the targets.

Is this unique to my area, or is this the trend among Bullseye shooters?
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Aprilian on 10/5/2017, 2:17 pm

Crashed Ice
Professional Video Game Players
VLoggers
Microbreweries
3 gun (run and gun)

Just a few examples of the many things which have started since this (Bullseye) started.   We have a couple younger shooters here (but many are ex military shooters or following their parent's hobbies).
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by dronning on 10/5/2017, 2:48 pm

I don't think we can get young kids into Bullseye but what about Air Pistol which would be a great feeder into Bullseye as they got older?
Back in 2001 the average age of a gun club member (shotgun, pistol, rifle) in MN was 57 and climbing.  Shooting ranges of any kind were declining.  
Read this FANTASTIC article about how in 2008, the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League (MNSHSCTL) was started with three teams and 30 student athletes has grown to 615 teams and over 20,000 student athletes in 15 states.  By 2014, the MNSHSCTL Championship was the largest shooting event in the world.
 http://mnclaytarget.com/about-us/history/
- Dave
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Blackbird on 10/5/2017, 2:58 pm

I've seen the same trend. I got into the hobby back when a local shop catered to target shooters and I was in my 40's. When the target shooting employees left, cowboy shooters replaced them and Rink grips were replaced by 'birds-head' grips.

The shop owner is still willing to order in stuff, but without an objective evaluation, I might as well buy stuff over the internet and save the cost of the State and local sales tax. 

The regional range is configured for many disciplines, but if one wants to shoot bullseye, one has to affiliate with clubs and shoot only when they do. If one wants to practice on the open range, one has to endure flying brass from the tacticool crowd and muzzle blasts from magnum hunting rifles with compensators.

The bullseye folks are aging away and no one is replacing them.

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by spursnguns on 10/5/2017, 6:02 pm

Aprilian wrote:Crashed Ice
Professional Video Game Players
VLoggers
Microbreweries
3 gun (run and gun)

Just a few examples of the many things which have started since this (Bullseye) started.   We have a couple younger shooters here (but many are ex military shooters or following their parent's hobbies).

Ok, I'll expose my ignorance.

What is Crashed Ice and VLoggers?

Jim
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Magload on 10/5/2017, 6:22 pm

Much the same here.  The outdoor range has a fair amount of shooters with most being younger them me but that is not saying much.  I have seen a few shooters in maybe their 40 there.  Now as far as I know the indoor range I belong to I am the only BE shooter there making me the youngest at 71 this December.  Each lane is monitored by camera they watch from the counter in the store and I been told I am the only one they have seen shooting one handed.  It is a busy range and I see a lot of young people and kids with their families shooting but it is all at 3 to 7yds .  Lately I been offering advice when I see they can't hit a 12" target at 5yds.  Some appericate it others I wish I hadn't asked.  No likely candidates for a indoor BE league.  It would be a shame if this sport was to die. Don
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Mike38 on 10/5/2017, 6:26 pm

Looking back at this year's outdoor matches that I attended, I'd say it would be safe to say that the average age was over 45. Looking back to the early 2000s when I first tried Bullseye for a few years, it was probably about the same, average of over 45. Maybe, this is a sport that only interests people that are 40+?
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by gregbenner on 10/5/2017, 6:30 pm

Well, perhaps this is just in California, but shooting as a hobby is not something all parents might propose(?) Too many bad connotations.

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Chris Miceli on 10/5/2017, 8:03 pm

Make airpistol a NCAA sport, now you’ll have kids in high school on teams and working on getting scholarships. You can pull from those precision shooters into bullseye
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Aprilian on 10/5/2017, 8:33 pm

spursnguns wrote:
Aprilian wrote:Crashed Ice
Professional Video Game Players
VLoggers
Microbreweries
3 gun (run and gun)

Just a few examples of the many things which have started since this (Bullseye) started.   We have a couple younger shooters here (but many are ex military shooters or following their parent's hobbies).

Ok, I'll expose my ignorance.

What is Crashed Ice and VLoggers?

Jim
definition wrote:A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog /ˈvlɒɡ/, is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata.
also known as chronicling the mundane aspects of your life

Crashed Ice
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by zanemoseley on 10/5/2017, 8:55 pm

I'm 34 and usually the kid of the match lol. I've seen plenty of guys in their 40's but there are the old timers there to share their wisdom too.

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Dave Lange on 10/5/2017, 9:55 pm

I Disagree. I started shooting Bullseye in 1998 at the age of 29. The older guys (my age now) scared me when they spoke about the sport dying. In the last 20 years, I have seen juniors, seniors and everything in between come and go and come back again.

Junior (or any age) competition often gets interrupted by collage, girl or boyfriends, jobs, careers, buying a house, getting married, having their own children…. and then we see them come back when their kids get involved in bullseye or their kids move out or go to college. In the middle years many families do not have the time or extra money to continue to compete. That is why we see so many people in their 40s and 50s starting or coming back to Bullseye.

That being said, let’s not make the dying sport become a self-fulfilling prophecy.   

There are more full matches now than when I started shooting bullseye in NJ, go ahead, make fun of NJ for the gun laws… I can shoot a match every weekend, Indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer, usually within an hour drive. In the spring, we often go to a regional on Saturday and a different regional on Sunday. Some weekends there is a third match to choose from. In the fall, we have outdoor state championships. In the winter we have Sectionals and indoor state championships.

In the North East, we have www.NJpistol.com    Matches that are on www.NJpistol.com  are often full with a wait. Matches that are not on www.njpistol.com are not.  Competitors and match directors love www.NJpistol.com. You can find matches on the match calendar, sign up for matches, receive e-mailed squading confirmations, get a list of all of the matches that you are signed up for and have them sync with your google calendar, download match bulletins, get addresses, points of contact and directions to all of the ranges. You can see match results and photos, track personal bests and much more. Match directors receive automated sign ups, cannot over book, can print labels or e-mail automated results, can use the scoring program and import competitors from sign ups and much more. www.NJpistol.com makes running matches much easier and more fun for match directors and competitors.

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by john bickar on 10/5/2017, 10:07 pm

I've been hearing this since I started shooting bullseye in 1988.

People age out, middle-aged adults age in to take their place.

It's an esoteric sport for mature people. It's not for everyone.

Some folks mature into it as pre-teens. Some folks mature into it as septuagenarians.

Try to give as many people from all walks of life an opportunity to try it. Don't worry about how old the folks who like it are.
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Wobbley on 10/5/2017, 11:31 pm

There are junior programs and maybe 1 in 10 continue.  There are other shooting disciplines that appeal to younger folks, 3 gun, IDPA, etc.  High power rifle has similar issues and if it wasn’t for CMP, it might be facing the Same phenomenon.  But John’s right, people age in to the sport.  At 40 the run and gun gets to be tiring.  So they take a look at Bullseye.  Hopefully they stay.
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by tceva on 10/6/2017, 4:22 am

I agree that Bullseye shooting is an evolutionary sport.  I wouldn't be too concerned with the sport going away.  Most promoted events in the mid atlantic fill up, and yes most are "mature" shooters.  Never in my short span on this marble have I seen so many disciplines that could be feeder programs into bullseye.  30 years ago who would have thought of 3 gun competition.  I was still chasing whistle pigs with a 22.
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Jon Math on 10/6/2017, 7:25 am

I look at the line from time to time and aside from some of the European 22 caliber pistols, it’s like a history lesson.  Ruger’s  MK what ever started life in 1949, 1911’s from 1911, Smith 41’s from the 1950’s, High Standards from the 40 and 50’s, and any revolvers that turn up are classics as well.  And a huge majority (at least locally) are pistols on their second or third owners.  The only modern things out there are the red dot’s us old folks need to aim with now Very Happy   

I was shooting a new MKIII and the most common thing I heard people say was you need to find an old MKII.  I’d venture that Bullseye is the only sport (aside from black powder shooting-and perhaps cowboy action) where competitors pine over antiques rather than modern equipment.
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by davekp on 10/6/2017, 8:01 am

I see some older shooters migrating to precision pistol because they still enjoy competing but can't keep up, or even do, the run and shoot and highpower rifle competitions compared to younger shooters. The need for high strength and dexterity are actually an attraction.

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Bigtrout on 10/6/2017, 8:11 am

At the range I use the only young (under 40) folks I see shooting invariably are shooting at bad guy targets or gongs with plastic pistols or AR's.  Seven yards is the maximum range I see them use for pistols.
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by gregbenner on 10/6/2017, 8:39 am

Bigtrout wrote:"folks I see shooting invariably are shooting at bad guy targets or gongs with plastic pistols or AR's.  Seven yards is the maximum range I see them use for pistols.

Your Lucky.  At the indoor range I go to it's the attempt at rapid fire with shotguns, also at 7 yards.  Splatter all over my targets.affraid

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by spursnguns on 10/6/2017, 8:51 am

Aprilian wrote:

definition wrote:A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog /ˈvlɒɡ/, is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata.
also known as chronicling the mundane aspects of your life

Crashed Ice

Thank you, Ian.

Except in our Margaritas, we don't see much "crashed ice" here in California.

Jim
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by xmastershooter on 10/6/2017, 8:57 am

I will never be an aged shooter.  An aged shooter will always be 20 years older than me, even to the day I kick the bucket.

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by jglenn21 on 10/6/2017, 9:07 am

xmastershooter wrote:I will never be an aged shooter.  An aged shooter will always be 20 years older than me, even to the day I kick the bucket.
+1
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by Slartybartfast on 10/6/2017, 9:55 am

Magload wrote:It is a busy range and I see a lot of young people and kids with their families shooting but it is all at 3 to 7yds .  Lately I been offering advice when I see they can't hit a 12" target at 5yds.  Some appericate it others I wish I hadn't asked.

I've only just changed clubs. First was a tiny club, maybe 150 members, with an indoor range that had relays of 4 rifles or 3 pistols at a time and catered only to peep sight rifles and open iron sight pistols shooting at precision Shooting Federation of Canada (SFC) targets. Now I'm a member of a 1000+ member indoor range with 16 lanes and few members placing their targets much more than 1/4 distance.

I seem to be a very rare sight shooting just 22lr and even more out of place with my FAS607 pistol with full target one-handed grip. The staff very quickly took notice and said that the only other people who shoot to the back wall or one handed are two older retired guys that come in once a week and "do the whole bullseye thing".

I like the better opening hours and the ability to shoot as much and for long as I want, but seriously miss the sense of community of the other club (no choice to change btw, city closed our range). Like you I've been offering the occasional advice when I see people struggling or doing things so obviously wrong I can spot it even with my lack of experience.

And I suppose the reaction I get is similar to the one you get.

I'm thinking the correct approach may be to offer your services to the members of your club. I've been continuing my quest to earn my Advanced Expert and Masters badges in the different disciplines following the SFC Recreational Target Shooting (RTS) program. (I'm a little worried that I'm going to have to make a serious investment in targets shortly if I'm going to continue.) I've also been looking into the NRA marksmanship program.

So, my thought was to see if the range would give me space to post information about the program and offer to register as the club coordinator and offer to run the program for other club members. I though it might be a good idea to even try following the NRA marksmanship program and promote it to all the members that aren't necessarily interested in precision shooting as it is more skills focused. I'm quite a bit disappointed that the various Canadian firearms associations don't have a program that is similar to the NRA one.

My feeling is that these efforts might built a bit of a community within the club which is otherwise very individualistic and might build interest in competitive precision shooting.

While I don't feel well known enough at the club with staff yet to be as forward as asking for space and exposure to offer the programs, I have made a few steps to promote the sport and make friends. I've really gone out on a limb and put a couple of classified ads on activity pages on the internet offering to introduce women to target shooting. I've found a surprising number of college and university age women are quite interested in learning about firearms (even up here in Quebec Canada). And at work, I'm now quite vocal about my shooting hobby and have made open invitations to my colleagues to join me as my guest for a shooting session. 

To promote the sport (firearms in general, and precision shooting specifically) I really think that outreach is what is most desperately needed.
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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by chopper on 10/6/2017, 10:57 am

I live in Western Iowa, (Missouri River) where bullseye shooting is'nt all that popular. I think most at my club like to shoot rifles and shotguns, and what pistol shooting is : action, combat, and indoor bowling pins. We do shoot indoor 300, but 98% shoot 2 handed and not NRA ruled. When I ask some of the good 2 handers to shoot 1 handed I get the same basic answer: too hard, I shake too much, can't do it, one guy said we're a bunch of whiners.
 For me to go to a 2700, I must travel about 250 miles east of here, there is 2 2700s south of Omaha that's about 120 miles away. I love shooting with the fellow bullseye shooters I meet at these tournaments they're great. 
  I'm trying to work with our indoor RO and let me start a once a month 900 (3 pistols) NMC. I'll invite all interested 2 and 1 handers and use NRA rules so they can see what it's like. If all goes well, I'd like to introduce a 1 gun 900, .22 or CF or .45 if the RO and club president like it.
 I'm 65 and the guys I shoot NRA Postal Matches with at my club are 65 and up, basically all 6 of us. That's about all the true bullseye shooters we have. 
 I agree Chris, intoduction to the college level would be great for our sport. It takes a lot of dedication and desire to shoot bullseye and that is why I shoot it, but most of all it's fun to try and and get them in the 10 ring, ( actually in the black for me, right now).
  Stan

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Re: Aged Shooters Common?

Post by jmdavis on 10/6/2017, 11:04 am

What happened this year with the Glock Matches at Perry. It wasn't the Run and Gun or even the Glock crowd winning. It was the best Bullseye shooters in the nation. 

You can learn precision and then develop speed. Doing it the other way around just doesn't work too well and means a lot of unlearning.
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