How do we get more shooters into the sport?

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How do we get more shooters into the sport?  Empty How do we get more shooters into the sport?

Post by kayakingsteve on Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:37 am

I'm 43 and have only shot bullseye for a short time. Love the sport. Love the discipline and the fact that it is something I can do for the rest of my life, even as I have to give up things like rugby etc... Smile

 It's amazing to see veteran shooters who've forgotten more about shooting than I will ever know at these matches, with their equipment and Camp Perry stickers! Now how do we make the sport grow so more people can follow in their footsteps? I want to do this for the next 40 years if I'm able... I'm usually the youngest guy at the shoots I go to by at least 15 years. All my other shooting has improved dramatically with the fundamentals I'm learning. Now how do I get others to see what you guys already know?

I'm sure this has been discussed at length, but are there any strategies to get these matches promoted more in clubs, get some of the other shooters into it?

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Post by Tim:H11 on Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:17 am

Sometimes it's as simple as getting a friend interested to come and shoot a match with you. Just to see what it's all about and to try it. They either like it or they don't. Becoming a match director and trying to bring bullseye shooting to a club only works if you have people interested in participating. So keep it simple. Find people you know that might take to the game and introduce them to it. If we all brought one new shooter to the sport (and if we are lucky and that one new shooter stays with it) then our popularity just doubled. All we can do is introduce it to people in hopes that they take to it. Always be ready to let someone try your guns at the range while you're practicing and let them see what it's like to shoot these guns in the manner that we shoot them in. Law of averages says you're gonna find someone who sticks with it eventually.
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Post by TonyH on Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:31 pm

We started a VERY informal 22 "900" match program indoors at our club that goes sixteen weeks through the winter. Essentially, bring a 22 pistol and shoot a NRA 900. We have 23 shooters taking part and probably 18 or so have not shot Bullseye Pistol before. To follow this up we meet on alternate Sundays for about 1.5 hours and teach and discuss fundamentals, techniques etc. to get the new folks progressing relatively quickly.
We have had three matches thus far and the participation and excitement level seems to be pretty high. The posted scores overall show great progress for most. If the season ends well, then the plan is to hold a few Outdoor matches and then maybe registered indoor matches next year.
We don't have turning targets at our range so we are just using a buzzer for timing. Turning targets may be in our future if participation stays up.
People are having fun and that's what will keep them engaged!
Welcome to the sport!


Last edited by TonyH on Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Larry2520 on Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:44 pm

Here in Jacksonville we have a "club match" the first Sunday of every month. It's basically an FPOA type match. We do this in hopes that new people will be willing to shoot at the shorter/easier course and learn the "routine" that goes with the matches. It has drawn some new shooters and hopefully it'll draw more. I feel the biggest thing to get over is the initial investment. I started out with an off the shelf 45 and I had a High Standard that I didn't know was a highly sought after target pistol. Eventually I had the 45 worked on and was glad I did. Another thing to get over is realizing you only shoot against yourself. Don't get into competition with others unless it's a friendly rivalry. That's my take on the sport. I've met others who are friendly and since we share a common interest we bond in a way. Great sport.

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Post by kayakingsteve on Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:17 pm

These are good ideas. Thanks for the suggestions and examples...

I'll get more involved with my local club and see if I can help.

On another note: is my idea of forcing myself to practice with iron sight revolvers for a year to improve fundamentals a common one; is it sound? I know my scores will immediately jump based on past experience with optics and semi-autos, but really want to learn the discipline of doing it "The hard way" for a year.

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Post by Mike38 on Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:26 pm

I shot Bullseye back in 1999-2001 (the lava.net days). Life got in the way so I put the Bullseye pistols away. Got them back out in 2016. I got on the internet to find if any of my favorite places still held matches. Didn't look good, most appeared to have stopped. I then spent some time searching for matches in Illinois. Not much shows on regular internet search engines. What would help, in my opinion, is match directors and the clubs need to make themselves a bit more visible to newbies or returning shooters. Back in the day, the match directors shared mailing information. After my first official match, I started getting fliers in my PO box informing me of other matches. That's not done any longer, so a shooter needs to find matches on his own, or ask around as much as possible. Sure, there is the SSUSA "Coming Events" web page, but that seems to be a waste of band width. It's all pretty much word of mouth, unless you happen to know for a fact of a club that holds matches, can find them on the internet, and figure out how to view their calendar.
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Post by eightysixCJ on Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:32 pm

Definitely get involved, help set up an run matches.  Keep the matches fun and welcoming.  At my range we run mostly 600 and 900 matches at 25-yards.  We encourage new shooters to participate even if they don't have bullseye guns or equipment and experienced bullseye shooters will support the new shooters and educate them through the match.

As a new shooter, what got me hooked was the welcoming camaraderie and support of the folks on the line.  When I started we had one bullseye shooter that took the phone numbers of all the shooters, in particular the new and prospective shooters, and call them the day before the match to remind them of the match and that it would be great to see them participate.  It was hard not to show up and shoot.  It was better when my wife got call and said that nice man from the range called to invite you to tomorrow's match, you should go...

Tom


Last edited by eightysixCJ on Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Soupy44 on Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:20 pm

+1 for camaraderie and support. Add to that easy point of entry and some form of success on the first day. I teach tennis full time and we keep our beginner classes simple. Our goal is to get folks bumping the ball back and forth in the first hour. Then our end goal for 4 weeks of 1 hour a week is to give them what they need to complete a tennis match properly. 

Getting folks out for the first time is step one. The rules allowing 22 the whole time and two hands are great. I'd like to see the ability to move slow fire to 25y since 50y is so intimidating the first time. I know there are issues with turning targets to deal with, but I bet it would go over well.

I liked the mention above of reaching out to folks to invite them to their second through tenth matches. Doesn't have to be the match director, anyone, and even better, multiple people reaching out would be great. Everyone loves to feel wanted. 

Separate matches for a group of beginners are nice, but someone other than the local match director should run them. Volunteers burn out over time, so it's best to spread the load. Separate matches also give a nice pathway for new shooters. They feel a sense of accomplishment when they go to the "real" matches.

Some local version of the NTT match would be nice too. Two man team pairing new and experienced shooters. Issue is a BE match is already a long day.

Just some ideas!

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Post by DonBrummer on Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:02 am

Word of mouth is a tough way to grow but it does work.  Start a dialog with a fellow shooter at your local range.  Invite him/her to league night and guide them through a few matches.  If need be, I provide a loaner gun and ammo to make it that much easier. Make them feel welcomed and ensure they have fun. That usually gets them hooked. Get others in the league to do the same thing.  

Finding matches can also be a challenge so it's important to advertise them.  In NY, NJ, PA, CT, & DE we have a valuable resource for finding and signing up for matches at http://www.njpistol.net/.  A new effort is underway for a national resource https://precisionshootingmatches.com/.  Advertise your match and bring a friend along.
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Post by estuck on Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:10 pm

Back in 1978 when I started my law enforcement career, there was a large police and military influence in the bullseye sport. Many agencies used precision pistol shooting as part of their regular firearms training. I think much of that was due to the large number of military veterans in police work. This translated to the civilian population getting involved. But lets face it, Bullseye shooting is hard to do. It takes regular practice, commitment and considerable expense as you progress in the sport. Today there are very few police agencies that use precision pistol in any aspect of their regular training. Also with the increase in people having concealed carry permits, people want to use their training time and expense on practical training. I teach a concealed pistol class with another Bullseye shooter who is 20 years my junior. We spend a significant portion of our class teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship (Bullseye). I think the next generation of bullseye shooters will come from the ranks of juniors shooting air pistol. All we can do is encourage new shooters,  offer them our support and friendship.

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Post by Chris Miceli on Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:34 pm

But prize $$
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Post by Jack H on Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:43 pm

No one gets rich quick winning BE matches. 

But there is this:
How do we get more shooters into the sport?  8_sati10
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Post by AllAces on Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:20 pm

Consolidate the sport under a single organization, such as the CMP.
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