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Who Are the Next Generation?

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john bickar
Chase Turner
Caster3845
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RodJ
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Post by RodJ 9/6/2022, 10:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

The question is a bit nebulous. As a new shooter I read Gil Hebard’s and other authors’ books and training manuals. And I read many many posts here by High Masters and others who have honed skills and methods and share them. 

I wonder whether the newer participants - such as myself - will absorb, learn, seek, and discover the physical and mental skills that are passed on to us. And I wonder whether we will feel and follow an urge to experiment and develop new methods.

Thinking that the latter is best done after attaining a significant modicum of proficiency in the fundamentals. Or do “we” younger / newer shooters experiment sooner?

All this rambling is in hope of inspiring shooters to become inquisitive and teachers going forward. Of course there’s a danger of trying to share what we *think* we know and lead others astray. How to avoid that?

These thoughts are courtesy of my seeking instruction and coaching from one of the most helpful Bullseye L forum members. If he is successful, I hope that I might be a resource some day. 

Onward, through the fog! (a favorite expression of mine)

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Post by Caster3845 5/29/2023, 7:14 pm

Well stated, Stan....
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Post by Chase Turner 5/30/2023, 6:09 pm

RodJ wrote:The question is a bit nebulous. As a new shooter I read Gil Hebard’s and other authors’ books and training manuals. And I read many many posts here by High Masters and others who have honed skills and methods and share them.

...

All this rambling is in hope of inspiring shooters to become inquisitive and teachers going forward. Of course there’s a danger of trying to share what we *think* we know and lead others astray. How to avoid that?

In point of fact, most posters here are not High Masters, and it certainly isn't clear to me that there is a large corpus of their postings of substance to go through, either. Other information sources, such as the bullseye-l archive, have been locked up and are not easily available for the out-clique to review, but, I imagine the same problem would be evident there, too- not a lot of High Masters sending in their thoughts. In speaking to a few well known High Master shooters on this topic, the general impression I've gotten from them is that they don't want to waste time arguing with Experts, Sharpshooters and the occasional troll of any classification. Can't say I blame them.

As to the danger of sharing observations that are incorrect, that isn't really anything new to be mindful of. I suppose the best thing I normally see in a response is when someone makes a disclaimer about how such and such works for them, and may not work for you. Additionally, when someone provides a lot of detail about why they think something did or didn't work, or goes the extra mile to make sure the answer seems complete. Regardless of what a good answer looks like, the epistemological issues that come with letting our opinions become what we then call knowledge that we go on to share does seem to be magnified a bit with the medium we use to communicate with these days.

Last, there are always going to be people who wish to experiment, but who don't wish to publish their findings- for a whole multitude of reasons, I'm sure. Hell, earlier this year I had what I thought was an agreement with a well known shooter who changed their mind on publishing the findings of an experiment we were working on together. Wish I had known they were going to be a squirrel before I had spent (and now wasted) $5-600 bucks, but that's life in the fast lane. Some people, for reasons I will never understand, want to keep knowledge hidden. They speak in generalities, and avoid being specific about testing methods, hypotheses, etc.; I'd avoid taking a lot of what they say as gospel, as they probably are sharing data that reflects whatever their preconceived notions are. If you can't answer a question with a sufficient level of detail of how you came to what it is you believe, again, I'd be skeptical of those responses.

Just some food for thought. There certainly are knowledge challenges in this particular space.

-Chase

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Post by bruce martindale 5/30/2023, 6:47 pm

You need Farm teams if you want to have Major Leagues. At our indoor league awards banquet l make specific note to recognize new shooters because it isn't the big dogs that drive the league. It's new members that come, try to learn, and are made to feel welcome doing it. Years ago, it was awards for the top shooters and teams only. The rest of had zero chance of getting anything. I added class awards and that helped a lot. After all you're competing against those close to you.

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Post by Caster3845 5/30/2023, 8:33 pm

In speaking to a few well known High Master shooters on this topic, the general impression I've gotten from them is that they don't want to waste time arguing with Experts, Sharpshooters and the occasional troll of any classification. Can't say I blame them.


I do not believe that at all. I am  a past HM.  I found out that the first three classes, with the exception of a few, especially the MK and SS will hear the advise you are trying to give them but don't listen, but would rather listen to and take advise from shooters in their own class. The experts will listen until they make Master......then they know every thing there is to know. Once they make HM, they are back to trying to give advise and help the lower class shooters, but run into the same thing that I mentioned earlier. Most of the High Masters that I know and I know a bunch of them, they will help you all that they can. Last year at Camp Perry, John Zurek was with the Wisconsin shooters in front of their huts and giving them an impromptu class on marksmanship. I think he did this a couple of nights in a row. Some of the AMU shooters, Phil Hemphill, Jim Henderson,  Wes Flemming and Kimberly Hobart Flemming will all do the same thing. But ask after the match is over, not in the middle of the match. And ask legit questions, not like "Where do I put my feet?" Ask me and I will tell you "At the end of your legs." or "On the ground."
  But once a HM starts having problems, whether it be because of age (my problem -73YO) and I hear "Oh, age doesn't make any difference"] (yeah, it does, or other problems, and asks for help with something we are having trouble with, we hear "Oh, well you all ready know how to do such and such." Yes, we do know, but what can we do to alleviate the problem we are having now.    Believe it or not High Masters do have their own set of uniqe problems that the lower classes do not understand until they get to the higher classes. And being only one of 3 or 4 High Masters in the whole state, it's kind of hard to get all of us together and discuss the problems we are trying to figure out on our own. 
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Post by SaraiEsq 5/30/2023, 9:34 pm

Aw, man, don't tell me there are unwritten rules which prevent me from listening to counsel from shooters of a higher classification! I may not always be able to grasp what they are saying, but I like trying... ;-)
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Post by Wobbley 5/30/2023, 9:54 pm

I was a HM in HP rifle, and can confirm what Caster3845 says. I’d get asked by MK & SS things like “How do I … “ and they might even listen. But often their performance wouldn’t improve…. To be fair, you can’t ask a simple question like that and expect simple answers or speedy results. You have to get coached or mentored. That takes a commitment on both sides.

After I shot as a HM for 4 years I stopped for a hiatus. I learned that there is even a strata amongst the HM class. I’d shoot a 789 or a 791 (out of 800) while the match winner, (national champions) would shoot a 796 or better. Those 5 points were hard to come by. They require money and a commitment I couldn’t give. I imagine it’s the same for pistol, but I can at least keep shooting against myself.
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Post by Caster3845 5/30/2023, 10:15 pm

Wobbley.......It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that has noticed that Marksman will hang with Marksman....Sharpshooters with Sharpshooters...etc...unless, like what happened with me, you take one under your wing and bring him or her along and hope that someday they progress far enough along that they are besting you 90% of the time. Then you know you have done your job correctly...Like my mentor, Larry Krob, did. I wanted to quit many times, but he wouldn't let me. What turned me completely around was the day when he was watching me shoot and made the comment, "If if I couldn't shoot any better than that, I'd throw rocks." I thought to myself, "i'm going to beat that ##$$ someday. A year later, I was and on a regular basis. He didn't take it well at first until i told him that I had a very good teacher. Then all was well after that. When I first started traveling with Larry, we would go to MN and WI. There were a couple of HM there that would talk to Larry, but not to me, until I started beating them. Then they started talking to me and we became very good friends. Good Times!
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Post by Chase Turner 5/31/2023, 6:17 am

SaraiEsq wrote:Aw, man, don't tell me there are unwritten rules which prevent me from listening to counsel from shooters of a higher classification!  I may not always be able to grasp what they are saying, but I like trying... ;-)

No, that isn't what I'm saying. I was simply making the point that you don't see a lot of current high masters on this forum giving advice, and of the advice given here, the overwhelming majority comes from folks who aren't high masters. Of what does come from high masters on this forum, I don't believe that it makes up a large portion of what is considered advice or helpful knowledge. Perhaps I am in error; I certainly don't keep up with the forum like I used to, but I don't think my take is completely off the mark, hence why I am sharing it.

Now, when you meet people in the flesh, I do agree that many are happy to share whatever they may know to a question posed to them. The AMU especially will make certain that you get an answer to your question (at least, that's been my experience). Terry Labbe of Magnus Bullets just this weekend answered a question or two I had; as I say, I believe the majority of shooters in the flesh will gladly help another shooter out.

But don't mistake that high master in person help for what occurs on the forum. It's night and day difference from a quality of the respondent and response perspective. This forum is a subset of the shooting population, and the response quality is all over the place, in my opinion.

Again, just sharing my perspective on the original post. Feel free to disagree. But, next time you run into a high master you know at a match, ask them why they don't post here. You may be surprised at their response.

-Chase

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Post by bruce martindale 5/31/2023, 8:02 am

If a buffet is offered, you will pick and choose ( like what you hear and understand) and not get a balanced meal.

Sometimes only a tidbit is offered, and that morsel sticks in your head and tortures you until you understand what it really means…

What Masters and HM talk about, and can do, is beyond the capabilities of many; you have to learn to walk before you can run.

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Post by chopper 5/31/2023, 10:16 am

I tend to agree with Paul, Chase, Bruce, and many that help answer our questions for help. If you ask during a match you break up a shooters concentration while they are shooting to the best of their ability. I've done that, and I got a cold shoulder or an "Aim for the center, Kid" answer. It is distracting and sometimes very rude if kept up. It took me a while to understand this, that's why I like to practice by myself most of the time, unless I need the help.
 There is a lot of literature, this forum and the net provides much, also Bruce's E-book is great. Bruce's saying "you need to walk before you can run" says so much, and answers the needs for many classes of shooters. How many times have I seen and heard "trigger and sights" or "fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals".
 I like to read this forum, when you see a new topic for help chances are it's been brought up already. At the end of the discussions are similar topics, just click on the + sign and it shows other like posts. I like searching also because that's where many HMs and Ms gave answers in older times, I wished I could see all the original forum posts.
 Most of my needs are trigger, grip, and focus(concentration).
I thank you all for the help past and present.
Stan

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Post by Chase Turner 5/31/2023, 2:59 pm

chopper wrote:I tend to agree with Paul, Chase, Bruce, and many that help answer our questions for help.

That's kind of you to say, but I think others are far more helpful than I am.

chopper wrote:If you ask during a match you break up a shooters concentration while they are shooting to the best of their ability. I've done that, and I got a cold shoulder or an "Aim for the center, Kid" answer. It is distracting and sometimes very rude if kept up. It took me a while to understand this, that's why I like to practice by myself most of the time, unless I need the help.

(Not directed at you Stan, but amplifying your point)

I learned the same lesson. It's perfectly acceptable to inquire about items during breaks in the shooting day, but the new shooters probably are better served keeping chats on the way back and from the scoring line light and airy; once you get to know the "regulars," it will make more sense on when you can ask questions and when you shouldn't. Until you have that sense, wait until 22 to CF change, lunch break, or after the match. And if the person is still gruff, just ignore them and find someone else.

I prefer to practice and train with my daughter, but I can completely understand wanting to work solo- because that's what I do when Caryn can't go- and sometimes the focus needed for your lessons is better served on your own. Also, it seems like (feels like?) your experimentation of technique/lesson is a bit freer when you work by yourself. You give yourself permission to fail, required in most learning worth doing, a bit more when no one is around to say anything.

chopper wrote:I like searching also because that's where many HMs and Ms gave answers in older times, I wished I could see all the original forum posts.

If you remember what USENET was like back in the day, and of course email lists, then it was certainly more of a free-flowing conversation than what we have here today- just was the way people communicated as a function of the medium if that makes any sense. With that said, I think it is a shame that the posts have been locked up, since so much could be learned (or unlearned, even!) from what people have said before. Instead, there is a knowledge vacuum that isn't quite replaced with the forum, and certainly isn't made up in/by the google group, or facebook, etc. I wouldn't go to facebook for knowledge anyway, but I'm hopeful you take my point. We are limited by the communication medium and method in many respects.

So on the one hand, we have the ancient PST, which even had an article which described "wet shooting," (!) to the stuff of today (Bruce's book, the Updated PST, MEC books, etc.) But none of that- none- is remotely close to the volume of what High Masters would have been saying on the old list. I don't know who you would ask at either the CMP or NRA about how many High Masters there were or are, but that number is most likely low no matter the period (and HM is fairly "new" as a classification iirc). I wouldn't be surprised if there were fewer alive or active today than any other time of the sport. And, of those, how many even like to teach anything or say anything at all? A yet smaller number. And so it goes.

I suppose there is always going to be the contingent that says the game is just fundamentals executed well, but that's like saying "4=4" or "the fewest strokes to sinking the golf ball wins" is interesting as a function of its truth. These things are useful, sure, but certainly not interesting.

In chatting with Terry this weekend, he mentioned something he had said to me before, which was, "you are your own best coach," once you had made it a certain distance in the sport (which I think of as a "target bank"- you've seen enough and experienced enough targets to understand what is happening at some level). The thought wasn't original to him; but he said it just turned into an ear worm that when he heard it that just clicked in his mind. It's why he went to SAFS multiple times when he was starting out; he didn't know what he was going to hear, exactly, but that if he could find more items that made it "click" in his mind, it was worth the price of admission.

-Chase

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Post by bruce martindale 5/31/2023, 5:48 pm

Someone has the backed up copies of the old Bullseye L posts on a website. I know I have thousands of them in a folder.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 5/31/2023, 9:47 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Someone has the backed up copies of the old Bullseye L posts on a website. I know I have thousands of them in a folder.
How do we bring them to light? I don't have the material but do have the technology
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Post by SaraiEsq 5/31/2023, 10:04 pm

Re: Training alone vs with someone

For a couple of months over the winter, we had a league night at the indoor range -- NMCs with turning targets. It was fun for a while but I rarely go anymore in part because it was neither training nor competition. It was too casual (sometimes bordering on chaotic) to provide a competition dry run. But folks were just focused enough on their own shooting that I couldn't expect consistent feedback or coaching on my shooting.

So I am back to shooting alone, knowing there are things I can't see or diagnose or fix.

(It's been a long few days at work, so my apologies for the less-than-chipper attitude. )
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Post by Jon Eulette 5/31/2023, 11:07 pm

GET A COACH!
Speeds up learning curve. Invest in yourself!
Jon
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Post by bruce martindale 6/1/2023, 2:41 pm

Google Groups for Bullseye L has almost 6000 of the older list messages , chronologically. Others may have a better idea for retrieving them

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Post by john bickar 6/1/2023, 8:09 pm

I can't speak for all High Masters, but some of us keep pretty busy dry firing, training, reloading, running matches, running leagues, compiling stats, running work parties, sweeping up brass, emptying trash cans, cleaning bathrooms, holding leadership posts at our local gun clubs, swimming through the political morass of said local gun clubs, submitting scores to the multiple shooting organizations that seem to keep splintering into smaller and smaller shards, being parents and spouses, working to pay the mortgage...the list goes on and on.

I do try to give advice and positive encouragement here; if you want to see a few examples of where that goes, search for a few threads on "scoping shots" and "270 club". Those threads are significantly shorter than a recent thread about "two handed shooting."

I'm trying pretty hard to keep Bullseye alive, but - as a friend said to me just this past weekend - "there's a lot of bullshit on the Bullseye forum." If you want to see an example of where the forum goes south, search "Hammerli 120" here. It doesn't surprise me that there aren't many HMs posting; I'm just another idiot on the Internet.

If you want to be successful in Bullseye, whether that's getting to SS, HM, going Distinguished, or whatever your goal is, put in the work. At Desert Midwinter this year I caught John Zurek literally mopping the floor in the men's bathroom shortly before he shot an 891 in the CF match.

Scrub some toilets; it'll do wonders for your grip.

Hope to see many of you next month at the various matches in Ohio and Indiana.
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Post by john bickar 6/1/2023, 8:59 pm

As to who the "next generation" is, it's 40/50/60-somethings that have their kids out of the house and have disposable income and free time.

I've been the youngest shooter on the firing line for 30+ years.

I love to see Juniors shoot Bullseye. It's awesome. I am 100% in favor of Junior pistol programs, and I support them financially and with my expertise. I was once a Junior bullseye shooter, and I got a lot of encouragement and support. That is great, and we should continue to encourage and support that. Fred Totts has done a great job with the ORPA Juniors over the years, as has the New Jersey team, and others.

That support inculcates a lifelong interest in the shooting sports.

What happens with teenagers is that they go on to college, they don't have any money, they don't have any free time, they're no longer "Juniors" so they don't have support, and they stop shooting. This is not a bad thing; this is just life.

A very small percentage of pistol-shooting Juniors go on to shoot in college (where they'll get some support); most go on to life.

And then life happens. Career, marriage, kids...fast forward 20-30 years.

You still have that competitive drive. Your knees may be creaky, your lower back might hurt when a storm is a-comin'. But you still want to be really good at something.

Your kids are off to college, you have a lot more free time than when you were changing diapers, you're financially secure and you can spend time and money on something that's cheaper, more accessible, and more inclusive than golf, but still gets you out in the open air and bullshitting with your buddies. You're in good shape for a 50-year-old, but you're not bombing down hills on your mountain bike.

You pick up something that's objectively difficult. I mean, really, really difficult. "Stand on your hind legs and shoot a pistol with one hand at a 2-inch X-ring at 50 yards" difficult.

That's the "new generation".
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Post by Jack H 6/1/2023, 11:06 pm

Part of me is in what JB said.

Kids, work, lumbar, aging parent, time, budget,.... life, all factor in.

Available facilities factor too.  I don't have an excuse on that one as my range is 20 miles away.
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Post by RodJ 6/2/2023, 10:01 am

I think I just witnessed a 2700x. Plus you have a crapload of time to fart around and you can “play” by yourself if no one else can join.

PS thanks to everyone who ignored my poor grammar in the title. Annoyed me when I noticed but I decided it was kind of stupidly quaint. Or maybe the product of a second (third?) bourbon.

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Post by mikemyers 6/2/2023, 2:53 pm

BE Mike wrote:.......Precision shooting, in general, is no longer considered a valuable skill, even among other pistol shooting sport competitors.
Maybe it's the format?

My local club holds a bullseye match once a month, and a special match four times a year.  People are always coming to the club for practice.
They also have matches for metal silhouette and combat, and rifle matches.

They gave up on hosting 2700 matches because people in Florida, with all the heat, didn't want to do them.

The matches here one class (shoot any gun you want, and most people shoot 22), slow fire, timed fire, and rapid fire, at 25 and 15 yards, shooting with one or two hands.  It's all for fun, lasts a few hours, then people sit around, winners are announced, and people (with their families) go home.

It's shorter, easier, and if the pistol range fills up, they let additional competitors shoot on the rifle range.


Maybe it's not that "regular" people no longer want to shoot bullseye, but they don't want to do something like a full 2700, especially one-handed, and much too long for most of them.
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Post by bruce martindale 6/2/2023, 3:12 pm

Hence my NY 1800 indoor postal championship....no travel, low cost ( $5), fewer shots; specifically a 22-900 and many stop at that, plus a CF 900. In and out, done.

See the book Bowling Alone, organized sports are a tough putt.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 6/2/2023, 3:35 pm

I don't think making the sport easier is the key to attracting lasting competitors. Speaking for myself, late 30s, two teenage kids, gainfully employed. It's an amazing challenge. I bought my first 45 and joined an NRA bullseye league within a couple months of learning what bullseye was (this was maybe 4 years ago). Just never knew it was a thing. I had started shooting 3 gun (rifle pistol shotgun) matches since that was all I knew, and didn't like many aspects. Last night I listened to gentlemen I can actually look up to tell stories of shooting on the high-school rifle teams in the 1950s until 11:40pm on a weeknight at the secret local gun club. It'll take a very large crowbar to pry me off this sport.
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Post by Eindecker 6/2/2023, 11:30 pm

Pinetree wrote:I wish that I would have taken up this sport/hobby years ago, when my eyes were still decent.

One of the guys in our league is the grandson of another member, he's 18 and quite good. It's a shame that the younger generation doesn't take up the sport, because the rest of us are pretty much all retirement age.

One of my other hobbies is flying radio controlled airplanes, and we're seeing the same dilemma.. most of the members are well into their seventies, and it doesn't seem like the younger generation is interested.. for lack of a better word.


Its a people thing... most people under 40 have been brainwashed into following very specific thought patterns as taught by reddit, facebook, cnn, the view, jimmy felon, and so forth. As a result most of them are scared of handling a firearm until they want to rob the neighborhood bodega, or shoot someone who "dissed them" by not sharing a chicken nugget at lunch.

Eindecker

Posts : 144
Join date : 2022-10-08

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