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Attracting More Shooters

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Attracting More Shooters - Page 2 Empty Attracting More Shooters

Post by Steve K 3/25/2024, 6:40 pm

First topic message reminder :

I belong to a small club and run the Bullseye League.  Like many clubs I am having a difficult time attracting new shooters.   We were shooting two National Match Courses in the evening and people did not like the Long Line.  They were not die hard BE people, same would shoot Glock 17s  or 19s.  I even had one elderly man show up with a Ruger Bearcat.  All of those shooters dropped out.  In order to stimulate participation I changed the course of fire a few times.  The last change was to shooting three NMC at the short line using a .22, centerfire and .45 or use a .22 for the entire match.   Participation rose, but then dropped off.  Last season only two of us shot.  Any suggestions about how to increase participation?

Steve K

Posts : 165
Join date : 2015-11-09

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Attracting More Shooters - Page 2 Empty NRA Winchester Program for new B/E shooters!

Post by jjfitch 3/27/2024, 11:13 am

I read through all the posts and agree with just about every thing posted. 

I started offering the NRA Winchester Bulls-Eye program a couple years ago. This is basically the the "NRA .22 Gallery League". What I'm seeing is exactly what is being shared here. $300 striker fired pistols lead to complete disappointment at achieving even the basic scores, 40/100!
I've started running a clinic beforehand  bringing my B/E guns, M41 and H/S M106's. These are capable of master scores in the right hands and shows new shooters their capability shooting "from a bench rest"! Eyes light up and the new shooters begin asking questions about where to get B/E guns! Smile
jjfitch
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Age : 77
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Post by JimH 3/27/2024, 12:52 pm

This is a topic that is talked about in all the bullseye clubs and leagues I belong to.  I shoot in 2 winter leagues that have been in existence for over 50 years.  That in itself is amazing living behind enemy lines, ny,  where the governor and legislators have and are making pistol ownership difficult and expensive.  

Some of the things we have done to attract new members are: 
1.  Work one on one with new shooters at the range to go over safety, and describe the coarse of fire.  We do this before they shoot their first match.  Their first match we have an experienced shooter standing behind them to help if need be.  Stressing safety, accuracy will come.
2.  We had pamphlets printed up describing bullseye, our league, and team contacts.  We distributed them to local clubs and gun shops.
3.  We have Bruce Martindale give his class.  It is well received and very helpful to new and experienced shooters.
4.  Several teams have started a junior program.  

All that said most of our league shooters have grey hair.  There is no one thing that works.  Bullseye is not for everyone.  It is a difficult sport to master, if ever, but is very rewarding. 

I'll end this post with a copy from the NJ website outdoor championship section.  With a lot of work they turned things around in a big way.  It can be done.

Event History
In 1998, when there were only 6 competitors, not even enough non-Distinguished to hold the "Leg" match, State Association (ANJRPC) Pistol Chairman, John Gemmill, and then new shooter, Dave Lange, decided to "make things different".  Both worked tirelessly throughout the year arranging incentives, soliciting private donations for prizes and encouraging new shooters.
In 1999, Dave actually made brass catchers offered as a sign up bonus to the first 50 competitors!
(See [size=13]1999 ANJRPC article with photos!)[/size]
Sign up incentives ($40 gift certificates to local sporting good stores) continued through 2002, when both days of the event had virtually full firing lines!
By 2003, when the lines were "sold out" with advance reservations practically before the match bulletins were mailed, a third relay was added, and the range's turning target line was extended to accommodate 40 instead of 35!
In 2004, all three days saw filled firing lines (with one-gun shooters "taking shifts!") - The "Madore Cup" was commissioned, and the "Leg" match hereinafter was held in honor of late PA gunsmith, George Madore (who earned his Distinguished Pistol Shot badge with 3 Camp Perry performances.)
In 2005, a fourth day was added on the following weekend!
In 2006 Outdoor Championship was held at South River Pistol Club in South River, NJ for the last time!
In 2007 we held 3 relays at Central Jersey Rifle and Pistol Club in Jackson, and a 4th relay at CRRC in West Windsor!  Dave Lange won his 10th consecutive resident state championship!
In 2008 all four relays were held at CJRPC!  Dr. Nick Abrishamian donated a commemorative custom 1911 to be presented to the overall winner!
      In 2009 CJRPC hosted four relays on consecutive weekends.  In addition to Springfield XDs again going to the top shooter in each class, Vinny Pugliese donated a Ruger Mark III as prize for the Top Junior and Mike Westock donated a $250 "Free Pass to Perry" which was awarded by a drawing to one of our twelve junior competitors!
    In 2010 five relays were held - 3 at CJRPC in Jackson and 2 at a newly refurbished Cherry Ridge Range in Highland Lakes! 
In 2017 NJ Outdoor Championship was held at THREE LOCATIONS for the first time
- 2 relays at Cherry Ridge in Highland Lakes, 2 relays at Square Circle in Gibbsboro and 1 relay at CRRC in West Windsor! 

JimH

Posts : 10
Join date : 2011-08-24

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Post by Pioneer41 3/27/2024, 8:08 pm

I only got into the sport because my university still happened to have a shooting program, and a good coach that happened to shoot bullseye. We shot indoor 300s, and they geared a few matches special for what were essentially rookie shooters. A year later and one of my classmates was 2nd highest female in the statewide postal league. 
I think "feeder" opportunities like that are critical, and there just aren't a lot of them that I have seen as work has dragged me around the country for the last decade. One club I shoot at that I have seen offer occasional beginner classes/info for bullseye, here in Maryland, sometimes has to turn away folks because their line is full - which is a great problem to have! Information about rules and matches are often hard to find unless you already know what you are looking for, and the young folks (like me) need to have it on the Internet. And folks that have pointed out the "grouchy know-it-all old timer" factor are spot on - that is really corrosive to young blood.
For folks proposing two handed, one thing that is a good model are the CMP 'as-issued' pistol matches. It isn't "serious" bullseye, but from the few matches I've done it seems a good gateway for someone with their striker-fired 9mm to try the framework of the game easy and quick. Call it silly if you like, but it is fun... and isn't that the point? 
I think the move to create ".22 only" categories and the .22 EIC are positive moves to lower barrier of entry. We just need to promote them and educate on how to do it.

Pioneer41

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Location : Columbia, MD

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Post by Fast G 3/28/2024, 8:54 am

I shoot Tuesday night at the ACB (Associated Clubs of Baltimore). A league run by the Garrison Rifle and Revolver Club. We shoot all year round starting a 6pm. We have had 42 shooters on the line. A friendly low key event. We shoot 600 for the winter league 2xslow, 2xtimed, 2xrapid. For the summer league we shoot a 900. Hot dogs on the grill after the summer league. ACB is a large facility so we get shooters from other disciplines, but there is always a few new shooter attending.

Fast G

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Join date : 2020-08-14

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Post by Mike M. 3/28/2024, 12:26 pm

Fezzik68 wrote:The comments I hear from action shooters is 'that doesn't apply to me / what I do'.
Ah, but it DOES.  If you go read books on combat shooting written before the growth of the shooting school industry (and all the money), they ALL recommended Bullseye.  BE is to pistol shooting what ballet is to dance - it lays a rock-solid foundation that will stand you in good stead no matter what you do later.

Mike M.

Posts : 66
Join date : 2011-07-18
Location : Deep Southern Maryland

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Post by Fezzik68 3/28/2024, 1:21 pm

Ah, but it DOES.  If you go read books on combat shooting written before the growth of the shooting school industry (and all the money), they ALL recommended Bullseye.  BE is to pistol shooting what ballet is to dance - it lays a rock-solid foundation that will stand you in good stead no matter what you do later.

Preaching to the choir, brother.
The last time I shot action was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Now, getting to indoor 'Master' class BE, that's my current challenge.

Fezzik68

Posts : 70
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Post by Steve K 3/28/2024, 3:34 pm

I am very impressed and thankful for all the responses to my question.  The comments were well thought out and very well written.
Rereading the comments I find a few common threads:
1.       Safety is paramount
2.       Having fun is a big draw
3.       Incentivizing participation is essential 
4.       Educate people about BE
In order to increase participation I plan on making some changes;
1.       Do a presentation at the Club meeting
2.       Allow two handed shooting
3.       Distribute fliers at local gun stores
4.       Retain the nominal cost of $5.00 for the match (other disciplines have raised the cost and charge non-members more)
5.       Provide the use of a .22 target pistol and ammo for the first time out
Also, the relaxed, but not lax, environment will help to keep shooters involved. 
 
Thanks again for all the helpful information.  If anyone has something ease to add, please do.

Steve K

Posts : 165
Join date : 2015-11-09

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Post by jareds06 3/28/2024, 4:05 pm

#1 Social media ie youtube, instagram etc. unfortunately bullseye is primarily shot by oldheads who are totally illiterate in this regard outside of facebook memes (no offense to the present company, gents)

#2 Challenging people that claim they know how to shoot. Doesn't work for everyone, but a lot of men will not want to shy away from a challenge; basically call them a p*ssy and say they don't actually know how to shoot. 

The other route if you're not into potentially insulting people is to have people put their money where their mouth is, or incentivize it monetarily. My LGS/range has a little bullseye challenge. Put 3 shots in the 10 ring on a B-16 with a .22 target pistol they supply and they give you a $100, with a $10 buy in for the gun, target, and 3 shots. No rules on time limit, spotting, or one vs two handed. I tried and put a nice little 3 shot group down which was smaller than the 10 ring, but the sights were off for my eye so they were neatly positioned in the 9 and 8 rings low right but I put my target next to their challenge thingy to hopefully encourage other people to try. 

If you belong to a gun club and do a presentation at your monthly meeting or whatever, issue a challenge to anyone that can reach some kind of standard like that. It can't be too long/difficult drawn out or logistically it becomes a problem. I think 3 shots in the 10 ring of a B-16 or 3 shots in the 10 ring of a B-6 would be a good challenge to issue to your club members with some kind of cash prize if they can do it. And once you have them there, and they inevitably fail the task, pivot into teaching them and saying "learn this sport and you will learn how to shoot."

You could even do this virtually with a requirement that the participant film a video of themselves shooting the challenge in one continuous take with the target and shooter visible.

jareds06

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Post by Wobbley 3/28/2024, 4:13 pm

Usually, calling people names, or challenging their “manhood” is not only counter-productive it’s also unseemly.  There are more than a few ladies who can out shoot the majority of men out there… 

So, my suggestion is to be supportive and non-judgemental.
Wobbley
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Post by jareds06 3/28/2024, 5:30 pm

Wobbley wrote:Usually, calling people names, or challenging their “manhood” is not only counter-productive it’s also unseemly.  There are more than a few ladies who can out shoot the majority of men out there… 

So, my suggestion is to be supportive and non-judgemental.
if anything it's an indictment of the fragile egos of most male shooters out there, and especially now when the gun culture is centered around wanting to pretend to be a tough guy operator.

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