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How to get more shooters to compete

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chiz1180
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mikemyers
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Post by mikemyers 11/4/2018, 1:32 am

First topic message reminder :

Not sure if this question belongs here, but it seems like the appropriate place.

I had a discussion about how well people are able to shoot in Bullseye competition.  Looking around on the web was no help - no place could I find typical targets.

I found pages like this:
http://www.nrahq.org/compete/natpdf/cp143-17.pdf
http://competitions.nra.org/national-matches/results-archives/2017.aspx

....but to someone who doesn't already know what these things mean, it's impossible to visualize how the competitors did.  What would be more meaningful (but impossible) is photos of the targets.  Of course, I'm a photographer, and I "see" with pictures.


I think two things could help promote Bullseye Shooting, regardless of what name it is called.  The first is simple - provide a class for people who shoot two handed.  It might attract a lot of people who otherwise think of it as "impossible".  ....and the second, print a brochure, designed for ordinary existing shooters, and use it to promote the benefits of Bullseye - not everyone wants to run around, getting down into the dirt or whatever - - - and with Bullseye, ANYONE can practice for it at just about any shooting range.  The brochure should have a photo of one of the champions, and another photo of an "average" shooter holding one of his targets and his gun (which should look like a normal gun).

Even just a web page would be a start, and probably easier to do than a brochure.


Heck, technically I'm not a "Bullseye Shooter" because my left hand isn't in my pocket, but I thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the sport, the targets, the distances, the organization and especially the people I've met.  I think there are many more people like me, who could be tempted to get involved.....
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Post by bruce martindale 23/7/2022, 7:32 pm

It takes time money and determination to do what we do. It is in short supply. Cut those factors down. I ran a statewide indoor postal 1800 Last spring. I cut the course down to 22/cf only, done in part or whole. Not registered, low cost honor system. I got 10 clubs and 74 shooters to play. 
You need to teach then coach to deal with "hardness". I developed a class and I wrote a book ( available soon)
Make it fun, use what you have. For outdoors, go at 25 yards without turning targets. No 25 yd SF targets.

Work your local club membership. And you don't want it to look like mass shooter training with lots of fast closeup shooting.

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Post by impalanut 23/7/2022, 8:14 pm

There are a number of clubs within a 2 hour drive of my house (southastern Pennsylvania). Many of them have weekly leagues or organized practices. They all start between four and five oclock in the afternoon on weekdays.
How can they possible recruit people who work full time or go to school full time?
Around here most of the participants in bullseye are retirement age, although there are some juniors. I attribute this, in part, to the fact that the available training events don't allow for the average person to take advantage.

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Post by chiz1180 23/7/2022, 9:38 pm

impalanut wrote:There are a number of clubs within a 2 hour drive of my house (southastern Pennsylvania). Many of them have weekly leagues or organized practices. They all start between four and five oclock in the afternoon on weekdays.
How can they possible recruit people who work full time or go to school full time?
Around here most of the participants in bullseye are retirement age, although there are some juniors. I attribute this, in part, to the fact that the available training events don't allow for the average person to take advantage.
So I run 2 leagues at two different ranges that are about an hour in either direction of my house (Central OH). One starts at 5:30PM and the other starts at 7PM, attendance in both cases is typically people of retirement age and on average the same number of people. One thing that I know for a fact that does impact participation is that some shooters I know have stuff going on with their kids (High school sports being a good example) and I definitely respect their position on that front. 

On the money front, look at what we typically shoot, high end (often europen) 22s and custom 45s with optics that most people would associate belonging on a rifle. It is a hard sell to someone that you don't 'need' something of that level to compete when most people who shoot with some deal of competency have high end equipment. Not to mention the support costs (eg reloading) or consumables cost (bullets, primers, and powder). 

It is a game that requires some dedication of both resources and time.
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Post by bruce martindale 24/7/2022, 7:14 pm

Easy, introduce a stock class

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Post by chiz1180 24/7/2022, 8:12 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Easy, introduce a stock class
Kind of like that metallic class that typically gets 1 or2  maybe 3 people at smaller matches.
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Post by SingleActionAndrew 24/7/2022, 9:16 pm

I just got in this sport 4 years ago. The sell was that Bullseye is the most foundational competition - I was sold that I could shoot any pistol discipline like the run and guns proficiently if I could master bullseye pistol shooting. I'm not sure about any of that these days - all I'm concerned with regarding shooting now Is Bullseye.

The high Skill barrier was part of the attraction for me. I have been so fortunate to find an extremely supportive group of well seasoned shooters locally. My friend in NW Indiana has not had the same luck. I've convinced him a couple times to go meet the bullseye guys out there, and each time came away with some reason they said why he can't compete (IIR. told him 1911 in 40 can't compete in CF, so he came back with another pistol and was told his type of dot wasn't allowed...). Seems there can still be a high Social barrier to joining the bullseye clubs in some circles unfortunately. One more pistol shooter lost to rifle shooting.
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Post by CO1Mtn 25/7/2022, 12:45 am

Andrew, I would recommend to your friend that he get started wtih rimfire. I tried shooting service pistol but never won anything with it. Nowadays I shoot only rimfire at all the 2700s and pistol EICs. The barrier to entry is much lower. I have a pistol I bought at a store, and it took a little tweaking, but not as much as a 1911 would have. I can have virtually any barrel length I want, as long as it's ten inches or less. I can buy my CCI SV ammo at wal-mart or any gun store and I don't have to reload. I've shot nothing but .22-only 2700s and EICs for the last three years. It's much more affordable and I get just as much enjoyment out of it than the guys shooting .45s.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the .45s at all. If someone can get that system working, more power to him. I just don't have the time or money these days to invest in reloading. And I can't find the primers or powder around here anyway. If money were no object, I'd have two or three EIC pistols in .45 or 9 mm and I'd be shooting them at a match every weekend.

My ammo cost is $0.11/round for .22, whereas match grade 9 mm ammo from Atlanta Arms is $0.50/round. That's five times more.
My match pistol groups 1" at 50 yards and cost $1250 out the door, which could be half the cost of a high end service pistol. And I didn't have a six month wait time to get it.
And I have a stockpile of 5000 rounds of ammo.

I recently was thinking about getting back into high power rifle EICs, but then I saw the cost of 75 grain match ammo online, and it's about $1/round. Ouch! Even the cheap 55 gr FMJ ammo is $0.55/round these days, more than double than it was just five years ago. That's too much for a poor man like me. Ammo prices are outta sight these days. Even a practice session at the range with my service rifle would cost me $50. That's why I'm into smallbore these days. I got my smallbore rifle for $320 out the door and it came with a perfect trigger. The barrel will never wear out in my lifetime. I'd predict that more people will start gravitating to rimfire 2700s and smallbore/rimfire sporter matches in the days ahead.

Ya know, I find myself wishing that I had been born about 30 years earlier. I think those were the golden days for shooting sports and cheap ammo. I don't know why ammo is so expensive these days. I can't believe it would cost $0.50 to make a pistol round or $1 for a rifle round. For the average factory worker that's an hour of labor just for 20 rounds. It doesn't take an hour to make 20 rounds so I don't know where the money is going.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 25/7/2022, 5:09 am

There's a significant stigma against 22/rimfire with shooters around my age (late 30s-early 40s). It's seen by us city folk as just a toy for kids. All the shooters I've tried to get into the sport want to try it first with the guns they have before diverting good firearms budget money into buying a 22 just for target shooting. I too had no intention to buy a 22 beyond for the kids before I started bullseye.

My referenced above bud who was twice turned away from his local bullseye league, just two years into owning firearms already reloads on a mark 7 and has many eligible CF guns (but was told they aren't). We are I believe in a unique time of opportunity where great amounts of new would-be competitors and money are coming into the shooting sports. It's not easy for newbies to find the sport.

One of the items that caught my eye as an outsider too was the bullseye league trophy cabinet at the local range.
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Post by msmith44 25/7/2022, 5:43 pm

SingleActionAndrew wrote:There's a significant stigma against 22/rimfire with shooters around my age (late 30s-early 40s). It's seen by us city folk as just a toy for kids. All the shooters I've tried to get into the sport want to try it first with the guns they have before diverting good firearms budget money into buying a 22 just for target shooting.  I too had no intention to buy a 22 beyond for the kids before I started bullseye.

One of the items that caught my eye as an outsider too was the bullseye league trophy cabinet at the local range.
CF aggregate... CF handguns from .32 cal to .44 cal. and shoot all courses of fire with a two-hand option.

Commercial ranges, not necessarily private pistol and rifle clubs mired in "tradition," have got to take the lead. BUT, if the range where I train is any indication they draw 40+ weekly for practical pistol @ $3.50 per run compared to the four regular weekly Precision Pistol shooters who shoot for free. During the winter (Jan-March) when the postal league is scheduled there may be any many as 11 with eight forming two teams but that's the most.

Marketing is about the now not what should be. Give the 9mm owners a product they can embrace in an environment that isn't hostile to change and you might draw more shooters.

-m-

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Post by CO1Mtn 26/7/2022, 2:14 am

SingleActionAndrew wrote:There's a significant stigma against 22/rimfire with shooters around my age (late 30s-early 40s). It's seen by us city folk as just a toy for kids. All the shooters I've tried to get into the sport want to try it first with the guns they have before diverting good firearms budget money into buying a 22 just for target shooting.  I too had no intention to buy a 22 beyond for the kids before I started bullseye.

My referenced above bud who was twice turned away from his local bullseye league, just two years into owning firearms already reloads on a mark 7 and has many eligible CF guns (but was told they aren't). We are I believe in a unique time of opportunity where great amounts of new would-be competitors and money are coming into the shooting sports. It's not easy for newbies to find the sport.

One of the items that caught my eye as an outsider too was the bullseye league trophy cabinet at the local range.
It sounds like he's way ahead of me!

And I have no idea why the local league would want to turn him away. .40 cal is perfectly legal for bullseye.

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Post by Richard Martinez 8/8/2022, 1:54 pm

Just a thought but I found a significant lack of advertising for most NRA matches. The directors are doing a great job but if the directors would register/ sanction matches with the CMP it would be cheaper and get blasted out via the CMP tracker. This may be a way to advertise the state matches & regional events. Thoughts?

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Post by RoyDean 8/8/2022, 3:18 pm

Richard, no doubt that your point comparing CMP vs NRA promotion at higher level is accurate. But I doubt that is a big factor in local club participation.

The older folks (me too) who typically run the Bullseye sections are generally just not part of the "Internet Generation" and are not, by nature, self promoters.

This is almost a perfect recipe for the decline and death of an otherwise wonderful sport/pastime.

It is hard for younger shooters to break through the "mystique". There are lots of perfectly adequate and inexpensive 22 guns, but, very few higher classification shooters use them, of course. Rarely do folks advise " just shoot your mildly improver Ruger/whatever 22 with iron sights till you make Expert". Somewhat similar, as I understand it, to starting out in the AMU.

I don't have any clever suggestions/solutions, but Bullseye, collectively, needs to make entry level participation easier and more attractive. Otherwise the game will shrivel and die.

My 2c.


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