Speaking at the NSSF Industry Summit in Austin today, Smith & Wesson pro shooter Julie Golob reckons competition shooting isn’t inclusive enough. There are too many rules, the equipment costs are too high, the travel distances are too far, OFWGs aren’t welcoming, many safety officers are insensitive Neanderthals, some pro shooters are *ssholes and ranges lack WiFi.

Basically, all the shooting competitions — from IDPA to 3Gun Nation — require too much time and money for the average shooter. And the culture is snobby, sexist and intimidating. The stats tell the tale: just .36 percent of 15.7 million Americans with carry permits participate in the shooting sports.

Ms. Golob wants shooting sports to look like . . . CrossFit. “The first rule of shooting competition is to talk about shooting competition,” she opines. Ms. Golob pitched the idea of simple (i.e. easy rules, common equipment) “virtual shooting competitions” around the U.S. to the NSSF audience, imagining a network of ranges connected by the Internet.

Basically, Ms. Golob thinks the current shooting sports associations suck. She wants to bring millions of people into the shooting sports by creating a new shooting sports organization, simplifying, standardizing, marketing and friendly-izing firearms competition.

I wonder if her presentation will inspire someone in the audience to launch her dream league. Or whether the OFWG gestalt of current shooting orgs will continued unopposed.

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164 Responses to Julie Golob: Barriers to Shooting Competition Too High

  1. Basically, all the shooting competitions — from IDPA to 3Gun Nation — require too much time and money for the average shooter.

    Ya think?

      • This is ultimately the root of the issue. Many people will simply not go compete at something until they feel they are good enough not to be a total embarrassment. Would you go show up to compete in a local golf tournament if you only hit golf balls at a range once a month? A box of simple range 9mm can cost $15-$20 easy for the uninitiated who just show up to the range or local store and buy it there. Thats almost a tank of gas for some people and it is expended in less than 10 minutes if you are shooting like an IDPA match. In order to practice enough to feel comfortable to go compete we are talking a lot of money.

        • My first ever real match was 2007 Camp Perry. I had just started. Was mostly interested in the vintage matches, but was loaned an AR so I could have the experience of competing with that rifle. Had never fired beyond 100 yards. I found most everyone around me and those I was squaded with, to be very helpful and friendly. Ultimately, I found that I was only competing with myself, trying to do as best I could. Don’t worry whether you think you are “good enough”. WHat does that mean, anyway? Yeah, there are some, “Win at all costs” people, but go out and have FUN with it, knowing that you may never be a “High Master”. Enjoy the friendly people and avoid the crappy people. Get the experience of shooting in matches….large and small; the mechanics and tempo of the match; the range commands, etc. It will be informative, interesting and FUN!

        • And then take into account that training facilities for this type of shooting is EXTREMELY limited. I don’t know of any local ranges you could practice rapid fires, drawing, movement, etc. I know of 2 that have instructor led tactical bays, but that’s it. Every where else – you are restricted to your lane. Do not draw from the holster. Do not fire more than one shot every 3 seconds. Do not bring a shotgun without slugs. Etc., etc. etc.

        • I shoot Cowboy action shooting and go through over 2,500 rounds of .45 colt and about 500 16 ga shot shells
          i spent over $1000 on Dillon progressive reloading gear and only shoot commercial .45 colt (black hills 50 round for about $35 so over 100 bucks in new ammo at that regional match) at the regional championships but when you add up the ammo costs even reloading I have to cut back the number of local (within 70 miles) weekend shoots as a standard for them is 6 stages with 10 .45 colt for the pistols and 10 of the same for the Winchester (shotgun is 4 to 6 rounds per stage so about a box of 25 for the shoot) 120 rounds of .45 colt… then about the same again for practice during the week… with the dillon and using Trail boss powder and casting my own cast 250 gr slugs and figuring about 10 reloads for case life (15 if I am religious about annealing every 5 reloads)
          so a pound of lead alloy for every 28 rounds (I used to use old wheel weights that cost a case of budweiser for a filled 5 gal pail (about 100 lbs) at local tire shops but new weights are zinc and they won’t even sell the old lead sort due to fear of law suit I guess)… I have deal with the local rehab plumber to buy scrap lead pipe at the current scrap price but over 100 lbs of lead a year added to the primer and powder costs is left at the ranges
          The guns I have and the costume but the ammo costs are killing my retirement income.

    • #1 thing that 3-Gun can do to increase participation is remove the shotgun.

      The shotgun (in competition) has morphed from the gun you dug out of the back of the safe into a highly specialized, very expensive, shell-spewing machine with tons of expensive ancillary gear (shot cards, shell caddies, etc.) and they all need special techniques to even utilize correctly (quad-load, anyone?). This is why 3-Gun is so expensive to start out in. What’s the first rule of shotguns in competition? “Your shotgun can’t win you a stage, but reloading it can lose you the stage.” It’s not like other shotgun sports utilize some of this equipment even, shell caddies are 3-gun specific. When you can roll up to 85% of the average gun owners in America and they can probably be competitive in at least one division *except* for the shotgun requirements, you’ve got a problem. I’m all for having specialized equipment for specialized sports (I think benchrest shooting and speedboat racing are awesome), but don’t expect a lot of people to participate.

      Proof? Search for “2-gun” on YouTube. Most, if not all, of the commentors here could compete in a 2-gun match with what we’ve already got at home right now, same as a USPSA or similar event. 3-Gun? Not a chance.

      How do we remedy this situation? I say limit the shotgun gear & accessories for lower divisions of 3-gun (*except*, I’d allow red dos on shotties in tac-optics, similar to USPSA’s “Carry Optics” division), and SIGNIFICANTLY reduce round counts for shotgun stages. That, or just start up more 2-gun matches nationally. BreachBangClear dot com recently posted an article discussing the recent Hard As Hell 2-Gun match out west a month ago. I suggest everyone go read it.

      • I agree. Another solution is to go through your stage design and make shotgun more or less optional. A group out in AZ did this with great success. I think a shotgun has about as much place in a tactical shooting competition as a flintlock musket.

      • Agreed. Shotguns are fun and all but they’re kind of their own beast entirely. They’re not “high speed low drag” like with a semi-auto handgun or rifle. Large, rimmed shells, slow reloading, a fixed magazine tube, low capacity, etc. It’s hard to even find ranges to go shoot shotguns for competition. If there’s a shotgun range around then it’s for trap and skeet and the cost is comparatively higher than it is with handguns or rifles. Even the ranges I do know of here in town that accommodate just plain shotgun target shootings have very limited space for it. Further still from those ranges some don’t allow any steel shot, so the options get more and more narrow.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting shotguns, but I just don’t see shotguns as being in the same realm as a handgun or rifle, it just seems out of place.

      • I rather enjoy the shotgun in 3 gun. One might reload it slow (shotgun loading practice is cheap) but it’s probably the easiest to shoot well, because pattern. Especially so when compared to tagging a 4″-6″ plate @ 20yards with a pistol.

        If you want to shot a 2 gun match, shoot a 2 gun match. They have those.

        3 gun participation numbers are about cost and gear; owning 3 guns and the gear to support them, and to practice, is expensive. It takes a lot of shit to do it well, or comfortably, or both. And the ammo you need to take to a match is considerable, you may not shoot it all but you need contingencies, and the last thing you want to to shoot the last stage with only enough ammo in your mags for that stage.

        Couple that with some local ranges that aren’t 3 gun practice friendly, let alone 3 gun match friendly, and you are going to have lower turn out. That said, most 3 gun matches around me fill up, and the major matches, fill up. If you doubled the number of 3 gunners wanting to participate, we’d need more matches.

        • Related issue: The matches that are available in my area tend to be very well attended, which translates to a shitload of sitting around waiting before a relatively minimal amount of actual shooting time.

        • There aren’t enough 2-gun matches, which is the problem. I can compete in a 2-gun match with what I have in the safe. 3-gun? That’d take another $2000 in shotgun gear. Shotguns used to be entry level, utilitarian guns. Now they’re all specialized, modified, Formula 1 racecars. Well, that’s going to automatically limit your participation. No idea why 2-gun isn’t more popular. It makes sense for a lot of shooters. 3-gun doesn’t.

      • I competed in Cowboy Action Shooting for some years. The guys who started that wanted to get away from equipment sensitive disciplines such as IPSC…..and like the 3 Gun you were mentioning……they just wanted to have fun and for it not to be an equipment race. I would like to shoot 2 or 3 gun with whatever I have, just to see how those guns perform….like my SKS and WInchester Model 12 along with an older High Power pistol or vintage 1951 model Beretta. I really do not have many modern type firearms, but I think it’s fun to run with the not so new stuff. There are those who will always say, “You’ll never win with that”……but whose says I am there to win? Just the experience of something equivalent to “Runnin’ & Gunnin” can be beneficial and fun. WHo cares about the score.?

    • Actually, that wasn’t her message at all. I was there. The message was “Look at the cost. Now look a the cost of Crossfit. They are actually pretty close on an annual basis. So it’s not the money that’s holding us back so what could it be? People are spending the money on other stuff in DROVES. Why?”

      Author missed the point. I’m sure he meant well, and maybe that’s what he heard because he was listening through his predefined lens. But I wish it was taped so he could go back.

      • Doing a simple Google search I found 90+ places for Crossfit and then there are 3 ranges in the same metro area that have any competition shooting. IMO most ranges don’t have the correct setup and area for competition shooting.

    • think about cowboy action shooting SASS they are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met in my life. They lent me guns ammunition and even leather so I can get started in the game.

  2. It’s foolish to assume that everyone wants to compete. It’s foolish to assume that everyone with a CCW carries or even owns a gun. What would happen if 1% of CCW holders showed up to shoot an IDPA match? In my county that would be a match of more than 400 shooters with squads of 75+ shooters. It’s not possible to accommodate everyone nor is everyone interested in competition. Furthermore, there is nothing stopping clubs from running their own wildcat matches that cater to a run what you brung style. Then again, most of the gear rules in IDPA and USPSA are safety based rules that prevent dangerous shooters from showing up with universal thigh rigs and shoulder holsters while breaking the 180 or the cold range rules.

    What percentage of Americans with a drivers license compete in SCCA car races? We’re not doing too bad at .36%.

    • “What percentage of Americans with a drivers license compete in SCCA car races? We’re not doing too bad at .36%.”

      I would challenge that with the majority of drivers (American anyway) who are apathetic about their cars or the act of driving. For most driving is something you do out of necessity and they have almost no passion or interest in it at all. Can’t say the same for most shooters. Even the least interested usually have a healthy respect/fear rather than being casually dismissive like they are about driving.

    • Id love to give it a go sometime, I couldn’t even begin to hazard a guess as to what is involved. The lady is right, far more user friendly and “less snobby” needs to get involved. My wifes dog hobby had the same problem. it was “all akc,all the time”, other clubs came into existence and now its much more inclusive.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Equipment costs to be competitive at shooting events quickly spiral up – when I was competing in USPSA, we joked about it being a cheaper version of Formula 1 racing.

      As far as Golob’s complaint about ranges not having wi-fi, I think wi-fi-free ranges is actually a good idea. Less likely to have distracted shooters fiddling with guns while checking their e-mail is a good thing.

      • I think the wifi was a bit of a joke, using humor to make a point about a larger concept.

        Then again, the having to use cellular data while at the range to post to the ‘Gram kinda sucks and drains my battery (concrete walls aren’t conducive to any cell signals).

        • I don’t think it was a joke. McDonald’s and mosy other successful restaurant chains have wifi. My DENTIST has wifi. Airplanes have wifi.

          Many ranges are BFE enough that cellular data may be inconsistant. But wifi would allow imediate posting to social media. You may scoff at this (I do!) but it’s good for gun rights!

      • wifi is actually important now. Scoring in idpa/uspsa is done on tablets with practiscore (for the most part).
        practiscore can update right away when connected to wifi.
        People will fiddle on their phones wifi or not 🙂

  3. This is just a simple law of ecconomics. My buddy who does IDPA shoots 4K+ rounds a year to be competitive. That’s hundreds of dollars in 9mm a year alone before travel, range fees and other expenses to shoot. This also doesn’t count time, which is extremely valuable for many of us and in shorter supply than money even.

    It’s not a sport for those without some coin, you don’t buy a $100 hoop and a $20 ball and you’re done with your basic gear and can practice for what your time costs.

    • This is exactly what I came to say. Shooting is expensive. Just look at a couple “cheap” bricks of 50 count 9mm and it quickly starts looking like a full tank of gas for most folks. Then taking into consideration that it takes just minutes to expend this ammo at the range when training for anything that even approaches timed shooting drills, and you see why it is prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, most people live in an urban area where the best you can do is a square range. Most people would not feel comfortable competing in a golf tournament if all they had was a bucket of balls and a driving range at their disposal once a month and that is what the vast majority of shooters are dealing with. Not everyone has that cousin with a 50 acre plot of land and AR500 targets set up for them to use.

    • I went to a GSSF match back in April, I spent a minimum of $250 to go to that match. I’ll admit the match was approximately 70 miles from where I live, but still cost of fuel, toll fees, range rental fees(indoor range by the hour), match fees, and enough ammo to shoot the match adds up quick.

  4. Well yeah she’s right. To my knowledge there’s about two matches a year (IDPA style if not sanctioned) within 100 miles of my home… and they’re both on Saturday so guess what I have to work. How about a little originality here guys? Also frankly some clubs don’t want to be inclusive they have their sand box and they like it.

    • Having given this a couple more minutes thought what we really need is another body to sanction with:
      1. A striped down rule book, keep the safety stuff! But does anyone really care how many millimeters wide/long the slide is or if the grip is more that .73″ from the body of the shooter?
      2. Minimalist cost, look range time, targets, guns and all the rest of the associated gear costs money! But really my local range costs $25 a year and throw a few bucks in the kitty when you shoot… and the local .22 bullseye costs about $10 a season to enter (the main club guy emails the scores to the other clubs) Is it ideal for me? No movement is kinda limited but at least it is accessible.
      3. It’s got to be more accessible which does mean giving up a few cool things like running stages.
      4. Basic gear I’m a Glock guy and my wife is a Kahr lady, I don’t see a good reason We shouldn’t be allowed to grab our carry guns, a couple boxes of Ammo and compete. Requires personal gear should be: a gun, a holster, 3 mags, eye protection and ear protection. Required club gear should be: a timer, targets, a safe back stop and some way to put up targets.

      Did I miss anything? If not why exactly do we have $75+ initiation fees, 100+ page rule books and no accessiblity?

      • There is also a new league, called ASI. This league sounds like it would fit your situation if there is one close enough to you.

        • I checked on that nothing in a three state area… however this looks almost exactly like what I’m going for!

          There’s a few changes I would make based on the available bay size (15 yards x 8 yards), classes/divisions (I was thinking capacity based: 6 or less, 7-10, 10-20 and run it if you can) andtargets on hand (we have a lot of B-3’s and B-27’s… yard high stacks).

    • In the Puget sound, nearly every range does some sort of competition. we have 7 ranges that coordinate uspsa matches, and many others do steel or a simplified version of idpa/uspsa. Most of the 7 are within 1 hour of my house.
      There are a ton of rifle matches too.

  5. Well I am an OFWG. I have no intention of ever competing. Competed in weightlifting,bodybuilding and other sports when(much)younger. Now I don’t care. And Julie Golab(paid to compete) whining about OFWG doesn’t help to convince me…

    • Julie’s earnings are tied to S&W seeing a return on it’s pro team investment. Does the pro team really sell many guns? There are few to no TV deals for pro shooting. There are no lucrative shooting contracts. While a handful of people do earn enough not to need a day job, they are not living in gated communities and flying on private jets – There is a full time pro who lives somewhat near to me and he lives a pretty average suburban life. After the team Glock implosion of a few years ago. Glock stopped focusing on people who can actually shoot and instead went the T&A route with its team to grab attention.

  6. She has a valid point but I don’t know what “we’d” do about it.

    Guns and bullets cost money, traveling costs money. If you don’t have the money you ain’t buying the guns, bullets and traveling from event to event. It’s also time consuming, as is ANY serious competitive sport you might get into. It’s not like you get a black belt in a martial art (well, at least not from a real school) without putting in A LOT of time, effort and a decent amount of money.

    Personally I’m running my very first “gun competition” this fall and my choice of competition is based almost entirely on location because there aren’t many competitions like it, this one is pretty close, and I’m not traveling all the way to Mammoth in Kentucky even though in some ways that completion is significantly easier. However, even though I decided to do this around Christmas, it’s still a MASSIVE time suck to get ready. It’s a lot of gear and a hell of a lot of training, which by the by, means it’s time for me to hit the gym. (See what I mean about the time you have to put in!? UGH!)

  7. The only problem for me is that there is nothing around. It’s like an hour and a half to get to the nearest place that holds matches. I don’t even have many ranges near me.

    • I love firearms and shooting but have no desire to do any competition. One reason already brought up is availability of going to a match. I don’t want to have to drive 2 or more hours one way to do such but the nature of it means that most likely matches would need to be in more remote gun friendly areas and away from more populated places. If one wants to participate in other most popular “sports” it can usually be found within 15 minutes and at a minimum cost.

  8. This is all true for an awful lot of activities and sports.
    Equipment can be had cheap but the generally poor performance of budget skis, bikes, guns, whatever tarnishes the participants experience making it less likely they will continue to participate up to the point that they would feel justified in buying better equipment.

    Learning new rules is always an obstacle. I’m used to convoluted rules and divisions from other sports but when I got into IDPA and 3-gun I was like “WTF!!!?!?!?!” Safety and range rules are one thing but all the little nuanced crap for divisions is insane. I stay with the most basic bare-bones off the shelf stuff I can because of all the bullshit. I just want to shoot not be buried in bureaucratic chicanery.

    The culture for any sport is toxic and exclusive. Long-time participants feel entitled or special and they look down on newbies for being ignorant. I remember the first time at a crit I asked where I should drop off my gear bag and the other riders literally scoffed and turned their backs. Same with skiing. If you’re on the mountain to just cruise the bunny slopes all day people are generally kind and friendly. The moment you hop off the lift at a blue or black it’s like the world is suddenly a hostile place and everyone hates everybody.

    Everybody is a goddamn asshole for literally no reason whatsoever. This isn’t just a shooting sports problem it’s a people problem.

    • I assure you that all of the hate on the mountain comes from those vile upstart snowboarders. Skier are superior POTG in every way, as proven by biathlons.

        • Considering it was skiers that actively tried, and in some cases succeeded, in banning snowboarders for quite awhile and I’ve actually seen grown ass men hit snowboarders with ski poles or trip them when they come off the lift, I would argue that a lot of the animosity snowboarders have towards skiers is earned.

          I think most of it is stupid, but if someone hit me with a ski pole I’d probably throw punches in return.

        • Back when I COULD ski, I had a snowboarder take out a brand new pair of skees by cutting across them. Never liked those clowns since then.

        • My gripe with snowboarders is mostly limited to where they stop/sit.

          CLEAR THE DAMN UNLOADING AREA. I understand you have to strap in, but that’s no reason to block the trail. Skiers are just as guilty, but even a boad shouldered skier blocks much less than a sitting snowboarder. Ditto for the trail head.

          If you run out of speed on a long level flat, kindly go to the SIDE of the path before walking or doing that odd strapped in shuffle. Downhill may have the right of way, but its still dumb to stand in traffic.

          More than once I have seen a line of boarders sitting heel to heel blocking most of the trail. Once they were just yards below a steep blind crest. Had they been facing uphill it would have been a textbook reverse slope defense. One such group put my friend in the hospital. Not from the crash, but from the beatdown for scarring their boards in the crash.

          Moving snowboarders are not a problem. Stopped ones are a 5 food wide hard barrier. I have no words for ones that would beat up a child over damaged gear.

        • Sorry bout your skis serge but I had a skier do the same thing to my brand new deck. It was an accident where they were paying attention to their kid and I didn’t anticipate their abrupt change in direction.

          I don’t hold it against them or other skiers. No one got hurt and shit happens. I don’t see why people can’t just let this shit go.

          As for the rest of it… Skiers, especially children do this kind of thing too.

          I just don’t see the point in getting butthurt about it. If you can’t do something you enjoy without getting mad at “those bastards over there” then it’s time to find a new hobby. I’m not talking about a flash of anger about something stupid/unsafe that someone did, I’m talking about the whole “us vs. them” mentality that shows up.

          When my friends shit talk skiers I ignore it until I tell them to STFU and put on their big boy pants because they’re not making anything better.

          Unless someone does something g to you personally there’s no reason to be mad.

    • I haven’t experienced the negativity you discuss but I do get the gear issue.

      There’s a world of difference between used or hand-me-down hockey equipment and gun competitions. Personally, I have no real interest in 3-gun and most of the rest of these competitions but for those with an interest the rules can be mind boggling (I don’t know them) and the price can rapidly rise to astronomical because people are often running an expensive gun with expensive mods and you usually need more than one.

    • It’s truly amazing the amount of polarization and inter-group rivalry that the most benign of sports can generate. I flew paragliders for a few years. The amount of back-biting you’d hear at launch points was astounding – each instructor had his own clique, and if you studied with X, rather than Y, you were persona non grata. You’d think that all the folks sharing a love of free flight would be more congenial, but nope. Sort of like the tacti-cliques you see in the shooting world: Front Sight vs. Gunsite vs. Farnam….

      In skiing, I don’t see that much of the polarization amongst the casual skiers. But as an instructor, there was definitely a rivalry between instructors (who ski “pretty”), racers (fast), and ski patrollers, who generally couldn’t ski for s**t, but could manage to get down a hill with a sled full of victim behind them.

    • I second Strych9 on the gear. I run a single shot NEF at the trap range because it’s what I have, but something softer with a sight rib would certainly improve my shooting. Never let shortcomings of gear keep you from practicing, regardless of the sport.

      • “Never let shortcomings of gear keep you from practicing, regardless of the sport.”

        I think this is a truism for any sport but at a certain time in some sports you hit a point of diminishing returns where you really do need better gear to be competitive. With guns that gets expensive real quick.

        This is a big part of why I like combat sports. What you need is practice and a brain. There isn’t much gear involved which, to me, makes it more rewarding.

        • True, poor gear limits your absolute potential, but I don’t see it being a dominant problem for most people. I would be ecstatic to be limited by my gear rather than by free time and money.

        • It’s MHO that the problem is somewhat similar to weightlifting.

          Lots of people would love to be bigger and stronger but don’t really know where to start and are flustered by that person at the gym that deadlifts 250. They say to themselves “I’ll never be able to do that so what’s the point?”.

          I’ve met a fair number of shooters who would like to get I to competition but say “I’ll never be able to afford that (in reference to guns and gear) so what’s the point?”.

          The other thing to consider, again MHO, is that we’re a species that makes a competition out of everything. So even when you say “It’s not a competition” it is a competition and that doesn’t just apply to how well shooters shoot but also guns and gear. We’re an envious animal, just the way we are, and people don’t like to feel bad or different from the group. So when the group, or the “best of the group”, is/are shooting $3000 race guns with even more money in accessories it turns off a lot of people who don’t have that and don’t want to feel like “the other” when they show up with a basic pistol.

    • Sounds like you had a terrible experience. My experiences competing in shooting sports was quite the opposite. It was as friendly and welcoming as the rules allow. (still get DQed if you are unsafe, etc.)

    • Yep, looking for someone to post this. All activities and hobbies generally cost too much and take too much time. There is a reason why garages all across of America are full of stuff that never gets used. You either have time and no money or money and no time. Plus its not like the old days were a guy could take off the entire weekend golfing and boozing and still come home to his wife and family in a good mood.

      I see quite a few guys trying out the shooting sports when they retire, but you have to do it just for fun because you are not going to be competitive jumping into this sport when you are in your 60s or 70s.

    • Are you kidding? People like her want others to do all the work and not make any profit, apparently.

      I mean, forget about spending money on competitive shooting. I’m sure it’s cost prohibitive for many people to just afford a gun and / or stock up on ammo in general.

      Either I’m not understanding her position clearly or she has no clue what she’s talking about. She’s just virtue signalling, nothing more.

  9. Well, yeah. Any competitive sport is going to be exclusive at its top levels. I will concede that the ramp up in the shooting sports is much steeper, and opportunities are much fewer. There is an abundance of football/soccer/baseball leagues for players of all skills. A town that doesn’t have its own little league is an oddity. There is no equivalent of that in the shooting world.

    Ever seen a pickup 3 gun match?

    • Umm with one stage… and no sanctioning body, refs or regs… yes actually there used to be a flood impoundment southwest of grand forks where that occasionally happened (saw it maybe half dozen times over four years, rifle pistol was slightly more common maybe a dozen over same time period before the county sheriff shut it down).

      • And there’s another problem. The sheriff isn’t going to shut down any other conceivable pickup game, but a shooting sport…good luck with that. (Although to be fair, if somebody behaves like an idiot in a pickup basketball game it’s much less likely to end in death.)

        • Actually people had been shooting out there for decades… not an issue as long as people weren’t dumb, the issue came in when the county board decided to try to make it a park of some kind.

          Which is a whole different ball of wax, sprawling communities pushing out shooting sports where the shooting sports have always been… it’s been settled some places but not here yet.

  10. Well, the initial cost is what’s expensive. Guns, mags, holster, belt, mag pouch, range bags, ear and eye protection are all reusable. So you can subtract about $980 from the $2770. And not all CCW people are interested in shooting sports. I’ve had my CCW for 3 years now and just now got interested in shooting competition.
    You think shooting is expensive? Try getting into motorsports.

  11. I’d like to compete in 3 gun contests. I think it’d be fun. I wish there were more places doing it more often and for less money. But I get it. To run a 3 gun competition, someone has to have a large area of land, they have to clear it of all other potentially profitable businesses to accommodate setup and teardown, they have to invest a fair portion of money setting up targets and a course, they need to buy a business license, they need to invest in prizes for the winner, they’d probably like to at least break even on their investment. That makes opening such a thing pretty expensive.

    After paying for entry into something that costs the land owners a pile of money, people still need to bring 3 guns, a carry rig, and ammo. I make enough to support a family of 5 with spending money left over. But competition cost is a whole order of magnitude more expensive than a drive to the nearest National Forest to bust some clay pigeons with a buddy, or hunting for deer where you could recoup some by selling some of the meat, or a trip to an indoor range to get time with a conceal pistol.

    I’d be very lucky if I could afford to compete in a 3 gun even once a year.

  12. This is why I use airsoft to practice for IPSC. I can just drive to a wooded area, set up some targets, and practice for hours at a (relatively) extremely low cost. The quality of the practice is not as good as if I was using my real pistol, but eventually the extra quantity of practice makes up for the drop in quality. Not to mention, you don’t have to put up with arbitrary rules and policies and fellow club members taking themselves too seriously. I can’t put a price on that.

  13. I have competed in a few different shooting sports since the later 70s.

    The only one with consistently nice people was handgun silhouette. It could be expensive or you could show up (like I did) with a 45 Colt Revolver and a blanket and have at it. (i even placed in a couple).

    I enjoyed Steel Shooting and have met some nice folks. I have also met Nazi’s running competitions that seem to want to make sure no one has fun.

    I see the biggest problems as lack of ranges. Many ranges where I have competed don’t allow the “public” to enter when there is not a competition. I don’t go back. Be damned if I will let them make money off me and then tell me I can’t have access to the range when there is no competition.

    As an OFWG, I have seen a fair share of ladies and other newbies attend. If the good people there don’t make them feel welcome in time – some jackwagon is going to make sure he show them “what he knows” and make them feel embarrassed or unwelcome. LEOs and Ex-LEOs seem to be the worst.

    When I was an instructor, I would not let husbands attend with their wives. The teaching usually went a hell of a lot better.

    Yeah – it’s a people problem. YMMV

  14. While I am sure she can out shoot me, her presentation seems to miss the mark. Shooting is expensive. Things can be done to reduce the costs (reloading, buy used equipment, build/upgrade your own weapons, etc). I shot a DCM match with a Lee-Enfield that cost less than $70 when I bought it and actually won a round (high cross winds messed with the 5.56 shooters). I have friends who waterski and own the proverbial “hole in the water to pour money into. Others that want me to get involved in the WW 2 airborne re-enactment platoon or their civil war re-enactors, either one would cost me several thousand initially. Hobbies are not generally cheap, suck it up butter cup.
    Virtual competitions would be reminiscent of the postal matches, not a bad idea, but I don’t think it would catch on unless the target is millennials.
    Every range I have ever been to the employees and other shooters have always been eager to talk about guns, show me their latest gun, see what I am shooting. Maybe since I am an OFWG with a buzz cut, I just get treated different. More demonstration events like the Firearms Festival or get have cowboy action shooters do a demonstration at fairs and schools seem like a better way to get people interested in shooting. Entry level events that require minimum equipment or even having loaner guns is a another way to hook new shooters.
    The ab hominin attacks about OFWGs, insensitive Neanderthals and A$$holes professionals just strikes me as whining and unprofessional.

  15. I agree with her, for the most part. It depends on the discipline we’re talking about, tho.

    When I shot IPSC, I eventually left because of the “rules lawyers” — the A-class shooters who, when they shot lousy, tried to get their scores thrown out due to some rule issue with the stage or the course design, etc. These clowns would waste vast amounts of everyone’s time. I finally told the match organizers that a) I wasn’t a A-level shooter, and b) thanks to how much of my time the A-level shooters wasted, I lost all interest in ever becoming a better IPSC shooter.

    Trap shooting is highly competitive and has some barriers to the “rules lawyers” in there, but at the Grand, you can have sideline betters talking behind you that get really annoying.

    In the end, I find that Bullseye pistol shooting (at least where I shoot) has exhibited the least amount of BS, and perhaps the lowest equipment cost to get started (you could get started with a Ruger MkII if you wanted). Three position rifle shooting is also a low amount of BS, but a higher equipment cost. Sporting clays is perhaps the most fun and the least pretentious of the competitive shooting sports I’ve participated in.

    Any of the “running, jumping, shooting, squeeking” games have high cost, high BS factors and generally turn me off. IPSC gave me more than my fill of that segment of the shooting world for the rest of my life.

    • “Any of the “running, jumping, shooting, squeeking” games have high cost, high BS factors and generally turn me off.”

      They turn off a lot of people and honestly I think you both have a point about the cost. The cost is the main barrier I think. People don’t even get to the BS and the whining jerks because they figure, rightly or wrongly, that the upfront cost to be competitive is just too much.

      Look at the rifle Bryan Black (from ITS) used in the Mammoth this year. Custom job, he said it was around $4700. Yeah, but he’s also Bryan Black from ITS so his statement about the build probably costing you or me $5000+ is probably right since folks probably gave him a bit of a discount since they knew they’d get a writeup. He’s said he wants to suppress it, so toss in another grand or more for that too.

      The question most people never ask is “Can I do the same job for less?” and often you can but that requires doing a lot of research and you still end up with something that’s pretty pricey.

      • The thing is, I could easily afford the equipment for 3-gun or IPSC/USPSA/IDPA. The last gun I was running for IPSC was a $2K+ EAA Gold Team Witness in 9×21. It takes money to feed that thing, but it has 21 rounds in a magazine and it makes major. Win/win, right?

        I’m just fed up with their rules, their rule lawyers, their tedious jaw-jacking on the range all the time.

        When I show up on a range, I’m there to shoot. If people want to jaw-jack, then let’s retire to a brewery or bar.

  16. Most recreational hobbies and sports are as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. I also feel that action shooting sports have never been as popular as they are now, and will continue to bring new shooters to gun culture.

    • I shot 3Gun for three years with my 870 squirrel gun, cheap ass 556 carbine (TM) and a police trade-in SW4006. Had a blast. It’s for fun and weapons manipulation skills. I’ve learned tons and moved up but wouldn’t trade it.

  17. Julie sounds a like Sandernista. Another economic genius.
    Ammo and guns are not exactly cheap to manufacture. Shooting ranges are not easy or cheap to open and maintain. Hence it’s going to be cost-prohibitive to many people. She sounds like she wants to artificially force gun and ammo makers and range owners to somehow charge next to nothing and be fine with not making a profit, for the good of the collective, I guess.

    Julie, here’s a thought: start making your own guns and ammo, go around to different states and localities and open a bunch of ranges. But do it on the cheap. Then come back and let us know how easy it was to accomplish. I’m guessing it will be just a tad bit more expensive and difficult than renting an empty building and putting some gym equipment inside.

  18. Shooting is always going to be an expensive sport. It’s like golf, there is just no way to do it cheaply.

    That being said, they could push cheaper alternatives. I still have no idea why 3 gun is a thing. It’s not practical or cost effective to train with three different $1000+ guns on a regular basis. Would love to see more 2 gun competitions with a caliber restriction of 22LR for both guns.

    Outside of that, yeah, pretty spot on for most other stuff. Lots of people in the gun community are snobs/assholes. I know multiple ranges in the area where I live where new young people just won’t go there because they are all riddled with bad yelp reviews that talk about how their staff/safety officers are worthless douche bags. Having been to these ranges, I can’t disagree with the reviews.

    • He’s not wrong on the yelp thing, some ranges (particularly older private facilities, ranges with a gun shop on site tend to be better)… but a lot of ranges tend to be run by people who only want shooters to fire their way (for example I’ve been thrown off of a range for an “unsafe” Glock 17 — stock internals, because according to that range officer glocks are evidently evil and unsafe).

      • I got kicked out of a range for not having an action flag in a boltless bolt action rifle. Muzzle up. On a rack.

  19. It has been my experience that most clubs of any kind aren’t all that interested in being “inclusive”. As long as they can keep doing what they’re doing, the old hands don’t really want new people coming in an upsetting their apple cart. Anyone who proposes to bring more people in, as Julie is doing here, is usually ignored.

    That, and ammo is expensive. I would imagine you’d have pretty low participation rates in say, tennis, if you needed to buy a new ball every time you swing the racket.

  20. I’ve shown up to IDPA and IPSC matches with $5000 in firearms gear alone, supported by a team that regularly trained together on probably a $100k range with any size or shape of steel targets and barriers you could ever want.

    I’ve also shown up with a $400 pistol, 3 spare mags, and holsters for all, at most $600 for all the gear and ammo I needed to enter. I wanted to get some practice in with my carry piece and I got it, all for a $10 entry fee.

    You don’t need $bazillions invested to just walk up, compete, and have a good time. If you want to win, $bazillions in gear and training can only do so much.

  21. Many would be competitive pistol shooters think you have to “front sight, squeeze” when shooting fast and running around. That would certainly discourage me from getting into it. Thankfully it’s just a very popular myth.

  22. Another factor I didn’t see mentioned in any of the comments is the time investment vs. reward issue. What finally halted me from competing in the local club matches was spending an entire Saturday at the range, to actually pull the trigger for a grand total of maybe five minutes, spread out over 4-5 stages and several hours. As the matches became more popular, the time sink got even worse. Sure, that’s true of other individual sports like ski racing, too, but you get a whole lot more actual participation in sport by playing softball or tennis for an hour, than you do in attending a state IPSC championship for three days.

    • Bingo! I found USPSA to be too slow or too little shooting for the time spent. Squads of 10 -12 shooters, scoring and pasting targets after each shooter, it took more time than a round of golf – and I take a lot more strokes on a golf course than rounds fired in a match!

  23. Leave the current matches alone for that segment and do something new. Start simple(and cheap) to see what interest there is.

    -Design a website(NSSF?) that different ranges can register and log into nationwide like a simple forum.
    -$3-whatever the range wants to charge buys you a pre-printed slip and “official” target at your local range.
    -Each participating range has designated competition distances marked off.
    -RSO checks your target when you set it up and documents class/distance(.308-300yds./.223-100yds ect)
    -RSO checks and documents the target(points) after and ensures no shooter contact with target until scored.
    -Scores get uploaded to the site once a month or stuffed into an envelope to be sent in.
    -Scoring can be Yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, local, regional, national or be divided by class, caliber, distance…. a simple search engine maybe?
    -Anyone who wants to participate can see how they stack up by accessing the core site which would draw advertising money to the main site.
    -The program can be sponsored by anyone willing to pony up the cash.
    -Prizes can be anywhere from bragging rights alone to whatever a sponsor wants to award.

    This isn’t a new system at all. Junkyards across the U.S. have a searchable database of current inventory that is searchable based on price, condition, color….etc.. Most of the computer razzamatazz is beyond me but I’d be willing to bet that most teenagers could have the basic idea up and running in less than a week.

    I’d gladly pay my $5 at the local range just to toss my score into the pot and see where it sticks.

      • The main difference I see is that people don’t actually need to be on a schedule of any kind. Any time during operating hours of your local range as long as a RSO is present would be open. There would be no time limits and depending on the range there would be less(if any) other people. I like your idea as well but I agree that 3(or more) are better so that something will be easy and accessable for multiple types of people.

        • I see what you are driving at, and you are not wrong… but where I live RSO’s are virtually nonexistent (my range is an old chicken hatchery that got converted back in the 1959’s or 1960’s… it’s literally a shed). Perhaps multiple shooters on scene (so no one deals with their own target or scores) signed and dated, targets provided for proof and a message to the club leader prior to shooting (something like a text saying: hey bob, Scott and Isaac are going to the range and the targets are under the ash tray on the desk).
          Thoughts?

        • I live in the middle of nowhere too so I definitely see what you’re getting at. There could be a simple downloadable sheet/target on the site and a category signature line for a “witness”. You could send in the targets yourself(mail/e-mail).
          With the searchable database there can be almost unlimited groups or categories and not all of them would need to be sponsored or even have prizes/awards.

          This is starting to sound almost possible….

        • ACTUALLY I’m pretty sure it’s very possible, outside of the whole not being a 15m .22 bullseye league the mechanics of this are sounding… just like the local 15m .22 bullseye league.

          Now we just need: courses of fire, members and a rule book that is no longer than 4 or 5 legal sized sheets for everything to keep the super competitors and range lawyers to a minimum.

    • Why involve the range at all. Make it an app and just put qr codes on the targets. then upload it all yourself for digital scoring like when you took scantron tests as a kid.

      • Well because we kind of need some place to shoot. And for what I have in mind (multiple targets and maybe some movement) we do need ranges of some kind that allows that sort of thing.

        For example a course of fire may read:
        Sit on the 15 yard line with the sidearm holstered wait for a buzzer start. Engage left 15 yard target, 4 rounds and left only; engage center 15 yards target, 4 rounds and both hands; engage right 15 yard target, 4 rounds right hand only.
        Advance to the 7 yard line. Engage 7 yard target 1 from box 1, 4 rounds any grip; engage 7 yard target 2 from box 2, 4 rounds strong hand only.

        Standard disability and equipment rules apply.

        For that I’d need 5 targets, a roll of duct tape to mark boxes. A timer (to keep cost down an iPhone with a free app would work at least at first) and a range that would allow such things… at my range that would be about $12 for three shooters, add a dollar to fund the club/sanctioning body ($15 total) and with Ammo you have a weekly match for less than $10 a head, total set up time is maybe 10 minutes and scoring time is maybe 5 minutes… added bonus if you want to rerun the stage or shoot multiple divisions that’s cheap and stupid simple easy to do too.

        As for the thre guys rule the idea is they’re going to get a larger body together and eventually split into separate self governing squad so they keep adding new memberships.

  24. Ditch the shotgun. That quickly gets costs under control.

    From there we could take Top Gear’s “Rally racing for less than golf” (they determined Golf costs 2000 pounds. ~3200 USD after exchange and inflation) and apply it to 2 gun.

    449.99+transfer for a MOE PSA rifle.
    140-163 for a Vortex SPARC AR
    430+Transfer for an M&P 9mm 2.0 (or whatever polymer wonder you want)
    150 for magazines (overkill really)

    That’s less than 1200 USD and all of it is practical equipment.
    ~24 for an LBV-88
    ~10 for Alice pistol belt
    ~40 for an M12 holster
    ~50 for pistol mag pouches and whatever other things (canteen, dump pouch ect.)

    Throw in some woodland camo and boots to go with your LBV-88 (just so we cost everything, plus it looks neat) Spend 650 on ammo (should get you thousands if you look) and we’re still under 2000 USD.

    edit: Oh and ear+eye pro. Shouldn’t cost more than 70 USD.

  25. When I first read the elevator pitch of IDPA, I thought I’d found a way to get around only being able to practice with my home defense guns on a slow/square gun range without buying a huge tract of land out in the country. I might get into reloading and shooting a lot more in general.

    But then, I read I wouldn’t be able to use my nightstand pistol because it has a weapon mounted light, which is seen as some kind of prohibitively restrictive performance enhancing muzzle weight, and I figured that it didn’t fit the everyday CCW style that they seemed to be going for. Then I looked up some example videos. Everyone to a man (or woman) was wearing a “shoot-me-first vest” concealment garment and shooting a 5 1/2 inch barrel Glock 34.

    I’ll just wait to buy a ranch.

    • Yeah, either IDPA lost track of its vision a long time ago or it never really had the stated vision in the first place.
      Nobody who shoots it actually competes the way they carry or with what they carry either due to practicality or rules. For all the IDPA talk I’ve heard at events about discouraging “gaming” they aren’t exactly encouraging real defensive practice or use.

    • If youw ant to practice with your carry/SD gun, get out to a USPSA match. Unless your local match is filled with an unusual quantity of jerks, they won’t care. You might be shooting open and you won’t be competitive, but you will get the practice and you will still have fun.

      • This! At the USPSA match I shoot, there are usually 3-4 guys shooting their carry guns from IWB holsters, some of them from appendix. Sure, some people shoot crazy space guns, but it takes money and time to compete at the top end of any sport. No one will care if you run-what-you-brung at a USPSA match, as long as you’re safe. If you just want to enjoy the competition, go shoot it, and don’t sweat “being competitive” too much. Of course, the bigger problem around here is that there’s more demand for matches than matches, and they tend to fill up fast.

    • I’d love to see a “Carry Pistol” competition where there was one basic rule (beyond safety) and that is “You must sign an affidavit swearing that this is the gun you carry and this is how you carry it.” (Make allowances for people who carry several different ways depending on the situation.)

      Leave the $6000 race gun and funky vest at home, unless you go out in public that way.

      There would be divisions based on method of carry, to account for different speeds coming out of open carry vs. out from under a jacket vs. having to pull a shirt out of the way. Or even off body, perhaps.

    • Juice, the 5.3″ barreled Glock 34 is lighter AND smaller in ALL dimensions than a factory-stock/standard 5″ barreled 1911, which people have been carrying concealed for probably the last 100+ years. The G34 firing mechanism takes up less room at the rear of the slide and frame, so the barrel can be longer while the pistol’s overall length is still shorter.

      Knowing the above facts makes your complaint seem more than a little bit silly. Yeah, the G34 is long for a Glock, but it’s not that long when compared to other handguns.

  26. Here in the mid-Atlantic region, Bullseye or Precision Pistol as it is called is still an active sport but the average age shooter in our .22lr league is 60 years old. You can get started in our league for about $500-$600 dollars with a Ruger Mk series or Browning Buckmark and a decent reddot sight and maybe an optional pistol box and sighting scope. Other than the cost of ammo and a $5/match sign up fee, that’s about it. This competition seems to be forgotten elsewhere but it has the advantage that it can be done indoors, at night, and when you’re there you’re shooting, not waiting around all day. It is challenging, not sure why more people don’t try it.

    • Apparently because it isn’t “exciting” enough.

      I shoot Bullseye every year. We have a postal league with a bunch of clubs in the northern Rocky Mountains region.

  27. Out of everyone with a driver’s license, how many are actively involved in track competitions?
    So what’s the problem? Maybe not everyone wants to make a formal competition out of things.

    • And getting into car racing isn’t cheap, either. But that does not mean that everyone who is involved in racing should somehow make it more inclusive and available to those who cannot afford it.

      Perhaps the rules and politics of gun competition can be improved. But all I hear is Julie whining about how more people should be allowed to compete in a sport they can’t afford (meaning, somebody else should be forced to charge less for ammo, range, equipment etc). That makes no sense.

  28. Wow, I mostly agree.

    It’s kinda ironic that in some ways it’s easier to get into shooting sports, if not more approachable, in the UK than the US from what I read.

    There gun culture is seen very different so they hold public events where they invite people to watch and shoot in a very easy going environment in addition to events. And their numbers are slowly growing. Also because of laws you see a lot more 22 lr used….which is a lot cheaper.

  29. As weird as that article sounds, shes right.

    I know out of all the people of the gun I associate with, and its a LOT, only 2 people compete in any kind of shooting event. We’ve had this discussion before, and the reasons most of us don’t, even though we want to, are the same as the reasons listed.

    The few times I’ve tried, I know the biggest turn away has been the guys who make it too much of a competition, to the point that they basically take any and all joy out of it, If you don’t come to the event with natural talent and professional aim, you might as well go home, they don’t want you there.

    That list is SPOT ON for how it is around here.

    Its disgusting, It’s so hard to get people interested in firearms to begin with just to watch them get belittled by the “elite”

    • You might be on to something here that is bigger. The guys that are elite are competing alongside the guys that are just casual shooters simply because the sport is not big enough. Imagine if there were only a few thousand people playing golf in the US. If there was no professional league and competitions were held based on locality you could get the PGA pros of the world playing with the guy that just likes to hit balls on the weekend at his local driving range. Thats what it is with shooting sports now. There isnt enough people out there to create a “professional” circuit per se so you get these guys that live, eat, and breathe IDPA competing against the guy that owns a bone stock G19 and shoots a brick of ammo every month just for the fun of it. The skill gap is too wide.

    • I know a lot of gun owners, and a lot of competitors. I think the majority of them that don’t compete will never get off their ass and try in the first place. You can play with ginning up a new game and it won’t change jack.

      So from my experience I would make the following statements:

      Actually talking to the female competitors, and probably more importantly the women dudes drag to the range to watch the paint dry, i mean watch us compete, the number one complaint they have is pretty universal. It’s the lack of plumbing and the porta potties. Many ranges have neither power nor plumbing. Some have it only in one part. But even well maintained, porta potties in summer suck, and dudes will put up with it more than women will.

      Number one issue with people who don’t come back after one try is having WAY too much ego tied up in their gun ownership. This is usually a guy problem, but attendance would be higher even if it didn’t attract more women. You show up for your first time and you WILL lose. You haven’t put in the practice like even the local mid level shooters AND you are playing in a realm where there is zero barrier between a first time participant and top level shooters. My first outdoor USPSA match at my local club had three guys who had won national level championships. Two of them are really nice and helpful (the third, well he’s a bit of an asshole)

      It’s not the guys winning who make it too much of a competition, it’s YOU who make it too much of a competition. I’ve never seen anyone who cared about their performance ever give a crap that anyone else sucked at the game so long as they were safe. Not once.

      But most importantly, I have to question if there is a problem in the first place. I’ve been doing the competition thing for about 16 years now. We have more matches, more ranges hosting matches, and right now the biggest problem is the number of weekends in a season before weather shuts you down, how many people we can run in a day, and how many other matches you have to compete with to get your shooters.

      If we had a lot more shooters, we’d run out of range space/time in a day for them.
      If we had more ranges, we’d be fiscally screwed without enough shooters to fill the matches. If we got both, we are short of match directors.

      We have 57k documented action shooters, and what another 20k from the non action disciplines? Lets call it another 100k. We’ll call it 160k assuming insane levels of optimism. And we are near capacity.

      Crossfit estimates they have 2 million participants in the BRANDED activitiy. We don’t have the capacity to be that popular. If we wanted to capture even 5% of CCW holders, we’d need to find a way to make ranges that were financially solvent JUST from competition without membership dues and do so not just in the middle of nowhere.

      As for cross fit costs, I think her powerpoint is inflating the cost of participation. It’s also hiding a major difference between cross fit costs and USPSA costs, and that’s travel. Most of the people I run into doing cross fit aren’t traveling all over the place to crossfit. They join a club that is geographically convenient and go. If I want to do any kind of serious shooting compeition other than just attending my local club, I’m traveling a LOT compared to hitting the gym.

      an example:

      Lets say I want to hit the gym 4 times a week. Within a 5 minute drive I have one normal gym and three cross fit sweatshops that I know of, and two outdoor “boot camps”. That’s 40 minutes of driving a week, 160 a month. This is not atypical for the region.

      Lets say I want to hit 4 reasonable matches a month for USPSA. I’m looking at 510 minutes behind the wheel and the gas to go with it and that’s including my local range being 15 minutes away. This is atypical for the region, I have 5 outdoor ranges within 90 minutes, and 5 indoor ones (at least).

      Then there’s some other stuff, like eyepro. $30? Not if you need corrective lenses (aka 42% of Americans and 75% of adults). That price goes up to $180-700 ish bucks. Granted, for many it is not an annual expense but spread over a few years.

      Crossfit will also likely keep pace with inflation or become cheaper than it is now. Shooting sports are subject to cost increases form panic buying and ammo and component shortages. When I was 15 joining a gym cost about $400 a year. Now it costs about $250. When I was 26 I could shoot a maxed out 7 stage USPSA match for $25 in ammo. At peak Obama, in 2013/2014 that same quantity of ammo was running about $120.

  30. I’d like to do it but the ranges and gun shops near me are no help. One range says only LEO gets to use the range with multiple targets and shoot/no-shoot drills. My favorite LGS has a team and competes in 3 gun, but when I ask them about doing it, they become evasive. Apparently it’s a club, and if you’re not in it, you’re not in it.

    I contrast this with my cousin in New Hampshire who has been to the Sig Academy many times the past two years and taken many classes. All depends on the area.

  31. The time sink issue is significant. I know people who want to compete, but cannot spend a whole day from their family for 2.4 minutes of shooting.

    3-gun and SASS are equipment intensive, and bullseye tends to draw experienced shooter (high entry skill level).

  32. I run an outlaw match as well as a USPSA match for most of the reasons above.

    Two divisions. Open carry and concealed carry. You are testing your skills and your equipment. (Saw a IWB strapped down so tight that the pistol couldn’t come out. Lesson learned for the CCW carrier.)

    No rules. Just a safety brief and three simple course descriptions (start here, finish there) written by OFWG’s.

    Rifle or pistol or machine gun. Can change firearms choice between stages. (You can clean as many guns as you want when you get home). Suppressed? Sure.

    9mm/.223 floor. .22LR shoots for no score. (Mostly for the kids shooting with Dad).

    15 target stages. Minimum 15 rounds per stage. 3 stages. Min. 45 rounds.

    Bring what you got…(Seen everything from a Browning 1911 .380 to a Mosin.)

    • Sounds realistic and fun. The way it outta be for competition.

      No problem with the other competitons but get tired of competing with “goober-guns” that are only for the range.

      Kudos

  33. I feel bad for all of you and your limited options. I run the Action Shooting Sports department at Aurora Sportsmen’s Club in Waterman Illinois. We shoot IDPA, PRS (precision rifle series), and 3-Gun, but also Practical Rifle (wildcat), and 2Gun Tactical events and are looking to add USPSA and Steel Challenge soon. If you are within a couple hours of northern Illinois you should check us out https://www.facebook.com/ascshootingsports/ or https://aurorascpr.org https://aurorasc.org

  34. I see her points, but most problems stem from nature of competition itself. You cannot expect people to enter competition and make no effort to get closer to the top: of course they’ll shoot a lot of rounds in training, and of course they’ll seek fine (and more expensive) equipment.

    You decide to conduct “Annual Middleofnowhere’s Throwing Stuffed Pandas Across Shitstream River Championship”, and people rush to buy better flying pandas and experiment with better placement of iron pieces sewn inside.

    Plus, human nature does not change very much. As soon as there is rivalry, you are dealing with disgruntled and angry participants, scoring angst, equipment races giving birth to cumbersome rules, “carebear vs progamer” alienation, etc. If anyone or their kids has participated in karate competitions, you’ll see similarity at once. And it does not take a lot of assholes, a few will suffice. The fact that anything “practical gun” will have tactical types hang around does not help.

    As for blaming OFWG’s, I wish she’d got herself acquainted with benchrest crowd. Benchrest is full of older white guys with, um, certain rotundy to their body shape. And it is probably one of nicest bunches of shooting competitors ever.

  35. We are racing guns here. Guns are way less expensive to race than just about anything else. But it’s still not cheap.
    I shoot a lot of USPSA. I love the sport. I have invited a ton of people to come try the sport. Only once have I gotten someone to come out. I even provided the guns and ammo. My friend did okay but showed no interest in ever trying it again. It’s simply a niche sport for people who are ultra-competitive, love gear, or somehow ended up in a social circle of people who are already doing it.

  36. My experience of shooting sports has been completely opposite most other people’s:
    I showed up to a local indoor GADPA match, everybody was super friendly and welcoming. GADPA’s divisions are pretty lax, and because it was a weekly indoor club match, it was very casual, cheap entry fee, shoot about 100 rounds, 5 stages, max round count per stage was 35, but due to time the final stages were typically short, maybe a bill drill or similar. Genuinely interesting stage setups for the first 2 typically, with new challenges every week.

    Then I went to an outdoor action pistol match-again, everyone was super friendly, it was a bit more expensive entry fee, but everyone was great, helpful, pointed me in the right direction, made sure we were at the right stages at the right time, understood the stage directions, etc. This had a MUCH higher round count.

    Same story with a GSSF match, though less hand holding on where to go as it was much more of a factory style trying to churn a couiple hundred shooters through the match, and you could shoot stages in any order. RO’s were helpful, explained the rules of the stage, gave tips on shooting order to improve scores, and it was generally great.

    The biggest impediment’s I’ve run into have been location, time, and money. I shot all of those different match types with a standard IWB kydex holster, double mag carrier, and a Glock 19. The indoor matches I could shoot because the range was less than 15 minutes away. The outdoor matches were 1 hour away. Driving an hour, shooting for 4 hours, cleaning guns at a buddy’s house that’s closer, and driving home an hour eats an entire day on my weekend, and it’s hard to spend that much time away from my family.

  37. As someone among the OFWG demographic I think Julie is mostly right. We won’t get every shooter into matches but we could do a world of good for the proliferation of sound skills if we could raise the percentage a bunch. Most of my interactions with shooters have been pretty positive, but I can see where people not in the OFWG tribe could find the scene unfamiliar and hard to join in with.

    There truly are major issues with time, access to ranges and sponsored matches, and the cost of gear and ammo. I think the CMP has done some real good with their recent service pistol rule changes and with their rimfire shorter event on the rifle side. The problem is lack of promotion and too many different competing organizations, and I don’t think we need yet another. We need the current big groups like NRA, CMP, NSSF, GSSF and so on to standardize a short, simple course of fire for stock guns and basic ranges. Maybe a two handed version of the bullseye National Match course – 30 shots, 5 minutes max.

  38. That is it. Too Damn expensive.
    I would like to try, but the rules, the equipment, the cost, it’s just beyond my ability being retired on a fixed income. Not to mention no place in my State that does 3-gun that I know of. And I don’t have a shotgun, and wouldn’t buy one just for this anyway.
    I have one pistol, 2 ARs and several WWI and WWII battle rifles, a 308Win and a semi .22LR.

    If you don’t have a sponsor, FORGET IT!

  39. Is this opinion supported by research? What is the proportion of ccw to participants that she would consider “correct”? What is the proportion of licensed drivers who participate in auto racing, people who play golf to tournaments, owners of tennis rackets to…….etc?

  40. Based on this article, this sounds like an awful presentation.

    The comparison to CrossFit is non-sensical and arbitrary. A better comparison would have been to hockey, but even that wouldn’t have been super accurate because almost all of the costs she listed associated with shooting is the price of ammo. Anyone know of any other sports where you’re constantly having to rebuy a key piece of equipment?

    Additionally, because of politics and cost, CrossFit gyms have the ability to be more plentiful than shooting ranges. How many CrossFit gyms are in Chicago? Now how many shooting ranges are in Chicago?

    In regards to “OFWG,” “sexism,” “insensitivity,” and “intimidation,”: Those are all leftist rhetorical tools and if shooting competitions turn into self-flagellation against the white man, then count me out.

    Did she talk about how the industry can’t even get TV to air its matches on a popular station at a good hour?

  41. I’m in IDPA, have been for several years. Done about 20 matches, but haven’t been to one in over a year. Why? Low return on investment. Not in dollars – I knew guns were expensive when I got into them. Investment in time is the problem. The total time to prepare, travel, attend, and return home is pretty much an entire day, say, 8 hours. Total trigger time is about 10-15 minutes. The rest is spent pasting targets and waiting.

    Compare that to a day of training. Much more trigger time, with an emphasis on usable defensive carry skills instead of the “gaming” aspect of competition. Off-trigger time is spent learning, not just waiting. And most mid-level to advanced training I’ve done includes some form of competition and adrenaline inducing exercises. I’ve found that I get much more out of a good training day than I do in an IDPA match. However, IDPA is cheaper and more regularly available than training courses in my region.

    I’d love to see some serious corporate investment in training facilities around the country. How about all those shopping malls closing down in the next few years? Seems like a lot them could be converted to training facilities.

  42. the only participating I do is Renaissance Faires. For a few hundred dollars investment I amble around in a kilt, a leather vest and a Scottish dagger on my belt while drinking ale from a mug. Lots of cleavage and bawdy suggestions from the lassies. What’s NOT to love?!

  43. The fact of the matter is that most shooters, like most golfers, are just duffers. We like to compete against the guys we are with on any given day, but that doesn’t mean we are signing up for a Pro-Am tournament either. We want are sport to be fun with a mild element of competition just to keep it interesting, and not much more than that.

  44. A TON of ranges don’t allow rapid fire or holster draws – making it basically impossible to train for competition shooting at those locations.

  45. How is IDPA too expensive? It requires your CCW holster and I think a double mag pouch? I’ve seen people to USPSA with the same setup (albeit with a spare mag or two in their back pockets, as well).

    Just compete against yourself or find someone who typically scores about the same that you do and compete with them on a one-to-one basis, and you’ll be happy.

  46. wow, must have struck a nerve. Truth hurts, doesn’t it? (see what I did there?) I was there and I’m an OFWG and my feelings weren’t hurt at all. In fact, she was saying exactly what needed to be said and if my wife was there she’d have been yelling “preach it, sister”. In fact, when I relayed some of the talking points, her response was “WOW! Just hearing that makes me looking forward to shooting this weekend!”

    You totally missed the points. Her comparison to Crossfit was their success to our decline….and yet, they have exactly the same issues we do. Cost is the same, even social stigma. Yet, they are successful and we are dying like an old church. Granted, Crossfit can come in real handy if you are ever confronted in a dark parking lot and need to jump up on a box real fast. And firearm proficiency has no real value. Does it?

    Shooting sports are showing the same trendlines as mainline denominational churches for the same reason- “us four and no more”. And if more people come out, what’s the worst that can happen? More acceptance in the media? More ranges open? Better legislation? Nahhhhh, who wants that?!?!?! You might be part of the problem.

    As one who has dealt with the “clique-iness” of IDPA and other sports, and having to know the secret handshakes before you get in, buying hundreds of dollars of equipment just to try it……no thanks. I’ll find matches and leagues where I can have fun and not deal with entitled whiners like yourself. I guess we all can’t be as cool as you. My guess is a bit of jealousy because…..well……she’s done more for the shooting sports than you have.

    Oh, and news flash….her message was EXACTLY THE SAME as the guy from Fish and WIldlife, or Maj Toure. But you aren’t butthurt about those. Wonder why?

    • Thanks for posting this.

      I just watched her response on her Facebook page. Farago, you grossly mischaracterized her presentation. You’re no better than CNN, putting words in her mouth that she never said.

      I’ve also learned another important fact: there is a pack of a-holes that knee-jerk post in these comments (I’m looking at you, Pierogie). Julie is a sweetheart who wants nothing more than for the shooting sports to SUCCEED and GROW. Some of the comments in here are indefensible.

  47. The 3-gun nation match around here, I’ve attended a half-dozen times. Then quit.

    It’s all about how fast you can load a shotgun, remember a plan through the complex stage, and shoot sloppily rapidly.

    I quit because of the latter. Everyone throws two sloppy but fast shots for full credit. Takes twice the ammo and teaches you to shoot sloppy. No thanks. I shoot an unsanctioned match now that rewards accuracy.

    The people were friendly, but there’s little time to talk while you write notes on your arm and try to memorize your run-through plan. Oh, and 10+ hours in the sun for 6 minutes of shooting.

    Plus $5K worth of gear. My gear’s worth more than the truck with which I haul it.

    I get people started in unsanctioned 3-gun matches all the time– five in the last two years. Likewise with a weekly bowling pin shoot– probably 15 in the last five years. But they rarely stick with it for long. Either they reach the “been there, done that” stage, or the money starts adding up. Figure $30 for a bowling pin match… $14 entry; a box or two of ammo. It adds up, but it’s the only pistol practice I do any more– and it’s a million times better than paper.

  48. 3 gun’s biggest turn off for me is the shotgun. Remember when shotguns used to cost $400 or less and were a utilitarian, entry level firearm? Now they cost over $1000, shoot semi-auto, and have ridiculously expensive accessories. Shell caddies cost absurd amounts of money, and for what, a little piece of plastic that goes on your belt for reloading shells? Most people get the tube modified to carry even more rounds to extend the time between reloads, so that’s more money spent, and the reload on the shotgun sucks. If 2 gun was as easy to find as 3 gun, you’d see participation go up pretty quickly. While shotgun costs have only gone up, AR15 and pistol costs have gone down. You can make your AR look, feel, and fit just about anything you want. Shotguns come more or less as is, with a few rails here and there for mounting accessories. AR parts can be changed out more or less at will. Pistols come as they are as well, but need less modifications than shotguns and rifles, if any at all. A stock Glock will run a competition just fine, especially you aren’t in open division where everything is custom. Ditch the shotgun, run 2- gun matches. .223 and 9mm is cheap, the reloads aren’t intimidating, and the gear is a dime a dozen.

  49. I think a lot of people are missing the point. My guess is most avid shooters would enjoy the heck out of participating or even watching a match. But something keeps them from going or engaging. I don’t think it’s necessarily any one thing. More likely all of the problems above wrapped up into ones perception. Perceived exclusivity due to it often being at private clubs, Perceived expensive due to the visibility of high end race gear, Perceived level of required skill for entry due again to the prominence of pro level shooters.

    All of these are perceptions and not necessarily reality, but they are definitely keeping people from engaging with the sport.

    I for sure fit in the “I sort of wonder how I’d do but I am not willing to sacrifice a day or drive out to a private club that’s an hour thirty minutes away.

    I think one thing that could be done is to bring a bit more technology and gamification into every day range shooting. Sell a specific target that pairs with an android or iphone app for everyday shooting at your regular range. Shoot the target, key in your distance, upload a photo of your target for digital scoring and get a “handicap” You could also “play” against other shooters at ranges all across the country/world. Sure it would not be the same but it may help people overcome some of their perceived objections and make the switch to actual real world competition. Just spitballing here but to be honest I am entirely amazed that companies like Birchwood Casey or other target cos don’t already have this platform.

  50. I am a disabled vet and a medically retired police officer and I find the costs impossible to meet in order to compete. The metal targets, ammo, extraneous equipment no too mention the distance I have to go all add up. I would be willing to try but there are no competitions for guys like me who spent careers in the Army and as a police officer . I Like watching though and miss the old days I competed at local army levels. Those at the top of their game make a living at it and are professionally paid participants. About all guys like me can afford would be local competitions like tap shooting , even that is getting expensive when you look at the price of Ammo.

  51. I have often come up with various shooting type competitions as I would really love to run and gun, but with three back surgeries and drop foot. It just wouldn’t be safe. However the thought of running a league type completion similar to bowling or archery intrigues me. These could be run at various ranges indoor and out. Basically you run a 3 person mixed team however you choose i.e. 2 men 1 women or vice versa. The league runs say 6 to 9 weeks and you run 6 to 9 teams. Cost could run 10 to 15 per person per week. I.e. The bowling format. The league is set up as none profit. Teams would be setup with handicaps as to try and keep the playing field even. During the league the range would have to be in agreements that on certain days and times a certain amount of time or lanes are set aside. Out of the weekly fees the range is paid. At the end of the league the remaining monies are used for awards for the placing teams. Possibly purchased thru that designated range. As now they are vested in the league as well. It could go as far as having distract meets. Obviously there would have to be a lot more details worked thru, but clearly doable. Now multiple people can participate. Basically keep it simple but with fun and competition involved. Now the shooters have a opportunity to see a reward at the end of the league.

  52. Did she actually say OFWG or is that the author editorializing? Cause if she used that Im not really interested in being lectured about sexism by a racist.

    • Author editorializing. She did reference “cranky” or “crotchety” or some other entirely appropriate descriptor. That part was all in good fun and tongue in cheek……but we all know it was true.

  53. I shoot benchrest and they are the nicest set of guys out there. You can shoot club matches with less rules and regs than the IBS/NBRSA guys have. You can compete ok with the gun and equipment you would bring to a prairie dog hunt. To go to the IBS/NBRSA level you need to invest in a $300 dollar rest and have a gun chambered in one of three calibers to run with the dogs. It also has to be built bottom up custom though some guys get away with blueprinted Remingtons or restocked/trigger tuned Savages. Its a sport that relies heavily on your prowess to reload. Precision reloading and wind reading are key to hit that millimeter sized dot at 100 yards. So yes it takes time, money and the willingness to learn something new. You can’t just pick up your favorite coyote gun and shoot a match. You probably can get away with that at Sniper competitions.

  54. All this talk of 2-gun, 3-gun, etc. How about if you are holding a match you let people only shoot 1-gun or 2-gun or all 3? Score people shooting the different equipment separate. It would take a little adjustment in stage design, but can be accomplished.
    Make it simple. 3-gun with a race gear should not be in the same class as Joe Blow that has stock equipment. When I do 3-gun, I shoot a stock pistol, 4x optic rifle, and 99% stock shotgun (has +2 tube extension) with a red dot on it. I don’t fit in any ‘sanctioned’ equipment class. But I don’t care because there is no prize table, only numbers on paper. Maybe next time I’ll shoot a little better and MY numbers will improve.

    If your club is not open/inviting to new shooters especially women and kids, you need to step up and make changes. Call the A-Holes out on it. Vote them out of the club if behavior doesn’t change. Ask them to not come back if they have that attitude. Yes, pro shooters can be shitty people. So can the local shooter that has never been to a state or national match. But I think the larger % are good people who just want to shoot and have fun.

    Every match put on is not nationals, most matches are local folks just shooting. JUST GO SHOOT!.

  55. I think auto/motorcycle racing is a pretty good comparison to shooting sports. When I was into motorcycle racing I could maybe afford 1 or 2 times a month doing it. I would go through a couple sets of tires a weekend which was at least 500 bucks, and god forbid I crash. In the end I didn’t race with AMA superbike racers it was all hobby people. Shooting at least gives me the possibility of competing with national level people.

  56. Well first off one of the reasons women and some guys don’t compete is because it’s too hot, windy, cold, wet, muddy or sandy. I’m getting tired of getting sunburned, cold and wet while no one seems interested in helping to run a match.

    It’s only fun if you had something that was fun, enjoyable and relaxing. Shooting against score is numbing. The only think that makes it enjoyable is the company of friends. That doesn’t happen on first meetings. A lot of people bring their own friends and try it a couple of times but they don’t have an interest invested in that particular group of people. They also treat it like a bucket list and at work on Monday, they’re an expert at the experience. Whatever. The best bet would be to break up the friend squad and have them shoot with other people.

    The club quit IDPA because of all the stupid rules. The rules should be the gun fits in the box, don’t shoot or threaten anyone and obey the course of fire. How hard is that?

  57. I have competed in USPSA and Bianchi matches for over 20 years. I have also been a police officer for over 40 years. I shot with Julie and worked the matches with her. I respect and appreciate her dedication to shooting sports as a participant and as a ambassador. Julie speaks the truth. I never thought of the hundreds of matches I shot as competition, I thought of it as practice, trigger time and a opportunity to learn from the best shooters in the world. I sacrificed speed for tactics and always received support from my squad mates. You choose what to take from the experience. No one makes you high speed low drag. Go practical, go tactical JUST GO 😉

  58. I’ve introduced non-shooters to the hobby and their cost was exactly zero. They used my gear and ammo and shot as my guest. A few got hooked and we eventually got them equipped with an initial investment of less than $600. Granted the gear was basic and most of it used but it’s a good way to start out. Plus you won’t find a better group of people than shooters. I attended a SASS match on a whim just to watch. I ended up shooting the match with borrowed gear and donated ammo. Once I expressed an interest there was no way those folks were letting me leave without shooting. Ask a complete stranger at a RC Airplane race if you can try out his P-51 Mustang and see what happens. Golf, Radio Controlled models, Hotrods, any form of Racing etc. etc. None of them are any cheaper. Support your local range and welcome new shooters. And for the record I’m an Old F***ing White Guy, not that it should matter.

  59. There’s a misconception that you need to be “good enough” to get started and that you need $3,000 in gear. It’s simply not true. If you can safely draw your pistol from a holster, keep your muzzle downrange and your finger out of the trigger guard whenever you’re not actively engaging a target, you’re good enough. Shooting sports are a “judgement free zone”, especially for new people. If you stay safe and help re-set stages between shooters, you’ll get no hate.

    If you own a pistol and have a carry permit, then you probably already own the necessary gear to get started in IDPA, Steel Challenge or USPSA. Whatever you have, there’s probably a division for it.

    I know that everybody hears about serious competitors and not-so-serious competitors with money to burn, going through 15,000, 20.000 or more rounds per year practicing and shooting matches. But for every one of those guys, there are 3 more that shoot one or two matches a month and hit the range for practice when they can. If you’re on an ammo budget… hell, even if you’re not on an ammo budget, dry fire is a real thing. There are some great books out there you can use to get some quality practice at home without firing a shot.

    The barriers to shooting sports aren’t money, gear or complicated rules. It’s information and the confidence to “take the leap” to shoot their first match. Interested people need to know where to go shoot a match and understand that a 55 gallon drum of ammo and a $3500+ custom gun and another $400 in gear isn’t necessary (or even helpful for a new person). If a person can find a match and talk to people, they’ll get all the info and encouragement they need.

    When I started, all I had was a .40 caliber XD, a SERPA holster and a cheap double mag pouch. Initially, I was only shooting 1 IDPA match a month at my local club. I’ve moved on, but there’s nothing wrong with sticking to that plan. You don’t need to be on the path to becoming a Grand Master in USPSA Open Division to enjoy yourself while improving your marksmanship and gun handling skills.

  60. I have suggested for a long time that there be a class in 3-Gun, and could also be in other competitions, that were .22LR and .410 only. Require that the guns used be off the shelf stock and allow only cleaning up any burrs and rough edges on the action and trigger/hammer/sear.

  61. I am an elder statesman and I’m an outsider looking in and never participated in any competition. I have watch a lot but never thought I could muster up. I am now changing that opinion of myself. There are 4 areas that can be summed up through all this thread, and all have provided great remarks. One area was equipment. If a bullet comes out the barrel, have at it and I will address this a bit more later on. Cost is another factor. Start reloading if you want to play and you can start with a set of Lee’s for under $100.00. Long way to range is another aspect of this thread which has us to blame. The community as a whole needs to be proactive. If you need a range within your area of residence start talking it up, get the like minded folks together and put something together. Well you know what I mean on this and it’s obvious that if you live in the city, put something together and car pool. ALL competitions should be put together that there are categories. Some for the old farts like me, some for the young men and women just getting started. MENTOR those that need mentoring. A mentoring program needs to be set up, ya I know the NRA, but something local to you and long standing over time. Now back to cost. We, as gun enthusiasts, have the power to reduce costs for entry fees, etc. If you reduce participation and let folks know why, the cost factor will impact the bottom line. Revolvers are not that expensive that saving over time cannot get one. Simi-Autos the same way. Rifles. NO ONE NEEDS A $3000.00+ rifle to compete especially if there are categories. One individual mentioned rests. Use socks filled with sand and cheep. For a mat, use an old quilt. The main issue is getting off our dead butts and get going. Let the pros compete among themselves the neophytes against each other. This is not an Elitist sport. This country was founded on much of what we are trying to do in competition. As a community WE all need to work together to keep the competitions from becoming a dead sport. But it will take ALL of us, regardless of background, skill level, etc., to make this happen. So now, it is up to US to bring this sport together where it was meant to be.

        • This is a we situation. Some of what I say may make sense but it requires action and the local level to be something other than just talk. We all have an opportunity to assist our sport and get things on track. I fully understand someone not wanting to give up an entire Saturday for 10 to 15 minutes of shooting. But we need to take some time and start talking through all of this and bring our sport back to centerline. I have been more than will to talk this up but all I can see is that we commiserate over the situation. let’s commiserate together and then take some action that will lead to progress. Once again I do not have all the answers but together we might just be able to make an impact on a sport we all could enjoy together.

        • Well right now I’m trying to figure out:
          1. rule book,
          2. scoring matrix (time based with accuracy penalties),
          3. disability section (it means something to me after some knee surgeries and a missing index finger)
          4. classes (probably based on capacity)
          5. a cost schedule (probably a later thing)
          6. based on my above listed demand for a stripped down reg book I’m trying to do each section in no more than one sheet from a standard legal pad.

          Im planning on trying a group on shooting club (hey it’s free and can be worked through there). Right now it’s looking like a IDPA type thing, probably closer to indoors/winter and using targets that are more easily accessible and cheaper (B-3 and B-27 type deal).

  62. RF has been in this community long enough to know that there is no better advocate for our shooting sports than Julie. Twisting her words is a disgraceful thing to do to such a wonderful lady, on such a valuable mission.

  63. I am a frequent competitor; I shoot mostly IDPA these days but have been in a number of other matches over time.
    The one thing IDPA, USPSA, 3 gun, CAS, and most of the mutants popular now have in common is a search for novelty. Every match, normally every stage has to be different. This has two adverse affects.
    1. It increases the work load on the nearly always volunteer staff. If you have to think up and set up something new every outing, it is a lot more trouble than hanging B8s, B27s, or LRFC targets or even than putting silhouettes out on the rails.
    2. It lengthens the match. If you can only have one shooter active per bay at a time, he is going to be there a lot longer than if he were on a relay with 1/3 or 1/4 of the total attendance shooting at a time.

    But most of us find “Conventional” shooting to be boring. Or that is what we say. What we mean is that it is too hard. Also, with standardized events, the scores actually mean something after the day is over. You can look back and see if you are really improving. Or not.

      • Well maybe start local groups and/or start with an online programs… and maybe end up one of the bigger groups (IDPA, USPSA, 3 gun all started some where with a handful of people… and they had to take down their predecessors).

        • Your tracking in the right direction. Have to start local and KISS. This is suppose to be fun, sometimes frustrating, but for the most part fun. Keep the stress down and it will work especially if everyone shares their strong points and tips. I have had this glorious dream of having a national shoot but the shoot is done across the US with the scores going into a database and available over the web. You could shoot locally and yet could be competing Nationally. Would have a local proctor/scorer that would keep it honest. Have separate categories for novice, pro and in between. This way many more forks can participate in an event and not have to travel to different states. This could be fun for many more people out there instead of only a few. I would really appreciate any feedback on this, and maybe it could work. There would be some challenges, but what the heck, life is a challenge.

        • I’m kinda on the same track with most of that.

          The local proctor is something that would/could be covered by a local club lead.

          The more than local scoring is why I’m using the app.

          My four guiding principles are cost (low as possible to get people in and coming back), access (easy to get to and easier to get into), safety (obvious) and simplistic operations (a 10+ page manual invites Murphy gremlins!)… as to your specific idea it sounds solid. Email me at Isaacjrblock@gmail.com so we can bounce ideas off each other.

  64. I’ve tried several shooting sports, and the only one I kept going to was bowling pin shooting, and that was because of the people running it (I ended up being one of the people running it). They invited me, walked me through it, encouraged me, corrected me when needed, and became good friends. The ones I didn’t keep attending had obscure rules, equipment I wouldn’t use outside of the competition, didn’t help newbies, took forever on days of the week I wasn’t willing to give up with my family and generally had a bunch of asses participating that the people running them knew about and didn’t care to do anything about. The list includes all the usual suspects – IDPA, USPSA, Steel challenge, 3-gun, CMP, and a few others.

    I have enough money to play in any of these sports, enough guns (except shotguns) and standard accessories, reload, and have free time during the week. I live within 20 minutes of two gun ranges, in a state that is very gun friendly. I want to compete, and I can’t find something that matches my rather free schedule and isn’t run like a high school cliche or college frat.

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