The conversation starter series is an opportunity for members of our community to talk about a specific question or problem. We have readers and commenters from a wide variety of background. From high power competitors to military and law enforcement personnel. Each has their own take on things, and this is how we talk about it.
Over at the Firearms User Network, John Buol Jr periodically posts articles about the decline in participation with shooting sports. Coincidentally, this decline is also seen in golf and other sports that take time and dedication to master.
So my question to you is this: do you participate in organized or outlaw shooting matches?
If you do, what kind?
If not, what’s holding you back?
Remember, this is a discussion not an argument.
I’ll Start, My Answer…
So, to get things started I’ll go first.
When I lived in Montana, I participated in a local outlaw 2-gun and 3-gun match every other weekend. That’s really where I got my start with all of this. As far as I knew, there were very few sponsored qualifier matches in the state and they always had conflicts with my work schedule.
Once I moved to California, there were more opportunities for local club type events, but I rarely went to them. The ones closest to me at the private club I went to were all shotgun-based and took place during the workday. The rest were bowling pin shoots with guys who loved their cowboy revolvers.
I just never fit in there.
The best I managed to do was registering for and placing in the top 5 for an Excellence in Competition (EIC) match at the base CATM range. That earned me a few points for the CMP, but I haven’t pursued it further.
Now that I’m in Virginia, there seems to be way more opportunity for local steel shoots and action pistol matches. I’ve yet to make it to one, though. Granted, my life circumstances and family health concerns were a major part of that, but it’s not really an excuse.
So why haven’t I done it more? I love going to the range and honing skills and I enjoy testing myself. So I suppose the reason comes down to timing. It’s not that there haven’t been opportunities. It’s been more that these opportunities come with costs and time commitments that often conflict with other family priorities.
I think a lot of people fear signing up for competition because they don’t have all the equipment they think they need.
I’m hard pressed to find a picture from a high power match where the person isn’t wearing an expensive shooting jacket.
Even though the rules changed a lot in the last few years, I also think people think they need a specific rifle before showing up to a match. Perhaps there needs to be a
Over to You
Ok, I got this one started. Now it’s your turn.
Do you compete? If you do, what kind of competition?
If you don’t, what are your roadblocks? What questions might you have that the other experts in our community can help you with?
Matt is the primary author and owner of The Everyday Marksman. He’s former military officer turned professional tech sector trainer. He’s a lifelong learner, passionate outdoorsman, and steadfast supporter of firearms culture.