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Thoughts on increasing membership/clubs


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I have been wondering what could be done on a club or region level to increase ICORE numbers. I do not believe bringing pistol shooters from USPSA, IDPA, or MG would ever be more successful than as happens naturally. Clubs host events, but what they are really doing is selling entertainment on an afternoon. Entertainment and camaraderie with fellow like minded individuals. So why is USPSA, IDPA, MG, and plain old outlaw matches doing better than ICORE in your area? Does the word "revolver" put off people? Is it the fact that triggers are easier to operate on most pistols than on a revolver push people away?  Is it the game or the equipment that makes one discipline more entertaining than the other. Is it just the people? 

I ask all of this because I know of a couple members at my local club that shoot other disciplines faithfully. They own revolvers but do not compete with them. They tell me "one day I will shoot your match", but yet they never do even with offering gun, belt and ammo to these and other shooters. 

Any ideas for better success at selling ICORE to shooting enthusiasts. TIA

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I have zero interest in shooting MG, bullseye, and shotguns, even if the match was free and the gear was covered. 

 

Between all the options out there now, are people just tapped out every time there's something different? 

 

Just offering a different option than the standard answers we usually see to this. Not saying this is how it is. Ty asks a great question, but I am personally out of free time. 

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5 hours ago, MWP said:

 I am personally out of free time. 

 

Probably would NOT have thought of it myself, but actually true ...

 

I don't have enough "time" to practice with my TruBor, and if I were to

take a block of time to learn another gun, it would be my AR15, NOT

a revolver.

 

And, don't want to invest $1,000 in a new gun/holster/speed loaders

and shoot another caliber.

 

PLUS, shooting a 32-round field course with a revolver just doesn't

sound like FUN.    It's all about reloading a revolver, which is a skill

that is very low on my priority list.

 

And, now, there is PCC looming in my future ….    :eatdrink:

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I don't have ICORE in my area, but I have used my revolver at an IPSC Match. Even with a majority of Short Courses, it becomes a reloading contest. Also, inevitably you compare yourself to the Combined results, and you are usually way behind everybody else there.

 

It can be great fun, but the frustration can often get the upper hand.

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I don't own a revolver.  I never have.  I feel that ICORE caters to the purists of the shooting community.  as others have stated, Between USPSA, Multigun/3gun matches and Steel challenge, I don't have time for anymore matches.

My pistol skills were never really that good.  I always blamed my cross eye dominance.  Along came PCC and the rest they say is history.  I'm much happier shooting a stage with 30+ rounds as opposed to reloading every 5-6 rounds.

2 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

 

And, now, there is PCC looming in my future ….    :eatdrink:

Welcome to the dark side!

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4 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

PLUS, shooting a 32-round field course with a revolver just doesn't

sound like FUN.


This is where IDPA Revolver works very well.  The average course is half as many rounds and I, personally, have fun navigating these courses with a revolver.  Far too many ICORE matches that I've shot seem to have courses with extra non-sense thrown in to "get the round count up".  This includes stages with "shoot these targets 6 times each" sorts of requirements as well as stages where we repetitively reengage the same targets from multiple locations.  By the time we get to score these excessively shot up targets the scoring lines are hidden under a blur of tape and the task of assigning a fair score becomes difficult if not impossible.

I would also add that the scoring being straight time plus puts too much emphasis on some stages and minimizes the importance of others.  Going to stage points to calculate match score would be an improvement.

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I personally dont care for that argument ( too much reloading ) - I mean, with the 8 shooters these days you are pretty much reloading in the same spots as the production / single stack / L-10 shooters anyhow.

 

It's not THAT hard to learn to reload a revolver, it's like anything else - just takes a little practice.

 

You don't complain about long field courses while shooting production and need to reload 5 times do you? 

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8 minutes ago, alecmc said:

I personally dont care for that argument ( too much reloading ) 

 

Everybody has things they do or do not like. For me  reloading is a fundamental gun skill and a fun part of the overall challenge. My don't like is when a match seem to put greater emphasis on track meet skills than gun skills. 

 

That said.

 

Limited time, you need to choose a gun type and go with it, and significant investment, by the time you have gamer gun, gamer gun rig, gamer gun accessories, sensible spares, you can be at around $2000 . 

 

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I can't tell you an answer to your problem but I can tell you why I haven't shot ICORE matches, even when I was a member of a club with tons of revolover shooters, an icore match each month I could have shot for free, and i owned a revolver with appropriate gear.

 

To me personally revolvers are the gun equivalent of motorcycles from the 60's. People like them, they have history, the work differently than modern bikes, people race them and some have really gone up in value. But for my time and money and emotional investment I want new. Modern.

 

Revolver won't grow because I think many people have an unconscious bias that revolver equals "old". And most old things don't interest people if there is a modern equivalent. SASS grew because they embraced the fact the equipment is dated and historical. ICORE has nothing unique to offer to draw a person to it, as a new shooter, that you can't find other places. That sounds rough but to me it's the truth.

 

The only thing I wish like say IDPA did with its time plus scoring is borrow the ICORE idea of an X ring time bonus. Make a small scoring area that if you hit you get a second off your time. If they made it 1sec per 1pnt down then might as well give you a potential bonus for standing there.

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I *love* ICORE shooting for several reasons, most of which confirm @rowdyb's observations.

 

1. Probably could be considered "old." My last birthday in my 50s will be next month. When I grew up, revolvers were not only the gun of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, but also of Mannix and Steve McGarret. So revolvers were cool when my brain was being formed.

2. I move pretty slow. My metabolism was never very energetic and a tussle with the big C 10 years ago has slowed me down further. Because of the nature of revo reloads, it tends to keep the ninjas away. In ICORE, a slow limp is just fine.

3. Here at least, the competitions are WAY smaller. A monthly USPSA club match gets around 100 shooters. Our monthly ICORE match gets 15 on a good summer's day. We've had as little as 8. Because of the small group, we all help with set up, re-set, and tear down. In my opinion, this adds to the comradery of the match. Many times, there is a group lunch afterward at the local Denny's.

4. I am not a mechanic at heart but I like gear. I am a photographer by trade. My personal preference is for simple machines. In the film days, my cameras were large format view cameras which were nothing more than ways to hold film a certain distance from a lens mounted in a shutter that regulated the exposure time via springs and gears. In my brain, revolvers are simple elegant machines that perform the basic function of a firearm - striking a primer to ignite a charge and send a bullet down a barrel.

5. While I'm not a masochist, I like doing things the hard way. Sure, when shooting USPSA, I get about as easy as it is: factory striker fired double stack. When I shoot revolver, it gives me pleasure to conquer a stage with a 10 lb. trigger and plan reloads every 6 rounds. At least one of our ICORE MD's tries to be 6 round neutral. If not, oh well, the better the challenge. 

 

I don't know if any of this helps the OP increase his ICORE participation but I guess it helps to know your target audience.

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31 minutes ago, Mcfoto said:

4. ... My personal preference is for simple machines. ....

5. While I'm not a masochist, I like doing things the hard way. ...

...

 

 

I resemble that remark. This year, I changed my mind and decided that shooting a singlestack pistol with eight rounds in the magazine is simple and hard enough. I'm thinking of putting my six-shooter to work during the winter. At least I'll lose less brass in the snow.

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I started shooting DA revolvers about 3.5 years ago and have been trying to get more people interested ever since.  Here's my observations thus far:

 

Gear - The initial questions I get from those who want to try revolver are which model should I buy, and how much would a match ready rig cost?  For someone who has been shooting a while it's not a big deal to spend upwards of $2k for a new gun/rig combo.  They've likely done it many times and bought/sold/traded plenty of things in the past.  But the shooter who owns only one gun, and is running their stock Glock in its carry holster sees the monetary investment as a hurdle.  ICORE and IDPA are usually an easier sell here because just about any decent .38 S&W can run in both games.  USPSA is going to cost a bit more due to 8 shooters ruling the roost.  I used to shoot a lot of my carry guns to encourage people to bring their own and give it a try.  I've loaned out speedloaders and pouches to people in the past and that works well to get them interested.  My best advice here is prove to new shooters that you don't need a crazy expensive rig or gun to have fun.

 

Platform - You can look at the numbers straight from USPSA and see that Limited, Production, Open, and PCC have the best turnout.  Production is popular because of the perceived flexibility in buying a cheap pistol and upgrading down the road.  Limited and Open are obviously the go-fast Ricky Bobby divisions, everyone likes to go fast.  PCC is the "I can't believe they actually gave me 50 rounds and a red dot" division.  The obvious perks for PCC are zero reloads unless required by stage briefing, and the use of an optic.  Anyone with declining eyesight or physical fitness is going to see PCC as a way to stay in the game.  I propose we give these people 8 shot revolver with a red dot.  

 

Difficulty - Revolver is a different set of skills than most other divisions.  Many people are shooting virtually the same platform between Production/Carry Optics and Limited/Open, obvious cross over exists there.  The only real outcast among semi-autos would be Single Stack.  I hardly ever see SS shooters at a local match.  I recently shot Area 5 and only 33 shooters registered in Single Stack, Production had 105.  From my perspective shooters like the idea of having 10+1 in production or 20+ rounds in Limited/Open compared to 8+1 shooting SS Major.  After a certain skill level you don't count on needing make-up shots when you see arrays of 8, but many new shooters plan their stage assuming they'll miss.  From that perspective the Revolver can seem challenging because you rarely get a make up shot without a standing reload.  However, I have given my revolvers to many people so they can try them out.  Some realized they actually shot better with a revolver and switched divisions.  If you see people who are interested but view the platform as too challenging, help them learn.   

 

 

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On 8/30/2018 at 8:57 AM, IHAVEGAS said:

 

Everybody has things they do or do not like. For me  reloading is a fundamental gun skill and a fun part of the overall challenge. My don't like is when a match seem to put greater emphasis on track meet skills than gun skills. 

 

That said.

 . 

 

Pistol match not a track meet, agreed

 

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My $.02 

 

USPSA has a large number of one and done shooters, most likely because many think they are pretty good with a pistol till they come to a match and find out that the sport is way harder than they thought. IDPA is somewhat better at retaining new shooters as it is somewhat better designed to be less intimidating to the less skilled.  ICORE has a even larger problem in that the basic pool of shooters to draw from is smaller (those that shoot a DA revolver and think they are good at it and want to compete) so in practice the pool for ICORE  to draw from is USPSA and IDPA shooters that want to try something different. ICORE has the double hit of drawing from a smaller potential pool of shooters and utilizing equipment that makes the game harder.

 

I think the best bet for increasing participation is to capitalize on the differences in the game and match experience, use the rules to your advantage and run matches that are not the same as USPSA but with revos and funny targets. Also the smaller size of the ICORE matches can be a draw for many, at one club I shoot at when the registrations start to get into the mid teens they just ask if we want to be one squad or two  and invariably we choose one large squad and spend the day enjoying each others company. One thing I have personally fond enjoyable at ICORE matches is the ones I have been to are less about the competition and more about the camaraderie, locally our USPSA matches have pretty large turnouts and are taken quite seriously as a competition, and while that is good, having a outlet to go shoot with your friends where winning is less important is also good.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

My $.02 

 

USPSA has a large number of one and done shooters, most likely because many think they are pretty good with a pistol till they come to a match and find out that the sport is way harder than they thought. IDPA is somewhat better at retaining new shooters as it is somewhat better designed to be less intimidating to the less skilled.  ICORE has a even larger problem in that the basic pool of shooters to draw from is smaller (those that shoot a DA revolver and think they are good at it and want to compete) so in practice the pool for ICORE  to draw from is USPSA and IDPA shooters that want to try something different. ICORE has the double hit of drawing from a smaller potential pool of shooters and utilizing equipment that makes the game harder.

 

I think the best bet for increasing participation is to capitalize on the differences in the game and match experience, use the rules to your advantage and run matches that are not the same as USPSA but with revos and funny targets. Also the smaller size of the ICORE matches can be a draw for many, at one club I shoot at when the registrations start to get into the mid teens they just ask if we want to be one squad or two  and invariably we choose one large squad and spend the day enjoying each others company. One thing I have personally fond enjoyable at ICORE matches is the ones I have been to are less about the competition and more about the camaraderie, locally our USPSA matches have pretty large turnouts and are taken quite seriously as a competition, and while that is good, having a outlet to go shoot with your friends where winning is less important is also good.

 

 

I don't think that is it at all. I think they come a match and find a bunch of stuck up self righteous asholes. Or as they are better known as super gamers, that cry if a port is to low or they have do a extra reload...ect just my .02...lol

Edited by usmc1974
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I don't think that is it at all. I think they come a match and find a bunch of stuck up self righteous asholes. Or as they are better known as super gamers, that cry if a port is to low or they have do a extra reload...ect just my .02...lol
Sorry you apparently shoot in a area with a different attitude than I have experienced.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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I shoot ICORE with Ty at our club. When it was announced that the club was going to start having some revolver matches I got gear together for Classic division, 686 and speedloaders. I didn't  anticipate how much I'd enjoy it and the club quickly decided to hold the matches every month.

 

It is hard to get shooters who have never competed out to any shooting match. Most of the younger guys have grown up with Glocks being popular. When I've seen people out at ranges shooting double action revolvers, almost all of them are shooting single action. I do see some snub nose shooters shooting double action.

 

USPSA, IDPA and ICORE all have different scoring methods that balance out the needed speed/accuracy to different levels. I don't know if changing the scoring would make a difference.

 

I've seen other discussions mention having demo days at the range with the result being they get a lot of people who will shoot when everythings provided but don't follow up with getting involved. It's a difficult question.

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Ty,

 

I have never shot ICORE. it’s not a thing around here. We have Bianchi and the occasional PPC match. I live out in the sticks where everything is literally an hour drive away, including a proper grocery store. So this might not apply to those urban areas. 

 

I like revolvers best of all the handgun sports. I quit shooting bottom feeders in games in the early 00s. And that was before open class got expensive. 

 

Heres what I can offer that has worked for our local shotgun club, because out here most everyone has a shotgun for keeping pests away from the homestead. 

 

We do a monthly fun shoot. First Saturday of the month regardless of weather. Usually get 40-50 shooters of all ages and skill. 4 or 5 ladies. Guns range from my 870 express to Pirazzis. And everything in between. 

 

Format is always 50-75 targets on standard skeet, trap, and 5-stand ranges. Cost is $25 and that includes lunch. Prize table is always generous in volume, but not high value. The average guy will “win” a couple boxes of shells. The high 3 shooter choose prizes first, they usually get a bag of shot. People are usually happy to shoot with friends and take home a little prize and go home right after lunch. The hardcore shooters hang around and shoot rounds after lunch. That’s how the club actually pays the bills, they guys buying extra rounds of targets after an event. 

 

We also do new shooter clinics every quarter. The cost is modest, usually $15 just to cover shells and targets at club cost. Twice a year we do ladies only clinics. In the summer we run two youth “camps” that teach Eddie eagle and basic skeet shooting. A few new regular shooters come out after each clinic. Not big numbers, but growth. 

 

ICORE might do the same thing. A fun match monthly with lottery type prize table. Regular new shooter clinics. It seems to grow the sport slowly. 

 

I’d like to see more revolver shooting around here. We just don’t have a good facility within reasonable driving distance. The closer indoor ranges don’t support action pistol sports. 

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I'm going to approach from a marketing vs skills perspective:

 

Would it be possible to purchase a mailing list of IDPA/USPSA revolver competitors?  Like, people who shot revolver in Tier II matches?  

 

Then identify areas that contains more than average revolver shooters but no nearby club or match.  Reach out to those people to try and get interest in at least an ICORE match.

 

I've looked in to starting a club as the nearest is three hours from me.  Currently it requires some very dedicated individuals who are willing to volunteer their time, effort and some money to try and get things going.  I just don't have it to give.  So breaking down the barriers to creating a club would be a good start.  Assign an ambassador to help get things going in a particular area. 

 

Honestly, I keep vacillating about USPSA revolver, trying to justify a $2k expenditure on equipment for something I'm going to shoot maybe 15 times a year.  I can see that being a barrier to people going in to ICore as well. 

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21 minutes ago, FWSixgunner said:

 

I've looked in to starting a club as the nearest is three hours from me. 

 

I keep vacillating about USPSA revolver, trying to justify a $2k expenditure on equipment for something I'm going to shoot maybe 15 times a year.   

 

Really no need to spend much to get started - just use what you currently have.

 

Go shoot USPSA with your revolver, and learn and enjoy and meet other

revolver shooters.

 

Then, go from there ….    :cheers:

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