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Baldwin

Am I too old?

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New forum member.  I'm a member of a bunch of forums but this has become my favorite.  Question:

 

I'm 65 years old and took up handguns/reloading about two years ago and the wife says I'm obsessed.  I hurt all over when I get up in the morning,  my hand/eye coordination is not as good as it once was, and my vision sucks but I still have my competitive nature.  I would like to take up some form of competitive shooting but I don't want to embarrass myself.  I'm about to retire so I will have a ton of time for shooting and training.  Would it be a waste of time?  Am I too old to get involved in competition?  Honest answers please.  Thanks in advance.

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I dont think youre too old.  Ive got a buddy started uspsa about your age.  Hes 72 now & still working to get better everyday.  

He did go to an open gun with a red dot on it.  

You may want to start at a steel challenge match where theres no movement.

Oh btw, my friend beat me last match.... & Ive been doing this 20 years.Im barely an A class shooter.

Main thing is compete against yourself.  There will always be someone younger or faster, thats out of your control.  You can control you.  Efficiency is the real key to success in action shooting sports

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Either you have it in you to go out and have fun and not worry about getting totally clobbered by folks who have better physical ability and much more practice & experience, or else you do not. 

 

It ain't a question of age, it is maturity :) . 

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My friend and I took up USPSA shooting a couple years ago.   I'm in my early 60's and he's in his early 70's.    We are having a blast!  The younger folks are better than us but it's still fun to compete and to watch ourselves progress.   

 

Additionally, brainpower is pretty important when deciding how to take a stage - it's not just about how fast you can run.

 

DO IT!

Edited by LMS

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Your not to old, a friend of mine that is 78 got me in it a year ago and he still shoots. A lot of the people that shoot in some of the local matches and action pistol matches are my age 64 or older. I do it for fun, keeps my reflexes, coordination and mind working. I find myself trying harder to improve, I have taken some classses which helped me a lot. Do it you will meet a lot of nice people that are more than willing to help you and you will have fun.

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+1 to Steel Challenge as a place to start and get comfortable with competition. There will be a division for just about any gun you have... rimfire pistol or rifle, revolver, PCC, semi-auto handgun... take your pick. Too old? Nah, I shoot with some Master Class shooters in their 70s.

As for poor vision... me too. But reflex red dot sights make things much easier.... and they are legal in several Steel Challenge

gun divisions... from .22 rifle/pistol to revolver, PCC, Open Class semi-auto handgun, and Carry Optics semi-auto handgun. I have a lot of fun.

Edited by GOF

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I have a friend who is 80 and shoots both steel challenge  and uspsa and is very competitive. I shoot mostly steel challenge and most of the events I shoot have competitors from beginners to pro's, young to old and all having fun. I say find an event near you, find out what you need and go have some fun.

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Too old? No sir!

I’m right behind you. 

USPSA is still a blast but needless to say movement and age tend to slow us down. Never takes the fun out though. 

Steel Challenge....it’s my main focus now days. 

I’d agree with the prior comment. 

Try it first then work your way into the other games. 

You’ll be hooked in no time. 

 

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I'm 54, only started last year and have still have to shoot a match. I practice (dry and live) and have a blast. Recently I side lined myself due to an inner ear/dizziness issue but working on getting that fixed and getting back at it. Running with scissors is one thing....running with an open gun while dizzy is a whole other thing! Like everyone before me said "go for it" we are never too old to have fun. 

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I just turned 74 and went to the range last Monday - had a ball.

 

Wish I had more time to shoot.

 

Yes, my eyesight isn't as good as it once was and I never had any eye/hand

coordination (what's that?).

 

I ain't going to get an A card anytime soon, but I LOVE this sport.     :wub:

 

p.s.  Did you know that Baldwins were the Kings of Jerusalem for 4-5 generations ?

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Never to late...

 

See if one of your ranges has an "Intro to Action Pistol" class...

 

+1 on start with Steel Challenge...  It's lots of fun...

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I started shooting as a kid but when I moved to FL it was a real hobby from then on. That was in 2006 when I was 65. I shot some club competitions at Stuart gun club and improved with a lot of practice. I started shooting club Steel competitions up in Titusville FL about 2010. I started at the bottom of results but slowly worked my way up. Every now and then I would be at or near the top (mostly when some of the good shooters would take the day off). 😉  I moved to NC in 2014 and shot mostly at an outdoor range. About 3 1/2 years ago I discovered a Trap Shooting  group in my development. They were great helping me get started. I had fired a dozen shots with a shotgun at about age 25 and never owned a shotgun. But, I was hooked. I shoot a Browning 725 Pro Trap 12 gauge and now shoot trap once or twice a week (sometimes 3). I’m 77 now and have had some success doing it. 

 

You should nave no problems at your age. 

Edited by HicksvilleKid

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Everyone ages differently. I came down with neuropathy of the hands and feet a few years back and found I couldn't run and gun safely so gave up USPSA. Had to retire and found I can still load and shoot shotguns and am having a new shooting life with those platforms. It ain't over till it's over.

 

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Never too old, and I mean never, not that 65 is old at all. At all the local matches around here only about a quarter of the people out there are there to be all serious and win. Pretty much everyone else there is just there to have fun, do some shooting of the mouth and a little bit of guns. You will find plenty of people that are willing to help you with anything you'll ever need. If the sights are giving you trouble get a red dot. 

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Oscar Swahn is often considered to be the oldest Olympic athlete and medalist. Swahn, who was a sports shooter, first competed in the Olympics in 1908 at age 60. He won two gold medals that year, one for the individual single-shot running deer and the other for the team single-shot running dear.

 

Swahn competed at the next Olympics in 1912 and won another gold medal at age 64 (100m team running deer, single-shot), making him the oldest gold medalist ever – he is even recognized by the Guinness World Records as the oldest Olympic gold medalist. At the age of 72, Swahn returned to the Olympics for the final time in 1920 and became the oldest athlete to ever compete – he also won a silver medal that year, which makes him the oldest silver medalist.

 

If you still think that you are too old ........

Oscar-Swahn-1.jpg

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Got into IDPA then USPSA at 60 years of age. Went the USPSA route and throughly enjoy every aspect of the sport. Best thing that happened to me was trying a friends Open pistol. The red dot will extend my  shooting abilities for years. Am I old and slow...absolutely..but shooting matches, designing stages and are reloading are all fascinating.....love the sport...wish I would have discovered it 30 years ago!!!

 

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You’re not too old.

 

We have a gentleman in our club that’s about to turn 80 this coming February. He shots PCC and he’s still quick for his age. He’s having a blast every month we shoot at our club and he’s fun to be with.

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I'm 73 and having a good time.  I'm not as good as I was 5 years ago but still keep trying to arrest the slide. 

 

A guy in the Trap club did not start shooting competitively until he retired.  He made state champion, then was senior champion for a long time. 

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We had a guy who occasionally shot USPSA at our local matches, and was almost 90 yrs old. He might have moved slowly target to target, but he would almost shoot all A's. And he never came in last.  He was a WWII vet, and we were always honored to see him come down and shoot.

Shoot at a pace comfortable for you, and enjoy it.

 

Edited by Postal Bob

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Hi Baldwin

 

I'm 60 have all of the issues you have plus a few more. I started shooting handguns about 5 years ago, shooting auto loaders in 9mm. I had a few mishaps that were a bitter experience. But I worked through them and like you I'm a competitive person. My first two years of shooting I really did terrible.

 

Two years ago I hit the reset button. Switched guns to revolver, started shooting Steel Challenge. My first match April 2017  was classified D at 36%. 18 months later I'm at 80% in optical sight revolver, I have a very good chance of making  Master in 2019. In fact this is my goal for the year. 

 

Regardless of the actual game you decide on or the division you shoot, you can be a good shooter and do well in competitions if you put in the time and keep at it. You will need to practice, do dry fire practice and hit the range often for meaningful practice sessions. Also while you will need to accept that at first you will be a the bottom, a positive attitude is absolutely essential. You do not want to lose the match before you even shoot it.

 

Don't gage your progress by what others say or do. Set goals and work diligently to meet them. Don't waste time on making excuses, instead put your energy into improving your skills. I think Steel Challenge is a great way to get going. Rimfire guns (rifle and pistol), especially in the open classes,  in steel challenge are easier to get started in but the young kids have speed that is hard for us to overcome. Centerfire guns are in my opinion the way to go. If you are shooting 9mm auto loaders look into carry optics division.

 

Two words: Do It.

 

Edited by firewood

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I started shooting in my late 40's during a midlife crisis. I'm mid 60's now.  I was never athletic or coordinated and I never participated in any group sports so not having to wait to 'not' get picked for a team made it all that much more appealing to me. It was all about me.  It was also at the age that my eyesight started going so I had a couple of strikes against me.   Even though it's considered a 'competition', I only compete against myself and have grown to love it because of the camaraderie and the personal challenge.  It's a hobby that I love and while I do strive to do better, I'm o.k. being a C shooter which is where I'll probably remain.  The young ones are out there to win.  I'm out there to have some fun and hang out with friends.  Don't get hung up on the 'competition' part of it.  That word has different meanings to different people.  If you enjoy it and have fun doing it, why not?

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