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SHOTGUNS ARE NOT THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD. 

 

The Multi-gun sport seems to be having participation ssues, at least in many regions. Why? How do we fix it? 

 

Some observations:

1. There are more major matches but fewer local/club matches and both are having attendance issues. 

 

2. Sponsorships and prize tables are scarce. 

 

3. New folks aren't being pulled into the sport faster than old dogs burnout.

 

4. Bickering and nit picking is pervasive in online settings. 

 

5. Ammo is cheap. Why aren't people flocking to use it to shoot more targets with at least 3 guns. 

Edited by Blockader

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Following this one.

 

One thing I haven't asked anyone yet, is USPSA having a similar slowdown? 

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8 hours ago, Blockader said:

 Why aren't people flocking to use it to shoot more targets with at least 3 guns. 

 

I've been shooting IPSC/USPSA for 30 years.

 

Interested in rifle (bought one, but haven't shot it much, yet), and LOVE my TruBor -

I personally (just me) hate shotguns.

 

The idea of seeing who can reload a shotgun faster doesn't seem much like

a shooting sport, to me, IMHO.  Start with 12 in the gun, and then reload another

5 - 10 rounds ?  Not my idea of fun - I could stay home and practice loading 

shotshells (inert) into my shotgun (which I don't own) and call it a day.

 

I'd rather be shooting - pistol - GREAT !!!    Rifle - going to try it - sounds interesting.

Shotgun - NO, thanks.

 

And wheel around a cart loaded with four different types of ammo and two long

guns ?   No, thanks, I'll just walk around with my bucket of ammo and pistol in

my holster.

 

Just one man's personal opinion.   3-gun doesn't work for me.     :( 

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Thank you for your thoughts, Jack. We are really concerned here with why matches that used to be full every month of people who love loading shotguns are now not even half full. I don't think it's because those people stopped liking shotguns, but it certainly could be that not enough new people think they like shotgun.

 

For the record, in my experience most people who think they won't like the shotgun aspect end up loving it after trying my shotgun. It takes basically no practice to load 2 in the gun at a time. 

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8 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

 

One thing I haven't asked anyone yet, is USPSA having a similar slowdown? 

 

Not around here. 

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The answer is 2 Gun.

The people who love shotguns are the same ones who like reloading revolvers.

As mentioned above, shottys are about reloading not shooting fast.

All our local matches have gone 2 gun. Everyone has a rifle etc. Setting up paper for 223 or pcc and either / or for pistols has brought in the regular shooters.

Dedicated outlaw shotgun matches would be an option.

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I hear people say this all the time about shotgun, but it’s typically from people that don’t shoot 3 gun.  Once upon a time shotgun was a  reloading game, but now everyone can load at least twins, and most stages have little to no reloading.  Shotgun in 3 gun is more about not missing, then you don’t have to reload any more than necessary.
 

The people that shoot 3 gun generally love the shotgun.  People that don’t shoot 3 gun because of shotgun, think they don’t like shotgun.

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Again, I did not start this thread to hear from people who don't shoot 3-gun because they don't like shotguns. As CharlieD says above, Shotguns have gotten way easier to load over the years but 3-gun attendance has gone down, not up. 

 

Shotguns are not the topic of this thread.

 

 

 

 

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USPSA in this area after having a slowdown for a few years seems to be on the rise again, while 3 gun in this area after booming a bit seems to definitely be slowing down.  I used to shoot 3 gun regularly, but now  i might it shoot once  a year.  To be fair i don't shoot as much uspsa as i once did either, but do shoot it fairly often.

 

Here are my observations and remember I do/did shoot 3 gun:

 

1 Shotgun is an issue,  and it can be nothing more than a reloading constest, just like a revolver (I have shot both in matches, so I have experience, not just opinion 🙂 ).   My opinion on this one is for a normal 3 gun match, Tac ops type SG should have stayed 8 round tube and match directors should keep SG round counts at no more than about 16 rounds in a stage.  I know the cat is out of the bag on that one

 

2 Jumbo stages:  I know people think they want to shoot more but after shooting 5 stages that require all 3 guns and at least 50 rounds per stage, i think it has gone too far for the average guy.  This also ties directly with quality of stages vs quantity of rounds.  Much like in USPSA every stage doesn't need to be max round count.  People have a hard time believing this one but it is true, just like you shouldn't eat a whole bucket of ice cream every time you have ice cream, there can be too much of a good thing

 

3 Dumb targets:  This ties in with #2.  Tony has a great thread addressing this about the deathstars.  Other dumb targets include an array of 3 or 4 inch pistol plates scattered around at 10-15 yards, slug spinners at 100, <4moa targets anywhere for rifle.  I know some people are going to say learn to shoot better and that is true to an extent, but many people don't have the time and will eventually burn out on these target sets.  The good shooters will win no matter what, so target that most people have a reasonable chance of hitting is a good thing          

 

4 Par times:  This is really more about stages, but if %75 of the shooters are timing out on %75 or more of the stages, that will be an issue. 

 

5 Too much work:  I think for many shooters all the stuff and effort it takes just to shoot a match ends up being more effort that the fun  the  match is worth.  It is the "fun to work" ratio, and this is why i don't shoot much 3 gun any more.  Dragging around 3 guns, tons of ammo, switching around for each stage, resetting jumbo stages, and taking 5 hours or more to shoot 5 stages, is just more effort than i am willing to put in for the fun i get out of a match.  

 

 

 

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For me: expense, in both time and money. If I go shoot a local, it’s going to end up costing me somewhere between $100-$150 by the time I figure in match fees, gas, ammo, and food (that being said, the closest match to me is nearly 100 miles away, which adds into that “time” factor).

 

So, I leave the house at 7, go shoot aaaaaall day, and feel like I got hit by a Mack truck when I get home, at 7. 

 

Majors cost entirely too much IMO. $350 match fees for 10 stages is not worth it to me. I know everyone is going to pipe up “It costs a lot to put on a match,” and I know. I’ve been there done that. But, after the first year or two of a particular match, most of the big targets should be paid for. I’m not sure how much of my match fee goes to the prize table, if any, but I would prefer to not pay that amount and not go down the prize table. 

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46 minutes ago, RJH said:

 

1 Shotgun is an issue,  and it can be nothing more than a reloading constest, just like a revolver (I have shot both in matches, so I have experience, not just opinion 🙂 ).   My opinion on this one is for a normal 3 gun match, Tac ops type SG should have stayed 8 round tube and match directors should keep SG round counts at no more than about 16 rounds in a stage.

 

 

 

A weird thing happened around here recently. MD's dropped the number of clays way down, to the point you could do little to no reloading in a lot of stages. But simultaneously wrote every WSB to basically say "start anywhere, use any gun you want on any target except clays are SG and no close steel with rifle". I thought it might kill off shotgun, or at least the guys that didn't like reloading would be happy. Quite the opposite. Now everyone is shooting way more shotgun than ever to avoid pistol shooting at any small steel. Guys are shooting 25+ slugs in a match at close paper to avoid transitioning to rifle. Open guys are shooting 80% or more of a match with the SG. The pistol is now a gun you draw at the end of the stage to get that one paper target you couldn't see anywhere else. 

I'm not disagreeing with you, just stating that in my area people are willing to shoot more SG than ever, simultaneous with the 3 gun recession.

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17 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

A weird thing happened around here recently. MD's dropped the number of clays way down, to the point you could do little to no reloading in a lot of stages. But simultaneously wrote every WSB to basically say "start anywhere, use any gun you want on any target except clays are SG and no close steel with rifle". I thought it might kill off shotgun, or at least the guys that didn't like reloading would be happy. Quite the opposite. Now everyone is shooting way more shotgun than ever to avoid pistol shooting at any small steel. Guys are shooting 25+ slugs in a match at close paper to avoid transitioning to rifle. Open guys are shooting 80% or more of a match with the SG. The pistol is now a gun you draw at the end of the stage to get that one paper target you couldn't see anywhere else. 

I'm not disagreeing with you, just stating that in my area people are willing to shoot more SG than ever, simultaneous with the 3 gun recession.

 

Interesting, and i have seen that a time or two as well, but only with the open guys.  Are the tac ops guys doing the same as well, or is it mostly the box fed type guns?

Also have your numbers gone up, down , or held steady after the change?

Edited by RJH

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2 hours ago, p7fl said:

The answer is 2 Gun.

The people who love shotguns are the same ones who like reloading revolvers.

As mentioned above, shottys are about reloading not shooting fast.

All our local matches have gone 2 gun. Everyone has a rifle etc.

 

Yes, I'm willing to try getting into 2-gun (rifle and pistol) - now that sounds like fun     :cheers:

 

I've shot some MultiGun matches (with my Open pistol, only) and that was also fun.

 

But adding a rifle could be interesting also - I've got to get the rifle out and practice a bit.   :) 

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1 hour ago, Blockader said:

Shotguns are easier to load over the years but 3-gun attendance has gone down, not up. 

 

Shotguns are not the topic of this thread.

 

I've shot many MultiGun matches where people took a LOT of time reloading SG's   :(

 

Doesn't look like fun or very practical or like shooting, to ME  (just my opinion).

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@TonytheTiger  The more I thought about what you had posted, the more I realized how it aligned with the reasons I believe 3 gun has declined.  

 

What i mean is this; you take a target that I would consider dumb, i.e. a very small pistol target at range, and then allow shotguns to be used on the target.  This in effect turns a stage into a precision shoot with a pistol and/or a reloading contest with a SG, both of which most action shooters that i know don't really care for.  I get that there are hard core 3 gunners that are more than happy to shoot that style of stage, but if we are looking at the decline of 3 gun, i think this is a real reason.  If you make those same targets less dumb, like 8-10 inches, I think things would start to change for the better.  The shooting challenge is still there, but average shooters can IME can hit those plates fairly readily with a pistol.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RJH said:

 

Interesting, and i have seen that a time or two as well, but only with the open guys.  Are the tac ops guys doing the same as well, or is it mostly the box fed type guns?

Also have your numbers gone up, down , or held steady after the change?

Everyone is doing it, but the open guys do it the most. I think the decline had already started before the free for all stage designs started and has continued dropping since.

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38 minutes ago, RJH said:

@TonytheTiger  The more I thought about what you had posted, the more I realized how it aligned with the reasons I believe 3 gun has declined.  

 

What i mean is this; you take a target that I would consider dumb, i.e. a very small pistol target at range, and then allow shotguns to be used on the target.  This in effect turns a stage into a precision shoot with a pistol and/or a reloading contest with a SG, both of which most action shooters that i know don't really care for.  I get that there are hard core 3 gunners that are more than happy to shoot that style of stage, but if we are looking at the decline of 3 gun, i think this is a real reason.  If you make those same targets less dumb, like 8-10 inches, I think things would start to change for the better.  The shooting challenge is still there, but average shooters can IME can hit those plates fairly readily with a pistol.

 

 

I agree 100%. Right now a stage that takes an excellent shooter 45 seconds takes an okay shooter 120 seconds. That brings a guy down. If you look at the 3GN style stages that got me hooked all the targets are very hit-able by any shooter, so the best guys might all split hairs at 45 seconds while the average guy still gets 55 seconds, has a good time, feels fast and doesn't get chased away by a circus target.

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4 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

I agree 100%. Right now a stage that takes an excellent shooter 45 seconds takes an okay shooter 120 seconds. That brings a guy down. If you look at the 3GN style stages that got me hooked all the targets are very hit-able by any shooter, so the best guys might all split hairs at 45 seconds while the average guy still gets 55 seconds, has a good time, feels fast and doesn't get chased away by a circus target.

 Just had a similar conversation with a guy the other day, and came to the same conclusion.  There needs to be a balance though.  If all the targets are “easy” it gets a little boring for the better shooters.  By and large, people have more fun when they can hit the target.  4moa has been a pretty good standard for rifle targets.  4” pistol targets at 20yards gets a little silly.

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I'm the duffer who hasn't gone to a match in two years in spite of having invested and even trained with all the nicer gear, the stupid looking baby stroller, etc. My excuses are mainly that I have pretty bad arthritis (lots of injuries, 59-years old) and that standing around for 90% of the time and then trudging out to reset every five minutes is not a fun day. I rather be moving than waiting. Otherwise I don't mind the drive or the expense since I don't do it every weekend. I like the camaraderie, good people for sure.

 

I wish everything was steel and thrown clays so there was zero resetting and the whole affair was faster to run through with par times around a minute to 90 seconds. My perfect match would start early and be done early with a lunch and beers afterwards. I'd gladly travel to a fun match like that several times a year, spending $2-300 per. Let the hardmen stay for round two in the afternoon if they wish but I still have a lot of outside work to do ~

 

Isn't the idea to show proficiency with three very different kinds of firearms? So give me a holster draw and a mag change on pistol, some sporting clay throws (i.e. how shotguns are meant to be used) and some prone rifle shots at medium range. That's how the guns are traditionally used and the most applicable situations outside the sport. Shooting a string of knock downs with a shotgun aimed at the dirt can be a rush but it's kind of a waste, so are all the gimmicky targets, poppers that 9mm can't pop, ridiculous slug targets, etc. What is the point of shooting 5 yard paper with hoser rifle ammo really? Just to copy what other matches do? Run up the round count and time so it feels like you did something? 

 

I'd be happy running the same bay twice. Maybe do something simple like run one clockwise and then counter clockwise. Would be fast to run through and get people shooting. 

 

Bigger and more complex isn't always better. Honestly I love talking with people between shooting but standing around all day in sun/rain to hurry up and wait sounds like the military to me. Taping paper and resetting a death star in a puddle is not fun.

 

 

Edited by Frankly

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3 gun matches should be FUN! 

Matches should have stages designed for the average shooter to be able to accomplish.

Many years ago I listened to some seasoned shooters talking about the match that had, in their opinion, too many shooters that had timed out.  I believe that a match that has more than 5% of the shooters time out on a stage, the stage is either too long or too hard.  Remember the average shooter.  Most of the shooters in these matches are not the gee-whiz, smokin' hot aces.

Some match directors have stages that are SG heavy which leads to a longer re-set time which in turn makes the match schedule harder to control.  As a personal note, I do not like a SG heavy stage.  That's just me personally. (Of course I also shoot quail on the ground.)

As to the rest of the reasons folks are not participating, I think it might be to the popularity of the Precision Rifle Series of matches that have blossomed throughout the country.

 

 

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my $.02 worth-

 

i shoot a lot of 3 gun and some majors are a joke.  i can tell you one that i won't return to had mini targets covered with no-shoots so you were shooting head only off hand at 50-60 yds and that was a sh%tload of targets.  add to that 110 yd rifle spinners, 80 yd slug spinners, etc.  basically match directors have gone ape trying to make a match worthy by having a million shots, all 3 guns on every stage, multi bay stages, etc.  not saying those are bad, but all together in every stage is dumb.  there are only a few majors worth shooting any more, and they still sell out in hours.  the rest can go to die.

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In Georgia there are four 3-gun club matches, 2 of which are quarterly (I design one of those) and 2 monthly. One is pretty advanced (A3g), one is super easy with hardly any shotgun at all, the other two are in between in difficulty and shotgunness. Attendance is down at all of them. So here at least I don't buy that's it's the difficulty or amount of shotgun causing the slow down. 

 

I go to all the matches, they are all different flavors. There's not a ton of crossover in the population of the matches, though I spend a lot of time encouraging folks to check the others out. 

 

I think a root cause of the recession is that a lot of the people who got into 3-gun during 3Gn have slowed way down or quit, and new folks aren't getting exposed to 3-gun as much anymore, causing a lack of new blood. That's at least part of it. And it seems like something that could be addressed creatively by avid 3-gunners and MDs. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Blockader

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1 hour ago, Blockader said:

And it seems like something that could be addressed creatively by avid 3-gunners and MDs. 

 

 

 

 

Any suggestions? I've been completely unsuccessful in my attempt to bring anyone into the shooting sports.

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20 hours ago, Blockader said:

SHOTGUNS ARE NOT THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD. 

 

 

let's face it, shotgun is by far the most onerous part of 3 gun.  different chokes, shot v slug, shells falling out of shell holders (which take up too much real estate on your belt vs handgun/rifle mags), reloads every 8-9 rounds.  then some places have you sling shotguns, crazy slug shots with a smoothbore barrel and/or mixing up shot and slugs within a stage.  sure folks get tired of the shotgun way quicker than handgun or rifle.  i shoot both 2 & 3 gun and a fair portion of 2 gun shooters won't do 3 gun because of all this.

 

thinking MD's have email info for past participants and can reach out for real life answers to why they ain't coming back.

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6 minutes ago, davsco said:

 

thinking MD's have email info for past participants and can reach out for real life answers to why they ain't coming back.

 

That's an interesting idea for sure!

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