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29 minutes ago, kurtm said:

I didn't hear anything about age.......but then again I am getting hard of hearing after all these years. The winner of who did what?

As for a recession, all things ebb and flow, and the simple truth is when prize tables "contracted" due to slowing in the market, 3-gun started recessing. But never fear all the big matches that are worth going to still fill to the brim......now get off my lawn you damn kids!!!

what this sage gentleman said!

 

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I have thought about giving 3 gun a go but I have limited free time. My only shotgun is a Vepr 12 though (not a mall ninja I have no idea why I bought it lol but it’s fun to shoot) I have a 4 good rifles soon 5 to choose from but I’m kinda lacking in the pistol department (beretta 92 I love Glock 21 I hate and a EAA witness 10mm for hog hunting I’m picking up soon). Not sure I want to spend a lot to find out if I enjoy it.

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8 minutes ago, Tim300wsm said:

I have thought about giving 3 gun a go but I have limited free time. My only shotgun is a Vepr 12 though (not a mall ninja I have no idea why I bought it lol but it’s fun to shoot) I have a 4 good rifles soon 5 to choose from but I’m kinda lacking in the pistol department (beretta 92 I love Glock 21 I hate and a EAA witness 10mm for hog hunting I’m picking up soon). Not sure I want to spend a lot to find out if I enjoy it.

The 92 is a great place to start. It sounds like you already have all the expensive stuff out of the way and should give it a try.

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My take:

1.  When more local 2gun matches popped up, 3gun started to decline.  Don't mean to be rude, but not wanting shotguns to be part of this topic is ignoring at least part of the obvious.

 

2.  Older people leave the sport, younger people are intimidated by it.  More guns, more skillsets necessary, and let's be honest, more money required.

 

3.  "Fun factor".  As MD's try to keep it interesting for the seasoned shooters, they have a tendency to make it frustrating for the average shooter.  Seasoned shooters alone cannot keep matches full, so this is self-defeating.

 

4.  Constantly changing rule sets.  Seems like 3GN always had something stirring the pot, so people started going to UML or some special rule set they created themselves.  This ruins consistency.  If I go to a USPSA match, I know what I'm getting.  When I go to a 3gun match, it's likely to be different at various local venues.

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In my area ( central Alabama) USPSA is booming! local matches are pulling tons of shooters at every venue (60 at the smaller ranges , 100+ at the bigger ranges).

 

We ran a small two gun match at our local club, it started out pretty strong pulling around 40 shooters each month. It dwindled down over time, we would only have 10-15 shooters show up. It just wasn't worth the set up time for us.  I really with there was a sanctioning body for 2 gun, I think that could really boost the sport. Hell, I would almost quit shooting USPSA for it.

 

I feel like the cost for 3 gun is just too high for the average person. IMO the initial buy in is high and the ammo/ upkeep is high.

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21 hours ago, fbzero said:

My take:

1.  When more local 2gun matches popped up, 3gun started to decline.  Don't mean to be rude, but not wanting shotguns to be part of this topic is ignoring at least part of the obvious.

 

 

 

No rudeness taken! I'll explain my statement though.

 

 A bunch of people hating on shotguns in a thread about reinvigorating 3-Gun is not particularly helpful, since shotguns are one of the 3 guns in the name of the sport. It is not constructive. It would be like me going into a thread about reinvigorating 5-Stand and saying that I don't like having 5 stands, it needs to be reduced to 4. Thats not reinvigorating 5-Stand, its changing the sport to 4-Stand. 

 

I chose to put 3-Gun in the title and not Multigun, because for many of us 3-Gun refers to a fairly specific sport that had packed out matches (with lots of shotgun action included) 2+ years ago, but now has receded somewhat. The folks packing those matches likely did not start hating shotguns, so that does not explain that element of the issue. It may partially explain why fewer new folks have been attracted to 3-Gun and the thread did cover that a good bit before going down a red-dots-on-pistols rabbit hole. But many matches that include 2x4, PCC, and 2-Gun divisions still have not seen numbers rebound, which suggests more complicated issues, which you summarize in your other points, all of which I agree with. 

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Political climate has a lot to do with attendance I think. The NJ 3gun community I started in 2 years ago I feel has been pretty beat up as more magazine restrictions and threats of bans and confiscations have taken place. Our bat-belts now need to contain 4x the magazines as most unrestricted states to make things enjoyable, it really drives up the cost. I’ve heard that New York has basically dried up/been dried up in terms of competitive shooting due to their crazy rules. I don’t know what the story is in CT and MA but I assume the same. I’m glad it’s still pretty popular in my local unrestricted states - I’ve shot an Ontelaunee match and it was great except for a few overzealous competitors. I’m looking forward to doing the full season this year there.

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1 hour ago, Pollock said:

Political climate has a lot to do with attendance I think. The NJ 3gun community I started in 2 years ago I feel has been pretty beat up as more magazine restrictions and threats of bans and confiscations have taken place. Our bat-belts now need to contain 4x the magazines as most unrestricted states to make things enjoyable, it really drives up the cost. I’ve heard that New York has basically dried up/been dried up in terms of competitive shooting due to their crazy rules. I don’t know what the story is in CT and MA but I assume the same. I’m glad it’s still pretty popular in my local unrestricted states - I’ve shot an Ontelaunee match and it was great except for a few overzealous competitors. I’m looking forward to doing the full season this year there.

You make a great point at the very beginning, and I'll take it once step further.  I agree about the restrictive states...that kind of stuff would make 3 gun extremely challenging to say the least.  

 

I started shooting 3 gun 4 years ago.  I remember seeing before even being interested in, or shooting competitively, the 3GN events.  I don't recall if they were on TV, or if I just saw them on youtube or somewhere else, but it was interesting to see a sport that I'd never heard of before.  

 

This was during the BHO era.  Gun owners were freaking out, hoarding ammo, powder, primers, etc.  You could barely find ammo if at all.  I started shooting 3 gun in early spring of 2016.  Every local match sold out within minutes.  About two years ago, I noticed that they didn't sell out quite as quickly.  

 

While I won't say this is for sure why there are fewer people shooting 3 gun, but I do believe it has had a pretty big effect on the sport, but once Trump won the presidency, gun owners began breathing a sigh of relief.  With that I'm sure people lost as much interest in 3 gun, and likely shooting in general.  I remember reading a study a while back about hobbies.  It showed that more than half of people who take up a hobby, wind up not continuing after a couple of years.  I remember seeing people who were literally at every single match for two years.  Did their wives get sick of them not being home one day every week?  

 

I think costs are definitely a factor, but if you've already invested in the guns and the gear, your only expenses are ammo, gas, match fees, and maybe gatoraid.  Looking at factory prices, what does an average match cost for 3 gun.....100 pistol, 100 rifle, 100 shotgun.  You figure two boxes of pistol ammo will run someone what, $25?  If you buy 223, what does hoser 55 grain run for 20 rounds, $7-8?  So $35-40.  Shotgun minus slugs would be $30.  So that's around $100 in ammo if you don't reload.  Add in match fees, gas, and you're somewhere between $150-200.  I'm estimating on the high side, but I suspect it's close.  That's not an insignificant amount of money.  Reloaders can knock off a bit on the 223, and maybe half on pistol, but shotgun costs are shotgun costs as no one seems to reload shotgun ammo for 3 gun.  Let's say if you reload you're down to $100 every match.  That's still not an insignificant amount of money.  

 

I think when people feel that their 2A rights are in jeopardy at the federal level, for an extended period of time, they are more gung ho and will overlook many of these costs.  Now that we're in a period where there's a perception of safety for 2A outside of the states attacking it, people aren't overlooking costs any longer.  

 

3 gun is also difficult.  I think someone above outlined the difficulties already, but you have to at least be somewhat competent with 3 different platforms, and be able to perform with all of them on demand.  A lot of people likely get discouraged because they're not good at one or more of the platforms, and aren't seeing a return on investment in the results after the match.  

 

Others have also already talked about the lack of uniformity in the rule sets.  I think this is probably also a factor to a certain extent.  I know from my perspective, I really don't care what rules you're using, as long as I understand what they are.  

 

Difficulty was also brought up regarding how some match directors create stages, but I've been shooting challenging stage designs since my first year, and they didn't discourage me, they actually encouraged me to get better at shooting them.  

 

So if there is a loss of people in the sport, I suspect it has a little bit to do with everything above.  I will say this though....had Hillary won, I would bet that people would still be out there in droves shooting because I do think the political climate has a lot to do with how "enthusiastic" people are about competing and shooting in general.  

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Keeping things interesting in the match is a big deal. The last club match of the season at the club I attend was a team match. They were trying it out to see how everyone liked it. It had its issues, but overall was very entertaining. It was a far more physical of a match than the rest of the season and I was shocked at how EVERYONE participated to the fullest extent. I think the excitement of something new pumped everyone up. It was a nice change. Sometimes I think just general repetition kicks in and things get stale. Something new an exciting like a Team season or match or what have you may help reinvigorate things on a local level. 
 

As a side note, the guys that want to get in and get out quick befuddle me. When you go to a match why are you itching to leave after 3 or 4 hours like it seems? I guess I’m in the minority but when I go to shoot at a match (or just for an afternoon even) I usually want to keep going and going, not pack it in before a curfew. If you plan ahead to do the event I don’t quite get the focus on the clock. 

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1 hour ago, Pollock said:

 

As a side note, the guys that want to get in and get out quick befuddle me. When you go to a match why are you itching to leave after 3 or 4 hours like it seems? I guess I’m in the minority but when I go to shoot at a match (or just for an afternoon even) I usually want to keep going and going, not pack it in before a curfew. If you plan ahead to do the event I don’t quite get the focus on the clock. 

that's why some folks don't golf, don't want to be out the 4-5 hours a round takes.  me, i wouldn't even go play golf just to do 9 holes, just like i wouldn't drive to a match to just do 3-4 stages.  once i start having fun i don't want to stop!  and the fun hours def have to be more than the drive hours.

 

and i think i said this earlier, but if there's a downside to 3 gun, it is the 3rd gun, the shotgun.  uspsa match is a handgun, belt with holster and a couple mag pouches and four boxes of ammo.  2 gun adds a rifle, mag pouch, sling and if you preload and bring 5-7 magazines, that's it.  shotgun is your longest gun, then you need a buncha chokes, both slugs and shotshells all which take up way more room than pistol and rifle ammo.  then of course shell holders all around your waist with shells falling off if rifle or shotgun is slung, going prone, etc.  and then stupid targets like 100yd spinners or even plates with a smoothbore gun doing something it's clearly not made to do.  i mean, i love 3 gun because it's more shooting, but the shotgun def is the least favorable part and i can see it being too much of a pita for some folks.  some give it a try and then stick to uspsa where you can throw your gun in a range bag and that's about it.

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My biggest factor for not joining matches is 2 kids under 4 and one on the way. A lot of younger guys just don’t have much time. Also I can’t find any matches within a reasonable distance I have looked. I think it looks like a blast and if there was a match truly local I would have a hard time passing it up but I can’t take a Friday off work and head out for the weekend to shoot. Maybe in 10 years but not now. I thought when I moved to Texas it would be the holy grail for shooting but Pennsylvania was better by a landslide.

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18 hours ago, Pollock said:

I’ve shot an Ontelaunee match and it was great except for a few overzealous competitors.

 

You've got me curious... what did the overzealous competitor do?

 

14 hours ago, Tim300wsm said:

I thought when I moved to Texas it would be the holy grail for shooting but Pennsylvania was better by a landslide.

 

This is shocking. No competitive shooting scene in Texas?

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30 minutes ago, rr4406pak said:

 

You've got me curious... what did the overzealous competitor do?

 

 

This is shocking. No competitive shooting scene in Texas?

There is But not much local to me listed and PA had all the free to the public ranges at the state parks (25-300  Yard near where we lived) and all the clubs were very reasonably priced. Here all the clubs are insanely expensive to join $500 a year or better for long range. The PA 1000 yard club was $80 a year and the best facilities I’ve been to. I have lived in 6 states and this is the most expensive to shoot

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On 11/2/2019 at 9:29 AM, Blockader said:

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.

 

Sorry man, shotguns ARE the topic of this thread. Or at least a good chunk of it. I'll get to some of the other parts of it as well, but you will see shotgun leading the charge on a lot of those, or at least being the point of most friction. 

 

I know you say people who hate shotgun usually love shotgun after they get to use your shotgun. I shoot more 3 gun now than ever before, and I HATED shotgun. I decided to play the shotgun game and spend the money on the gear, and guess what?  I still don't love shotgun. But at least it stopped sucking ALL of the fun out of matches and moved it to kind of neutral. 

 

And some of the issues are circular, so I'll start at the beginning. 

 

So first there's what it takes to start shooting: You got to show up with the gear to get to the end of the match and most people probably have to go out and buy something, even if coming from USPSA or IDPA or another discipline. 

 

Lets take a broad swath of potential 3 gun noobs.  Every person that owns a polymer striker fired 9mm capable of holding 15-17 rounds and an AR with a $100 red dot on top is our baseline. Lets say they want to show up and have a shot at winding up somewhere near the top of the bottom third or bottom of the middle third if they can shoot decently. 

 

Pistol: worst case to you got two mags with the gun. Buy two more. Buy three mag pouches and a cheap plastic holster Cost: $70-$190. And if you have shot nearly anything else, you probably don't have to. If you have taken training classes, you probably don't have to. It's the most likely to be owned already, and you can probably drop one mag pouch if you want. 

 

Rifle: Make sure you have 4 mags and two mag pouches. One probably came with the gun. So three mags and two mag pouches. $65-90. 

 

Shotgun: Do you own one? Maybe. It's probably a pump 870 or 590 and doesn't hold enough rounds. So to have a real disappointing time, you are going to want to buy a tube for it and some load 2/load 4 caddies. Based on my experience, anything less than 24 rounds of caddies gives you about a 50/50 shot of being screwed on at least one stage at any given match.   That's three 8 up caddies at $90 each and a tube for your 870 with a new follower and spring, so another $75 there.  $345 to show up and not be very competitive.  You aren't competitive, so maybe you can shave a few bucks and go with some old school caddies. To get 24, you need 4x6 rounders and they are $30 a pop. So $195.  Or you could just take them out of a shell bag and use you 5 round shotugun and time out on every shotgun stage. That's about $25 and super fun. If you didn't own a basic pump gun, make that like $250 to do that. And you may not even have the ability to use chokes. So some stages are just going to be hard to get the hits when you aren't out of ammo.  The reality is lots of people would need to buy the shotgun, and to get in and play fairly competitively, it's going to cost just about $1000 and you will NEVER use that stuff for anything else. When you consider about a 3rd of that are items that may be like holsters and have a running cost tied to a goldilocks style problem of going through options until you find the one that is just right, well... (I'm about $500 into shotgun ammo carrying options before having settled, and I'm stil occasionally borrowing stuff).  It's also a 5 foot long monstrosity you wouldn't ACTUALLY every use for anything given any other option.  Hunting? Stupid. Home defense? Stupid. Skeet and trap? Stupid if you can even get past the offended fudds. Sporting clays? Likely disallowed. Truck gun? Doesn't fit.  

 

And you'll need at least a soft sided long gun bag. $80. 

 

And a belt. 

 

It adds up and even without shotgun being as stupid as it is. the cost to go from owning more than half the stuff to having a viable setup isn't cheap. 

 

Then there is ammo. Shotgun ammo fluctuates the least, but very few people reload it, so you are looking at $0.22 to $0.30 a round. And you have to carry it around. It may or may not be cheaper than your pistol or rifle ammo, but it will always be heavy and bulky.  Which brings in the cart. More cost, or you can bust your hump with a couple bags and wonder where you put the sunscreen and water. If someone goes nuts with shotgun at a match, even with a cart, I gotta plan resupply from the car. 

 

Which brings in the pack rat nature of 3 gun. USPSA, I can go from not ready to ready to hit the range in about 3 minutes. Packing it in my car takes about 20 seconds. A carbine match is similar. A 2 gun match Is a couple minutes more work. Add in the shotgun and bring the total up to three guns, and it's 15 minutes on both ends to pack and unpack. 

 

Add to that it is complex matches and long days and it's easier to get burned out. And when you lose someone, it's hard to replace them because of the above. 

 

If someone is committed, they are more likely to shoot a bigger match than a smaller match. A small match will cost me ~$40. I can get into decent matches for $120 and do less labor. And the reality is the pool of shooters is only so big and we have a LOT of matches. Choosing to go to more organized matches, I'm not left with a lot of free weekends. SO for local clubs, recruiting noobs is hard, and the experienced people are likely to be traveling elsewhere (this may be more prevalent on the east coast, but that's where I am). 

 

From the standpoint of running a match, dealing with stage design and safety, it gets easier with less guns. Granted, 3 gun brings the in the B&D stage descriptions and eliminates a lot of the freestyle stuff that eats time and effort designing around,  but it replaces it with a lot of other stuff. 3 gun still takes more time to design, set up, and make safe. 

 

You want more access to noobs and less attrition, you go to 2 gun or just run a pistol match.  Your guys are getting burnt out running things, the same options may cut back on what is burning you out. 

 

Then there's the rules. It's better than ever before, and I have yet to encounter two matches with the exact same rules. 3GN helped it get closer than ever before, but I don't know that with the complexity of three guns and the vagaries of range management, you will ever beat that. Lots of people don't like it. There's definitely a contingent of noobs who feel a lot better about showing up and trying something if they can grasp it. USPSA intimidates those people through complexity, and 3gun just makes their head explode trying to find a rule set to understand.  

 

Then there's facilities. I hold a USPSA match, and leave rifle pits open, it may save me a lot of headaches with the management of a range.  If I have the people, if I don't have the space, rifle gets kind of stupid in addition to shotgun being kind of stupid. 

 

Which brings in PCC. If I want to shoot rifle in pistol sized pits, I can just go lightweight on the gear and drag a bag and a PCC to a USPSA match or a dedicated PCC match. Cheap to shoot, easily and quickly reloaded ammo compared to rifle rounds, and a tricked out rifle costs about the same as a cheap but effective shotgun setup. 

 

Unless they were total crap compared to my current 3 gun itinerary, I'd switch to 2 gun in a heartbeat. The exception being 3-man 3gun stuff cause it's a special kind of fun, and open terrain matches cause they are their own experience I can't get elsewhere and with LOOOOONG stages, the negatives of shotgun are less punishing. Shotgun also opens up more terrain for use, which actually enhances the match experience. (and you get people not attending open terrain matches because long range rifle is slow and is too hared to be really good at and can totally tank your match, kind of like the shotgun reloading). 

 

I'd like to shoot 2 gun at my club, but the attendance isn't there and they moved to embracing PCC at the pistol matches and that was more or less the death of it. 

 

I'm also seeing more and more where if you are shooting in pistol pits, people are keeping it to 9 in the gun to start unless in open, and keeping it to 16 or less targets. Open guys either get to skip  reloading,  or get a quick reload, everyone else gets away with less gear on their belt. Standards for stage design that enshrined such thinking would lower the cost of entry and make an optimal shotgun less stupid and possibly useful for something else.  I still don't see that fixing it. 

 

Then there's the fact people just sort of went nuts for 3 gun. There was always going to be contraction, and we got a bit of oversupply of matches. But to add to that, there are competing forces Those with money to burn and a love of the fads are off playing precision rifle.  If you have no love of shotgun and don't have access to a supply of 100yard plus pits, PCC is cheap and cheerful long gun shooting. If you REALLY love roaming through the woods with a shotgun and a stroller, sporting clays is a nice day and more laid back than  a 3 gun match. 

 

I've seen all three take chunks out of our local 3 gun shooter base. 

 

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On 1/8/2020 at 11:54 AM, Blockader said:

 

No rudeness taken! I'll explain my statement though.

 

 A bunch of people hating on shotguns in a thread about reinvigorating 3-Gun is not particularly helpful...


I completely understand it from that aspect.  I suppose I'm just saying that we should acknowledge it, while not necessarily letting ourselves get derailed on it since little can be done on that particular point.  As you said, the sport is 3gun...no shotgun, no 3gun.

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On 1/8/2020 at 5:05 PM, Pollock said:

 

As a side note, the guys that want to get in and get out quick befuddle me. When you go to a match why are you itching to leave after 3 or 4 hours like it seems? I guess I’m in the minority but when I go to shoot at a match (or just for an afternoon even) I usually want to keep going and going, not pack it in before a curfew. If you plan ahead to do the event I don’t quite get the focus on the clock. 

 

Kids, job, family... I don't have all day. Sorry.

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19 hours ago, Gene_WI said:

 

Kids, job, family... I don't have all day. Sorry.

I agree with this. If I could get in and shoot a quick 3-4 hour match, I would be able to go more than once a month.

 

I've left a match before after about 7 hours and still had a stage left...

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On 11/2/2019 at 8:33 AM, RJH said:

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.  

 

 

 

 

This statement pretty much sums it up for me as well.

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I still get a laugh out of the "SHOTGUN is the problem", if you only "had 2 GUN I would come"
LOL,
where are all the 2 gun matches selling out?
where are ANY 2 gun matches? 
There are hardly any - WHY ? - because all the "IF ONLY" shooters won't show up for them either.
I haven't heard of any 2 gun matches anywhere in the middle of the country.
I am talking to a promoter who is wanting to have one here, I hope we can work out the details and fill the match.

 He has connections I don't have, and if anyone can make it work I'd say it's him.
If it works, I'll be convinced, otherwise.....

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5 hours ago, toothandnail said:

I still get a laugh out of the "SHOTGUN is the problem", if you only "had 2 GUN I would come"
LOL,
where are all the 2 gun matches selling out?
where are ANY 2 gun matches? 

two venues each an hour away for me, mostly selling out, today's match was full, couple of no shows.  3rd venue started up last year.  i do love 3 gun but not having the shottie really makes the match fun/easy. 

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On 1/9/2020 at 2:39 PM, raz-0 said:

...The reality is lots of people would need to buy the shotgun, and to get in and play fairly competitively, it's going to cost just about $1000 and you will NEVER use that stuff for anything else...

 

I've been following this thread all along, interesting feedback throughout, but this point had me laughing because I've personally found the opposite to be true!  Sure, pistol games are varied and frequent, but it's my rifles that ONLY get used in 3gun!  On the contrary my shotguns, be it absurdly long m3k auto, p3000 pump, or Dissident open vepr all get used for so many other events like trap, clays, 5stand, and practical shotgun.

 

my take on the shotgun hate isnt the shotgun itself so much as it's the only gun whose ancillary needs like caddies bear no resemblance to non-game real world gear.  tactical community has slings and vests with plates, pistol, and rifle mag pouches, hunting community has vests or bags, conceal carry community has holsters and pouches.  But the 3gun gear is what's totally game focused and the hardest part to swallow.  The gun itself is hugely diverse in it's abilities.

 

as far as 3g recession, up here in the northease it seems new matches are popping up semi frequently, though perhaps we were grossly underrepresented before?

Edited by DavidSeavey
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David Seavey: We were under represented in New England. Seems like our matches here have increased, while other locations and major matches have not been as full. In 2012 when I started doing majors, they sold out fast and we only had Pemi(3G light) and VT(3 stages - 3hrs away). 2016 Blue Ridge was not full, but by that time, we had two clubs with several matches a year in NH, plus Augusta ME. Getting folks to work the matches is a major problem. With all of the IDPA and USPSA matches, there aren't enough people who want to do setup and RO duty. The same folks end up working the matches and burning out. I worked several matches per month at two different clubs, for a few years. I burned out and decided to focus on shooting and not working. Going to the major matches opened my eyes to this..... You see the same guys and gals working these matches at Rockcastle, PNTC, York, Woodys in NC and Fort Benning. I can't imagine them not burning out after doing it for so many years. 

 

I loved shooting the shotgun, but sucked at loading when I first started this game. I learned load 2 weak hand and improved my performance greatly. I still love the shotgun and 3G!

 

 

 

 

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Lots of good points made in this thread.

 

The 50% drop out rate within two years statistic tends to match what I've experienced in several competitive hobbies over the years (and I would suggest that 50% or newbies drop out even earlier than that usually). "Fragile ego" is probably the key cause, but sometimes people are put off because some members of a group enjoy winning at a newbie's expense or some people just don't make people feel welcome.

 

One point that I've noticed over the past years (I started with local "outlaw" competitive shooting, then IDPA, and followed by USPSA)) is that the overall level of shooting ability required to do well in a match has risen. There is more information available on the Web (including match video critiques by top-level shooters), better competitive pistol offerings (more "ready-out-of-the-box"), and an overall increase in skill level. Thus it takes longer and more practice to "get good." It also requires practice to stay up with the better shooters of the pack at local matches. One of our area groups became USPSA affiliated and now offers more classifiers at matches (entry cost of match increased and the focus is on the upper tier of shooters getting higher classified which makes for a more competitive atmosphere). But it also means that some people can't shoot certain pistols now, or they require more gear, or they have to join USPSA, and they have to pay more per match (and a couple of people that were bringing their kids can't justify the increased cost).

 

I'm not sure that there is a "global" solution to the decline. One of the take-a-ways of the thread is that "things varies by locale." We had more people participating overall a few years ago in an area "outlaw" club where there were occasional two-gun matches, night shoots, and more people shooting mostly for fun. The competitive shooters could go to other area matches for USPSA. We had a good mix of IDPA, USPSA, , Cowboy Action, Bowling Pin league shooters, and non-affiliated shooters. Now there is IDPA or USPSA and few people that shoot both. The rifle shooters now have their own group and rarely do any of them show up to the pistol matches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve been the match director for a monthly 3 gun match for 5 years, I’ve done 5 stages at every match and we’ve never taken more than 5 hours to shoot the match. If the matches are taking longer than that it’s a failure on the part of the MD to design the match to flow. 

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