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3-Gun Recession?


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Evolve or die seems to be the way 3-gun,2-gun, UML, falling steel etc. is going with the shortage of ammo. Several of our local matches(Non-USPSA) are allowing .22's in place of pcc, as a 2nd gun, or just a division by itself depending on the match. Those that have plenty of regular ammo can shoot their usual division, but if you still want to shoot and have 22 it is being allowed. I think this is a good thing. Who knows how long this nonsense will last.

 

gerritm

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9 hours ago, outerlimits said:

The recession is now starting as a result of ammo.  Shotgun shells are the new unicorn.

This is very true, mostly. It's a pain in the ass, but, shotshells are becoming available in some local stores, 1 or 2 box a day limit. They are easier to find than primers. 

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On 3/7/2021 at 11:56 AM, mpeltier said:

If competitive shooting, 3-gun, USPSA etc were like this when I attended my first match well over 20 yrs ago......I would never have attended a second match.

Ditto. I've tried some handicap scored shooting sports. Once.

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On 3/6/2021 at 11:15 AM, Rockrover said:

I’ve hear it said many times;  “just come and bring what you got”, and “Just don’t DQ and you’ll have fun”.  “You won’t win, but try and learn”.

 

How can one get motivation amongst the squads?  Get the game competitive again.

 

It will never be “fun” for a beginner/intermediate to be paired up with guy’s who rip up the course every weekend.  There’s got to be reward early if you want them coming back.

I started USPSA in 2018 because it sounded like fun and I wanted to get better with my carry gun.

I wasn't at the very bottom of the scoring, but I was not far from being at the bottom of the heap(especially considering how much I had been "practicing" before then), and I'm still coming back. Partly because I had fun, and partly because I saw how much I could grow.

 

If somebody is going to leave because they aren't winning locals, I think that's a healthy thing for the sport - that particular mindset isn't helpful.
If you don't like where you finish, and aren't striving to get closer to your goal, that's not good.

A healthier mindset might be to compare your performance to yourself over time(I couldn't shoot on the move, but now I can. I had trouble with long range targets, but now I don't, etc).

I started in order to have fun and get better, and I've been making progress with that, so despite normally landing about halfway down the standings, I keep competing. If I wanted to win matches, that would require a number of sacrifices I'm not willing to make. And I'm ok with that.

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On the general topic of multigun, I enjoy the shotgun, though I get that it isn't for everyone and isn't really that "tactical". That said, the matches I've attended have had 2-gun divisions, which is definitely more "practical".

 

In regards to ammo shortages, at least one match near me had the option to run .22 LR pistols or carbines, which sounds like a blast, especially if you can't get centerfire cartridges or components.

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  • 3 months later...

As the progenitor of this thread I am going to go ahead and upgrade the 3-Gun situation from a recession to a full on Depression. 

 

More than a few long running and important local matches have shut down in the last 6 months, including Atlanta 3-Gun which was one of the best for a decade. Others have scaled back significantly. 

 

Some major matches are filling up still while many if not most are struggling to reach a critical mass of participants. 

 

Here in Georgia 3-Gun was really picking up steam in the latter half of 2019 and even for some of 2020. The situation now is dismal. With no central organizing body local matches were the foundation and lifeblood of multigun. 

 

Obviously the shortage/cost of ammo and components is central to the problem now. Many dedicated shooters are reserving their ammo only for majors. Potential new shooters can't even consider jumping in the game. Reduced round counts haven't mitigated the problem much, and there's only so far counts can be reduced without compromising the basic nature of 3-Gun. 

 

Help with matches also is in short supply. A sport based on volunteer labor does require volunteers after all. And not just with setup and planning, I've noticed increased laziness during reset at both 3-Gun and 1-Gun matches I attend. I'm lucky to have a good crew of folks to help me with the match I run, but I don't know how others get by. 

 

What is the state of 3-Gun where y'all are at? 

 

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1 hour ago, Blockader said:

What is the state of 3-Gun where y'all are at? 

 

Pretty similar. Maybe 40% of small locals canceled due to low turnout. The matches that are held have roughly 2/3rds the shooters that they had in 2020, which was less than 2019.

Reduced round count hasn't seemed to have helped. 

Just shot Nordic (terribly) and turnout was lower but the talent pool was deep, it looked like the less dedicated shooters stayed home. An odd thing I noticed about Nordic was that on paper the round count was significantly reduced. This was done by limiting paper targets, but substituting them with smaller offhand steel. So most shooters had enough make up shots that they exceeded previous more paper heavy Nordic matches.

Edited by TonytheTiger
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Local matches have been mostly cancelled. From the guys I talk with, shotgun shells are the issue. Myself included, I can barely find any shotgun ammo and when I do it's not $10-12 a box. As someone who also shoots sporting clays and bird hunts, any and all shotgun ammo I have is reserved for that.

 

I would much prefer a 2gun match at this point but others may not. So I've focused on USPSA this year and hopefully it gets better for ammo soon.

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On 6/25/2021 at 10:20 PM, Intheshaw1 said:

Local matches have been mostly cancelled. From the guys I talk with, shotgun shells are the issue. Myself included, I can barely find any shotgun ammo and when I do it's not $10-12 a box. As someone who also shoots sporting clays and bird hunts, any and all shotgun ammo I have is reserved for that.

 

I would much prefer a 2gun match at this point but others may not. So I've focused on USPSA this year and hopefully it gets better for ammo soon.

I could swear when I first got into shooting competitions in about 2005, at wally world 12ga Winchester AA’s were like $4.87 a box.

 

I bought 3 “sleeves” of AA’s last month from Academy Sports.  And you are right, they averaged about $11 a box.  They were the first regular lead’ed 12ga shells I had seen at Academy in like a year and a half.  I figured I should better snatch ‘em up while I can.

 

Here in southwestern Illinois, you have to pay to put out live birds.  I never really got that much into 3 gun.  The hand shucking of shells into the loading port never really appealed to me.  But there would be a  few pistol matches that would run shotgun only side stages after the main matches.  That was fun!

 

Sorry, I am rambling here at this early hour.  My point being I would rather save my #7.5’s for quail and chukar this fall and winter.  I should start buying up  #5’s and #6’s NOW before the pheasant season ramps up.

 

I have saved all my hulls over the years.  I literally have buckets of them.  The current situation makes me glad I bought a Mec9000G years ago.  I am also glad I made my own birdshot maker.  🙂
 

Now if I had just stocked up on 209 primers about 2 years ago…,

 

:(

Edited by Chills1994
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@Chills1994 that's pretty much where I'm at as well. Im a member of a game farm so my remaining shells will go to that. I do have an old mec handed down to me from a time it was cost effective to reload. I have enough lead and shot for like 100 rounds and plan to use that up as well.

 

I've seen shells on midway and others but shipping usually makes it pretty expensive. I have like 5 boxes of 6s so I'm good for most the hunting season.

 

Funny thing is, last fall when shotgun ammo was around and nothing else, they ran a fun 150 round shotgun only matches since people could find that still on the shelves.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/2/2019 at 5:20 AM, Blockader said:

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. 

Here is the perspective of my generation (generation z) shotguns are boring you can only load so fast and they take less skill…. They aren’t high speed and we wanna run. In our perspective 2-Gun would be more fun there are a lot of us who have pistols and a rifle and that’s a low barrier to get in and relatively cheap. We also are going to use our rifle and pistol most of the time. Shotgun has little use to us and for most of us we don’t have the money or want to spend the money to get in on it. Now as someone who shot 3-gun for a time, I began to realize my skill with shotgun wasn’t helping my rifle or pistol which is part of why I love two gun.

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On 7/10/2021 at 4:13 AM, Cuatamus said:

Here is the perspective of my generation (generation z) shotguns are boring you can only load so fast and they take less skill…. They aren’t high speed and we wanna run. In our perspective 2-Gun would be more fun there are a lot of us who have pistols and a rifle and that’s a low barrier to get in and relatively cheap. We also are going to use our rifle and pistol most of the time. Shotgun has little use to us and for most of us we don’t have the money or want to spend the money to get in on it. Now as someone who shot 3-gun for a time, I began to realize my skill with shotgun wasn’t helping my rifle or pistol which is part of why I love two gun.

 

Shotguns bad, eating tide pods good. Got it. 🙂

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I've always kept a healthy inventory of shotshells and have been able to keep shooting 3-gun through the late unpleasantness. However, a lot of friends were not so lucky and had to scramble to find shells. Fortunately, it seems we are past the worst of it - I have seen the Federal 100-shell packs at multiple WalMarts and at normal prices recently... I expect the shotgun drought to ease off.

 

Of course, none of this affects the long-term trend of the shotgun falling out of favor amongst the next generation, hence the need to continue offering 2-gun as an option.

Edited by StealthyBlagga
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  • 4 weeks later...

It's been hard over the past year and a half.  Between lock down and ammo shortages - people have been very, very selective in how they spend their ammo.  I'm considering starting up an IPSC style 'mini rifle' match for .22lr carbine stuff, however we'll see if there is even enough ammo floating around for that!

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A couple of our local 3-gun, and falling steel clubs have opened up their matches to mag fed 22LR rifles to take the place of PCC/pistol in modified 2x4 open divisions. Can also shoot the whole match with 22. Kinda fun, several of us are doing it. Same with falling steel. SG, pistol. pcc, or 22. 

 

gerritm

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  • 5 weeks later...

I used to attend around 7 major 3 gun and USPSA matches 4-5 years ago.  I lost my job and almost lost my family.  So I  stopped shooting, went back to school to study and dedicate my weekends more to family and volunteering.  Now maybe I plan to shoot local USPSA matches once a month.  Some match that will last half day at most so that I can still run errands and spend quality time with my family at home.  As fun 3-gun is, it takes a lot of time and other resources.  And I'm getting old. 😃

 

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Shotgun ammo is unobtanium here. It's definitely put a damper on my desire to shoot every local match available and I'm sure it's the same for most people.

Lot's of locals are cancelling due to low turnout. At this rate if things don't improve next year it might kill the club match scene and majors will be all that's left.

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14 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

Shotgun ammo is unobtanium here. It's definitely put a damper on my desire to shoot every local match available and I'm sure it's the same for most people.

Lot's of locals are cancelling due to low turnout. At this rate if things don't improve next year it might kill the club match scene and majors will be all that's left.

same thing out here on the left coast.  unless you shoot 28 gauge, forget shotgun ammo.  there are more primers than shot shells.

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On 9/11/2021 at 4:57 PM, outerlimits said:

same thing out here on the left coast.  unless you shoot 28 gauge, forget shotgun ammo.  there are more primers than shot shells.

 

It's so bad here in Commifornia I may have to go back to reloading shotshells.....shudder.  I've still got a couple MEC presses somewhere, and components, but damn I HATE reloading shotshells.  

 

Nolan

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I pulled the old mec Jr out of my grandpa's basement and I think I'll be dusting it off. 

 

All local 3gun matches have been cancelled. One this past weekend had some registrations but conflicted with a steel match so got cancelled.

 

Im working to see if people are interested in a mini/practice match and people shoot the guns they have ammo for and the respective targets. Would do something informal and just grab a free bay and rearrange the targets a few times.

 

And to think we ran a shotgun only match last fall because you could still find shotgun ammo everywhere.

 

That being said, I'm shooting a lot more USPSA matches this year and liking them ending around 1-2 vs 4-5 so I can still spend time with the family and work on house projects.

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