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Over the last couple of years, since we created 2-Gun versions of our regular 3-Gun divisions, we have grown our monthly multigun match participation steadily to the point where the matches sell out in minutes. Typical participation is 2/3 3-Gun and 1/3 2-Gun. Some 2-Gun participation has certainly been cannibalization of existing 3-Gun shooters, but a lot has been new shooters or returning shooters who tired of the shotgun loading game. Whether you want to believe it or not, shotgun loading IS the number one barrier to new shooter entry... a barrier easily overcome by offering 2-Gun as an option.

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13 hours ago, HCH said:

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. 

I like this post the best so far in this thread and as for now I read the whole thing (boring night shift). 

 

I'm so tired of the complaining about SG loading. 3 gun is about being able to handle 3 different kinds of guns in all aspects. If you want a hoser match go shoot a rifle at a handgun match. It takes 10 minutes a day for a week to get quad loading down and your a pro at it. You'll waste more time than that stalking people on Facebook or complaining on here than that by far. 

 

One thing that started to bug me (actually it always has) is the fake range officers that make up rules and don't enforce them for everyone. It rarely effects me but I'm tired of seeing other people get screwed by some dumbass and then they never come back. 

 

Something I've noticed is everyone wants to cry about what a match should be and never even help setup a stage. MDs hear this and stop giving a f*#k because they never get any help with anything so you get burned out MDs, in turn giving less quality matches. 

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19 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

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.   :) 

 

Jack how far are you from OKC?

The hold a monthly 2 gun match that is pretty well run.

Generally six stages. Two pistol, two rifle and two combined.

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18 minutes ago, p7fl said:

 

Jack how far are you from OKC?

The hold a monthly 2 gun match that is pretty well run.

.

I'm in Orlando and we have a MultiGun match here every month.

 

I am just getting back into shooting - taken some time off - and I used to shoot

the MG match with pistol only - going to give it a try soon with rifle/pistol.

 

But, thanks for the info.     :) 

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The main reason I've been staying away from 3-gun (style) matches is logistics: the logistics of being practiced with the different guns, and the logistics of dragging all the necessary gear around a range.

 

I suspect the logistics of running a 3-gun (and rifle) match can burn out people, too. The logistics of the different target presentations and getting stages reset at the longer distances.

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The other point was made that PRS is growing and likely siphoning off shooters. It makes a lot of sense that older shooters will move towards PRS since it has cool gear and less standing around. Easier for older folks to do ~ And the guns are fun to play with if you can afford them. Remember a lot of guys are engineers or technicians.

 

I know it's cringe worthy to say "downgrade" or make things easier, I was always that guy who wanted things to be more challenging not less. But older men with kids out of the house are really the target demographic - guys with enough spare time and money to devote to a hobby/sport. When I was 40 with young kids I was working all-nighters to build my business and as much as I wanted to, I was't blowing off an entire day or a few hundred bucks for "just me". I honestly don't know how younger family guys do it, not a criticism but unless you work as a government contractor the math is wonky. 

 

Had a marketing pitch back in the 90s for skiing companies arguing this point. They'd run an ad of some dude hucking a 200' jump... cool picture. And I'd say, "I'd see you have the cliff jumping jackass demo covered..." and then show the stats that proved it was 50-year old intermediates driving the sport with their $$$. Same goes here. We all want to aspire to greatness but it helps if we can achieve something positive on our way up the ladder. 

 

Or we'll go shoot PRS with fellas our own age. 

Edited by Frankly
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8 hours ago, perttime said:

The main reason I've been staying away from 3-gun (style) matches is logistics...

 

3 hours ago, Frankly said:

... older men with kids out of the house are really the target demographic - guys with enough spare time and money to devote to a hobby/sport...

 

These are important points. Shotgun is 1/3 of the guns but more than 1/2 the gear (pricey guns, heavy/bulky ammo, expensive shotshell caddy systems etc.). Those choosing 2-Gun over 3-Gun appreciate only having to bring about half the stuff, and younger guys - the next generation of shooters - don’t want to spend big $$$ on specialized shotgun gear that is useless for anything outside our narrow game.

 

Some who are already established in 3-Gun like to dismiss these points as “excuses”, but my experience as a Multigun MD says otherwise. Our matches are growing, and the lion’s share of that growth is coming from new 2-gunners. 

Edited by StealthyBlagga
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A few factors I've seen and heard from people getting discouraged with 3-gun (not that I'm a serious 3-gunner, but I do shoot it and have been around a while):

 

Time--  Driving in to the range and the sun is rising and drive out with it setting for a 3-gun match versus being done and at lunch by 2, USPSA and IDPA look a lot better to folks with kids and wives.

 

Variable rules-- who knows what gear you can or can't use and what you can or can't do one club match to the next.

 

Gear-- Off the shelf pistol and AR won't be out of place, but you need the special shotgun with mods and tubes and chokes and whatnot even in 'stock' division or whatever the match calls it.

 

Target difficulty-- Time constraints being what they are, long range targets are steel and paper rarely past 10 yards.  So you get close paper hosing mixed with 20 yard mag-burning plate racks, Texas stars and mini-steel to discourage the pistol shooters and/or bring-a-sack-of-chokes for the shotgunners (Steel difficulty can still be a problem for 2/3 gun matches to avoid making everything too easy or too hard for one gun or the other)

 

(Anecdote: A few years ago there was a big 3-gun match with an all steel pistol stage.  A friend involved with the match said "you should like this stage" but my response was "I'll do well, but it's not really fun.... it's 40 little plates all at 15 yards".  IIRC I was 2nd to Jerry on that stage.)

 

Shooter skill-- this is a weird one, but back when 3gun was new, where you finished a match was a lot more up in the air because everyone was new and mistakes were made, but as the local boys get good, it takes more work to break into the top of the match results, work some dudes that finished ok before now don't want to do.

 

Maybe these are in play, maybe not, but like a thousand cuts, they can add up...

 

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I think the whole shotgun thing is blown out of proportion by those who want am excuse. Quad loading can be learned pretty quickly by someone who wants to learn how to do it. The shotgun itself is no more expensive than either of the other guns, I use a Stoeger m3k which can be had for $600, MOA sells an extension kit with follower for $92. At that point you have a competitive 3 gun shotgun that comes with 3 chokes so you can't complain about lack of choke options. Shell caddies are expensive, a caddy from Invictus Practical that holds 12rds is $100 and that is enough for most stages at a local match.

 

 

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I also don't think there's much opportunity for people to learn the sport as opposed to production of limited or CO... which all are a little easier. Also, some people don't need all three types so it's not like ZI could just bring my home gear and bring it to the match.  

 

2 gun - I think that's how to get people interested in 3 gun.

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I think Shred hit it with the "Variable Rules" comment. The local variations on equipment divisions and rules makes it tough. I think part of the reason why USPSA is reasonably successful is the unified set of rules, ranking, and equipment standards. There have been attempts (3GN, RM3G), but nothing as comprehensive as USPSA. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, StealthyBlagga said:

We have three monthly Multigun matches within 1 hour drive. All use the same rules (IMA-SMM3G). At my match (Rio Salado) you can shoot 4 stages in  3-1/2 hours. 

Would you mind posting a few tips that you think help the matches flow so well? 

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So for all the guys mentioning the barrier to entry, specifically shotgun, what has changed that makes it insurmountable? When 3 gun was exploding 6 years ago all those barriers still existed. Actually they were worse. Old school weak hand loading was harder, there weren't any good inexpensive guns at the time. And still it gained a huge following very quickly. Is it that the newest group of potential shooters doesn't really have that much ambition?

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I wanted to get into 3 gun.  Went out and got a shotgun for it, added a 9 round tube, practiced with the shotty and then never went to a single match.  

Why?

Too much s#!t to lug around.

Stages take way too long to reset.

Way too hot in the summer and way too many pistol matches in the winter (Florida in the house).

 

The thought of spending and entire day to shoot 5 stages sealed the deal for me.  

 

However, I attend about 3 pistol matches a month.

 

just my 2 cents worth...

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On 11/2/2019 at 12:25 PM, 1chota said:

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.

 

 

This!! Great post. Matches should be fun & designed for the types and average shooter that attends Majority of the stages should be set up for the average shooter to succeed & have fun not fail. Timing out sucks especially for the newer less experienced shooter. 

 

3-gun here in the Houston metro area has slowed way down. Matches are going to UML, 2-gun, & rifle only to attract more shooters.

 

I shoot open so SG heavy doesn't really bother me. My son & granddaughter both shoot Tac ops & love the shotgun. But here is the catch, that is the weak most unreliable gun for most. 

 

This is a game, should be fun, not a lesson is frustration especially for the new guy who just spent a fortune on equipment & times out every stage.

 

Just shot an all rifle match where stages were set up for the newer shooter to fail, should be set up to succeed. Maybe 1 difficult technical stage, but not all with tiny off hand targets and weird rules. 80% of the shooters were newer & you know there is a problem when no one in that squad could get past the 2nd shooting position without timing out with 9 targets left.

 

gerritm

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1 hour ago, Jollymon32 said:

got a shotgun for it, practiced  and never went to a single match.  

 

Too much s#!t to lug around.

Stages take way too long to reset.

 

spending an entire day to shoot 5 stages sealed the deal for me.  

 

However, I attend about 3 pistol matches a month.

 

^^^^^     Lot of good reasons, right there.    ^^^^^

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12 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

So for all the guys mentioning the barrier to entry, specifically shotgun, what has changed that makes it insurmountable? When 3 gun was exploding 6 years ago all those barriers still existed. Actually they were worse. Old school weak hand loading was harder, there weren't any good inexpensive guns at the time. And still it gained a huge following very quickly. Is it that the newest group of potential shooters doesn't really have that much ambition?

Back in the day we saw a lot of Remington 1100s and the like.  Since there was not one-true-way to load a shotgun, dudes would run whatever pouches and caddies and method they felt like and it wasn't hugely obvious which was best or how bad you sucked at any of them, everyone (except Kurt) looked like a monkey and a football. 

 

Some of those dudes aren't coming back because they don't want to learn to do quads off special gear with special guns (or use that for an excuse).  A 3G pistol is a pistol that can be used for about anything, the rifle is an AR with a scope, but the shotgun is now a specialized, customized piece of gear that doesn't even look good in the shooters' SOF/SWAT inner fantasies...

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

So for all the guys mentioning the barrier to entry, specifically shotgun, what has changed that makes it insurmountable? When 3 gun was exploding 6 years ago all those barriers still existed. Actually they were worse. Old school weak hand loading was harder, there weren't any good inexpensive guns at the time. And still it gained a huge following very quickly. Is it that the newest group of potential shooters doesn't really have that much ambition?

Yes, people are lazy, they want instant gratification and participation trophys. That's how we ended up with carry optics and PCC. Also people have no patiences for anything anymore thanks to social media. 

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17 hours ago, MustangMan said:

I think the whole shotgun thing is blown out of proportion by those who want am excuse. Quad loading can be learned pretty quickly by someone who wants to learn how to do it. The shotgun itself is no more expensive than either of the other guns, I use a Stoeger m3k which can be had for $600, MOA sells an extension kit with follower for $92. At that point you have a competitive 3 gun shotgun that comes with 3 chokes so you can't complain about lack of choke options. Shell caddies are expensive, a caddy from Invictus Practical that holds 12rds is $100 and that is enough for most stages at a local match.

 

 

Exactly 

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14 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

So for all the guys mentioning the barrier to entry, specifically shotgun, what has changed that makes it insurmountable? When 3 gun was exploding 6 years ago all those barriers still existed. Actually they were worse. Old school weak hand loading was harder, there weren't any good inexpensive guns at the time. And still it gained a huge following very quickly. Is it that the newest group of potential shooters doesn't really have that much ambition?

 

Honestly, comparing anything in the competitive shooting/training/ammo/firearm industry to 6 years ago isn't going to go very well. 

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17 hours ago, MustangMan said:

I think the whole shotgun thing is blown out of proportion by those who want am excuse. Quad loading can be learned pretty quickly by someone who wants to learn how to do it. The shotgun itself is no more expensive than either of the other guns, I use a Stoeger m3k which can be had for $600, MOA sells an extension kit with follower for $92. At that point you have a competitive 3 gun shotgun that comes with 3 chokes so you can't complain about lack of choke options. Shell caddies are expensive, a caddy from Invictus Practical that holds 12rds is $100 and that is enough for most stages at a local match.

 

 

 

Shotgun can be fun. Mix it in the same match with pistol and rifle, and it starts becoming a chore.

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