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3-Gun Recession?


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3 gun (as do most other sports) from the inherent tension of keeping the sport challenging for experienced participants but welcoming for new shooters.  Richard does a very good job with stage design in this regard but that tension is always there.  

 

I love me some IPSC shotgun but I agree with the sentiments that shotgun poses the biggest financial/psychological hurdle for most shooters.  Most of them have some sort of Glock/AR which are least eligible to complete with already but not the accoutrements for shotgun.   But past that, many suffer from the mental beat down from not being able to consistently hit a  target of any sort technical difficulty (one of the reasons PCC is so popular ... every shot is easy).  This goes back to my original thought.  I want 20-25 yard pistol plate racks, 400 yard rifle shots, tactical sporting clays and challenging offhand rifle shots in my 3 gun but that is not welcoming to new shooters.

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27 minutes ago, kellyn said:

3 gun (as do most other sports) from the inherent tension of keeping the sport challenging for experienced participants but welcoming for new shooters. 

So what is USPSA doing right that seems to be keeping the veterans and bringing in new people?

I just watched a bunch of USPSA area and nationals videos and it looked plenty challenging. In fact I thought all the stage designs would be awesome 3 gun stages if you sprinkled in some clays and distant rifle steel/paper.

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13 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

So what is USPSA doing right that seems to be keeping the veterans and bringing in new people?

I just watched a bunch of USPSA area and nationals videos and it looked plenty challenging. In fact I thought all the stage designs would be awesome 3 gun stages if you sprinkled in some clays and distant rifle steel/paper.

 

IMO your answer is in your question.  USPSA stages are generally pretty  good, and the not humongous layout  would lead to less time outs, easier and quicker reset, shorter days, and happier shooters. Many 3 gunners poo poo the USPSA stage design rules, but I have seen for a fact that those rules do way more good than harm.   Without some stage design rules, stages can get real bad real quick, USPSA has had several years to work out what is good and what is bad, and they still mess it up sometimes, but 3 gun seems well behind the curve in this area.  

Edited by RJH
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28 minutes ago, RJH said:

 

IMO your answer is in your question.  USPSA stages are generally pretty  good, and the not humongous layout  would lead to less time outs, easier and quicker reset, shorter days, and happier shooters. Many 3 gunners poo poo the USPSA stage design rules, but I have seen for a fact that those rules do way more good than harm.   Without some stage design rules, stages can get real bad real quick, USPSA has had several years to work out what is good and what is bad, and they still mess it up sometimes, but 3 gun seems well behind the curve in this area.  

I agree 100%. I've gotten poo-poo'd most times I've mentioned it though.

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Nationals stages are not local stages.  I just shot Area 2 and there was not one challenging shot for an Open gun much less a PCC (but it was a fun match with good stages).  I think that is one thing that will always separate 3 gun.  It's HARD.  It's DIFFICULT.  It takes a lot more gear.  It's more expensive.  It will always be more exclusive than most pistol shooting or PCC.   Clearly most people would rather squirt bullets at easy targets 10 yards away with their PCCs than shoot at a 50 yard plate rack offhand with their rifle.  It's much easier, much faster, and even when you fail, you still looked good.   

 

I do think 2 gun has a lot to offer and will probably be the future of multigun shooting.  Now if we can only get IPSC Rifle to be popular. 

 

 

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For me it's a combination of distance and time. I only have one match that is less than two hours away and they only run maybe two or three matches a year. That on top of how late they run. It's a tough one to be on the road by 5am and not be home until 7pm. When I do go I have to dedicate that entire day just to the match. Wife has been understanding but now we have a baby on the way so I will be going less now so I can spend the time with my family.

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You do stuff in your free time with disposable income because it is fun. If your match is declining it is no longer fun for the participants, and the reasons are probably multi factorial.

 

I have only shot local 3gun matches in a couple different states. Why don't I any longer even though I have all the equipment for it? Well they're my own personal reasons but I truly dislike hauling that much stuff around. The worse than IDPA rules variability as Shred mentioned. I can quad load and I still dislike shotgun shooting compared to the other guns. Finally the length of time to do the match because of stages.

 

As someone wrote early on in the thread, most of the "problems" with a match seem to me to come from elements related to the stages in one way or another.

 

The only 3gun matches I've even considered going to recently were ones I could shoot entirely with my pcc..... Because I hate hauling all that crap around for 3 guns.

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14 hours ago, kellyn said:

Nationals stages are not local stages.  I just shot Area 2 and there was not one challenging shot for an Open gun much less a PCC (but it was a fun match with good stages).  I think that is one thing that will always separate 3 gun.  It's HARD.  It's DIFFICULT.  It takes a lot more gear.  It's more expensive.  It will always be more exclusive than most pistol shooting or PCC.   Clearly most people would rather squirt bullets at easy targets 10 yards away with their PCCs than shoot at a 50 yard plate rack offhand with their rifle.  It's much easier, much faster, and even when you fail, you still looked good.   

 

I do think 2 gun has a lot to offer and will probably be the future of multigun shooting.  Now if we can only get IPSC Rifle to be popular. 

 

 

Good points for sure.

I would love to see IPSC rifle come to the states, maybe we could get more than 5 or 6 people interested in shooting iron sights again.

 

BTW, congratulations on your teams performance at IPSC rifle world shoot a couple of months ago!

 

Hurley

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IPSC rifle will never catch on in the U.S. as it is way too accuracy driven and difficult for most. Secondly we as a country just can't seem to be able to score paper targets and have knock down steel at extended ranges without major back ups.....although they do it all the time "over there".

Secondly the joy of "shotgun" started its demize in 3-gun about the time we got away from the idea of testing it's social use! It has morphed into "Tactical bird and rabbit hunting" or "Combat 5 stand" when we started using bird shot instead of buckshot, and started changing targets to pipes, clays, tiny plates etc, and growing round count to idiotic levels which emphasized loading it began to drag it all down.

The 3-gun recession was caused by trying to make it T.V. exciting and trying to make it all a drag race, instead of testing various aspects of the use of 3-guns in the social/martial setting.

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20 hours ago, kellyn said:

I think that is one thing that will always separate 3 gun.  It's HARD.  It's DIFFICULT.  It takes a lot more gear.  It's more expensive.  It will always be more exclusive than most pistol shooting or PCC.  

 

  Now if we can only get IPSC Rifle to be popular. 

 

 

I agree, it's hard. You have 3x the guns, more targets and target variety, 3x the chance for trainwrecks and malfunctions, bigger stages, slung guns, multiple kinds of ammo, longer ranges, a ton of gear plus a way to carry it all, and of course we can't leave out that one gun that most guys have no use for outside of 3 gun, plus all the unique equipment it needs. 

 

Thats a lot, and I get why people are intimidated. Just being competent with all that is a challenge, past that the challenge is to do it faster than everybody else. But now we want every stage to be a pseudo bullseye match/carnival attraction because experienced shooters get bored? And we still want new people to come and keep the sport alive? 

 

I don't see the problem with 3 gun following a more USPSA-ish model. The targets can be a reasonable size, the stages don't all have to be huge or full of gimmicks, and the average shooter can avoid timing out usually. It would be more drag race than Baja 1000, because people of all skill levels are more likely to come back to a race where crashing isn't a guarantee.

 

And no, I'm not advocating against 50yd offhand rifle plate racks, thats reasonable. I'm not advocating for everything being close paper either. Its when people get used to those plate racks and the MD figures that he has to take it up a notch and do 150yd offhand skinny sammies that it moves from a practical amount of rifle skill and into the realm of either a different sport (high power, silhouette etc.) or just people spraying bullets at a unreasonable target till they hit it. People don't seem to be having fun, and the sport will die without at least some amount of fun.

 

I've been watching a lot of IPSC rifle lately too. To me it appears to be long gun USPSA. Accuracy is important but clearly footwork, stage planning, and movement efficiency are also crucial. Also haven't seen any circus targets. I really like the idea of it.

Edited by TonytheTiger
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On 11/2/2019 at 11:25 AM, 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.

 

 

Read the first line.  That is the crux of the matter.

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4 minutes ago, 1chota said:

Read the first line.  That is the crux of the matter.

I forgot to agree with most of that when you first posted it. 

I'm not sure that PRS/NRL are actually pulling that many people away though. I've got plenty of acquaintances over there and they say actual participation numbers haven't changed much, the real difference is that its in the spotlight right now and everybody is posting about it online and wanting to buy the gear with no actual intention of competing, therefore artificially exaggerating the popularity of it. Just like how 5 years ago everybody wanted a "3 gun rifle!" but most never shot 3 gun.

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I don't think PRS is pulling that many shooters away from 3 gun (it hasn't gotten me ... yet).  PRS attracts shooters who find Highpower/Smallbore too boring and 3 gun too stupid. 

 

I agree and disagree with Kurt as to the shotgun.  He's not wrong but I'm for a bit of tactical bird shooting to test the shotgun to its fullest extent.  I however completely agree that shotgun stages have gotten completely stupid which has turned me off from some 3 gun matches.  

 

FYI IPSC rifle is definitely NOT long gun USPSA.  Accuracy is WAY more emphasized in IPSC rifle than in USPSA (pistol too but rifle even more so).  I think there was 1 "hoser" short course at Rifle World Shoot even the big close range long course  (40 rds/ targets at 15-20 meters) made shooters stop and aim. I don't think I shot on the move once at RWS. 

 

And I'm in total agreement that 3 gun should be fun and accessible but it should also be challenging.  Local matches should be accessible for new and mid-level shooters but I do think that Major matches should be National level events with National level challenges - which probably takes them out of contention for newbies.  Every year (and I mean every), unprepared shooters complain about SMM3G and I always think "what did you expect, this is supposed to be a national level match."  The generation of shooters before us must weep. 

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1 hour ago, kellyn said:

FYI IPSC rifle is definitely NOT long gun USPSA.  Accuracy is WAY more emphasized in IPSC rifle than in USPSA (pistol too but rifle even more so).  

I guess I was under the impression that it was similar to USPSA in that you shoot for A's, not just two anywhere. Is the A-zone the same size?

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The A zone of the IPSC target is about the same size as that used in USPSA. The shape is bit different. No biggie there. IPSC has a recommendation for distances:

 

1.2.1.6 The recommended balance for an IPSC Rifle match with regards to target distance is: 30% of all
targets to be less than 60 meters, 50% to be between 60 and 150 meters and 20% to be between
150 and 300 meters.

Edited by perttime
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19 hours ago, kellyn said:

PRS attracts shooters who find Highpower/Smallbore too boring and 3 gun too stupid. 

 

I'm for a bit of tactical bird shooting to test the shotgun to its fullest extent.  I however completely agree that shotgun stages have gotten completely stupid which has turned me off from some 3 gun matches.  

 

True on who's attracted to PRS

 

If I wanted to shoot flying targets I'd grab my 686 and go back to sporting clays.  If I needed to shoot something in a practical setting I'd grab a rifle for several reasons.

 

2 gun (rifle and pistol), have done and would do again.  Add a shotgun to it and I'm a no show.

Edited by elguapo
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18 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

...therefore artificially exaggerating the popularity of it. Just like how 5 years ago everybody wanted a "3 gun rifle!" but most never shot 3 gun.


True. I built one myself, back then. I never shot 3-gun. Wound up selling that upper, after I got done being ‘that guy.’

 

16 hours ago, kellyn said:

PRS attracts shooters who find Highpower/Smallbore too boring and 3 gun too stupid. 


True.

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5 hours ago, perttime said:

The A zone of the IPSC target is about the same size as that used in USPSA. The shape is bit different. No biggie there. IPSC has a recommendation for distances:

 

1.2.1.6 The recommended balance for an IPSC Rifle match with regards to target distance is: 30% of all
targets to be less than 60 meters, 50% to be between 60 and 150 meters and 20% to be between
150 and 300 meters.

I like. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 10:51 PM, kellyn said:

Scored paper Classic targets at 50-450 yards and mini classics inside of 100.  1/2 A zones for some stages.    

 

I generally agree with most of what you say, Kelly.  But I draw the line at "classic" targets.

 

Reduce the size of a metric as much as needed, but all targets should have heads.

 

 

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On 11/13/2019 at 2:01 PM, kurtm said:

Secondly the joy of "shotgun" started its demize in 3-gun about the time we got away from the idea of testing it's social use! It has morphed into "Tactical bird and rabbit hunting" or "Combat 5 stand" when we started using bird shot instead of buckshot, and started changing targets to pipes, clays, tiny plates etc, and growing round count to idiotic levels which emphasized loading it began to drag it all down.

 

Amen!

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On 11/13/2019 at 2:01 PM, kurtm said:

IPSC rifle will never catch on in the U.S. as it is way too accuracy driven and difficult for most. Secondly we as a country just can't seem to be able to score paper targets and have knock down steel at extended ranges without major back ups.....although they do it all the time "over there".

Secondly the joy of "shotgun" started its demize in 3-gun about the time we got away from the idea of testing it's social use! It has morphed into "Tactical bird and rabbit hunting" or "Combat 5 stand" when we started using bird shot instead of buckshot, and started changing targets to pipes, clays, tiny plates etc, and growing round count to idiotic levels which emphasized loading it began to drag it all down.

The 3-gun recession was caused by trying to make it T.V. exciting and trying to make it all a drag race, instead of testing various aspects of the use of 3-guns in the social/martial setting.

As always, the Master is spot on.  Amen, and amen.

Gottta see 'em to shoot 'em.

About the only "drag" left in this ole man is my butt.  Sigh.  Trigger pull is still good, tho.

 

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10 hours ago, Bryan 45 said:

 

I generally agree with most of what you say, Kelly.  But I draw the line at "classic" targets.

 

Reduce the size of a metric as much as needed, but all targets should have heads.

 

 

I understand that.  I like the classic target for the shooting challenge but I agree as to its PC qualities.  That being said many (most?) IPSC countries are stuck with such target presentations.

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