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Changing the “Old Man Pistol Club” Mentality


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Im fortunate enough to have a local, borough owned, indoor pistol range 5 minutes from my house. Unfortunately, It’s been around since the 50’s and by looking at its average members, it shows..

 

Let me explain.

 

The club was founded as an offhand bullseye league, and in most of the membership’s eyes, that’s the only type of shooting there is. If you shoot too fast, you get dirty looks. If I shoot one of my guns with a comp on it, I get questioned on if I’m shooting a magnum (big no no in my club) If you draw from a holster, you’ll not only be asked to leave, you’ll probably be asked to never come back. Holsters are dangerous and people can’t be trusted using them. It’s a real shame. It’s so close but I really only go there to sight stuff in or function check anything because the members just seem to look down at USPSA type shooting.
 

Have any of you guys dealt with this type of club? Were you ever able to change their mentality and make them see that drawing from a holster isn’t a scary evil thing? 

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4 minutes ago, AmosM223 said:

Im fortunate enough to have a local, borough owned, indoor pistol range 5 minutes from my house. Unfortunately, It’s been around since the 50’s and by looking at its average members, it shows..

 

Let me explain.

 

The club was founded as an offhand bullseye league, and in most of the membership’s eyes, that’s the only type of shooting there is. If you shoot too fast, you get dirty looks. If I shoot one of my guns with a comp on it, I get questioned on if I’m shooting a magnum (big no no in my club) If you draw from a holster, you’ll not only be asked to leave, you’ll probably be asked to never come back. Holsters are dangerous and people can’t be trusted using them. It’s a real shame. It’s so close but I really only go there to sight stuff in or function check anything because the members just seem to look down at USPSA type shooting.
 

Have any of you guys dealt with this type of club? Were you ever able to change their mentality and make them see that drawing from a holster isn’t a scary evil thing? 

Clubs can really be set in their ways. Does the club have a board of directors? Most effective thing I have seen is to get USPSA shooters on the board and work it from that end.

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2 minutes ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

Might be a liability issue.

 

Not sure I'd want to let the average public start doing fast holster draws in

my range either.   Scary thought.

Even though it’s borough owned, it’s by no means open to the public. You have to be a member and go through quite the long multi day safety class. 

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Wait till they all die off, you will NEVER change them.
I know of at least 5-6  established ranges with similar  mindset, that SOMEHOW agreed to allow action shooting - in every case it was successful and brought in a lot of $$ and people.

Everyone has been shut down by the "board". 
Was at a match this summer, the "long range" bay had to have written permission( 1 year in advance) to be used ( MD had it) my squad was there shooting a stage.

A FUDD, board member, arrived wanting to sight in his hunting rifle. 
He tried to get the match shut down (~200 shooters) so he could fire 5 shots in 3 hours to check zero.

I'll be surprised if they allow another match there

Edited by toothandnail
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One of the most common stories in this sport. Getting USPSA folks on the board is the only way to get it done. Waiting until the old timers die off sounds good, but the perplexing thing is that somehow there are always more "old timers" to take their place. 

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Being on the board of a similar range, it's a long process.  Think 'getting a homeowners association to change their bylaws'.

 

Getting sympathetic people on the board is critical.  Yeah, it's not anywhere near top of the list for any action dudes, but it needs to be done.  Otherwise the old-timers slightly-less-old buddies follow them along and nothing changes. 

 

There are two ways an old-fudd club is going to allow action matches-- enough BOD dudes want it, or they need money badly enough to grudgingly allow them. 

 

They are often set in their ways and hyper-concerned about liability and getting the range (which is a big part of their life) shut down.  For individuals, if you can convince them you're enough of a 'good guy', you can sometimes get a special exception if you just want a practice-place--

 

The next thing is morons abound at ranges.  Some of them probably are BOD themselves, but they see and hear of them all the time either way, so they think "that dude nearly shot his own foot off, clearly holster unsafe and must be banned" or "dude mag dumped rounds everywhere.  rapid fire scary,  so banned".  You need to convince them you are capable and competent, except demoing that in their presence won't do it.  Really.  They'll just be ego-hurt.  Don't do that.

 

Old fudds love the NRA and they love certifications.  So, get certified as an instructor by the NRA.  Get instructor insurance.  Shoot an NRA Action Pistol match and get classified in that if you can find one.  Get a USPSA RO certification. If you can get a classification like 'Master' in IDPA or USPSA, get that too.  Bro up to some of the BOD if you can--- do volunteer work days and whatnot so they know you as a person.   Come in to the board with that pile of certifications and ask for a rules exception for you, because you're qualified and you need to train for national and international matches.   Prepare to return more times and put up with goofy things like a sign with your name on it that says "can practice, because qualified" or no steel under 20 yards or whatever.

 

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I kind of have the same issue at my club about shooting steel targets.The only time they are allowed is at 3 Gun,IDPA,and Cowboy matches.Other than that it’s the best range in the state.6 pistol ranges with 180 degree berms and they are yours for the time you arrive till you leave,no sharing


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1 hour ago, et45 said:

I kind of have the same issue at my club about shooting steel targets.The only time they are allowed is at 3 Gun,IDPA,and Cowboy matches.Other than that it’s the best range in the state.6 pistol ranges with 180 degree berms and they are yours for the time you arrive till you leave,no sharing


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As much as I disagree with restrictions I have seen enough stupid s#!t at ranges to understand the steel rule. I saw a guy shooting steel from about 6’ at our club once. He was basically mag dumping into a fixed popper as fast as he could pull the trigger. I tried to make him see the danger but he acted like I was nuts

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Everybody loves to shoot steel and a huge number of them have no idea what happens to bullets after they go through a paper target, let alone hit (or edge) a steel plate.

 

We were able to get steel allowed if and only if it is good steel, right up against the back berm, and to shoot it any closer than about 20 yards you have to either take a 15-minute "don't be a dumbass" class or be certified as a USPSA or IDPA RO.  It's not perfect but better than no steel.

 

As I mentioned, old-guy clubs love certifications and maybe you can convince them to allow steel for practice by properly certified and qualified people... assuming it doesn't turn into a 'monkey-see, monkey-doo' situation with everybody else, they may allow it.

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

This maybe off topic but I have a question on NRA action pistol production class.  I am new to this competition and I am looking for clarification.  I have a CZ 75 SP01 Tactical.  Can I change the trigger or hammer and still remain a production pistol?  If this is not the proper place for this inquiry, please be kind and direct me to a source for that answer if known.  Thanks.

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I was a member of a shotgun club. I only shot rifles at the time. I even got on the board for a term. They were pretty anti the rifle range, and even more so the pistol range. Even though those ranges saw a lot of traffic and were really bringing in more money then the skeet fields. Skeet lost money really, and they would raise our rifle range fee's because it wasn't fair for the shot gunners to pay more for clays (cost went up) and us not pay more to shoot into a pile of dirt.

 

Anyway I got into pistol shooting and trained there some, but moved and I'm closer to better ranges now. I just got a call last week from a friend I work with who runs a firearms training company. He was approached by that club to get input on starting up a IDPA  there and he wants me to come along to meet with the current board. Not sure what has changed but I found it pretty interesting. I'm expecting it's still going to be a uphill battle, so I'll try to utilize some of this input too.

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31 minutes ago, Min said:

This maybe off topic but I have a question on NRA action pistol production class.  I am new to this competition and I am looking for clarification.  I have a CZ 75 SP01 Tactical.  Can I change the trigger or hammer and still remain a production pistol?  If this is not the proper place for this inquiry, please be kind and direct me to a source for that answer if known.  Thanks.


Look under the forums for handgun types, there is a forum there dedicated to the CZ brand specifically.

 

The short answer is yes. Production rules have been loosened dramatically in the past two years, and you can now replace hammers triggers and safeties with any part you want. Even something flagrantly aftermarket and hot pink.

 

Set the gun up however you like, minus a magwell, and have fun. 👍

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21 minutes ago, Racinready300ex said:

I was a member of a shotgun club. I only shot rifles at the time. I even got on the board for a term. They were pretty anti the rifle range, and even more so the pistol range. Even though those ranges saw a lot of traffic and were really bringing in more money then the skeet fields. Skeet lost money really, and they would raise our rifle range fee's because it wasn't fair for the shot gunners to pay more for clays (cost went up) and us not pay more to shoot into a pile of dirt.

 

Anyway I got into pistol shooting and trained there some, but moved and I'm closer to better ranges now. I just got a call last week from a friend I work with who runs a firearms training company. He was approached by that club to get input on starting up a IDPA  there and he wants me to come along to meet with the current board. Not sure what has changed but I found it pretty interesting. I'm expecting it's still going to be a uphill battle, so I'll try to utilize some of this input too.

Keep us posted as to what happened to change them and how the process goes.

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19 minutes ago, AmosM223 said:

Keep us posted as to what happened to change them and how the process goes.

 

My plan would be go over what it takes to become a IDPA club which is pretty easy. They need a IDPA member/SO to be club contact and MD. Shred mention credentials help. I've got plenty to sound impressive lol.   I'll probably offer to be their contact/MD if they want to go forward with it until they can get some members that can run it on their own. They really don't need much in the way of equipment for IDPA so start up cost wont be to bad. Unless something has changed It's probably going to start out on one bay, shoot a stage move stuff around and shoot again kind of thing. They could expand from there but don't have a ton of room, and I doubt they are looking to move dirt around. 

 

I'm even considering offering to set up a little outlaw match, just run a couple IDPA like stages for a small group so they can see how it goes. I'm vary surprised by this situation. Not something I'd ever expect at that club. 

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On 3/13/2020 at 3:47 PM, Racinready300ex said:

 

My plan would be go over what it takes to become a IDPA club which is pretty easy. They need a IDPA member/SO to be club contact and MD. Shred mention credentials help. I've got plenty to sound impressive lol.   I'll probably offer to be their contact/MD if they want to go forward with it until they can get some members that can run it on their own. They really don't need much in the way of equipment for IDPA so start up cost wont be to bad. Unless something has changed It's probably going to start out on one bay, shoot a stage move stuff around and shoot again kind of thing. They could expand from there but don't have a ton of room, and I doubt they are looking to move dirt around. 

 

I'm even considering offering to set up a little outlaw match, just run a couple IDPA like stages for a small group so they can see how it goes. I'm vary surprised by this situation. Not something I'd ever expect at that club. 

Make it as turn-key as possible for them, or its likely not much will happen....

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Just now, shred said:

Make it as turn-key as possible for them, or its likely not much will happen....

 

To get them started I have almost enough target stands and I can run the match myself. We can do paper scoring if we have too, or I could probably use PS on my phone too. All they'd need is a couple walls or barricades, maybe some barrels or something. I even have a swinger they could use.

 

My plan would be approach them with the absolute minimum they need to get going. But also give them options if they want to invest a little in it. I'll probably have to feel them out a little when I'm there and see how it goes. 

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a concept. Has anyone seen a club that is formed and owned by action shooters of all venues. Perhaps something with the concept that it is owned by all the individual members and it would host various events, training classes etc. to help pay for the facility and ongoing expenses. Yes there would be a lot of logistics and legal aspects to it however no longer would shooters who's interest is in action shooting  have to beg,  borrow and plead to possibly use an existing facility for an occasional match. This is an idea I had from several years back and figured I'd pitch it to this thread for thought and criticism.

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I would absolutely love to do that however not sure I have the funds to purchase the property in Pennsylvania needed along with other amenities. That's why I thought if a large number of people who had interest in this were willing to all be partial owners a nice facility could be established depending upon other logistics. Not getting to specific but what state\area is your range in and what did you have to go through for permission, insurances etc.

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1 hour ago, vgdvc said:

Here's a concept. Has anyone seen a club that is formed and owned by action shooters of all venues. Perhaps something with the concept that it is owned by all the individual members and it would host various events, training classes etc. to help pay for the facility and ongoing expenses. Yes there would be a lot of logistics and legal aspects to it however no longer would shooters who's interest is in action shooting  have to beg,  borrow and plead to possibly use an existing facility for an occasional match. This is an idea I had from several years back and figured I'd pitch it to this thread for thought and criticism.

 

This is exactly what the Associated Gun Clubs range in Maryland has done. About ~20 different gun clubs across the entire region got together and created a range for members of any of the clubs to use. All the clubs have different "flavors" (one is for members of the local military base, one is for vets, one is a church-centric group, one is a Jewish group, one is action/practical-shooting focused, a couple are shotgun/clay focused, etc). To get a range badge, you need to be a dues-paying member any of the clubs (around $20-$30/year) and then go through the safety orientation, and pay for your range badge (~$185/year).

The range has been around for 75 years and the board has historically been very "fudd" but that is slowly but surely changing because of the exact suggestions made in this thread - dedicated shooters got on the board of directors and drove the change.  After 50 years of boring bench shooting, this past year they finally completed 4 action bays and now host IDPA, outlaw steel, and 2 Gun/3Gun matches.  More info about how they're organized is on their website: https://associatedgunclubs.org

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