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Will the COVID epidemic improve the shooting sports


Gene_WI
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

As a newbie, I haven’t run a match yet, but pre-pandemic I would shoot about 500rds of 9mm a month. During this pandemic, I was only shooting about 100rds a month to conserve what I have. Lots of dry firing while working at home. Now, I can’t find ammo at all. Kicking myself for not buying the 30cpr 9mm a month ago. Definitely seen an improvement in my groups but not sure if that’s the practice or just my subconscious need to conserve ammo and shoot better hah! 
 

at least 22lr is available and relatively cheap!

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  • 6 months later...

We are about start back up again here near the end of March. Covid limitations certainly had an effect last summer. I suspect ammo limitations will impact this year as well. I’m curious to see how it goes. 
 This may be an unpopular opinion but enjoyed the smaller crowds at matches.

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Since its been almost a year since my last post in this thread I figured I would provide an update from my local scene here in Colorado. From a COVID-19 impact perspective, it initially caused some attendance issues due to local mandates of no gatherings of more than 10 people outdoors. Some range facilities were temporarily closed due to not wanting any liability in group gatherings. There were also some mask wearing mandates and stuff like that at a few clubs which were not very popular. The most common impact was an artificial squad limitation of 10 people squads for several months, but that has been largely abandoned. The direct COVID-19 challenges for local matches are pretty much over at this point. I did notice a much reduced attendance at most of the major matches I attended through 2020 due to people being worried about traveling due to COVID-19 restrictions or potential exposure. That seems to have bounced back as well now that we are in 2021.

 

Right now, the biggest variable affecting participation in the Practical Shooting Sports is the current ammo and reloading component shortages and or costs. Our local club matches are tracking at about 50% of normal attendance due to the lack of ammo or its associated cost. The really interesting thing I have noticed is how many of these people are in full Conservation/Hoarding mode. They have ammo and or reloading components. They simply don't want to use them up because they are afraid of not being able to get more. Then there is the other extreme where many people want to shoot and would if they could get ammo, but they didn't have sufficient stock before the ammo crunch really started to hit hard. 

 

If this ammo crunch situation doesn't free up soon I can see the practical shooting match attendance taking a hard nose dive in 2021. I know we all want to attend matches with a lighter head count because it goes faster, but each club needs a minimum level of paid attendance to cover the expenses in hosting the match. Some clubs are at or below that critical financial break even point as it is. If their attendance drops even more hosting matches will be a financial loss which isn't sustainable in the log run. Well organized clubs with solid balances in the coffers can absorb these money losing matches. But not all clubs are in that good of a financial position.

 

If more restrictive federal gun laws get passed then that will deal another devastating blow to the practical shooting sports. All we can do is wait and see what happens on that front. 

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30 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

I know we all want to attend matches with a lighter head count because it goes faster, but each club needs a minimum level of paid attendance to cover the expenses in hosting the match. 

 

In regards to me saying I enjoy lighter numbers simply means going back to the way it used to be with 4-5 squads of 10-12 shooters. Around here 2019 saw an explosion resulting in wait lists for local matches with 5 squads of 13-15 shooters. That is more unsustainable than too few shooters. 
  The clubs around here enjoy strong revenues from USPSA but they always have so that part of it is a non issue. At least for us.

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42 minutes ago, Sarge said:

In regards to me saying I enjoy lighter numbers simply means going back to the way it used to be with 4-5 squads of 10-12 shooters. Around here 2019 saw an explosion resulting in wait lists for local matches with 5 squads of 13-15 shooters. That is more unsustainable than too few shooters. 
  The clubs around here enjoy strong revenues from USPSA but they always have so that part of it is a non issue. At least for us.



That's a good point, I'm hoping that clubs can get good attendance and I know several people including myself are allocating ammo for matches. 

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On 3/4/2021 at 11:25 AM, CHA-LEE said:

Since its been almost a year since my last post in this thread I figured I would provide an update from my local scene here in Colorado. From a COVID-19 impact perspective, it initially caused some attendance issues due to local mandates of no gatherings of more than 10 people outdoors. Some range facilities were temporarily closed due to not wanting any liability in group gatherings. There were also some mask wearing mandates and stuff like that at a few clubs which were not very popular. The most common impact was an artificial squad limitation of 10 people squads for several months, but that has been largely abandoned. The direct COVID-19 challenges for local matches are pretty much over at this point. I did notice a much reduced attendance at most of the major matches I attended through 2020 due to people being worried about traveling due to COVID-19 restrictions or potential exposure. That seems to have bounced back as well now that we are in 2021.

 

Right now, the biggest variable affecting participation in the Practical Shooting Sports is the current ammo and reloading component shortages and or costs. Our local club matches are tracking at about 50% of normal attendance due to the lack of ammo or its associated cost. The really interesting thing I have noticed is how many of these people are in full Conservation/Hoarding mode. They have ammo and or reloading components. They simply don't want to use them up because they are afraid of not being able to get more. Then there is the other extreme where many people want to shoot and would if they could get ammo, but they didn't have sufficient stock before the ammo crunch really started to hit hard. 

 

If this ammo crunch situation doesn't free up soon I can see the practical shooting match attendance taking a hard nose dive in 2021. I know we all want to attend matches with a lighter head count because it goes faster, but each club needs a minimum level of paid attendance to cover the expenses in hosting the match. Some clubs are at or below that critical financial break even point as it is. If their attendance drops even more hosting matches will be a financial loss which isn't sustainable in the log run. Well organized clubs with solid balances in the coffers can absorb these money losing matches. But not all clubs are in that good of a financial position.

 

If more restrictive federal gun laws get passed then that will deal another devastating blow to the practical shooting sports. All we can do is wait and see what happens on that front. 

 

This is exactly how it has been for us in SE Idaho as well.  Matches are now running much lower round counts also. Our neck of the woods never had a ton of people at matches to begin with (generally about 10-20 between USPSA and 3-Gun events) but those numbers are now cut in half most of the time. Plus winter here sucks... so I do expect it to pick up a little more in a couple months. Ammo/components is the killer right now for sure.

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On 3/4/2021 at 12:25 PM, CHA-LEE said:

Right now, the biggest variable affecting participation in the Practical Shooting Sports is the current ammo and reloading component shortages and or costs. Our local club matches are tracking at about 50% of normal attendance due to the lack of ammo or its associated cost. The really interesting thing I have noticed is how many of these people are in full Conservation/Hoarding mode. They have ammo and or reloading components. They simply don't want to use them up because they are afraid of not being able to get more. Then there is the other extreme where many people want to shoot and would if they could get ammo, but they didn't have sufficient stock before the ammo crunch really started to hit hard. 

 

I'm seeing a lot more U shooters, especially in the "less popular" divisions.  I'm personally looking at shooting more in Limited/Limited 10, if only because I have a crapton of way-too-hot .40 that I wasn't using before vs. having less 9mm now, and several guns I've never really "run" for competition.  I might also swap back to Single Stack for a while with the .45 stash I've got, including more Syntech .45 than 9mm.

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Glad the thread is still alive. Here in Wisconsin matches are filling up within 10-15 minutes of opening registration. Wait lists are long. As far as shooting quality, many folks improved drastically, myself included. Some lost perishable skills. The ammo shortage is becoming apparent also.

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I have gotten to a few outdoor matches in the past few weeks as weather improved and have been shooting an indoor match which only lost a couple of months to the depths of the shutdown.  Attendance and round count are down, more due to ammo and component shortages than directly to Covid.

 

Even with dry fire, live fire, and indoor matches, my match management has suffered.  I have garnered a couple of Procedurals, probably should have caught more, and a lot of time wasting awkwardness.  

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18 hours ago, Gene_WI said:

Glad the thread is still alive. Here in Wisconsin matches are filling up within 10-15 minutes of opening registration. Wait lists are long. As far as shooting quality, many folks improved drastically, myself included. Some lost perishable skills. The ammo shortage is becoming apparent also.

I went to sign up for the schultz match and it sold out really fast. Here's to trying for April...

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  • 2 months later...

I think the pandemic will lead to even  higher long term  prices for ammo and reloading supplies as we have already seen.  More new shooters in need of ammo and supplies plus the backlog of preexisting shooters wanting to replenish . I don't think higher costs to participate in a sport in a good thing.  My guess is people will shoot fewer live rounds.  Folks who don't compete don't dry fire much in my experience. So i think overall the pandemic has been a negative for the sport.

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On 3/15/2021 at 4:06 PM, Gene_WI said:

Glad the thread is still alive. Here in Wisconsin matches are filling up within 10-15 minutes of opening registration. Wait lists are long. As far as shooting quality, many folks improved drastically, myself included. Some lost perishable skills. The ammo shortage is becoming apparent also.

 

How are things three months on?

 

Here in SW OH matches took a little longer to fill but attendance was healthy.  Now, I'm starting to worry about some clubs even hosting matches.

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4 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

How are things three months on?

 

Here in SW OH matches took a little longer to fill but attendance was healthy.  Now, I'm starting to worry about some clubs even hosting matches.

Locally participation in WI has fallen off a bit. 3gun is pretty much dead as people can't get shotgun ammo or don't want to shoot so much. Matches have participation but the matches have open slots up until match day.

 

The local Tuesday night pistol league which used to be packed all night and even had to be expanded into Wednesday is now around 40-45 people with many complaining about too high of a round count.

 

The year started off with strong attendance but is trailing off. Most figured the ammo situation would be better in a few months and when they didn't happen they scaled back participation. I also think the people dropping off were the casual competitors who only bought ammo on the way to the range vs stocking up. Most the guys I shoot with have been through a few shortages now and we're prepared.

 

I will say, shooting on smaller squads with less waiting around has been a welcomed change.

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5 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

Here in SW OH ……. I'm starting to worry about some clubs even hosting matches.

Like who?

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

Like who?

No one in particular.  It's just an odd feeling I get comparing now to even last year.

 

I remember clubs putting up their entire season in PS at the beginning of the year and squads getting filled in a few days.

 

Now matches don't appear on PS until a week or two ahead and there's room almost all the way to registration closing.

 

I don't have any knowledge of a club being in trouble or in danger due to low attendance.  Like I said it's just an odd feeling of mine.

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22 minutes ago, SGT_Schultz said:

No one in particular.  It's just an odd feeling I get comparing now to even last year.

 

I remember clubs putting up their entire season in PS at the beginning of the year and squads getting filled in a few days.

 

Now matches don't appear on PS until a week or two ahead and there's room almost all the way to registration closing.

 

I don't have any knowledge of a club being in trouble or in danger due to low attendance.  Like I said it's just an odd feeling of mine.

👍

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