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Is lack of ammo starting to hurt participation?


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We have a local Outlaw Steel Challenge type match going on for the past 25 years.

It started as a practice session for USPSA shooters and has been a general shooters event for the last 15.

The county let us re open 2 months ago, ONLY, if everyone but the shooters wore masks and the squads maxed out at 10.

Normal turnout is about 60. The past 2 months have been 7 and 8 shooters.

It has to be cost and access to ammo.

The "match" has been a great competition for years and my favorite social shooting event. I've switched from pistols to 22 ARs. I definitely miss the pistol practice.

I hope we survive until 2022.

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3 hours ago, p7fl said:

We have a local Outlaw Steel Challenge type match going on for the past 25 years.

It started as a practice session for USPSA shooters and has been a general shooters event for the last 15.

The county let us re open 2 months ago, ONLY, if everyone but the shooters wore masks and the squads maxed out at 10.

Normal turnout is about 60. The past 2 months have been 7 and 8 shooters.

It has to be cost and access to ammo.

The "match" has been a great competition for years and my favorite social shooting event. I've switched from pistols to 22 ARs. I definitely miss the pistol practice.

I hope we survive until 2022.

 

If you've only been open for 2 months, how long were you closed? 6-7 months? I imagine that would have as much if not more to do with it. If your shut down that long, a lot of people will find something else to do with there time. I'm sure ammo isn't helping.

 

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My local IDPA club turn out is down, but they're also limiting sign up due to covid so it's hard to say. USPSA all shuts down in the winter, so we'll see in a few months how things look. Around here a drop in participation may be a good thing. Ever shoot a match with 20 person squads and a wait list to get in?

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

The match on Sunday consisted of the usual five stages, but only 72 rounds.  That is down from the usual 140-150.

 

Sure hope it doesn't come to that here.  It's just not worth the time investment for a handful of low round count stages.  I'd much rather shoot fewer "normal" matches vs. a bunch of tiny ones.

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47 minutes ago, Racinready300ex said:Around here a drop in participation may be a good thing. Ever shoot a match with 20 person squads and a wait list to get in?

Same with me. It may sound selfish but locally we are getting to the point where there are just too many shooters

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24 minutes ago, ltdmstr said:

 

Sure hope it doesn't come to that here.  It's just not worth the time investment for a handful of low round count stages.  I'd much rather shoot fewer "normal" matches vs. a bunch of tiny ones.

Agreed. If it goes to spending half a day to shoot 70 rounds, I'll find something else to do. Would much rather shoot 150 round match once a month than 70 every week.

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1 hour ago, ltdmstr said:

 

Sure hope it doesn't come to that here.  It's just not worth the time investment for a handful of low round count stages.  I'd much rather shoot fewer "normal" matches vs. a bunch of tiny ones.

 

Same here.  Didn't find out it was only 72 rounds until setup.  Hope the regular MDs are back for the next match.

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2 hours ago, Racinready300ex said:

Ever shoot a match with 20 person squads and a wait list to get in?

 

Yes.  Pre-Covid you had to be quick.  For one club if you were not one of the 80 shooters registered in the first 60 seconds, you got waitlisted.  At another you had 90 seconds.  At a third I'm staff so I get to register early.  For the fourth, sometimes the squads were filled before I could fill out the registration info.  To make sure they had enough ROs they changed their procedures so no one could squad after registering.  Then all the ROs were invited to squad, then everyone else in order of registration.

 

Now it is nothing like that.  The SCSA matches are still full.  In fact they are allowing more than the usual max to register.  They moved the match up an hour so they could accommodate all the shooters and still finish by 3.

 

USPSA is not so lucky.  There is great confusion on what the Gov's rules actually mean.  At one club the Board decided it meant every participant had to wear a mask all the time.  The MD said that was not safe and canned the matches.  One does not have USPSA matches in Jan and Feb, so I don't know how they will interpret for the Mar match.  My favorite match does not require masks, but asks everyone except the RO and shooter to social distance.

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The matches here in the Houston area, participation and round counts have definitely slowed. Weekday evening practice matches have way fewer participants, some cancelled. We shoot all year round and there are matches every weekend within an hour or 2.  Weekend matches are down to around 100-150 rounds. Depending on the quality of the match, some are still full with wait lists. Most are online registration only. No walk ups. 

 

Social distancing is encouraged. No mandatory masks outside. Some have cancelled shooters meeting just relying on the experienced shooters to educate the newbies. 

 

Most of the regular shooters who reload are still shooting, but we have 3 of us that shoot so we are cutting way back on USPSA, shooting more SC & outlaw shotgun or .22 matches. 

 

2 of the best local USPSA matches are this weekend and will probably be full. Will see how or if the round counts change.

 

gerritm

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Quantico recently held a match that cut down the number of rounds by quite a bit, but in my opinion it forced the MD to be more creative with stage design.  The stages were more difficult, but more importantly they were interesting and provided a really good shooting challenge.  I don't think it's fair to say that reducing round count was the only factor in improving the quality of the stages, but I really think it helped.

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6 hours ago, zzt said:

USPSA is not so lucky.  There is great confusion on what the Gov's rules actually mean.  At one club the Board decided it meant every participant had to wear a mask all the time.  The MD said that was not safe and canned the matches.  One does not have USPSA matches in Jan and Feb, so I don't know how they will interpret for the Mar match.  My favorite match does not require masks, but asks everyone except the RO and shooter to social distance.

 

 I have culled clubs from my list of go-to places because of their mask policies.  Why they adopt those policies is irrelevant to me.

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We have a IDPA match in NW GA this Sunday. MD sent out email saying we would limit match to less than 50 rounds. Just got another email asking if any shooters could sell some 9mm to other club members who are out so they can participate.

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as noted above, i'm not doing any reduced-round matches. would rather do a few less matches, but i have enough ammo to not worry about that, at least for this year.

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On 1/13/2021 at 6:34 PM, UpYoursPal said:

Quantico recently held a match that cut down the number of rounds by quite a bit, but in my opinion it forced the MD to be more creative with stage design.  The stages were more difficult, but more importantly they were interesting and provided a really good shooting challenge.  I don't think it's fair to say that reducing round count was the only factor in improving the quality of the stages, but I really think it helped.

This is a really good point. In the 30 years I've been doing this I think the stages and stage evolution has been so focused on increasing round count that we have actually lost a little of that stage creativity. That's why World Shoots are so cool, it's such a great mix of stand and shoots, small movement stages, along with field courses. Interestingly I shot two matches this year where no stage was over 16 rounds... they were my favorite matches of the year.

 

1 hour ago, davsco said:

as noted above, i'm not doing any reduced-round matches. would rather do a few less matches, but i have enough ammo to not worry about that, at least for this year.

In the same boat. I believe the ammo shortage is likely impacting participation. That's complicated by less matches due to COVID. Our matches around here fill up FAST as others have mentioned. For me though I've still got about plenty of supply of my match ammo so I'm not at all limiting myself. I do know other shooters though that have been scrambling for ammo to shoot matches. Some hesitating to shoot any match until they have a decent stash at home. 

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Well, lack of ammo didn't stop people from shooting our monthly Steel challenge Match.  We had 75 competitors.  Most were shooting .22s.  Many of our top centerfire shooters also shot .22s.

 

I found a 4 pound bottle of Vhita Vhouri  N 310 in the garage this week.  I no longer shoot centerfire and sold all my reloading equipment so I mentioned that I'd like to sell this powder.  I asked for what I paid for it a few years ago and the first person I told bought it. They said there was a hard time finding powder.  I asked for $100 for the 4 pounds.  When I check the price on-line it is now being sold for $269.  I got what I paid for it so I'm happy.

 

 

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On 1/17/2021 at 5:14 PM, -JCN- said:

Is this what we are going to wind up doing if the ammo shortage continues?!

 

(it kind of looks fun)

 

I wanna do that.  I'll have to find out if there is anything like that near me.  If yes I get to build a new gun.

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I actually sent out a survey to my distribution list.  The overwhelming response was to keep matches the same. Second was less stages but not chopping the round count for the stages. 
 

I sent one for uspsa and steel challenge with both having similar responses fwiw 

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