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Thread: Introducing new shooters to NBRSA / IBS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Introducing new shooters to NBRSA / IBS

    After reading the January issue of Precision Shooter I was reminded of a conversation I listened to at our last match of the year this past fall. The subject was why the participation at the Nationals , and that matter the whole sport, is decreasing.

    Last winter I was looking for a benchrest sport to get involved in and a internet search failed to get me anywhere. It was not until a member at a local club mentioned I should google NBRSA directly that is when I found what I was looking for. He is a former NBRSA shooter for what it's worth.
    So I bought equipment, bought a used rifle online and contacted a shooter from the closest club that hosts matches. With him answering a lot of the thousands of questions inside of my head and 4 months of prep I was ready for my first match last April. That match was a disaster , it is possible to keyhole bullets at 100 yards. By the end of the season my wife and I had traveled to parts of the country in our camper (had to get one to stay in, right ?) and meeting a great bunch of ladies and men, I am hooked. FYI , the wife loves traveling so doesn't mind me spending $ on shooting as long as she comes along. A thank you goes out to all of the fella's that helped me get through the season and for their patients with me.
    Does any or all of this sound familiar ? It would be nice to hear stories like this more often wouldn't ?

    Now down to the topic at hand;
    Let's all get a fresh cup of coffee and sit down at the table and have a constructive conversation about how to bring new shooters to our sport.

    First off, some will say: too expensive, too much traveling, can't beat the seasoned shooters, the one with the most $ wins..... I did ok my first season at match level, so anyone can.

    Just as one point of interest, we have 4 rifle classes right now that one gun can be used for all 4.... I am sure that back when this got started it began with 'shelf' guns and expanded to what it is today. I started off thinking that my trusted 204 would be the ticket to get started, however at local matches there is not enough interest (shooters) in sporter class to include it with LV/HV matches. Yes, local clubs have varmint shoots for those interested but it's not the same as shooting 'smallest hole'. So my question is can the sporter class be promoted some way to bring varmint match shooters to our sport ?

    As a new shooter I am depending on the more seasoned shooters here to speak up and expand on the sporter class topic and to toss out their own ideas as to how as a group we can make our sport more attractive to new shooters. The NBRSA BOD is asking for our help to give them feed back and to help them come up with ways to insure OUR sport survives and maybe grow again. So, how about it fella's and gals ?

    Thank you ahead of time for all that chime in,
    P.P.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2003
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    For years, we had a Format where a shooter had to shoot a caliber above .230 in order to compete in class Sporter. The 6PPC was the direct answer to this rule. Soon, shooters learned that a 6mm could based on the PPC case could win in anything. So, 90 percent of the shooters shot the 3 bag gun classes with a legal Sporter.

    This changed a few years back when the NBRSA adopted the current Sporter rules. It is basically a Unlimited Bag Gun class that is limited to 10.5 pounds.

    History has proven this concept to be flawed, since now just about everybody shoots all three bag gun classes with their LV. At this years Nationals, I looked for any shooter who was shooting a Sporter that in fact was not just a legal LV. I did not see one. In years past, 98 percent of the shooters shot all three classes with a legal Sporter.

    The NBRSA could do something to make it impractical for a shooter to simply shoot one Rifle on all three classes. It would be a artificial restriction, since it has been proven time and time again that a regular 10.5 lb LV can easilly win in all three classes.

    The truth is, once you get at 10.5 pounds, it’s all about barrels, bullets, and tuning. All of that other crap that everybody worries about is just window dressing.

    In reality, there should be just two classes. Rifles that are shot from bags, and rifles that have return to battery capability.

    I don’t have an answer. Or at least one that would be acceptable.
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 01-03-2020 at 09:04 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,275

    Introducing New Shooters

    How do you promote self motivation? I introduced myself to the Sport. Ive told this story before.

    I Showed up at a registered BR Group match,uninvited. Some guy at the match asked me if i brought the Bar B Que.

    I said no, I came to shoot. First BR match I ever attended, i finished pretty high up in the rankings. That was 20 years ago. The moral of the story is, its a dead end street if you sit around and wait on somebody to tell you this is something that you should try. Somebody once correctly stated, this is not a sport that finds you. This is a Sport that you find.


    Glenn

  4. #4
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    Nov 2019
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    Very true but is there a way to make it easier to find and advertise that we exist ??

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
    Location
    Arlington, Virgina
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    973
    I agree with Chris. You have to want to jump into BR. That said, I've always felt the best promotion is to let folks shoot your benchrest rifle. The bug may or may not bite them.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
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    228

    It's hard enough, even if you're already interested

    I've been interested in BR for years. But I've never been in a good position to try it out (until recently). For starters, there just aren't a lot of clubs running matches. I formerly belonged to the Albany (Oregon) Rifle and Pistol Club and they had a BR discipline, but it was short-lived (I don't know the details) and by the time I found out about it, and was ready to come watch a match, it was gone. The next closest club I identified was in Washington, and although I *intended* to go to one, life got in the way and I never did.

    Now I'm in Surprise (Phoenix), AZ and there are regular matches, so this is my chance! In fact, there's a match this weekend and I'm going to show up to observe and see what comes of it. I intend to participate one way or another, but I'm hoping I can get some questions answered before I start pouring resources into the endeavor.

    I think part of the problem is that many who've heard of benchrest think it's just an equipment race and that the guy who spends the most, wins. I know that's not true, and I'm sure anyone active in the sport will have seen a lot of folks try to buy their way into the winner's circle without conspicuous success (happens in every shooting sport). But, there's definitely an investment to be made.

    Benchrest has an added dis-incentive as far as I am able to discern: major matches allow a couple of days in advance for practice, but those are working days for those that aren't retired. So while 'anyone' might be able to get the time off to use the practice days and shoot the match for ONE match, doing so for a year's worth of matches is a very significant commitment, particularly allowing for travel time as well.

    And of course, as a society, shooting is being bred out of us. There are those that won't even mention that they like firearms in mixed company, and others who like certain firearms but condemn others. These days the common media make it seem as if there's greater propriety entering an adult bookstore than attending a shooting match.

    In short, I think BR is misunderstood and less accessible than other shooting sports and most disciplines are seeing declining numbers. (At least I hear the complaint frequently - it would be informative to see a comparison of participation by shooting discipline).

    GsT

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    62

    As a former varmint match shooter,

    Quote Originally Posted by PrplePanda View Post
    however at local matches there is not enough interest (shooters) in sporter class to include it with LV/HV matches. Yes, local clubs have varmint shoots for those interested but it's not the same as shooting 'smallest hole'. So my question is can the sporter class be promoted some way to bring varmint match shooters to our sport ?

    Thank you ahead of time for all that chime in,
    P.P.
    I shot "Varmint" matches almost exclusively for nearly 17 years. Along the way I bought a 13.5# Panda in 6PPC, also in that time I also enjoyed trying IBS score, then UBR came along which is fun and competitive, then I went to a couple of Group Shoots both informal and NBRSA which I like a lot too. One common thread between the shooters loyal to each of their respective disciplines is that most of them are VERY resistant to change. Try to talk 10 "varmint" shooters into shooting a group or something other and from 7 out of 10 you'll hear more excuses than one can list. From my perspective, either you like to shoot and compete and do so, or get in some comfort zone with one disciple or another and don't budge. The trick will be to identify the ones willing to cross over to another discipline and at least give it a fair try. JME. WD
    Last edited by WyleWD; 01-05-2020 at 10:54 AM.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2003
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    Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrplePanda View Post
    Very true but is there a way to make it easier to find and advertise that we exist ??


    I'll keep this short.
    I think the match reports, with equipment lists and photos, do a great job of advertising the Sport.

    Since I’ve been here,Ive noticed a fear of losing, especially when it comes to attending the nationals matches.

    You hear excuses at the regional level, “I dont have a gun that shoots good enough to take to the nationals”, or “The same people always win”

    The fear of losing is present in any competitive sport, whether its Sling Shot or Sail boat racing.

    I have never been to a National match. Its not because of fear of losing. I like the fun and the people. Im 77 and driving long distances to a match, just for the fun doesn't appeal. Driving and flying was a part of my job for 31 years.

    So it gets back to "self-motivation." Might be a good DR Phil Show.

    I think the introduction of new shooters should begin at the Regional level.


    Glenn

  9. #9
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    Jun 2015
    Location
    in a home
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    42
    Why do people feel if you are not shooting the nationals you are not supporting br. some people have jobs or feel a need to spend vacation with children and wife or some do not like the travel or expense going to nationals. The local clubs is where it all starts maybe this is where it should be looked at. Why are local clubs no longer holding matches or why did shooters stop going to local matches. I can think of an easy dozen ranges that no longer hold br matches some stopped because match director died or got sick and nobody else picked it up, others just stopped because of B.S. This horse has been whipped to death lately. And no one agrees on what to do so it moves no where. I think Jackie has the right idea. enough said

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    15
    I was introduced to the sport via jim Erickson. He invited me and norm to go shoot with him in br . I told him no way I'm taking this gun to a br match it was a xr100 shot great but can't keep up..so I had Dave Tunbridge look for me a used rifle and I bought it . been shooting ever since. So let's with permission place a flier (lol) at the local gun ranges and invite them visually to come join the nbrsa . and now the argument begins . definition of a factory rifle vs a custom rifle without optic restrictions . and classify those rifles as such and separate them at the end of each match and award a trophy or certificate of achievement . they will either be hooked or not..at least this way they can compete at there level and who knows might even have a great time.a little hard work will pay great dividends.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by br30-6ppc View Post
    I was introduced to the sport via jim Erickson. He invited me and norm to go shoot with him in br . I told him no way I'm taking this gun to a br match it was a xr100 shot great but can't keep up..so I had Dave Tunbridge look for me a used rifle and I bought it . been shooting ever since. So let's with permission place a flier (lol) at the local gun ranges and invite them visually to come join the nbrsa . and now the argument begins . definition of a factory rifle vs a custom rifle without optic restrictions . and classify those rifles as such and separate them at the end of each match and award a trophy or certificate of achievement . they will either be hooked or not..at least this way they can compete at there level and who knows might even have a great time.a little hard work will pay great dividends.


    I like your idea. I drop the notion every time I get the chance. I even write notices on the dry erase boards when I get the chance. Maybe someone will see them and get curious. A few days before we have the next score match I plan on posting an invitation on my faceb...k page.

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