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Thread: Save The NBRSA?

  1. #1
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    Question Save The NBRSA?

    I have many good friends in the NBRSA, and do not want this post to be considered to be critical of any individual or group. But this whole issue has got me to thinking: WHY save the NBRSA? What are the organization's goals? What do we, the shooters, get from the organization?

    From version 39 of NBRSA rulebook:

    A. OBJECTIVES OF THE NATIONAL BENCHREST SHOOTERS ASSOCIATION
    1. The development and encouragement of extreme accuracy in rifles, ammunition, equipment and shooting methods.
    2. The achievement of extreme precision in rifles, ammunition, equipment and shooting methods by shooting “groups”.
    3. To standardize on a national basis the entire Benchrest shooting program so that targets, ranges, scoring methods, records and match procedures will be uniform and comparable.
    4. To assist and encourage any individual or organization in the promotion of Benchrest Shooting.
    5. To gather and make available to its members pertinent statistics and technical data.


    OK - points 1 and 2 are basically the same thing, and other than improvement in scopes there has been little innovation in the last 25 years.
    Point 3 is right on - to maintain a common rulebook, and records achieved in NBRSA competition. This is obviously necessary.
    Point 4 is a non-starter; lots of NBRSA members help get new people involved but the organization contributes nothing...
    Point 5 is basically a restatement of the last part of point 3.

    So basically, in my opinion, the organization is really only charged with maintaining a rulebook and records. The magazine has improved, but is basically just a bunch of match reports and not worth $60 a year. Ranges/clubs get nothing from the organization for their membership, except the "privilege" of holding matches and paying more sanctioning fees.

    So this got me thinking - would we have just as much fun at unregistered matches, open to anyone, without the extra expense and politics? Hmmm...

  2. #2
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    The answer to that question is right there at Riverbend. How many folks attend the registered matches versus non-registered matches? I don't know the answer to that question but you do.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
    The answer to that question is right there at Riverbend. How many folks attend the registered matches versus non-registered matches? I don't know the answer to that question but you do.
    Fewer people attend club matches because they are only one day, and the travel isn't worth it; you might lose a few because of backers or records or such. I believe we might actually get more local shooters who won't shoot a registered match if we did everything the same way, but just didn't waste money on sanction fees. Kind of like they did in the 40's and 50's...

  4. #4
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    Jim, I am involved in both ends of this shooting spectrum.

    I am a avid NBRSA Member, and shoot as many Registered Matches as my schedule will allow. Granted, the Majority of these are Registered Varmint for Score, but they are still NBRSA Sanctioned, attended by NBRSA Members.

    I also run the Club Match Program at The Tomball Gun Club. These are simple to put on. We shoot Score, alternating between 100 and 200 yards. The classes are very relaxed. For instance, the "Benchrest Class" is open to any legal firearm. The vast majority shoot their NBRSA legal 30BR, just as they do in a Registered Match.

    In a typical Club Match, I will have 20 to 30 shooters divided among the Factory, Modified, and Benchrest Class. Of these, 3/4 will be shooting the Benchrest Class.

    The Club Matches are Cheap, ($15 entry), just a single Agg in the morning, and are run just like a Benchrest Match. My responsibilities are furnishing the targets, the ribbons, getting the gates open, and keeping an eye on things. I have a friend that calls the Matches.

    At Tomball, we also have a Registered LV/HV Two Gun Event, ( The Crawfish), and a Registered VFS Match, The Texas State).

    We get about the same attendance at the Registered Matches as the Club Matches. In truth, it's usually the same shooters with a scattering of out of towners.

    But here's a catch. The most popular Matches, going by participants, are the Longer Range Clay Break Matches held at Walker County and Mike Cochrofts Range. They are 250 yard, 400 yard, and 600 yard.

    I suppose the satisfaction of actually hitting something is appealing. I have gone as far as to build a special Rifle for just these Matches. No weight limit, any caliber, as long as it is not a Rail Gun, you can shoot it. I have a switch barrel 6 BR/284 built on a big Bat M and a Shehane Tracker Stock. It's a lot of fun.

    So, I don't have an answer persay to your question. I do know this. Shooters like as few restrictions as practical. As long as the playing field is reasonably equal, they will come out.

    Of course, the brutal truth still remains that to win at any of these non Registered Matches, you have to have a full fledged Benchrest Rifle, Flags, a good lot of Bullets, a great tune, and the skill to make it all work.

    What don't you get? The prestige of the Registered Competition and what that brings. At a Club Match 2 years back, I shot a 250 25x with no less than 17 wipeouts. If it would have been Registered, the targets could have been submitted for Record Consideration. But what I got was the satisfaction of doing it, and a few "Attaboys" from my Peers.
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 10-11-2017 at 02:14 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    What "prestige" is there with winning a registered match other than "Attaboy-type" stuff?
    If you can beat the out of town pros, it's more prestigious. Unless of course you shoot at Lubbock, where the locals are as tough or tougher than all the out of towners.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    Jim, why don't you try a two-day, non-registered match with the same daily fee as the current club matches and advertise it just like you would a registered match -- it would be VERY interesting to see the attendance

    The Two Gun Two Day Format might be part of the problem.
    People's shooting habits have changed in the past 25 years that I have been involved in Benchrest. When I first started, you had to pre-register for The Crawfish or risk not getting in. Tomball had 2 Registered Matches, American Shooting Center had 2 Matches, New Braunfels had 2 Matches, plus Midland, Denton, and Seymore all with 2.

    That's a lot of shooting in one Region.

    Now, we have one Group Match at Tomball, one at Denton, one at Seymore, one at New Braunfels, two at Midland, (9 hours away), and one at a new Range in Lubbock, (Further than Midland).

    The rest of the Matches, about 10 in all, are VFS. One Day. All within a 2 hours drive.

    Quite a few shooters are retired, perhaps with plenty of time. Many, like me, are way past retirement age, but still work the same as they did when they were 40. The problem? Age takes it toll. You can't work all week, drive all night, shoot two days, and be back to work Monday Morning like you did when you were younger. I would love to be able to "rock and roll all night and party every day", but my body would rather not.

    The younger guys can't afford it, or are too tied down with things like wives, kids and all of the other things that take up time while raising family's. So that leaves the retired guys who have all the time in the World.

    I enjoy going to one day Matches.

    This year, I really wanted to go to New Braunfels Tx State 2 Gun. But, I had a business obligation on Saturday. I would have driven over Satuday night, but they Shoot the 100's on Saturday, and the 200's on Sunday, like everybody else has started doing.

    So, you can't shoot for a Class Grand Agg Championship, just the two yardages. So I skipped it.

    I know it's easy on the Club not having to change frames. That's how we do it at Tomball. .
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 10-11-2017 at 04:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    The Two Gun Two Day Format might be part of the problem.

    ...

    I enjoy going to one day Matches.
    River Bend, thanks to Jim, has one-day matches (two aggs) on the second Sat of every month that are open to non-members and includes custom and factory classes (it would include modified if enough such guns showed up), and the turn-out averages about 11-12 shooters. Pretty slim for being close to a major metro area.

  8. #8
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    So Hunter, which is it. Should we just hang 'em up at the local clubs that only have 11 or 12 show up and let the NBRSA go because you can see no practical difference between a local versus a registered match or, are you going to tell us where we've gone wrong. The shape of your posts don't help us much. Since you aren't a registered member, maybe you should let those of us involved hash this out.

  9. #9
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    Save the NBRSA?

    I know that's the title of this thread and I may go a bit off that path.
    But, NBRSA has to adapt. Stay with me here.....
    The two gun, two day match has been the backbone of NBRSA for years. Well, guess what? Attendance at these matches has declined for years. Why? The cost of travel has risen disproportionately. Retirees are also the backbone of NBRSA. Pensions haven't kept up with this cost of travel. Gone are the days when you could rent a room at the Acorn Motel for $40.00 for one night. Last year motels were running around $80.00 - $120.00 per night at the chain motels. If you're traveling any distance at all you need two nights at the motel. I'm here to tell you my pension hasn't gone up at that rate. Gasoline hasn't gone up the last few years but it really hasn't gone down all that much either. It costs a bunch to own, license, maintain, and insure a motor home or travel trailer. Soooo, this may well explain why shooters are more inclined to shoot the local, unregistered one day matches. I still don't like the unregistered matches but that's what I'm stuck with without some travel.
    A range can't move from 100 to 200 yards and shoot a class aggregate in one day but you could shoot 100 HV and LV in one day. NBRSA could put a more value on a 100 or 200 yard aggregate in HV and LV. In this way you may increase attendance at registered one day matches. I don't know.
    Oh yes, I'm a member of NBRSA.
    Last edited by FBecigneul; 10-11-2017 at 06:10 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBecigneul View Post
    A range can't move from 100 to 200 yards and shoot a class aggregate in one day but you could shoot 100 HV and LV in one day. NBRSA could put a value for a 100 or 200 yard aggregate in HV and LV. In this way you may increase attendance at registered one day matches. I don't know.
    Oh yes, I'm a member of NBRSA.
    We shoot one class per day here at Tacome Rifle and Revolver up here in WA. So we shoot lets say LV 100 Saturday morning then 200 Saturday afternoon. Then we shoot lets say HV 200 Sunday morning then 100 Sunday afternoon. We have several shooters who will only shoot one day. These are NBRSA matches.

  11. #11
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    Without an organized means of measuring targets and having match rules and procedures, the running of matches with some level of consistency between ranges would become irrelevant. The achievement of world records would become uncontrollable and non-manageable. Now many clubs and shooters may say, "...we are not worried about that, and a world record agg will seldom happen here". However, at this past weekend match at WWCCA Victor Potts shot and tied the NBRSA HV Grand world record agg. I believe this is the first time a record match had a chance of being a world record at WWCCA. If this was an unregistered match, Ted may never know he may be a record holder!

    This is no different than the means golfers play the game and manage handicaps, via the USGA.

    I don't like the concept of shooting a group matches without a backer system, or competing against someone shooting a 15 pound rifle. It's ok when I was first starting to shoot benchrest, but I now prefer the level of control that the NBRSA and IBS provides.

    Let's not do what the liberals say and want, i.e., "...there should be no winners or losers".

    Lee

  12. #12
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    Rambling on a drizzley evening:
    What keeps shooters from matches?
    There is a fellow who lives in Hale, Mi. There are unregistered matches at East Tawas and at Oscoda, Mi. He shoots East Tawas but not Oscoda because Oscoda is too far. East Tawas is 22 miles and Oscoda is 30 miles. Can you imagine him telling me that when I just drove 167 miles to get there?
    Lee mentioned the lack of moving backers at unregistered group matches and his disdain for those matches; I agree 100% and that is why I don't shoot Isabella County and I didn't shoot Harrison when they held them. But you don't need them for score matches so my only concern would be the weight of the next guy's rifle and that matters little. The matches at Tawas are run according to IBS rules and use the IBS instruction and timing computer chip. The fun for me at those matches is watching my son, grandson, and granddaughter do well should they show up. As everyone there is friends, we don't have the chest pumping and positioning you see at bigger and points matches. We also don't have the clique factor. So, to answer the statement "there should be no winners and losers", I think when you shoot with real friends there are only winners.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBecigneul View Post
    Rambling on a drizzley evening:
    What keeps shooters from matches?
    There is a fellow who lives in Hale, Mi. There are unregistered matches at East Tawas and at Oscoda, Mi. He shoots East Tawas but not Oscoda because Oscoda is too far. East Tawas is 22 miles and Oscoda is 30 miles. Can you imagine him telling me that when I just drove 167 miles to get there?
    Lee mentioned the lack of moving backers at unregistered group matches and his disdain for those matches; I agree 100% and that is why I don't shoot Isabella County and I didn't shoot Harrison when they held them. But you don't need them for score matches so my only concern would be the weight of the next guy's rifle and that matters little. The matches at Tawas are run according to IBS rules and use the IBS instruction and timing computer chip. The fun for me at those matches is watching my son, grandson, and granddaughter do well should they show up. As everyone there is friends, we don't have the chest pumping and positioning you see at bigger and points matches. We also don't have the clique factor. So, to answer the statement "there should be no winners and losers", I think when you shoot with real friends there are only winners.
    I agree with, I think all of that Francis! Group is it's own worst enemy in a lot of ways, particularly to new shooters. Moving backers, the time it takes to run a match, multiple days to shoot a match, long travel and hotel stays, club issues due to much of the same reasons I just mentioned, costs, also due in part for the same reasons...yada, yada. New shooters do not typically travel well. By that I mean, an hour or more is usually too far for some of them.

    I made a post recently about group vs score and was surprised at the results, particularly from the membership on this very forum. Most of what is posted here seems to be from a big percentage of group shooters...or I thought so, anyway..so I expected to see most on here to say they prefer it. To the contrary, most people that replied actually prefer to shoot score for one reason or another.

    I know there will be dissent from some here but, with all the fuss about growing attendance and such, it seems clear that score is where there will be growth in BR, in the near or foreseeable future. With the NBRSA issues of late, it seems logical for clubs to look at score as an alternative. I don't want group to go away. I don't even want it to suffer...I want for all BR to do well. It just seems that people, and the sport, are looking for positive growth and progress.

    I thought the thread was alarming for group shooting, honestly. Since NBRSA is the predominant group organisation, I think that we should hope they can pull things together or group shooting may cease to exist as we know it.

    BUT, BR is alive and well in score shooting, so all is not lost. If score ever gets a foothold within the clubs it's over, as the clubs and match directors will appreciate the much easier to hold and run score match format.

    Regardless of who's right or wrong on the Rodney issue, they better get it worked out or the current BOD and officers may be the last. JMHO, and I'm sure others may see it differently.

  14. #14
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    The Rodney Issue

    On many threads, many more discussions, everything I mean everything in the last few weeks as all related to the Rodney Brown situation. People are starting to try and contact directors, petitions are being signed, things ARE happening. But I hear mentioned that some directors for what ever reason can't be reached. Not saying that it's intentional. But is My opinion that nothing will happen until the world team returns from New Zealand, then and only then Rodneys membership will be reinstated. Then will be after thought blah blah blah we will reinstated Rodney. After all the whole idea behind this was to get him off the world team. IF this actually happens I guarantee you there will be a lynchmob. That in itseif will be the end of NBRSA and IF that actually happens the way I have put forth then good riddance to the good old boy network and the NBRSA.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 22wd View Post
    After all the whole idea behind this was to get him off the world team. .
    Could you explain how you came to this conclusion?

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