New shooter lure......

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OnaginOffagin
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New shooter lure......

Post by OnaginOffagin » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:00 am

Years ago, I bought a Anschutz 1710 for silhouette competition, and reached triple A with it but no higher....but I love the sport.... then just a couple of years ago, I bought a Wooster stock from Loren Peter to put it in, much to the dismay of my long-suffering, beautiful wife, who was out sitting in our car trying to figure out how to pay our property taxes! She wasn't really angry, but her jaw was kinda tight!

Then, just a few hours later, I won the door prize at the very fine Conard Bernhardt Match -- an shiny new Anschutz 1712 with a Wooster stock! So there I am with two very good, national champion quality silhouette rifles! What to do? I offered the 1710 to my wife, but she just grinned at me..... I was gonna sell it, but...had a hard time letting it go. So now I keep it as a spare, and I loan it to people who want to try the sport out before they jump into the game with a serious outlay of cash. One of those loaner people you might have heard about.... Erich Mietenkorte!

My point is that if you have extra equipment, don't be afraid to offer it to prospective shooters. I think most people, if they find themselves on the silhouette line, and after they watch that first pig fall, will be hooked, and will very likely join our ranks. Encourage people to try the game at all costs, even if you have to loan them a rifle and give them a couple boxes of ammunition (but not the Center-X, for gawd's sakes! Be practical, man! Be practical!).
"Honor, Respect, Service, Humility....." (Lt. Gen. Hal Moore 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry)

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by SteveD » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:03 pm

I was having a discussion yesterday after the Smallbore match with one of the better shooters in the game about promoting Silhouette.

He is very interested in bringing new shooters to the game that we both love.

If anyone has ideas how to get the attention of potential shooters so that we can get them to the range one time, we would be most interested. The suggestion was made to create a poster that could be placed at the main range and perhaps other locations around town, telling a little about Silhouette and offering an on range experience and instruction.

I have been thinking about having a loaner rifle around. That sounds like a good idea.
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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by atomicbrh » Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:04 pm

We must ask what worked to promote shooting sports in the past?
Back in the old days the major manufacturers(Winchester, Federal, Smith and Wesson, Remington) hired the top exhibition shooters to drive around the country and put on shooting demonstrations. These demos were held at local shooting clubs, vacant pastures outside of small towns and anywhere a place could be scheduled where they could shoot safely. The result was the boom in skeet and trap in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. During that time period every movie actor and actress shot skeet on the weekends. Certainly not like Hollywood now.

The Topperweins, Ed McGivern, Tom Frye, John Huffer, Herb Parsons, and D. A. Bryce were a few of that era.
What modern company or organization has the funds to hire a spokesperson to travel around and demo silhouette?
They are all making a nice profit off of overpriced ammo without the need to promote their product.

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by hermit5 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:32 pm

I hear the same story at every silhouette match.Where are the young shooters?
They are right before our eyes in the target setters.I have asked many of them if they would like to try this game and most say that no one has ever offered to let them try it.Some say they have no interest.
The problem is the time available during or after the match.They want to go home as much as the shooters so that's the problem.
A target setters appreciation match might help.Perhaps some kind of contest for them shooting at the silhouettes.All of us could bet on our favorite setter.
They are not our slaves so we should include them somehow.My 2 cents worth.

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by OnaginOffagin » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:19 pm

hermit5 wrote:I hear the same story at every silhouette match.Where are the young shooters?
They are right before our eyes in the target setters.I have asked many of them if they would like to try this game and most say that no one has ever offered to let them try it.Some say they have no interest.
The problem is the time available during or after the match.They want to go home as much as the shooters so that's the problem.
A target setters appreciation match might help.Perhaps some kind of contest for them shooting at the silhouettes.All of us could bet on our favorite setter.
They are not our slaves so we should include them somehow.My 2 cents worth.
Helluva an idea.... let em' shoot our gear, and we set for them.....
"Honor, Respect, Service, Humility....." (Lt. Gen. Hal Moore 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry)

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by hermit5 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:39 am

If there was just somehow to reserve a half hour at a match for target setters to shoot.
Without them setting or participating in the shooting ,this sport seems doomed.
So if anyone has an idea on how to get this done,please advise.
Maybe have a rifle set up for each distance and they just try a shot at each animal till they hit one.I really don't care if they shoot off a bench.Offhand can come later.Some have never shot a gun and that's sad.If they enjoy this opportunity it may bring mom and dad into the game.

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Special Ed » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:58 pm

Have y'all considered hosting a "Learn to Shoot Silhouette" day at your ranges? Put flyers up at whatever gun/outdoor shops you have in your area and invite people out.

Here's my thinking (as one who wants to shoot silhouette but hasn't).....

My wife and I bought cheap Savage MKII rifles but put good glass on them and have match (Lapua) quality .22 ammo. We both know our gear isn't the best and probably won't be able to compete with rifles which guys have put a ton of money into. But that's ok because we each shoot against our own selves and try to do better each time relative to our previous performance. We therefore can have a ton of fun being at the bottom.

The real problem is the fear of the unknown. How do we start? How do we go about the "sighting in" prep for a match? What is the process flow of a match. How do we go about not looking like idiots and creating a mess during a match. How how how how.

Yes, I realize the only way to learn is to try - that's how she and I got more proficient at Steel Challenge - but I'm thinking that a day dedicated to going through the process from start to finish would be a big help. New shooters wouldn't be forced to learn "on the clock" - a big issue for many I talked to when trying to convince them to shoot steel challenge.

Another benefit is that the new shooters would get to meet the regular shooters when they're not trying to win a match. No matter how much or how little, we're all slightly different when we're in competition mode. That's not to say people aren't friendly or helpful. But let's be honest, when we're in the middle of a match and trying to keep our minds focused on the task at hand, it can be a bit of an irritation to have to answer that same question again...for the umpteenth time.

Any of this making sense?

We're living not far from Machias right now but I've been reluctant to go shoot silhouette there for the reasons I've mentioned. In a few months we'll be moving into our new house across Puget Sound so we'll be close to Poulsbo Sportsman Club where they also host monthly smallbore silhouette matches. Sure would help if these places had a "Learn to Shoot Silhouette" day sometime so I could get over my nerves :D

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by OnaginOffagin » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:00 pm

The Machias match, run by Jason on this forum, is one of the best, most mellow, most helpful silhouette matches that you could experience.... three friends and I attend every chance we get, and we drive 250 miles total to do so. You have nothing to fear at all from Machias. Jason is a true ambassador for the sport, and everyone that shoots there is welcoming and friendly.... please come!

We'll walk you through the match... and you'll have a good time, regardless of what rifle you shoot.
"Honor, Respect, Service, Humility....." (Lt. Gen. Hal Moore 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry)

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Special Ed » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:12 pm

I apologize - I joined so many new forums when I moved to Washington in June that I totally forgot I hadn't introduced myself here :shock:

My name is John and I live in Kirkland for the time being. Having a house built in Kitsap so will be moving to Kingston this winter.

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Special Ed » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:17 pm

OnaginOffagin wrote:The Machias match, run by Jason on this forum, is one of the best, most mellow, most helpful silhouette matches that you could experience.... three friends and I attend every chance we get, and we drive 250 miles total to do so. You have nothing to fear at all from Machias. Jason is a true ambassador for the sport, and everyone that shoots there is welcoming and friendly.... please come!

We'll walk you through the match... and you'll have a good time, regardless of what rifle you shoot.
Thank you. I guess I need to take the rifles to Kenmore and get the scopes zeroed in. We bought all the stuff to shoot smallbore silhouette before we left Texas in June but I haven't actually gone out and got them setup to go. Fact is, I've never zeroed in a scoped rifle so this will be the first time :? I got this!

Looks like I've got a little less than 3 weeks to get this sorted before the next Machias match so I'd better get shakin'.

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Jason » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:39 pm

Your rifles will be great for smallbore silhouette, better than most people start with. I started with a 10/22 and only had one magazine to go with it, so everyone waited patiently me for me to load it after every bank of animals. Here's a pretty good video to get you started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQB4LeNgM5o

We have a 30-minute (at least) sight-in period before our matches at Machias and we always have at least a couple experienced shooters ready to help someone new to the sport through sight-in and getting accustomed to the flow of the match. For individual new shooters, I usually pair them with an experienced shooter, with the experienced shooter shooting on the first relay and the new shooter shooter shooting on the second relay. For couples or any two new shooters who come to the match together and want to shoot together, we find an experienced shooter who isn't shooting that relay to help each shooter. Our matches are very relaxed, with everyone working through the match together. Even the very experienced shooters sometimes shoot the wrong target or forget which relay they're shooting, so I wouldn't worry about being new at all. Feel free to ask any questions you have about any gear or anything else you see, too.

I'll PM you my contact info in case you have any questions. See you in a couple weeks. :)

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Special Ed » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:20 pm

Egads! Don't tell my wife she could have started with a 10/22! She already had a 10/22 she's been shooting Rimfire Challenge with for a few years and I told her she needed a bolt rifle (mostly because it gave me an excuse to also buy myself a rimfire bolt rifle...shhhhh :-$ ).

My wife will definitely want someone other than me spotting for her when she's shooting so we'll appreciate being paired up with experienced shooters. That way when she out shoots me, I have no recourse but to admit she's better.

Just so I do what's right - I should zero my rifle at 50 yards when I go to Kenmore and then we'll adjust them at sight-in before the match? We've got a spotting scope. Should I bring that? Otherwise I assume rifle, ammo, eyes, ears and a good attitude are the net of what we'll need? I guess I'd better get a couple more magazines for each of us too.

Thanks, Jason, for the offer to help and for making this easy. You've taken away my last excuse so now my wife will not let me pass on the next match. I think that's a good thing, right?

Cheers,
John

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Jason » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:58 pm

Getting your scope adjusted for 50 yards will be fine. You should only be about half a minute off or less for the chickens at 40 meters and you'll want to set your scope's target turrets (if it has them) to zero for chickens. Then you can find the necessary adjustments for pigs, turkeys and rams so you can write them down to use in the match.

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Re: New shooter lure......

Post by Special Ed » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:11 am

Jason wrote:Getting your scope adjusted for 50 yards will be fine. You should only be about half a minute off or less for the chickens at 40 meters and you'll want to set your scope's target turrets (if it has them) to zero for chickens. Then you can find the necessary adjustments for pigs, turkeys and rams so you can write them down to use in the match.
Thanks, Jason. I put Leupold FX-3 25x40 scopes on both rifles so we'll be able to set the turrets. BTW - I told my wife last night about our exchange and she's totally psyched for the next match. Apparently I'm a tool for not speaking up sooner.

Back on topic - I really do think some sort of clinic day would be good and I would expect gun shops to be willing to help advertise.

Or...if the issue is with people not knowing the silhouette discipline exists, maybe just flyers at gun shops advertising the matches will help. You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) the amount of blank stares I got from gun shop employees when I told them I was looking for a rimfire bolt rifle for smallbore silhouette. "What's that?" was the most common response....aside from the one guy who pretended he knew what I was talking about.

Perhaps a call/email to Michael Bane to see if he'd do a show on silhouette shooting for "Shooting Gallery" so more people can be exposed to it. If the decrease in new shooters is due to people simply not knowing it exists, something like that could really help.

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