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Joined: May 2023
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Posts: 700
Things change, competitive people go where the competition is, change the rules to make things easier, the result is the exact reverse of the desired effect.
When I started shooting Sporting Clays, I found quite a few World Speed, IPSC, Silhouette and Cowboy Action shooters on the weekly clays line. Clays may well be the most expensive shooting sport, but the expense does not deter the competitive spirit one bit.
Try this on for size, multiple types of guns in the 8-15k each range, A clays cart and clays cart vehicle trailer, several hundered cases of shells of each guage and shot size on hand, annual membership at a club, shoot 100 round sets three times a week with every station setup at a competition set. You need to shoot sub guage class in the mid 90s to even start to be competitive in the 12-16 guage class. Plus you need a half dozen ranges to go to, in order to stay tuned up. Mediocrity does not improve competition or participation, excellence in shooters improves participation, people come to shoot with or against the best.

It took a bit of time for me to get it also, so do not be shocked. It is pretty simple, mountain climbers do not walk up hills. Every single time the preposed answer is less, you get less.

I spent 40+ years as a match director, tried everything I could think of to improve participation, inclusing creating new shooting games. It never occoured to me that difficulty was the only driving force of competition.


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There is a remedy for all things, save death.
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Joined: Feb 2020
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Around here it is about dead. The shooters seem to have aged out.
The black rifle crowd now occupies the vast majority of nenches at the club range.

Joined: Dec 2016
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I think so.
I am in the center of Wyoming. Wyoming is called the "Cowboy State" and 20-25 years ago Cowboy Action Shooting was a big thing here.

But those involved were mostly of the age groups that grew up on Westerns both from TV and movies. The next generation had only the connection through the older generation and 3 gun "combat shooting"
So every one I know in Wyoming and also in Nevada and Montana that "used to" shoot CAS or even tried it have told me the same story;
Cowbow Action is over-regulated. "Safety" so strict it's impractical. We look at the "run and gun" shooters and the fact that their safety record is extremely good and then look at the Cowboy-Crowd and I understand the frustration. A lot of money needs to be spent on guns and then on costume, and once spent you are treated like a 4 year old child by a "range master" who will not let you start from the holster with a hand gun or from a combat ready position with a shotgun or rifle, and if you step out of a "box" you are disqualified. To those who can wear street clothing, and only invest in guns, ammo and shooting gear and learn some real skills to go to pre-kindergarten with "Cowboy Rules" is somewhat insulting to their abilities and even to their intelligence. (One thing I have heard objections to is the need to have a "name" to be in the competition I.E. Windy Bill, Prairie sally and so on)

None of these things are "bad' in themselves, but all are very poor policies if the older generations want to instill any interest in the next generation in that sport. Kids and grow up in shooting sports from a generation of constant wars on the news and movies and want to emulate a fight, (to learn the skills) are not impressed with such ridiculous rules, when buying a 9MM pistol, a pump shotgun and an AR15 rifle (Or any 1 of them to start with) give them a LOT of leeway to learn skills with and cost less. And in most cases their intelligence is not insulted in Combat Action shooting.

I am an old muzzleloader guy and I see the same decline in the sport of shooting flintlocks, but the Cowboy Action Crowd seemed to go way too far with their "safety" rules to a point it's not teaching safety at all, but only treating people like they were 4 year olds.

Last edited by szihn; 02/13/24.
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