Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Quickie Before I Pass Out from Exhaustion

No SCOTUS McDonald decision today...expect it Monday...

Some thoughts on the Potterfield/Midway big contribution to the Bianchi Cup...first, Larry is to be hugely hugely congratulated for backing the shooting sports. Everyone in the industry — everyone in the culture — benefits from the growth of the shooting sports. Larry has set the bar, and I'd like to see the parts of the industry who have had a hands-off relationship with the shooting sports, even as they benefited from our money, step up and follow Larry's example.

I totally agree with his decision to focus the money on Production...unlimited/open shooting has proven itself to be a dead end. Aside from a dwindling number of participants, no one cares. In all the sports, production, stock gun classes are booming.

Will the Bianchi Cup achieve the national success that's envisioned? You tell me...since John Bianchi conceived the Cup, the landscape of sport shooting has fundamentally and irrevocably changed. When the Cup started, the practical shooting sports were in their infancy; now action shooting sports rule the roost. Based on participation, the top shooting sport in America is trap, followed by cowboy action shooting, sporting clays, Glock Sport Shooting Foundation and the various flavors of practical pistol.

The shooting sports that the Cup was conceived to bring together — PPC, fledgling IPSC and bullseye — have in the case of PPC and bullseye faded into relative obscurity or in the case of IPSC significantly morphed. Also consider the changes in the gun culture itself. Self-defense/CCW are the driving wheels and will be, I believe, for the foreseeable future. That's where the new shooters are coming from. And, as we've talked about before, they're not necessarily like us Old Skol Guys.

As I mentioned in an early post, I've seen more women and young people here at End of Trail in NM than I've ever seen at a big match. The big SASS clubs are running new shooter clinics with 60-100 people on a monthly basis. USPSA is experience a growth spurt and it's routinely filling out its national championships, and the Glock GSSF is huge in its own right. IDPA is rock solid, as are sporting clays.

Is there a place for a national competition that brings together shooters of all disciplines? I think yes. The question is what that competition needs to be.

Thoughts?

9 comments:

DamDoc said...

Great to see all the money i pour into Midway goes to a good cause!.. Now I have a new excuse to provide to my wife when she is scrutinizing my hobby expenses!

Steve said...

I can't speak for the other competitions but GSSF has a very high prize ratio for a very low buy in. Its not a surprise its doing so well. The other manufactures should pay attention.

Joey Peacock said...

I had to come read this as your "header" had me wondering about the content to follow.

Shred said...

How big is GSSF actually? 25 or so matches per year, at about 200 entries each?

Locally the IDPA and IPSC clubs are running 100+ shooters total every weekend. Statewide is far more than that. Just 100 per state per month exceeds the GSSF numbers in one month.

GSSF does some things very well (I used to shoot it until I won 3 guns and was moved out of Civilian, as is the rule)-- good payback, super-simple stages, low pressure and easy accessibility (plus shuttling those pesky 'serious competitors' off to one side). Anybody with half a box of ammo downrange can shoot a GSSF match and have fun.

The downside is that format only really works well as an entry-level or for the once-a-year competition shooters. The GSSF leagues here all folded fast.

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. I'm not sure I've ever heard of a GSSF event around here. But our local SASS and USPSA club matches pack em in by the dozens. You could go to a different USPSA match within 120 miles of here every weekend of the month.

George said...

Michael said:
"Is there a place for a national competition that brings together shooters of all disciplines? I think yes. The question is what that competition needs to be.

Thoughts?"

The competition should focus on all-around competency with pistol, rifle and shotgun in a variety of courses of fire that emphasize different contexts for the use of these weapons. It can not be all run-and-gun USPSA style, "tactical" IDPA, or SASS style matches.

NASCAR used to have a race where the competitors used identical cars. These cars were identical every aspect except for color, number, and driver (of course). The goal was to see who was the best driver. The last one I remember them using this format they were in Dodge Daytona cars.

So why not make them all shoot a Glock for a pistol, a Rock River Arms (insert your favorite AR maker here), and a FN SLP for shotgun? Even the ammo would be identical. The only variation in the competition would be holsters which would have to conform to some tight standards too.

And the match should be run according to strict rules. One of which is if you commit a procedural error you get a penalty, full-stop; no reshoots because you misunderstood! No reshoots because a splinter on a target "distracted" you. No reshoots because someone did not paint your steel like you wanted.

And make the prize money worth the admission. Larry Potterfield's prize for the Bianchi Cup is very commendable and deserves great praise for that too.

And before I forget, make it an international competition too- open to all competitors world wide.

Anonymous said...

The dirty secret to "One Design" racing in equipment sports is people and sponsors care much more about the gear than the guy.

Would Glock get more sales Monday because Taran Butler won the "Everybody shoots a Glock" match on Sunday? Would Team S&W even show up?

With fairly strict "Production class" rules, you could have a match most of the big brands could play in and send their pet pros to, but then you're pretty much IPSC revisited.

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