Are You Afraid? To compete.

FisherT&C

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First, I am no authority or expert. A teacher to some and a student to most at best. I’ve been a gunsmith since I graduated in 2011 and the learning curve can be brutal in working on firearms. Shooting long range is no exception, you can have excellent fundamentals and shoot tight groups at 100 yards and have absolutely no clue about long range. That may not be you but maybe you're somewhere in between. You are here because long range interest you, so the theme of this post is “ get out and shoot a match”.

Let the curtain drop and realize that the stage is set to a much bigger scale than once perceived. The elevation, angle, direction, pocket pressure, position building, and the wind, oh my God the wind, sometimes I think the Dead Sea Scrolls would be easier to read. Do I need to mention the cool ass people you’ll meet. You’ll meet some dip shits too, but usually they fade away and once in a while they’ll grow on you.

If you are afraid to shoot get in touch with a match director and ask if they need some RO help, usually they do. You can learn a ton by just watching some seasoned shooters without the pressure of shooting against them. Also, they will probably just let you watch if you ask, bring a spotting scope or binoculars on a tripod to really take it in. Some matches have a Hunter Class that requires only a few rounds and targets only out to around 700. So if you only have a hunting rig and are on the fence about a competition rifle Hunter Class is good option for some immersion into the match scene.

There is so much going on when you get up to shoot, everyone is watching you and you are on the clock. So many questions go through your head, what’s the wind doing?, where is that f#*king target?! I’m supposed to shoot from here? And then move over there? “oh, shit I’m gonna blow this like a trick on the strip”. Everyone goes through it, even the pros when they’re shooting a big qualifier, they’re just adjusted to the confusion. Do not compare yourself to real “Snipers” like dudes who have spec ops backgrounds and high speed shit like that. Get out there and grow and improve, it’s fun! A lot of local matches can be found on Practi-score.com The new shooting season is coming, take the plunge. The best to all you guys and gals.
 

Precision Underground

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I would add that all of that fear/angst you described is common but avoidable. I haven’t shot a lot of matches but I used to play a lot of golf tournaments and that experience/mentality was invaluable at my first match. Go in realizing that no one cares if you bomb a stage. No one cares if you shoot the wrong target. No one cares if your mag falls out half way through. It will feel like everyone is “watching”.....they aren’t. They are thinking about their own match and what they are doing/going to do. If you can accept all of that as fact the nerves completely go away. Be SAFE and be humble everyone will make you feel right at home after the first stage.
 

magtech

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I'm not afraid to compete but most gun guys I meet at the range are king douchers. What's the point in competing when you are annoyed by people... Like let's go shoot guys and be annoyed , sounds like a great time ?...

Truth be told... I've just been around too many shitty people. I'd rather be alone than deal with it all.

Instead I just said F it, rented a dozer and made my own range. I might extend my range another 300 yards this year. Time will tell.
 

Fig

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I can’t relate. I don’t stress about important shit, much less a PRS match. I compete for fun and against myself. I don’t practice enough for a top ten finish and probably never will. I have a blast. I’m the guy whose smiling the whole time. I love love socializing with nonfucktards who are in their right minds, and I’m always glad I went.
 

abn31c

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Shit, I shoot for fun and to hangout with my friends, if it was "stressful" fuck it. I too played alot of golf for alot of years, if you're stressin you're missin. If you are worried about what other people think you aren't focused on what you're doing. Be safety minded and nobody will give a shit how you shoot.
 

Rocketvapor

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Ha, I love to shoot prone paper.
Stuck @ 600 until I do a little better then out to 1000yds.
The better shooters with rigs that cost as much as my second hand Tundra are helpful.
I find it a sport that even though competitive, the good shooters want to help.
When I drop a half dozen points, the good shooters drop 1 or 2.

My wife is a pretty good shot, but HATES competition.
 
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lash

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I'm not afraid to compete but most gun guys I meet at the range are king douchers. What's the point in competing when you are annoyed by people... Like let's go shoot guys and be annoyed , sounds like a great time ?...

Truth be told... I've just been around too many shitty people. I'd rather be alone than deal with it all.

Instead I just said F it, rented a dozer and made my own range. I might extend my range another 300 yards this year. Time will tell.
You really should shoot a match. It’s different than going to the range and seeing/meeting the fucktards. I guarantee it. At the very least, you will learn and be challenged if you allow yourself to be part of it and watch what others are doing.

Don’t deprive yourself of the experience. Remember that you’re competing against yourself and your capabilities.

You can thank me later.;)
 

Precision Underground

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You really should shoot a match. It’s different than going to the range and seeing/meeting the fucktards. I guarantee it. At the very least, you will learn and be challenged if you allow yourself to be part of it and watch what others are doing.

Don’t deprive yourself of the experience. Remember that you’re competing against yourself and your capabilities.

You can thank me later.;)
This is true. Especially for club matches I think. It’s just good shooters that like to shoot for fun. The moron crowd that ends up next to you on the range haven’t made it to this tier of shooting so they usually aren’t there.
 

earthtrekker1775

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I compete to keep skills sharp and to put my gear through the paces. Can be a good way to meet like minded people and learn from people with much more experience. But as I tend to keep to myself a lot, I mostly just shoot on property around where I live.
 

DJL2

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Afraid to compete? No more so than USPSA. Afraid I have no idea where to find the time or the money to actually make it to a range to even practice beyond 400 yds regularly (let alone compete)? Yeah.

I’m sure it’d be an awesome experience, but if I’m being realistic, I’m not going to be traveling for a PRS match - just not in the cards.
 

lash

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Afraid to compete? No more so than USPSA. Afraid I have no idea where to find the time or the money to actually make it to a range to even practice beyond 400 yds regularly (let alone compete)? Yeah.

I’m sure it’d be an awesome experience, but if I’m being realistic, I’m not going to be traveling for a PRS match - just not in the cards.
I get where you are coming from. To play devil's advocate, you are in Georgia, where there are a bunch of local matches. They do not need to be PRS sanctioned matches. In fact, I think local is better for most first timers.
If you're practiced at 400 yards, you owe it to yourself to attend a match. There you will be challenged beyond 400 yards.

With the right attitude, it’s a no lose situation.

See my post above.
 

Fig

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You really should shoot a match. It’s different than going to the range and seeing/meeting the fucktards. I guarantee it. At the very least, you will learn and be challenged if you allow yourself to be part of it and watch what others are doing.

Don’t deprive yourself of the experience. Remember that you’re competing against yourself and your capabilities.

You can thank me later.;)
This X1000. Big talk about your skill is worthless at a match. IMPACT does the talkin.
 

Cascade Hemi

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I shoot a lot of USPSA. I'd have to travel a a pretty long distance to shoot a regular PRS match. I've shot long range matches before but just don't have the time to engage in another shooting discipline the same way I do USPSA. Precision rifles has always been my passion but I shoot pistols almost every day.
 
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gigamortis

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I've shot IDPA pistol matches for over 10 years. I really like the down to earth atmosphere of local club matches. Newbies to the sport are always treated with respect and a helping hand. No one is an expert at the game it in their first year. It took me 7 years of playing the game to make expert as per IDPA's classifier system.

With that being said, I have no desire to compete in any larger sanctioned matches. With higher tiered state or national matches, most of the crowd seems to take their performance too seriously at the expense of having fun. I like to have fun as well as being challenged enough to sharpen my skills and keep them sharp. I encourage all newbies to stick with the easy going flavor of smaller local matches for a year or two before considering the bigger matches.
 

slomo

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I’m just about to start shooting uspsa matches. A little nervous but mostly excited. I’d love to get in on some prs matches also if I can find time. I have a 1000yard range set up at the ranch if I can ever find time to practice.
 
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Doug k 042414

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I’m just about to start shooting uspsa matches. A little nervous but mostly excited. I’d love to get in on some prs matches also if I can find time. I have a 1000yard range set up at the ranch if I can ever find time to practice.
Uspsa is a blast! So is steel challenge! You get squadded with great people and they are always willing to talk gear and shop! I am swinging for the fence by doing bushnell in feb as a Segway into more competitive rifle stuff. For me, I’m in savannah and it’s 4 hours to Blakely for me to shoot prs. I might shoot the feb match but we shall see. Point is, you are your own worse enemy at a match. Go in with no expectations and be wowed! It’s like golf... you can blow the entire round and have a few good strokes that keep you coming back
 

DJL2

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Make sure you let us know if your brain runs out of your ears and you mostly forget how to shoot the first time you hear the "beep." ;-) The only thing more humbling than going to shit on the first stage of USPSA I ever shot was my first Steel Challenge shoot. On one stage I had to reload...I wanted to eat the gun at that point.

Seriously, though, good learning experience. Showed up to my current gig with a transferable skill set (shoot a P320, issued an M17), too.
 

chevy_man

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Make sure you let us know if your brain runs out of your ears and you mostly forget how to shoot the first time you hear the "beep." ;-) The only thing more humbling than going to shit on the first stage of USPSA I ever shot was my first Steel Challenge shoot. On one stage I had to reload...I wanted to eat the gun at that point.

Seriously, though, good learning experience. Showed up to my current gig with a transferable skill set (shoot a P320, issued an M17), too.


I bought a timer and sat in the garage and beep'd it a few hundred times. Then practiced with it every time I shot at the range.

It really is amazing that a damn beep jumps your heart rate and disables your brain at the same time.
 

GotCox

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I used to shoot rimfire benchrest matches. At the time it fit my budget and there was a range close. Now i got way more budget, live out in the sticks and have more open country than i know what to do with, but there are no ranges here. No comps. There used to be clay pigon shooting 1 town over but that is gone now too. I might have to keep an eye out and see if i can make an idaho or washington comp just to see how it is really done.
 

Tikka_taca1

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I'm not afraid to compete but most gun guys I meet at the range are king douchers. What's the point in competing when you are annoyed by people... Like let's go shoot guys and be annoyed , sounds like a great time ?...

Truth be told... I've just been around too many shitty people. I'd rather be alone than deal with it all.

Instead I just said F it, rented a dozer and made my own range. I might extend my range another 300 yards this year. Time will tell.
I feel the same and would add to much ego also
 

Tikka_taca1

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I have been invited several times to shoot a local match, I kindly turn them down, for me shooting 6-800 yards is a way to relax, I gather data I go home and I prep for the ne t time.

I feel uneasy being around people I don’t know, extreme anxiety to be exact, and then to add to that a shot timer and shooting distances I might not have ever tried before, it’s just not me

but on the other hand it seems like a waste for me to not try it once, I doubt I will but it’s nice to think about
 

chevy_man

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I have been invited several times to shoot a local match, I kindly turn them down, for me shooting 6-800 yards is a way to relax, I gather data I go home and I prep for the ne t time.

I feel uneasy being around people I don’t know, extreme anxiety to be exact, and then to add to that a shot timer and shooting distances I might not have ever tried before, it’s just not me

but on the other hand it seems like a waste for me to not try it once, I doubt I will but it’s nice to think about

Social anxiety?

I have a buddy that we've been trying to get to go to 3 gun for years. He's gotten so far as to drive to the range only to panic and go home.

Find some buddies to go with. Know that everyone there started at the same place.

Nobody is there to bust your balls.
We give each other some shit, but we always lay off the new guys until they settle in and can take it.
 
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perttime

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I don't compete in Long Range shooting: no suitable ranges or matches anywhere near my area - except for some military sniper style stuff. I am a casual IPSC handgun competitor.

I was a little nervous when I went to my first match many years back. I didn't know what to expect, and there was nobody I knew there. It was OK, once I got the first stage done, though. The ROs were friendly, as were the others in the squad. Got some pointers watching the others. Did my own thing on a couple of stages and that worked OK too.

I don't expect to win matches. It is a good feeling when you get something right: get the hits, instead of no-shoots on some tight targets, do something faster than some of the other guys. WHEN you blow it, that is a lesson: gotta work on improving.

You don't necessarily need to take competition all that seriously. For many, it helps if you can go with somebody you know.
 

Tikka_taca1

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Social anxiety?

I have a buddy that we've been trying to get to go to 3 gun for years. He's gotten so far as to drive to the range only to panic and go home.

Find some buddies to go with. Know that everyone there started at the same place.

Nobody is there to bust your balls.
We give each other some shit, but we always lay off the new guys until they settle in and can take it.
you are correct, I am not a people person, at work I don’t talk to anyone in the almost 20 years I have owned guns I have not shot them with anyone outside of family, when I was younger I had a sport bike, never went riding with anyone it’s just not my thing
 

DJL2

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I'll say this about a good group/venue. It's like powerlifters - they don't care how good you are, they're psyched that you showed up and they're happy to see you work in.

Are there clowns at the gym and the range? Yeah, sure...but, more often than not, those guys don't show up when it's "put up or shut up" time. Whether it's deadlift or running that USPSA qualifier.

That matters to me because I don't like people all that much, or interacting with them, generally. I was fortunate to find, by sheer luck, a USPSA club with some really top level talent - and a cool enough group of folks that some of us went out for dinner after matches to talk shooting and what not.
 

8pointer

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You really should shoot a match. It’s different than going to the range and seeing/meeting the fucktards. I guarantee it. At the very least, you will learn and be challenged if you allow yourself to be part of it and watch what others are doing.

Don’t deprive yourself of the experience. Remember that you’re competing against yourself and your capabilities.

You can thank me later.;)
I literally cannot wait to compete and that time is coming with a facility opening soon(did you see last announcement from JTAC btw?). I'll be at the bottom of the food chain, but get so much enjoyment out of working to acquire new skills and seeing steady improvement. In the short time I've been on the Hide I've linked up with a seasoned shooter who has taken me off training wheels to seeing big improvements...FUN! Now it's almost time to delve into an entirely new set of skills with PRS> Different folks will have different reasons for not competing, but being afraid to fail I hope isn't one of them. Every person in that match failed at one point in development of their rifleman skill sets and if they are pushing themselves likely fail still!
 
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perttime

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... Every person in that match failed at one point in development of their rifleman skill sets and if they are pushing themselves likely fail still!
Most of us don't get it right every time....

At our club's main IPSC handgun match 2019, we had a short stage where you started pistol holstered, magazine inserted, but NO round in the chamber. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who forgot to rack the slide before the first shot.

At another match, we had a stage with a number of targets at 25 meters - mostly covered with no-shoot penalty targets. I got my hits OK, taking my time. I suspect that some had winced during the scoring: there were so many holes in the penalty targets. Everybody was joking and smiling at lunch anyway.
 
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Tazman

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Shot a PRS match in Southern MO and I met a bunch of douchbags. Most guys think they are gods gift to the shooting world and criticized every piece of others equipment. I shoot MOA and was made fun of so it was my first and last time which is why I just can't get behind or support that world. I shoot local matches with buddies on rare occasions but I just practice a lot now on my own or with friends.

There is more I could say but I will be nice.
 

Mechdesigner

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Shot a PRS match in Southern MO and I met a bunch of douchbags. Most guys think they are gods gift to the shooting world and criticized every piece of others equipment. I shoot MOA and was made fun of so it was my first and last time which is why I just can't get behind or support that world. I shoot local matches with buddies on rare occasions but I just practice a lot now on my own or with friends.

There is more I could say but I will be nice.
I recently shot my first match at the GA range near Kansas City, Missouri...all of the MOST guys I met seemed really nice and helpful. You might have got unlucky and got stuck in a squad of jerk offs...They have helped me a bunch getting squared away and my skills have really increased a bunch since jumping into it. I had a ton of gear that was not optimal for competition, I quickly realized it, It can seem a little off putting when someone tells you what gear you do and don't need but in the end they are just letting you learn from their own mistakes and the mistakes they seen others make...it will save a ton of money for you in the end.
 

The_Count

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Laugh at yourself when you do something stupid. Every else will laugh with you and commiserate.

People only pay attention to you when you're burning it down. Everyone likes to watch a good shooter.
 

supercorndogs

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Stick and stones. Come on big shoots, nobody likes a poopy pants. ? :LOL: ?

Cant afford it for me. Talk to me in a few years, when I finish college, again.......:cry::oops:?
 
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The_Count

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Shot a PRS match in Southern MO and I met a bunch of douchbags. Most guys think they are gods gift to the shooting world and criticized every piece of others equipment. I shoot MOA and was made fun of so it was my first and last time which is why I just can't get behind or support that world. I shoot local matches with buddies on rare occasions but I just practice a lot now on my own or with friends.

There is more I could say but I will be nice.
That's called group think.


They have elevated opinions of themselves because they are in a group of friends. Most were laughing at you because they were afraid of getting laughed at. I promise they only represent a small fraction of the shooters. Let it inspire you, not holds you back.
 

8pointer

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That's called group think.


They have elevated opinions of themselves because they are in a group of friends. Most were laughing at you because they were afraid of getting laughed at. I promise they only represent a small fraction of the shooters. Let it inspire you, not holds you back.
100% have seen this in other activities throughout my life. The fear of failure is way worse than actually failing IMO. Worst that happens is you fail and say 'oh ok so that's how that works....that wasn't so bad, but next time I'll know better.' Ask me how I know.....I've failed a ton!
 
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alpine44

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Shot a PRS match in Southern MO and I met a bunch of douchbags. Most guys think they are gods gift to the shooting world and criticized every piece of others equipment. I shoot MOA and was made fun of so it was my first and last time which is why I just can't get behind or support that world. I shoot local matches with buddies on rare occasions but I just practice a lot now on my own or with friends.

There is more I could say but I will be nice.
The extreme gear whoring is what keeps me away from PRS style events. But what do you expect from a series that was conceived by top-dollar rifle builders.

In IDPA, USPSA, and a lot of 3-gun matches you can have fun and even place with decent, run-of-the-mill gear. Grab any AR that is zeroed, put a turkey barrel on you duck gun, drop your EDC pistol in a suitable holster and you are good to go. I particularly like the production gun and iron-sight divisions where it's clearly skills over wallet size.
 
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DownhillFromHere

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I've been shooting, pretty much anything that will expel some object from a tube using compressed gas, for almost 60 years. I started shooting skeet when I was 15; as much as I enjoyed it, I didn't want to compete because the few shoots I'd watched appeared to be way too serious for me. The participants looked more like they were working than having fun.

Then I went to a shoot with a group I'd gotten to know at our local club. I was hooked. That was 30+ years ago.

I tried rifle after I retired four years ago. I was burned out on competitive skeet. I'd clawed my way to the top AAA classification in all four guns (12, 20, 28 gauge & .410 bore) and found that being "good" meant I was up against the best in the world, and it was an interesting and humbling experience... all a perfect score gets you is a ticket to the dance (tie-breaker shootoffs) and I never once won at that level.

What I learned in skeet translates directly to rifle (or any other) discipline:
  • Don't wait until you're "good" to try a match. "Good" is relative anyway (see above). I'd been shooting skeet over 15 years before I entered my first competition, and everything changes when there's a ref standing there with the pull cord and a score sheet (or RO with shot timer and hit counter).
  • The thought that "everybody's gonna be watching me" is bogus. The reality is that very few people aside from the ROs will pay attention to you, the ROs don't care how good (or bad) you are AS LONG AS YOU ARE SAFE and maintain the pace of the squad (mainly, being ready to shoot when it's your turn).
  • While there are prissy, arrogant people in any discipline, the vast majority of people are pleasant and helpful, especially to new shooters. With rifle, that help can come during a match because there is so much down time.
  • Wrt equipment race: only assholes are going to look down on, let alone openly comment about, gear brought to a match by new shooters. My experience - with skeet, rifle, everything I've done - is that ATTITUDE, not skill, is what matters most.
  • You'll make mistakes. Accept that. I make silly ones every time I shoot a match. I occasionally get mad (at myself) because of the absurdity (like dialing the wrong setting on my scope - twice in a row). But, again, ATTITUDE rules the day. My mantra has always been, "Next week, no one will remember your score. But everybody will remember how you act when you post it."
  • If you know your rifle and load, you're already ahead of about a third of the shooters at local matches. Two years ago, after I'd shot a single match, I did a 1x1 all-day session with an instructor to (a) assess my raw shooting skill, (b) learn more about typical props found in matches, and (c) get ideas of how to build positions on such props with my range-of-motion limitation form an old injury. At the end of the day, I asked how he thought I would fare in the "usual" matches in our area (central NC, southern VA). His response was "You clearly know your rifle and load, because you hit everything you shot at from a pre-built position." He said that put me ahead of a quarter to a third of most match entrants. That was the first day I shot 1000 yards, btw. So my challenge was - and remains - building a stable position quickly.
  • I'm almost 67 years old, ate up with arthritis, slower than molasses in January. I compete because I enjoy seeing new target presentations and trying to improve, not because I expect to win. If you have to win to enjoy this or any other sport, I feel sorry for you.
  • I have two Vietnam-era fighter pilots in my circle of friends. Neither of them flew anymore after they retired. I asked both of them: you have this amazing skill, why don't you fly anymore? Both said the same thing: once you fly fast-movers in combat, flying around just because you can is boring as hades. So it is with me and competition since I did that first skeet match 30+ years ago - I crave the rush. I'm not comparing competition to mortal combat - I'm just saying shooting just to shoot is nowhere near as much fun as shooting with, and against, other like-minded people.
 
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keystoneshooter

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Shot a PRS match in Southern MO and I met a bunch of douchbags. Most guys think they are gods gift to the shooting world and criticized every piece of others equipment. I shoot MOA and was made fun of so it was my first and last time which is why I just can't get behind or support that world. I shoot local matches with buddies on rare occasions but I just practice a lot now on my own or with friends.

There is more I could say but I will be nice.
That really sucks man I have seen a hard time given to guys running moa before.... I was worried about how it would go at my first match last year and it was awesome, everyone was helpful learned what I needed to work on and shot a few local matches throughout the year competing against myself not really worrying about anyone else.

I went to a intro to prs course that the Missouri Most guys put on a couple years ago with a buddy the guys we met were great and there to help with everything.

They put the 1 day course of free of charge to grow the sport, not sure if they have kept doing it every year or not, I remember they
had some criteria like never shot a match or less than 2 matches to attend the class.
 

alpine44

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I've been shooting, pretty much anything that will expel some object from a tube using compressed gas, for almost 60 years. I started shooting skeet when I was 15; as much as I enjoyed it, I didn't want to compete because the few shoots I'd watched appeared to be way too serious for me. The participants looked more like they were working than having fun.

Then I went to a shoot with a group I'd gotten to know at our local club. I was hooked. That was 30+ years ago.

I tried rifle after I retired four years ago. I was burned out on competitive skeet. I'd clawed my way to the top AAA classification in all four guns (12, 20, 28 gauge & .410 bore) and found that being "good" meant I was up against the best in the world, and it was an interesting and humbling experience... all a perfect score gets you is a ticket to the dance (tie-breaker shootoffs) and I never once won at that level.

What I learned in skeet translates directly to rifle (or any other) discipline:
  • Don't wait until you're "good" to try a match. "Good" is relative anyway (see above). I'd been shooting skeet over 15 years before I entered my first competition, and everything changes when there's a ref standing there with the pull cord and a score sheet (or RO with shot timer and hit counter).
  • The thought that "everybody's gonna be watching me" is bogus. The reality is that very few people aside from the ROs will pay attention to you, the ROs don't care how good (or bad) you are AS LONG AS YOU ARE SAFE and maintain the pace of the squad (mainly, being ready to shoot when it's your turn).
  • While there are prissy, arrogant people in any discipline, the vast majority of people are pleasant and helpful, especially to new shooters. With rifle, that help can come during a match because there is so much down time.
  • Wrt equipment race: only assholes are going to look down on, let alone openly comment about, gear brought to a match by new shooters. My experience - with skeet, rifle, everything I've done - is that ATTITUDE, not skill, is what matters most.
  • You'll make mistakes. Accept that. I make silly ones every time I shoot a match. I occasionally get mad (at myself) because of the absurdity (like dialing the wrong setting on my scope - twice in a row). But, again, ATTITUDE rules the day. My mantra has always been, "Next week, no one will remember your score. But everybody will remember how you act when you post it."
  • If you know your rifle and load, you're already ahead of about a third of the shooters at local matches. Two years ago, after I'd shot a single match, I did a 1x1 all-day session with an instructor to (a) assess my raw shooting skill, (b) learn more about typical props found in matches, and (c) get ideas of how to build positions on such props with my range-of-motion limitation form an old injury. At the end of the day, I asked how he thought I would fare in the "usual" matches in our area (central NC, southern VA). His response was "You clearly know your rifle and load, because you hit everything you shot at from a pre-built position." He said that put me ahead of a quarter to a third of most match entrants. That was the first day I shot 1000 yards, btw. So my challenge was - and remains - building a stable position quickly.
  • I'm almost 67 years old, ate up with arthritis, slower than molasses in January. I compete because I enjoy seeing new target presentations and trying to improve, not because I expect to win. If you have to win to enjoy this or any other sport, I feel sorry for you.
  • I have two Vietnam-era fighter pilots in my circle of friends. Neither of them flew anymore after they retired. I asked both of them: you have this amazing skill, why don't you fly anymore? Both said the same thing: once you fly fast-movers in combat, flying around just because you can is boring as hades. So it is with me and competition since I did that first skeet match 30+ years ago - I crave the rush. I'm not comparing competition to mortal combat - I'm just saying shooting just to shoot is nowhere near as much fun as shooting with, and against, other like-minded people.
A lot of valid points there.

I go regularly to trap and sporting clay shoots to hone my skills with my 'survival' food getter, a shortened and skeletonized 22WMR over 20 ga. That's probably the worst gun to compete with but everyone in these circles gets the point and some have even asked to borrow the gun for shit and giggles.

OTOH, the PRS style events are so overrun these days that I can to some degree empathize with the douche bags who get pissy when you show up with a very accurate hunting rig for a COF that was designed around 20 rd box magazines. How well you run your tool of choice does not seem to matter to those pricks.

You mentioned having the wrong elevation dialed in when the adrenaline is flowing. I learned that lesson as well and converted to second focal plane BDC reticles that I dial in for the daily conditions via the magnification. That is by far the fastest and most 'buck fever' proof solution for hunting as far as I care to shoot at anything with a pulse. The reticle goes to 800 but I draw the ethical line much closer if there is any wind.

Unfortunately, these days you need to ring a big steel plate at 1000 yards to be a real man. Dot-challenge or a cold bore shot on the same target in the same ragged hole anytime you take the rifle out of the case is apparently for sissies. Am I going to spend another 5+ grand on a tool that I will only use for silly games? Probably not.

You can improve your core skills like stable platform, natural aim, trigger pull, etc. at 50 yards if you go for consistent bug-hole groups. All that longer ranges add is testing your reloading skills, your wind calls, and your ability to operate the various gadgets. (BTW, it really cracks me up when I see everyone holding the Kestrels up while the leaves are hanging motionless on the branches. Probably was just dumb luck that we hit anything without even a range finder 30 years ago in the Alps.)
 
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MakeSawdust

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Shot a PRS match in Southern MO and I met a bunch of douchbags. Most guys think they are gods gift to the shooting world and criticized every piece of others equipment. I shoot MOA and was made fun of so it was my first and last time which is why I just can't get behind or support that world. I shoot local matches with buddies on rare occasions but I just practice a lot now on my own or with friends.

There is more I could say but I will be nice.
This is very unfortunate. My experience at matches over the last two years has been quite the opposite.

I have been shooting in the Border Wars matches and have shot several matches in MO that are both Border Wars and MOST matches. I also shot my first two day PRS match in MO last fall. I have never felt like everyone was a jackass. In fact, at most matches, it feels like the nicest, most helpful people in the world are all gathered at the match. Sure, there are a couple dipshits at every match. Dipshits are everywhere. It is inevitable. Most don't last long, as they are not well received. There are a lot of great people in this sport, especially in the MO area, that really enjoy helping others learn and enjoy the sport. I know I've gotten a ton of help from countless MO guys. All are very nice and fun to be around. It sounds like you got stuck in a bad squad. I was going to list the names of all the MO guys that have helped me out in the last couple years, but I realized I would leave someone out, and this already long post would double in length.

I really regret that you had such a bad experience, but I think if you gave it another chance you would likely have a much better experience.

I read your post again before submitting this and will also add that my comp gun for the last two years cost $2k including optic. I have never had anyone make fun of it or chest puff about how their equipment is better. Good shooters know what it takes to make it to the top. While gucci gear is nice, all you need is reliable and repeatable. After that it is the shooter. Guys going on about their gear think they can buy their way to the top. The top shooters have nice gear because they enjoy the sport and spend a large portion of their life participating in it. They have invested in expensive gear because they enjoy it. Most of the guys that are always on the podium are shooting 10k plus and up to 50k rounds per season. The investment is in time and effort. It has very little to do with the gear.
 

alpine44

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On a positive note, I can suggest a great match for the folks in the East:

Bushnell Elite Sniper Challenge, February 21-23, 2020 in Ellerbe, NC

I was involved in the setup and RO'd at this event 2 years ago and it was awesome. Very well thought out and beautifully built stages like a roll-over vehicle with pistol targets engaged while hanging in the belts, then 'exfil' to engage LR targets with the rifles. Other stages looked more conventional but had some twists. If you did not use your brain there, even a million dollar guided missile would not save the day.

Take for example a innocent looking 1000 yard lane in the woods with known distance targets at 100, 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1000. The trick was that the 200 yard target was very hard to see. So, everyone is stressed out about the long shots and most teams mistook the 400 target for the 200. If your spotter was smart, the team would realize that something was not right with the point of impact, re-asses, and recover. The rest scored misses on the 600 and 800 plates until they ran out of time.

The attendees were a great mix of average folks, LE, .mil, and some Jersey shooters. A lot of great prizes as well.

This is a team match where the secondary shooter has to shoot a NATO caliber. Every other gear is fair play. Three divisions: LRRP will ruck to stages on the clock and camp out at night, Trooper will ruck on the clock, and Mechanized will be driven from stage to stage.
 
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alpine44

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I just noticed this was started in the BOLT ACTION SECTION.
Then all the PRS and action guys came in.
What was this about?
The OP wanted to encourage folks to compete.

The problem is IMO, that there are virtually no matches for bolt action rifles that a sane person would choose for a week-long mountain hunt or any rifle suitable for a home invasion, Bugaloo, zombie apocalypse or whatever civilian scenario you could think about.

Heck, even current issue .mil sniper gear is at odds with some of these precision rifle events. Then the constant whining in these circles about the 'Know your limit' stages. Guess what, life itself is about knowing your limits. You'll lose if you bet anything on something you cannot pull off.

I think the action pistol events were brought up as a contrasting example for no (or little) nonsense competitions with a low entry barrier. Just stick your EDC gun in a suitable holster, have some fun, and learn. No need to stress out over the latest caliber, rifling, or gizmo that makes you part of the 'club'.
 
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FisherT&C

PreFit Barrels for Bolt Guns
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Don't know why this was in the Bolt Action rifle section

Moved to Competition Section
My mistake, I'm new, I thought it was appropriate since most long range competitors shoot bolt guns. I'll get it right. Thanks for the correction.
 

steve123

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Don't get too offended.

Ha, my very first long range field course match I was made fun of because of my lower end gear, and how long I was taking, by someone very popular around here.

Additionally I used to go to a tactical match that certain shooters were embarrassing to be around because some of these local guys were literally yelling at each other!

On top of that one of the winningest rifleman in US history (not Dtubb) treated me the worst anybody ever has! I was amazed at the arrogance this guy was capable of. If the guy wasn't in his late 70's I would have been tempted to pull him over the counter and...

I got kicked out of a shooting range because I was shooting a 375 Cheytac. The Main RO comes up to me and says 50 BMG's are against the rules. I said this isn't one. More range Nazi's show up saying you can't have a 408 Cheytac either, I said this isn't one. Crowds gathering now, lol. I said do you allow elephant guns/cartridges here, they said yes, I said well this puts out less energy than some of them. They asked me to go because they were afraid I'd shoot at rocks up on the mountain, lol. I left shaking my head at the dumbassery.

You just forgive and move on, you don't have to be best friends with everybody. As they say "always some asshole in every crowd" There are plenty of nice people around to make friends with, find those and hang out with them.

Now if you're that asshole, try hard to not be "that guy", c'mon man - please, the rest of us would appreciate it!

I still go to occasional matches and make the best of it. Wishing I was young and healthy again....

Nerves - the more you go to matches the less nervous you'll be.
 

Tazman

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I shot mils at sniper school but I am just use to MOA and have to many to switch over. It really turned me off on the PRS and MOST series. They wanted to use my Vortex spotting scope for the RO"s and one of the PRS guys told me you don't need a spotting scope if you would buy a good scope? I was using a NF and he was using a S&B. I had a GAP 243 rifle with a NF in MOA. That comment with a couple others when I had a malfunction was enough for me. I have placed second and 3rd at a couple of the matches at big Piney but I don't go back since I don't care to be around arrogance like that. One of them even explained to me he shot with some navy seals in Texas and they were impressed. I'm sure the other issue is I am there to have fun and could care a less about winning as long as I learn something. I run a 7-35 NF FFP on my GAP 6.5 Creedmoor and my 6 Creedmoor but both in MOA.

That being said, I'm sure there are some good guys but my experience was not something I care to do again. And I agree there are always A-Holes in the crowd but there were quiet a few that day. Being LE I have pretty thick skin but little patients for that stuff.

Good thing I didn't tell them I carry a 9mm also.....I would of been thrown out for MOA and 9mm!!lol
 

Maddybrook

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I shot mils at sniper school but I am just use to MOA and have to many to switch over. It really turned me off on the PRS and MOST series. They wanted to use my Vortex spotting scope for the RO"s and one of the PRS guys told me you don't need a spotting scope if you would buy a good scope? I was using a NF and he was using a S&B. I had a GAP 243 rifle with a NF in MOA. That comment with a couple others when I had a malfunction was enough for me. I have placed second and 3rd at a couple of the matches at big Piney but I don't go back since I don't care to be around arrogance like that. One of them even explained to me he shot with some navy seals in Texas and they were impressed. I'm sure the other issue is I am there to have fun and could care a less about winning as long as I learn something. I run a 7-35 NF FFP on my GAP 6.5 Creedmoor and my 6 Creedmoor but both in MOA.

That being said, I'm sure there are some good guys but my experience was not something I care to do again. And I agree there are always A-Holes in the crowd but there were quiet a few that day. Being LE I have pretty thick skin but little patients for that stuff.

Good thing I didn't tell them I carry a 9mm also.....I would of been thrown out for MOA and 9mm!!lol
I carry a 9 and I bought my nightforce in moa. Guess I'm out! I really have been wanting to learn more and try a match or two but I certainly don't need those experiences.