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I have been competing in various rifle matches including High Power,CMP Vintage ,and "informal CMP style" club matches for the last 10 yrs or so and hardly see any new and younger shooter on the line ,I'm 39 and usually considered one of the younger ones!!!!.I'm in SW Pa. area is it this way in your areas also? Seems like our beloved sport is fading fast, Question is what more can we as rifle competitors do it draw in the younger ones? Something has to be done either by us the competitors or the CMP and NRA better figure out a new game plan that actually works to draw them in and keep them shooting and enjoying our great sport and heritage.
 

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it's a problem

that is going to doom the hobby / sport if we're not proactive. Same situation in my club. A number of grumpy old men that are way to serious on the line, not wanting to be bothered by training up the younger bunch. Dads not bringing their sons because of the above. Sad, but true. We need to be aware of this, and get more young shooters on the line.
 

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I say take your youngsters with you and to hell with the grumpy old men and women. I take mine with me and shut the old whiners out and continue on with my shooting with my young ones.
 

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I'm only 28 and I have only run into friendly folks at the range. Some a little weird, but that's to be expected :) They probably think I'm a little weird, too :)

I plan to take my daughter when she gets older (only 2 years old now).
 

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More and more youngsters are being coerced and convinced that guns are evil instruments in our socialist education system.
Also the trend is towards more "me" stuff like MP3 players and multi purpose electronic devices.
Participant activities like sports and outdoor stuff are suffering.
Got a few teacher friends who are literally rabid over some of these changes.
 

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Don't forget that with the disintegration of the traditional family many if not most kids today have no father around. My old man skipped out on me in 1956, I first fired a .22
at Boy Scout Camp when I was 13.
 

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Maybe it has something to with the area a person lives in, but most of the people I run into at the range are pretty nice folks, including the older ones. And many times they are the more knowledgeable.

I also agree with Mike, there are a lot more distractions in recent years that keep the younger ones from getting involved in the sport, i.e. high tech stuff like computers, etc., etc. And unfortunately, firearms have taken some pretty big hits because of a few nuts out there that use them in the wrong way. And of course, the left is always quick to jump on these tragic events to paint all guns as evil in spite of the millions and millions of people who use them in a safe and responsible manner.

And as already pointed out, passing down our heritage seems to be far down the list of priorities given all the social ills within our society. Such as our children being raised by their mother's live in boy friends, drugs, divorce, and the list goes on. Sure glad I'm not a young person having to deal with all these things.
 

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My wife and I are trying to get support for a 4H Shooting Sports group in our kids regular club in NE Ohio. Honestly, we do have some strong parental support so far, but the original club advisors just aren't helping much. They aren't bucking it yet, but they aren't helping either. We have tried enlisting a local club's support for their range and have some good feedback so far. We have both to go get certified (weekend class) and fingerprinted to be instructors in this area, which is ok and minor. We heard some complaints from other parents about having to drive their kids 30-40 minutes for a shooting sports project because the home club didn't offer it. Once we initiated starting our own, we had other kid coming forward with parental support. Also, my 13 yr old went to a 4h shooting sport camp this summer and they were full to the gills! And ALOT of girls!!!! I went to the awards ceremony and noticed a trend.....girls were getting the majority of the awards!! Wish us luck on our endeavor!


I used to belong to a gun club myself, but that club almost completely eliminated shooting anything but HUNTING guns? They pulled an ANTI stance on military rifles. I dropped out and refuse to be part of it.
 

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Im happy to say I am a young shooter.Been shootin since I was 12,17 now. Most of the people my age are being taken away by computers,mp3s,ipods all that other junk. Id rather spend 400 dollars on an Arisaka 99 Captured in Korea with documentation than I would an Ipod.Im not an expert by any means but im tryin.
 

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There are a number of reasons for this: the anti-gun climate in schools, loss of shooting ranges, and one other.
I spent a summer doing military hi power matches in the New England area back in the mid-80's when I was stationed at Ft. Devens Mass. After one summer of this I was mightly bored. The sport, i.e. military hi power matches carry the seeds of their own destruction. Why? Because they are BORING to shoot and even more boring to watch.

Conventional hi power matches are about the same as watching golf except theywill put you to sleep faster. Seriously, do you think that anybody would put one of these on TV? If you go to two gun or three gun matches you will see much younger shooters competing. These are fun matches to watch and to shoot. You have a much better chance of getting the X-Box generation to shoot in one of these matches than hi power matches.

Also hi power matches have lost their relevance. They are just not realistic in preparing a shooter for todays combat. For instance, since you can't shoot optics, you'll never see an AR-15 with an ACOG or AimPoint on the firing line. However those are all that you see in use today in Iraq. The rule that if you shoot a magazine with 2 in one mag and 8 in another to give the Garand shooters a chance is ridiculous.
 

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kids

Well as with anything thats worth a damn today, you typicaly won't find the younger generations. They're too taken by shinny things and flashing lights. I've been collecting and shooting both on rifle teams and milsurps since I was twelve, I started out going on the MSA forum; I found a lot of helpful people not to prideful to answer my naive questions, and from there I've learned a lot. To reiterate what's been said about the older generations, they're one of the only ways that younger people will learn and retain hobbies. I you'd like to think that there will be other generations to continue your sport, then you need to encourage them now. A great example of this would be one of my other hobbies. I belong to a scale free flight organization, the rubber band models that used to be wildly popular. Most kids used to build them when they were growing up, or at least new what they were. Now all I get is, you do what? Everyone I fly with is at least fifty years old and they are just exstatic to have me with them, (unfortunately not every group is so thrilled). That hobby has gone from millions to a handful of dedicated members around the U.S. sadly within the next couple of decades almost all of they're knowledge will be lost. It's hard to think that a hobby as big as ours could one day be dried up, but model aircraft are a prime example. I however would love to join a rifle club of some sorts, but apparently the great state of Texas, in all its expanse doesn't offer much opportunity for shooting ranges that are easily accessible, most of the clubs won't except new memebers, and are full of types with $4000 one shot a year paper weights, others are ridiculus 25 yard indoor ranges and it's just depressing. Now that I'm 18 I think its about time to find a group that I can shoot with, sure am glad I joined this forum though. I guess I'll have to have fun with postal matches for now.

The Mauser Kid
 

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One of the reasons you might see mostly grumpy old retirees on the firing line is that they are about the only ones who can afford a $1200 rifle and then several more hundred dollars worth of ammunition and shooting accessories on top of that. My CMP shooting mat, bought at CMP North, cost me $60 alone.

High Power is an expensive sport. Not like belonging to a bowling league or a sand volley ball team. Indeed, if I were to outfit myself with a new set of Ping Zings, some golf shoes and a case of Top Flights, I'd still be running cheaper than what I've spent on High Power.

One place where I did see a lot of young shooters was on the firing line of the CMP Rimfire Sporter Match. Young and old alike. It was very fun and it was not in the least bit expensive and you could use anything from that old $80 Marlin Model 60 to an Anshutz sporter and have a competitive chance at medaling.

The last HP match I shot at Zanesville, Ohio had two guys in their early 20s who drove about three and a half hours to compete. Their first time at Zanesville.

Actually, using the word "grumpy" does a disservice to the type of people I generally encounter on the firing line.

As far as relevency of classic NRA High Power to the type of shooting that goes on today, this opens up quite an interesting can of worms.

I just got back from qualifying with the new M4 carbine outfitted with the Aimpoint M68 milspec red dot scope over at Camp Atterbury, IN. If you want to shoot "modern" combat relevent rifle, first outfit yourself with about 40 pounds of Interceptor body armor with ceramic ballistic plate inserts. Then a kevlar helmet. Knee and elbow pads. Then shoot a course of fire on a 92 degree day with all that stuff on.

Sound like fun to you? Try getting people to voluntarily sign up for that as a sport. My battery commander took four tries before he qualified with his rifle. He had to come back the next day and finally scored a 33 out of 40. You only need a 23 to qualify. Twenty shots prone, supported. Ten shots prone, unsupported. Ten shots kneeling.

I got a 27 on my first try, and I credit that mainly to my experience in High Power.
 

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A small group of shooters in my location is trying to get a service rifle club going,they held their first shoot a couple weeks ago.I don't know if they will attract any younger guys or not,it's not really a cheap hobby for someone starting out or in college thats for sure.Not so much the cost of the rifle,rather the expense of feeding it if you shoot with any frequency.
 

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What turned me off of competition shooting was the overabundance of gun snobs. As was stated above, not everyone can afford the nicest, most expensive competition weapon. When I showed up to my first IDPA match with something other than a Glock or custom 1911, you wouldn't believe the looks and comments I got. Same thing happened at my first skeet shoot. The IDPA event was 10 years ago and I haven't been to a match since.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There are a number of reasons for this: the anti-gun climate in schools, loss of shooting ranges, and one other.
I spent a summer doing military hi power matches in the New England area back in the mid-80's when I was stationed at Ft. Devens Mass. After one summer of this I was mightly bored. The sport, i.e. military hi power matches carry the seeds of their own destruction. Why? Because they are BORING to shoot and even more boring to watch.

Conventional hi power matches are about the same as watching golf except theywill put you to sleep faster. Seriously, do you think that anybody would put one of these on TV? If you go to two gun or three gun matches you will see much younger shooters competing. These are fun matches to watch and to shoot. You have a much better chance of getting the X-Box generation to shoot in one of these matches than hi power matches.

Also hi power matches have lost their relevance. They are just not realistic in preparing a shooter for todays combat. For instance, since you can't shoot optics, you'll never see an AR-15 with an ACOG or AimPoint on the firing line. However those are all that you see in use today in Iraq. The rule that if you shoot a magazine with 2 in one mag and 8 in another to give the Garand shooters a chance is ridiculous.
I have to agree and to disagree with some of your coments. Your correct HighPower is not very exciting to watch but to me I'm not watching it I'm competing in the match. Golf is not exciting at all either but last time i drove past a golf course I saw more younger people than at any firing line I frequent.
As far as HighPower still having relevance in training . I feel its still very much needed as training and If I were training troop this would be part of it ,Yes alot But not ALL are using optics of some sort or another in parts of Iraq
But having an optic sight does not mean that he knows trigger control .Breathing and how to make a long range shot if needed <Heck case in point who trained alot of the squad designated marksmen before the military finially got caught up to speed a Group of volunteer HighPower shooters from around this country and I happen to know several who did.
and the 2 and 8 mag loading is still about a mandatory reload in rapid fire no matter how many rds are in each mag.
 

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Bearing in mind that I live in a big city, it seems that young shooters buy Beretta or black polymer stuff, know better than me and shoot rapid fire only at 7 to 10 yards.
Many believe that life stops at 30 and that "wooden" guns are for cavemen.

Older shooters have attitudes of their own, and I started minding my own business a few years ago, as some of the ranges staffs here were less than friendly, adding insult to injury.

Interestingly, my attitude brought me some rewarding contacts with young beginners who enjoyed unassuming guidance from a more experienced shooter.

The problem is that we now have more castes of shootings, aggravated by attitudes and generations.
 

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I hear you on the plastics and polymers. Most of the guys I go to school with,all they talk about is plastic folding stocks,and upgrades,and M16s and MP5s and 9mms. Quite saddening actually. Then when I bring up a gun such as a thompson or garand they say those are bad guns and they have lots of problems. When I ask whats bad about them,they slip on their tongue and studder. Most of them mugs never even picked up a .22
 

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Your correct HighPower is not very exciting to watch but to me I'm not watching it I'm competing in the match. Golf is not exciting at all either but last time i drove past a golf course I saw more younger people than at any firing line I frequent.

Sorry, a golf course is a waste of a good shooting range:cool: Having shot HighPower and two gun and IDPA matches, maybe it's just me but HighPower is a big snooze in comparison. Yeah, I'm glad I shot it, but if you are trying to attract new younger shooters it's like asking a teenager which would he rather drive: a Rambler or a Corvette?

As far as HighPower still having relevance in training . I feel its still very much needed as training and If I were training troop this would be part of it ,Yes alot But not ALL are using optics of some sort or another in parts of Iraq

Well, which parts of Iraq are those? I've been over here 3 and 1/2 years, most M-4's and M-16A2's I see have an optical sight on, ACOG, AimPoint, etc. It's common to see guys with an M-4 that has an AimPoint, PAQ-4, flashlite, and an M-203 slung under the barrel.
It is so much easier to teach somebody to shoot accurately and quickly with an AimPoint it's almost scary. My point is that technology is pushing HighPower rifle shooting into the realm of being about as relevent to modern combat as Cowboy Action shooting is to law enforcement shooting. If there is a shooting sport that has relevance to what the soldier or Marine actually would use over here it would be Two or Three Gun shooting.

Heck case in point who trained alot of the squad designated marksmen before the military finially got caught up to speed a Group of volunteer HighPower shooters from around this country and I happen to know several who did.

DMR weapons/shooting and what the average soldier shoots/uses are apples and tacos. Yeah, guys who are designated marksmen could benefit by shooting on a KD range. DMR's however are in the minority here.
 

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southern wisconsin has good junior programs

I am a leader for one of the local 4-H shooting programs. I have shot palma and highpower since I was in the army. Both my daughters and my neighbors kids shoot in 4-H and highpower most of the summer. Lodi wisconsin has a very good program for juniors. If you are a local leader of 4-H contact your county extention office and they may have some contact people that can help with your clubs shooting programs. We also started talks with a local boy scout troop to get enough parents and kids together to pull targets. Our goal is to pull pits for the local highpower events. In turn for donations to both our shooting programs. Our county has about 170 kids in the 4-H shooting program. One of the local clubs gives free entrance for the sunday match to people under 18 if with an adult and an nra member. And to the guy that cant find a place to shoot. If the club is NRA affiliated and you are a member of the NRA they must let you shoot in the sanctioned matches even if you are not a member of that club. Check you states rifle assn or the NRA's websight for matches in your area. One of the local clubs is a 1200 yard range that has closed membership, but our NRA cards get us in. Last year there were over 100 events at 8 ranges within 4 hours of my house alone.
 
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