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Old 06-16-2018, 12:19 PM
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Why shoot silhouettes?



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I'm trying to come up with something to put in our club newsletter and website to get more people to come out for our Smallbore Rifle and Pistol Silhouette matches. We're not getting many shooters to try it and few come back.

Any suggestions? What got you into shooting Silhouettes?
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:42 PM
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Run a two man team league using a handicap system for scoring and then give out some kind of prize at the end of the league. Allow make-up dates and have a small party at the end that only costs the shooters three-five bucks for some pizza and wings with some kind of beverage. With the handicap everyone has a chance to win and if they show up they'll talk a buddy into it too. We only charge three bucks a round to shoot on our summer league and everyone has to give the target setter a couple of bucks. It's no money maker for the club to speak of, but it gets people into shooting and it's fun.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:53 PM
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Brother CardPuncher; We are getting ready to start shooting silhouette also. I'm very interested in this. Let me know what works.Thanks
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:59 PM
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Dont make it too ‘fancy’, folks should be able to come in with sporting rifles and average shooting abilities and not be always totally blown away by the old hands with their match rifles. If that means some different ‘classes’, so be it.
It is supposed to be fun.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:06 PM
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Our matches loosely follow the NRA rules and class breaks for shooters (B, A, AA, etc.). We allow almost any .22 rifle or pistol. Optics and iron sights compete separately but other than that we don't have classes of firearms. We couldn't make it much simpler. We give out the 5- and 10-in-a-row pins. Our matches have been on Sunday mornings and that's a problem for some people but we're going to try Saturdays.

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Originally Posted by gcrank1 View Post
...folks should be able to come in with sporting rifles and average shooting abilities and not be always totally blown away by the old hands with their match rifles...
We don't see many serious match guns. The 2 regulars at our matches are the Match Chair, who is pretty good with his OEM Ruger American but is very helpful to new shooters, and me. I've shot a lot of matches but I'm pretty average and at my advanced age not likely to get much better. I've stopped bringing the eye-catching 10/22 with the laminated red Raptor stock and I'm now using a bone-stock CZ 455 with an $80 scope.

Last edited by CardPuncher; 06-16-2018 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:30 PM
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I love the intro in the vid linked below.... "Think you're a good shot with a rifle?" Perfect.

I made some flyers with that line above a trace of the rimfire rifle chicken and below that "Prove it!" followed by something along the lines of "all you have to do is hit the chicken. It's only 40m away. Oh, but you have to do it while standing." followed by POC details and match schedule.

That gets people to come out and give it a try. The hard part is getting them to come back. Too many are easily discouraged if they don't have quick and easy success. That's why some clubs use the pistol targets instead of the 1/5 scale rimfire rifle targets. Remember that if you have only one new shooter he is probably automatically the B-class winner and gets some sort of prize.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEk3AulEHac

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Last edited by Sophia; 06-16-2018 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:02 PM
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You might try having some 1/2 scale matches, using the animals from Cowboy Silhouettes, at the same distances. Non-sanctioned, of course, but a lot of fun. These targets are much bigger than the 1/5 scale ones used in rimfire silhouettes, easier to hit and not as likely to discourage people. Do this for awhile and you might spark some interest in shooting regular silhouette matches. We do this at our club and have a good turnout. Separate classes for iron sights and scope, kids get to shoot off a rest. They usually beat their parents handily.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:06 PM
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Yeah, that.
Hits are a lot more fun than misses, too many misses and people dont come back.
We do a main 200yd. match with sil.s scaled properly for those 50,100,150 and 200 distances.
As a side match we move the sil.’s to 12 1/2, 25, 37 1/2 and 50 yd and shoot offhand, Open sights with mostly the old ‘boy’s rifles’, but Crickets, etc. would do and nothing more than Quiets (CB shorts or longs ok too). It is big fun and nobody has cleaned the rails yet (rails of 5 only). It sounds easier than it is.
We have also done that match with 22rf handguns and 22LR.
We also have a Sporting Rifle Match (think squirrel guns not match rifles) with those sil.s at 25, 50, 75 and 100, offhand or and ‘hunting field position’ for all but the chickens, and any sporting rifle, any sights with 22LR.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
.... "Think you're a good shot with a rifle?" Perfect.

I made some flyers with that line above a trace of the rimfire rifle chicken and below that "Prove it!" followed by something along the lines of "all you have to do is hit the chicken. It's only 40m away. Oh, but you have to do it while standing." followed by POC details and match schedule.
That's the sort of thing I'd be inclined to do.

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....The hard part is getting them to come back. Too many are easily discouraged if they don't have quick and easy success....
That's the problem with doing it. IMO NOBODY who shoots their first silhouette match without some preparation focused on shooting offhand at such varying distances will do well at all. I don't know whether it's better to discourage the, uh, easily-discouraged before they come out or let them see the reality and hope they want to come back.

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Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
....That's why some clubs use the pistol targets instead of the 1/5 scale rimfire rifle targets....
That's something to think about. There might be adjacent shooters with one on rifle targets and one on pistol, but it could work.

About half those who come once don't come back and very few come more than 3-4 times. The average score of shooters who shot only once and, based on their score, appeared to be novices was 8+ for both rifle and pistol.

Last edited by CardPuncher; 06-16-2018 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:30 PM
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Not what you asked, but! I tried hosting rimfire silhouette for about 7 years. Held an informal match once a month, with a picnic, family affair for members of my church( I have a backyard range) Set it up to NRA standards, gave the pins, etc. At first, had good interest, good turnout, but it eventually deteriorated to the point that we just plinked at the targets for an afternoon. It was just to hard for occasional shooter using borrowed rifles.
So for the last 3 years, have been doing the Rimfire Challenge(with rifle only). Targets are bigger, closer, and easier to hit. Local HS metal shop class made me some .25" plates of various sizes , I hang them on shepherd hooks and vary the arrangement each month. Way more interest, way more fun. Even have Lady non shooters give it a try. Bought a PACT timer. The red dots make it easy even for the novice!
Anyway, that was my solution to keep interest, have fun, and intro new shooters.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:13 AM
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If you think the lack of immediate success is preventing people from coming back, maybe you could offer some classes ahead of time to get folks used to shooting offhand. Give them some practice drills that they can take home to improve their NPOA, wobble area, etc.
I also like the idea of the larger targets for beginners.

Best of luck,
Dave
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd S. View Post
You might try having some 1/2 scale matches, using the animals from Cowboy Silhouettes, at the same distances. Non-sanctioned, of course, but a lot of fun. These targets are much bigger than the 1/5 scale ones used in rimfire silhouettes, easier to hit and not as likely to discourage people. Do this for awhile and you might spark some interest in shooting regular silhouette matches. We do this at our club and have a good turnout. Separate classes for iron sights and scope, kids get to shoot off a rest. They usually beat their parents handily.

This is exactly what our club in Yuma has been doing for the last 18 years or so. 1/2 scale tartets. No equipment rules except .22 rimfire only, otherwise shoot what you bring. No time limit, no rules Nazi's , no classifications, no first place winners, no last place no prizes, no scores announced, just shoot for fun. We have a weekly Friday morning shoot and get 25-40 shooters.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:10 PM
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This is exactly what our club in Yuma has been doing for the last 18 years or so. 1/2 scale tartets. No equipment rules except .22 rimfire only, otherwise shoot what you bring. No time limit, no rules Nazi's , no classifications, no first place winners, no last place no prizes, no scores announced, just shoot for fun. We have a weekly Friday morning shoot and get 25-40 shooters.
Sounds as boring as dry fire practice.

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Old 06-17-2018, 12:16 PM
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Apparently it is just the thing for a steady 25-40 people.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:20 PM
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Apparently it is just the thing for a steady 25-40 people.
Okay, I am sorry, it is just sad that shooting has lost its taste for tough compitition

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