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  #1  
Old 01-05-2019, 11:34 AM
motovita

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IHMSA



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I couldn't stand to see that Merry Christmas message for one more day.

I recently shot my first IHMSA match, had fun, going back for the next one.
After trying to follow the match directors explanation of all the classes and divisions I gave up and said just tell me what to shoot at, even he has a hard time following all the classes.
It's obvious that IHMSA is declining, I wonder if an overhaul and simplification of the class structure might not attract more shooters. As it is, at my range, there are enough classes that every shooter in attendance could shoot their own private class and win every time. Maybe there are places in the U.S. where all the classes are full and everybody is happy.
What do y'all think?
I believe the Tucson range, where I shot, held the first handgun silhouette match in the U.S., so it's not like it's a new thing there.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by motovita View Post
I couldn't stand to see that Merry Christmas message for one more day.

I recently shot my first IHMSA match, had fun, going back for the next one.
After trying to follow the match directors explanation of all the classes and divisions I gave up and said just tell me what to shoot at, even he has a hard time following all the classes.
It's obvious that IHMSA is declining, I wonder if an overhaul and simplification of the class structure might not attract more shooters. As it is, at my range, there are enough classes that every shooter in attendance could shoot their own private class and win every time. Maybe there are places in the U.S. where all the classes are full and everybody is happy.
What do y'all think?
I believe the Tucson range, where I shot, held the first handgun silhouette match in the U.S., so it's not like it's a new thing there.
Where have you been? IHMSA declined years ago. Back in the late 80's and early 90"s IHMSA was a big deal just about everywhere. I remember going to the IHMSA Internationals in Tn. and they had 1600 guns signed up (guns, not shooters). Here in NY you could go to a match every weekend in one or two different places. I went to a shoot in Jan when it was in the teens and there were a hundred people at the match. By the mid 90"s there were hardly any places shooting it and in the late 90's there weren't any.....NONE. It would cost me and my friends about fifty bucks to go shoot a match every week and we'd drive 2-6 hours round trip to get there. After paying entry fees, etc it got pricey. The prizes for shooting? Particle board plaques. After winning a couple boxes full of them it got old in a hurry. I ran matches for three years and I can tell you the clubs weren't making much money on having matches. Between IHMSA fees, plaques, etc there simply wasn't any meat left on the bone. The only one who seemed to be getting ahead was Elgin Gates and family. It was a lot of fun, but it was destined to die out. I'm not crying sour grapes, I won five consecutive state 5-Gun and every other class I entered in Int. Class. I won two Regional Titles also. It got to where you'd go and there wasn't even one person in each class. Kind of meaningless to win when you're the only one in your class. It was fun for a while, but there's no way it could sustain itself. I moved on to three gun shoots and that was a lot more fun (and difficult) for another ten years.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:25 PM
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HI started way back in either late 70's or early 80's when was still in it's infancy. The guns were still pretty basic and we had standing, production, revolver and unlimited. You had to keep all stock guns stock with original sights, trigger and barrels. It was really fun when everyone was figuring out which guns had a slight edge.

Slowly manufactures started making silhouette specific guns which helped get scores higher. The very first perfect 40x40 production 22 score was shot at our home range (Ozark, Ohio) by Gail Martin with a 10" Contender. Slowly they started to allow changes to the guns to suit a few that didn't like being stuck with a factory gun but didn't want it to fit in the unlimited class. A local buddy (J. D. Jones) was at the very first match where this game started shooting with a lot of pretty well known names back in 1975 in Tucson Arizona. It's come a long ways since then.

I got out just as the Exemplars and Freedom Arms guns came out which really upped the scores, then the scoped classes came about which was nice for the shooters that were getting older and perfect scores became quite common and winning a match came to a high count on shoot off targets. We even had a match we shot at the little rifle targets with our open sighted pistols to keep it fun and challenging.

All our shooting sports have a life where it starts fun, everyone likes to improve and get better equipment which turns into an equipment race. Finally the die-hards are left with the average guy that shows up leaves feeling he can't compete.

I'm already seeing it with our long-range matches, a few of us still stick with older target rifles/pistols instead of the latest greatest newest bestest high tech guns. Some of us even went back farther shooting peeps sights at targets we can barely see but it's still very challenging to compete against the scoped shooters and give them a run for the money.

It comes down to enjoying your time at a match, shame IHMSA is slowly dieing. Seen some great times back when it was growing, seeing the big range being built in Idaho, seeing new records being set and the advancement of very accurate handguns being developed.

Maybe a new sport will spring up from it's ashes, right now there are plenty of rimfire type matches around. Get out and enjoy them while you can, seeing the way things are heading it may get harder to enjoy our hobby.

Topstrap

Last edited by Topstrap44; 01-05-2019 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:24 PM
motovita

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Hey I got here as soon as I could.
Hope you guys didn't hurt your shoulders when you threw in the towel. The question is, how to fix it.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:52 PM
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Hey I got here as soon as I could.
Hope you guys didn't hurt your shoulders when you threw in the towel. The question is, how to fix it.
I didn't have to throw in the towel. It ended up where there were literally ZERO places left to shoot in NY. It just died a natural death. I ended up donating my set(s) of targets to a local club that runs very informal matches during the summer. Believe it or not, but at three bucks a round to shoot (and that includes hiring a target setter) the club has a "big crowd" the nights sever or eight people show up. You're a day late and a dollar short to get on board.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:23 PM
frankmako
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ihmsa and nra pistol silhouette are both all most gone. ihmsa is doing better than the nra pistol silhouette, but not much. both are fun and i been in the game since the early 80's. but i shoot 98% of my time in nra silhouette rifle matches. still lots of rifle matches to be found if you want to drive several hours to get one. one of the reasons both are not getting any new shooters is it is not easy. we have new shooters show up for matches and they don't come back. they all say it is to hard. shooting standing, un-supported, on the clock, and got to knock down small animals that are far away has gotten to hard for the younger group.
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:50 PM
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I've been shooting IHMSA since 1985. Our local range is a half-hour away and we have 2 silhouette matches every month, April through October. We usually have 4-8 shooters per match.

I don't care if there is nobody in my class, I just enjoy shooting silhouettes. Don't need to "win" or beat anyone else.
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