View Full Version : Noted In Passing.....

Dave McC
February 6, 2011, 04:22 PM
I shoot regularly at ONE range, PGC Trap and Skeet in MD. Been hitting first the trap and Olympic trap, then SC and 5 stand, lots of wobble all along and so on. I've gotten to know lots of folks there, and vice versa.

The interesting thing I want to share is how the demographics are changing. Instead of typically older trapshooters and skeet shooters, the ages are more varied.

So's gender. Way more females and some are there on their own, not to please their significant other.

And average age has dropped like a headshot buzzard. Way more young folks, lots of kids and also a fair number of mature females who have found that shotguns do not need testosterone to be enjoyed and employed are out there having fun.

Finally, the central MD area is quite diverse. So is our range these days. Asian, Hispanic and Afro-Americans throng to the range and all seem to have a good time for the most part. Two guys I shoot wobble with frequently are Pakistanis, another hails from South America.

A fellow I work with is Asian, I had him, his wife and 5 kids last week for Shotgun 101. Yesterday it was him and her. He bought a 686 White Onyx to supplement his Beretta 391, 870 Express, BPS and Heaven knows what else. I lent my SKB 20 gauge to her and thought I'd had to wrassle her to get it back after.

Way more pump guns also,but let's keep this focused.

Have you noted anything similar?

February 6, 2011, 05:58 PM
Americans love to shoot guns... :p

February 7, 2011, 01:42 AM
Dave, I've found the demographics also shift with the time you shoot. To avoid the weekend crowds, I typically shoot week days. The pistol range I frequented on Wednesday mornings was typically occupied by old school bullseye shooters. One time, to accommodate a buddy's work schedule, we went on a Saturday afternoon and were surprised to find it almost exclusively Filipinos.

February 7, 2011, 08:24 AM
My shooting is almost always on weekends. I have noticed the same thing. Americans of every stripe are at the range with their families. Lots of ladies too. And as Dave pointed out many are out there on their own. I regularly see two ladies on Sunday morning on the skeet range. They are pretty darned good too.
I have also noticed a fair number of young women, I'm guessing around 15 to 20, taking up the sport. Its a good thing.

February 7, 2011, 09:05 AM
Only major changes around here occur around December and end around April - the annual snowbird migration comes and goes - except here the migration is always a little less every year. We have tried to get the owner to expand events and things, all to no avail. If you're not out there by 8:30AM to shoot, the place closes up around 11 or 12 - almost like some don't want to be bothered. (In all fairness, come July and August, you don't WANT to be outside shooting at that time of day).

Another club however, is reopened under new mgt. and is doing great judging by the number of charity shoots and fundraisers they hold - all of which are bringing younger kids and their families out to learn about sporting clays

One thing I AM seeing is less trap/skeet places and more sporting clays. It seems that the old days of a small county club with 1-2 fields are going away, being replaced by larger facilities offering more things - not just clays, but also rifle and pistol ranges, hunting and CCW classes, lessons geared solely for kids or women, etc. All a good thing, IMO

Dave McC
February 7, 2011, 10:59 AM

Day and time can count, simply because most folks with jobs have them happen Mon-Fri during daylight, and kids are in school then.

Those hours at PGC see lots of Geezers and not much else.

I have weekends off now, a rarity for me. So, I hit the range when it's crowded. A mixed blessing at best, and a pain once in a while.

For instance, the Asst Mgr at PGC tells me they can throw SIMOS with the Wobble trap on range 4, but they will not do so on the weekends because the crowds want singles.

The New Shooters programs, both kids and adults, occur on Saturday,so that adds to the crowd and the diversity.

However, I comfort myself with the fact that most of these new shooters vote. Each one's another point of light in the dark.

Let's all treat these new folks as allies, not aggravations. They are.

Onward Allusion
February 7, 2011, 11:05 AM
Dave McC
Noted In Passing.....

Yup, lot's more peeps of every color and gender. A lot more younger people as well. Good for RKBA. Still not too many single women going to the range by themselves, however.

February 7, 2011, 11:12 AM
I forgot to mention, on the clay fields, there is the annual influx of hunters honing their skills (or lack thereof) before opening day.

February 7, 2011, 11:31 AM
So's gender. Way more females and some are there on their own, not to please their significant other.

Also a fair number of mature females who have found that shotguns do not need testosterone to be enjoyed and employed are out there having fun.

I'm going to need a longer barrel !

Mike Irwin
February 7, 2011, 12:21 PM
I think the shotgun sports have always been a lot more gender neutral and are becoming a lot more ethnically diverse.

Unfortunately, though, there's also another, and very troubling, aspect about the shotgun sports...

A significant number of people involved in those sports are actually anti-gun. They snort derisively when someone mentioned handguns, gear up for a lecture when someone talks about wanting to get a carry permit, and go positively apoplectic when the subject turns to semi-automatic military-style rifles.

More than a few of them are actually in FAVOR of more gun control. Banning handguns, or those evil black rifles? Or Saturday night specials, or short-barreled shotguns?

They're all for that, for the greater good of society.

After all, their shotguns are NOT shotguns, they're fine sporting implements, and Congress should never have need to ban the expensive playthings of the rich.

I can't tell you how many times over the years I've seen one of these chumps stowing his $5,000 shotgun in his $100,000 Mercedes.

There are no NRA stickers on the car (that would be oh so rednecky and lowbrow) but there are Clinton, Gore, Kerry, or Obama stickers on it.

The shotgun sports are a good entryway for new gun owners of all stripes.

Unfortunately, it's also a den of anti-gunners masquerading as sportsmen.

February 7, 2011, 12:52 PM
A significant number of people involved in those sports are actually anti-gun. They snort derisively when someone mentioned handguns, gear up for a lecture when someone talks about wanting to get a carry permit, and go positively apoplectic when the subject turns to semi-automatic military-style rifles.

I'm not sure Mike is wrong on this one. I don't think even most shotgun sport people are anti-gun, but there's a bunch of folks who are clay game/hunting only type of gun owners, and they're really eager to throw those of us into the less PC guns to the wolves. Moreover, it isn't necessarily a result of wanting to appease the anti-gun folks to get them to leave their hunting and clay guns along, it is because they actually believe my AR-15s are somehow worse for society than a $10,000 Krieghoff.

There's a bunch at my club who do have a decent view of the RKBA, but a shotgun sport shooter does not a reliable ally for the Second Amendment make. It's better than nothing, but it's by no means a given.

February 7, 2011, 01:08 PM
While here in the South, you'll see the Browning Buckmark decal on about everything, many of us do not put ANY stickers, for anything, on our car - makes it a little less obvious.

I know a few who do not like EBR's. But I tend to see more, especially on this forums and similar, where the reverse is more true - the hatred for any gun that costs more than $500......... At our gun clubs, we have no such issues as rich and poor alike are judged by their scores......however, someone bringing out nice eye candy is always asked about it and they always allow anyone to pick it up, handle it, and shoot it

February 7, 2011, 01:18 PM
I primarily shoot with the old guys on Tue's ....so no, I don't see much influx of new shooters around. When I have gone out occassionally, on the weekend, its more diverse ....a few more new shooters, a few more kids, etc ....but not many women. I do see a larger percentage of synthetic stocks / tactical shotguns on weekends.

The expense seems to be limiting our number of new shooters in my area - Trap and Skeet for non-members is $ 6 / shells another $6 ---- so $ 12 a line.

$ 48 for 4 lines of Skeet or Trap ...is too much money for leisure activity ..in this economy unless you only shoot once or twice a year.

I do see a broader mix of shooters at my local handgun range. My local range has about 30 lanes - and its incredibly crowded on Sat's and on many evenings by new shooters. Many of the new shooters - seem to be young / often asian ...that have often never fired a weapon. To rent a lane at my range is $ 15 for first shooter / $ 10 for each extra shooter ....$ 14 to rent guns ...and then buy range ammo ( say $ 15 for a box of 9mm ).... So 2 people at range for a couple of hours ($ 25 lane fees, $ 14 gun rental, 4 boxes is $60 = $100). Cell phone cameras, dressed pretty nicely, showing off for the girlfriends ... its a date nite thing in my view....
Shotguns don't seem to hold much interest for the newbies at the handgun range. I think they're spending their money shooting the "tactical" handguns - rather than consider the clay target sports / and I've talked to some of them that were curious about what some of us were shooting, practicing ....and if shotguns come up / they seem to consider that an "old guy" thing ....not something cool to do.
For the record ....there are no bumper stickers or NRA stickers on my Lexus ..(nor will there ever be any )..../ and I don't wear T shirts with logos all over them ... / and tomorrow I'll be at my shotgun club shooting Skeet with a couple $ 3,000 Over Unders ...and having a good time / and tonite I'll be at my local indoor range with about $ 9,000 worth of guns - two 1911's and 3 S&W revolvers ....doing some tutoring to an associate and 2 of his adult sons on handguns as they make their buying decisions on a couple of handguns / and will invite them to come to the shotgun range with me tomorrow if they have time .... ( My NRA card stays in my wallet / where it belongs ) ... I don't need stickers on my car to tell people my politics on gun rights or anything else.

In any given year ....I'll introduce at least 20 new people to shotgunning and handguns .../and driving my Lexus to the range doesn't make it less effective ....

Dave McC
February 7, 2011, 11:24 PM
A couple things....

Most of the shotgunners I see are supporters of the 2d. Many have black rifles, divers handguns from S&W revolvers to GMs to SA Colts,and an 870 stuffed with buck or similar.

As for bumper stickers, I recall seeing ONE Obama sticker, compared to several Palins and a few McCains. More common are USMC decals and NRA symbols.

Stickers on my Cherokee say things like" Cherish Civility in Howard County" and "Hang Up and Drive". I've never had a firearms sticker on any vehicle and only recall one political sticker, an ex cop that ran for State's Atty. She won.

I did have one that advertised a Tex Mex joint nearby, but permit me that non 2d statement.

Mike, I must hang with better folks. I see little elitism and much interactions between groups.

And for the record, I've only taught 8 people to shoot so far this year. One was with both shotguns and handguns, the rest a family. All are Asian Americans and good folks but one. He's black.

I didn't seek out minorities, it just happened.

And let me remind everyone, taking someone shooting can be a political act.

It might be revolutionary.

February 8, 2011, 05:51 PM
I haven't been shooting long enough to notice a trend or a change but our club does have a diverse membership. Most are older male but there are younger as in teens, to young adults. I notice quite a few women shooting for the first time and a few that have continued.

Dave McC
February 9, 2011, 10:21 AM
I like diversity, so did my ancestors.

The more shooters we have,the safer are our streets and our rights....

February 9, 2011, 11:23 AM
The only place I have shot so far is definitely cosmpolitan, being located between Orange County and Eastern Los Angeles County. Some of the areas from which shooters are drawn are upscale and some are pretty tough, most is suburban but a lot is rural. On weekends all colors and sizes are seen shooting, including a few that might best be described as gang bangers. Tats. baggy clothes and all, but even they are not just polite but friendly. It has its share of shooting snobs but not many and will let noobies like me balst away with their home defense guns. And yes, some of the females aren't hard to look at.