View Full Version : Getting started!?

December 14, 2012, 08:38 PM
I enjoy the shooting sports currently. I am an active outdoorsman. I currently shoot weekly, but have yet to shoot at a range as I live on an acreage. My collection keeps growing. I feel to fully enjoy my toys I need to make the next step. My question is how do you get involved in competion shooting? And where do you start. My pistol experience is from the last 5 years, shotgun and rifle have been since I was 6. Im not quite 30 yet but feel being in rural Iowa hasnt exposes me yet to these oppertunities. And I aint leaving here.



December 15, 2012, 12:53 AM
Go to a range and ask about competition.

I don't know how many ranges you might have access to but I'm willing to bet some will have leagues or competitions that you can join.

I've been in some that were a little like bowling. That is, you show up Wednesday night, shoot the course of fire, what ever it is, your score is recorded and end of the season there's a shooting banquet and trophies. While you're at the range 'Wednesday night' you talk to the other shooters about what works for them, what's working for you etc. Good times.

December 15, 2012, 03:12 PM
Check out the web sites for the various types of competitions, to find if there any in your area.
Then decide if any of them are the kinds of competition you might be interested in joining.
Then take a look to verify what they look like in person.
Do you have any idea, so far, what competitions would be appealing?

December 16, 2012, 07:13 AM
There are many different types of competition. It can be confusing deciding which is the one for you. The Winchester qualification course lists a number of games you can try on your own. It lists the rules, equipment and courses of fire. You probably have enough equipment already to see if any of these are of interest to you. If you find one you like then look locally for a club or group. It's also a great way to improve marksmanship skills.

Glenn E. Meyer
December 16, 2012, 01:32 PM

Google IDPA or IPSC in Iowa - bet you will find some good clubs to start with.

Jim Watson
December 17, 2012, 09:37 AM
Doubt he will find any IPSC shooting in Iowa, us 'murricans don't do that stuff no more, we got our own rules. See USPSA.

December 17, 2012, 07:12 PM
Look in the back of your American Rifleman or American Hunter magazine in the section called Area Shoots.

Joining an active club would be the best way to meet like minded people with similar interests.

December 17, 2012, 07:54 PM
If you are interested in practical pistol competition, check out the PowerFactor Show (links to every episode are in a thread here in the Competition Shooting forum). It's "aimed at" new shooters, and those interested in getting started. There are episodes on gun and equipment selection, rules, techniques, and how to find a local club. Check it out.

December 18, 2012, 08:23 AM
There are all sorts and different types of competition. But they are limited to different areas because people in different area, not all competitions are available. We may have to change what we want to get involved in.

I was heavy into High Power, but after I got my Distinguished Rifle Badge I wanted to concentrate in Bullseye Pistol hopping to work on my Distinguished Pistol Badge.

I retired ad move to Wyoming.........No Bullseye pistol shooting in this area. I still want to shoot competitively so I found a club that does a variety of action type pistol shooting every other weekend. So I do that.

Still do a bit of High Power but I have to drive sometimes 300 miles to a match. So I started putting on HP clinics to try to get something started.

I found CMP Vintage Military Rifle shooting had more interest so I went to Camp Perry and attended the CMP GSM MI instructor course and started a program at my local club/range.

I just like to shoot and had to adjust to what's in this area.

You're going to have to do some searching to find what is in your area. Try the local gun shops and ask around, contact the Iowa State Rifle and Pistol assn.

What you don't want to do, when you find what is available, is to start buying a bunch of crap before you find out what you need. Chances are, you have the necessary firearm/equipment to get you started. After you gain experience, then you can decide if you need different or more equipment.

Also I seen many times people say, "I'd like to get started, but I'm not good enough".

That's BS, learn and adhere to the 4 basic safety rules then show up at the match. Tell the people running the match you're new and need help. They are going to get you started right and safe.

All clubs I know want to expand. The way to do that is to take in new shooters and help them get started. They want you to come back and bring your friends.

There are three things that ALWAYS happens when I shoot a new venue, or go to a new range or match.

1: I learn something
2: I have fun
3: (and best of all) I meet great people

December 18, 2012, 12:17 PM






Great places to shoot and like minded Folks to enjoy shooting with!

On the USPSA website click on find clubs at the top of the page then select Iowa and enter.

December 21, 2012, 04:34 PM
Thanks for all the info. Im looking into it more.

December 21, 2012, 05:07 PM
If you want to get into practical shooting, go to the IDPA and USPSA websites and find a club near you.

Then show up at a match with your gear.

That's what I did two years ago, and now (30,000 rounds later) it's my favorite hobby by far.