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Old September 26, 2010, 11:36 PM   #1
Dr. Strangelove
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Match time question?

I shot my first rifle match since the Boy Scouts today at my local club. It was fun, a great group of people, etc.

It was four people in one category, seven in another, shooting three stations at time in both categories. Fifteen shots total per person, and the match took 4.5 hours altogether. There was a "sight-in station" (it was an informal deer season warm-up) as well.

I'm new to matches, but by my estimation, removing the sight-in table would have limited the match to 7 shooting evolutions, limiting those to 5 minutes separated by 5 minutes of scoring would have meant 70 minutes of shooting & scoring time plus pre and post activities. We could have been done in 2.5 hours easily.

I'm not knocking the folks who set it up, they volunteered their time and all that, I helped break down the range, and I enjoyed it, but... it could have been much quicker.

My question is - is this normal? One guy had to leave because of family commitments, he was finished shooting, but the match wasn't over. I'm 37, and the guy that left is about my age. The rest of the members were much older, our club is mostly older, but we do have many new young members who I believe would come out to these event if they didn't take all afternoon.

I'm a relatively new member in this club, (one year) so I don't want to be the new guy trying to change everything, but the time management aspect of the match seemed to be, well... lacking.

So I am wrong in this? I like the chit-chat and admiring each others firearms as much as the next guy, but I have other commitments in my life and I'd like to get the match done in a reasonable amount of time without hurrying anyone. I think many of the newer club members would come out for these matches if the time was managed more reasonably.

How would I approach club management about this, as well as possibly emailing members about the matches? From what I understand, the club management is vehemently opposed to email, though that's how myself and many of the younger members would prefer to be contacted, as opposed to a sporadic newsletter that comes out now.

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Old September 27, 2010, 12:16 AM   #2
Zak Smith
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It is likely that the people who are involved in that match like it that way, as a social time, and a very low key match.

At action-style shooting matches like 3-Gun, USPSA, etc, if the staff is running it right, stage turnaround time should be 4-6 minutes, maybe a little longer on very long stages, and a squad should finish a stage every hour.

At the 3Gun match I ran yesterday, we set up stages from 7:45 to 9:30 AM, signup finished at 10, briefing and stage walkthroughs until 10:30, then two squads shot four stages, 100-150 rounds each, in about 3 hours and we had the stages torn down and cleaned up by 2.

ETA: As for contacting, you might try posting a notice on a bulletin board.
My PM inbox full? Send e-mail instead.
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Old September 27, 2010, 02:10 AM   #3
Dr. Strangelove
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It is likely that the people who are involved in that match like it that way, as a social time, and a very low key match.
I do respect that, though everyone I spoke with at the match had mostly the same opinion as myself. Lot's of glancing at watches, shrugging of shoulders, and the like. I never directly asked the question, but several folks said matches are just slow here.

If that's the culture and the way it is, well; I'll deal with it. It just seems that time could been used more efficiently. I'd just like to see the match shoot portion of the day run more efficiently, so those who want to have social hour can hang around while those who have other demands on their time can get on with other commitments.
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Old September 27, 2010, 08:42 AM   #4
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From a match directors perspective suggestions and complaints are always needed to improve events. We need input to either prove our theory is working or needs an overhaul. What becomes annoying is that suggestions are rarely backed up by a willingness to help. A lot of people just want to shoot and leave, thinking paying their match fees should be all they need to do. This leaves a small number of people to do all of the work.The nicest thing a match director could hear is "My idea is XYZ and I would help do it." In fact any unsolicited offer to help is greatly appreciated.
Of course there are places that are satisfied their system is what they want and reject any recommendations. At that point it's best to accept and find another match that better fits your needs.

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Old September 27, 2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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There are several different types of matches out there, some take all day, some a couple hours.

If you are looking for a good match, that doesn't take long, then check out CMPs Rimfire Sporter Matches. These are shot with "sporter rifles" meaning normal 22 sporting rifles, Rifles are limited to 7.5 lbs excluding sights.

Depending on the size of the range, (number of firing points) and the number of shooters, the match can be fired in a couple hours.

This is one of the fastest growing shooting sports out there because it doesn't take a lot of time, it don't take a lot of money to compete, and you only need 25-50 yards.

CMPs GSM (vintage military rifles) normally don't take long either. Especially if you fire them on reduced ranges (100 yards where you don't use pits).

Personally I want a different route. Where I live, I'm a long way from anywhere. So if I'm gonna drive all day, I want to shoot enough to make it worth while. For example if I drive to Lander, (300 + miles) I want a two day match, like HP one day, and 1000 yard match the next).

When I was shooting for the Alaska National Guard, I took a 4 man team from Anchorage to Nashville TN, to shoot a 50 shot course of fire that took 30 minutes. Not what you call cost effective.

Anyway, there are several types of commutations out there, some take all day, some a couple hours. Just have to shop around.
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Old September 27, 2010, 09:25 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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You say the sight in table stretched the day out.
What did the sight in table serve?
Was it for shooters in the match who came in without a basic zero or was it a separate operation maybe for hunters?
If the latter, it should have been kept separate or run some other time.
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Old September 27, 2010, 10:53 PM   #7
Dr. Strangelove
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What did the sight in table serve?
Each shooter got three shots, if they wanted, to check zero, I guess. The premise of the match was a deer season warm-up, I suppose geared towards non-competitive shooters as it was deer rifles and iron sight military issue only.
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Old October 14, 2010, 09:02 AM   #8
Don P
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I shoot IDPA and USPSA. Most of the match directors will allow folks who help set up the stages shoot free on match day. ALL match directors instruct the shooters that they are required to tare down the stage that they end there match on. They are also instructed to help paste targets during the match. RO/SO are also instructed that any shooters that feel they do NOT need to help out will NOT be scored for the match. As far as I know to date NO person has shot a match without being scored because of not helping out. Some shooters are young, some are older and some are women. They ALL HELP out. That is what makes for a fun day working together and camaraderie. Every once in awhile someone will have to leave early if the match is running slower that normal that day. It also depends on the turnout on any given day. Common sense should prevail, the more shooters that show, the more shooters per squad and stage the more time it will take. I have been at matches that have 30-40 shooters show and matches that have 90-110 shooter show. A quick look at the numbers will tell which match was shot quicker and who went home first.
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