Tony Brong on Marketing

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Precision Pistol shooter Tony Brong provides wisdom

http://tonybrong.blogspot.com/2016/08/during-entire-tenure-with-bullseye-ive.html

During my entire tenure with bullseye, I’ve heard nothing but how far the sport has declined. From a practical viewpoint, I really haven’t been around that long. And I don’t have firsthand personal experience about how things were back-in-the-day. Apparently, fifteen, twenty or more years ago there must have a lot more bullseye shooters.

I still hear stories about how the census of pistol shooters at the Nationals numbered around one thousand in the early 1980s. Today it’s generally about 650.

Time changes everything. In prior posts even I’ve lamented about how the shooting pie has been carved up by cowboy action shooters, practical guys, clay smashers and the benchrest dudes. I wouldn’t be at all surprised that even WWII and Civil War reenactors have had a slight drain on our census. From the 1930s through the 70s bullseye might have been pretty much the only game in town, but that’s not the case today.

Social transformation is like death and taxes, something everyone can count on. A lot of emotional effort has spilled over the turbulent ‘decline’ of Bullseye, and it’s been marked with the same breathless, excitable, often crude and always knowing style that typifies the old hardcore elite: by doing things the same old way.

My own experience getting into the sport wasn’t exactly easy. My kids went off to college and I searched for an interesting and challenging hobby. I now had some leisure time. It took me the better part of a year to find out that competitive pistol shooting was only four miles away from my front door. And I doubt with the passing of about a decade, access or visibility hasn’t gotten any better. Today, the general promotion of our sport to the public and potential new shooters is simply by word of mouth.

Many of us mourn the slow erosion of our sport, and ponder: is it too late to revitalize it?
I don’t think so.

There are a few success stories around. One bright spot is occurring now in New Jersey. It’s a quantifiable success story, playing out in a state that’s considered very anti-gun. Within the confines of the Garden Sate, individuals such as Ray and Mary Badiak, John Gemmill and Frank Greco are consistently blazing a trail by developing new bullseye shooters—both young and mature.
They’ve been successful in a state which has the most draconian gun laws in the country. It’s a process that reproducible, but no one seems to notice their success.

If you can do it in Jersey, you can do it anywhere.

After a little head scratching I looked at some of the other disciplines and noticed how they do things. One observation that’s fairly obvious, they compete, compete for new members and promote themselves to the general public.

So, what are the glaring things we don’t do?

It appears most state associations don’t know how to run a modern marketing organization—and whether they know it or not—that’s what they’re in business to do. They should be promoting (which means marketing and advertising) the shooting sports. After that’s established, as a secondary issue, handle their respective lobbing tasks.

How many news releases do they routinely offer to the local media outlets? Your guess is as good as mine.

Those same state organizations should attempt to forge regional coalitions for the promotion of various disciplines, since many of us routinely cross state lines to compete.

A national or regionalized websites should be crafted and have match announcements, results and signup functionality. As well, background information for consumption by the general public should be amply provided. Points of contact should be visibly listed so budding bullseye shooters can get started. And it should have good and consistently updated content.

Let’s consider the following:

• Who hasn’t been to an NRA banquet? Well, what’s being done to raise money for the orderly operation of our sport? The truth is the NRA no longer sees us as a priority. It would be nice to see not just bullseye but various other competitive shooting disciplines on the American Rifleman television show much more frequently. [That’s code for picking up the phone and calling Larry Potterfield and others like him.] Yes, money drives television programming. But keep in mind, individuals paying for programming have every right to maximize their investment by targeting their audience. Maybe they should be made aware we are their consumers too.

• Have there been any real efforts in recruiting bullseye shooters over the past 10 years? IPSC, CAS, USPSA, IDPA … they do. I can’t recall the last time any of us have seen the following: A dedicated NRA webpage for Bullseye Pistol; national leadership for the promotion of our sport; junior development; and a mechanism to recruit women.

• Even though there’s a historical claim, the simple truth is there’s no functioning leadership for our sport. We’ve relied on the NRA to do all of this in a vacuum. And as a matter of course, they’ve simply done things the same old way for the past half century. And in the process, they’ve lost their way.
I’m not suggesting they not be responsible for this mission. But we, as competitors, have lacked the will to actually lobby them. I highly doubt that the Competitions Division rarely hears from shooters except when they want something for themselves. And the same may be true of the state associations when they approach the NRA.

Walt Walters, an NRA board member, over the past two years has attempted to rework this model. He can recall a time, in the not so distant past, when the NRA had state and regional competitive shooting ambassadors. These individuals were readily available to provide guidance and insight to local clubs, state associations and government. Walt’s goal is to rebuild that old army of supporters so they can be of assistance throughout the country.

Even though Walt is a board member, he’s facing a tough uphill road with accomplishing his goals. Unfortunately, I think he’s looking at the past to address his present concerns about competitive shooting’s current neglect.

Here’s my basic observation. For a group of people who traditionally think of themselves as competitors, that’s precisely what we don’t do in the open marketplace of ideas. We all want to shoot (and I’m guilty of this too) but few of us want to roll up our sleeves. Over the past three decades we’ve allowed an enormous number of people to gravitate to other disciplines.

The other shooting sports embraced potential shooters, or we allowed them to leave our discipline even before they had an opportunity to arrive. They were marketed to, invited, sold—and best of all—greeted with open arms. For the most part the majority of those newbies didn’t even know we existed.
The future can be ours. All we have to do is be involved.

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Camp Perry Open’s ‘Super Final’ event unlike any other

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http://www.portclintonnewsherald.com/story/news/local/2018/01/14/camp-perry-opens-super-final-event-unlike-any-other/1032138001/

Why is it called Conventional?

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Most competitive smallbore rifle shooters in the United States live in a schizophrenic world, split between National Rifle Association (NRA) and International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) styles of competition. There may be a few who only shoot one type or the other, but most end up competing in both. It is a shooting world divided by a difference in targets, equipment, and courses-of-fire: A dichotomy unique to this country.

A short history lesson is needed to understand why shooting in the United States developed as it has and not in lockstep with Europe. Although it is certain that contests of hitting an object at a distance with a rock, spear, or sling date back to prehistoric times (the story of David and Goliath, for example), competitive target shooting, as we know it, has its roots in medieval Europe.

Why is it called Conventional?
by Hap Rocketto
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2017/2/21/why-is-it-called-conventional/

Competition Shooting History: The Longbow
https://firearmusernetwork.com/competition-shooting-history-the-longbow/

Marksmanship History

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10 Interesting Facts About The History Of The Shooting Sports
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2017/11/22/10-interesting-facts-about-the-history-of-the-shooting-sports/

Where Did The National Matches Originate?
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2017/10/31/where-did-the-national-matches-originate

The National Trophies
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/2/4/the-national-trophies

Hallmarks Of Heritage: The NRA Trophy Collection
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2017/8/3/hallmarks-of-heritage-the-nra-trophy-collection

A Historical Look at National Match Ranges
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/7/1/a-historical-look-at-national-match-ranges

1872 Creedmoor and the First Annual Matches
https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2017/5/4/1872-creedmoor-and-the-first-annual-matches


Origin of the Palma Trophy and Matches

https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2016/11/7/origin-of-the-palma-trophy-and-matches

Military Marksmanship History

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By the early 19th century, the longarms being offered to the discerning civilian shooter had improved beyond all recognition compared to those then in military service. In Europe and America, the smoothbore flintlock musket had remained the preeminent longarm for several reasons.

Firstly, and most obviously, was that of cost. Over many decades they had been issued in colossal numbers, and to replace them with more modern types was financially prohibitive for most governments.

Secondly, while the rifled barrel was becoming far more affordable, it was still primarily the preserve of the sporting shooter, with little interest being shown by the military.

After all, linear warfare was still the preferred method of fighting, and of what use was an expensive-to-produce rifled arm when speed of loading was still of greater importance than accuracy? Besides, actually teaching the common soldier to shoot properly would imply that he possessed a level of intelligence that was clearly unlikely. The regular soldier existed to carry loads, obey orders and, above all, not think for himself.

Read more:
https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/7/18/the-quest-for-accuracy-the-genesis-of-sniping/

https://www.americanrifleman.org/search/?s=genesis%20of%20sniping

Col. George Hanger on marksmanship training

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Some things never change…

Some remarks respecting the training of a raw countryman, or a mechanic from Birmingham, perfectly awkward and generally very ignorant.  He is consigned to the superintendence of the drill serjeant.  He is first taught to walk, next to march, and hold himself tolerably erect.

Then a firelock is placed in his hands, which he handles at first as awkwardly as a bear would a plumb cake.  When he is taught the manual exercise and fit to do regimental duty, they then take him to fire powder.  Whilst the drill serjeant is teaching him to fire either by files or by platoons, the serjeant says to him, laying his cane along the barrels of the firelocks, ‘Lower the muzzles of your pieces, my lads, otherwise when you come into action, you will fire over the enemy.’ 

After this the recruit is taken to fire ball at a target.  How is he taught?  Thus he is spoken to:  ‘Take steady aim, my lad, at the bull’s eye of the target; hold your piece fast to the shoulder that it may not hurt you in the recoil; when you get your sight, pull smartly.’  This is the general way in which I believe they are taught, and in the name of truth and common sense permit me to ask you how a drill serjeant who is no marksman himself can teach an ignorant countryman or a low order of a mechanic to be a good marksman.  In my humble opinion, excellent in their way as they are to discipline the soldier and form him for parade and actual service in the line, the serjeant is just as capable of teaching him how to solve one of Sir Isaac Newton’s problems as to teach him to be a marksman.

Reflections on the menaced invasion, and the means of protecting the capital
Lord George Hanger, 4th Baron Coleraine
London, 1804

Canadian Sniper Record Shot: An Analysis

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I’m sure you heard about a Canadian sniper that reportedly set a new world record by taking down an ISIS target from a distance of about 2.2 miles. The exact distance of the shot was 11,316 feet (3,772 yards), taken by a special forces sniper from Canada’s Joint Task Force 2. In an official Forces Canadiennes statement, “The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres [2.2 miles].”

http://www.range365.com/canadian-sniper-breaks-record-with-22-mile-shot/

http://www.duffelblog.com/2017/06/canadian-sniper-kill-shot-record/

One suggested motivator for this:

Here’s a commentary about this. Please comment with your thoughts below.

Jason Brown
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42212919

A dozen shots at a dozen ISIS combatants 2 miles away and you’re bound to hit one. The vital zone is smaller than the zone where a quarter of the shots under controlled conditions would land. These guys are never alone. If he could reliably hit one with one shot, one kill certainty, then why weren’t there multiple kills? The reason is that this was a lucky shot.

Ten inch vital zone at 3,540m is 0.25MOA. That rifle shoots 0.5MOA BEFORE you throw in the Coriolis effect, which will move the point of impact between 7 to 10 inches depending on the actual time of flight of the bullet, but can’t be can’t be determined any better than that due to variability in muzzle velocity from shot to shot. That time of flight is also going to be affected by the inconsistent air density along the 4km arc of flight. This will also affect the amount of spin drift. Mathematically, this is like hitting a bullseye that’s smaller than the point of the dart. Do the math. Learn about long range shooting. Spend some time on the thousand yard range with guys that hold world records. Or better yet, answer that question – If this was a reliable one shot kill, why was there only one kill when the ISIS combat doctrine presents multiple targets…

This was walked into a crowd just like Craig Harrison’s shots, no doubt about it. World record 1,000yd benchrest is 0.3MOA where Coriolis is negligible with handloads that have a standard deviation of only a few feet per second and heavy support on concrete bases that weigh a ton. Obviously, a tactical rifle is not going to match that, and at over triple the distance, that group will open up due to variables that cannot be calculated such as uneven air density which no ballistic computer will predict. Hitting that first shot, cold bore is statistically like rolling six-sized dice and getting a 6.33, or measuring 0.0004″ with digital calipers that read to the nearest 0.001″, or measuring your speed to 1/10th MPH with a speedometer that has an accuracy of plus or minus 1MPH. If the error ellipse is larger than the target, the hit probably is less than 1.

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