Step into the Arena

Forums Benchrest Benchrest Talk Step into the Arena

  • Views : 665
  • Link

    Centercut
    Participant
    Member

    I’ve been thinking on this ever since I started competing with Airguns a couple of years ago.  I had hunted for almost two years prior to competing, mostly ground squirrels at up to about 125 yards.

    I started reading about EBR and other Airgun competitions. I thought “how hard can it be?”  I shoot ground squirrels with head shots at up to 100+ yards. That target can’t be that hard, I’ll go and kick some butt…  WRONG! 

    So I started shooting in competitions – and getting my ass kicked. Hmmm, it’s not as easy as it looks…  It takes practice, experience, patience, skill, and of course good equipment.

    So what do I mean by Step into the Arena? Well, to me it means competing against your fellow shooters. You may shoot ground squirrel head shots at 125 yards, soda cans at 230 yards, or quarters at 175 yards.  That’s great. And fun.  But you don’t know just how good you really are until you shoot in competition against your fellow air gunners under the same conditions.

    So Step into the Arena. Prove to yourself just how good you are, or think you are.  It’ll be fun, and for sure it’ll prove eye opening.  I know it was for me. ;)

     

    • This topic was modified 1 week ago by Centercut.
    Link

    ncrary
    Participant
    Member

    I agree with you, competition brings a whole new aspect to the game.  Shooting critters or plinking are no-pressure activities.  However, when lined up against others, the pressure is on.  Just shooting some local venues at my shooting club, I have had the pressure to perform make me miss shots that would have been easy any other time.  I take my hat off to you and the others who are able to perform at your best under stressful conditions.  I have never been to EBR or RMAC and at my age will not go to compete, but I may go to watch and learn.

    Link

    sturba
    Blocked
    Blocked

    Of course you’re right.

    But some can carry baggage and associated personality disorders  from other arenas, say tournament chess. Where you train constantly, drive hundreds of miles to a tournament you can’t afford to get home from unless you finish in the money, elo rating points are everything and no one is your friend. Spent my 20s there. Imagine there are more than a few airgunners  who’s blood runs just as cold as mine does at the thought of ever competing at anything on a national level again. 

    Link

    Franklink
    Participant
    Member

    My "arena" of competitive shooting is field target, and usually just monthly club matches. I'd assume it's the same for the big money competitions like EBR and RMAC, but for me, competition has been a big motivator for self-improvement. 

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Franklink.
    Link

    sturba
    Blocked
    Blocked

    Franklink

    My "arena" of competitive shooting is field target, and usually just monthly club matches. I'd assume it's the same for the big money competitions like EBR and RMAC, but for me, competition has been a big motivator for self-improvement. 

    Which is obviously what the op is trying to encourage. Not the kind of one on one predator fest that i

     rudely injected.. airgun competitions are a place to become more well adjusted.not less. We’ve seen the ebr videos with all the gregarious personalities of this sport..but if you look down the line, not so much. Those guys sure didn’t come all the way down there to shoot bad in the wind, least of all the op. Competing against themselves and the elements seems to me. Very healthy 

    Link

    JohninMa
    Participant
    Member

    My blood gets nice and hot when I think of competition on the National, and International stage. It started similar to C-Cut. My friends wouldn't plink with me anymore because I didn't miss. During recovery from elbow surgery I discovered FT and BR(pre EBR). I sucked. Four years in and I was flying to Poland to complete in my first Worlds(2018). I sucked. I finished in the bottom 1/4. Last year was my second Worlds, I sucked but finished in the top 1/4. This year's plan is to win, though placing in the top 10 is more realistic.

    Also a reason I don't give advice anymore is because most if not all who don't compete can't comprehend many techniques/concepts that apply to being a better marksmen, and the rest refuse to believe what they're being told because it's never happened in thier back yard(typically suggestions about scope shift, gun poi shift, ranging and parallax errors etc).

    Link

    Centercut
    Participant
    Member

    Franklink

    My "arena" of competitive shooting is field target, and usually just monthly club matches. I'd assume it's the same for the big money competitions like EBR and RMAC, but for me, competition has been a big motivator for self-improvement. 

    Exactly my point. I wasn’t trying to imply it had to be RMAC, EBR, National FT, World BR or anything specific.

    Any Arena…  

    You’ll never know for sure how you stack up, how good you are, what your skill level is, unless you compete.  Thanks…

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Centercut.
    Link

    edosan
    Participant
    Member

    in competition there is also a factor that plays a lot for some, adrenaline rush, that can cause shaking and bad shooting. (It can be great to learn how to minimize that) 

    Shooting under pressure is totally different than when you hunt. The only time that I felt a similar rush hunting, was when I put down a wild bore 200pounds with SilverSurfer.

    When you get consistent results, not in 1 or 2 or 3 competitions, but in almost all, then you know you have a good balance between you and your gun (specially in Bench), and for me that is the key. I compete not to see how good I am, or others to judge. I compete to see how good my airgun can be, after I personally take care of it to squeeze the "ultimate" accuracy on an airgun.

    Step into the arena is 100% recommended! 

    Link

    Franklink
    Participant
    Member

    Centercut

    Franklink

    My "arena" of competitive shooting is field target, and usually just monthly club matches. I'd assume it's the same for the big money competitions like EBR and RMAC, but for me, competition has been a big motivator for self-improvement. 

    Exactly my point. I wasn’t trying to imply it had to be RMAC, EBR, National FT, World BR or anything specific.

    Any Arena…  

    You’ll never know for sure how you stack up, how good you are, what your skill level is, unless you compete.  Thanks…

    You're welcome…

    Yep, competition is competition, regardless of the event. 

    I wasn't disagreeing with your initial thoughts. Competing MAKES you improve. 

    Link

    Centercut
    Participant
    Member

    @franklink – I know you weren’t disagreeing, but even if you were that’s totally OK. That’s what this forum is all about.

    For instance, I totally respect Edosan, but I don’t agree with everything he says above. To me, once you step into the arena, it’s no longer about the gun, it’s all about the shooter. If you’ve prepared properly, you already know what your gun can do, the best way to hold it, what pellets it likes at what speed, know the holdovers for the distances, know how many shots to take prior to refilling, etc. It’s now all up to the shooter when you pull the trigger on that first target. The last thing in the world you want to think about is your gun…  Its not the gun winning, its YOU.  The best Gun doesn't win. The best Shooter with a good gun wins…

    But I totally agree that competition makes you a better shooter, and that if you want to progress as a shooter, Stepping into the Arena is an important part of honing your skills…

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Centercut.
    Link

    Gerry52
    Participant
    Member

    Step into the "Coward's Corner" with me! I've never been a really competitive guy when it comes to this stuff. It's always been about fun & enjoyment. Something in my past must have given me a negative slant on competition. Just can't figure it out. I use my time hunting to relax & zen out. Competing gets my adrenaline & anxiety going in a way that's totally opposite of the almost meditative feeling I get from hunting. Guess I'm an airgun wuss, I'll cop to it. Although I did have fun with "Know Your Limits " the very 1st time I  met C'cut, I'd rather be in the mellow "hunting zone".

    Link

    steve123
    Participant
    Member

    Franklink shoots in our Airgunners of AZ FT club. It's been 4-5 years, I can't remember exactly, since he first came, but he's worked his way up to the top of with our local competitors. He won his division in 2019.

    It was when he got his USFT that he started to nip on our heels in score, then when he got his Falcon 10-50 scope he started winning matches here and there more often. There's a half dozen of us that battle for top score with a national champion in our club and it's a coin toss who will win. So he's familiar with all those aspects that enable one to shoot well enough to be at the top on at least a state level.

    Just sayin here, that part of my point in pointing to Franklink is the fact that higher quality tools really can help a competitor excel in competition. Also having the knowledge and practical skills to tune ones rifle, etc, helps a lot too.

    But in competition everyone has to start somewhere. If interested in participating in any competition a person just needs to try it to see if it's for them and go from there. Some will never win a match but they enjoy the camaraderie and want to enjoy the experience, and that's okay. Others have a passion for competition with the intent of eventually winning a match. Some take it even farther and want to win at the highest level. 

    For me competition is fun even when I don't win. I enjoy being in the Arena, so to speak, to test my personal skills, but mostly because I have a huge passion for shooting, and well I do enjoy being with all my friends that I've made over the years. 

     

    Link

    Therealld
    Participant
    Member

    Mike,

    you know I like to compete, but you have chided me for saying winning isn’t that important. Maybe my form of competing isn’t truly understood by you or others?

    I want to use equipment of my own design or incorporated mods in competition to learn and prove out my idea.  I have competed with airguns for nearly 50 years,

    and have won my share, but I still go more for fiddling with the gun rather than fixating on just winning … to the point I will, and do often modify a rig I just won with in order to see if something else might work as well or better.

    I suspect my satisfaction is as great to greater than that of most frequent  podium placers.

     

    Link

    Centercut
    Participant
    Member

    LD, no disrespect intended, but this wasn't about you, or anyone that has already Stepped into the  Arena at the highest levels.  I understand where you're coming from, but you have already won your share of State, National, and International competitions.  This was written for those that like to shoot, and want to test themselves and see how good they are, or can be.  My intent was to encourage shooters to get out and compete.  We all know that when you want to, or decide you want to win, that you can –  like two weekends ago when you shot a 745 that included a 250 card at 25M BR. ;)

    Link

    luxurycat
    Participant
    Member

    Mike,

     I must agree with you.  Stepping into the arena is where I learn.  I have always found myself learning best in a real life situation. I met you at my first airgun competition June 2019.  I showed up with equipment that could compete.  I have skills that should compete. But, 4 targets is 40 points.  10 miles per hour puff of wind is 4-6 points.  Good glass and a stable platform is 20 points.  And nobody shot 250 and 25 Xs.  Par Golf, perfect game bowling are not as hard.  I compare Shooting matches to attempting to Pitch a perfect game.

    I practice for bench and KYL.  The squirrel always gives me 2 shots when I have an hour to hunt.  In order to compete with myself I need to know how to tune my gun, and shoot to learn the conditions at the match.  Powder burners do not get to tune at the bench….

    Link

    nomojo65
    Participant
    Member

    I love to compete! Do it once a month in a 25m USARB sanctioned events only shot 2- 250 cards in 2yrs of competition but that’s what keeps me coming back for more!, I was actually in the standings 2018,2019 but I can’t find the score line archives for those yrs.I just wish the nationals were held on the east coast as well so more of us could compete “or in my case get my a**  handed to me!” with some of the best around the nation? My home club held the FT nationals in 2016! Wish we had the accommodations for BR…

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by nomojo65.
    Link

    Arzrover
    Participant
    Member

    @steve123

    For me competition is fun even when I don't win. I enjoy being in the Arena, so to speak, to test my personal skills, but mostly because I have a huge passion for shooting, and well I do enjoy being with all my friends that I've made over the years. 

     

    This pretty much says it perfectly for me. I also really like to see others do well and typically share whatever I can to raise the level, as it means more challenge for me.

    Bob

    Link

    nomojo65
    Participant
    Member

    The camaraderie aspect is normally overlooked when you say competition, but most of the time this is when I get to see a great group of friends! It’s light hearted and fun… “until that timer goes off!” ( If I’m getting a little off track from the original topic I apologize )

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by nomojo65.
    Link

    Franklink
    Participant
    Member

    Gotta agree with the sentiments shared by Steve, Bobby, and Nomojo. The "arena" equates to quality time spent with friends of shared interests. A healthy amount of good-natured ribbing is a pretty common occurrence during our club's matches. 

     

    Link

    22Jim
    Participant
    Member

    Motorhead and I run one of the largest FT clubs in CA. We try to create an environment where every one who shows up for a match has fun and learns something. If you come to one of our matches and do not have fun or learn something then we have failed in our jobs, but I don't know how this could happen. You may not like the FT discipline but you should have fun sharing time with some great people while shooting air rifles.

    I really appreciate Mike starting this thread because I believe anyone who enjoys shooting will benefit from "stepping into the arena". I get about 20-30 calls a year from people who want to get involved in field target, my advice to every single one of them is "do not spend a nickle on anything, figure out where the next match in your area is and get out there and see what this game is all about". If I can get someone to a match we will make sure they participate with a loaner rifle and help from an experienced shooter. If we can do that then we have done our job. Hopefully we will see them again.

    I have participated in competitive shooting sports for over 20 years. IDPA, IPSC, 3 gun, rimfire, benchrest and field target. I've been fortunate to be successful in some of the venues and not so much in others but I will say that I have met some of my best friends through these competitions and have enjoyed almost every one I have attended. For me, for whatever reason, the people I have met through the shooting sports are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I look forward to every match I attend for both the joy of shooting air rifles and the pleasure of seeing friends.

    So why should you "Step into the Arena"? You're not a competitive person, you don't like crowds, you enjoy the solitude of walking through the woods with your air rifle looking for a squirrel, nothing about a competition appeals to you. Well, based upon my experience, you will pick up tips, techniques and advice that will make you a better air gun shooter (significantly better if you apply the advice) and you will have the opportunity to meet some of the nicest, most helpful people you can imagine. This does not even count the fun you will have shooting a new venue. How many of the events you attend can promise you that?

    I've had the privilege of shooting with several of the people who have posted on this thread and they epitomize the type of person who you would love to shoot with. Step into the arena and meet some of them, you'll love the experience.

    Jim in Sacramento

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by 22Jim.
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.