How to Get Into Competitive Shooting?

Hello,

I haven't seen a post on here on how to get into comp shooting.
I'm a little overwhelmed with the different programs that are out there and not completely sure on what it takes to join them and actually take part in some competitions.
Any tips on where to go and how to become apart of this community is welcome.

Thanks
 

Gbirk

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Contact the person/range running the match and ask if you can watch one. Don't be intimidated, its way easier than you think and requires way less equipment. All you need for IDPA or USPSA are a gun, a holster, mags and ammo.

What kind of matches are you interested in? Pistol, rifle, long range?

Speed steel is probably the easiest place to start. No movement, no holster, just a 22lr gun and ammo. It will give you a basic idea of how most matches are run too as it uses a lot of the same commands. 2nd would be an IDPA match. USPSA can get a bit competitive and overwhelming at first.

Go to a match and let them know you are new. Most places will be happy to guide you through the match and make sure it is fun and safe for you.

I have only been doing competitions for about 2 years, and I suck, but I love it. I would be happy to take you to a match. I usually go to Tri County in Sherwood.
 
I got started when a guy I worked with told me he participated in an IDPA match that I had read about online. He invited me to shoot with his group. At first, I just wanted to watch, but he convinced me to just shoot. Like it was mentioned in a previous post, I was just told to have a concealable holster, a magazine pouch with 2 extra magazines, and a cover garment. I showed early for the new shooter orientation and they classified me based on my gun. I found out everyone shoots in mixed groups with all classifications. It was lots of fun! Kept doing it.
 

brunop

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Lots of good advice above. I suggest you decide:

a. if "competition" is for fun because you like something already or are good at something already, or...
b. if "competition" is for training at something you want to explore and/or get better at.

If you want to focus on 'precision' or 'accuracy', there are disciplines like Highpower or Precision Rifle or F-Class. There are even .22LR Matches.

If you want to focus on 'self defense' type scenarios, IDPA is probably a great way to start. There are matches all the time, and you don't need a ton of expensive guns or gear. As someone said above, concealable holster, gun, ammo, 'cover' garment.

If you want to shoot multiple types of targets using multiple types of weapons, 3-gun (rifle, pistol, shotgun) might be good.

if you want to do target shooting, there are steel shoots and various fun things.


Think about what you want out of it, and what you want to be doing with the guns you have. Then find a match - and maybe a friend to go do it with. Most important thing is to get out there and do something. Don't worry about being great - you won't be great the first time. Focus on being steady-Eddie, don't get DQed (drop weapon, have an ND, 'flag' someone, break the 180* rule), and learning the ropes.

Good luck.
 

Reno

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Find a match open to the public and attend it to watch. That’s a huge start.

Once there, ask around for the match director, tell them why you are there.

Most competitors are very open to new folks. We would rather you feel completely comfortable and safe than the opposite.
 

HaveGun

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My first shot (pun intended) at competition shooting were BPCR matches in Phoenix, AZ. Black Powder Case Rifle matches are where old farts take old rifles like the Sharps and other rolling block-style single-shots and shoot either steel silhouettes shaped like animals in the silhouette matches, or at giant bullseye targets at 600, 800, and 1000 yard distances. It was fun, but very expensive and time-consuming. I was the youngest guy there in my early 40's.

When I moved up here, I got out of it simply because I was poor and the nearest match was a 6 hour drive.

I stopped by a gun shop a few years ago looking for Glock mags and the owner said I should try my hand at indoor GSSF matches at his range. Cost was $15, membership in the GSSF, and 50 rounds of ammo. All you needed was a Glock pistol and 5 magazines.

Only Glock I had at the time was a G29 sub-compact 10mm. Probably the worst Glock you could use for a timed match. But I went ahead and tried it anyway. I won my class and was hooked.

Everybody there was extremely helpful, polite, and it was great getting together one Saturday a month for a couple of hours.

Sadly, my work schedule switched to me working Saturdays, so I haven't competed in a couple of years. I really miss it!

Looking to get my Saturdays back in March, but probably won't get back into matches simply because ammo is so scarce and valuable, now.
 
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Most competitions at clubs are also open to the public. I would suggest you determine what type of shooting you want to do first. Find clubs that have it and contact the person the organizes it. Start competing and then determine what clubs you may want to join.
 

brunop

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Thank you for all of your responses.

Does anybody recommend a certain club to get into or who to contact to get in?

Thanks.
If you live on the east side, Douglas Ridge
If you live on the west side, Tri-County
If you live north, maybe the English Pit in Vancouver (192nd East)

Depends on your tolerance of traffic and drive times.

But I would follow the advice from Pepe-lepew above and shoot some competitions before I joined a club.
 

brunop

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I'm not a member, and I'm not familiar with their policies.

I'm a member at ARPC (Albany), and competitions are typically open to non-members who register for the particular competition.

Do you know what you want to start shooting?
 

Gbirk

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I live closer to Tri-County.
Do I have to become a member to join their activities? On their calendar it says that all the competitions are member only.
I think Tri-County limited competitions to members due to covid. I am not sure if that is still in place. I usually do IDPA and speed steel there, so if you want to go I can see about bringing you as a guest. PM me if you want.
 

ron

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Thank you for all of your responses.

Does anybody recommend a certain club to get into or who to contact to get in?

Thanks.
TCGC, DRRC, ERGC and ARPC matches are open to the public. Contact the match director. DRRC conducts the '
"Service Rifle" program is set up for new shooters. They have rifles for loan and ammo for the matches.
http://www.douglasridge.org/cmp.html
If you want to try Highpower Rifle look into the 'Clinic" matches and the Cascade League which is coming back this
year. https://www.ossa.org/highpower.html
Match schedule calendar is a work in progress dates will be filled later.
 
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NWGlockgal

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I stopped by a gun shop a few years ago looking for Glock mags and the owner said I should try my hand at indoor GSSF matches at his range. Cost was $15, membership in the GSSF, and 50 rounds of ammo. All you needed was a Glock pistol and 5 magazines.
My first competition was a bullseye match, and the first match I shot out doors was a GSSF match. Very good way too to get introduced to competition. Low key, low stress, very helpful staff and great prizes.
 

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