where is bpcr headed?

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loophole
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where is bpcr headed?

Post by loophole » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:19 pm

I've been building and shooting BPCR guns since about 1980, and before that muzzleloaders. For several reasons I got out of shooting for a few years, sold some of my guns, and let my subscription to BPCR News expire. Recently I unlimbered my rifles and started shooting them again. I realized I was down to only one 45/70, so I felt forced to buy a C. Sharps in order to feel properly armed.
I dusted off my computer connections to this site and was shocked to see how little activity there seems to be. I checked the
cast bullet and ASSRA sites, as well as the Shiloh site and talked to a few folks in the industry, but I have a serious question
for which I can't find a satisfactory answer:
Where is this sport headed?
I hear that Shiloh as a 2-year backlog and record numbers came to the Quigley last year, but bullet casters are going out of business
and the NRA is threatening to shut down the Nationals at Raton.
Are we attracting new shooters and keeping numbers up, or are we a dying breed?
I watched muzzle-loading die out, Are we headed in the same direction?
Loophole
If at first you don't secede, try, try again.

GeorgeC
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by GeorgeC » Sat May 23, 2015 8:10 am

Loophole, my reply is simple. Look at the number of replies you have received since you made this post over 7 months ago. I think "0" replies should tell you something. I first applied to BPCR Forums about a year ago and immediately received a standard form email saying that my application had to be activated. I finally reapplied last week and low and behold, my new application was activated.

Another thought, is that we do not get the coverage that the more "action shooting groups" do on sportsman shows. BPCR shooting is not as appealing to the young group of shooters spending the bucks today. To test the waters in combat shooting (where there is a lot of action) one can buy all the guns and equipment one needs for under a grand. Spending the day, running around shooting upper torso card board targets in mock combat and/or police situations seems to be more appealing to the younger bunch of shooters today, Not to mention the cost.

Now, In my opinion to be competitive in BPCR matches one can expect to start off at around 3 grand or more likely 5 grand on a rifle and accouterments in order to be competitive in a BPCR match or a BPML long range or silhouette match and Schuetzen matches are very costly to competitively participate in. Then add in time and expense to travel to matches (unless you are lucky enough to live close to a sanctioned range).

I think that the NMLRA is doing the right thing by expanding their shooting programs. We held our 2nd BPCR match last weekend at the Walter Cline range in Friendship where the NMLRA is located. Competition matches are well diversified even to allow the modern inline ML's. :( One thing we don't have is a forum on the NMLRA website. I am also seeing more big bore BPCR posts on the ASSRA forum and black powder Schuetzen rifles are discouraged from sanctioned matches.

Reading back over my reply, I don't think my ramblings have answered your question properly, other than to say there is not one right answer. All the other traditional single shot organizations that I am a member of are asking the same question.
Never mind the mule, just load the wagon.

Brent
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sat May 23, 2015 11:05 am

I don't feel it is quite all doom and gloom. There is an aura of this on the internet, largely due to a very small handful of people that like to gripe a lot. But truthfully, there is a lot of interest out there and there could be more if we can get past all the moaning and groaning by the few that feel they must.

For instance, most of the regional BPCR matches are doing really well. Many of them sell out in advance. There are also a few new ones out there as well, and they will grow. I travel around to as many as I can and everyone seems to be having a great time and doing well. That said, the less well known matches that do not advertise well could definitely use a bit more advertising and promotion. For instance, next weekend, there will be a really nice 2-day regional in the St. Louis area. It will have shooters from as far away as Georgia, at least 2 past national champions, and it is run very well by Pat O'Malley at a first class facility, but it is not a huge draw, and many do not even know about it. So, advertising is important.

The BPCR Nationals aren't going away anytime soon, but they could use a good shot in the arm. The BPTR Nationals are another story. Both, but especially the latter have been the principal targets of folks complaining and ing general driving people off. Splitting the BPTR off of the BPCR wasn't a great idea either, and that cost both games a lot of shooters. But it was done at the shooters' request, though the NRA gets the blame.

The one thing about the Nationals, however, is that all the best shooters still go. But it's the new guys and the average shooters that are being lost. Yet, when a new shooter does show up, he is always impressed with the matches, and left wondering why he didn't come sooner. One thing is certain, as you walk up and down the line, there is no one at the matches that is having the miserable time that is publicized afterwards. The NRA could do a few things better, for sure, but they still hold the most important and fun matches of the year.

I guess the most important thing to do is to just participate, have fun, tell folks you are having fun, and then do what you can to make it better. It may never return to the hay days of the 90s, but I think it will be around for a long long time.
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GeorgeC
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by GeorgeC » Sat May 23, 2015 5:44 pm

Brent, you stated some excellent points about the single shot and muzzle loader matches and I hope my post didn't come off sounding like I was moaning and griping.
I was giving my opinion to a question (where is bpcr headed?). I tried not to get too lengthy with my post.
Back in the 80's and early 90's a shooter could pick up nice original shooting grade and some collectable grade rifles. Sadly, those days are over. There were still excellent single shot gunsmiths who are now retired or have passed on. But, I think we have more access today to excellent people in the trade than we did back in the day. There are more full=time rifle makers, mould makers, stock makers, gun accessory makers, producers of brass (now that the big gun companies no longer support the single shot venue) than I can ever remember. These people would not be supporting the BPCR, Schuetzen, and tradition ML shooters and matches if they were not making money.
But, we are small number when compared to ALL the shooting sports available today. I still believe that the action shooting games that are cheaper to get into, offered at practically every local range, along with the media coverage they receive, and support from the big gun and ammo manufacturers are our biggest competitors as far as increasing our memberships.
Now, I have several hypothetical questions. Do we want to keep our status quo or do we want our organizations and shoots to grow with members who have no interest in our histories of our organizations? Would you prefer to go to Wally World to buy your .45-90 factory ammo rather than enjoy the pleasure of "rollin' your own" for a match?
I know I have probably contradicted myself, but again there is no "pat" answer to the OP's question. Brent, your last statement is the most profound answer I've heard: "I guess the most important thing to do is to just participate, have fun, tell folks you are having fun, and then do what you can to make it better. It may never return to the hay days of the 90s, but I think it will be around for a long long time."
Never mind the mule, just load the wagon.

Brent
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sat May 23, 2015 6:26 pm

No, George, you are not one of the whiners and gripers. We know who those folks are well enough. :cry:

The late two years, I've taken up long-range muzzleloading just a little. It's a fun game with lots of really great people. I have this idea that I might compete at an international championship at some point. Anyway, I was asking them why don't they shoot at the BPTR Nationals with either muzzleloaders (legal for NRA BPTR or cartridges (most of them own good cartridge rifles as well) or come out the the BPCR Nationals if that fit their time frame better. And the answer was simply they had heard how awful it was at Raton and there was no way they would go 1/2 way across the continent or further for a bad match. Where did they get the idea that the BPTR and BPCR Nationals is horrible? On the internet of course, and in some of the popular publications like BPCNews.

Well, the truth of matter is that the Nationals at Raton are run better than muzzleloader matches by quite good margin (and yet muzzleloader matches are a hugely good time). And, once again, as you walk among the shooters, everyone has smiles on, everyone is talking a mile a minute about their favorite something, everyone is clearly having fun.

But the word on the street is that the national matches suck. And guys aren't willing to risk a week of precious vacation, a thousand or two dollars and twice as many miles on their truck to find out otherwise. And so they stay home. It astounds me, how many people have been turn off by the rhetoric on the net, but time and money is precious and most folks are not risk takers.

Well, anyway, I'm going to the BPCR Nationals again this year. I've only been going since 2008 or so, so I'm hardly an old salt. But I can't wait to meet folks I haven't seen in year, to hang out and watch the New Mexican sun set, to see a hundred shooters slapping lead against steel and thick smoke hanging in front of the line obscuring the targets. It is just way too much fun not be there. One of these days I intend to win it. But in the meantime, I have a hell of a good time just hanging out, and enjoying the best shooting anywhere on the planet. Those that don't come may never know how much they are missing.
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Ranch 13 » Sun May 24, 2015 8:26 am

There are a number of things affecting BPCR attendance. There is something of an interest shift towards the blackguns,and vintage military.
Just the basic cost of shooting these bpcr matches keep many younger folks out. The gong matches are popular and growing, in part because a family of 3 can go to a gong match with one rifle, and for less cost of entry fees and ammunition, than just one of them can take in either the bpcrs, or BPTR nationals.
The high cost of fuel has had a big affect on how many matches folks attend.
Ther could also be a level of boredom as well. Many local clubs have seen a steady decline in bpcr attendance.

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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sun May 24, 2015 9:04 am

I don't see why three people could not share a rifle at Raton. Often wondered why folks don't.
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Ranch 13 » Sun May 24, 2015 9:50 am

As I read the rules for Sillouette and BPTR sharing a rifle is forbidden.

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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sun May 24, 2015 11:26 am

Never read that rule, but perhaps it is. Switching rifles in mid match is illegal, unless due to breakdown, but why two could not share, I have no idea. Since it is raining cats and dogs all day, might as well brush up.
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Ranch 13 » Sun May 24, 2015 11:39 am

Maybe they think that if the 1st shooter got the sight setting just exactly right it would give the second shooter an advantage? I don't think it would really make a hill of beans, but the rules is the rules..

gunlaker
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by gunlaker » Sun May 24, 2015 11:44 am

This is my first year attending matches outside of Canada. I'm "temporarily retired" and am spending most of my time with my black powder rifles. I'm going to far fewer matches than some of you guys, I think six this year.

My total travelling distance is probaby around 4000 miles, but I think that the travelling cost is not really all that high with a small camper. However, I'm spending enough on powder and lead this year to buy a new Shiloh.

For me the real cost is time. Every day I'm either shooting or loading. I am amazed at people who can shoot two or three times the number of matches that I will, especially those that are not retired. I imagine the answer is more local matches.

Chris.

Brent
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sun May 24, 2015 12:42 pm

Hmm, my post did not make it somehow.

Anyway, after reading sections 3 and 9 in both the BPCR and BPTR books, I see nothing that prohibits, or even hints at prohibiting sharing a rifle. It looks perfectly legal as I read it. There is a lot of discussion in Section 9 about changing rifles by one shooter. That is definitely frowned upon in both venues, but slightly differently. In BPCR you can change rifles from one day to the next. In BPTR, you cannot (breakage excepted).

So, Don, what rule are your reading that this is prohibited? I didn't see it.

There is also an interesting difference in the two games with respect to crescent buttplates. In BPTR the crescent has to be less than 1.125" deep - that is a DEEP crescent.

In BPCR, it can only be 0.5" deep at most - that is not much and I wonder if many rifles might be illegal, a Shiloh Military or crescent plate must be really close if not illegal.
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sun May 24, 2015 12:47 pm

Chris, I shoot about the same number of matches per year as you do. Maybe a bit more if we count Raton as one trip/match. I drive a lot more miles if I got to Missoula, but this year I won't, so my mileage will be similar to yours. It would be nice to shoot a bunch more. And especially so, if I could shoot them all with the same partner. But every match I shoot is with a different spotter so it takes years to get synced to the degree that is even possible.
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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Ranch 13 » Sun May 24, 2015 1:04 pm

Not sure where it was Brent. I'll have to go bring those rules up and take a look, when I get the time. But still even if it does turn out to be legal to share rifles, the entry fee's for a family of 3 is going to crowd 300$ for the Sillouette nationals, and 600$ for the bptr nationals. That's a heck of a hit to a families budget, and one folks that aren't die hard shooters are going to shell out very eagerly. For 75$ that same family can go to the Quigley and shoot all week, with no added expense for camping.
Last year ahead of the bptr nationals one of the fella's I was trying to recruit was about ready to enter, and then he saw the cost of staying at the Whittington for a week, and that tipped him over his budget. He's a young man about 40 and would be a good one to have shooting all the bpcr venues..

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Re: where is bpcr headed?

Post by Brent » Sun May 24, 2015 1:15 pm

for a week of shooting? Hell that's not bad at all. We pay $50-70 for a weekend match after all. Fees are not bad - they are THE NATIONALS and worth every penny. Got to Disney for 20 minutes and you will spend that much. Shooting, quite frankly, is dirt cheap.
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