Sorry I'm late to the thread...
Originally Posted By StealthyBlagga:
I feel the same way - I enjoy 3-Gun as a sport and do not kid myself that it is any kind of tactical training. However, the martial origins of the sport make it much more interesting; they drive the "scenario based" stage designs that are different for every match (I find Bianchi Cup tiresome precisely because it is always the same); they drive the equipment rules (constraints in the "tactical" divisions clearly derive from combat-appropriate equipment); they drive the ammo (full powered centerfire vs. rimfire target ammo).
I am old enough to have seen other shooting sports go down the path of political correctness in the hope that it will somehow make the anti-gunners accept the sport. I immigrated to the US from the UK, where our own National Rifle Association threw pretty much all other shooting sports under the bus in the late 90s in order to save (for a short time anyway) their beloved single-shot bolt-action rifles for their own High Power discipline. Hell, you only have to look at how the Olympics have changed - disciplines that used to involve full-power centerfire guns have migrates over the decades to .22 short and (increasingly) airguns. With these changes. global governments have felt increasingly justified in ratcheting the restrictions on civilian access to firearms.
I can understand how top competitors might dream of growing the $$$ coming into the sport by making it more socially acceptable - who wouldn't like to be a full-time pro shooter. I just disagree that this is a good idea, and would hate to see 3-Gun going down the same path. You only have to look at IPSC President Nick Alexakos' vain attempts to get Practical Pistol accepted as an Olympic sport... after years of PC compromises, including the hideous IPSC Classic target that is now universal outside the US, we are no closer to Olympic respectability than we were when I shot my first match in 1983.
I like the sport of 3-Gun just fine the way it is and, given its current growth curve, I suspect many others feel the same way. Ultimately, the market will decide - if match directors feel the need to become more politically correct, and this makes their match more popular, then the sport will go that way. If folks prefer matches with traditional "humanoid" targets, then those will be more popular. We will see
I agree 100% without the martial aspects we could all save a lot of money and shoot BB guns or stay at home and play video games.
We could once take pride in that through the constant user feedback from action shooting sports we developed better technology and techniques that could be used by Military and Law Enforcement personnel in defense of our country and our communities. When I attended the first AMU 3 Gun at Fort Benning in 2005, the commander of the AMU at that time told me and several people in my squad that one of the reasons they were holding the match was "to find better ways to kill the enemies of the United States". The amount of technology that has come out of competitive shooting and has been adopted or adapted to real world use is huge. Most of the modern tactical trainers are using shooting techniques that came out of the competition shooting world. The further we deviate from the martial basis of shooting, the less relevant this will be. 3 gun will become Bullet Golf, just using different "clubs" depending on the course.
Originally Posted By JesseTischauser:
There are a whole heck of a lot more people out there that have firearms at home that we can attract to the action shooting sports that aren't looking for a way to better use firearms for defensive purposes.
Gun sales and recent NRA surveys do not bear this out. The posts on the forum here should be a good indicator that it isn't the case; a constant stream of people asking whether or not their carry/home defense/duty guns are useable for 3 gun or what division they could use them in.
The guns that are selling in the largest numbers are not ideally suitable for 3 Gun
How many mossberg 590s sell vs the 930JM, how many M4s does Stag sell for example vs 3Gs? How many Glock 19s are sold vs 34s?
An M4 Carbine with a red dot sight is not an ideal configuration for competing in 3 Gun.
An 870 or 500/590 is not an ideal shotgun for 3 Gun.
The reasons people buy guns are partly recreation, partly preparedness/self defense.
I have always pushed Action Shooting Sports as an excellent place to develop gun handling and marksmanship. Tactics, the last component of the combat triad have to be learned and practiced elsewhere. I want the people that bought guns for self defense or duty use coming to matches to get better at shooting. Most of the new blood I have seen come into competitive shooting in the 12 years I have been involved in it are people looking for a venue to practice with their carry/self-defense/duty gear. The drive to better themselves through competition is there because they believe their lives might depend on their skill at arms.