Shooting Competitions Help Gunsmiths
Shooting competitions happen throughout the year but season heats up as the weather does. Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays, IDPA, USPSA, Three-Gun, SensibleShooter, Cowboy Action, High Power, Bullseye, Benchrest, F-Class, HunterShooter and many more events are in full swing out at your local range and even on some temporary ranges being set up. Lots of places to see what’s going on, too. Besides the magazines and dedicated web sites, just putting “Shooting Competitions” into Google yields some 236,000 results to explore.
While regular participation in organized shooting events is still only popular among a minority of gun owners (the NRA reports that only two percent of its members have attended an event in the past three years) competitions have enjoyed growth. Given the huge surge in firearm sales in 2009, along with the fact that people will be looking to enjoy outdoor sports at the range this summer, shooting is popular. Given an estimated 80 million gun owners and rising even a minority of a group this large is a pile of folks!
For the sake of gun ownership, and your business bottom line, help the growth of this trend in your locality. As Bob Brownell used to say, “Show me a town without a gunsmith and I’ll show you a town without guns!” We can add to that with, “Show me a town without good organized shooting range events and I’ll show you a town without good shooters.” Organized marksmanship competitions are the genesis of marksmanship skill and the roots of where everyone ultimately learned how to shoot.
Increase the participation of responsible firearm activities in your area by getting involved. If you don’t yet have a discipline of choice, find one. It’s impossible to claim participation in the shooting sports when you don’t personally have a sport to shoot.
Help at an event or run your own. As a gunsmith it makes good business sense to further the shooting sports in your area. As a shooter, hosting organized events shows that gun owners are responsible and open with their activities. Unlike plinking and other unorganized activity, an organized event is potentially newsworthy and gives local media something positive to talk about gun ownership.
Every new person attracted to shooting events is a potential customer for your shop. And by “new person” I include decades-long gun owners as well. Consider how many gunsmithing services an enthusiastic marksman needs or wants compared to a box-a-year hunter.
The critical thing is to get involved. Crying about anti-gun politicians or media solves nothing. Be the counter example to the negative gun image by serving as a positive example!
Read more in our April 2012 issue. Back issues are available.
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