something has changed in the shooting & collecting (and of course carry and self defense) world of firearms. When I was young I would love to hear from the older generation about their experiences. Most were combat vets or retired police. They were able to share wisdom based on real experience and I soaked up all I could. These were WWI, Korea, & Vietnam vets.
Fast forward to the age of the internet. I frequent a number of shooting and firearms boards on the internet (this is by far the best)and I am seeing a change in civility as well as opinions becoming much stronger.
These strong opinions seem to come without much in the way of experience. They seem to gravitate towards 3 guns only - SKS being the best mil surplus acquisition possible, glock being the best handgun (anything else is trash), and AR's with lot of stuff attached to them as the best rifles, (never mind that they cannot seem to hit much at 100 yards and iron sites). On top of it all they seem to go out of their way to label everyone over 35 as a boomer and if you have anything nice leave in your safe you are also a fudd, as in Elmer Fudd. when did this happen and why?
|Three Generations |
Simple - Many of us are aging out and the younger generation (30's or so) have different tastes and experiences.
I also think the predominance of social media over person-to-person interaction has a lot to do with the change in tone.
I'm not completely in the "get off my lawn" camp yet, but I'm certainly tending in that direction.
Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
I see quite a few younger people (20-40s) at the old range I frequented, the newer range it's 30's to 70's) frankly I"m fine with the new range.
Most of the other ranges customers are first timers, the new range has more seasoned range shooters...
|The Joy Maker|
Haven't heard much about the SKS in a hot minute, unless you're in Canada and can still get them with a case of ammo for under $200. They were a pretty fantastic deal for a while, perfect in that there was nothing you could really add to them to make them better, cheap, reliable, powerful enough for most uses, 10 rounds, semi auto, and a pokey bit up front! What's not to like for the minuteman on a budget?
Anyhow, with imports drying up, the price shot past that of ARs and AKs, so unless you're a big fan, or live in a place with dumbass bans, ain't nobody really buying an SKS anymore.
As for the Fudds, that's not old guys with wood rifles, that's any gun owner who views gun ownership as a privilege, is fine with further restrictions on black guns, and those new-fangled hich cap clipazines. It can sometimes refer to older gun owners who refuse to accept that their 1911 isn't the pinnacle of handgun design, insisting that any gun designed after 1959 is trash, spouting off what's known as "Fudd Lore". You know, the .45 bullet will one shot anyone, anywhere, the M14 was the greatest battle rifle ever, the M16 was made by Mattel. Fudds are sometimes also called Butters, "I support the Second Amendment, but..."
Yeah, but only in the airweight version.
Unhappy ammo seeker
|Spread the Disease|
This happens to EVERY generation. You are just getting to experience it from the side getting replaced. You used to be on the other side.
In 30 or so years, our kids will be saying the same stuff about different hardware.
-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
|The Joy Maker|
The M9 is the greatest pistol ever made, two Gulf Wars!
|Get Off My Lawn|
Well, welcome to the 21st Century. The bolded is happening everywhere, in all parts of society, not just the firearms world. In the knitting world, in the auto world. Entertainment, sports, media, medicine, etc. etc. etc.
"I’m not going to read Time Magazine, I’m not going to read Newsweek, I’m not going to read any of these magazines; I mean, because they have too much to lose by printing the truth"- Bob Dylan, 1965
This is my observation as well. It is especially bad with some of the craven assdrips on arftards who cannot comprehend the possibility of other firearms other than modern and tactical for any use, including hunting and plinking. Those individuals are usually younger millennials.
I'm GenX and 50 y/o, and My preference is traditional hunting guns for hunting and shooting,Blued steel and wood. Just my preference, as well as the 80s and 90s combat guns and handguns as it was in my teens and 20s during my early shooting learning. Again just my preference.
The lack of courtesy and respect in others interest and preference is more noticeable and tiresome. Not to mention divisive.
As stated above, we live in an age when "it is all about me."
I am happy though younger and newer people are taking an interest in firearms. I have enjoyed my journey over the last 33 years, and I hope they enjoy theirs as well in the next 30 or 40 years.
I recently purchased amid the current pandemic shortages a new P226 and M9. They were sitting there in the case, ignored. The sales clerk told me no one looks at these models now.
Well, it is all about me. The Class of 1986: Sig P226, Beretta 92FS, and Glock 17 are the ultimate in pistols.
They represent the pinnacle in the human endeavor of making tools.
Ive become a dedicated Clay shooter, mainly Trap and Skeet but 5 Stand and Sporting Clays can be a good challenging alternate.
What is rather disturbing is that most of the shooters are folks with more than a few miles on them. This does not bode well for the sport of busting little orange disks. Seems that todays younger shooters are all in to the "Tactical" stuff. Which is OK I guess but IMO it takes a lot more skill and concentration to hit a target moving between 30 and 100 mph at distances ranging from 10 feet to 60 yards. All this makes me wish that someone would come up with a first person shooter game based on Skeet or Sporting Clays. Maybe then all those video gamers would stop with the tacticool stuff and learn how challenging it is to hit those little orange disks with a "scattergun".
I've stopped counting.
When I was just old enough (and had enough money) to start buying my own guns, I once mentioned an interest in an M1 carbine to my father, a WWII combat veteran and lifelong hunter. His response was, “What would you want one of those for? They’re no good for hunting anything.” He really couldn’t understand why a civilian would want a gun that wasn’t used for hunting. He was also a competitive shooter in the Army, but it wasn’t something he could have continued after he retired and never expressed any interest in doing so.
A full discussion of my observations and opinions about guns and their use in this country would be very long, but a few of many thoughts on the subject.
A major factor affecting gun ownership and use, and perhaps the most significant one, is the difficulty for most people in finding a place to shoot them, much less doing anything such as hunting or formal competitions rather than just making noise. According to the Internet, in 2010 about 81% of people in the US lived in urban areas; in 1950 the percentage was about 64%. When my father was growing up in a small town in Colorado, the urban population of the country was just over half. And not only does a larger and larger percentage of the population live in urban areas, the urban areas occupy larger and larger areas because it’s not just the percentages that have changed, but also the absolute number of people. Eighty-one percent of 160 million (1950) is far less than 81% of 330 million (today).
Some 30 years ago I hunted prairie dogs 10 miles from the Denver city limits along an interstate highway. Would that be possible today? (I don’t know for certain because I haven’t been there in decades, but I strongly doubt it. Urban sprawl has closed countless areas formerly used for such activities.)
I could go on and on, but although it’s still easy to own guns in most parts of this country, using them for anything other than blasting off a few rounds at an expensive or member-limited range that will usually impose countless restrictions on what we can do is not. (And if you believe that being able to walk out your back door and shoot on your 40 acres of rural land is typical of most people’s opportunities, you need to get out more.)
Added: One thing I’ll point out about the age of shooters is that from what I’ve seen on the videos, Precision Rifle Series and National Rifle League competitions attract a lot of younger people. It would be interesting to know what motivated them to get involved in that sport. Are stories like American Sniper a factor? But of course the absolute number of shooters in that category is still very small. Competing in that sort of thing regularly requires lots of money and travel.
“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
I'm in my early 30's. I've been shooting since my teens, using my dad's shotgun for skeet/trap until I bought my own gun in my 20's and got into pistol shooting and snowballing from there.
I have a fair amount of experience of having old dudes treat me like shit. Not always, and there are some really great experiences I've had with guys in their 50's,60's,70's. But I'd say that every bad experience I've had shooting or at the range has either been some old guy that has a stick up his ass, or people being ignorant/unsafe.
I've never had a younger person steal my brass.
I've never been bullied off the range by a young guy.
I've never been threatened or challenged to a fight by a younger shooter.
I've never had a young guy try to get me banned from a range because he didn't like me.
I've never been told what I own/shoot/have on me is "wrong" or otherwise inferior by a young guy.
Now I am really curious about all those experiences you are implying that you have had.
I’ve never spent a lot of time at a public range, but I still go occasionally and I have never seen, much less experienced the types of incidents you evidently have suffered and I have gone from being very young to pretty old. Can you explain how they get started and continued to the situations you describe? For example, how have you been “bullied” off a range?
I’m not, BTW, doubting what you’re telling us, but I am genuinely curious how and where such things occur. Is it, for example, that you’re minding your own business shooting and some old guy comes up, taps you on the shoulder, and says, “Hey, kid, that’s a POS gun you’re shooting and we don’t like your kind here, so git!” while his (old) buddies are standing in the background adding menacing looks?
Being challenged to a fight by anyone is even more amazing. Except in performance of policing duties, I haven’t been challenged to a fight since I was in grade school over 60 years ago, and I’m trying to imagine how—and especially why—that would happen on a shooting range.
“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
About 15 years ago I had a gang of friends who loved shooting. About once a month we would go to a state owned rifle range. We would bring mostly AR's, AK's, and an occasional Garand and a host of scoped .22's. We exchanged guns, and had a great time. The range officers got to know us and left us completely alone.There were usually about 6-8 of us. After we'd go out for ribs and a few cold ones. Then the ammo shortage happened. .223, and 7.62x 39 became impossible to find. Even a brick of .22 ammo tripled in price. Our gang fell apart . Except for shooting at the department, I haven't been to a public range in literally years. I have two safes full of goodies that I haven't shot in years. My son turns 10 in October, I'd like nothing more than to take him somewhere to shoot tin cans off a split rail fence and shoot some paper with a .22. When I was his age my Dad had already given me a Ruger Single Six revolver and a scoped Marlin bolt action rifle. I'm afraid those days are gone.
My point was more that there are assholes at every age and walk of life, but yeah, that stuff has happened. Some at private ranges, some at public ranges.
I've run into several guys who think that the world revolves around them. They'll call cease fire right after you load up, or they'll shoot your targets, or take a long time cleaning up down range, or other passive aggressive ways to piss you off and get you to leave so they can go back to being alone or whatever it is they're looking to do. That they weren't doing before I was setup and shooting. That other members tell me "oh yeah, that's just his way of saying hello" or some other excuse for poor manners.
And yes, when I was in high school shooting a 20ga O/U I was told by some older guy that my gun was a piece of shit and I should get a 12ga of whatever he had because it was so much better. That's the same place that I was told by a friend that worked there someone tried to get me and my friends that were shooting banned because we were playing around and not shooting traditional trap. We paid for the time, we paid for the clays, but we weren't playing by the rules so he wanted us gone. This wasn't leagues or anything, just recreational shooting.
There's an older RO at one of the public ex-DNR ranges that will be an absolute dick to anyone shooting "tactical", which happens to be mostly younger guys. I've talked to management, they don't have an issue because they see it as him keeping unsafe behavior in-check. There's a rule that says one round every 3 seconds, and I've had him stop me and count between shots to show me what 3 seconds was with long, exaggerated counting because he felt my cadence was "too quick to be safe" despite knocking out the 10-ring with every round (maybe every 2 seconds instead of 3?)
I've had a guy get very angry with me because my brass was going in his general direction. I might have been hitting him with it, I don't know, but I was told he'd see me in the parking lot if I kept it up.
The range my dad used to take me to back in the '90s, went there about 9 years ago. They had this rule, then, they have it now. We were the only people there, calling me on the fucking intercom. He didn't like my HK SL-8/G-36 either. I will NEVER return.
If it's not a Lee- Enfield, IT'S CRAP!!!
"Ninja kick the damn rabbit"
Rustpot there is a rule (may be a Law) here in Michigan that every single range that receives ANY state funding or support MUST REQUIRE THAT ALL CENTER FIRE WEAPONS BE FIRE ONE SINGLE SHOT AT A TIME. On the rifle ranges at DSC that means that you can only load one single round in the magazine. If you ask for a "function check" they will allow you to load five and fire them consecutively but that is a one time only "pause" in the rules and if some state official were on hand there would be a lot of "splaining" to do. Fortunately the staties don't come around much. Just to be clear, this rule isn't a choice on the part of DSC, it's a State Requirement. If you don't like it complain to the state legislature.
Concerning "fooling around on the Trap field". There are rules in place on any of the shooting grounds because some time in the past some idiot killed someone else because he was fooling around.
If you are shooting Trap Singles you aren't allowed to load 2 in the gun because at some point some excited shooter turned around after scoring a hit and shot his shooting buddy with the second round he had loaded. BTW, at 10 feet a "puny little bird shot load will darned near cut someone in half", so folks used to handling shotguns have a very low tolerance threshold for procedural errors or violating the rules.
Point is that all those old guys lecturing you about the rules and safety are doing it for a reason and that reason is because sometime in the past a person was killed by someone "breaking" a rule that hadn't been written yet. And yeah, if you refuse to obey the range rules someone will run you off the range.
On the plus side if you need help, coaching, or lessons, you will find a host of old geezers willing to spend their time helping you become a better shooter.
I've stopped counting.
It's not a law. I've been to several active DNR ranges that do not have this rule, or they used to and have since changed since about every firearm that shows up can hold more than 1 round. I've shot with state police, conservation officers, I was good friends with the one federal park rangers that, at the time, was the only person armed on Isle Royale.
The range in question is now privately run, but is on state land, but holds/hosts all kinds of events in which rapid fire and full mags are the norm. It's a holdover from when it was a DNR range, and I can understand wanting a slow cadence to keep people from bumpfiring over the berm. It's well known that the old guy RO is a complete sack of shit.
And as to the rest of your post; none of that applies to the situations I was referencing.
The fact that you called it "fooling around" without knowing any of what was actually happening is spot on. We broke no rules (except those of the game of trap). We cleared it with employees (in fact, two of our group were employees). We were playing a game with a different set of rules that we made up because we were looking to have fun. The complaint was that we weren't shooting trap on the trap field. Not that we were unsafe. Not that we were breaking rules. It may have been presumed as such, but instead of having a nice chat or requesting we get a refresher in rules or etiquette or whatever they wanted to ban us outright.
"The future of our fine hobby" is just as much in jeopardy because of this type of behavior.
I've never been lectured about rules and safety for consciously breaking a rule or being unsafe. It has 100% of the time been an old guy that didn't like what was going on and decided that fun wasn't allowed unless it was confined to exactly his definition/interpretation.
And I guess I have to say it again- this isn't a blanket statement. I've met plenty of old guys who want to have a chat, talk about guns, show and shoot each other's stuff, help me with spotting or give me tips on whatever is going on. For the most part I love our community and have met some of the very best people willing to give up their time, effort, and ammo to help encourage new shooters, and I try to do the same whenever I can.
My point, again, is that it's not just the kids working to undermine the future of shooting sports.
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