On Race Gunning and TV

I don’t do race gunning for the most part, which of course qualifies me as an Internet Race-gunning Expert.

I just finished watching an episode of 3 Gun Nation. By the way; Internet TV is really the best way to watch TV. You don’t have to program a recorder to catch your favorite shows. They’re all recorded on the server, so you just go and pick out what you want, whether it’s live or whether it’s two years old.

First impressions after the episode; Wow, but there are a lof of gun malfunctions! It seemed that every shooter had to deal with a malf on at least one stage. I do not know. Is it that the guns are so specialized that they’re accepting less reliability as a role of the dice, such that when the gun doesn’t fail you get a super duper stage run? OR, is the show edited so as to highlight malfs? After that experience, I can almost envision a moment in the sport wherein someone uses a stock standard gun, wins, and is accused of having had an unfair advantage.

Watching the shooters do their run-throughs prior to shooting a stage continues to mildly disturb me. I’m thinking of a skit. It’s a defensive situation, and the defender demands a run-through before the bad guy is allowed to commit his horrible act of aggression.

There’s a conflict between calling it practical shooting and having a nice and safe spectator sport in which every shooter can maximize his performance. Wouldn’t it be just as fair for the shooters, and yet more of a practical exercise, if no one got to see the stage before shooting it? Or maybe have at least one stage no one sees before shooting?

On TV in general, a camera, a microphone and an editor can be used to depict reality, or to change it all around and mix it up. Say you want to experience the taste of a new apple variety, or you want to bring that new variety to the public. So you hire a chef, and by way of impressing us with his skills he dresses up the apple by baking it and covering it with caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg and topping it with a dollop of whipped cream.

It may be a really great dish, but in the processing you are robbed of the experience of the apple itself. Same goes with TV. If it’s a motorcycle show and I want to know how the engine sounds, they rob me of that experience by ALWAYS overdubbing heavy metal music on top of it. If you want to know something of the pace of the shooting event, you have to sort of guess, because of the fast editing and the slow-mos.


8 thoughts on “On Race Gunning and TV

  1. Wouldn’t it be just as fair for the shooters, and yet more of a practical exercise, if no one got to see the stage before shooting it?

    Here’s a Hollywood example of a stage that, because it requires critical thinking under stress (the strobe lights do make it more challenging), none of the participants could preview. 😉

  2. Three gun is to defensive shooting as a track day is to defensive driving.
    The racetrack helps develop driving skills and car set-ups. And race gun develops shooting skills and weapon set-ups.
    Neither of these sports simulates the drive home or the ATM robbery. They are primarily fun and testing rounds for equipment. I’ll take a risk on a race gun that I would never accept on a carry gun. And it’s the same with a race car. How many race cars could go 150,000 miles?
    Are race drivers better drivers on the street? You bet they are.
    And competitive shooters are often better than shooters that never test themselves against other people.

    If you like bumper sticker philosophy, try this on.
    A shooting match isn’t a gunfight, but every gunfight is a shooting match.

  3. IPSC has three types of stage – and they are NOT what most people think.
    1. Published – the course is known and available for walk through
    2. Semi-surprise – the basic layout of walls, doors etc is known, but not target placement
    3. Surprise – neither layout nor target placement is known.

    In most cases, the sheer logistics of things makes most matches published.
    As Motor-T says, who patches a surprise course? Add that to who builds it, who ranges, where do you put the competitors afterwards (so that they don’t tell their buddies the details), how do you stop bystanders hearing (and counting) the rounds and the pauses between strings of shots and deducing the layout?

    I have been involved with several surprise matches, and even though nobody could SEE what was happening, it was obvious from the scores that those who shot later had an advantage from having HEARD the sequence, timing, and number of shots.

    But, after all, it is a GAME. Sure, it allows people to practice their gun-handling skills, but in NO way does the ‘P’ in IPSC mean PRACTICALLY LIKE REAL-LIFE. The round count is usually too high, and the targets don’t shoot back, for starters.

    If you want real-life force-on-force training, you are expecting too much from these games – look elsewhere.

    To be honest, I usually have too much fun at IPSC, or ICORE, or IDPA matches to care that it isn’t real.

    • Paint ball or Simunitions would be closer to a real force-on-force contest, but of course the weapons handle very differently.

      Don’t get me wrong; I believe IPSC is very valuable. It’s just that if I were a stage designer, a lot of people would hate me. For one thing, I’d be tempted to throw in a stage in which NOT taking a single shot would be the only winning strategy. Your time would be determined by your hitting a button when you’re done. I guess that one would have to include all shooters on the line at once, similar to that scene in MIB, which could be problematic…

      Some of your issues would be solved by not calling out scores after each run, having designated target pasters (I don’t really understand that problem anyway – have the guy who just shot the stage paste his own tartgets), keeping those who’ve shot in an area separate from those who haven’t and so on. In other cases the targets could be switched up slightly without altering the difficulty. They’re not deal killers, necessarily, IMO, but then I started out saying that I don’t do this stuff much, so don’t listen to me. These are just the impressions of one man who doesn’t count.

      Remember the “come-as-you-are parties” from back in the 1960s? It relied on the honor system of course, and the object was get people half dressed, in their nightgowns, hair curlers, etc. to a party. How about a come-as-you-are shooting match? No more equipment that you have once you’ve pulled your everyday work clothes on. It would draw upon the concept of the Minutemen of yore. When thousands of dollars in prize money, and endorsements and so on, are on the line, that could get ugly, and so it would have to be done on an entirely informal, fun and practice only, basis.

  4. Polite Society matches were no peek stages. RO’s and the last shooter taped targets.

    We shoot no peek stages in our shoot house. The number of targets remains the same but they are moved to different places in the rooms by the SO’s

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