bowling pin shoot, how is it usually run?

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Went to a pin shoot today. Not at all what I expected. Fairly disappointing actually.

I'd like to check in here and see how the pin shoots are typically set up and run and if today's shoot described below is in the realm of usual fare for a pin shoot. I haven't done much of this type of shooting yet so any input would be most appreciated.

So here's how it went.....
Club advertising pin shoot for about 2 months.
Invite co-worker to come shoot (also a regular shooter at another club).
Show up at the range today ready to have what we thought would be a good time shooting pins.
One 2 ft x 6ft piece of plywood with 4 pins.
Shooting line set at about 15 yds.
No table or bench to put down pistol, ammo, mags, speed loaders, etc. Just stuff them all in your pockets.
Pay $5 per round of 4 pins.
Get 3 loadings of 6 for 18 shots total max for the 4 pins.
One shooter at a time only. (only one table and 4 pins)
Start with loaded pistol from low ready position, can reload twice.
Timed to the last shot fired which knocks pin on ground, shortest time wins.
Pins could go off side of table, front of table or back of table. (table tilted forward quite a bit, many pins fall off front of table)
Shoot the 4 pins, ok that was great. Co-worker shoots 4 pins, ok fabulous.
Wait like 25 minutes for the other 5 shooters to shoot their 4 pins each.
Figure, well we're already here so let's shoot a few more pins.
$5 each for 4 more pins. Another 30 minutes to finish all 6 shooters for that round.
That was it, two rounds, done.
At the end, the organizer gave half the $ to the fastest shooter and the other half went to the club.
We look at each other and were like, well, that sucks, let's go shoot some paper now.
 

nightpoison

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Doesn't sound like the pin shoot I've been too. we did 3 shooters at once 10 pins. Took some time to get back to the next round, but it was fun watching the other shooters.

Sent from my T-Mobile Galaxy S III
 

drgrant

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That's a shitty format, IMO. $5 a round is a ripoff, too, in central MA even when the clubs do the paid shoots it was never more than $3 per relay, and you would win $5 if you won the relay and $3 if you got 2nd place (basically paid for your relay).

The real way it is done is man vs man, 4 pins on each table, 2 tables. Centerline of table is at 25 feet... tables are LEVEL as possible to not induce rolling. 6 shots per mag/speedloader, whatever ammo you can bring to the table. Line gets called, muzzles on table/bench to start. whoever clears table first advances in through an 8 man relay until there are only two left. Winner of relay gets a handicap pin next round for the rest of the day, usually maxes out at 6 pins, some clubs max out at 8.

Some clubs like NLRG do a fun shoot format instead where you pay $8 or something to shoot all day, but you don't win any money. There are various arguments as to why this is better or worse.... but I will say this, if you suck and you are just starting out, flat rate is your friend. When I started out they were all doing the 3 dollar relay format, and when I had bad days I'd be dropping like $18 bucks or so at a pin shoot because I washed out of the bottom of most of the relays.

-Mike
 
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Go to Fin, Fur and Feather (think that's right) in Millis on October 18th. It's 5 bucks and runs from 8pm to 10pm. They setup 8 pins on one side, 8 on the other with a candle pin in the middle. Both shooters have two 8 round magazines (forces a reload) first to hit all 8 and then the candlepin wins. Pins only have to knock over. It is a blast, also no tables or anything for your mags and gun (it's a $400 or more gun and $50 in ammo, just go buy the holster)

If they get done with a ladder before 10pm but don't have enough time to run another ladder (town bylaws shooting has to stop immediately at 10) then they'll usually do something fun like a no lights shoot with flashlights only or a .22 shoot. Whatever people happen to have with them. It's a really good time.
 

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its not easy to run shoots, How often does your club have any shoots ? Was this the first time.
 
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Very simple. We set three pins: two outer pins and one center pin at 50 yards.
Two shooters on the line.
Line judge call ready on the right,,,etc. Fire.
Both shooters have to shoot outer pins first and then center pin.
First one with three pins down wins.
Center pin falls before the outer two, forfeit.
Any caliber, any gun.
$5.00 entry.

I found that my .308 did a MUCH better job of knocking down pins as opposed to the .223 rifles. It's exciting because mag changes regularly happened, too.

Rome
 
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Most are run man on man, 8 shooters per relay, loose and your're out of that relay. 5 pins, 3 foot deep steel table, pins on the front edge. 1st man to get all 5 pins on the floor wins. We were always $3 per relay, $10.00 to the winner, $5.00 to second, remainer to pay for the pins (you can go through a butt load of pins in a full nite). A good night would have 15 or more relays.
 

RichM

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Oh, man... you guys need to come out to the wild west! I had no idea that some pin shoots were so lame! 4 pins, and one shooter at a time?

Chicopee Sportsman's Club's Pin & Plate shoots are a lot of fun (although I haven't been there much this year... life (and family) gets in the way sometimes).

2 shooters, and more than 10 pins for each shooter so that there's always a reload necessary. .22lr only and a cross-over popper in the center. Targets are a variety of 4" plates on a knock-over stand, full-size pins, candle pins, or pin tops on a set of tables, and steel poppers. First shooter to knock over all targets and their cross-over popper wins the round.

Each shooter shoots a minimum of 4 rounds, depending on how many shooters there are, and at the end of the match, the shooter with the best record wins a minimal prize. If there's a tie for the best record, the shooters will have a shoot-off to determine the winner.

The match winner advances through 4 ranks from novice to expert. When a novice competes against an expert, he has a 4-pin advantage. The match starts with novices shooting against each other, but the rounds are shuffled so that you find yourself shooting against all levels.

When new shooters are competing, many of the more experienced shooters will hold their final shot to allow the newbie to get some experience. Always carry extra magazines (and even a couple of loose rounds) to the line!

I've seen guys win with revolvers and speed-loaders!

... I need to clear my schedule better so I can shoot more!
 
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Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I was really expecting a relay type of match.

drgrant
That's a shitty format, IMO. $5 a round is a ripoff, too, in central MA even when the clubs do the paid shoots it was never more than $3 per relay, and you would win $5 if you won the relay and $3 if you got 2nd place (basically paid for your relay).

The real way it is done is man vs man, 4 pins on each table, 2 tables. Centerline of table is at 25 feet... tables are LEVEL as possible to not induce rolling. 6 shots per mag/speedloader, whatever ammo you can bring to the table. Line gets called, muzzles on table/bench to start. whoever clears table first advances in through an 8 man relay until there are only two left. Winner of relay gets a handicap pin next round for the rest of the day, usually maxes out at 6 pins, some clubs max out at 8.

Some clubs like NLRG do a fun shoot format instead where you pay $8 or something to shoot all day, but you don't win any money. There are various arguments as to why this is better or worse.... but I will say this, if you suck and you are just starting out, flat rate is your friend. When I started out they were all doing the 3 dollar relay format, and when I had bad days I'd be dropping like $18 bucks or so at a pin shoot because I washed out of the bottom of most of the relays.

I really like the sound of the latter format. Especially for me being new to that type of thing. It would be great to shoot more rounds just for the fun and experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that is going to happen at today's venue.

Do any other clubs have shoots open to non-members to do you usually have to go as a guest of a member?
 
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Do any other clubs have shoots open to non-members to do you usually have to go as a guest of a member?
Almost every "Calender" event at a club of this type will be open to the public, especially if they're charging money. It's a good way to find new members and it makes money for the club. If you're not sure, they almost always have a main contact number or email. And even then if it's member only, just sending that email will get you invited in as a guest.
 

drgrant

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Do any other clubs have shoots open to non-members to do you usually have to go as a guest of a member?
Most of the central MA clubs allow anyone to attend. Unfortunately the season is coming to a close, usually the circuits in MA start in the spring and run until about now. Not sure if any clubs have shoots left this month or not.

There might be some clubs running them indoors over the winter, although most of the indoor pin shoots are not anything like this format, it's usually some crappy timer based thing where you just knock a pin off a steel table, that's not pin shooting IMO, I'd rather just shoot falling steel at that point.

-Mike
 
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Most of the central MA clubs allow anyone to attend. Unfortunately the season is coming to a close, usually the circuits in MA start in the spring and run until about now. Not sure if any clubs have shoots left this month or not.

There might be some clubs running them indoors over the winter, although most of the indoor pin shoots are not anything like this format, it's usually some crappy timer based thing where you just knock a pin off a steel table, that's not pin shooting IMO, I'd rather just shoot falling steel at that point.

-Mike
North Leominster is having their last one Sunday oct 1
 
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Fin Fur Feather runs year a round on the third Thursday of the month. 98% of us run from the holster. So this adds to the fun.

Yes it's $5 for night, no $ for winning, just knowing you did well.

Only two mags of 8 per round. Yes we have had times when guys run out of ammo and tie.

Everyone shares duty of setting up pins between rounds. Normally we get 3 or so ladders in a night. Not sure how busy they have been since I haven't been over summer.

During summer we run 1st Thursday also which is an anything goes night.

Great bunch of guys and girls. So come on down!

Go to Fin, Fur and Feather (think that's right) in Millis on October 18th. It's 5 bucks and runs from 8pm to 10pm. They setup 8 pins on one side, 8 on the other with a candle pin in the middle. Both shooters have two 8 round magazines (forces a reload) first to hit all 8 and then the candlepin wins. Pins only have to knock over. It is a blast, also no tables or anything for your mags and gun (it's a $400 or more gun and $50 in ammo, just go buy the holster)

If they get done with a ladder before 10pm but don't have enough time to run another ladder (town bylaws shooting has to stop immediately at 10) then they'll usually do something fun like a no lights shoot with flashlights only or a .22 shoot. Whatever people happen to have with them. It's a really good time.
 
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The way we run our Pin Shoots is:
INDOORS: Three 4 ft wide by 2 ft deep tables set at 25 ft with five pins set midway back on each table - one shooter for each table. Indoor range restrictions limit pistols and revolvers to 9mm thru 45 calibers. (38 Special or milder loads BOUNCE BACK!) Load up to 10 rounds for semi-auto class, up to six rounds for revolver class. Shooters start sighted on targets, with eight seconds to clear the table. Number of pins that go off the table is your score. Shooters reset pins, rotate to the next table, and do it again, then do it once more for their third table. Reset pins for the next relay. Once all shooters have completed on relay, we start again, for a total of six tables, and a possible score of 30.
OUTDOORS: Same setup, but six tables across so each shooter shoots one relay of six instead of two relays of three. These tables are 3 ft deep and the five pins per table are set at the front edge. Stout 40s or hotter are needed here to knock those pins off the tables.
RIMFIRE: Same as centerfire except we only use cut off pinheads instead of whole pins, and you only have five seconds per table. Pistols shoot at 25 ft, rifles shoot at 50 ft.
Centerfire costs $7.00 per gun, Rimfire is $5.00 per gun
 
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That's a shitty format, IMO. $5 a round is a ripoff, too, in central MA even when the clubs do the paid shoots it was never more than $3 per relay, and you would win $5 if you won the relay and $3 if you got 2nd place (basically paid for your relay).

The real way it is done is man vs man, 4 pins on each table, 2 tables. Centerline of table is at 25 feet... tables are LEVEL as possible to not induce rolling. 6 shots per mag/speedloader, whatever ammo you can bring to the table. Line gets called, muzzles on table/bench to start. whoever clears table first advances in through an 8 man relay until there are only two left. Winner of relay gets a handicap pin next round for the rest of the day, usually maxes out at 6 pins, some clubs max out at 8.

Some clubs like NLRG do a fun shoot format instead where you pay $8 or something to shoot all day, but you don't win any money. There are various arguments as to why this is better or worse.... but I will say this, if you suck and you are just starting out, flat rate is your friend. When I started out they were all doing the 3 dollar relay format, and when I had bad days I'd be dropping like $18 bucks or so at a pin shoot because I washed out of the bottom of most of the relays.

-Mike
this.

i run the NLRG shoots, PM me if you have any questions not answered. yes, we do a fun shoot and sometimes one of the members will bring a silly prize, sometimes a not as silly and kinda cool one. at the shoots i host anyway i just want folks to have fun. everyone is welcome, you do not have to be a member. our last shoot is 10/7. i would have run them into november but it conflicts with the turkey shoot that the rest of the BOD wants to host.
 
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At Horseshoe Fish and Game, we have two tables with five pins. We pay $5 for the shoot, we do four matches, two shooters at a time. We have a small table to put the weapons, mags/speed loaders. Match winner is who knocks the most pins off the table first, in the event of a tie, the person who finishes first wins.
 
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I think a 2 man team would be fun. Put 7 pins on the table, and 12 rounds of ammo (6 each). Go! (together, may discuss strategy first).

I guess variety is the spice of life.

Would it make sense to coordinate clubs, and set up a roving circuit type of thing? Maybe break it out to counties or something, then have a shootoff in October?

Just thinking out loud.
 
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I'm contemplating a "Winter Pin Shoot" at my club, if they will allow it. If there is tons of interest, and it can generate some revenues for the club, I think they would go for it. There are SO many different ways to run one of these, as it turns out. Looking for something to make it fun, yet keep some real competition. Also interested in how to involve revolvers; should they be included somehow, or have a separate group? I was thinking limiting the rounds per gun to 6, to make it more even.

Here's the thread on the Winter idea: Poll: Would you shoot pins in Central MA in the Winter?


Happy Thanksgiving!
 
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A couple things to add that make the pin shoot more fun:
Keep entry fees small and prizes small. Set up the relays such that everyone gets to shoot multiple times. Losers group shoots off against each other, add a pin to the winner, etc.. The last pin shoot I went to at Holbrook was great. No prizes, just shoot for fun, multiple stages, with pizza.

Hopefully your club members and board are interested in promoting the club and running events like this. To follow up on my original post, I talked with some of the board members about running (with my time volunteered) another pin shoot or other event with better format for all participants and they were like....[hmmm] (sound of crickets) ?? not so much. One comment was "we used to do more of this stuff but no one shows up any more" [banghead]
 
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where's your club? i like shooting events more than i like running 'em.

we never do prizes unless someone donates them, we've given away knives, cigars, my innocence, etc. the shoots are always for fun and there has only ever been one minor issue at a shoot and it was more of a miscommunication than anything. people know they are showing up to plop down less than ten bucks and to have a bunch of fun.
 

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Holbrook does a nice job with indoor pin shoots. $5 to shoot for the night AND you get pizza.

Two tables, two shooters. Shoot the pins off your table and then move to the other table to help the other guy. Grouped by caliber, fastest times advance.

Tables for spare mags or speed loaders, draw from a holster or shoot from low ready. It's a lot of fun
 
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I just re-read all of these, and find them helpful. One thing I noticed is that these are all stand-alone events, and there is no consistency from place to place. It would be kind of cool to have a pin shoot "league", where they could rotate from club to club throughout the year, all keeping a similar "common denominator" theme. Think this would fly? The other thing I was considering is a "Winter Pin Shoot", as NOBODY does these in the Winter, and I bet there would be enough interest from a larger area to draw enough people to one of these. I did another thread with this idea in mind, and I think like 15 people said it would interest them.

Keep the good ideas and info coming!
 

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I just re-read all of these, and find them helpful. One thing I noticed is that these are all stand-alone events, and there is no consistency from place to place. It would be kind of cool to have a pin shoot "league", where they could rotate from club to club throughout the year, all keeping a similar "common denominator" theme.
Find a copy of Mitch Ota's book on pin shooting; he describes the tables that Second Chance used to use in their pin shoots. Also, it seems that a lot of the other matches out there use timers - I think that that would be the only way to do it. Define standard tables and rules and then you can have your league.
 
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If you want a "League" with consistent rules....start one.

Somebody has to take point.
I know nothing about this stuff, but see there might be an opening for something like that. I really don't have a clue.

For the time being, I'd like to just do some fun shoots, so people can have some shooting, and maybe a little friendly competition in the Winter, when nobody else is doing this sort of stuff.
 
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Find a copy of Mitch Ota's book on pin shooting; he describes the tables that Second Chance used to use in their pin shoots. Also, it seems that a lot of the other matches out there use timers - I think that that would be the only way to do it. Define standard tables and rules and then you can have your league.
Thanks for the reference, but is this or anything like it available online?


If you want a "League" with consistent rules....start one.

Somebody has to take point.
Yeah, fat chance of getting these "SET IN STONE" groups to change.


I am curious how these pin shoots normally work. I've been to two so far; one at Worcester Pistol and Rifle, and one at Auburn (showed up at the range and a shoot was ending, watching only)
 
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