Shoot United: Getting New Shooters On Target
September 8th, 2023
5 minute read
Even the most casual observer of the shooting sports recognizes that things are very different than they were just a few short years ago. The COVID pandemic had a dramatic effect on the industry, causing a shortage of critical materials in the supply chain combined with disruption in the labor force.
The inevitable result was a shortage in the availability of both firearms and ammunition. Ironically, this coincided with an unprecedented demand for both firearms and ammunition which the industry could not meet. Fortunately, things have turned around quite a bit as the manufacturers are finally able to keep with the demand.
During the pandemic, it was estimated that millions upon millions of guns were sold here in the U.S. No doubt, a great many of these firearms went to consumers concerned about personal safety. I suspect a very large percentage also went to individuals with an interest in recreational shooting sports such as target shooting, hunting and informal plinking. As people could no longer participate in some of their usual recreational activities, many turned to the great outdoors for recreation, and this included the various shooting sports.
One source I saw calculated that 7.5 million firearms were sold to first-time gun buyers between January 2019 and April 2021. As a result, there’s no getting around the fact there are a lot of new gun owners out there who need to get their ducks in a row.
A very large percentage of these new users come from backgrounds where friends and family members did not own firearms. Needless to say, this creates a dilemma for individuals new to the shooting sports. Exactly how do they learn about their firearms, and where do they get their training?
Enter Shoot United
Shoot United is a resource for the millions of people who have never been exposed to firearms ownership or who have recently purchased a gun. It’s designed to attract new people to the shooting sports as well to promote the responsible ownership of firearms.
For new shooters just getting involved in the game, Shoot United can be a very helpful resource. More and more people from all walks of life are becoming gun owners, and the need to provide information on firearms safety, training, products and places to shoot is extremely important. If we’re serious about preserving our firearms heritage for future generations, it is imperative that we provide timely, positive information to the newcomers just getting involved in shooting sports.
What Do They Offer?
Much like any new endeavor, those with a budding interest in firearms can often be overwhelmed with information. This can be especially challenging for individuals who don’t have friends and family members involved in the shooting sports that can provide them with advice. Information about what sort of gun they should buy, its safe operation, and places to shoot are just some of the questions that new participants might have.
Hands-On Training & Industry Support
To be frank, hands-on training under the tutelage of a qualified instructor remains the best way to put new shooters on the right path. For 2023, Shoot United has scheduled more than 20 range events throughout the U.S. Shoot United has partnered up with some amazing shooting ranges in order to introduce new participants to the shooting sports. These events are focused on acclimating those who have never shot before as well as firearms owners who have been away from the sport for some time.
To date, most of the classes at these events have focused on pistol shooting primarily because this is where interest is highest among the new shooters. However, there are also introductory classes on shotgun and rifle as well. Classes are taught by experienced Shoot United instructors and these events can accommodate up to 30 people. Students are provided one-on-one instruction during the range portion so new shooters leave feeling comfortable and excited about this new chapter in their lives.
The best part about the events is that this quality training is absolutely free. Shoot United provides the firearms and ammunition from their brand partners so one doesn’t have to even own a firearm to participate. Lunch, a swag bag, and fantastic giveaways are also included. I would be hard-pressed to think of a better way to introduce new participants to the shooting sports.
All of this is made possible through the generosity of Shoot United’s industry partners, one of which is none other than Springfield Armory. Springfield Armory has provided 9mm Hellcats, Hellcats with Shield SMSc optics and 1911 Emissary pistols for use at Shoot United events. All have proven to be very popular with the attendees. The new shooters are able to see and experience the different pistol action types and gain an appreciation as to what a subcompact versus a full-size pistol has to offer.
At the present time, Shoot United events are scheduled in 17 different states, and I would expect more to follow as the future programs are offered from the east to west coast and many areas in between.
The Shoot United initiative can go a long way in helping educate the next generation of gun owners and shooters. Without question, Shoot United fills a vital role in the marketplace in getting individuals from a non-shooting background off on the right foot, and can also provide a tidbit or two for seasoned gun owners who would like to broaden their horizons. And, getting the chance to try out some of Springfield’s latest and greatest handguns just makes it all the better!
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