Mark Wiltsey (Login MAWilt) Posted Jul 4, 2015 12:03 AM
I am a Life Member of the NRA and have shot PPC matches all over the United States. From 1990 until 2008 I shot 20 to 30 matches per year. I was a member of the US Border Patrol Pistol Team for a number of years. I also started and was the captain of both the US INS and US CBP pistol teams. When I was shooting regularly, I was classified as a High Master with a revolver and as a Master with a semi-auto. I have a distinguished badge for both semi-auto and revolver. Since my retirement 2008 have I shot a very limited number of matches because I moved to the northern Adirondack Mountains in New York State. This year I decided that I needed to get back into PPC because it is a sport that I have loved and been very involved in for many years. Each time I drive to a match it is six hours to get there and then six hours to drive home for the closest match in New York State.
Today, I received an email saying that the NRA is going to phase out revolvers from PPC because at last year’s Nationals a few shooters suggested it to save time at the Nationals. I cannot express how disappointed I am at this news.
The blog I was reading today seems to indicate this is also being done to try to get new shooters into PPC. The only result I can see from this is to get rid of all the old PPC shooters and then you will not need to even bother to run the Nationals.
If you believe that the shooters can not commit 4 days to the Nationals and you are going to give out a separate National Champion designation for Semi-Auto and Revolver, why not run a two day Semi-Auto Championship followed by a two day Revolver Championship and find out if the shooters want to do one or the other or both. By running each as its own match you could find out how the majority of the shooters feel instead of taking a suggestion from a few from last year.
If you continue with this plan to phase out revolvers, I believe you will lose many more shooters than you gain.
I understand that if contracts have been signed for this year you may not be able to take my suggestion this year, but before this goes any further please consider what I have said and give it a try before you destroy PPC as many of us have come to love it.
I may also be able to shed some light on why attendance at the Nationals is less than it used to be. The first year of the Nationals in Albuquerque, I was standing in a line for 30 to 40 minutes after my relay was called to the line while the match officials were waiting to find out if there were any cross fires from the previous match that would need to be refired before my relay could shoot. When I spoke to the chief referee about standing in the sun for 30 to 40 minutes in the middle of the day he told me that "I had to just put up with it". By the time the decision was made that there were no refires, my relay could have already been done shooting if they had just allowed us to go to the line and shoot. The match officials could have also delayed calling my relay to the line until they were ready for us. But the biggest problem for me was that the chief referee told me "I had to just put up with it". His attitude toward me and the other shooters standing in that line is the reason I have never returned to the Nationals.
When I returned to PPC this year it was in hopes that I could get enough practice and matches to get me back in shape to compete at Regional matches next year and possibly give the Nationals another try. This info about phasing out revolvers makes me wonder how long I will be a PPC shooter. It also makes me think that going back to the Nationals may not be something that I want to do as my old friends may not be there.
Maybe instead of phasing out revolvers we should phase out a couple of NRA people. Any suggestion as to who that could be?