Reviving an old thread.
I think its great that there are so many folks asking what can be done to address membership numbers. But why are you asking current members on a niche group website? Bit of a closed loop isnt it? These are questions that can only be answered by asking the non-members you want to attract.
Go to the other sports shooting websites and post around a few different sections. See what the people say.
As a non member who has visited one or two target clubs over the last 12 years I'll give my 5 cents.
1. Time. A full day each week for 2 target frames is a long time. My boss wants me 5 days a week minimum, the family want me 2 days, the home maintenance etc needs half a day, i want time out with the boys.... I can go to the beach and back with my family in that time. I cant take the family to the range, 'its too boring' for the non participants. Perhaps finding a way to structure the days into morning/afternoon sessions only so that the time investment seems less. Give new members the impression that a morning or afternoon is all they need commit each week (comps/penant meets excluded of course). As the interest and involvement grows many may be happy to invest more time.
2. Cost. My local club is $300 pa plus weekly fees (inc VRA & NRAA membership). the rifles used so specialized they can used no where else, I am made to FEEL I can use none of my other rifles there, at all. Lets look at the costs for say 12 attendances a year. 300 membership, 20-25 range fee x 12 total = 540-600 PLUS a $2-3000 half decent rifle package. thats a lot for someone finding there way into ANY sport.
Compare this to SSAA. national membership $83. includes public liability insurance for hunting. range fees about $20. i can attend for 1 hour or 1 day as time permits. I can shoot from 50 to 500m, using my walk about 223 rifle, my 243 spotlighting rifle, my custom 20 cal varmint rifle, my 'tacticool' .22lr rifle... I can shoot prone, bipod, machine rest, kneeling, sitting (floor or chair) standing, sling or unsupported. I can compete or atleast participate in a variety of metallic silhouette, 3 position, multiple bench rest classes, and 'factory rifle' competitions with these rifles.
i felt like i'd be paying for assoc memberships i dont want, and time time i cant commit. what does membership of the nraa give a new member? really, how many new members compete nationally or travel interstate for competition? VRA membership the same? new member probably only wants local membership and experience before exploring the big world of travelling comps and other clubs.
you all keep coming back to 'but these are international rules..' no one is saying to change the class rules but create/allow other classes on the range. on those ranges used internationally are they limited to ONLY the tr and f class/s? I bet they're not....
i agree with not including/using the word tactical anywhere, but for christ's sake whats wrong with one using an 'advanced, ergonomically designed, modern rifle stock'? dont be scared by the shape or size of the other guys wood
. (or aluminium, fibre glass whatever stock material).
The only future i can see for target clubs is some merger or alliance with the ssaa. its just too niche and too exclusive in terms of equipment and members. a little cross polination between ssaa service rifle, vra TR, ssaa BR, vra F class/s, ssaa factory rifle