Something Needs to be Done

We want to hear what your club is doing to bring in new members. Tell us what works, and give credit to those who are making the effort.

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Daniel Chisholm
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#226 Postby Daniel Chisholm » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:03 pm

Peter Hulett wrote:Non-members at Geelong shoot under instruction of accredited Range Officers. After about 3 or 4 visits we insist that they become members. Same situation as any non-member wanting to have a go on a range. I think that satisfies the insurance problem. W do pick up quite a few club members this way but not many who move to F-Class. Sorry for any confusion.

The Ontario Rifle Association has an interesting way to handle this. Non-members are welcome to shoot at any event, however they are charged $40 in addition to any other fees for the day's activities that members have to pay, and they are logged by the match or event organizer as a "guest" (this covers an insurance requirement).

If a non-member only shows up once or twice, that is fine - they've enjoyed themselves, have had a positive experience with shooting, and there a small bit of extra money in the coffers to cover the time and effort put in by the various members and volunteers. While it is unfortunate that they haven't turned into members, at least they've "carried their weight" with the extra bit of money they've kicked in.

When a non-member shows up to an event for the third time, and is charged the extra $40, they are handed a membership card and told, "welcome to the ORA; you are now a fully paid-up member!".

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#227 Postby RAVEN » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:55 pm

I like that idea :D

Les Fraser
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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#228 Postby Les Fraser » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:01 am

I am very impressed about coming to this site as this very question is being raised in alot of shooting disciplines and forum such as 500m fly, short range benchrest to name two.

The reduction in numbers is attributed to alot of things such as information and publication about the sport and our own poor media coverage.

With social media networks why are we not using Apps and media correctly. The use of a consultant is a great idea except for the function of the parameters of the review. A more strategic methodology would to develop a marketing strategy and build capacity in your clubs and member ship from there.

A working party to develop conceptual ideas and turn these into actions will gain you membership a consultant paid alot of money to tell you why you don't have increased members is not cost effective in my opinion.

If you look at shooting sports as a whole there is thousands of rifle shooters out there they just shoot different disciplines these are the folks you will get as new members in your shooting fraternity.

Currently the 500m fly and Short range benchest are getting members from each other and if we looked at it they could also move into F class.

I have seen and heard alot of shooters comlain about dwindling numbers but they never finish the comment about how it could be changed.

Shooters need to think pro active not re active.......

cheers to all Les

Cliff Austen
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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#229 Postby Cliff Austen » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:44 pm

If you want to grow your clubs then open them up to all forms of shooting.
Nowra Rifle Club Inc has 425 members shooting across all disciplines.
In Long Range Rifle (Full Bore, F Classes) we regularly have 25 shooters on a Saturday afternoon.
Visit our web site, Nowra Rifle Club.
Cliff Austen - President

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#230 Postby AlanF » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:58 pm


Nowra is an example to us all of what is possible when things are well managed.

I'm pleased to say that we are in the early stages of diversifying. In a fortnight we'll be running our third Saturday morning "zero and testing session" for sporting rifles. Its small beginnings, but we're confident it will grow into a permanent monthly event. We also have a group of 303 shooters who want to get together regularly at our range. There is no simple solution to building numbers though - it needs a continuous effort from willing helpers.


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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#231 Postby r_j_t1982 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:48 pm

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 8) . (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

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#232 Postby Birchy67 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:29 pm

Hi all,
First time posting on this Fourm.
Would like to share a positive tilt on the subject that I have experienced when trotting up to the local gun club. After the first round with my old 303 and spraying lead all over the paper, 1 of the club member asked if I would like to have a lap with his rifle. 2nd round I shot a reasonable score. Came back again and again, which I was able to use the club rifle, and after some mentoring from some very classy shooter I have progressively shot better each week. I joined the club for 2 reasons. First I have always enjoyed the sport and now love big bore shooting, but the main reason is the friendships I have made in a short time and the help I have recieved along the way. So next Saturday I will go to the club and help set up, mark targets if asked and socialise with good people.
So I can be thankful that the club I chose to join without the BS that has been expressed in this forum, because if I had of experienced the same negative attitudes I would have walked too.
So before I sign off I would like to thank the club captain, vice captain, other committee members, and club members that have helped me get started in the discipline of big bore shooting. Cheers all and good shooting.

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#233 Postby AlanF » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:37 pm

Pleased to hear that Birchy. There's no substitute for a welcoming and helpful attitude at club level.

Steve N
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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#234 Postby Steve N » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:49 pm

Yeah welcome Birchy. Sounds like you are hooked now. I got a similar great reception from the members when I started with the Beaudesert Rifle Club. We just don't get enough positive feedback. Most shooters I have met are very keen to help a new shooter and end up being great mates.

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#235 Postby Birchy67 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:45 pm

[quote="AlanF"]Pleased to hear that Birchy. There's no substitute for a welcoming and helpful attitude at club level.
[I believe from little things big things grow. All you new to do is plant the seed and nurture it, and that all starts a club level]

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#236 Postby Wal86 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:27 pm

Just my two cents worth...

Im a new shooter to fclass (currently not a member but intend to be soon), and one thing i have found difficult is finding places to shoot or compete..
I dont know where to find any events to go and have a shot at..
This makes it hard and frustrating, especially if you have dug deep into your pocket for a new toy and eager to wear a barrel out. :D lol
Ive recently posted a new shooter post in events its been there for 10 days now for one reply and one PM... (both of which were helpful...)
Maybe this could be an area that needs some work, to help improve the sport we all enjoy...


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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#237 Postby AlanF » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:17 pm


If you join a club, most will have a calendar of shoots at their own range, which may involve away shoots for Pennants and the like, and if you want to go further, here's the calendar for shoots around Victoria : For shoots including Queens events in other States and Territories, have a look at their association websites (see You can also ask to be put on the VRA mailing list and be notified by e-mail about upcoming events.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#238 Postby Wal86 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:09 pm

Alan F

Thanks for that info, much appreciated. Will be joining a club soon as nagambie starts shooting again..


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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#239 Postby Tod7.62 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:34 am

Hi Allan, there was something that was raised in another post lately that may help you if you put your location in your profile then people will know where are and be able to give you the relevant information for your area. Just a thought.

Cheers Tod

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Re: Something Needs to be Done

#240 Postby Norm » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:43 pm

One of the biggest problems with getting new members to a NRAA rifle club is that those new members are expected to already have a Shooters License in order to meet the State Rifle Association membership rules.
This means that our rifle clubs have a parasitic relationship with all of the other major shooting organisations.
Why do we require new members to have a shooters license?????
We need to get these new shooters and introduce them to TR and F-Class BEFORE the other mobs get their hands on them.
Until the NRAA truly becomes a national accredited organisation that accepts non licensed people as members so that these people can obtain their shooters license, we will always be nothing more than a parasitic group to the main stream organisations.

An affordable, online membership process is one way to get a huge number of new members into our sport.

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