One of the most fascinating things about Gun Culture 2.0 is how it is blowing the stereotype of the “typical gun owner” completely out of the water. When I was growing up the stereotype from Gun Culture 1.0 was of rural (typically) white males, with the father/uncle handing down the tradition to sons.
Today, industry and anecdotal data shows that we’re seeing the fastest growth in the market from young, urban, and female shooters. We’re also seeing the shooting sports exploding in popularity as the fastest growing high school sports in the nation, with shotguns sports such as trap and skeet leading the way.
But the shotgun sports aren’t all that younger shooters are interested in, are they?
As an Appleseed instructor (who has been away from the range from far too long), I know that younger shooters both male and female are interested in rifle shooting, particularly on platforms such as AR-15s and semi-automatic .22s like the Marlin 795 and Ruger 10/22.
I’ve also seen tons of fan pages for young shooters such as Shyanne Roberts starting to pop-up on social media sites, which suggests that high-speed, dynamic, high entertainment value multi-gun sports are also pulling in a lot of interest for younger shooters.
Now, the multi-gun sports teams are going to be appreciably more expensive than the shotgun sports simply due to the cost of having a rifle, pistol and a shotgun involved, but multi-gun sports also add something that many other shooting sports lack: the opportunity for excitement for fans.
I can’t tell you precisely how it’s going to happen, but I think in the next few years we’re going to see high school three-gun teams and conferences erupt out of seemingly nowhere, just like we have the shotgun sports. Collegiate three-gun, especially at universities who already feature competitive shooting teams will probably develop along a similar trajectory.
We’re seeing phenomenal growth in the shooting sports in recent years among high school and college shooters. There’s no reason to think that it’s going to stop any time soon.
The only question is how fast and how far it will spread.