Introduction to 3Gun
BACKGROUND, PRIORITIES, EQUIPMENT, LOGISTICS, SAFETY, TARGETS, DIVISIONS & SCORING.
BACKGROUNDHere are some match reports from "Major" or National-level 3Gun matches in the last few years. They give a good indication what 3Gun competition is about.
Cavalry Arms 3Gun Match 2005
Rocky Mountain 3Gun 2005
International Tactical Rifleman Championships 2005
TacPro Sniper Tournament 2005
MGM Ironman 3Gun 2005
Snipers Paradise Sniper Challenge West 2005
International Tactical Rifleman Championships 2004
Rocky Mountain 3Gun 2004
Superstition Mountain 3Gun 2004
Rocky Mountain 3Gun 2003
The priorities for a beginner 3Gun shooter are simple: (1) Safety, (2)
Have fun. Having "just the right" equipment is not important. The
best thing to do for your first match is to bring what you have, and
borrow whatever you need.
EQUIPMENTHere's the basic equipment you need, broken down by each weapon type:
You do not need to be a member of the "host" range/club to shoot 3Gun.
The match fee is an extra few bucks for non-members, that's it. Match
fees are generally $15 or $20. It goes to paying the host range,
buying targets, steel, and other materials.
The primary safety rules are pretty simple:
If you have never shot an IDPA, IPSC, or 3Gun match before, just let
the match staff know. They usually ask if there are any new shooters
at the shooters' meeting. New shooters are given a little mentoring
to square them away.
During the fall/winter months, we often do not have access to the 200 yard berm (hunter sight-in gets it). In that case, the most difficult rifle shot might be a 50 yard shot at an IPSC "head" (6x6). If we do have access to the 200y berm, we usually shoot and move from about 190 - 125y and shoot at pie-plate size targets. Besides that, expect rifle shots from contact distance out.
Shotgun shooting comprises shoot steel plates and stationary pigeons from about 3 - 20 yards, and slug shots on paper or larger steel from usually 25 - 50 yards. If you can hit a silhouette with a slug at 50 yards offhand, no shot will be technically too difficult.
Pistol will be: contact distance to maybe 20 yards. If you can shoot
silhouette IPSC head-shots at 7 yards and stay on a full silhouette at
25 yards, you won't have technical difficulty hitting the targets.
DIVISIONS & SCORING
You are scored against people with similar equipment. The divisions break down like this:
OPEN- anything goes. The typical open pistol is a USPSA/IPSC open pistol: fully compensated, optics, 38Super, the whole bit. The typical open shotgun is a Remigton with a long 12 or 13 round tube, reloaded using speedloaders. The typical open rifle is an AR15 with a 3-9x scope or ACOG, and a secondary red-dot sight for hosing.
LIMITED- No ports or compensators on pistol or shotgun. No optics on pistol or shotgun or rifle. The shotgun cannot use speedloaders, and capacity is limited to 9 total in the gun. Rifle can have a compensator no larger than 1" diameter. Rifle must use iron sights. The typical Limited shotgun is a Benelli M1S90 with a 20" bbl, 7 in the tube, 1 under the carrier, 1 in the chamber. The typical limited rifle is an A2 AR15. The typical limited pistol is any autoloader in 40 cal or larger (see Scoring below for note).
TACTICAL/MODIFIED- Same as Limited, but the rifle is allowed one optic of no more than 4x power (variables are OK, but you agree to not turn it above 4x). The typical Tactical rifle is an AR15 with a TA11 ACOG, a 1-4x variable, or similar setup. An Aimpoint would be in Tactical.
Scoring for local matches uses USPSA scoring, where each target
provides the opportunity to gain or lose points for hits, misses, and the shooter's point
total is divided by his time to provide a "hits per second" factor. This type
of scoring provides a natural balance between speed and accuracy.