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Old March 21, 2013, 12:33 PM   #1
I'vebeenduped
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Training for 3 Gun shoot within limits

I have no where near the funds available for the types of weapons that I have seen on this forum. My vault is pretty humble and my training grounds are more so. I have access to a 200 yd range, the Joe Foss Shooting Complex in AZ. None-the-less, I think it would be fun and worthwhile to train for a 3 gun shoot. However, my arsenal is nowhere near "high-performance." I have a Taurus 24/7 .45cal compact (1st gen), a Mini-14 (186 series), and a 20g pump my beloved Papa passed on to me. Time for the question;
Using a basic range (typical outdoor range with benches), what are the best methods of training for a 3 gun shoot? I do have access to open range areas (ie. the dessert). Are there any suggestions for keeping costs down somewhat? I do realize that this is an expensive lifestyle!
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Old March 21, 2013, 12:38 PM   #2
allaroundhunter
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The best practice you can get is to shoot a local match. Most cost around $30 for an entry fee.

If you want to practice some of the simple skills cheaply, then don't worry about live ammo as much. Practice reloads in your living room or your backyard. The hardest reload to become proficient with is the shotgun. Get some snap caps so that you can practice those.

You don't have to be a professional to shoot a local match. Go and watch one first if you'd like. You will meet some great people, and they will be more than willing to help you. It might be a "competition", but most everyone I have shot with have offered advice to the new guys to get them going on the right track.
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Old March 21, 2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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Friend of mine commented that the only way to prepare was to just shoot matches until you were comfortable or decided it wasn't for you.
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Old March 21, 2013, 12:54 PM   #4
g.willikers
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Yes, just go to local matches.
You couldn't begin to outfit yourself with the equipment and props for practicing on your own, as compared to the cost and convenience of just going to a local match.
Besides, it's a lot more fun and educational with all those other friendly folks.
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Old March 21, 2013, 02:29 PM   #5
Spats McGee
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Don't be discouraged by the lack of tacticool gear. I have shot a grand sum of ONE 3-gun match in my life, and my vault is just as meager as yours, I assure you. My gear (magazines, mag pouches, hearing protection, etc.) for the match was almost entirely borrowed. My guns consisted of:
1) my EDC pistol;
2) a borrowed Ruger SR556 (loaned to me at the match by a guy after the Mini-14 that I took jammed); and
3) a 12-guage 870 with a Choate magazine extension.

I'll guarantee you that my entire setup cost less than some of the individual shotguns I saw. I was loading magazines at one point, and overheard one guy say, "Hmm. Looks like someone just brought out his duck gun." I interjected: "That would be me." His response: "Wish I'da thought of that before investing $3,000 in a new gun." I hadn't really paid attention to the guy, but to be fair to him I don't recall seeing his $3K shotgun jam. Then again, neither did my ol' duck gun.

I considered the 3-gun match to be, in part, training for emergencies. For that, you shoot what you've got, what you'll have in the event of said emergencies.
I'll go back and shoot another one soon, preferably after ammo prices come back down. I'll probably have to beg and borrow more loaner gear the next time, too. It's totally worth your time, though, and very educational.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:00 AM   #6
I'vebeenduped
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Thanks, Spats!
I was thinking the exact same thing about it's main purpose as being prepared for emergencies. Lord help me that I never need it.
I am waiting for prices to go down as well. Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but I think it may be fairly soon. I don't think that I have ever dry-fired this much since basic training... YEARS ago!
Should I be worried about the short barreled .45? Is that going to hinder me too much? My Mini performs fairly well. The only time it jams on me is when I use super cheap magazines. Wow, that sounds weird to even read anymore... Super cheap magazines?!?!?

allaroundhunter, I think I will take your advice and buy some dummy rounds. I youtube'd some matches and reloading the shotgun DID seem to stumble nearly everyone.

g.willikers, mobuck, I appreciate your advice as well. I hope that I get comfortable quickly or ammo prices miraculously dip lower than the pre-ban threat.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:06 AM   #7
allaroundhunter
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Re: Training for 3 Gun shoot within limits

David, using a short barreled .45 will make follow up shots harder to control than a full size, but if that's what you've got, go for it! The last match I RO'd, we had a guy show up with his carry piece (an officer size 1911 in .45) and he got 2nd place overall. He is a regular shooter and wins a lot of our matches. One of the guys bet him that he wouldn't be in the top 3 if he used his carry gun and he took that bet.

It is more the Indian than the arrow
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:08 AM   #8
Spats McGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delarosadavid
Should I be worried about the short barreled .45? Is that going to hinder me too much?
I don't know, and I wouldn't worry about it. Shoot what you've got. I finished something like 58th out of 62, and I think all but one of the guys behind me were DQ'd. Nonetheless, I finished with all of my body parts intact, and somewhat better educated than I had been when I left the house that morning.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:42 AM   #9
I'vebeenduped
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Fantastic attitude! I think that I will adopt it myself, while performing my best, of course. Thanks to everyone. You guys are the best!

David
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:44 AM   #10
allaroundhunter
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My last piece of advice, David. Be safe. In everything that you do, be careful of your muzzle and of those around you (even if you *know they are unloaded). You don't have to worry about having fun, it will just come naturally

*The rule about treating all guns as if they are loaded is what gets everyone back in the same shape that they arrived

Forgive me if I am stressing the safety thing a lot... I am actually going to a 3 gun shoot tomorrow, I get to RO for A BUNCH of brand new shooters so safety is on the top of my mind.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:11 PM   #11
Spats McGee
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To add just a little to allaroundhunter's advice, I will pass along that which was told me me when I shot my first (& only, so far) IDPA match: Go slow. Be safe. Speed will come with time.

At the 3-gun match that I shot, there was actually a guy from Louisiana who got DQ'd on the first stage. He set his rifle down on the bench, with a round in the chamber and the safety off. That was it. Done for the day. I will say, though, that he was an awfully good sport, though, and actually loaned me magazines to use for the rest of the day.
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A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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allaroundhunter, it is too bad that the anti's never see how safety is imbedded into our lifestyle. I appreciate the safety talk. I pray that I never become complacent in that regard. I am looking very forward to doing this. I am sure that I will have a great time no matter where I place. Thanks.

David
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:18 PM   #13
allaroundhunter
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Quote:
allaroundhunter, it is too bad that the anti's never see how safety is imbedded into our lifestyle.
That is very true. I took a friend out to watch one of our 3 gun matches, and he was shocked that no one was walking around with a loaded gun... He thought that we were all going to be shooting towards each other and running from bullets or something.

We understand the power that we hold in our hands, and the possible damage that it can cause if we become complacent. It is a big responsibility that many antis don't think gun owners actually realize.
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Old March 26, 2013, 05:30 PM   #14
thump_rrr
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Quote:
Why do the match runners bother with shotgun?
Because otherwise it would be called two gun.

Quote:
I mean, nobody is going to actually carry both rifle and shotgun. The shotgun can't do the job of either the rifle or the pistol. By that, I mean that it can't really handle cover users beyond 50 yds (25 yds without a choke) or dodging, prone going men much further than 100 yds.

Almost nobody is really fast and accurate with 12 ga slugs. Slugs cost too much to practice enough for that to be the case. If you were going to go to all that expense to fire a single projectile, why not just use the rifle? Also, when you actually check out the hits on a silohuette, you will be aghast at how little effective range a riot 12 ga has. Ditto how small that pattern is at 5 yds and less. So the buckshot spread is very little help at hitting anybody (at typical defensive ranges). Of course, what's true of a riot gun at 5 yds is also true at 10 yds, if you have a really tight choke.

Likewise, the shotgun can't be swiftly drawn from ccw, or handily carried that way, nor is it worth a hoot when fired with just one arm. Nor is it practical for use in really tight quarters (ie, Vietnam tunnel sort of deal) or while decending or ascending cliffs, trees,ladders, and so on. Nor is it handy while you are in your sleeping bag.
There are 3 basic types of modern firearms.
Handguns, shotguns, and rifles.
It is a competition to showcase ones proficiency in all 3 disciplines.

It is not meant as a what to carry in case of a doomsday scenario or extreme hunting/ self defense challenge.
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Old March 26, 2013, 09:08 PM   #15
allaroundhunter
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Well... in my competition safety was, of course, stressed as first and foremost... and I still got swept

But, it was a great day for a competition, and it was a lot of fun!

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Old March 27, 2013, 05:11 PM   #16
chewie146
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There's no such thing as a bad match. When I shoot like crap, it's fun. When I shoot well, it's really fun. I competed with a Glock 26 in IDPA, as I have always competed with what I carry. Now I just need to convince them a bug match is in order so I can run the J-frame.
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