View Full Version : 3 Gun Gear?

April 8, 2013, 10:26 AM
I've been thinking about trying my hand at 3 gun and was looking for some input on basic gear. The list I've compiled so far: Mag holders pistol x2 rifle x2, 5 magazines each(in case of failures/breakage), a shell holder/pouch or dump bag for shells, plus standard gear(holster, safety gear, bag to hold it all). Any other basic stuff I should be looking at?

Spats McGee
April 8, 2013, 10:28 AM
Ammo :D

April 8, 2013, 10:29 AM
lol, just yelling BANG! doesnt work? :D

Spats McGee
April 8, 2013, 10:32 AM
No, no. You've got to point your finger and yell "pew, pew!"

Seriously, though, I'm way to inexperienced in 3-gun to advise you on gear (having only shot 1 match in my life), but I can say, "go do it." It's a whole lotta fun.

April 8, 2013, 10:39 AM
What stuff did you have and did you find it sufficient? From watching matches it seems like there's a whole lot of gear that I could get. But I'm just looking for the bare minimum that's practical, enough to get my feet wet.

Spats McGee
April 8, 2013, 10:54 AM
Well, I'm very fortunate in that I have a number of buddies that are into guns. They loaned me enough gear that I didn't have to buy anything.

What I took & shot:

Ruger Mini-14 -- a couple of guys scoffed at this, saying it "wasn't relilable enough for 3-gun." Then it jammed (bad mags), and one of the regular shooters was kind enough to loan me his Ruger SR-556, which shot fine for me, but jammed on the last stage on him. Note, however, that the only reason I was allowed to continue after the Mini jammed was that it jammed on the first round of the first stage. Under the rules, I had never chambered a round in the Mini, so it wasn't "changing rifles during the competition," which is against the rules.
1911 with 3 magazines total (1 7-shot & 2 8-shot)
Remington 870 with Choate magazine extension -- I overheard one guy saying "I guess someone just decided to bring his duck gun." When I piped up with "that would be me," his response: "I wish I'd have thought of that before spending $2K on a new shotgun."
Extra magazines -- I borrowed 3 30-round AR magazines from a guy at the range. (He was DQ'd on the first stage, but a very, very good sport about it.)
Shell belt for shotgun shells -- just a plain, ol' duck-huntin' shell belt
A mag pouch large enough to hold 2 30-rd AR mags
2 Mag pouches for the 1911 mags
Theis IWB holster for the 1911

Was it sufficient? Yes. It was enough to hold enough mags & rounds for every stage without having to run back to the bench to grab ammo.

Could I have carried more? Sure, but it wasn't necessary. We were given a map & round count for the stages. That told me the minimum rounds that I'd need for each stage. If you can find something like that, it'll help you decide what you really need.

April 8, 2013, 11:15 AM
Sounds pretty much like my intended set up. AR, 870, but I haven't decided on a pistol yet. With the current craziness, I think 1911 might be the way to go at first since getting extra mags for my other pistols right now would be over paying still.

Spats McGee
April 8, 2013, 11:27 AM
There was no question but that I wound up reloading more often with the 1911 than the other folks did with higher capacity pistols. That said, I also considered it as much "training" as I did "competition."

My uneducated opinion: to the extent possible, shoot what you've got. Nobody cares if you're carrying the fanciest gear, and nobody cares where you finish, so long as you're safe about it. If you decide that you just love it and have to do it more, then go buy some new stuff, hopefully at post-panic prices.

Hope you have a great time.

April 10, 2013, 03:39 PM
I shot USPSA Multigun competition pretty enthusiastically, for about five years. I never spent much money on equipment. I was already shooting USPSA handgun, so had a belt, holster, and mag pouches. For shotgun reloading, I wore a bandoleer-style belt of shells about six inches above my pistol belt. For rifle reloads, I stuck a 30-round mag in my hip pocket.
I never liked reconfiguring my gear to suit specific stages, and my lack of specific equipment meant my shotshells and rifle mags never conflicted with the usual type and location of equipment on my belt.

April 11, 2013, 10:49 AM
One thing I would like to add, you may need a convenient way to carry all of your stuff and ammo. Take a trolly of some sort or get a caddy.

April 11, 2013, 10:56 AM
Thanks for the additional input guys. I do like the idea of the bandoleer. But I think its more the images conjured of me as an old western gunslinger than anything. lol :D

April 11, 2013, 12:03 PM
I shoot on my school's 3 gun team so I'll give you a run down of what gear I use.

1 x double pistol mag carrier (though I do keep a 4th magazine in a pocket just in case); that gives me 52 rounds before I have to reach into a pocket

1 x AR mag carrier. Generally, you will never need more than 30 rifle rounds on a stage so I don't usually need the backup. However, in the event of malfunctions it is good to have. There have been two instances where I have used an additional mag carrier, but that was when there was a high round count on a stage. You can get by with just one and use a pocket if need be.

I have 5 x Glock magazines and 8 x AR magazines. Do I need all of them? No. How many would I recommend? 4 of each.

1 x dump pouch

2 x AP Customs 4x4 shell carriers, 1 x Man Mountain Engineering 4 shell carrier, I also have (4) 3 shell carriers. For shotgun reloading, these are a must if you get serious in the sport. Bandoleers are good for holding shells, but bad for reloading quickly. You can get by your first match or two with a dump pouch and bandoleer, but you need to be able to separate buckshot, slugs, and birdshot and know where each are in your setup.

1 x rifle sling

1 x good pistol holster (Safariland ALS is a good holster for 3 gun, but you don't always need the extra retention)

Are you wanting recommendations for a pistol?

***And a good 2-piece belt!


April 11, 2013, 04:40 PM
Just the accessory gear. For a pistol, it's either my g34, 1911(for ease of acquiring magazines atm), or possibly an m&p9 as I was looking at getting one in the near future anyway.

I had not considered the need to keep shells differentiated. I'll have to look the options more closely and see how the stages are run at the local matches to see what would work best.

As a side note...what school do you go to that has a 3-gun team? I wish I had enrolled there lol.

April 11, 2013, 05:44 PM
Texas A&M (half of the logo is on the left sleeve)

I have been running my M&P9 (it is actually on my hip in that picture), but just bought a Glock 34 for 3 gun.

April 11, 2013, 06:19 PM
What brought about the change? Just looking for something new or specific reasons?

April 12, 2013, 01:01 AM
What brought about the change? Just looking for something new or specific reasons?

Well, the stock trigger on the M&P was just a little heavy and I was quicker and more accurate on longer targets with a Glock 34 (that had a lightened trigger pull). I didn't want to add an APEX competition kit because I wanted to keep the M&P as a defensive gun and for that I did not want a lighter trigger. After trying both the M&P Pro and the Glock 34 it was a fairly easy decision based on which one I shot better.

April 12, 2013, 01:11 PM
well, I went out to look at fullsized m&ps and ended uo buying a ppq lol. I must have lucked out on my m&p9c, because the trigger on the fullsized i handled was pretty uninspiring. So for now at least who knows what pistol ill use lol

April 14, 2013, 07:01 PM
Everything has been pretty well covered. I'll add that Choate makes a pretty good six round shotshell carrier. I started off with them because they were inexpensive. Ive tried others that cost 3-4 times as much but always went back to to the Choate carriers.

The best advice is to not buy too much. Go shoot a match and you will learn quickly what works for you.

Jesse Tischauser
April 15, 2013, 04:33 PM
With the info you have given I would suggest the following...

Glock 34 w/3 mags, 2 mag pouches & holster
-if you want to spend a little $ to make things easier buy a couple of Taran Tactical Innovations base pads to bump your mag capacity up to 22+1.

870 w/Nordic Components Magazine Tube extension
- You can shoot it in the stock configuration but its going to be painful
- AS someone mentioned Choate Machine and Tool makes a inexpensive shotgun shell caddy. California Competition works also makes one for under $25. www.makereadyproshop.com or http://shop.theshooterssource.com carries all of this stuff
- you can carry your shells in a skeet/trap pouch or anything really for your first match.

AR15 rifle with 2 round mags
- One AR mag pouch but a back pocket works just fine.

Lots of the guys that shoot with us will let new shooters use some of their gear and/or guns to get you started. If your area has a local forum make sure to get on there and get to know some folks asap. Everyone wants to see you have a good time your first time out.

Good luck and holler if you have any questions.

Just for giggles here are some videos of my first 3 gun match full of tragedy!


April 18, 2013, 08:40 AM
having just shot my first 3 gun match last week, the only thing I'll add is a gun buggy / stroller. Google it and you'll find ton of pics. You can find a used stroller for 30 or so bucks online, then just add some ATV gun racks. Sure beats carrying all your gear from stage to stage, and just about everyone there was using one.

April 21, 2013, 05:13 AM
Allaroundhunter- Not trying to steal the topic but I am fascinated with 3 gun comp in college. Will you start another thread giving more info. I might have just found a new favorite college.:)

April 22, 2013, 12:27 AM
Yes I will. We actually just shot the Surefire Texas Multigun and had a blast!

I will start a thread on it and add pictures as we get them processed.... We took a ton of pictures haha.

April 22, 2013, 10:00 PM
Gnut, here is the thread I started on my college and our shooting team:


Spats McGee
May 21, 2013, 04:46 PM
Well, sigcurious, did you ever shoot a match?

May 21, 2013, 05:31 PM
Unfortunately, not yet. The match is held once a month at my club and recent events(bought a house) made it difficult to make the match. On the interesting side, they're on summer schedule now, so my first try will be at night :D

Spats McGee
May 21, 2013, 06:07 PM
. . . . so my first try will be at night
Oh, well now I'm jealous!