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Old March 27, 2018, 05:14 PM   #1
TrueBlue711
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3 Gun basic info request

So, I am gaining more of an interest in trying the 3-gun world out. I'm curious to what kind of "starter" hardware I should start looking at for just attempting it. I have multiple pistols, ARs and shotguns...but I doubt any of them are "3-gun worthy". Please bear with me. I've been shooting for years, but never even considered 3-gun until recently.

Pistols:
I'm assuming 9mm is suggested. What are some good entry level "race pistol" suggestions that you have? Perhaps common upgrades I could make to existing pistols (I have Sig P320 and P226 for my 9mms)?

Rifles/ARs:
I already have a lightweight AR build that's been very reliable for me so far. If I want to turn it into a 3-gun AR, I would swap out the barrel. What barrel length, profile, twist rate and gas length is common for 3-gun ARs? Anything else I should swap out?

Shotguns:
For shotguns, I have a home defense 870 and a Browning Maxus for hunting. Pretty sure I'll need to just get a new shotgun meant for 3-gun. What is a good entry option?
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Old March 29, 2018, 06:15 PM   #2
RickB
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Run what you brung, until you're so good that your gear is holding you back.

I shot my M1 Carbine more than my AR in 3-gun, and never thought to replace my Mossberg pump gun with the latest, "best" autoloader (seemed to change every month).
When I was actively competing, the pistol and rifle both had major/minor scoring so I shot a .45 pistol, but if the handgun is always scored minor, any hi-cap 9 will work; I'd certainly choose the P320 over the P226.

Since nobody else is replying . . .
I used the same holster, pouch, and belt that I used for pistol competition. Depending the stage, I'd add a belt of shotshells worn high, six or eight inches above the waist, and if the stage required a rifle reload, that would go in my hip pocket.
I practiced different shogun reloads, the "Carlock Shuffle" being the hot technique at the time, but I eventually just reloaded with the gun held at waist level, one shell at a time.
I suppose I spent more time on marksmanship than specific gunhandling techniques.

I always carried hard-shell kneepads, but wore them only if a particular stage called for it (kneeling in gravel, for instance).
A cart can be very useful on expansive ranges where you are hauling all of your guns and gear from stage to stage.
I've seen some very slick carts made just for 3-gun, but I've also seen some very slick carts custom modified from baby strollers that were just as good, and much cheaper.
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Last edited by RickB; March 30, 2018 at 10:54 AM.
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Old March 31, 2018, 12:28 AM   #3
lmccrock
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For pistol, P320 would be better due to capacity. Check with the local match about how many rounds you need to carry. Always carry at least one more magazine than the round count dictates. That applies to rifle, too.

Shoot the rifle you have for now. But if you must scratch the itch to change something, go 18" rifle gas, Wilde chamber. Weight is up to you, but lighter swings better.

For shotgun, you might put a magazine extension on the 870 and shoot that for a while. Start the stage with 9 rounds in the gun. Again, if you must spend money before your first match, Mossberg 930 JM Pro is the complete package for the least money.

Have fun.
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Old March 31, 2018, 12:14 PM   #4
T. O'Heir
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Read this and don't get married to 9mm. There's more than one game.
https://www.fieldandstream.com/artic...un-competition
Oh and if you're not, you'd best get fit too. Lotta running around in all of the shooting games. 3 gun has you carrying a bunch of stuff too.
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Old April 1, 2018, 03:29 PM   #5
PPGMD
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I'm not a 3 gunner, but here some observations based on ROing our Area Multigun Championship.

Pistols: Lots of Glocks, and 2011s. Along with a smattering of other plastic guns. So I think if your P320 is a full size or an X5, use that at first using Springer Magazine Extensions. If you like the sport enough send it to Gray Guns for their competition package.

Rifles: Other than ARs being the most common (I don't remember any non-ARs just variations of ARs). There wasn't too much commonality, other that everyone had muzzle brakes. Optic wise I didn't notice any real trends, but I wasn't paying too much attention. But I was surprised by the number of SIG Electro-Optics sights.

Shotguns: Lots of Benellis, a few Stoegers, Berettas, Mossbergs, and AK styles. I think I remember a Remington and a Browning. Most of the traditional style shotguns worked, almost all the shotguns that had stoppages were AK style.
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Old April 1, 2018, 04:16 PM   #6
lmccrock
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I will add a couple things.You need a holster that covers the trigger guard such that your finger cannot get to the trigger. Except for one race holster, mine are all Bladetech. Any stiff belt to start, then add a competition belt you are ready to commit more funds.

You do not need a muzzle break to start, but mine are Rolling Thunder. Extremely loud to those standing behind and to the side (like some inexperienced RO's), but makes it feel like shooting rimfire.
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Old April 2, 2018, 08:54 AM   #7
TrueBlue711
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All good info so far, thanks! Seems like I'm actually mostly there with my current gear.

Quote:
Optic wise I didn't notice any real trends
What are the distances you shoot for rifle? All close range or are there longer range portions too? In the few videos I've seen, most of the AR optics were the 1-4x zoom scopes. If it's all close range stuff (100 yds and under), I'll stick with a red dot. But if there are portions that go further than 100 yds, I'll consider a 1-4x.
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Old April 2, 2018, 09:05 AM   #8
PPGMD
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The distances you shoot at depends on the range. At this match there was one long range stage (200+ yards), one medium range stage (100-200 yards), and a several short range stages (sub-50 yards). But from what I've seen some matches are long range heavy, while others may not have more than a couple shots beyond 100 yards, and anything in between.

As far as the trends I was talking about brands, your type of optic is decided by your division. The biggest divisions was the Tactical variable optics division.
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