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Old June 16, 2014, 09:21 PM   #1
chris in va
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Never done a 3-gun

Our local club offers 3-gun but I'd like to get some inside hints from those that attend on a regular basis. I'm mainly used to pistol-only matches so this is foreign to me.

I have my usual pistols, a not-so-tactical AR, CX4 and Mossberg 500.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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You'll love 3 gun!

You have a good assortment of guns for the job. Your AR and CX4 will do the job for sure.

As for the shotgun, I also use a Mossberg 500 (20ga). I used to use an 18.5" barrel, but for shooting slugs with no sights I went back to my 26" barrel. I did put a cylinder choke in it for the short range birdshot shots.

You'll need a way to hold your AR mags and your shotgun shells. For the AR, I got a Magpul Maglink that holds 2 mags together. I put shotgun shells in a sleeve on the buttstock and a nylon one on my belt.
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Last edited by motorhead0922; June 17, 2014 at 01:01 PM.
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Old June 17, 2014, 07:08 AM   #3
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Which pistol matches? A high capacity 9mm works best, but you can play with anything 9mm or larger (a 380 or Mak or smaller may not knock down steel). If you have a USPSA or IDPA rig, that is a great start.

Mossberg 500: which one? I started 3gun with a 590 and it worked well for a pump. A long-magazine semi-auto is the standard, but a stock pump will work to start. If there is a mag plug, take it out.

Ask the match director how many rounds per stage. Often, no more than one mag is needed but might be more. If you do not have mag carriers, you can carry a spare in your pocket.

Hope you have fun.
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Old June 17, 2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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Run what you brung.
Even when I was somewhat "serious" about 3-gun, I shot the guns that I already owned, and sometimes guns that weren't the best choices for the game, but I had fun.
Rifle mags went in my hip pocket, and on shotgun stages I wore a belt full of shells about six inches above my waist, where it was easy to get at but didn't get in the way of my pistol or mags. Long guns had slings, so I didn't have to take a baby carriage to matches.
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Old June 17, 2014, 12:23 PM   #5
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Unless you plan to get serious at 3 gun, definitely use the guns you have.
If for no other reason than to get much better with them.
One of the clubs whose matches I attended, often had shotgun side matches.
They consisted of mostly reactive steel targets with some other stuff thrown in.
Quite often the pump action guys would win it outright.
So, your 500 will do nicely, if you use it well.
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Old June 19, 2014, 01:07 PM   #6
Join Date: November 4, 2012
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Just do it! It is great fun. My wife and I are going to one this Saturday. We just starting shooting again in competition after 8 years away (used to shoot Cowboy Action) in March and have done several 3 gun and USPSA matches. At 61 years old we won't win any matches, but we are having fun.
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Old June 20, 2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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You'll have fun with what you have. The hardest part of 3 gun for most folks is reloading the shotgun. I started with my 870 pump then after a while added a CZ utility with magazine extension. Most of the serious shooters shoot $1K+ Benelli's and such. I started with cargo shorts then added the 6 round shotgun belt magazines later. I'm still too slow but learning.
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Old June 21, 2014, 01:49 PM   #8
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go to a match and see what most of the better shooters are using. I found that most were shooting a M&P pro series or a Glock 34 for handgun and the top shotgun shooters were using a Benelli M2 . There were many ,many different brands of AR's but I wound up with a DPMS M4.
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Old June 26, 2014, 12:07 PM   #9
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You really need to decide what you are trying to get out of it.

If you just want to go and have fun, and challenge yourself you don't really need anything special.

The old club I used to shoot with was a lot more focused on practical shooting, using realistic situations, sometimes based on real-world events. I shot a rifle match with them using a bolt action K98k Mauser. I did not win, but it was very challenging, and I had fun.

The last match I shot at a different club was a lot more of a gun game, and I used a basic AR Carbine with standard carry-handle A2 sights (shooting from 15 to ~300 yards), a single stack .45 1911, and a otherwise stock 870 with a mag tube extension.

I challenged myself, and had fun.

Did I win? Of course not, the top guys all had custom rifles with optics, semi-auto shotguns with 26 inch barrels with magazines longer than the barrel.

Before you start spending a bunch of money on gear, you need to consider what your goal is.
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