In the last post about my first 3 gun experience, I gave some indication of the different thought patterns, fears and questions I had entering the 3 Gun world. Even though I’ve been shooting in some capacity for the past 22 years, I still get jitters right before delving into something brand new for the first time. As with anything where multiple unknowns are present, it takes some guts and initiative on the part of the n00b to dive in, introduce yourself, and be willing to take a few risks in regards to how well or how poorly you’ll do. My main goal for the day was not to finish last, and I managed to do that with flying colors along with a couple other first time 3 gunners. I’ll do my best to help answer some questions like cost, gun choice, ammo cost/choosing and finding your way to a 3 Gun match near you.
The ammo supply a shooter should bring seems to be a common question too. Our shoot directors require 150 rounds of rifle and pistol ammo, along with 75 rounds of shotgun shells and 10 slugs. In a shooting heavy course, I believe I fired an estimated 65 rifle rounds, 50 pistol and 35 shotgun. So if you’re worried about how many rounds you use in the actual match itself, my guess would be you’ll be looking at more ammo burned during practice beforehand. I benefitted from the fact that I had plenty of ammo lying around for the AK and the Glock 23 in 40 S&W. My hunch is though as addicting as this new sport is I’ll be hunting for more deals and stocking up so it’s not as big of a hit the night before the event.
Scoring is based on time and error. While there are several scoring methods, all complicated and not worth explaining this early on, each is primarily engineered to score a shooters speed and effectiveness. If I’m able to shoot a rifle stage in 60 seconds, with 3 penalties (failure to engage a target, failure to neutralize a target or hitting a no shoot (hostage)) I’ll be adding 15 seconds to my score, leaving my final mark at 75 seconds for the stage. Each course of fire will be set up differently so there’s not necessarily an overall “PAR” for the course or stages because of how they vary. The trick is balancing your speed and precision and doing so in a hurry all the while not rushing your shots. Hopefully it’s evident how valuable practicing with your heart rate up and keeping a cool head can be.
Those are some of the basics without going into detail on doing magazine changes, transitioning weapons and how stages can be laid out. The next installment will be a semi-brief recollection of how I did in my first 3 gun match. I will tell you as a teaser that overall I finished 35th of 50 total shooters and of the 8 Limited division shooters I finished 4th, which I can live with. Maybe.
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