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What Do I Need To Get Started In 3gun?


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I shot my first club level match with my pistol rig, shotgun shells in a $6.00 dump bag and my rifle mags in my pocket.

You just need the desire to go out and shoot the match. You'd suprised how much stuff you can borrow at a 3-gun match.

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Always glad to see more joining 3-Gun, always said it was the best of all the games being shot.

Are you shooting Tactical, limited or open? Lets assume Tactical & limited.

1.Starting with your pistol, you'll need a holster, safariland makes several, the 560 model or the 6004 tactical which I use for most tactical 3Gun matches. You also need 2 maybe 3 mag pouches & a good belt that won't come off, as mine did at Kyles match last year during one of his crazy stages. ;) Train crash for me!!!!!!!!

2. Rifle- AR-15 works best, but bring what you got & learn. First time is always a learning experience. At least two 30 rd. mags & mag pouches. It always nice to have a couple of 20 rounders, just in case there are some quick reload stages. 20's reload faster! If you can find a Sterling 40 rd. mag, they are also a good thing to have for those mega rd. stages. Sterling is the only 40 that I have found to work all the time. Sights? To each there own, I like a narrow front sight for iron & a 1.5x-5x Leupold for Tactical scoped. If there is match rule on the type of scopes that can be used, such as military adopted only, ACOG 4x with crosshairs for me. You'll never need anything more than 4x or 5x in this game. Low power variable scopes are the best ticket.

3.Shotgun- Autoloader a must (except for HE-Man Class I believe only pump in this class). 9 rd. Extended tube, 22" barrel. Then there's the debate over what blaster Rem, Browning, Win, or Benelli, again this will be to your own liking. I like gas gun Rem. best. California Competition is making 4 & 6 rd. shell holders for the belt that work real well. Side saddle that will hold 7 on the receiver, I use one for the forearm also that holds 6. Easyloader for Rem. makes reloads so much easier.

3GunGear.com has a ton of stuff that you can look over. There several topics in this forum that cover alot of the equipment being used. No matter what, if you don't have someting when you go to a match, there is always someone there who will most likely loan you what you need to get started & to help you out.

Hope this helps!


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a comment from an older heavier fellow....think minimum and modular.... for a physical match like Kyle's where you will be shooting for 12 hours or so, the least amount of weight hanging on your belt, the better...since you need the pistol with you all the time go as light weight as possible, something like a Kydex holster on a wide belt... if you have a high cap gun 2 extra mags are plenty, ( I usually shoot a single stack .45 and carry only 3 on the belt) and only 1 quick reload for the rifle (you can always stick a couple more in your pockets) ....for the shotgun if needed for a match like Kyle's, I carry carry a separate modular belt rig with suspenders, that rides above the pistol rig.... It carries 3 Choate trays, two in front, and one behind the pistol, with a Blackhawk pouch on the left side.... for the more sane local match, I can usually get away with 7 in the side saddle, and 7 on my forearm....a couple of years ago we needed 32rounds for the jungle run at North Carolina....pick up a good set of elbow and knee pads along the way, and wear the elbow pads all day, to see how they feel... I wear a "mechanics glove" on my weak hand, as I haven't learned that the gas block on my AR and the barrel of the shotgun get warm... which made the pistol feel funny in my hand the first time out.....regards Les

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  • 10 months later...
What's the best shot size for shotgun stages? Is size 6 better than a 7.5 or does it even matter?

There's been alot of discussion in other threads about the ideal shot size with lots of different opinions. That said I've always used the cheapest Walmart sale shotgun ammo, mostly 7.5's and never had a problem taking down steel at all of the big 3-gun matches I've been to, SSMG, 3-gun nationals, etc.

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Choke makes a difference too.

The Texas Star at our club will laugh at you if you use a cylinder bore or improved cylinder with 7-1/2 loads at 20 yards or more. It just won't get the job done.

I was taught to use #4s and I'd never had a problem. I strayed from that in recent years, but since I went back to #4s, I have eliminated any troubles I had with steel. I use a modified choke in my 1100 and if I can't do it with #4, it pretty much needs buckshot or a slug.

If the steel is close, it doesn't really matter much. Heavy steel at 20yd or more needs more oomph.

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If as Tony assumed, you are going to compete in the Tactical, or Limited division then his list pretty much sums up the starting basics. Threegungear is indeed the perfect place to start for your first set of shotgun ammo holders and mag pouches that work well and stay put.

Tony's advice on rifle optics is right on the money. Rhino's comments about shotgun chokes are good too. Myself, I favor a little tighter choke (IC, IM, or even M) and smaller shot in a medium loading. This minimizes recoil and maximizes take down oomph on steel without beating the gun and your wallet up with goose loads.

A good source for cheap .223 ammo that is accurate (enough) and reliable will allow you to do the amount of practice it takes to get good at rifle shooting. Same goes for shotgun.

A V-Tac sling (Viking Tactics, www.vikingtactics.com) is a good addition to any 3 gun rifle.

The pistol holster choice should be based on retention and the ability to wear it while shooting rifle prone more than on the speed of the draw like in pistol only shooting. The belt choice should also be based on retention as Tony mentioned ;-)

There is more, but these basics will definitely get you started off right. Welcome to 3 gun, it's a whole lotta' fun.



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  • 2 months later...

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