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Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun

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I have been shooting 3-gun for the first full season this year. I am planning a trip to 2005 Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun this spring.

I would like some advise on where to stay, what equipment and gear to take, where to eat and what to except from the stages etc. I was planning to go to 3-Gun nationals, but all the bad stories I heard from last year changed my mind.

I have been advised my money would be better spent on this match????

This will be my first time flying with all these guns and equipment to a major match. thanks for any advise you post.

I shoot Open Class and will my CR speed holster be ok to use safely????

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Take all your regular 3-gun gear. If you use std shotgun ammo then buy it in Mesa, less to fly with. We normally stay at the cheaper hotels close to the match, Super 8, LaQuinta etc. There are plenty of resturants in Mesa so that's no big deal, drive till you see what you want or hang aoudh with squad members and follow them. Your CR holster will be fine. I shot it this match the last three years and never had a holster problem using my CR. For multi-gun stages in the past we've never had to run with a holstered pistol needed for the stage, its usually staged down range or you start with it. I'm sure other will fill in what I missed.

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IMHO SMM3G has always been a better match than the USPSA 3 Gun nats. Certainly a better prize table.

Bring a good zero on your rifle.

Be prepared to transition between weapons. Multi-gun is the order of the day.

Know your slug zero out 100.

Practice loading the shotgun.

Lots of running and movement in desert terrain.

Pistol shots are usually pretty easy, a lot of hoser action.

Since they have an open class, stages are designed with speed holster in mind. Your CR should be just fine.

Bring a good zero on your rifle.

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Jimmy you crack me up but your point is made.

First, I understand that SSM3G has to follow the USPSA rules and I have zero problem with that. But the freaking stupid USPSA rules on leaving a weapon 'safe' are ridiculous. I know it would never be safe if the loaded and chambered weapon was placed with the its muzzle in a safe direction with the safety applied on a designated place on a table or something else or... .....eeeeeeeeekkkkks!!! ..............on the ground that way! Ok........

I would never leave a pistol behind unless it had been lost or broken because it had been used as a bludgeoning instrument on someone (sorry for being graphic but that just sounds like fun). And God help me if I reholstered a loaded and chambered pistol...............eeeeeeeekkks! It may go off!!!! Just like it does all the time when I do it in practice or as I get preped by the RO to start a course of fire. Or maybe the loaded and chambered weapon could be left in a containment box, again with the safety applied, which was designed that if the gun discharged that it would do so in a totally controlled way as to not pose a safety threat to anyone (warm and fuzzy feeling of safety being experienced.............no trees, owls, sand darters or my feelings being hurt.......all is good........aahhhhh). You know how those guns go off all by themselves these days, as the antis always remind us. I appreciate USPSA recognizing this point...........it makes me feel safer already.

It is very practical to make sure to rack the slide a couple of times to make sure it is unloaded and the mag is out of the weapon. Or fire it into the ground once or several times to unload it, and make sure the mag is out of the weapon again. I think that is really safe! Just think if someone was shooting at you and they saw you do that. They would think you were insane (and they would be correct) and run away (its possible!............right?). I know Jimmy has suggested that we all should be practicing our speed unloads by dumping the remaining rounds in the ground and removing the mag or remove the mag and fire the single shot into the ground (a magical feat for an unmodified Hi-power). Of course not in the ground any closer than USPSA rules dictate, that is why you have to practice doing it! Maybe you do have a point!!

If ya'll can't tell I think this rule should be changed.

(Before the attacking comments fly in on IPSC being a sport and not training for real life, 'just say no'. It is my opinion that part of any shooting exercise is honing skills to be used in sport and defense. )

Guy Hawkins


Definition: EEEKKKKS-a sound someone makes when horribly frightened

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It is not a USPSA match. The rules are Multi Gun Association rules if I remember correctly.

You do remember correctly.

The practice of speed unloading within a multi-gun stage stage is not a USPSA only practice, SSM3G and the MGM IronMan 3G both require unloading on the clock.

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Best handled by launching the last shots into the last target as opposed to the stratosphere.

Guy, I do have concerns about "speed reholstering" during courses of fire. True, a shooter did just holster the weapon before the stage without shooting themselves but that was done while standing still and not under the clock. Speed reholstering is an invitation to disaster as shooters (many with 1 1/2 pound triggers on their guns) cover themselves as they try to reholster AS FAST AS FRIGGIN POSSIBLE while running around with their hair on fire. A match has to have stages and rules in which 1st time D class shooters can compete without blowing holes in themselves. Speed reholstering is high end gunhandling which places the muzzle of a hot weapon in such a close proximity to the body that it scares the crap out of me.

I've been at matches that do it (and it was the one activity that I spent most focus on being careful) and I'm still here but I certainly would not want to RO an stage of speed reholstering with 250 shooters of unknown quality. EEEKKKKSSSSS!

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Ok I will agree that you MAY be right since there may be numbskulls present. But I will also point out that we are all suppose to be experience shooters which should show the same amount of care you took when you had to 'speed resholster'.

I would also point out that I am only conceding this point (partially) since you used my new word EEEEEKKKKSS.


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A match has to have stages and rules in which 1st time D class shooters can compete without blowing holes in themselves. 

Darwinian natural slection..............

It might be nice to have a match next year too...

How's that for darwinian. :P

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I love it when lawyers banter... Does EEEEEKKKKSS stand up in a court of law?? I think it must! Speed reholstering? Well, one first needs a holster that one can do so with. That may wipe out half the field to start. After umpteen bazillion ( also a lawyer term ) presentations I find I can find the holster both out and in, and as Kelly mentioned, if one isn't real comfortable with this skill he must take the time to do so, making it a consious and safe act! While on the other hand racking dropping, firing and all those other contortions work, but every time I do it that way I always hold my breath when they "clear" the weapon at the end of the stage! Ithe back of my mind is always the "did the magazine fall all the way clear"??? I would hate to have an empty chamber with the magazine just a 1/4" from falling free of the weapon and get D.Q.ed for it!! Think it can't happen, Ask Jimmie and Guy, and a few otheres. SPEED UNLOADING BLOWS!!!! KURTM

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Kurt and Kelly-


I never thought "unload and show clear" (read-speed UNload) was a timed event, but I gues I was wrong. As long as a shooter doesn't have to go prone after re-holstering a pistol (pointing back up range) it's all good!

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Things have to be pretty grim before I resort to saying "EEEKKKKSSSS" in Court, but it's happened.

Sorry guys, I'm just a nervous Nellie on this issue. I see too high a disaster factor. Plus I like disagreeing with Kurt and Guy. :P

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That is with 5 Es, the Judge woudn't approve of the shortcut! BTW September for the Nordic Rifle Championships, in Norway, where hopefully we won't have to speed unload ( comment just so It doesn't seem so much like thread drift)


Like Cleopatra told Mark Anthony " I'm not prone to argue" ! It's all good :D

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I started this topic trying to get advise on the best and safest way to cool down your AR. This was my first year of 3-gun competition and let me tell you what I have observed cooling down AR. With the clock running a competitor dropped his mag and fired down range as I watch the round hit the top of the berm. I also watch a shooter drop his mag and fire down range and knocked down a steel plate that was set up for his shotgun part of the stage, shooter put a hole thru plate and got a procedural penalty. This just goes to show you how things happen when you are on the clock. I would hope that USPSA would come up with one way to cool down, then we could practice and be quick, safe and smooth.

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Hey all............man I love this topic........As we try and bring the USPSA 3-gun back to Las Vegas, we are also discussing some rule changes. What the hell is wrong with putting down a loaded gun and moving on to another!........Dont we treat every gun as if it were loaded anyway?..........We never walk in front of an empty gun now.......We always clear the CLEARED weapon while never walking in front of it..........just put the damned thing down in safe direction and move on.........if you AD, you go home. As you do now anyway.....Just seems safer to me with out all that speed unloading or dropping mags and firing wildly at nothing. I DQed this last Nats when I put down a loaded shotgun to grab my rifle. Hey I made a mistake with my shotgun according to the current rules and I accept it..but the gun was pointed down range and never walked in front of.....totally safe in my opinion........my DQ isnt the reason I feel this way..I have always wanted to discard loaded guns........When I'm done with it I'm DONE! :P

Sorry I'm not a Lawyer :lol:


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I hope this isn't too much topic drift, and I know this has already been discussed in other threads, but I'll chime in with some perspective.

We (USPSA) wrote this year's multi-gun rules in a hurry. We wanted the 2004 3-gun Nationals to include multi-gun stages, but under the existing USPSA rule, multi-gun stages have never been legal. And, we had a variety of different ideas and didn't want to nail down a "final" rulebook until we had experimented with a couple of things and gained some "on the ground" experience. So, what resulted was the "provisional" rules used in Reno. We did them as a separate rulebook because we didn't want to make "structural changes" to the "real" rulebook without knowing what the effects would be.

One of the most difficult places to find a "good" solution was grounded guns. The "real" rulebook says that you can set down a loaded gun, as long as it is in a ready condition (eg, safety on), and you stay within 1 meter (arms length) of it. If you move away, if the safety is off, etc, the rules say DQ.

We, obviously, did not think that was a great solution for a multi-gun stage. The challenge, though, was in coming up with a better solution, on short notice, knowing that whatever we did, people would take that as an example back to their home clubs when they run their own multigun stuff.

So... for this first go-round, we chose a *very* conservative approach - if you "abandon" a gun (move more than a meter away from it), it has to be completely empty... no rounds in chamber, tube or magazine. The reasoning behind this is that it was the most "conservative" of the options. We can always loosen up rules and make other options available later. But if we chose a "looser" option, it would be much more difficult to tighten it up later, if we needed to.

Keep in mind, too, that there are several layers of challenge that we have in writing rules like this. We have to consider rules that will work for

-- GM shooters and new/U/D-class shooters

-- Nationals matches and club-level matches

-- Nationals-quality ROs and club-level officiating

-- Clubs with money and clubs on a shoestring

-- etc.

Put bluntly, we can't (necessarily) do things the way that they are done at Superstition Mountain, Rocky Mountain, Iron Man, etc. When you run one match a year, it is (relatively)easy to ensure that officiating is consistent. What we're trying to do, though, is write out a rulebook that will be used by 400 clubs, and at some of those clubs the *only* multi-gun matches their members will ever see are the ones that they put on themselves, so we have to make sure the rules are clear and easy to understand and result in the right "guardrails" being in place.

What we *want* to do is provide a chain of options for multi-gun course design:

-- IF there is a "bunker" (tube, box, whatever) that positively holds the gun in a safe orientation and direction, the gun can be dumped in a loaded condition (loaded, but safety on)

-- If there is no bunker, the gun may be left loaded, safety on, pointed in a safe direction but the course design must be such that no person may pass in front of or downrange of the abandoned gun.

-- If there is no bunker, and the couse design allows (or requires) that the shooter go downrange of the abandoned firearm, the firearm must be completely empty when abandoned.

The thinking is that this covers a variety of course-design options; it also allows for consistent guidelines that can be used either at a nationals or a club match, and it allows for both matches that can afford to build "bunkers", and clubs that cannot.

That's a glimpse of where we are thinking. We were not able to get that nailed down in time for the 2004 3-gun Nationals, but we are actively working on revisions to the multi-gun rules before the next shooting season starts.

If you have input/ideas/comments, feel free to forward them to me, and I'll see that they get into the conversation. We also have a fair number of scoring issues to work out for multi-gun, if you have thoughts there....


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I have to say that is one of the best narratives I have read in a long time.

Obviously, some people had the fore-thought to look at the issues at both a micro and macro level.

Thank you for taking the time to explain the motivation behind the rules that were set up.

I used to work in State Government where the criticism was non-stop. Everyone could point out what was wrong with an idea. My response became: It is easy to criticize than to create.

I think y'all did a pretty good job with it.

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I agree that USPSA has a bit more of a challenge than those of us that run one match a year. At the same time, I belong to a local 3-gun club and am involved with running a major 3-gun match and in both cases we chose to stay away from USPSA sanctioning and rules because we have always thought that that USPSA has done a pretty poor job with 3-gun rules. I note that USPSA has made several very positive rule changes recently, but they have a ways to go. I once had a long e-mail battle with Mike Voigt regarding rifle power factor (.223 55 grain bullets & 16" barrels) and he wouldn't budge off of his application of the minor pistol power factor to the .223. I felt like I was talking to a wall.

With regard to weapon transitions and "speed unloading", I appreciate your thoughtful approach. As you and others in USPSA ponder this issue, I think it is important to remember that we want the weapon transition to be a "non-event" in our stage designs. We want to test the shooter's ability to move and shoot in a variety of situations - not his/her ability to quickly (and often dangerously) unload weapons. The "speed unloading" required in the typical SMM3G weapon transition has been the cause of way too many needless DQs and has really soured some folks who spent alot of money to attend the match. Although I currently avoid USPSA 3-gun events, I understand that the 3-gun nationals were pretty bad too. Obviously, we have to be tough on safety, but many of the DQs I have witnesses were technical infractions that did not pose any real hazard to the shooter or others.

For your reference, we (RM3G) have allowed shooters to abandon loaded weapons, pointed in a safe direction with safety-on when the shooter and others can be prevented from passing in front of the weapon. If the safety is not engaged, we consider it a procedural penalty. If the muzzle is pointed in an unsafe direction, it is a match DQ.

We have also used "Hot Weapon Boxes" that restrain the weapon's muzzle direction (usually up or down). In this case, we also apply a procedural penalty if the shooter fails to close the lid on the box. You can see examples of these boxes in the RM3G photos that were posted on this website in August after our match.

I wish you and USPSA luck as you tweak your 3-gun rules. Perhaps you can bring some of us back into the fold with some thoughtful changes.

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Good comments Mike- FWIW, having shot 3G with USPSA, SMM3G, RM3G, SOF and Kyle's match -I think the JP RM3G, and Kyle's North American Tactical, lead the way in terms of practical, tactical and safe 3 Gun competition, with clear, accomodating, safe and effective rules.

No doubt USPSA has a number of other considerations that impact the rulebook, but they'll do well to continue evolving 3Gun in the direction of those matches.


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