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I need help choosing between Factory and Practical please


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Hey guys, I'm really hoping to get some help from you experts. I started shooting a small club match 6 months ago. Then, this past weekend I shot the Atlanta 3gun match, which was more structured/official 3gn rules type match and was much more difficult/faster paced. I need to work some more on my shotgun loading and stage planning. However, I also learned some things about my gear and need to make a couple tweaks one way or the other.

Rifle: Everything at both the "outlaw" match and the 3gn match is 100yds or less. I have a lot of experience shooting AR15's with red dots in the "tactical" arena and am thus very comfortable with using one. I ran this weekend's match with a Leupold 1.5-5 and the 1.5 really slowed me down. Conversely, I only used magnification on one stage and even then only on 3X. I'm ditching the Leupold 1.5-5 for sure, but debating about whether to try to stay in Practical with a 1-X scope or drop down to Factory and run the Aimpoints I'm familiar with. I feel confident shooting the 100yd max at these matches with a red dot. My vision is excellent. Where I wonder is if/when I go shoot a major match. Also (and this might get a chuckle) I already have an SBR set up with an Aimpoint T1 and I can't get over the nagging feeling that if I'm going to have a longer gun, it should have more scope to make use of the extra length. At the same time, I really do love and have fun with the simplicity/speed of an Aimpoint. Magnified optics on AR's (I've tried Acogs, Aimpoint + magnifier, Eotech + magnifier, Bushnell PCL 1-4, Leupold 1.5-5) always end up frustrating me for the weight and speed penalties.

Shotgun: I'm currently shooting a 21" Benelli M1 with a Nordic +5 (basically flush with the barrel). This gives me 8 in the tube + 1 chambered, which works for either Factory or Practical. However, I feel like if I decide to go Practical, then I should swap to a +7 tube so I can load 2 after the buzzer and/or be able to load more in one "reload" during a stage.

Pistol: I'm shooting a Glock 17 with factory mags. When I read the rules I didn't see a capacity limit, only a magazine length limit. Then I saw a video where James Cassanova mentioned that you could only load 15 in the pistol mag. Can anyone clarify that for me?

Ok, bottom line question:

1) Get a red dot for the rifle, leave the shotgun alone and shoot Factory

or

2) Get a 1-X scope for the rifle, get a tube extension, and shoot Practical

Thanks!

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Thanks for the input thus far guys. I'm 99% sure I'm going to "Factory" division. Here's a vid of a stage from Sunday to give you an idea of what these matches look like. Forgive the horrible pistol shooting at the end. I was too scared of loading the shotgun and should have just done it, not to mention I abandoned the shotgun while it was still loaded...should've at least shot it to slide lock before transitioning to pistol. :blink:

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It depends on what you're looking to accomplish. If you have the gear already (sounds like you do) for factory, and just want to shoot, then go for it. But once you start going to bigger matches, you will see relatively low participation and prize table distribution for divisions other than practical/tactical optics. I always shoot tac ops/practical, because I want to compete in the most populated division. You will definitely want an optic with 1x on the low end if you want to be competitive in practical.

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If you travel west expect to see more long targets, but they will still be only a small portion of the total number. You should probably go with factory, or limited since it sounds like you will enjoy it the most. I would also use the SBR if long range means 100yds provided it is accurate.

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Just in the FWIW column, Casanova has overall stage wins with a Limited rifle on long range stages at a few matches. That is he beat all comers with magnified optics in Tac-Ops and Open. A lot of people way over-magnify. If you are 100 yards and in and comfortable with the 1x, then rock it and have fun with it.

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Just in the FWIW column, Casanova has overall stage wins with a Limited rifle on long range stages at a few matches. That is he beat all comers with magnified optics in Tac-Ops and Open. A lot of people way over-magnify. If you are 100 yards and in and comfortable with the 1x, then rock it and have fun with it.

True. But he's not normal :)

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Just in the FWIW column, Casanova has overall stage wins with a Limited rifle on long range stages at a few matches. That is he beat all comers with magnified optics in Tac-Ops and Open. A lot of people way over-magnify. If you are 100 yards and in and comfortable with the 1x, then rock it and have fun with it.

True. But he's not normal :)

Not many of us are, but yeah.

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