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Getting ducks in a row for starting 3 gun this spring

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Hey guys I’m new to the forum and 3 gun. While I’ve still got a few months to prepare I was wondering if y’all could tell me if I’m headed in the direction on gear and guns checklist or pointers on what I should change. I live in Montana and was told to prepare for 300-400yd shots. 


Currently owned 

-Glock 19  gen 4 (would like either a 17 or 34 though)

- benelli SBE2 (who welds lifters for these? Nordic best route for tube extension?)

-Colt 6920 magpul or psa 16” 223 Wylde, 13.5” rail. (Psa only likes 69gr and heavier) ordered a Brownells geissele rapid fire trigger

- Safariland els inner and outer belt (just ordered)



-for optic I was thinking a Burris RT6 (definitely open to suggestions but prefer not to break the bank) 

- Safariland ALS holster on QLS mount 

- not sure which route to go mag pouch pouches and shotgun shell caddies. 


Does this look like a decent starting list? And given the Ammo picky nature of my psa (2–3” group st 100 with 55gr) should I use the 1moa colt instead?


thanks in advance!

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Don't shoot the duck.


Don't buy or modify anything until you shoot a match, you're doing fine with what you've got. 


(Probably ok to get a holster, borrow caddies, either shoot open sights or get something you'd use regardless, don't worry about the shotgun lifters but buy a box of dummy shells and simply practice smooth manipulation and single loading.)

Edited by Frankly
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I would probably get caddies if it were me but that just how I am.  I use invictus practical but heard the Safariland is the best now.  I would be get two 8 round caddies to start.


I think you will find Vortex is the dominant optic in 3 gun for a good reason.  Is money is tight I would get a Strike Eagle if not I would get one of these:




If you can afford the same optic in a Razor I would do that.


Use your more accurate rifle and use heavy bullets beyond 200.


I use Blade Tech Holsters (WRS) and mag pouches but really any are fine.  Retention holsters are common in 3 gun.


You can get that carrier welded up an C-Rums gunsmithing but if you are instantly hooked you can send your gun to someone like Hayes Custom guns and they will do the whole deal or you can do your own work and have your carrier welded up.  If you did not have a SBE you could buy a lifter.


I changed everything after I started shooting but my formula is AR 15 with 15" free float forend, 18" or 16" match rifle barrel and a good brake, adjustable gas block, good trigger, Glock 34 or 2011, Benelli M2 with port, lifter work and rear sight plus caddies and a chest rig.


Don't forget the sun screen and Salomon Speedcross shoes🤑

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know where you hit with match and blaster ammo from muzzle out to the distances you will be shooting.  write it down.


i have an m2 and nordic tube works fine.  c-rums did my lifter and port opening.


other than being a little heavy, i have heard zero complaints (other than it could be less $$$) from vortex razor hd2 1-6, love mine.


i know a couple of idiots shot themselves, but blackhawk serpa is a perfect holster for your glock, not bulky, not heavy, not expensive, super easy to disengage.


my first couple matches i just loaded out of cargo pockets.  i really wouldn't buy a bunch of gear until you've shot a few matches and seen and tried what others are using.

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Like everyone has said, first match or two just shoot with what you have, then see what others are using/doing.  Also, consider if you're doing it for fun, or if you're going to seriously compete.


Another thing to consider, if you're looking at getting a new handgun, is if you'll also be shooting USPSA - and if so, which division.  What I'm getting at is, if you want to also shoot production or limited or whatever in USPSA, you may as well get one that fits that criteria, and use it for 3 Gun also - rather than having a 3 Gun handgun, and a USPSA one.


The safariland  ELS belt is amazing.  It's also an investment.  Not in the fact that it'll ever pay for itself, but because ever little clip, connector, accessory, adds up, and it gets expensive, quickly.  I use Uncle Mikes Double Stack Double Mag holders, and got them to fit on my ELS system - for $17 each, you can't beat it.  Taccom shot shell holders are great and inexpensive (by comparison).  If you decide to buy shot shell holders, consider if you'll load 2 or 4 at a time, and buy accordingly.  I loaded 2 for a year, and switched to quads, and now have 4 deuces holders sitting around collecting dust.  Just wear cargo shorts or pants and carry your extra AR mag that way, or spend the $33 on the safariland holder.


For rifle, use whatever one you find more accurate, then add a $40 Miculek compensator, and you'll be set.


People who shoot in these competitions will be more than happy to let you look at their gear, try their gear, etc...  it's a very welcoming community.  Don't be afraid to ask a ton of questions and try things before you buy.  


Be sure to practice loading your shotgun with dummy shells - that's where you lose the most time. 


Most importantly have fun, safely.



Edited by Snausages32
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Alright well guess once the temp get back above zero I’ll put my 2 rifles side by side again and compare at distance. 


I think my scheels keeps the strike eagle and pst on hand to compare. 


What’s the typical turn around from crum? I’d like  to get the lifter welded even for hunting. (Why do manufactures put that darn V finger trap in lifters?!?!?) 

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On 2/13/2019 at 9:44 PM, Remington92 said:

What’s the typical turn around from crum? I’d like  to get the lifter welded even for hunting. (Why do manufactures put that darn V finger trap in lifters?!?!?) 

i'd call them for current info, but i think mine was just a couple of days.

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IMHO, start with what you have, and don't have delusions of grandeur when getting started.  Experience and wisdom will make you a better competitor, but it takes time to get there.  I didn't start with what I had, and then spent the next year changing and tweaking things getting them how I wanted.  Better to figure out what you need, what you want, and then execute a well defined plan.  The gear you have is actually a lot nicer than the gear most people start with in my area...lots of them come up with an old pump shotgun, an AR with iron sights, etc.  The good thing about waiting is that most people are more than willing to let you check out their gear so you can sort of "try before you buy".  This stuff isn't cheap, so dropping a bunch of cash to find out that you don't like something as much as you expected to is always a bummer...

Edited by fbzero
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  • 3 weeks later...

I would prioritize setting up the ELS Belt you ordered. I can use my single belt for every discipline I want to shoot now, its awesome.


There are a bunch of great caddies out there now; taccom, invictus, safariland, DAA, etc... I have used (older) taccom, invictus, and safariland and prefer the safailand caddies for my birdshot, and the invictus if I need to load any slugs. This is because the safariland are adjusted for length of shells and I have found that slugs are normally just a little longer than birdshot. The safariland caddies definitely hold shells the most secure of any caddie ive tried yet, but only as long as they are adjusted properly. This is not a concern for the invictus or taccom caddies, so I have 2 quadload invictus caddie on a els forks if I need those extra slugs on a stage.


If you have kydex stuff already, modify them for els forks if they don't fit and run it.


The beauty of 3 gun is, gear only matters so much, and modifying existing gear is about as functional as dedicated platforms for most things.


Administrative keys for success before your first match;

Know where your slugs hit.

Know your dope so you get 1st shot hits on distance targets.

Have a gameplan that is efficient for you for gun transitions, this can save up to 2 seconds per gun per stage.



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On 2/13/2019 at 6:54 AM, 12glocks said:

Don't forget the sun screen and Salomon Speedcross shoes🤑


I don't think most realize this is a DQ'able offense now. Don't get caught out in Addidas or Saucony's y'all. Can lead to a short day and a long drive home, with head hung in shame.


"All competitors must wear Speedcross. Competitors failing to comply will be issues a match DQ and asked to leave property."


I believe there is an exception for Boomfab (if obnoxious enough color) and Jerry Miculek. I've heard talk that next year, those funny looking Notch hats are going to be required, so now would be the time to purchase one.

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One note on the holster mount. I put mine on a QLS, but have since seen lots of people that have no trouble mounting theirs to the smaller ELS system (same as you will likely use to mount magazine pouches). That’s nice because the ELS plates take up less real-estate, are generally a little cheaper, and give you a little more flexibility in setup if, for example, you have a shotgun and rifle stage with no pistol and want to put an extra shell caddy where your holster would typically ride. 

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Well it’s slowly coming together 


Rifle (slowly building new) 

for time being strike eagle 1-8 on 16” ar with 13.5” handguard I had. Need to order a comp


shotgun- sbe2, ordered +7 Nordic tube and Crum shell carrier. 


Pistol- gen5 Glock 34. Ordering Dawson sights 


belt- els, als holster on qls, 2 Safariland 773 pouch, going to order their ar mag pouch. Planning on taccom shotgun caddy

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42 minutes ago, Remington92 said:

I thought you could only start with 9 in the tube? Once it gets here my sbe2 will have a 10shot tube on it then whatever on my belt 

Oh sorry, I shoot open so I can start with however many in the tube I want. 

For practical or other divisions you have to start with 8 in the tube

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1 hour ago, NoKimberDave said:

Personally, I'd go with at least a 12 round tube, if you are putting a magnified optic on your rifle.


Of course, 10 is not going to hurt you when starting.

Only reason I went with the 10 is that this sbe2 is still my hunting shotgun so I didn’t want too much sticking out past the 26” barrel when hunting snows. Also may make a monster plug so I don’t even have to hassle with taking it off for other game. 

Edited by Remington92
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I use an 11 round tube but the front 2.75" is occupied by a lead rod, so effectively its 10 rounds. I load two at the beep instead of 4 to get up to max capacity (If needed) and that has worked fine. When THAT is the thing that is holding me back I will be very happy to bump up tube size haha. Also, it somewhat depends on the characteristics of the specific 3-gun matches you are going to be shooting. 

Edited by Blockader
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