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A Basic 3 Gun Shooting Competition Rundown; Pistol, Rifle & Shotgun Equipment & Open, Tactical Optics & Heavy Metal Divisions

If you are a shooter and interested in competitive shooting, it is likely that you are familiar with 3 gun shooting. This happens to be one of the fastest growing shooting sports right now and for good reason. This is a very exciting, fast paced sport that requires excellent shooting skills. Shooting Range Industries is here to go over the basics of 3-gun shooting.

What is 3 Gun Competition?

If you have heard of this sport, and are thinking about getting into it, don’t be overwhelmed by it. It is a shooting sport that involves shooting three different types of guns; rifle, pistol, and shotgun. You are required to shoot all of them at targets that are both short and long distances, in several different positions; and fast. You are scored on the targets you hit, with penalties taken into account. Points that are given are based off of the degree of difficulty as well. Here is a breakdown of this ever growing shooting sport.

3 Gun Rifle Setup; Best Rifle Out of the Box & Modifications

Many shooters that compete in 3 gun use an AR-15 style rifle, but this isn’t required. You can use any semi-automatic rifle in .223. There are several modifications that shooters make to their rifles to improve speed and accuracy such as trigger upgrades, extended bolt handle, extended bolt release, muzzle brakes and more. If you are into the sport of shooting, you know the accessories and upgrades are never ending.

Best Pistol Caliber for 3 Gun Competition

In this sport, you will find that most shooters use high-capacity 9mm handguns. The STI Marauder was designed specifically for 3 gun shooting and has a light, precise trigger. A popular handgun used in competition are striker-fired guns. You will need a holster for your gun, and several ranges require the use of chamber flags to let other shooters know when your gun isn’t loaded for safety reasons.

Best 3 Gun Shotgun Setup

Semi-automatic or pump action 12 gauge shotguns are used for this sport. Pump action shotguns may seem like a handicap when compared to the semi-automatic, but if it is all you have, you can still compete now and upgrade later. Loading your gun is a big part of the shotgun portion of the competition and the more shells your gun can hold the better. Accessories that assist you in loading your shotgun quickly will give you an advantage here.

3 Gun Divisions; Open, Tactical Optics & Heavy Metal

There are three different classes when it comes to shooting 3 gun; open, tactical optics, and heavy metal. Here is a basic description of each of them.
Open Division – Almost any legal modification is allowed in this class. All three guns can have several modifications that make them customized for competition. You wouldn’t likely use any of them for field use or even self-defense. They are guns for competitive shooting.
Tactical Optics Division – This is definitely the most popular class among shooters. You will want to have an AR-15, semi-auto high quality pistol, and semi-automatic shotgun with an extended magazine tube. Many shooters have at least one of these guns and that is perhaps what makes this a great class for beginners.
Heavy Metal Division – This class only allows specific guns in competition. You will need a rifle that is .308 caliber or larger, 12-gauge pump action shotguns, .45 ACP handguns with single stack magazines. No optics will be allowed only iron sights.

Portable Modular Shooting Range Design, Equipment & Accessories; Firearm Stalls, Bullet Traps, Target Retrieval Systems, Ceiling Guards & More

It takes a skilled shooter to participate in a 3 gun competition. Shooting Range Industries designs and fabricates custom shooting ranges to help you get your skills where they need to be to start competitive shooting. Contact us for more information.

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