By Sara Aherns, WomensOutdoorNews.com
People who participate in 3-Gun matches are dedicated to their sport. They invest a significant amount of money in their equipment to compete. As a non-competitive shooter, getting started in any competition is an intimidating experience. Apprehension is the result of not understanding the equipment needs and various divisions, scoring and rules of matches.
When looking into the equipment needs for participating in a 3-Gun match, I realized this is probably one of the most equipment-intensive shooting sports in existence. This obviously has to do with the fact that the sport involves 3 guns, and each gun has its own unique equipment needs. Unless new shooters are able to borrow equipment, they’ll have to purchase some of it. The prices on equipment vary greatly. If the shooter is simply interested in competing for leisure, lower-end equipment can be purchased or borrowed. For those shooters who believe they will be seriously competing, they may want to invest in higher-quality weapons and gear.
The basic gear that is needed to participate in a 3-Gun match includes:
- Gun belt
- Holster (that covers the trigger of the gun) and magazine pouches
- Shotgun and rifle caddies
- Handgun (most competitors use a 9mm because it has less recoil and its magazines can hold more rounds)
- Rifle (an AR is common)
- Shotgun (most competitors use a 12-gauge with a barrel length of 20-22 inches)
- Sling for the shotgun and rifle
- Optics for the rifle (it is recommended to purchase a scope that starts at a 1X power)
- Range bags and gun cases
There are a variety of accessories that can be incorporated to improve performance. These accessories can be quite expensive and can range from competition triggers, to extended magazine tubes and sidesaddle ammunition pouches for the shotgun, to an extended charging handle for the rifle. Each of these accessories serves to increase speed during competition.
Many firearm manufacturers recognize the growing interest in 3-Gun competitions and are selling firearms that already incorporate some add-ons that will improve performance. The benefit of purchasing such a firearm is that an established competitor in the sport generally developed it, so the best components are used. Purchasing a competition-ready firearm also prevents users from buying an accessory that is incompatible with the firearm they possess. And the best part about buying a firearm with the accessories already intact is that someone with the knowledge, skill and ability to safely install those parts, did. Regardless of the equipment acquired, whether it is borrowed, low end or competition ready out of the box, the next step is to have a basic understanding of 3-Gun competition.
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