How-To Tactics for 3-Gun Shooting
There are a couple ways to approach 3-gun shooting. First, as an action-packed, trigger-intensive competition. Second, as an action-packed, trigger-intensive way to practice shooting pistols, rifles and shotguns.
I lean toward the second because, well, I just don't devote enough time to it to think I'm going to climb very high in the competitive ranks.
So, from that standpoint, here are five tips to help get you started.
1. Realistic Frame of Mind
Not having the pressure of trying to be a top competitor frees me to relax and enjoy the shooting for shooting's sake, while getting in quality trigger time.
Any practice is good practice and 3-gun practice is very good practice.
It lets you polish skills not only in shooting but also reloading, gun handling, target acquisition, trigger control - about every aspect of shooting.
2. Video-Game Approach
Look at 3-gun shooting as a real-life video game in which you hurry from stage to stage shooting targets from different positions using the three different firearms: rifle, handgun and shotgun, while also trying to be accurate - and fast.
Better than virtual targets, eh?
3. The Firearm Basics
Most commonly used are AR-style rifles in .223 caliber; semi-auto pistols in 9mm and 12-gauge semi-auto shotguns.
Makes, models and manufacturers vary as much as the thousands of 3-gun shooters vary. Get decent equipment.
The saying Buy once, cry once applies here. Pay for quality.
You may initially have guilt for buying at the top of the list for quality and durability, but it's better than buying cheap and having to replace it later, crying more than once.
Plus, better equipment may help you shoot better.
4. Ammunition Basics
You don't have to have expensive hard-core ammunition, but get decent-quality ammunition that your firearms like, that cycles well and is consistently accurate.
You can do fine with less expensive, but reliable, ammunition.
5. Study Top Shooters
Watch videos of top competitors, or attend local matches and study how the best shooters move and handle their firearms.
You can bet the best shooters practiced to get where they are and they still practice. Do what they do.
Practice all you can, at the range with live ammo or even dry-firing to get used to aiming and trigger control.
And make sure your firearms are zeroed in. The top shooters trust their firearms to hit where they aim.
It's a small but important detail you don't want to overlook.