Farewell Gun Nuts

20140730-104243-38563653.jpgDear Gun Nuts,
For over a year and a half, I have shared my journey through the gun world with you. I tried hard to give you my fresh perspective rather than “more of the same”. I offered up my personal life and mistakes, all the while knowing that you would bring a dose respectful honesty with a dash of thoughtful cynicism. I also shared an in depth look at the mind of a beginner. I hope that these posts helped those of you who are instructors and inspired those who were hesitant to try.
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The 4 Biggest Mistakes of the 3Gun Beginner

20140728-113016-41416110.jpgNow that I’ve been submerged in all things 3gun for a minute or so, my understanding of the sport has gone from learning the basics, to removing the obsticles that are keeping me from moving forward. As a complete beginner I needed to learn terminology, rules, and the mindset that is needed in order to successfully get through a 3gun stage. Much of this information could have likely been found in a book. (While this would not have been the best way to learn these ideas, it could have gotten the job done…theoretically.) But the next step of the 3gun learning process is all hands-on. Here are the four biggest issues that have held me back, as my 3gun training moved forward.

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Tales From a 3gun Beginner: Thinking Like a 3gunner

20140723-114644-42404887.jpgAfter training with top 3 gun pro-shooters for months now, I have begun to understand their methodology. I like 3gun as a shooting competition, because it’s all about assessing a situation and thinking on your feet. Every stage can be tackled a number of different ways and every shooter will have their own technique for approaching one. At this past weekends ATL3Gun match, a shotgun-only stage had my squad a bit puzzled. There were 18 clays spread throughout a “jungle” environment. Some clays were hidden behind trees and could only been seen from specific angles. Further, there was no obvious path through the shooting area.

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Tales of a 3 gun Beginning: Ma Deuce

20140716-140547-50747018.jpgThe last stage of my first day at the Freedom Munitions Memorial Match was filled with multiple 3 gun clichés. Firstly, they included a “pick-up gun”. A pick-up gun is a surprise firearm, often provided by a sponsor, which is meant to throw a shooter for a loop. Often the shots with the pickup gun are are not scored or they only affect one’s time. They are not usually anything one can prepare for, but they can be a great opportunity to get behind some pretty rare weapons. Also, we were provided ammo by the title sponsor for our shotguns, which was staged in a dump barrel.

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Tales from a 3 Gun Beginning: All Shotgun

20140714-115507-42907866.jpgFor the past few months I have been amazed at how much I am enjoying the shotgun portion of my 3gun training. While it’s easier to hit a target it’s takes more brute force to control than a pistol or rifle. Yet even with my pathetic excuse for upper body strength, I really like this new challenge. This was the mindset I had as I approached a 32 round shotgun stage at the Freedom Munitions Memorial Match in Clinton, South Carolina.

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Tales From a 3 Gun Beginning: 2 Stages Complete

20140707-114051-42051407.jpgIn my second stage of the Freedom Munitions Memorial match there was no rifle work, only shotgun and then pistol. There was some running down stairs after ditching ones shotgun. I wondered, “Whats’s with this stage designer?” Ladders (see my post about the first stage of this match), stairs… What’s next? Rappelling??!? To add to the issue of the stairs, we had to turn 180 degrees from the stage, in order to run down them. This inspired the fear of breaking the 180 degree rule. Fortunately we should have grounded our shotguns prior to turning around and were not to draw our pistols until we had passed a specific tree root, er, fault line. After that it was a lot of pistol shots, first to paper, then to steel. I felt confident with these two guns and had a plan that took into consideration my inability to move and fire at the same time.

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Tales From a 3 Gun Beginning: First Stage

20140702-111523-40523012.jpgThough I have been practicing in my coaches’ backyard range, which includes an abandoned horse barn, a chicken coop and a rusty horse walker, the first stage I encountered at the Freedom Munitions Memorial match at Clinton Plantation was more complicated than any I had ever tried. It began with a pistol draw from the belt and shots at a dueling tree from behind the hood of an old suburban. The pistol dump bucket was in the back seat of the vehicle and my shotgun was staged in the front seat. Once I complete a few pistol shots from behind the truck, I will grab my shotgun and clear a steel spinning star with birdshot, load slugs and shoot distant steel gongs. Upon finishing the shotgun portion of the stage, I should run to a ladder and climb to the bed of a large truck on which my rifle has been staged (and has been soaking up the noon sun). Lastly, I should engage six steel gongs at a distance of between 200 and 350 yards.
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Myths & Truths: 3 Gun Pro Squad

20140630-100608-36368737.jpgAt many major 3 gun matches, big name, sponsored, professional shooters are placed on a squad together. This tends to keep them out of reach of the other shooters at the match. Because of this system, the pro squad seems to hold some mystique. I have heard some people’s beliefs about being on this elusive squad and some of these opinions really make me giggle. So, after shooting the Freedom Munitions Memorial Match at Clinton House Plantation in South Carolina last weekend and being the greenest member of the pro squad, I feel it is my duty to set the record straight.

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Prep for 1st 3 Gun Match

20140618-112102-40862122.jpgI had planned to sign up for one or two small club matches to practice my 3 gun skills prior to the ladies major match in October. I now find myself preparing for the Freedom Munitions 3 Gun match being held at Clinton House Plantation in South Carolina this weekend. This match seems to be shaping up to be more than just a small monthly match. I have discovered that many of the big name pros will be in attendance, and now I’ve been told that there will be a 375 yard rifle shot!

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