I have now signed up to shoot the Brownell’s Lady 3 Gun match, where I will be sponsored by GunUp Publishing, but up until last week I had never seen a 3 Gun match in action. I decided to head an hour south and east of Atlanta to South River Gun Club, the location of Atlanta 3 Gun’s monthly club match, to remedy this. It was also my first chance to see the location where the ladies-only major match will be held this coming October.
South River Gun Club is a maze of bays and berms. I was surprised to see shooting occurring in so many directions. While shooters are always aiming at sturdy berms, there were times when I found myself walking behind a pile of dirt, knowing that a gun was pointed at me on the other side. That being said, there is a lot of walking between stages. It seemed to be more walking than some other matches and clubs I’ve attended.
I found the shooting boxes very intriguing as I watched shooters attack each stage. While only one set up had competitors literally running between bays (though they were not carrying or wearing any gun at the time) the movement of shooters was different than I had expected. In that I mean, there was so little of it. One stage did have a car as a barricade that required a shooter to move around it, but I was expecting even more activity.
Now that I have seen how Atlanta 3 Gun sets up their stages, I have a little better understanding of how to prepare for the match. I will end up shooting a club match (or a few) prior to October, and I have begun practicing with dummy rounds, but what else would you recommend I do to prepare?
practice draws and reloads with your handgun, and reloads with your shotgun. there are several shotgun techniques and reloading a shotgun is the slowest part for pretty much anyone, since you have to reload without a magazine of any kind.
Practice reloads, particularly pistol, especially shotgun. If they are going to have slug targets, especially farther ones, make sure you know your drops. Make double sure what ammunition your shotgun likes, and then buy only that. For instance, same loading.. my shotgun will run all day with Federal.. choke on the Winchester.
As for the shotgun loading. You will need to decide how you are going to carry the shells, and then what hand you are going to be loading with. Whatever you decide, practice a LOT. I believe that he Load 2 or Load 4 method is quicker to learn, and faster, than using the shotshell caddies (I have used both).
For the pistol, pick a good 9mm, if you have one. You really do not need more power, just more bullets 😀
If you have the wherewithall, practicing some movement with the long guns is a good idea. Some folk’s natural inclination when moving with a long gun is to hold it across the body in a “port arms” postion and you get DQ’d for breaking the 180.
I second and third practicing your shotgun reloads. I don’t know what gear you ar running/have. If you do not have a dedicated shot shell caddy be sure to keep whatever pocket/pouch you are going to carry shotshells in clear of any other debris. I have a friend who tried to stuff a chapstick into their 870 during a match once. Hilarious.
If there is going to be any long range rifle where it would be beneficial to go prone, practicing getting down into a solid firing position and getting back up again quickly and efficiently would not be amiss.
Enjoy it, 3 gun is a blast!
All the above is good advice. Reloading, and movement are the two biggest things. After you have those down you should take a look at how you transition between guns. Dropping them in barrels, picking them out of barrels, picking them off of tables etc. Then take a look at your mid range rifle skills from various positions. You may have 200 yd off hand shots, or braced against a tree shots to take. You will have a better feel for the layout of the club and their ability to incorporate unknown distances into a course of fire but, generally most matches will build it in if they can.
If you have the tools, shooting steel poppers that fling clays (pop ups) are also something that you may see on a stage.
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