I see now why 3-gunners like to drive

We shipped our ammo to M3GI. We’re sharing a shotgun. But we still have so much stuff that it’s ridiculous. There’s an entire suitcase that has nothing in it but our soft gun cases that we’ll be using on the range. Plus clothes for a week, all the guns, lights, and lasers.

It’s just so much stuff. That’s something that people forget about the cost of shooting, because when you do this enough, the guns aren’t the expensive bit anymore. It’s all the other stuff, obviously the ammo, but all the accessories. Rifle mags, shotgun shell caddies, holsters, belts, tools for maintaining your guns, range bags, carts, and it goes on and on. Interestingly, that amount of logistics required is why I enjoy being able to drive to Bianchi Cup, and that’s just a pistol match.

I couldn’t imagine flying to multiple 3gun matches each year and having to tote all this gear around. I get annoyed with two pistols and enough ammo for a USPSA match. I really hate having to travel heavy, and I tend to attempt to only pack the essential necessary. Of course, the essentials for a 3gun match are pretty considerable.

However, if you’re only going to shoot one 3gun match each year, this would be the one I’d pick. Crimson Trace puts on a great match, the stages aren’t overly complicated or tricky, they’re just fairly straightforward shooting challenges. They don’t need to be complicated and tricky, because it’s dark out and you’re using lights and lasers to do everything anyway.

But seriously, how do you dedicated 3gunners put up with having all this junk, all this junk up in your trunk?


  1. We drive a Suburban, without the back seat! There are 3 of us in this family shooting 3Gun, about 10 matches a year so far. With the cart, rifles for 3, shotguns for 3, pistols for 3, plus at least one spare, it gets busy. Then you add all the gear that goes with it… sheesh. I have most of our stuff in totes, so each one is labeled, and I can just stack them in there to keep it organized. Then we add the coolers and water too.. I can’t even imagine flying to a match..

  2. I’m only driving to matches after almost losing much of my gear that was shipped ahead to SMM3G in Phoenix. It was there, just not where we expected it to be. That stomach in your throat feeling when the receptionist says, “No, we don’t have anything here for you.” With two people shooting the vehicle becomes a disaster after two or three stages as you throw things back in, randomly. As matches spread out and use more natural terrain, the cart has stayed home for the last year or so. Interesting to see the small, well-organized trailers families or “teams” bring. The insert boxes for pickups generate some serious envy on my part.

  3. I don’t fly to many matches, but it happens from time to time. Flying to 3Gun matches is all about minimalism – you have to be fairly ruthless about whittling down your gear.

    My guns, pistol included, go into a double soft case which goes into an Explorer hard case (lightest on the market.) My rangefinder, Kestrel, cleaning rod, and electronic ear pro all go in the hard case too. It comes out at just about 49 pounds. The hard case stays in the hotel room when I get to where I’m going. I carry my guns to the range in the soft case.

    The rest of my shooting gear gets stripped down to a bare minimum. I take my gun belt, holster, two pistol mag pouches, one rifle mag pouch, two 12-rd. shotshell carriers, three pistol and three AR magazines, maybe an extended AR magazine if it’s legal, and a very minimal spare parts kit. All of that goes into a lightweight backpack, which gets checked along with my rifle case. My ammo also goes in that bag – 11 pounds will usually cover 200 rounds each of 5.56mm and 9mm. Anything I need over that limit gets shipped, or purchased on site. Tape your ammo boxes shut.

    My clothes and such go in my carry-on. My laptop and cameras go in my briefcase. I do without a cart, and if I need a camp chair, I hit a local Wal-Mart the evening before the match.

  4. We’re singlehandedly trying to help the economy. I drive a Tacoma pickup with a toolbox in the bed which holds my four guns (spare pistol), ammo and shooting gear (all packed nicely in my First-Spear Skirmisher pack. My gun cart (repurposed from cowboy shooting) goes in the bed. My back seat holds water, food, duffle bag with clothes, etc. All in all about 150 lbs of gear. I can’t imagine flying to a match! By the way – I also bring all my camera gear since I’m a photog by trade.

  5. I only shoot/staff the FNH 3Gun Championship and you are right, it is a real challenge bringing just my stuff let along multiple shooters. I am always trying to simplify my setup and carry less but it never seems to make a difference.

  6. I’ll fly to pistol matches, but for 3-gun driving is the only way to be sure I’ll have the stuff I want, when I want it.

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