The Basics of 3-Gun Shooting for those of you who may not be familiar are fairly simple.

I’ve always wanted to compete in 3 Gun! I have been to a few matches and I must say, they are pretty cool! I place 3 Gun right up there with Western Shoots and IDPA when it comes to the excitement factor.

The basic gist of competing in 3gun is for competitive shooters to compete through a set of courses in which they shoot three different guns. A rifle, a pistol and a shotgun, aiming for various short- and long-distance targets from various positions through different courses.

3 Gun, is an exciting and adrenaline filled thrill ride that is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for a brand new shooter in the realm of firearms. It takes an immense amount of training, time and money to compete in 3 Gun.

The NRA defines 3 Gun as follows:

The equipment will vary among shooters but 3-gunners typically start with a AR-15 style rifle (or any semi-automatic rifle in .223), 9mm pistol, and semi-automatic or pump 12 gauge shotgun.

Courses are designed with a variety of obstacles and targets where the competitor can shoot anything from steel plates to flying clays to paper silhouettes. Each shooter travels and shoots around barriers – like walls, barrels, or even an airplane, as seen at the NRA World Shooting Championship. Scores are based on the time it takes to travel the course and how accurately they shot each target.” (Read More)

A great place to learn more about 3 Gun competition is a group called 3-Gun NATION! They facilitate 3 Gun competitions all across the nation.

3-Gun Nation has a complete set of rules and guidelines, as well as safety protocols that you can view by CLICKING HERE!

The NRA goes on to further define the break down of 3-Gun.

“3-gun matches vary but mostly fall into three divisions: Factory, Practical, and Unlimited. 

Factory: is a great place to start for beginners. In this division, the firearms are configured very close to factory specifications. For pistols, optics are not allowed on the gun and the magazine capacity limit is 15. For shotguns, optics, again, are not allowed and tubes are limited to 8 rounds. However, rifles may have a non-magnified optic (red dot) in conjunction with iron sights. Internal modifications of all three guns are allowed.

Practical: is the most popular division in the sport. This division allows all readily available options of optics and gear. The configuration of the guns in Practical are similar to Factory with a couple exceptions. Rifles may have one magnified optic which can be used in conjunction with iron sights. For shotguns, the use of optics is still not allowed but there is no limitation on the size of the ammo tube (you can only begin the course with a max of 9 rounds but can add more after the starting buzzer). Pistols are the same as those used in the Factory division. Internal modifications of all three guns are allowed.

Unlimited: is the “anything goes” division. Any optics are allowed in any combination on all three guns. There are no magazine capacity limits, except for a 170 mm length limit on pistol magazines.” (Read More)

A good way to learn more and to experience 3 gun is to find a match near you that is open to the public. You can always watch YouTube as well, but there is something to be said for the smell of cordite in the air and the sound of lead being shot down range that just makes the whole experience surreal.

You can always ask your local gun store too. They should know of some competitions in the area or at least know someone that does know.