What's your 3Gun gear?


Zak Smith
June 2, 2003, 06:38 PM
I recently shot my first 3Gun match at the Aurora Gun Club near Denver, CO. My history of competition is about 10 IDPA matches over the last 3.5 years, the odd all-steel match, and I've recently started shooting IPSC. 3Gun was by far the most fun of all 3.

My equipment is lacking, however.

Handgun: since the round-counts are high, a "full capacity" pistol is a must. This knocks out my single-stack 1911 (.45) and leaves me with either a BHP, CZ 85 Combat (with Champion hammer/trigger/sear conversion), or Glock. I think the CZ85 is the choice out of those. It will be scored minor.

A double-stack 1911 in a major caliber would be preferred, but with mag prices where they are, this would be very expensive. Double-stack 1911's are a little large for my hand anyway.

Rifle: Current choice is a FAL (18" or 21") or a RRA AR-15 (16"). I used the AR last time and it was good enough. The 1.5-5X Leupold worked fine, but a ACOG would be better. Since it's in modified, a bipod should be added.

Shotgun: I don't have one - borrowed a Winchester 1300 "Defender" which did okay. A semi-auto would be better. Suggestions?


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June 2, 2003, 08:38 PM
Most guys out here have Benellis for shotguns and AR15s for rifles. Handguns are varied, when the cops shoot they carry their duty guns (I think) and lots of 1911s in .45 and .40 doublestack variety.

I shoot my Beretta, Benelli and Springfield.

Mr. Chitlin
June 2, 2003, 09:38 PM
I shoot a Remington 1100 with 9 shot extention and sidesaddle, 16" Bushie A3 HBAR, and a Glock 35.


June 3, 2003, 02:16 PM
Remington 870. 18 inch riot barrel. Open choke. Bead sight. 2 shot extension. Butt cuff. Use with 15 shot bandoleer that helps hold pants up. :)

Kimber polymer .45. 14 round magazines. Plain Kimber sights, planning on switching to Ashleys this year. G-Code holster. (modified from a Sig 226 holster because Scott doesn't make one that will fit my odd ball Kimber).

L1a1 FAL .308 or Vepr K 7.62x39. I used to use the FAL more because I shoot it better. However with practice 7.62x39 being available for less than $80 a case I've been shooting the Vepr more often than not. Since our local range has a maximum distance of only 200 yards, 7.62x39 isn't at that much of a disadvantage.

AK sights suck however, and I have ordered Krebs AR style dustcover sights from them. I do not have much experience with scopes, and as I said before our local range isn't long enough to justify the scope.

As for your shotgun, pumps are cheaper, but autos are easier to use. With practice you can be very quick with a pump, but it takes more work than it does to be just as fast with an auto. I use a pump, and it is my best weapon in local 3 gun, but I've been using it for a long time.

Bead sights are quick, but they are horrid for slug shooting. Open choke is great and all, but if you have some heavy duty knock downs, they can be a real weakness.

Whatever you get for your shotgun, practice loading it quick. That is what seperates the the shotgun shooters.

June 3, 2003, 02:52 PM
Correia, how doe the bandolier help keep your pants up? Is it a pair of suspenders with shell loops?

June 3, 2003, 03:19 PM
Skunk, kinda. Instead of being a bandolier that just goes over one arm and your head, (those tend to move) I wanted something that would put the shells always in the same position. So my wife made one with two hooks. I clip it to my belt in front and back, and run it over my shoulder. It works great. One side benefit is that it holds my pants up when I have 10 pounds of gear hanging off my belt. :)

June 3, 2003, 03:28 PM
One side benefit is that it holds my pants up when I have 10 pounds of gear hanging off my belt.

Ahh...I was going to call her the Tactical Tailor but some company already got the registered trademark on that.

I NEED to put 10 lbs of gear on so the wind doesn't knock me over.

June 3, 2003, 05:13 PM
Zak, if you want a good workout with long guns, you should come down to Pueblo for our rifle and shotgun matches. Six stages. Three 25-30 round shotgun stages, one short range rifle stage, one medium range (75-150 meters) rifle stage and a long range (300-425 meters) rifle stage.

Expect a lot of steel for the shotgun stages, Texas Stars and some flying clay birds.

For the rifle stages we use MGM flash targets and Cohen "Flashbulb" targets.

Starting in July we will be shooting third Sundays. No match this month with the Ironman match and Marshals match.

I am running....

AR-15's by JP and Roscoes Customs. Both in 223.

Remington 1100 and a Winchester SX2. Benelli's may run, but they kick me too much.

STI's in 40 and 38 Super. Super when power factor doesent count.

An AR-10 in 6.5XC is in the shop for matches when the power factor does count.

Tubb2000 in 6XC with a Nightforce 8-32 for boltgun work.

Zak Smith
June 3, 2003, 05:22 PM

Thanks for the tip! It's a long drive from Fort Collins, and the 3rd Sunday conflicts with IPSC@Weld, but I might make the drive down this summer.

Do you use the same rifle throughout all the stages (like 3gun), or switch to the bolt rifle for certain stages? I have a .243 which might do for long range, otherwise the AR would have to.


Zak Smith
June 3, 2003, 05:25 PM

I also wanted to ask about the SX2: How reliable has it been for you? I have friends who shoot 3Gun and rave about the extreme reliability of their Benelli's which they "never clean." On the other hand, I've seen 1100's repeatedly choke after as few as 30 rounds. Where does the SX2 stand?

What's 6.5XC?


June 3, 2003, 05:45 PM
Hoser, do you Pueblo guys have a webpage with match dates, fees, and info? Some of us Utah guys don't mind the occasional road trip. :)

June 3, 2003, 05:50 PM
I havent had many problems with my 1100's. Keep your eye on certain parts and clean them every 500 or so rounds. Benellis can and will jam/break. Just not as often. For me the trade-off of recoil vs keeping it cleaner wasnt worth it.

The SX2 kicks more than an 1100 and less than a Benelli. I have had two double feeds and I fixed the latch with a heavier spring. Nice gun, but not what it was supposed to be.

I shoot the same gun through the whole match. We are going to start having boltgun side matches. A 243 with 95 Noslers or 107 Sierras would do just fine.

The 6.5XC is a long 6.5BR, or a .112 short 260 Ackley. Same vel as a 260 with a lot less powder.

Andrew Wyatt
June 3, 2003, 10:04 PM
I shoot a boringly stock mini-14 for rifle, bessie, my overpublicized desert camo mossberg 500 for shotgun (which is my HD shotgun), and my single stack GM(which is the pistol i use for everything).

for gear, i use:

First line:
an Eagle flap thigh holster with a kydex insert, on a blackhawk cop belt with High speed gear HS/LD suspenders on it. in additon to the holster, there's an AL Mar companion 4 inch fixed blade (engraved rule makers and heart breakers, SOF 1993), two,two magazine carriers and a MOLLE medic pouch on the belt. this is the pistol gear i use for everything.

the medic pouch serves as a dump pouch and place to put things like asthma inhailors, timers, and whatnot.

second line, rifle:

tactical tailor MAV with three, three magazine pockets, one saw pouch directly up front, two grenade pouches, and a dummycorded cold steel voayger in the map pocket. the saw pouch is used as a rifle dump pouch, place to stash stuff, and place to store extra fully loaded magazines.

i usually carry two rifle magazines in each pocket, because three magazines stick out too much.

the grenade pockets have a set of monoculars in one, and a compass in the other. I also use this rifle gear for every type of rifle shoot ing i do.

second line, shotgun:

blackhawk shotgun bandolier, loaded with 30 instead of 50 rounds. (incidently, this is the same bandolier i carry ammo for my HD shotgun in)

the buckshot is loaded every other slot, and there are five rounds of slug near one end of the bandolier, loaded every slot.

people badmouth the bandolier, but they don't understand the proper way to use it.

when you have a section of bandolier that is devoid of rounds, you pull the front of the bandolier down, which exposes a loaded section.

third line:

camelback HAWG, filled with icewater. the big pouch has a blow out kit in it with first aid stuff in case i slip or get shot or something.

as for suggestions for what to use in the match, i'd look at what you use for carry I'd not worry overmuch about being competetive, as getting a trophy won't save your life as much as paying attention to what you did right, and what you did wrong.

I strongly suggest using your carry pistol for any "serious" shooting you do. you need to shoot that as much as possible anyway, and competetions like this are a Good adjunct to the other aspects of training.

With the shotgun, i suggest you use the same shotgun for HD as 3-gun, because of the training aspect. FIT IS IMPORTANT. check the shotgun section for details on fit and whatnot.

for rifle, i'd pick something you know well enough to know exactly where it hits out to 400 or so yards. i know most 3 gum matches are strctly short range affairs, but the higher level ones can go out to 350 yards on occasion.

It's hard to beat an ar-15 with an ACOG on it. again, fit is important, especially with short eye relief scopes like the ACOG.

if it had it to do over again, i'd acquire a 16 inch bushy, and put one of them RRA entry stocks on it with a length spacer for a 12 inch LOP.

June 6, 2003, 11:20 AM
Pistol: Glock 35. Currently shooting with 10 rounders, but I have enough reliable 15 rounders I may start shooting Limited. Holster is a Blade-tech vertical scabbard. Mag holders are safariland 771s. Belt is safariland innner/outer belt.
I also would like to get an SVI 2011 long, heavy dust cover in .40, but Momma says no. :(

Shotgun: Benelli M1S90. Side saddle and slide-lock 2-pack from 3 gun gear.com. Belt holders from Safariland and California Comp Works.

Rifle: Either a 16" iron sight AR, or a 20" AR with ACOG TA01. Free float tube on the 16", haven't had time to put one on the 20". Magazine holder from Ky-tac.

This gear has served me very well over the last 2 years. I would suggest that no matter what gear you get you practice, practice, practice and make sure all of your guns and gear work(s). Nothing is more aggravating than having a gun choke or fumbling a reload during a match.

Good luck, and HTH. :)

June 7, 2003, 06:13 PM
I am just getting ready for the MGM IronMan 3-gun champs. Here is the equipment list. For more info on the match, go to:MGM Targets (http://www.mgmtargets.com)

So here is the set up so far.

9 major SVI with 5 28 round mags - have 9 total if I need them. Just don't want to carry all that stuff. 125 JHP's at 1350.
12 guage Grams Engineering Benelli with JP point, Bevin Speed Loader Well etc. #6 with 7/8th oz. and 3.5, #8 with 1 1/8 and 3 1/4, Wolf slugs and Rem RR Slugs (for 30 yards and under), PMC 00 buck. 12 tech loaders, and a porcupine ammo holder. (more descriptive than anything, means shotgun shells sticking out everywhere its comfortable)

.223 16.5" with 55 grain federal with 2 45 rounders and 5 30 rounders, Trijicon Accupoint TR21 1-4, JPoint 8moa mounted on handguard, bi-pod, and all the other cool stuff.
.223 24" with 69 grain Matt load varmint handguard, bi-pod, 1.25 pound trigger for the long range.
.308 20" armalite with 175 black hills, accuracy speaks free float tube, springfield 6X scope (kinda not that great of a scope btw), bi-pod etc. as a back up to the above rifle depending on wind and targets at match.

Got a lot of crap going, as long as all of it goes bang and repeats the process I should be fine.

They upped the match to 10 stages and 1021 rounds. Takes 6 guns now, but, two of them are provided including a sub gun and a mech-tech carbine.

:-) Take care,

June 7, 2003, 07:22 PM

Why don't you and any other interested 3 gunners come shoot the this 3-gun match:


It's a load of fun, and the proceeds go to MDA.

Come out and see if you are a muscleman!:) :)

June 8, 2003, 05:31 AM
I wouldn't mind sponsoring the match, but, I doubt it is one that I would shoot. Too much running and not enough gunning for me. Besides it is a team event and I am not a team player.

As they say, there is no I in team, but, there is an M and an E and thats me. ;)

June 8, 2003, 06:18 AM
glock 20
mini 14
franchi 12gge semi auto

June 9, 2003, 02:04 PM
Matt, welcome to THR.

For those of you who don't know, Matt Burkett is one of the best competitive shooters there is.

June 9, 2003, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the welcome and the compliment, Correia!

BTW there are a bunch of free shooting tips on my website. If I can ever help anyone out, please post it, call me or email me.

Take care,

Navy joe
June 9, 2003, 03:02 PM
Welcome aboard Matt, always great to read your stuff.

Andrew Wyatt
June 9, 2003, 08:36 PM
hey, matt have you ever shot in the SWAT magazine 3-gun match?

June 9, 2003, 11:19 PM
No, I haven't shot the Swat Magazine match. I am looking at going to it this year. May even film it. Could be interesting.

June 10, 2003, 12:19 PM
It is a fun match. Lots of good shooters there. I don't think I can afford to go this year unfortunatly.

June 14, 2003, 04:05 AM
USP 45
FAL 20" tgt crown
Moss 590

June 16, 2003, 04:03 PM
Just got done with the MGM IronMan Champs. I don't even know how to explain this match otherthan if you think you can do it, GO! 10 stages and 1021 rounds required. Was just awesome. Shooting distances from 3-653 yards. Here is a post from George from Brian Enos's Website (http://www.brianenos.com).
BTW I do not recommend the low power Burris anymore. Toasted it the night before the match and had to switch to a Trijicon 3.5 ta11.

Unofficial report on 2003 MGM Iron Man 3 Gun Match.I can only remember 4 of the top 5, so here goes.Matt Burkett high overall and 1st open. David Neth 2nd overall and 1st scoped tactical. Kyle Lamb 3rd overall (I think this is right, if not then fifth overall) and 1st limited (he kicked some serious butt with iron sights). Dustin Lohoff 4th overall and 2nd open. The only other result of significance I remember is that I finished 17th overall just like last year, what's up with that?I left over 1200 rounds in the berms. All my guns ran without a hitch for ten stages of heat and dust and more heat (Kudos to Slide Glide, Kroil and JP #1 lubricants, they all rock). I however, ran with a number of hitches in the biological input module and balanced out a few nice stage runs with a few not so nice stage runs.Great fun, highly recommended if you are into lotsa trigger time on lotsa different types of targets.Some highlights: 20' H tower that you climb to take rifle shots out to 500 yards. Being driven around in a circle while shooting from a cage in the back of a pickup truck. A three gun assault course up a dusty gully featuring multiple hot weapon transitions (back and forth with a hot slung rifle and hot holstered handgun). A full auto sequence using a supplied 9mm carbine on a plate rack, and an IPSC paper target. Enough clay pigeon flipper poppers to choke a horse, and our new nemesis, the "Spinner" target.

Andrew Wyatt
June 16, 2003, 04:40 PM
was/were the 653 yard target(s) Flash targets?

June 16, 2003, 05:03 PM
No, that one was a static plate that had a flash bulb on it. The 554 yard was a hanging 10" flash target. Shot 5 times at each. With the wind out there, the best was 8 hits total I think. I got 7 with a borrowed rifle I had never shot before. :)

Take care,

June 29, 2003, 10:27 PM
Wow - I'm surprised to see so many FAL's listed in the equipments. At any match I've ever been at I've been the lone FAL amongst AR's - except for the time I brought a fellow FALer with me, of course!

Mine's pretty stripped down:

18" FAL lightweight carbine
18" Remington 870
Glock 30

.308, 12ga, and .45 - what more do you need? :D

June 30, 2003, 03:06 AM
I always wanted to try a 3-gun match.

I've done a a lot of IDPA, and we often have side matches for rifle or shotgun, but not at anything beyond 'defensive' range.

Also, I came really close to getting a tactical black 11-87 with the extended mag and paddle for UNDER $275 NIB at a gun show and I passed it up.. all it would have been used for is competition, but if I didn't already own a shotgun.. this is the one I'd recommend.

Currently I use an FEG Hi-Power 9mm, a Remington 870 12ga and a .223 Mak-90.

Tom C.
July 3, 2003, 10:53 AM
Most of the 3 gun matches I am shooting are CAS matches.
(2) Ruger SS Blackhawks 5.5", .45 Colt
(1) Marlin 1894, .45 Colt
(1) Baikail coachgun, 12 ga.

Caspian 1911 single stack .45 ACP
Ruger heavy barrel Mini-14
Remington Model 11 12 ga., 25" barrel, removable choke tubes, extended mag, MMC sights.

I'm burning up a lot more .45 Colt these days than .45 ACP.

Zak Smith
August 11, 2003, 12:16 AM
Since I started this thread, I'll post my progress.

In the last local 3Gun match, I used my single-stack 1911 (.45). 3+1 ten-round mags have been enough for all stages so far. I "bit the bullet" and bought the M1Super90, and mod'd the bolt to hold the extra round. It rocks. I suck at 50+ yard slug shots, however. I tried the AR-15 with an ARMS flip-up rear sight and Nat'l Match front sight post. The large aperture is a must on close-range hosers. It all worked out okay except for me selecting the wrong aperture for the hoser rifle targets.

I'm going to the RM3GM in Raton in 10 days. The equipment summary is:

1. RRA 16" (no comp), borrowed TA01 ACOG. I switched the aluminum free float tube for an Armalite fiberglass model so it doesn't get so hot it burns my hand. Drop-thigh rig for two extra 30-round mags. V-Tac sling. Shooting BH 68gr at 2650fps, should only add about 6" of drop at 400 yards versus the TA01's stadia. These are more accurate than the 55gr South African surplus I've got. BH 55gr does not make minor. The S.A. M193 and the BH68gr both make minor.

2. M1S90, no changes except sling added. Bringing #7.5 shot, 4Buck, and slugs. Gear is a 3Gungear bandoleer, some belt and forearm carriers.

3. Dan Wesson "Patriot" 1911, .45ACP single-stack. Milt NP-1 holster. 200gr 165PF handloads (my IPSC load). A bunch of 8 and 10 round Wilson mags. 3Gungear mag holders (enough to carry 5 mags).


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