For those seeking a bigger challenge than shooting clay pigeons out of the sky, or even more demanding than an action-shooting pistol match, the world of 3-gun competition (known as “Multi-gun” in the USPSA/United States Practical Shooting Association) may be the perfect discipline and is one of the fastest growing shooting sports.
With stages that call for the use of a handgun, shotgun, and rifle, 3-gun shooting is truly a sport that pushes competitors to be proficient in all platforms. The variety of firearms and the radically different ways to approach a stage make 3-gun one of the most fun and competitive shooting matches. But, as the name implies, you’re going to need three firearms to compete, and here are the things to look for as you shop on GunBroker.com.
Generally, any standard-capacity handgun will do, but the P320 by SIG Sauer is a solid option thanks to its generous capacity (17+1 in Full-Size configuration), crisp trigger, and robust toughness. The base level fits most budgets, and the variety of aftermarket parts and holsters is pretty wide, making it easy to kit up.
The P320 also has several higher-tier models, allowing competitors to step up their game as their budgets and skills allow.
With a double-stack magazine bringing 20+ rounds to the table, and a bevy of aftermarket upgrades, the Staccato P is the gold standard of 3-gun pistols. Depending on the division you’re competing in, the Staccato offers iron sight and optics-ready models.The real advantage of the 2011 platform is the crisp, precise single-action trigger. This allows for quick split times between shots and is the favored trigger action of precision shooters. The manual thumb safety also brings a greater degree of safety as competitors transition between shooting positions along the course of fire.
Known for their reliable but affordable shotguns, Stoeger’s M3K model can be had in several variations, but the Freedom Series 3-Gun is the most budget-friendly, race-ready in the catalog.
With its factory-installed 10+1 magazine tube, high-visibility front sight, and oversized controls, the M3K 3-Gun Shotgun is good to go right out of the box.
Unless you opt into an Open Division, which allows for magazine-fed shotguns, the Benelli M2 is one of the top internal magazine shotguns in the game. The Benelli Custom Shop opens the loading gate, allowing for quicker reloads. They also install a Nordic 10+1 magazine tube, oversized controls, and a match-saving shell holder for those one-shot reloads.
A relatively basic rifle, with a decent trigger and good sights, is really all one needs to compete in 3-gun. And the DPMS DR-15 delivers that and more at a wallet-friendly price. Using standard AR magazines, the DR-15 is ready to roll out of the gate with little modification.
The DR-15 comes with a lightweight handguard already installed, allowing the addition of various grips and support devices. An adjustable Magpul stock means the DR-15 fits every competitor but also allows adjustment for the awkward and unusual shooting positions 3-gun competition sometimes demands.
Designed from the ground up for racing, the Armalite M-15 has all the top-of-the-line upgrades most 3-gun competitors prefer. From the Luth-AR adjustable buttstock to the single-stage trigger to the tunable muzzle brake, the M-15 is built to go fast.
Simply add your favorite sights or optics, and you’re ready to hit the range on match day.
While the guns are the stars of the show, there are also some necessary accessories before you hit the local match.
Most importantly, have fun. The world of 3-gun competition is insanely challenging, but it’s also one of the best ways to spend a weekend at the range.
Good luck and good shopping!
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