How Much Does It Cost To Shoot 3 Gun?

How Much Does It Cost To Shoot 3 Gun?

… so the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) published an article on “How to get started in 3 Gun,” and halfway through it was this little tidbit:

Once the bug bites — and it will — with today’s prices, you can buy all three guns for less than $1,000.

Wait, wait? Buy all three guns for shooting a 3 Gun match for less than $1000? Now, I will agree that it’s possible (very possible) to buy EACH of the guns for 3 Gun for less than $1000, and that’ll be the topic of a later post.

But buy a rifle, pistol and shotgun for 3 Gun for $1000 total that will allow you to complete a typical 3 Gun course of fire? Is that even possible?

Well yes… sorta.

Budget 3 Gun Setup 

Budget AR-15$450DMPS Panther
Rifle Optic$65Bushnell TRS-25
Shotgun$190Mossberg Maverick
Pistol$280Remington RP-9
Total Cost$985

That’s enough to allow to shoot a course of fire in a typical club-level 3 Gun match. With that red dot on your AR-15 and no other optics, you’ll be competing in Tac Limited, and because you’re using a pump-action shotgun with less capacity than most 3 Gun shotguns, you’re probably not going to win. There’s also the little matter of spare magazines for your rifle and pistol and some way to carry your shotgun ammo so you can reload your scattergun in fourteen minutes or less. That gear, at a very minimum, will run you at least another $200 or more. MUCH more.

Budget 3 Gun Accessories

Pistol Magazine$31Brownells
Holster$60Mission First
Mag Pouch$17Uncle Mike's
Extra Rifle Mag$15Magpul Gen 3
Shotshell Holders (2)$90TacCom
Mounting Hardware (2)$20Tek-Lok Ripoffs
Accessories Total$233

And then there’s ammo costs, which at around 100 rounds each of .223 and 9mm and 50 shotgun rounds per match, can add up REALLY quickly.

CAN you shoot 3 Gun with that rig? Yes. In fact, I shot my very first 3 Gun match with a pump-action Mossberg 500, and I had a lot of fun, but I quickly upgraded all my gear, if for no other reason than my squad mates quickly grew tired of watching me struggle through each stage. What SHOULD you consider to be an entry-level 3 Gun rig? More on that later.

The Vacuum Speaks For Itself

The Vacuum Speaks For Itself

Greg’s not wrong… there are a lot of flaws in this article, one of the very first things that I wrote for Shooting Illustrated.

But.

It’s also the #1 article in the history of Shooting Illustrated, and by a ridiculous amount (as in 10x the traffic of anything else they’ve posted, ever), because at the time, it was one of the first articles out there to say that maybe, just maybe, a .38 with pink grips isn’t the best gun for a women. That article flew around social media, and I honestly can’t tell you how many women commented with “Thank you! I’ve been waiting for years for someone to write an article like this!”

Now, was my methodology off and were those gun choices very flawed? Yeah, probably. I was new to the gun writing game, and those guns were the guns I had access to at the time. If I were to do it again, I’d add in some caveats about the carry gun, and toss in a G19 or the like.

However, five years after it was published, there STILL isn’t another article out there which covers women choosing their own guns, but yet I can find hundreds of articles on the best way to transition from your AR to a pistol.

Seems to me we have our priorities mixed up a bit…

Advance And Be Recognized

Advance And Be Recognized

Alright, so we know what a basic level of combat pistol marksmanship looks like, so what makes an advanced shooter?

  1. Someone who competes on a regular basis
  2. Someone who qualifies as Expert on the Marine Corps Combat Pistol test
  3. Someone who can shoot the FBI Pistol Qual at the Instructor Level
  4. Someone who can pass the Federal Air Marshal Test
  5. Someone who can hit a headshot on a USPSA target 25 yards away, from concealment, in three seconds or less
  6. Someone with at least 100 hours of classes from a variety of instructors

Now, to be fair, I can and have shot all of those drills at those levels, but to be honest, I don’t really consider myself to be an advanced pistol shooter. While it’s true that I’m rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns, I still have two hills to climb.

  1. I want to be USPSA B Class in Production
  2. And for some reason, the NRA Instructor Qual is kicking my @$$ right now, and I am less than happy with that. 20 shots into a 5″ circle at 15 yards isn’t THAT hard, but for some reason, I just can’t do it right now.

Am I an advanced shooter? Yeah, kinda, I guess. Am I satisfied with my shooting ability right now? Heck no.

 

 

By Whose Standards?

By Whose Standards?

This photo of a target was posted in firearms-related Facebook group I belong to, and the person who posted it claimed he “knew how to shoot.”

Uh-huh.

Look, we can say we “know how to shoot,” but at some point, we are going to have to back up those words with our actions. Ideally, we should demonstrate our ability to shoot on a range, in a safe, controlled environment before the need arises to defend our lives with our defensive firearm of choice. In other words, we fail on the range so we don’t fail when our lives are on the line.

So when it comes to pistols, how do I personally define someone who “knows how to shoot”?

  1. I never have to remind them about safety
  2. Their carry gear is up to the task: No nylon waist holsters, small of the back carry or similar stupidity
  3. Their carry gun is of decent quality and is loaded with good, name-brand defensive ammunition, with one in the chamber and appropriate safeties engaged.
  4. They have taken a firearms class after their concealed carry course from an instructor who has more than just NRA credentials
  5. They can shoot a 5×5 drill
  6. They can shoot an El Presidente in 16 seconds or less

That’s the baseline for someone who I would consider to someone who knows how to shoot. That first item, knowing and practicing the rules of gun safety is THE most important one. Statistically, the person you are most likely to shoot is your own sorry self, and rock-solid safety habits can take care of a lot of that worry. You can achieve some of items two and three with some money, research and practice at home, but items four through six are only achievable if you step outside your comfort zone, realize that no, you are not a good shot, and make a conscious effort to change.

Everybody wants to lose weight. Not everybody stops eating candy. Everybody wants to be a good shot, but not everyone wants to accept the fact that they really aren’t.

No Brakes.

No Brakes.

One more post on reacting to the calls to ratchet up the violence against conservatives in general and Republicans in specific. Listen for a minute to Jordan Peterson talk about cultural tripwires.

On the right, I think we’ve identified markers for people who’ve gone too far in their ideology, and it looks to me that on the right, the marker we’ve identified is racial superiority… Here’s the issue: We know that things can go too far on the right, and we know that things can go too far on the left. We know what the markers are for going too far on the right, but we don’t know where the markers are for going too far on the left.

We can have a debate on the validity of Dr. Peterson’s work as a whole a later date, but he is spot-on here.

Now, pick up what he just talked about, that the progressive left has no concept of knowing when things have gone too far, and put it down on top of the current progressive urge for violence. I know when I’ve gone too far, when I’ve let my emotions have the wheel, and I do my absolute level best to eliminate those moments from my life, because I know the consequences can be quite literally mortal.

We in the applied violence community understand the need for restraint when it comes to violence and to use it only in “The Gravest Extreme.” This is because we realize that there is huge potential for negative outcomes if violence is used to settle a dispute, and we want to avoid that potential at pretty much all costs.

That concept does not exist right now in the AntiFa movement. To them, the only possible negative outcome is that they will fail, and their idea of what fascism is like will take root in the U.S. Everything else, every courtesy of polite society and restraint against violence must be cast aside in order to prevent that outcome from happening.

The idea that you can be too violent is totally alien to progressives, because if you are literally fighting Hitler and his fascists, why would you want to fight such a horror with anything less than ever fiber of your being? This is fascism we’re fighting, they say, of course it’s a fight to the finish, and we’ll use every means at our disposal to win.

Plan accordingly.

Musical Interlude

Musical Interlude

Remember when musicians weren’t afraid to fly the flag of their country and have fun while they played?

Can we get back to that, please, and soon?

Colt 2000 .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge – Rounds 1796 – 2005

Colt 2000 .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge – Rounds 1796 – 2005

Okay, first the bad news: The Colt Competition that I’m torture-testing really crapped the bed on this outing, with four Failures To Feed with Federal 230 grain JHPs in the first 100 rounds.

But a thought hit me: I’ve not cleaned the magazines on this gun in over a  thousand rounds, and we all know that the magazines are a big choke point with the 1911 platform, and a dirty magazine might just have something to do with a gun failing to feed. To test out this theory, I shot the gun for the next 50 rounds using the mags that shipped with the gun, mags that I’ve used only for Barney-ing up the gun before a stage, and it went the next 125 rounds without a hitch.

Colt Competition 1911

Now that the test is over, it’s time to refurbish this gun and tune it to my specifications, so I’ll be sending it up to KGB Customs to have some work done on it. First up will be new springs pretty much everywhere and I’ll also be checkering on the front strap to give me a better grip. I have a literal boxful of 1911 parts from STI and other manufacturers like hammers and triggers and other parts which I’ve won off of shooting match tables that I’ll send up with the gun as well, just in case they’re needed. Sights-wise, I’m actually quite happy with the Novaks on the gun, so those won’t change, and the grips are also quite good, but I’ll probably add a magwell for faster reloads.

Overall, I’m very happy with the 1911 as a platform and this gun in particular. To be honest, if it weren’t for the word “Competition” in its name and the legal hassles that would come along with that name inside of a courtroom, I’d be 100% confident in using it as a daily carry gun. There are those who say that day of the 1911 has passed. I’m not one of them: I think the 1911 has more than a few years left in it, and I’m looking forward to shooting this gun for years to come.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
200 Rounds American Eagle 230 Grain FMJ
20 Rounds Hornady 200 Grain XTP JHP

Results:

2005 Rounds Fired
One Double Feed, Round #1347 (Remington UMC)
One Failure To Feed, Round #1568 (MagTech Defender)
One Failure To Feed, Round #1574 (MagTech Defender)
Three Failures To Feed, Rounds #1820, #1863, #1894 (American Eagle FMJ)

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

It’s Not Me, It’s You.

I had a pastor who once said that if you’re being a jerk while talking about God, you’re not being persecuted or treated like a martyr for your faith, you’re being treated that way because you’re acting like a jerk. It’s not your message that is setting things off, it’s how you’re saying it.

So when do we say when, and stand our (moral) ground in this culture war with the NeoJacobins?

  1. When You Are 100% Certain You Didn’t Start Things
    You and your mates carrying on at normal conversational levels for the environment you’re in is one thing. Talking about guns while dropping F-Bombs in the presence of children and drowning out the conversations around you is something else. I don’t care if you’re talking about a subject I really like; if you’re doing it while being a jerk,  you deserve everything you’re about to get.
  2. When It’s About Something Bigger Than You
    If the argument starts with SJW’s getting in your face because what you are saying, it’s about something more than you. If it starts because of how you’re saying it, it’s about you. In that case, it’s yes on one, and no on two.
  3. When You Have Other Options 
    Do you how to block a punch? Know how to wrassle someone to the ground without much fuss and bother? Do you carry pepper spray, a powerful flashlight or something other less-lethal device? No? Change your ways, and quickly. Going to guns when words are the weapon of choice will result in nothing but bad consequences for you. Take Managing Unknown Contacts or a similar training class. Learn how to defuse a situation with words, not with weapons, and yes, if things look to get dicey and lethal force is looming on the horizon, beat feet to someplace safer.

Most of all, be wise as to when and where you make your stand. Being a martyr might be inspirational to others, but it pretty much closes off all your options for the here and now.

Be careful out there.

Where Is Your Stopping Point?

Where Is Your Stopping Point?

”I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny…”

– Abraham Lincoln, Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois
January 27, 1838

Following up on a post I made over at Ricochet.com, what happens when the culture war breaks out right in front of you? What do you turn down a street and find out that Antifa has decided to declare martial law?

Another example: My family makes it a habit to join hands and give thanks before every meal, whether we’re at home or not. We’ve had people approach us and thank us for this open display of faith, but what happens when some Social Justice Warrior sees us, takes offense at such a thing and gets up in our face? Do we leave? Why? We were doing nothing wrong, and now we have to deal with an angry, potentially violent person who is a potential threat to us.

Or what happens when you and your mates are having a cold one, talking about guns, and someone overhears your conversation and decides to loudly lecture you on how the NRA is a terrorist organization. Do you leave? Do you ask the manager to call the cops? Do you argue back?

We’re in a Cold Civil War right now, and the battlefield is our nation’s cultural norms. Where does escalation end and fighting for the future of America begin? We can, (and should) retreat if the fight is personal, but what happens when the fight starts because of what we believe in? The stakes are enormous in this fight, because if retreating in the face of an enemy attack becomes habit to us, we will lose the fight and cede the cultural battlefield over to the mob.

Where do you stand? What cultural hills are you willing to die on?

More on this tomorrow.

Site Launch

Site Launch

If you’re a firearms trainer or a student, check out ShootingClasses.com.

One of the big frustrations for me here in SW Florida has been finding out about great training opportunities AFTER they happened, and ShootingClasses.com fills that gap.

Also, it serves the purpose that TrainMeAZ was designed to serve, namely, a single resource for people who want to learn how to stop embarrassing themselves on the range.

Go check them out.