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, what? 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.