Instructor Notes: 3 Gun Fun

This weekend it was my turn in the rotation of members to host the Church Shooting Club out at my range/facility.
The rotation usually includes a different members ranch/field each month with some paper targets setup and maybe some metal. Generally paper and a metal spinner or two can be…. a little slow and uneventful sometimes, so to speak.

My hosting comprised a single station pistol, with 3 metal silhouettes require 2 hits per target.
followed by a transition to 4 different individual (standing, standing, kneeling, prone) short to medium range stations with 2 targets each, requiring 2 hits per target.
Lastly, the transition to 1 station with 3 targets requiring 1 hit each with a shotgun.

A few NOTES:

Get into shape-
People in general are terribly out of shape. We rotated a Garmin watch among the particpants with your heart rate displayed. The out of shape participants (many) had final heart rates in the 140’s to 160’s.
This compared to participants (young or old) with final HRs in the 110-130’s. These higher HRs (out of shapers) greatly affected their accuracy. The final rifle station in this demographic, with the longer ranged targets, statistically scored an average of 7-9 shots to obtain 4 hits, DOUBLE the round usage to hit the same targets as they were doing not under physical exertion earlier in the day. The “in-shapers” averaged a perfect score to a few 5’s. To qualify this, the out of shapers, just walking up to this station and firing at the targets with no physical load, scored exactly the same as the “in-shapers”.

Don’t compare-
Shooters didn’t exercise a balance of speed and precision. There are folks in the church club of all skill sets, with most experience levels consisting of shooting at stationary paper targets, to a stationary hog or deer. There were a few military folks with better “hammer” “failure drill” type speeds. This is where things got inconsistent with shooters. The unskilled multi-target, quick timed shot, shooters tried to fire at the same rapid speed that the experienced folks did. When they slowed their speed down to match their skill set they improved to perfect scores. Yes they lost a few seconds of time, but greatly made up for it by not getting a greater penalty for a miss. Remember what Dirty Harry said, “A man has got to know his limitations.”

The pistols folks brought, all in all were handled very well and accurately. There was no emergency reloading required (6 rounds was all that was required for hit count). Where some folks had a challenge was their presentation from the holster while approaching (10 feet start, to station stop and fire) their optimum stop and shoot spot. This could be resolved by getting training involving movement, or at minimum a range that allows presentation from holster and movement.

The rifles were a different story. This is what made or broke the shooters time. The best times were scored by the folks using non magnified optics like an Eotech red dot with a flip down 3x magnifier for the distant targets on an AR type frame. Target acquisition was by far the biggest factor in keeping score times down. The next best scores were folks who used .22lr (10/22’s) with a good scope turned all the way down to maybe 3x or 4x (these folks learned quickly that they needed to do a tac reload on the run as their mags only held 10 rounds).

The slowest scoring equipment with the most penalties were the bolts with only iron sights.

In conclusion the winner was a 12 year old boy! The win scenario was (without announcing the win scenario until the final) who could improve their time/score the most. This way no one competed against each other, only their prior scores/time. It was a HUGE hit (crazy fun) for all the shooters to apply 3 different firearms disciplines.

Find a 3 gun range near you and don’t be shy, get out there and run it. You won’t regret it.


Any type of competition at the range I frequent has been cancelled due to the ammo crises. Everybody was eyeing me when I went in to do some training. They gave me the look of, How Dare you! Did not slow me down though!
I will have to come out and give ya a visit sometime though!


The ammo usage was actually quite low.
Most folks did about 2 or 3 runs on the course so…
18 pistol rounds ish.
42 ish rifle rounds
3 shotgun rounds.

2/3rds of the folks used .22lr

Funny… “how dare you…” :slight_smile:


After I got into 3gun 15 or more years ago, USPSA just did not trip my trigger quite as much. I have maintained that 3gun is 3x the fun! My wife started with 3gun, and her first match was at night on top of it. We just have far too much fun.

Good for you @Fizbin for doing that and getting people out there.


Reading this inspired me today. I decided to time some DFC drills with a new IWB holster and a sub-compact 9mm (dry fire with laser stuff) right after I finished a vigorous 1 hour workout (30 minutes of cardio + 30 minutes of dumb bell sets for a total of 200 reps). I wanted to check the time to 1st round on target against a timer. Once your muscles are fatigued and your vitals are up in the 70% range with a free sweat and heavy breathing, your complex motor movements tend to slow down a bit. Some folks also get clumsy/shaky, but the latter can be conditioned to a minimum. Anyway, I was pretty pleased with the results. I was about .5 second slower than usual using a new holster. So I did about 30 reps while moving and called it a day. Thanks!

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Sounds like a great drill, Fizbin!

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