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NOV 2012

in this issue
JERRY MICULEK
In 2011, Jerry Miculek came up short in a season-long, threeway battle for the division title between himself, Mike Voigt and eventual champion Clint Upchurch. This season, however, was a very different story.

CODY LEEPER

NOV.12

page 8

As good as the field of competitors has proven to be, in two years, no junior has been as good as Cody Leeper. After a breakout season last year, Leeper went on to defeat Jake Denno and JD Wilcox to win the inaugural 3GN Junior Championship Shoot-Off.

page 62

JESSE TISCHAUSER
Stag Arms’ Jesse Tischauser declared way back at the beginning of the 2012 campaign that he was going to win the 3GN Heavy Metal Optics Division Championship. Then after a solid season, with one important head-to-head match-up, along with a little help, Tischauser did just that.

JAMES CASANOVA
By any definition, 2011 was a breakout season for James Casanova. One of many competitors jumping into Tactical Iron, which had a rejuvenated popularity following the adoption of 1X optics as allowed equipment at major matches, Casanova immediately challenged veteran shooters Kurt Miller and Kelly Neal.

page 48

page 18 SEMI-PRO DIVISION KUAN WATSON
In his first year of widely participating in national Outlaw 3-Gun circuit, DSG Arms’ Kuan Watson was simply dominating in 3GN’s Heavy Metal Division, going a perfect four-for-four in Division matches to run away with the 2012 3GN Heavy Metal Championship. Two competitors steamrolled their way through the 2012 campaign, taking the final weekend for the final two spots in the 3GN Semi-Pro Shoot-Off to be claimed.

page 100

AMATUER DIVISION
In a race that came down to the season’s final events, Minnesota’s Chris Cazin ran down the field and passed junior Jake Denno to take the 2012 3-Gun Nation Amatuer Division, winning $5,000 from Hornady.

page 36

page 106

CLUB DIVISION
In May 2012, the 3GN Club Series debuted as a pilot program at select clubs across the country. In total, 396 shooters from seven local clubs competed and logged scores in the 3GN Club Series Pilot Program.

LADY DIVISION
Four ladies will step under the lights and face off for the title of 3-Gun Nation Ladies Champion, with the winner taking home $5,000 from Hornady, during the 3GN Championship in Las Vegas.

page 72

page 63

Few competitors have been on an upward rise as steep as Greg Jordan. Since converting to 3-Gun, the Grand Master-Level pistol shooter has been on a tear.

page 80
In 2011, the Tactical Iron divisions at most Outlaw 3-Gun matches allowed the use of 1X optics, which sparked renewed interest in what had become a waning class.

The saying goes that there are two kinds of people: those who have been disqualified in a match and those who will be.

page 102

page 94

GETTING SPONSORED - certain traits and skill sets can put sponsor logos on your shirt, and it’s not all about performance.

page 40

page 12
In any shooting competition, a sudden death finale makes all of the hype and build up worth the wait.

more in this issue

NOV.12
Hidden within the picturesque rolling Kentucky hills, just within eyeshot of Interstate 65, lies a shooter’s paradise.

There is enough to worry about in any 3-Gun match, so why complicate things with multiple ammo products? My philosophy is “find one load and use it for everything.”

page 96

page 86

In 2011, AR15.com held the largest 3-Gun competition ever with the AR15.com Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, KY.

page 52

The Stag Arms 3G is designed to be accurate, fast and dependable. Just add optics and ammo - and it’s competition ready. What else could you possibly want in a rifle?

page 22

From high-end 2011 to utilitarian polymerframed striker-fired guns, there are several pistols suitable for today’s 3-Gun game.

page 30

Proper fit will help you get the most performance from your shotgun.

page 54

For many, the hardest step to getting involved in a new shooting discipline is the first step, so I’m here to give you a hand and show you just how easy and affordable it can be.

page 74

3-Gun competitions are often little more than controlled mayhem. Here’s how to control the factors you can, prior to shooting a match.

page 65

As the sun first begins to light the tree line, eating away the pre-dawn darkness over the range, an Army of boots are already marching through the area - carrying supplies, repairing targets, setting the stage.

page 88

CONTRIBUTIONS
This Issue’s Featured Authors
CHRIS ANDERSEN Chris Andersen, a lifelong shooter and sportsman, has been competing professionally since 2010. Andersen, a 3GN Pro Series competitor with several top major match finishes in multiple divisions, is also a USPSA Pistol Grand Master. JANSEN JONES Jansen Jones is a founding member of The Noveske Shooting Team and is a current competitor on the 3GN Pro Series Tour. Shooting professionally since 2009, Jones practices law for an AV rated firm in Atlanta. PATRICK KELLEY As a competitor, instructor, writer and photographer, Patrick E. Kelley’s passion for the shooting sports runs deep. Having won his first match in the 1980’s he continues to win on the field and in promoting 3-Gun. SCOTT McGREGOR Scott McGregor works as an independent advertising sales representative and sponsored shooter for FMG Publications. Scott shoots USPSA, IDPA, and is ranked 38th in the 3GN Pro Series. BRUCE PIATT Bruce Piatt is a career Police Officer with the heart and soul of a full time shooter. He is a seasoned World Champion competitor with over 30 years of competitive shooting experience in multiiple disciplines. BRYCE M. TOWSLEY Bryce Towsley is an award-winning writer and photographer whose work covers a wide diversity of subjects, including hunting and firearms. Towsley is on of the most accomplished gun writers of his era and actively competes in 3-gun competitions nationwide.

Publisher
National 3-Gun Association 424 Ridgehill Drive Lexington, South Carolina 29073 United States of America

Executive Editor: Chad Adams Executive Producer: Pete Brown NRA Board Member: Joseph P. Debergalis, Jr.

Production

2280 Satellite Boulevard, B-1 Duluth, Georgia 30097 United States of America (678) 644 - 2175 www.aegisatlanta.com

Creative Director: James P. Mason

CONTACT 3-GUN NATION MAGAZINE
Editorial: chad@3gunnation.com Advertising: pete@3gunnation.com Production: jpmason@aegisatlanta.com

from the editor
3-gun nation magazine
In 2010, 3-Gun Nation began as the first TV show to exclusively cover the sport of 3-gun. 3GN hit the airwaves, with the largest cash payouts the sport had ever seen, and the competition was electric. Today, 3-Gun Nation is something more, including a Pro Tour, national point races, and club-level competition. It’s a website to follow the Pros, a Facebook page to follow the sport. Or simply a logo on your shirt that says a little bit about who you are. It’s a lifestyle brand. It’s truly a 3-Gun Nation. As such, 2013 marks the activation of the National 3-Gun Association, our parent company, and with it the 3-Gun Nation Club Series. The first organizational body solely devoted to the proliferation of 3-gun, the Club Series will mark the debut of both a classifier system and a national point series for local-level 3-gun. Become a member of the N3GA, join the 3-Gun Nation, and get out at compete at any and every level! Along the way we’re committed to introducing more great benefits to our members, starting with this magazine, yet another first for the sport. Our maiden issue is chock full of stories on gear and gadgets, tips and technique, along with the top players in the game. Veteran competitors such as Patrick Kelley, Bruce Piatt, Jansen Jones, Chris Andersen have all penned stories, along with veteran outdoor writer Bryce Towsley. Written by shooters, for shooters, is our mantra. My partner, Pete Brown, and I started this madness three years ago, and it’s grown beyond our wildest expectations. Today 3GN oversees 11 national competition point races, a TV show set to air on four different networks in 2013, a website steadily garnering a following numbering in the tens of thousands, two social media pages and more. The 3-Gun Nation Championship promises to again be one of the top draws during SHOT Show. And now this digital magazine is the first in what we hope will be a growing slate of benefits for our members. All of us at 3GN truly hope you enjoy this first issue of The Mag. So put on your eyes and ears, ‘cause stuff’s about to fly, and we can promise it’s gonna get loud Shooter Ready … -Semper,

welcome to the inaugural issue of

we tested this on animals. they didn’t like it at all.

Chad
Chad Adams

TM

Miculek Wins 3GN Open Division
Written by Chad Adams

LEGENDARY 3-GUNNER HEATS UP JUST IN TIME FOR LAS VEGAS RUMBLE
But as good as he finished, the season started relatively slow by Jerry Miculek standards. Miculek opened the season with a pair of third place finishes at Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun and Midwest 3-Gun Championship. However, by June Miculek was rolling, picking up his first 3GN Division win of the year at Northwest MultiGun, where he cruised to victory by more than 10 percentage points. Another win followed at JP Rocky Mountain 3-Gun in August, then Miculek was strong with another big win at Ozark 3-Gun Championship in

With four major wins at 3GN partner matches this season, Jerry Miculek cruised to win his first 3GN Open Division Championship and $5,000 from Hornady. And that might just spell trouble for the field at the 2013 3GN Championship in Las Vegas. In 2011, Miculek came up short in a season-long, three-way battle for the division title between himself, Mike Voigt and eventual champion Clint Upchurch. This season, however, was a very different story. Upchurch and Voigt both cut back on major matches outside of the 3GN Pro Series, and after a lukewarm start to 2012, Miculek eventually dominated the rest of the field. In a race that went to a tie-break on the season’s final weekend last year, Miculek’s 2012 campaign was more decisive. Miculek’s 300 division points bested Tony Holmes (289.89), James Darst (266.27), Craig Outzen (248.25) and wife, Kay Miculek (229.08). Miculek also finished 10th in the 3GN Pro Series, a Tactical Optics-only field, proving the legendary Open shooter can still run with the very best in the game, and in a less familiar division. A top 10 Pro Series finish, combined with an Open division title, prove Miculek is firing on all cylinders this season. “I’m shooting better than I ever have,” Miculek said. “I’m starting to get the feel for the tempo it takes to run a good match. It’s a pretty good feeling.”

September. Then after dropping a match to Daniel Horner in Texas, Miculek rebounded with an impressive performance at Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun to close the season with a dominating win. “(Blue Ridge) was probably one of my best 3-gun performances I’ve ever performed in my life,” Miculek said. “I shot consistently good on every stage.

i’m shooting better than i ever have.

I was able to dial in and not have a hiccup on any stage. And all the guns ran 100 percent, which is a beautiful thing. I haven’t had any gun trouble in some time, so it’s kind of nice to be able to just sit back and ride.” While it would be easy for one to imagine Miculek doing most of his damage in bay-style matches, where he can just get on the gas for an entire match—and let’s be clear, few, if anyone in practical shooting, have a faster trigger finger than Miculek—wins at Rocky Mountain and Blue Ridge prove the veteran can still take on the tough field courses. Blue Ridge in particular, where Miculek was so strong, was extremely demanding this year with vigorous movement and a very high round count. “That was what the challenge there was really,” Miculek said. “There were so many targets on every stage. On that natural terrain, you really have to pay attention to the targets on every walk through.” Miculek credited part of his renewed focus at Blue Ridge to the challenging IPSC Shotgun Championship he and other Americans had competed in recently. With limited walk throughs prior to shooting stages, issues with ammo and a completely unique match presentation, Miculek felt more dialed in than ever following the international event. “(The IPSC Championship) is a hostile environment,” Miculek said. “It’s strictly a memory game.” Yet getting through challenging match conditions left Miculek sharper than ever before heading into Blue Ridge, where he finished the 3-gun season strong in route to a 3GN Open Division Championship and $5K from Hornady. “It’s a good thing,” Miculek said. “I’m really appreciative to the sponsors coming on board and doing this. I’m just happy to be here. I’m happy to finish up strong. It’s a good feeling.” If that wasn’t enough, Miculek is also coming off what he felt was one of his finest metallic sight shooting performances in recent history at the USPSA Nationals, giving one of the most successful shoot-off competitors in history even more confidence heading into the 3GN Championship Shoot-Off in Las Vegas. Jerry will be joined in Las Vegas by wife, Kay, and daughter, Lena, who qualified for the 3GN Lady Shoot-Off, which means there could potentially be a whole bunch of Miculeks standing in the winner’s circle. So you can bet there will be a bunch of Shoot-Off practice in the near future down on Shootout Lane.

i’m just happy to be here

Written by Dave Dolbee

the 3-gun nation championship shoot-off PREVIEW

IN ANY SHOOTING COMPETITION, A SUDDEN DEATH FINALE MAKES ALL THE HYPE AND BUILD UP WORTH THE WAIT.
A 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off offers every bit of that anticipated excitement, but it adds a twist to up the ante. When a competitor makes it to the final round, the switch is made to sponsor-provided equipment—FNH USA’s SCAR, SLP Shotgun and the FNS-9. “3-Gun competitive shooting has been, and continues to be, a perfect outlet for our products such as the SCAR, SLP and FNS—all of which have been designed and developed to the standards of military or law enforcement applications,” said Tommy Thacker, director of product management and team captain for FNH USA. “Those standards make our products that much stronger and reliable when you’re running to the next stage through rough terrain and every possible weather condition.”

SCAR
The SCAR is a piston-driven rifle built specifically for U.S. Special Operations command. “The SCAR is a wonderful platform that has been proven through extensive trials. In the hands of FN team members, it has proven to be a winner as well,” said Chad Adams vice president of 3-Gun Nation. Adams continued, “One of the great things about using sponsor equipment for the finals is that it levels the playing field—at least to some degree. It takes away any technical advantage a shooter’s equipment may provide. It creates a drag race, shoot-off stage. What you are seeing is who can run out, pick up those guns and perform on demand.”

SLP

“In the previous five years, I don’t believe another gun has had the same level of impact on the sport of 3-gun as the SLP shotgun,” said Adams. The SLP’s popularity stems largely from its popular gas system. “The gas system in the SLP is probably the most widely used for autoloaders in 3-gun. For years Benelli’s inertia or recoil driven system was a leader in the sport.

At the time there simply were not enough gas guns that held up as well as the Benelli and some other shotguns. When FNH came out with the SLP it really did deliver a great gas system that mitigates recoil a bit and makes it easier for some shooters to handle,” said Adams.

FNS - 9

The newest of the three FN guns used is the FNS-9. The FNS-9 is FN’s entry into the highly competitive, striker-fired pistol market. “FN really went to drawing board to decide what worked on pistols of

that genre and what did not. With the introduction of the FNS-9, it delivered a duty-style pistol that really runs, is extremely robust and the ergonomics are outstanding in the hand,” said Adams.

“FNH USA has always been dedicated to the support and advancement of the shooting sports. 3-Gun competitive shooting offers a friendly environment for shooters of all skill levels and gives the FNH USA shooting team the perfect outlet to demonstrate the strength and reliability of our products to those who may be new to the world of competition shooting,” Ken Pfau Senior VP FNH USA

A 3-Gun Nation Shoot-Off is only one aspect of what 3-gun is really about. During the course of a match there will be several stages. Some stages will feature big, long, natural terrain with rolling hills, high round counts and lots of movement. Other stages will require the shooter to simply stand in a box and grab guns off the table. For these stages, it’s all about speed and accuracy. Over the course of a match, you can have a bad stage and make it up with a good stage. “Where the match is more of a marathon, the Shoot-Off tests the shooter’s ability to deliver on demand, in front of a crowd, and when the pressure is at its utmost. The ShootOff tests not only shooting ability and athleticism, but more than anything it tests the competitor’s mental game. You have to be able to block out the crowd, cameras and thoughts of the money you’ll win. Most of all, you have to be able to block out what the competitor next to you is doing. After all, you only get one chance,” said Adams.

“Although we change it up throughout the season, the Shoot-Off goes something like this. The competitors begin in a start box. After the horn they sprint to their first station. Let’s say that is the SLP shotgun. They engage eight targets and return the SLP to the box before sprinting to the next box. “Perhaps this would be the SCAR. The competitor would then engage targets—offhand—anywhere from about 50 to 100 yards. These targets would be something along the lines of a six-target MGM plate rack. After replacing the SCAR back in its box, the competitor would sprint to the last station. “Prior to this point, the competitors have been working inboard. Now at the last station, they are going to be close, where they can see and hear each other. The first one to knock hit the crossover stop plate is the winner and takes home the purse,” concluded Adams.

AMMO PROVIDED BY

OPTICS PROVIDED BY

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1 D. HORNER

16 M. HANISH 17 J. TISCHAUSER

9 A. POPPLEWELL 24 A. DAUN

8 J. CASANOVA 25 B. DUECK

4 G. JORDAN 29 B. RAY

13 M. BURKETT 20 C. ANDERSEN

12 C. UPCHURCH 21 T. GIBSON

2013 3-Gun Nat

5 K. LAKER 28 J. PARKER

T. BUTLER 2

W. CHANDLER 15 B. PIATT 18

J. MICULEK 10 J. TIELKE 23

B. THOMPSON 7 C. CARBON 26

K. GARCIA 3

P. KELLEY 14 M. VOIGHT 19

tion champion

T. PAYNE 11 T. HOLMES 22

R. BERNSKOETTER 6 S. WIGGINS 27

Casanova Wins 3GN Tactical Iron Division
Written by Chad Adams

COLORADO NATIVE FOLLOWS BREAKOUT 2011 WITH MONSTER FINISH IN 2012
Following Crimson Trace, Casanova put together his first division win of the season at Rocky Mountain 3-Gun, a tough, natural terrain match that puts a premium on long-range rifle shooting. And he needed it, as Neal had just picked up his second division win of the year at Northwest Multi-Gun. “From strictly a Limited division standpoint, Rocky Mountain would be the toughest of the year,” Casanova said. “That match really pushes long range, which is something I do love, but when they put those little targets way out they get REALLY hard to see.” In September, Casanova topped fellow 3GN Pro Series competitors Cody Leeper and Brian Vaught to win Ozark, setting up a pivotal winner-take-all match-up with Kelly Neal at Fallen Brethren 3-Gun in Texas. “The win that stands out the most for me this season was Fallen Brethren,” Casanova said. “Kelly and I were neck and neck going into the match, thanks to him being sporting enough to disassemble his shotgun on the clock at Rocky Mountain, allowing me to squeak past him there. We talked before FB3G and neither of us was going to be able to shoot the final divisional match of the year at Blue Ridge, so in his words it was ‘a death match in Texas.’ I got to shoot with Kelly there, which is always great, and I had several really strong stages that helped me take the win. It felt really good knowing I had done it when it really counted.” The 3GN Tactical Iron Division Championship marks a significant accomplishment in Casanova’s recent meteoric rise in the sport. Few shooters have improved as rapidly over the last couple of seasons, with Casanova finishing 8th overall in the inaugural 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Tour, along with taking the title in Tactical Iron. “For me it is a huge validation that the work and practice I have put into this sport has paid off, no pun intended,” Casanova said. “The $5k is great, thank you VERY much Hornady, but the accomplishment is even better.” A Grand Master-level pistol shooter, Casanova has added very specific gear in Tactical Iron to get himself

By any definition, 2011 was a breakout season for James Casanova. One of many competitors jumping into Tactical Iron, which had a rejuvenated popularity following the adoption of 1X optics as allowed equipment at major matches, Casanova immediately challenged veteran shooters Kurt Miller and Kelly Neal. In fact, Casanova picked up a division win on the season’s final weekend last year at FNH USA 3-Gun, keeping Neal out of the money and giving Miller the title. “After finding my niche in Limited/Tac-Iron last year, I began this year with the goal to win the divisional series in Limited,” Casanova said. “Along with that was the goal to post competitive scores in the Tac-Optics Division while shooting in Limited. Not every match was a success in the latter goal but I learned things at every match. One of the best things about 3-gun is being able to shoot and talk with so many other great shooters. It is amazing how open and free everyone is about what they are doing from the stage plan level all the way up through how to rig your gear so that it will work best for you. I learned something new that I could apply to my shooting at every match this year thanks to all the great competitors I got to shoot with.” In 2012, Miller competed mainly in Tactical Optics, and was not part of the 3GN races, while Kelly Neal jumped out to the early Tac Iron division lead with a win at Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun in March. Kyle O’Glee pulled an upset win over Casanova at Midwest 3-Gun in May, while Warren Becker notched a big win at MGM Ironman in June. At the midway point of the season, Casanova, one of the early division favorites for 2012, had yet to pick up a match win. Undergoing surgery, and battling a bad back, at one point it was unclear whether Casanova would be able to finish out his abbreviated 2012 campaign at all. “The little bumps in the road this year actually started in January with wrist surgery, then my back and elbow, geez I sound fragile!,” Casanova said. “All that definitely makes this win a sweeter accomplishment. After CMMG, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make any more matches at all this year, but thanks to some great docs and physical therapists I was able to pull things together well enough to make it to the Crimson Trace Night Match and then finish out the season.”

my head is in a good place headed to vegas

over the hump. With the acceptance of 1X optics in limited divisions, Casanova began running a Leupold Prismatic, which he credited for helping him excel with the Limited rifle. However, it might be his and Mark Passamaneck’s shotgun products that got him over the top. Part of Carbon Arms, Casanova has used the TWinS Loading Systems, and thereby the Load Two technique, to shave precious time off his shotshell loading. “One of the biggest things that has helped me step up my shooting is not being at all afraid of shotgun loading anymore,” Casanova said. “Going into any stage knowing that I can re-gas my shotgun

without leaving a ton of time on the table has made it possible for me to focus more on the shooting and getting on the gas pedal.” Gear aside; few competitors have as much raw shooting skill as does Casanova. With a strong showing in the Pro Series, along with his Tactical Iron Division Championship, Casanova should be one dangerous competitor in January at the 3GN Championship in Las Vegas. “My head is in a good place headed to Vegas,” Casanova said. “The division win definitely adds a little extra confidence, but just reminding myself that, with all the rest of it, I still finished 8th in the Pro Series really helps make me feel strong heading into the Shoot-Off.” And you can bet Casanova will be out there battling the division’s best again next season at 3GN partner matches across the country. But unlike years passed, it will be Casanova that steps to the line as a marked man—the 3GN Tactical Iron Champion. “Oh yes I’ll be back,” Casanova said when asked if he would attempt to defend his title. “I am planning to shoot Limited in the matches that aren’t part of the Pro Series next year and I definitely want to win this title again!”

oh yes i’ll be back!

Written by Bryce M. Towsley

SHOOTer

ready

a 3-gun competition-ready rifle in stag’s famous right or left handed configuration

Back in 1981 Barbara Mandrell recorded a song called “I was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” It was a huge hit, dominating the charts that summer, and became one of her signature songs. It’s also become a piece of Americana that is paraphrased often. So, if you will indulge me a bit here: “I was 3-gun, when 3-gun wasn’t cool.” Well actually, that’s not totally correct. Three-gun shooting has always been cool. But I was doing it before it got “discovered.” In fact, when I first started, I had trouble getting the editors of shooting magazines to accept more than a token article now and then. Today, 3-gun shooting is on its way to becoming the dominant shooting sport and it’s a big part of what I write about to earn my daily bread. Oh yeah, I just heard a report a couple of days ago that there are more country music radio stations in America today than all the other music formats combined. So I guess Barbara and I were both ahead of our time. I just wish gun writing paid as well as singing.

Many of those early articles that I wrote were on how to customize the guns to make them competitive for 3-gun shooting as nobody made a “competition ready” long gun. I think it’s a huge statement about how “cool” 3-gun has become with mainstream shooters that so many top companies are now introducing “competition ready” out-of-the-box firearms today. For example, Benelli’ s new 3-Gun shotgun was introduced in late 2011 and I believe is the first ready to roll, instant 3-gun, just add ammo, shotgun for this sport (Remington and FNH USA have suitable tactical/defense models; the Mossberg 930 JM is geared toward 3-gun). Some rifles, like the JP Enterprises JP-15 that I compete with, can be ordered competition ready. But I think that the new Stag Arms 3G might be the first rifle that is designed around the sport, by serious competitors, and marketed specifically for 3-gun competition (Editor’s Note: Technically, the DPMS 3G1debuted first, but DPMS never pushed it very hard. Since Stag released the 3G to much acclaim and brisk sales, Colt’s and DoubleStar are among the recent “major” manufacturers to release a rifle marketed specifically for 3-gun.) Stag is well known for producing left-handed AR-15-style rifles as well as the conventional right-handed models. They got noticed for the southpaw aspect, but built their name by producing high-quality rifles. For the record, the Stag 3G can be ordered in right- or lefthand models. I have a couple of shooting buddies who are very happy about that.

Stag Arms worked with their 3-gun shooting team to develop the new rifle and after shooting it quite a bit, I think they got it almost right. That’s not a statement I make lightly, as it’s been pointed out to me that I would probably bitch about free money. There are in truth a few things I would change. For example, I would add an extended charging handle latch, a tactical bolt release and possibly an ambi-safety. But these are small things and the truth is, this gun is competition ready out of the box. The rifle uses an 18-inch stainless-steel semiheavy barrel that measures .727-inch near the muzzle and uses a 1:8 twist rate. The chamber is 5.56 NATO, so it can fire both 5.56 and .223 Remington ammo. The barrel has six flutes that are interrupted by the gas block for the riflelength gas system. The last 3/4-inch of the barrel is stepped down to .705-inch to the muzzle. The barrel is fitted with a 2-1/4 inch-long compensator installed with a crush washer. This unique compensator has nine 1/4-inch holes in three rows of three. One row is center-top and the other two rows are close on each side. Some holes are angled, some are straight. There are also three smaller holes in the top-front of the compensator pointing forward. This is perhaps the most effective brake at countering muzzle flip I have ever tried. If I had to find a complaint with the rifle it’s that the brake actually will drive the muzzle too low with each shot so that the sights end up under the aiming point. We did some drills using fast double taps and even some fast 10-shot strings at close range and I found that once I got the hang of it I could get the sights back on a 10-yard target faster than my finger could pull the trigger. I had the impression of waiting for the shot while I watched the dot on the Z6 Swarovski float on the “A” zone. That’s not something I encounter with most rifles, as it usually takes more time to get the sights back on target than to pull the trigger. I

It’s a longer pull than most am not sure if that’s a function of the brake or the trigger, but I suspect it’s a combination of both. While I was not using a timer on these drills,this gun is extremely fast, as often the two shell casings would only be a few inches apart in the air. The gun is fitted with a Samson Evolution free-floating handguard. This handguard comes with a rail along the top. There are holes along the sides and bottom to add more rails if you want them. The sides are skeletonized with a double row of cuts on each side. The diameter of the handguard is 1.825-inches, which is easy to grip. The 15-inch handguard extends well past the low profile gas block. One of the problems with most ARstyle rifles when used for 3-gun shooting is the short handguard. A tip that some of the top 3-gun shooters have taught me is to have the weak hand extended way out on the front of the gun. Never hold the gun in front of the magazine well, rather get your hand out as far as you can. match-grade single-stage triggers, but smooth and clean. On my rifle it breaks at just slightly over three pounds.

Well, you long-armed types, please don’t take that to mean put your fingers in front of the muzzle. I have actually seen that done with an MP5 during a match and it was not a pretty sight. Grip the fore-end on the side, with the elbow extended parallel with the ground. This gives much better control of the rifle for lateral movement for rapid target transition. Try this with a short handguard and all you get is burned fingers. I guess my point is, this long handguard proves to me that Stag listened to some real shooters when designing the riflle. Another point of contention on most AR15 rifles is the trigger. Many AR builders are stuck on “Mil Spec Stupid” and forget that shooters need good triggers. It’s not uncommon to have precision targets at 500 or 600 yards or even farther in a 3-gun match. It’s a huge handicap to have a ten pound “battle trigger” that’s

rougher than Rosie O’Donnell’s personality. Unless you order a better trigger as an option, almost all rifles will need an expensive replacement before using them in competition. One popular replacement trigger is the Geissele Super 3-Gun trigger. This STAG rifle comes with that trigger as standard equipment. Geissele made its reputation with two-stage triggers for AR rifles. I have one in one of my hunting rifles and it’s excellent. This new trigger was developed by Geissele for 3-gun and uses what they call a ‘hybrid pull.” It’s a longer pull than most match-grade single-stage triggers, but smooth and clean. On my rifle it breaks at just slightly over three pounds. The buttstock and pistol grip are from Magpul, featuring its collapsible ACS buttstock and MOE hard-plastic pistol grip. Both have storage compartments. The rifle is also available with optional Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights (RTS,) which are offset iron sights that are used for close in shots. This system was developed by Barry Dueck, a top shooter who I have had the pleasure of squadding with in several matches. In all but Open Class of 3-gun shooting you are limited to one optic, which is almost universally on the rifle. I choose the 1-6 Swarovski Z6. That means I can turn it down to one power, which is no magnification, turn on the electronic dot and use it like a red-dot with

both eyes open for close stuff. Then, using a MGM Switchview lever, I can quickly turn it to 6X for the longer shots. This works great for me, but there are some shooters who prefer more magnification on the top end for the long shots, particularly those who compete in the West where long shots are common. The Open Class shooters often install a 3-9 or larger scope and then put a small, reflex, red-dot sight at a 45-degree angle for the close targets. It’s very fast to simply roll the gun, keeping your cheek weld, and line up with this sight. But the other classes are not allowed this second optic. They can, however, have iron sights. So the Dueck Defense Rapid Transition Sights (RTS) is mounted at a 45-degree angle to provide an iron sight option for the close stuff. If you are planning to compete with a scope that does not have zero magnification at the low end, you should consider this option. It will add $200.00 to the $1,459 price tag of the gun. I tested the rifle by shooting three different factory loads and one handload using bullets ranging from 50 grains to 75 grains. The average for three, five-shot groups with each of the four loads was 1.23 inches, which is excellent accuracy. When I put out the word that I am bringing all the

all you add are optics and ammo

and it’s competition-ready

guns, targets and all the ammo for some 3-gun practice I do not have any problem finding willing shooters. My shooting buddies and I took this gun to the range a few times to practice running some rifle scenarios. After several hundred rounds (of my ammo!), we are in universal agreement that this is a well-balanced and a well behaved 3-gun rifle. We experienced no jams or failures to operate. We found the gun handled well for the fast stuff and settled fine for the long-range precision work. The only complaint was after we ran out of ammo and I wanted to pack up and go home, when the guys bitched that I “didn’t bring enough bullets.” Anybody looking to get into 3-gun shooting would be well served to check out this rifle. All you add are optics and ammo and it’s competition ready. Also note that 3-gun simulates combat situations. So even if you are not interested in competition, if you want your gun to defend your home or to spank your buddies at your shooting range, a gun that wins matches works just as well for those uses too. After all, it’s designed to be accurate, fast and dependable. What else could you possibly want in a rifle?

PRODUCT SPECS STAG ARMS MODEL 3G
CALIBER ACTION OA LENGTH WEIGHT BARREL COMPENSATOR RAIL SYSTEM TRIGGER BUTTSTOCK GRIP SIGHTS FINISH PRICE
5.56 / .223 Gas Impingement, Semi-Auto 39.25 inches 7.5 pounds 18 inch, Stainless 1:8 twist rate Stag Arms 3G Samson Evolution 15” Free Float Geissele Super 3 Gun (S3G) Magpul ACS Magpul MOE Dueck Defense RTS (optional) Flat Black $1,459

Dual, rear accessible, water-resistant battery storage tubes and an integral storage compartment in the butt of the stock provides multiple storage options.

The Magpul MOE Grip’s one-piece reinforced polymer construction provides simplicity and durability needed to withstand 3-Gun environments.

The new Stag Arms 3G answers the call of shooters looking for a muzzle device to help control muzzle rise for quick follow up shots often required in 3-Gun Competition.

The Samson Manufacturing 15” Free Floating Evolution Handguard is modular, allowing the attachment of rail sections or sling mounts along the handguard, while granting shooters the ability to mount accessories as needed but not be burdened by a full quad rail.

PRODUCT PERFORMANCE STAG ARMS MODEL 3G
TESTING CRITERIA
THREE 5-SHOT GROUPS @ 100 YARDS

TEST LOAD FEDERAL 55-grain Ballistic Tip BLACK HILLS 50-grain V-Max HORNADY Match 75-grain Handload 55-grain V-Max 22.5 grains H335

VELOCITY
3,005 3,081 2,576 2,643

AVERAGE
1.6 1.18 1.18 1.2

BEST
0.8 0.8 1.1 1.1

Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in feet per second 15’ from the muzzle by an Oehler 35P chrnograph, and best accuracy in inches of best five-shot groups.

Written by Jansen Jones Noveske Shooting Team

choosing the right 3-gun pistol

From high-end 2011 to utilitarian polymer-framed striker-fired guns, there are several pistols suitable for today’s 3-gun game
When I first became interested in 3-gun, I was looking for all the information I could gather on the subject. At that time, there existed only a few good videos on YouTube, only one informative website with a sub-forum dedicated to the discussion of the discipline and Matt Burkett’s Practical Shooting Radio was the only podcast available. I watched, read and listened to everything I could find about 3-gun in the hopes of learning everything I could about the game. It is now almost 2013, the sport has grown immensely, and I find that there are more and more shooters in the position I was not long ago, looking for more information about gear, guns and matches. I hope to address an often asked question by new shooters looking to get started in the game and that question is: which pistol should I shoot? When it comes to selecting a pistol for 3-gun, there are many choices available. In my opinion, 3-gun pistols break down into two major categories, hammer-fired and striker-fired guns. The differences are obvious, the hammer-fired guns have an exposed hammer (for example, an STI 2011); while the striker-fired guns do not have any exposed hammers (for example, a Glock 34). These two categories dominate the 3-gun circuit, whether it is a local club match or a 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Event. The two categories offer the shooter advantages in some areas while disadvantages in others.

First let’s examine the hammer-fired pistols. Examples of hammer-fired pistols often seen in 3-gun competition include (but are not limited to); STI/SVI 2011s, CZ-75s, and various Sig Sauer pistols. Some of the advantages of hammered-fired guns include excellent accuracy, better triggers and shorter reset than striker-fired guns. Downsides of the hammer-fired guns are that some of the magazines require more maintenance/cleaning, they are generally more expensive, and at major 3-gun matches you have to engage the safety when abandoning the pistol. Next let’s address striker-fired pistols. This category of handgun has made inroads in 3-gun competition thanks to an abundance of aftermarket parts and gunsmithing services which address many of the shortcomings in the platform. Examples of the more common striker-fired guns used in 3-gun include Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&Ps and Springfield Armory’s XD series. Some of the advantages of a striker-fired pistol are they cost considerably less than the hammer-fired guns, they require a lot less maintenance, and you do not need to engage any safety when abandoning the gun due to the passive safeties being built into the

platform. The striker-fired gun is not without its disadvantages which include mushy triggers that are less than ideal for 3-gun, the magazine capacity needs to be increased with aftermarket base pads, and the factory sights are basically unacceptable for serious 3-gun competition. When I started 3-gun, I already owned a Glock 34, so naturally this is what I took to my first match. I quickly learned the factory sights were adequate for shots on full-size USPSA or IDPA paper targets at reasonable distances, however for the 5”x5” pieces of steel set between 10 to 20 yards, these sights simply wouldn’t do. The first thing I did when I arrived back home was order a set of adjustable competition sights for my Glock, along with some extended base pads for my magazines. I have stuck with the Glock platform for going on five years now, despite trying a few different 2011s along the way. The 2011s I have are great guns, with crisp triggers that shoot amazingly well, but for some reason I simply cannot stray from the striker-fired platform that has helped me get through many a match malfunction free. If you are just starting out in 3-gun, the striker-fired guns are an excellent option for the reasons discussed previously. After you’ve shot a few major matches and gained some experience and are determined to continue in the sport, a 2011-type pistol is something to seriously consider. The majority of shooters in the

accurate, reliable and you can find it almost anywhere.

you’re gonna 9mm wanna shoot it’s cheap,

3-Gun Nation Pro Series are using 2011-type hammerfired pistols. Regardless of which type of pistol platform you opt for, you are going to want to shoot 9 mm. It’s cheap, accurate, reliable and you can find it almost anywhere. Also, you want to select a good holster with strong retention. 3-gun usually involves rigorous movement, whether it is climbing over a barricade, crawling through a tunnel or simply running as fast as you can to get from position A to position B. I have seen plenty of pistols “jump” out of holsters and hit the ground, all because the holster did not have sufficient retention to keep it secure during the course of fire while the competitor took off running through the stage. Needless to say, spending a few extra dollars on a good, secure 3-gun holster is a worthwhile investment. I mentioned before, there are literally hundreds of aftermarket parts available to enhance or improve both the striker-fired but also the hammer-fired platforms. Within the community of 3-gun we are fortunate to have several shooters on the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series who are leading the way with innovative products for both pistol platforms.

Taran Butler’s company, Taran Tactical Innovations, offers excellent extended base pads in many colors for both the Glock and 2011 pistols. Matt Burkett’s Predator Tactical offers a line of custom built 2011 pistols ready to go for 3-gun. Also, more and more companies are creating products aimed at the sport of 3-gun, some of which address the problems of moving vigorously with a holstered pistol specifically. For example, DSG Arms and Safariland offer a dedicated line of competition holsters and pouches designed for the sport. There is a lot more which could be said about these two pistol categories, but ultimately you will need to get out and shoot a match to see what you like or don’t like about either platform.

ULTIMATELYand YOU will need to get out

shoot a match to see what you like or don’t LIKE ABOUT EITHER PLATFORM

The 3-gun community has built a reputation as one of the nicest and most helpful within the shooting sports, so don’t be afraid to approach and talk to veteran shooters at a match about which pistol they shoot and why. Remember, they were once new shooters too.

on a side note
Written by James P. Mason Whether you are on the range or on the road, this little accessory can literally save your life. While not revolutionary by any means, and little more than a fashionably placed Dog Tag, the RoadID bracelet can provide the critical ICE (In Case of Emergency) information needed by those that find you in need of assistance—critical info that will enable them to do what needs done. While extremely durable, the RoadID is very comfortable and is laser engraved with custom information provided by you, including personal identification, medical information (such as blood type), emergency contacts, and even a simple message encouraging a Good Samaritan to not give up no matter what. For those who prefer an upscale look, the RoadID is available in a rather cosmopolitan leather configuration, in addition to seven different colors of nylon—suitable for any wardrobe or shooting attire.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? JOIN THE CONVERSATION CLICK HERE TO TELL US WHAT STYLE PISTOL YOU PREFER TO USE FOR 3-GUN

roadid.com

Watson Cruises to 3GN Heavy Metal Championship
Written by Chad Adams

BREAKOUT SEASON CAPPED BY 3GN DIVISION TITLE
the Noveske Shooting Team, was shooting again this year, so I knew it was going to be a tough go of it. I put together some very solid rifle runs and pulled in my second Heavy Metal Division win. I better call it He-Man or JJ and Denise will be hunting me down!” After picking up a key win over Romero, Watson next faced off against Bryan Ray at the Ozark 3-Gun Championship. With the season nearly over, Ray stood as the last competitor who might be able to challenge Watson’s remarkable season. “I was fortunate enough to be squadded with Samson’s Bryan Ray, a Pro Series competitor, another top Heavy Metal competitor. We also had Jomar Villamor in our squad, so that made for three of us who were shooting Heavy Metal. Needless to say, we all had a great time smacking steel with our .308s. Jomar took the honor of being the first to break a steel target. That is not something that we try to do considering the cost of targets and the hassle of repairs, but it is something that will make you the center of attention for a while. Once again my rifle saved me on a few stages. Bryan established an early lead, but was a little rusty with the heavy guns and I was able to squeak by for my third Heavy Metal Division win.” With the division already locked up, Watson closed out the season with an emphatic win at the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun in October. Watson won five of nine stages on his way to a 90-point win over Joel Turner, the newest addition to the U.S. AMU Shooting Team. Watson won a lot in 2012. But for the law enforcement officer that got his start shooting in the shadow of the famed Eddie Rhodes, one win on his way to a division title had more significance this season that all the rest. “The win that stands out from the others is the one at Rocky Mountain 3-Gun Championship,” Watson said. “RM3G was my first major match to compete in back in 2005. A couple of shooting buddies told me about the match and that there was a division called He-Man. I owned a pump shotgun and a single-stack 1911, so I borrowed an M14 and made the drive. I didn’t do very well, but I was hooked on the heavy guns! While at the match I met another He-Man shooter named

In his first year of widely participating on the national Outlaw 3-gun circuit, DSG Arms’ Kuan Watson was simply dominating in 3GN’s Heavy Metal Division, going a perfect four-for-four in Division matches to run away with the 2012 3GN Heavy Metal Championship. “Winning the 3GN Heavy Metal Championship is a milestone achievement to me; 2012 is the first year that I have been able to travel and compete in more than a couple of matches,” Watson said. “In the past, work has prevented me from being able to travel and compete in the major matches. I could make Rocky Mountain 3-Gun Championship and Texas Multigun Championship because of their relatively close proximity. I was never able to compete with the other shooters from around the nation. I have had the opportunity to chase after the undeniable King of Heavy Metal, Patrick Kelley, but he was absent from the division this season. My division championship tells me that I can be competitive and hold my own at any match that I attend.” Watson started off the 2012 campaign in dominating fashion. At Midwest 3-Gun Championship he won every stage in the match, blasting the field my more than 30 percentage points. “The 2012 season was my first big season to shoot 3-gun,” Watson said. “…In May I competed in the Midwest 3-Gun Championship in Missouri. It was my first trip to that match and I had heard stories of bad weather in the previous years. We ended up having perfect weather for a match and I took my first Heavy Metal division win.” In June, Watson again found himself in the winner’s circle at the inaugural He-Man Championship, a Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal Optics match put on by JP Rocky Mountain 3-Gun match directors JJ and Denise Johnson. A few weeks later Watson returned to New Mexico to repeat his performance at Rocky Mountain. “August turned into another trip to the NRA Whittington Center for the 10th Annual JP Rocky Mountain 3-Gun Championship,” Watson said. “This time we had 15 competitors in He-Man Iron. I was glad to see this, as competition in Heavy had been tapering off. Last year’s Heavy Metal Division Champion, Rob Romero of

I CAN BE COMPETITIVE AND HOLD MY OWN

Eddie Rhodes. I learned shortly afterward that I had met the ‘Father’ of He-Man. Eddie passed away a couple of years ago and at RM3G there is a very special honor that is given to the top law enforcement competitor in both of the He-Man divisions. The top LE competitor has his or her name and agency engraved on the Eddie Rhodes Memorial Trophy. I have the honor of my name being on it a few places. When I can get a division win there, it always stands out from the rest.” Watson is the latest in a long line of law enforcement officers to make their mark on the sport of 3-gun. From Rhodes to current day stars such as Bruce Piatt, Keith Garcia and Greg Jordan, 3-gun maintains a tradition of top-level law enforcement shooters that play on Sunday and then train their officers on Monday. “Competing in 3-gun gives me a chance to test and validate a portion of the training that I have received as a police officer,” Watson said. “I am very one-sided in this

approach. I use the matches to test my ability to hit a target with a minimum of delay and in the most efficient manner. If I waste a number of shots or it takes me too long to get a hit in a match, I know that I have to correct it so I can be effective if I am called to do the same in real life. I do not consider the matches as a test bed for proper tactics though. If I used proper tactics, I would hit the par time on every stage. The lessons learned in matches also help in the formation of the training that I provide as a firearms instructor for my agency. In law enforcement we look to competition shooters to learn the most efficient ways to manipulate a firearm and get fast, accurate shots on target. We take this knowledge and technique and adjust it accordingly to integrate it with tactics. When it comes to the officer on the street, they decide on how best to gain a position of advantage. The competition influence applies as they too are attempting to hit their intended target in the shortest amount of time and shots fired.”

THE LESSONS LEARNED IN MATCHES ALSO HELP IN THE FORMATION OF THE TRAINING THAT I PROVIDE AS A FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR FOR MY AGENCY

Written by Scott McGregor

GETTING SPONSORED
PART 1 OF 2

Certain Traits and Skills Sets Can Put Sponsor Logos on Your Shirt — and it’s Not All About Performance!

We’ve all been there at some point, your first 3-gun match. In my case, my first experience with 3-gun was watching the 2004 DPMS Tri Gun Challenge at DPMS. I’m sure some of you were there, and for some of you, it may seem like a long time ago. I attended after an invite from Randy Luth, founder of DPMS, after Randy and I had met at one of the media shoots the day before SHOT in 2004. I attended to see what all the fuss was about with 3-gun. The most memorable parts of watching the match, first everyone was very approachable. Second, it looked like a ton of fun. Third, some of those folks could really shoot. Little did I know, watching the match would be a life-changing experience. A few years later 3-gun would take over my hobbies, I would develop an entirely new circle of like-minded friends, and trips to the range would be on the same level of importance as going to work. Everyone has their own story of how they became involved in shooting 3-gun, but we’ve all been faced with the realization of how 3-gun can be very costly! I’ve heard a number of times, “I need more ammo, how do I find a sponsor?” or “I need a (fill in the blank), do you think they’d sponsor me?”

Let’s get this out there right now—if you’re just looking for free stuff, you may get some. But if that’s all you’re looking for, it won’t last long and you’ll gain the reputation of being a taker. Listen to this, nothing is free, it’s basic business economics. Somewhere along the line someone had to pay for your “free” scope, glasses, gun, scope mount, rifle handguard, holster, belt, shell caddies, 3-gun case, hard case, shoes, mag pouches or ammo. If you’ve been around long enough, you learn help with expenses can be one of the best sponsorships you could be lucky enough to find.
My next question, what do you bring to the table to “pay” for whatever it is a sponsor gives you. As a shooter, there are some qualities you can work on which will help you be more valuable to your current or potential sponsors. You’re basically in public relations and, indirectly, you’re also in sales. You may not take orders, but you can help answer questions and you may be the first impression a customer sees of the sponsor. Travis Gibson and I spend a bunch of time together on the road and we’ve discussed the topic of sponsors/shooters extensively. Being the VP of MGM Targets, he gets hit up constantly for sponsorships of some kind. Why would a company “give” a shooter anything? You might be a good shooter or a good guy/girl, you may be very likable and you may try real hard, but the real answer is to sell product! Why would a company use their valuable resources to “give” you gear or cash as a sponsored shooter? Do you show the kind of skill set/awareness which makes them believe you will be of value? What are the attributes they look for when searching for a shooter to help promote and develop their product? Bruce Piatt is arguably one of the most visible of the professional shooters. He’s been a sponsored shooter for 20-plus years. I asked Bruce if winning was the most important thing for his sponsors, and his answer is indicative of what most companies are looking for in a shooter. “Not in my case,” Piatt said. “My sponsors want me at matches, mixing it up with the competitors and spectators. They want people to have approachable access to a company representative.”

my sponsors want me at matches, mixing it up with competitors and spectators

not in my case

Obviously, the more you win, the more you draw attention from potential sponsors. But winning isn’t the only thing a company looks for. “Winning is important and of course any manufacturer would like to see their shooters win, but I would say it’s more important for the shooter to promote the brand and always be professional,” said Clint Upchurch, Colt’s Manufacturing sponsored shooter. This leads us back to some of the attributes Travis and I have put together. Let’s see if you agree.

Social Skills

In my business experience, I’ve heard it said the biggest cause of failure or success in the workplace is due to a person’s social skills. The way you interact with others is very important. Learn to listen, not just formulate what you’re going to say next when the other person stops talking. Talk to everyone; if you see spectators at a match, be sure to talk with them, not just other shooters. Keep a positive attitude; when someone asks you how you’re shooting, chances are they don’t really want to hear everything you screwed up or could have done better. Remember, there will be times when you don’t really have to say anything as well. Basically, just be yourself, or if that’s a bad thing, work on being better!

Integrity

Your integrity is an extremely valuable attribute when it comes to your reputation as a competitive shooter. www.dictionary.com defines integrity as, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” I don’t really think I need to go too deep into this one, you either “get it” or you don’t. You’re only as good as your word; your reputation will precede you.

they want people to have approachable access to a company representative

your attitude will reflect

and your sponsors

on you

Shooting Skill

Shooting skill does actually play a part in your looking for sponsors. You need to be working on your skill set. You don’t necessarily need to be winning everything you enter, but you need to be competitive on occasion. Once you get past your local matches, the skill level of all competitors increases dramatically. You need to continually work on your shooting skill as well as the other attributes which will make you attractive to sponsors.

Product Knowledge

I’ve seen is to let the person know you need to concentrate on shooting for a few minutes and you’ll be available to talk more AFTER you shoot the stage. Sometimes folks don’t know proper match etiquette; they can learn if you’ll help point it out. Don’t be rude, but you’re there to shoot as well as be a representative. Sometimes you can tell when someone wants to say something, but may be shy or doesn’t want to bother you. Say hello, show them you’re approachable. Watch how some of the shooters who’ve been around a while handle the situation. You can very often make a spectator or newer shooter’s day just by talking with them.

A basic knowledge of a company’s product is very important. If you’re hitting up a company for support, do you know all about their products? If you were at a match and were asked about the product, could you tell them about it and direct them where they could purchase the product? Have you been to their website yourself? Could you direct others there?

Visibility

Approachability
One thing which often takes spectators and new shooters by surprise is the approachability of the “pro” shooters. I would venture to say most of us have experienced this while at a major 3-gun match. We all want to do well at a match, but how do we carry ourselves when in between stages? I’ve seen top shooters struggle to get away from a well-meaning person at a match who just wants to talk. The best technique
Develop a 15 - 30 second “elevator speech.” Practice the speech in the mirror so that you can see what you look like, the epressions you make, and whether or not you are smiling.

How visible are you? How many matches does your situation allow you to attend throughout the year? Will you be attending local matches? You might be well suited to look to a local gun shop or manufacturer for sponsorship. Will you be attending area matches or bigger matches within driving distance? Will you be traveling to attend national level matches? How many matches do you want to/get to shoot? A sponsor would benefit from you attending matches where there’s a possibility of TV or editorial coverage. Are you available to help them work trade shows such as the SHOT Show or the NRA Annual Meetings? This could be an added value you can offer.

Media Skills

Can you answer questions if you were to be interviewed? Interacting with the media is a skill and doesn’t come naturally to many people. The next time you watch NASCAR, watch the driver interviews. Don’t let yourself think those guys don’t practice interviews just as much as running practice laps! Think about what you’d say in an interview. Are you familiar with social media? What is your sphere of influence?

Attitude

What kind of attitude do you project? Your attitude will reflect on you and your sponsors.

These are some of the traits Travis and I have discussed regarding shooters and sponsors. In the next issue you’ll be hearing from Travis regarding some things on the sponsor side. Much of it will be the same, from the sponsor perspective. As for me, I’ve been very fortunate to have some great sponsors. Representing FMG Publications allows me to work in and around the firearms industry and to shoot competitively. There aren’t many folks who wouldn’t agree when I say I’m “Living the dream!”

Good Judgment

Overall, use good judgment when you’re at a match. Don’t lose your temper if you screw up a stage. If you do, give yourself a minute to assess where it went wrong and then get over it! When you’re out at night, whether at a match or a trade show or just out to dinner, you still represent yourself and your sponsors.

By all means, if you see Travis or myself at a match, let us know if this is at all helpful!

in the next issue
Travis Gibson (VP of MGM Targets) provides a sponsor’s perspective on what you can do to improve your chances of developing a long lasting relationship with a sponsor. Stay tuned!

“All That Remains” Releases Blistering Sixth Studio Album “A War You Cannot Win”
At 3-Gun Nation it’s probably no secret that we are fans of all things hard rock and heavy metal. If you’ve ever tuned into an episode on NBC Sports Network, the sound track of the show may have made you spill your morning coffee. Much like the sport of 3-Gun, heavy metal music makes our adrenalin flow and the fists pump. Through a mutual friend, 3GN was introduced to Phil Labonte of the heavy metal group “All that Remains.” While we were already fans of ATR, we were excited to learn about Labonte’s stance on the 2nd amendment, one of which he is very vocal about. Not afraid to speak his mind, Labonte (known by his band mates as “Captain Politics”) frequently sounds off in his support of the 2nd Amendment in the music media. A very brave stance indeed considering the music industry as a whole is typically anti-gun. We knew immediately we had a friend in Labonte. As it turned out, Labonte was also a huge fan of 3-Gun competition and 3-Gun Nation. As such, 3GN invited Labonte to appear in the FNH USA Shooting Tips portion of the program with host Mark Wills.

heavy metal division
“When it comes to music and stuff like that you’re never done picking up tips whether it be singing or playing guitar,” said Labonte. “You’re never done learning. When it comes to 3-Gun you can always do things better, faster and you can always be more accurate. I really enjoyed spending time on the range with the guys, and I learned a great deal about the sport and myself as a shooter.” For more than a decade, All That Remains has produced some awesome, head-banging music. And its latest and sixth album is no exception. “A War You Cannot Win” (released election day) boasts 13 powerful tracks that are not only hard and heavy but also melodic throughout. Featuring tracks such as “Stand Up,” “Sing for Liberty” and “You Can’t Fill my Shadow”, ATR drops the hammer once again and will make your adrenalin flow and the fists pump.

>> CLICK HERE TO READ LABONTE’S OP-ED FOR ALTERNATIVE PRESS <<

Tischauser Takes 3GN Heavy Metal Optics Championship
Written by Chad Adams

STAG SHOOTER KNOCKS OFF DEFENDING CHAMPION IN ROUTE TO TITLE
“The early victory at Midwest was huge, Tischauser said. “It was my first time ever shooting Heavy Optics. I was confident in my abilities but I really had no idea how I would do shooting against the defending champion. I edged out Barry by less than one match point. That one point put me in the driver’s seat for the rest of the season and ended up being the deciding factor in the race for the championship.” Dueck bounced back in June with a big win at the ever-challenging MGM Ironman. Meanwhile, Tischauser notched another win of his own at the next 3GN Divisional match, the Northwest Multi-Gun Challenge. Then in August, the two squared off again for the first time since Midwest at the JP Rocky Mountain 3-Gun. However, that’s when Tate Moots, a veteran 3-gunner and longtime HMO shooter, threw the race a curve ball by topping Dueck in a close contest. Unfortunately for Dueck, who heads SureFire’s Suppressor Division, RM3G marked one of only a few Divisional matches he would be able to shoot in 2012 due to work demands. And letting those 100 points slip away would prove costly. Because in September, a match in which Dueck was forced to scratch, Tischauser was dominant against a less-than-stacked field on his way to his pivotal and clinching third match win of the season at the Ozark 3-Gun Championship. Dueck would go on to pick up a win at the last match of the year, Fallen Brethren 3-Gun, but it was too little too late as Tischauser took the title 300 to 299.21. JP Gangl (234.99) finished third. “I have been a huge proponent of 3-Gun Nation from

Stag Arms’ Jesse Tischauser declared way back at the beginning of the 2012 campaign that he was going to win the 3GN Heavy Metal Optics Division Championship. Then after a solid season, with one important head-to-head match-up, along with a little help, Tischauser did just that, knocking off 2011 HMO Champion Barry Dueck to claim this year’s crown. The 3GN HMO race started back in March when FNH USA’s Erik Lund notched the first win of the season at Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun. Then in May, Tischauser squared off against SureFire’s Dueck at the Midwest 3-Gun Championship, in what would prove to be the most important match of the season. Tischauser edged out Dueck in a tight battle to take home his first major 3-gun win.

it definitely wasn’t easy

the start,” Tischauser said. “So to come out and win a Division title and $5,000 really solidifies all of the good things I have been telling shooters about the series. It means a lot to all of us to have great companies like Hornady putting up these big cash payouts. Five thousand dollars is the most money I have ever won, and I need every bit of it to pay for all of the extra guns and gear I had to buy for this division race.” For Tischauser, winning the HMO title meant basically competing in two full seasons with completely different gear. A member of the 3GN Pro Series Tour, Tischauser was competitive in Pro Series matches and qualified as the number 17th seed heading into the 2013 3GN Championship in Las Vegas. In the Pro Series, he shot Tactical Optics gear all season, while switching to the radically different, and everchanging match-to-match, gear for Heavy Metal Optics. “It definitely wasn’t easy,” Tischauser said. “Heavy Optics is the division with the most variations in equipment rules. I shot three different pistols, two different shotguns and one rifle in the four matches where I shot Heavy Optics Division. My gunsmith, Mike Cyrwus at Accurate Iron, deserves a big attaboy. He built me four new pistols this season so I could have the best gun in my hands no matter how the match rules read. “As for the actual shooting it wasn’t as difficult as I expected,” Tischauser said. “The Heavy Divisions are slower. Magazine capacity is restricted, recoil is bigger, and everything you carry is for lack of a better word, heavy. So while the equipment was reducing the speed at which I could perform, I found myself shooting with more accuracy and moving with more efficiency. It translated directly over to an improvement in my long-range rifle shooting, which was the weakest part of my game in 2011. So not only did I fatten up my wallet shooting Heavy Optics, I also improved my allaround game.” With a division title under his belt, Tischauser now has his sights set the 3GN Championship in Las Vegas, along with an eye toward 2013 and what lies ahead for 3GN. “I kind of like winning,” Tischauser said. “So yes, I am already planning my return to the top in 2013. I might try to do so in another division simply because I don’t think anyone else has done that before. I think next year I will try to win it all in Heavy Irons.”

MOST R THE ED FO ESIGN IFLE D ER OF TH

IM

ANT PORT

PART

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i found myself

shooting
WITH MORE

ACCURACY

Written by Edward Avila

AR15

AR15.com was originally started more than 16 years ago as a mail list where those interested in discussing the AR-15 would send an email to the list’s email address and the mail server (back then a Unix Sun workstation sitting in a closet) would then forward those emails to all the subscribers. Over the years, the mail list concept was replaced by a website, the server replaced by a couple of racks full of equipment and servers, and the closet replaced by a dedicated hosting facility with redundant Internet service providers, backup power supplies, and all the high-tech hosting conveniences available today. Through the years the number of participants has grown from a handful subscribed to the original mailing list to the several hundred thousand we have today. AR15.com itself has grown to become the largest firearms-related website in the world. In 2011 AR15.com held the largest 3-gun competition ever with the AR15.com-Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky. This event featured 250 pro shooters, but in addition added 250 amateur shooters shooting a second set of eight challenging stages over the course of two and a half days. With points on the line for the 3-Gun Nation Tour, the match was sold out almost immediately on both the pro and amateur sides. Film crews from 3GN and Shooting USA were on-hand, as were a handful of local media. The prize table was the largest anywhere, and every competitor walked off with a prize package at least equal to their entry fee. With the opportunity for amateur shooters to meet and rub elbows with the pros, attend clinics with their idols,

.com

SUPPORTS 3-GUN
and watch them shoot stages similar to what they were shooting next door, needless to say many of these amateurs were immediately hooked and have since become dedicated 3-gun competitors. For their families, the Pro-Am featured support from the NRA in the form of the 3-Gun Experience. A chance for non-shooters to experience a simulated 3-gun course using .22 LR handguns and AR-style rifles. Like any addictive sport, all most shooters need is a chance to try it. Then they realize 3-gun shooting is what shooting should always have been—a fun and challenging way to become increasingly proficient with your firearms. This year, the AR15.com-Rockcastle Pro-Am grew once again. Hosting the same 250 pro/250 amateur shooters, but adding celebrity and disabled vets to the shooting lineup caused some slowdowns during the weekend. As a result, the event is looking to grow in 2013 and expand on the calendar as well as on the range. Look for announcements soon on what will once again set the bar for the largest 3-gun event ever held. With a chance to shoot with the pros, socialize with all the leading names in the sport, shop the 3-gun retailers that help sponsor 3-gun, and overall challenge yourself in what is quickly becoming the best shooting sport around, make sure you keep your eyes open for the 2013 AR15.com-Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship registration when it opens early in 2013.

OPENS SIGNATURE STOREFRONT

Until then, AR15.com’s success in the online space is manifesting itself in a brick-and-mortar retail location in Farmington, NY. With a soft opening later this month, this 10,000-squarefoot facility will feature a showroom full of tactical, self defense, and competition firearms and gear from both AR15.com as well as a large number of the big names in the industry, including LaRue Tactical, Armalite, Stag Arms, Trijicon, Nordic Components, AP Custom, Bedell Customs and many more. The goal is for this retail space to offer hands-on with the gear, to be able to get gunsmith services for whatever your needs, and to also offer training in firearms safety, tactics and competition. Basically a one-stop destination

for the tactical shooter (forgive the use for the word, but it is easier than saying “all non-hunting shooting needs such as self defense, training and practical competition). The retail location will offer supplies and accessories to outfit the shooter and upgrade their firearms. Much like the purpose of the Pro-Am, the new store will help new shooters get out and shoot and train more often as well as help get non-shooters involved in the sport. With a grand opening scheduled for Spring 2013, keep an eye out on the site for details of this event. In addition, AR15.com will be covering the SHOT Show in January as well as the Rumble on the Range in Las Vegas. Visit the 3-Gun Nation forums on AR15.com for all the latest news and event coverage.

fit for
what choke? what shot size? what barrel length? what length magazine tube?
You could just about answer “pick” any of these questions for all the good it will do you. That is, compared to missing targets because your shotgun doesn’t fit you! Yet, other than the occasional question about Length-of-Pull (LOP), we in the internet 3-Gun community don’t concern ourselves with one of the most important aspects of shotgunning-at-speed ...

a king
Gun Fit!

UNIQUE AS YOUR TATTOO
I will offer no absolutes as gun fit is uniquely personal, but let’s work our way though the list of terminology on page 56 and see what each means to you. The needs of the sporting clay and trap shooter are different than that of the 3-gunner. Most off-the-shelf shotguns have a Length of Pull (LOP) around 14 1/2” to 14 3/4,” and that may be fine for the 6-foot tall clay enthusiast, but we are talkin’ 3-gun here! We require a shotgun that is quick to shoulder, maneuverable and provides a hang-up-free dismount. And in all those cases, shorter is better! I, at all of 6’3,” prefer my steel slappin’, clay bustin’ power tool’s LOP closer to 13 3/4.” A good “rule of thumb” here is short as possible, leaving about an inch to an inch and a half between your thumb and nose.

Written by Patrick Kelley

proper fit will help you get the most performance from your shotgun

The Perfect Pitch
Pitch is rarely discussed but is important. In simple terms proper pitch will have both the Heel (top) and Toe (bottom) of the butt (recoil pad) fully planted into your shoulder pocket. Look over the photos and recognize the angle of the recoil pad. Here is a theoretical example. We want to set up our shotgun to be fired against a brick wall. We want the least amount of muzzle movement under recoil while shooting. To do that we would set the pitch to zero so the recoil pad would make full contact with the wall (pad @ 90* = perpendicular to the rib = zero pitch).

This results in the barrel pointing downrange and parallel to the ground. Now if you put that zero pitch recoil pad against the curve of your shoulder, the gun will be pointing way high! If you lower the barrel back to parallel with the ground you would only have the toe of the recoil pad touching your shoulder. Firing a quick pair in this configuration would not only have you in pain but also have the muzzle heading for the sky! Why? Because the recoil impulse will close the gap between the heel of the recoil pad and your shoulder as it pivots on the toe of the recoil pad. Or the toe will slip down your shoulder, pivoting the muzzle upward between your hands. The reverse happens when more heel is in contact with the shoulder. Is the light coming on? Too little pitch and the muzzle moves goes high, too much pitch and the muzzle moves down. You want a flat shooting shotgun? Check your pitch!

KEEP IN

MIND:
cast
the distance the centerline of the stock is offset to one side or another of the centerline of the barrel

heel
top of the gun butt (recoil pad)

TERMINOLOGY

length of pull
the distance between the trigger and the center of the gun butt

cheek weld
the continued contact between your cheek and the comb

drop

toe
bottom of the gun butt (recoil pad)

the distance from the top of the barrel, or rib, to the top edge of the stock at the comb and the heel. if the stock is fitted with a raised comb, measurements will be included for distances from the top of the barrel, or rib, to the top of the comb at the front and rear.

pitch
the angle of the butt in relation to the top of the barrel

More Than Just A Drop
We 3-gunners make changes to stock drop in order to have our eye in line with our sights (single bead, real sights, what have you) to give us the point of impact we desire. As you probably know, or have heard, your eye (in absence of a rear sight) is your rear sight. Reducing the amount of drop raises the Comb of the stock and your eye along with it, while increasing stock drop lowers it. Consider drop as your elevation adjustment mechanism. We have discussed the effects of pitch, but how does drop alter pitch? Many 3-gun suitable shotguns come with shims and or other drop adjustment provisions. These adjustments create a pivot point at the receiver/stock junction. As you pivot the stock the angle of the butt (pitch) changes. An increase in drop lowers the stock and increases the pitch, as does the position of the recoil pad in relation to your shoulder up and down.

a) The Pitch b) Where the recoil pad is located on your shoulder

Changes in Drop will change :
50mm drop 55mm drop 60mm drop 65mm drop

No Comb-Over Here
The comb on many 3-gun shotguns is a fixed section on the stock where we are supposed to maintain cheek weld. We know that any change made to stock drop will also shift the height of the comb. Additionally, any modification to the LOP will alter the effective comb height. Looking at the photos you can pick out several images where the comb slopes downward from receiver to butt. Where you place your cheek, and in turn your eye, changes the sight picture. A change to LOP, longer or shorter, puts your cheek in a different spot and again changes your sight picture. Many shooters, out of need, shorten their stocks without paying attention to the attendant change in eye placement. A couple of the current popular 3-gun shotguns have a feature borrowed from the clays game, height adjustable combs. Nearly all Benellis and the new Remington Versa Max have interchangeable comb inserts. If your favorite power tool is not so equipped, not to worry, there are work-arounds. We discussed the comb as part of drop, and equated it to an elevation adjustment for the rear sight. As a stand alone piece, interchangeable comb inserts work to alter elevation point of aim/point of impact (POA/POI) independently from drop. Another feature is that they can be assembled in combination with drop, to create a parallel comb. Again checking the photos you will see a raised Comb where the top surface is “parallel” with the barrel’s rib. The advantage to this is, no matter where you make your cheek weld along the Comb, your eye is in the same relative position to the sights! This can be handy when shooting from difficult firing positions when getting a consistent cheek weld is all but impossible. Add to that, a parallel comb tends to “slide along,” rather than “into” your cheek under recoil (provided your pitch is set correctly). Again, if your pellet-spreader didn’t come with this feature a little snooping around in the Brownells catalog or by clicking the link here you should get you want you need.

DETERMINE IF YOUR STOCK DROP FITS YOU PERFECTLY, OR WHETHER IT IS EITHER TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW FOR YOU MATCHING INSTRUCTIONS: The drop change kits are identified by letter. To ensure a correct drop always match locking plates and shims that have the same letters (e.g. C - CDX - DX or C - CSX - SX). DX = Right Hand SX = Left Hand

biased away from

stock

cast-off

cheek

centerline

Cast Of Characters
Cast-on, cast-off. Nope, not a new fishing device, but rather an often over-looked but important aspect of shotgun fitting that can really improve accuracy and speed. Please refer to the photo showing cast. The image shows the centerline of the barrel running though the stock. Any offset in the stock from that centerline is called cast. In a right-handed world cast-off has the stock biased away the shooters cheek (as seen in the photo). Cast-on would have the stock pushing the right hander’s cheek away from the center line and off of a good sight picture.

The Power Tool Down and Dirty
There are no absolutes in cast settings, but generally some cast-off is needed by right- eyed shooters in order to get their cheek and eye squarely behind the sights. That is why you’ll find many factory shotguns set just so. While a thinly faced righty might want a little cast-on to get that good sight picture, a round faced fellow would want more cast-off to receive the same benefits. Some of the popular 3-gun pellet slingers come with adjustments for cast. However you can effectively change cast without moving the stock on shotguns not so equipped. By simply adding or removing material from the “cheek-side” of the comb you can achieve similar results. As we discussed earlier drop lets you set elevation. Now consider cast as your windage adjustment mechanism.

If you have only one choke, make it Light Modified. A 3 dram, 1-1/8 ounce load of 7.5’s will get you through most any match! 21” to 26” barrels are preferred but a 28” will do. A magazine tube should be long enough to hold 9+1 minimum, and don’t fret about it sticking past the muzzle!

A Fitting Tribute
As I have described, each of these terms has an associated adjustment capability. Each adjustment effects the way the gun reacts under recoil or alters how you see your sights, where the sights are in relation to your eye and in large measure where your shotgun’s payload impacts. It is important to adjust each of these elements in a “try and see” approach in order to receive the most benefit. My “fitting” begins with LOP, and then I shoot slugs for zero and pattern with shot. Using that info I know approximately where my cheek needs to be to have my POA and POI match. I will then change stock settings of drop and cast (short of permanent alterations) and then test for recoil control and comfort. If changes in pitch are needed to improve fast follow up shots I will balance those with drop and comb height. Then I’ll head back to the range to re-check zeros and then return to my shop for fine tuning (including permanent alterations). I love shooting my shotguns and in every instance I find a good fitting shotgun not only adds to my pleasure, but points to my game.

there are no absolutes

See you on the range!

It’s the greatest risk, and most feared occurrence in 3-gun, but the possibility of being injured by a stray round while at the range can never be discounted. The greatest defense in this situation is always a strong offense, and fortunately, developments in combat medicine overseas have helped provide methods to treat life-threatening injuries quickly and effectively. While a serious accident or injury may take a competitor out of a match, being prepared can ensure everyone leaves the range with a life to live. The Trauma Kit NOW! from Blue Force Gear was designed to supplement or replace a typical first aid kit with the essential gear needed to preserve life—while providing a convenient, durable, and modular system to secure and transport said gear. Constructed of 500d Cordura and proprietary Helium Whisper backing, the Trauma Kit NOW! contains the following:

on a side note
Written by James P. Mason

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Leeper Defends 3GN Junior Title
Written by Chad Adams Coming into the 2011 3GN season, there was some question over who the top junior was in the game. There was the remarkable Katie Harris, who after less than a year in the sport went on an absolute tear last year. Jake Denno seriously stepped up his game last year as well, an arc that continued into 2012 as Denno racked up huge points in Open. Throw in Lena Miculek, of the famed Miculek-Clark family tree of shooting, and 2012 looked to be an exciting race for the honor of top 3GN Junior. As good as all of these young shooters have proven to be, in two years no junior has been as good as Cody Leeper. After a breakout season last year, Leeper went on to defeat Jake Denno and JD Wilcox to win the inaugural 3GN Junior Championship Shoot-Off. Then the 17-year-old became the only junior shooter to qualify for the 3GN Pro Series this season. Finally, after Denno broke out to a huge lead early this year, Leeper ran him down to defend his 3GN Junior title. “It was very satisfying win,” Leeper said. “I was really challenged by Jake Denno this year and had to fight to overcome his scores and get on top in the beginning. Even then he is a strong competitor and was an everpresent threat to the title. Although winning the division outright through matches might not have been as suspenseful and exciting as the Shoot-Off last year, it was still a pleasing win.” Leeper’s achievement has not been without sacrifice, as the Emmett (Idaho) High School senior gave up all other sports to pursue his love of competition shooting. The results were impressive, as the junior shooter competed with Pro Series competitors at the highest level on his way to winning his second 3GN Junior crown. “I used to be a varsity athlete in football, wrestling and track, and after giving all of those up to be a dedicated shooter, it feels absolutely amazing to have it all pay off like it has,” Leeper said. “But I have to thank Colt, Junior Shooter Magazine, Warne and FNH USA, because without them I would not have had the year that I did.” To maintain his 3GN Pro Series card, Leeper will have to earn it back at the 3GN Pro Series Qualifier in February. While his scores were good enough to keep him in outright, Leeper did miss a match that knocked his cumulative score out of contention. However, Leeper has big plans for next season, and for his future. “After such a great year this year, you can definitely expect to see me at the Qualifier to earn a spot back among the Pro Series shooters,” Leeper said. “I plan to join the United States Air Force and become a mechanical engineer, so this means I have one more season left to put it all on the line before I join. It’s going to be all or nothing for me this coming season regardless of whether I qualify for the Pro Series or not. But you will see me branch out to limited (Tactical Iron) at the non Pro Series matches.”

i plan to join the united states air force and become a mechanical

engineer

3GN Lady Shoot-Off Set
Written by Chad Adams

ALL-MICULEK FINAL POSSIBLE WITH KAY AND DAUGHTER, LENA, QUALIFIED FOR LAS VEGAS
is proof this should be an exciting first round matchup. The remaining bracket is a rematch of last year’s championship round, where Miculek outlasted Liedorff on her way to winning the inaugural 3GN Lady Championship. Each competitor has significant ShootOff experience, and few women have accomplished as much in a shooting career as has Miculek. “I’ve got a little score to settle with my friend Kay,” Liedorff said. “So, yeah, I’m excited for the rematch! I love Shoot-Offs. They are really anyone’s game. I’ve got a decent amount of experience with Shoot-Offs and thrive in that format, so do I think I can win it all, heck yeah!” With Jerry Miculek in the 3GN Pro Series Shoot-Off, an all-Miculek Lady Shoot-Off final could set up quite a memorable night for the Cheaper Than Dirt! shooters. If the Miculeks should run the table, potentially $55,000 could be headed back to Shootout Lane in Louisiana.

Four ladies will step under the lights and face off for the title of 3-Gun Nation Ladies Champion, with the winner taking home $5,000 from Hornady, during the 3GN Championship in Las Vegas. Katie Harris, Kay Miculek, Dianna Liedorff and Lena Miculek qualified for this top-four 3GN Lady Shoot-Off. Harris, Kay Miculek and Liedorff are all making return trips to the 3GN Lady Championship. “As far as getting to the ‘big show,’ I’m looking forward to it,” said Liedorff, of Team FNH USA. “There was a lot of energy there last year and it’s exciting to get to be a part of it.” Harris comes into the Shoot-Off and will square off against number four seeded Lena Miculek, who qualifies in only her first year of competitive 3-gun. While Harris has significant experience in the 3GN Shoot-Off format, falling in last year’s championship to Liedorff in the first round, Miculek is obviously not a newcomer. The daughter of Jerry and Kay Miculek, her breakout season

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avoiding the

mayhem
how to control the factors you can prior to shooting a match
like making ammo changes last minute or modifying a gun until it refuses to run. While photographing at a recent national match I watched shooter after shooter struggle with their guns. As we all know, 3-gun is a timed event and when your firearm is acting like a surly teenager and running single shot, your scores are going to suck. I didn’t keep count, but I’ll bet I saw at least six shooters with rifles that malfunctioned on one long-range stage alone. Why? Those who would talk with me all told the same story. They freaked out about the long-range targets and let somebody talk them into switching ammo at the last minute. Most of them also admitted that they had messed with their rifles, trying to “tune” them for some perceived edge in the competition. Let’s address the “modification” issue first. The people who build the guns know how to make them run. That’s

Written by Bryce M. Towsley
Three-gun competitions are often little more than controlled mayhem. You never know what will go wrong. From high winds, rain or target malfunctions to shooter problems like road-food poisoning, Murphy is always a factor. So it puzzles me when a shooter fails to control the factors they can. A major match is expensive. With plane tickets, rental cars, gas, hotels, food, entry fees and ammo you can easily drop two grand or more. Most of us know we are not going to win, but any competitor wants to do the very best they can. So, why then, time and again have I witnessed shooters with gear that doesn’t work? That’s one of the few things you can control. I am not talking about the rifle that breaks an extractor or the shotgun that snaps a firing pin, I am talking about dumb stuff,

what they do for a living. Why mess with that? Unless you are an elite shooter running in the top 1%, it gains you nothing that is worth the risk. I run a Benelli M2 shotgun that I have used for three complete seasons without a single non-ammo-related issue. That kind of perfection is what Benelli is known for. Yet time and again I encounter shooters who have problems with their Benellis. In every single case I have investigated, and there have been dozens, they have “modified” the gun. Why? It already runs perfectly, how can you improve that? Some claim they want it to cycle faster. Why? The number of shooters who can outrun the cycle rate of a Benelli when shooting at targets is so small that a retired sawmill operator could count them on the remaining fingers of one hand. So the

shotgun will run some oddball, obscure slug? Really? What’s wrong with all those easier to find and less expensive slugs? Surely one of them will be just as accurate and a lot more reliable. I have seen this phenomenon in every action shooting sport from Cowboy Action Shooting to 3-gun; shooters trying to “buy” a win by modifying equipment. The elite guys might tweak their guns because of the infinitesimally

never make last minute changes.

that always ends badly.

small separation between first and second at their level, but for most shooters it’s a mistake. The top, sponsored guys have the best gunsmiths in the world working on their guns. They have a lot of time to work out the bugs and sponsors to supply another gun when things go wrong. They also will not risk a major match until they trust the gun. Assuming it’s done right and that it was not a bad call to start, the modification your buddy saw on YouTube might gain you a second or two in your total match time, with emphasis on the word might. So where will that put you? Moving up one place, maybe? Or not.

trigger than one that cycles .001-second faster. I want a gun I can trust and not have to worry about. That said, even if you do modify your guns, don’t take them to the match the next day. I know ammo is expensive, but compared to the cost of a match it’s nothing. Put a few hundred rounds through the gun to make sure it’s going to work. On the second point: Pick good ammo, zero your rifle, learn the holds for long range and stick with it! Don’t let your buddy talk you into changing. Read some ballistic charts. The advantage a messing with that kind of reliable performance. It’s the same with my Sig Sauer P226 X-5 Competition pistol. The only modification was a fiber-optic front sight for my aging eyes and a shorter magazine release because I am left handed and it was in my way. I run Federal, Blaser or American Eagle FMJ 9mm ammo in 115-grain or 124-grain, depending on what’s available.

But one jam, one misfire, one malfunction and now you have 5, 10 or 20 seconds added to your time and you just dropped five places. Is that worth it? The mental distraction alone can cost you another several places. I would rather have a gun that goes bang every time I pull the

dirty guns run poorly

I have stuck with this for two seasons because it works. When people tell me I need heavier bullets for knock down targets or a different recoil spring because the gun will run faster or whatever, I tune them out. It runs, I’m done. My time is better spent practicing. Also, pick good ammo. Showing up at a match with cheap imported ammo is asking for problems. You will be better served to use high-quality, American manufactured ammo that you know is accurate and will run flawlessly in your guns. I feel your pain of leaving those empty brass cases on the ground, but it’s part of shooting in a big match, so deal with it. Saving fifty bucks on ammo is not worth the heartache of blowing several stages because the cheap ammo won’t run in your gun once it gets hot and dirty. Clean your guns! I know it’s cool to brag that you don’t clean, but dirty guns run poorly.

So clean and lubricate your guns before any match They are machines, they require lubrication, remember that! Would you run your car engine without oil? After cleaning, run a least a magazine through each gun to make sure you put everything back in the right place. Most important, practice with the guns and ammo for weeks and months, until you are absolutely certain you have all the bugs worked out. After that, leave them alone. Never make last minute changes. That always ends badly.

“modification” unless you are an elite shooter running the top 1% it gains you nothing that is worth the risk

Any attempt by the anti-gun elite to hide their agenda has officially gone by the wayside. Recent electoral history had taught the gun control crowd to camouflage their intentions during the campaign season, and then wait for an opportune time to act. That tactic now appears to have run its course. With Obama winning a second term as president, the anti-gunners know they don’t have to face voters at least until mid-term elections, so they seem to be wasting no time in pressing what they see as an advantage, and are starting to once again come after our guns in earnest. Last week, anti-gun Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) staff met with the legal staff of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to discuss a new and very comprehensive “assault weapons” ban. they’ve always had. Feinstein has championed gun control in her state for decades, and was co-author of the original Clinton “assault weapons” ban in the 1990s. Furthermore, her antigun philosophy and agenda are in lockstep with President Obama’s stance on the issue. In the Oct. 16 presidential debate, Obama said that he supported a ban on “assault weapons” and implied that he supports restrictions on “cheap handguns.” As detailed on www.GunBanObama.com and www. GunBanFacts.com, Obama supported banning both types of firearms and many more when he was in the Illinois legislature, and supported banning “assault weapons” when he ran for the White House in 2008.

According to a ShootingWire.com article, Feinstein’s rumored “assault weapons” bill “would ban pistol grips and ‘high-capacity’ magazines, eliminate any grandfathering, and would ban sales It appears that the gun control of ‘weapons in possession.’” supporters have dropped the camouflage and have once again started working to This is not a new strategy for Feinstein further their gun control agenda. And and her allies; they are just newly the NRA will once again stand in their emboldened to drop the façade and way. press forward with the same agenda

no longer camoflaging their agenda,

anti-gunners start

gun ban plans

protecting our second ammendment freedom and hunting heritage

3-GUN NATION LAUNCHES NATIONAL CLUB SERIES
3GN STAFF REPORT
In May 2012, the 3GN Club Series debuted as a pilot program at select clubs across the country. In total, 396 shooters from seven local clubs competed and logged scores in the 3GN Club Series Pilot Program. Clubs from Oregon, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Utah, Oklahoma and North Carolina participated, with match directors donating their considerable time and experience to assist 3GN in developing this new program set to launch this month. Clubs signed up competitors, submitted stage designs, critiqued rules and commented on all facets of the 3GN Club program. This valuable data enabled 3GN to develop a baseline of what types of targets, facilities and stage designs were being used across the country. Like 3GN’s Outlaw Series, Club shooters’ top three scores were tabulated to determine an overall cumulative 3GN Club Series score. Cody Schelhing, of Powder River 3-Gun in Baker City, Oregon, and Ryan Zamberlan, of Indiana Multi-Gun Club, tied for top honors with a perfect 300 points apiece. By virtue of tiebreak, Schelhing was named the 2012 3GN Club Series Champion, winning a Stag Arms 3G Competition rifle. Pike Spraggins of Kentucky’s Blue Grass Sportsman’s League, finished third, followed by Robert Thompson, Powder River, and Austin Hecker, Montana’s Last Chance Handgunners. Last Chance Handgunners, Utah Defensive Pistol League, Powder River 3-Gun, US Shooting Academy, Tarheel 3-Gun, Indiana Multi-Gun, and Blue Grass Sportsman’s League all participated in the pilot program. 3-Gun Nation extends a sincere thanks to the match directors and club competitors for their

LOCAL 3GN MATCHES COMING TO A RANGE NEAR YOU IN 2013
invaluable contribution to the formation of what we hope will spark nationwide interest in the sport of 3-gun. With the pilot program now complete, attention turns to the full launch of the 3GN Club Series, and the debut of 3GN Classifiers and a nationwide 3GN Club Series points race. To be eligible, competitors must belong to a 3GN Club. Individual membership for 2013 is $25 per person. Competitors will earn immediate classifications upon shooting their first 3GN Classifier stage at a 3GN Club Series match. Initial 3GN Classifier Stages will come from the 3GN Pro Series Tour—you get to shoot the stages the Pros shoot, and see how you measure up. After initial classification, a competitor’s top four 3GN Classifier scores will be used to determine classification.

CLASSIFICATION EXPERT PRO SEMI-PRO HIGH MARKSMAN MARKSMAN AMATUER

SCORE
95 - 100% 84 - 94.9% 75 - 84.9% 60 - 74.9% 40 - 59.9% 2 - 39.96%

3GN Classifier Stages will also form the basis for a national points race. A Club competitor’s top three scores throughout the season will be tabulated to form a 3GN Club Series score. Now competitors across the country can compete against each other for 3GN prizes—without ever leaving their home range!

Searchable leaderboards, stage data, club information and more will all be housed on this site, creating a onestop website for anything related to club level 3-gun. All 3GN Clubs will receive an exclusive 3GN discount from MGM Targets. Clubs will also be eligible to apply to host future 3GN Pro Series matches (televised), and every club will receive a 3GN banner to advertise their participation in the 3GN Club Program. All 3GN individual members will receive an exclusive 3GN discount off all purchases at www.Brownells.com. Members will also receive the digital 3GN Magazine. For more information on signing up yourself or your club, look for coming updates at http:// memberships.3gunnation.com/type/club. Match directors interested in becoming a 3GN Club, contact Tennille Gibson-Chidester at Tennille@3gunnation.com.

3GN Club Series Prizes, Per Division
1st Prize: $5,000 and invite to 3GN Pro Series Qualifier Match 2nd Prize: Stag 3-Gun Rifle and invite to 3GN Pro Series Qualifier Match 3rd Prize: Shotgun (TBD) and invite to 3GN Pro Series Qualifier Match
Better still, all classifications and 3GN Club Series leaderboards will be updated and displayed on the new 3GN Membership pages, Powered by RangeLog.

3 SHOOTING
MISCONCEPTIONS

THAT CAN KEEP

YOU FROM

3-GUN
Written by Bruce Piatt

MISCONCEPTION # 1

“I can’t afford all those tricked out guns?”
The fact of the matter is, you can get started with guns you already have. I would bet most of you already have the guns to attend a local 3-gun match. If they’re not tucked away in your safe, then partner up with a buddy and pool your gear so you both can give 3-gunning a try. A rifle, pistol and shotgun is all you need. Let’s look at one gun at a time: Whether it be any one of the plastic frame striker-fired pistols on the market or a single stack 1911, if you have it, find a holster and join the fun. Naturally, if you have a hi-cap USPSA Limited gun, you’re ahead of the game, but don’t be afraid to jump in with whatever you have.

Shotgun

Rifle

A standard iron sighted AR-15, Mini-14, M-1A, etc., is all you need. In fact, I’ve won five SOF World Tactical Championships matches with just that, a 20” A2 configured AR-15. It started out as a box-stock AR-15. Over the years I slowly added or upgraded it with better triggers, sight blades, free floated fore-end and muzzle compensator but there’s nothing fancy about a winning gun.

With most 3-gun matches not requiring any special power factor, any 9 mm pistol is all you need. Standard 115- or 125-grain FMJ ammunition is more than sufficient and readily available at any gun store.

Pistol

Time and time again I hear people complain that they can’t afford a tricked out shotgun that’s needed in 3-gun. I’ve been in this game for a long time. Up until just recently when Remington Defense gave me a VersaMax, all I used to win five SOF World Championships and two USPSA National 3-Gun Championships is a Remington 1100 I bought in a pawn shop for $350. That’s right, a pawn shop gun that I stuck a magazine extension on and installed a loading port button extension. Even if you have a pump shotgun you use for hunting, drop a magazine extension on and hit the range. While 3-gunning may look complex, I’m here to tell you it’s nothing but applying the basics of marksmanship while negotiating the course of fire in the most efficient use of time. Usually the targets are not difficult but the pressure we put on ourselves to “be fast” is what makes things difficult.

Challenge, Bullseye, High Power—whatever it may be. Maybe you even travel to a couple of big matches day and what do you find ... 3-Gun Nation Pro Series! They’re “runnin’ and gunnin,’ laughing and carrying throughout the year or are very successful in your particular discipline. You’re flipping the channels one

Let’s assume that you are an average shooter in whatever discipline you may shoot. IDPA, USPSA, Steel

on with each other, just having so much fun. How could any shooter not want to give it a try? For many, the hardest step to getting involved in a new shooting discipline is the first step, so I’m here to give you a hand and show you just how easy and affordable it can be.

MISCONCEPTION # 2

“I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRACTICE FOR 3-GUN”
Hit the range and learn how to manipulate your particular gun, learn how to safely get in and out of different shooting positions, experiment until you find a method that works for you. Do this slowly, as safety is more important than speed. In time, your speed will increase, but it’s important to focus on making the hits and moving from one shooting position to the next, safely and efficiently. Focus on making the hits and leave “going fast” out of the equation for a while. Believe me, you will come to appreciate this advice. It’s easier to be a safe, accurate shooter that needs to learn to go a little faster than a fast shooter that needs to learn how to be more accurate. In time, you will find your balance and will be enjoying 3-gunning firsthand. malfunctions. Buy a box or two of each brand and load until you find what consistently works in your gun. Once you find one, buy it in bulk and stick with it.

Match Time

Preparation

One of the biggest frustrations I see in new shooters is getting your guns to run reliable. It’s no fun wrestling with malfunctioning guns while trying to learn a new sport. The majority of issues new shooters encounter comes from shotgun/ammo combinations. Most matches require nothing but simple 3 dram, 1 1/8-ounce #7 ½ shot. It’s important to do your homework and know what ammo will run in your shotgun. Some try to reduce their load so as to not have to deal with the added recoil, only to suffer gun

If you’ve followed my advice, you’ve gathered the gear, you’ve done your homework and now it’s time for your first match. Many local clubs host monthly 3-gun matches. Step right up, let them know it’s your first time, and I think you will be surprised that you will have a lot support from the range staff and fellow shooters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about range procedures or gear questions. That’s half the fun of hitting a local match, wandering past the gun racks and seeing everyone’s gear. Most times if you ask, they will be eager to share their stories or maybe even let you try out their gear. You’ll find a wide array of holsters, mag pouches, shotgun shell carriers, etc. Save yourself some headache and ask around to what others are using before spending your hard earned money. Better yet, ask another shooter to let you give it a try before you make a decision.

IT’S EASIER TO BE A SAFE , ACCURATE SHOOTER THAT NEEDS TO LEARN TO GO A LITTLE FASTER THAN A FAST SHOOTER THAT NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO BE MORE ACCURATE.

SHOOTING IN YOUR UNDIES

DON’T SAY THAT 5 TIMES FAST

GUNS. AMMO. HORDES OF THE UNDEAD.
The groundbreaking Call of Duty: Black Ops II is now available at retail locations across the globe. The highly-anticipated sequel to the best-selling Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 console game in history has been called “the most ambitious Call of Duty ever,” pushing the boundaries of the blockbuster franchise to new heights by propelling players into a world full of advanced weaponry, robotics and drone technology in the year 2025. Call of Duty: Black Ops II injects players into a potential near future—a Twenty-First Century Cold War in which technology and weapons have merged to create a new generation of warfare. Black Ops 2 introduces players to a diabolical villain named Raul Menendez who hijacks the U.S. military infrastructure to advance his own agenda. Take control of the power of near-future technology and next-gen robotics t o pull the back from the brink of annihilation. The campaign narrative jumps between various characters’ perspectives and also in time. The Cold War-era missions follow characters such as Alex Mason and Sgt. Frank Woods from the first Black Ops. Shooting is as fun and precise as ever, and alongside the abundance of gigantic explosions, vehicle missions and intense firefights, it feels like you are starring in an action film. In that sense, the believably high-tech signage and architecture makes Black Ops II feel plausible even when it dives into non-historical settings. The complete package also delivers the fan-favorite Zombies game created by Treyarch. The beloved and terrifying cooperative game mode makes players take on an unrelenting horde of the undead. The Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies offering is the biggest yet, featuring three different modes to survive the zombie apocalypse. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is available worldwide on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC. The title is scheduled for release in North America on November 18, 2012, for the new Wii UTM game system from Nintendo. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is published by Activision Publishing, Inc., and is rated “M” (Mature – Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs – content suitable for persons ages 17 and older) by the ESRB. More information on Call of Duty: Black Ops II can be found at CallofDuty.com/BlackOps2 or on Facebook.

HAVE YOU PLAYED CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS II? WHAT DID YOU THINK? DID IT LIVE UP TO THE HYPE? CLICK HERE AND TELL US ON FACE BOOK.

nonsense!

MISCONCEPTION # 3

“I’M NOT FAST ENOUGH TO SHOOT 3-GUN”
Nonsense! Just like any action-shooting sport, speed will come with experience. First of all, remember that you’ve just watched the “best of the best” on “3-Gun Nation.” Those Pro-Card holders have the best gear, they’ve trained extensively and they’ve invested a lot of time perfecting their talents. As a beginner, you have to remain focused on competing safely and at a speed relative to your own ability. Nobody is going to criticize you for shooting slower than others. Remember, we’ve all been there before, we’ve all come up through the ranks, we’ve all had “our first match.” If you have that itch to give 3-Gun a try, by all means, do whatever you can to make it happen. Buy, beg or borrow whatever gear you don’t have and make it happen. I can guarantee you won’t regret it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “It’s 3 times the guns for 3 times the fun.”

domination @ the rock

Few competitors have been on an upward rise as steep as Greg Jordan.

TOP COP TAKES ARFCOM-ROCKCASTLE PRO AM & 3GN SHOOT-OFF
Jordan went back to the drawing board, determined to take his game to another level. “Last year after some tough breaks I sat back and really analyzed where my weaknesses were,” Jordan said. “After picking out a couple key points I put together a rather tough training schedule this year and stuck to it. Each practice had a purpose and it was not always fun!” This season brought more change for Jordan in terms of teammates. Formally with Team Lancer, Jordan switched over to Team FNH USA in 2012; his 2011 season positioning Jordan as one of the best young talents in the game. “Last year after the FN Championship I was approached by the team and offered the unbelievable opportunity to join up!” Jordan said. “These were the guys that everyone sees when they pull into a match with the big blue rig! FN offered so many opportunities and opened up the gate to other sponsors. It was an opportunity I could not pass up! There was a little learning/test period for me to get accustomed to the new guns, but once everything got worked out I never looked back. ”

Since converting to 3-gun, the Grand Masterlevel pistol shooter has been on a tear. At Fort Benning in 2010, Jordan seemingly came out of nowhere to take third in Tactical Optics. In 2011 he notched a pair of second place finishes at Ozark and Rocky Mountain. At RM3G, Jordan was equally impressive in the 3GN Shoot-Off, where if not for a tough break on a flying clay his run against eventual winner Daniel Horner might have been dramatically different. Then in last season’s 3GN Championship Shoot-Off, Jordan matched up against U.S. AMU’s Tyler Payne, dropping a highly competitive bout that truly could have gone either way, and losing a slot in Vegas and a chance $50,000. So after an absolutely meteoric rise, one would understand if the Pennsylvania law enforcement officer felt satisfied—but not Jordan. After a breakout year in 2012,

With rededicated purpose, better training, and now with the support of arguably the most dedicated pure 3-gun team outside of Ft. Benning, Georgia, Jordan, after some early struggles in 2012, heated up down the stretch. It all finally came together in perfect unison at the AR15.com-Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun, where Jordan was absolutely dominating from start to finish, taking a Pro Series match win along with his first 3GN Shoot-Off victory. “After the first couple matches of the season I was ready for Pro Am,” Jordan said. “Up until that point in the year we saw mostly bay-type stages on the Tour. I had never shot Pro Am before, so I did my homework, I watched YouTube! I studied the stage designs and realized that it was going to be a more traditional 3-gun match. I geared all my training towards harder shots with pistol and shotgun, and long-range rifle. As far as my match performance, I never felt like I was pushing myself while shooting. I felt like my stages were smooth and I was shooting clean.” Those results officially revealed what had been one of the most talked about developments of the match. Perennial favorite Daniel Horner had suffered a stage DQ, effectively eliminating himself from match and 3GN Shoot-Off contention. However, Horner’s miscue isn’t the full story of how Jordan won. Further examination shows Jordan arguably would have won the match outright. The stage that Horner DQ’d, stage 5, was a stage Jordan won in a time of 29.22, .03 seconds faster than Taran Butler. Had Horner not miscued, could the Army phenom have won stage 5? Absolutely. Would it have been enough to overcome the 711.82 to 609.35 advantage Jordan had over Horner? Not necessarily. Ultimately, Jordan outlasted Butler by 15 match points, along with an entire 3GN Pro Series field, to pick up his first major 3-gun win—impressive any way you cut it. “When I looked at the scores for the first time at the lodge, I couldn’t find Daniel’s name,” Jordan said. “I did not realize that he had DQ’d on a stage. After I realized that initially I was upset. No competitor wants to win at another’s hardship. I wanted to win with everyone else having the match I had. Later I studied the scores and did some math. Daniel would have had to pick

up a stage win to take the match. While that is totally possible with Daniel, it made me feel better about my performance. To this point in 3-gun, every win against Daniel has been close. He is such a consistent force in the sport that a victory is definitely hard earned. I know that we all had some stages that we would like to have back and that is life, but I feel that it is the best that I have shot to date.” In 3GN Shoot-Offs, Jordan had a history of bad breaks, close runs and tough matchups dating back to Fort Benning. Following the Pro Am, the tough matchups were all but a certainty with an absolutely loaded field in attendance. And right out of the gate Jordan drew Keith Garcia, a two-time 3GN Shoot-Off winner, one of the toughest outs in 3-gun. “I was feeling very relaxed heading in to the ShootOff,” Jordan said. “I had just shot the best match of my career and I was feeling confident. Then the shooting order was called, and I drew Keith Garcia. I have become good friends with Keith this year and shot with him in a couple of matches and I knew I had my work cut out. I took some time before the event to get my mind right. The thing about Shoot-Offs is that everyone that made it has the skills to win; it is the one with the best mental game that usually prevails. Once again my team was in my corner giving me advice all the way. After the first run with Keith, I analyzed my performance and I felt even more relaxed. I was shooting well!” Jordan knocked off Garcia, setting up a second round matchup with Tyler Payne, a 3GN Championship rematch. Jordan stepped to the line eager for a little payback. “After losing to Tyler in the final 2011 Shoot-Off, I was eager for the rematch,” Jordan said. “For whatever reason I remember pushing a little harder on this one, I wanted the win! When the smoke cleared I had just edged him out. This was the first time I had made it past the second round!” Then in the final, Jordan stepped to the line to face one of the most intimidating Shoot-Off competitors in 3-gun—Jerry Miculek. With Miculek’s legendary speed

this year has

helped my confidence immensely

in the format, Jordan knew he would need to run clean to beat one of the game’s best in a double elimination final. “Jerry’s reputation speaks for itself, and I knew that if it came down to a shotgun vs. shotgun run, I probably wasn’t going to fare well,” Jordan said. “I had to put in some strong work on the first two guns to win. During the first run with Jerry I was in trouble right out of the

gate. I was playing catch-up through the pistol and the rifle. When I heard Jerry stop shooting the rifle, I remember thinking I was in trouble. When I cleared the rifle and looked right, Jerry was having an issue with the shotgun. This was just enough time for me to get to work. “My mental game prevailed on the last run; I was disciplined just as I planned and was able to edge out Jerry. Shooting against Jerry was something that I will always remember; I grew up watching him and could not believe that I was now shooting head-to-head against him.” Ultimately, Jordan defeated Miculek in two straight bouts for the title. With a major match win and a 3GN Shoot-Off victory under his belt, Jordan heads to Las Vegas extremely confident and one of a few competitors labeled as a favorite to make the money. “This year has helped my confidence immensely,” Jordan said. “Of course I will have a Shoot-Off set up at my range, just like everyone else. I think it will take more than just physical skill. I think that a Shoot-Off of this magnitude will be won by a shooter that possess ShootOff experience, good shooting skills and a great mental game. The last point is the key, it is the cheapest to train, but the hardest to master! That will be my plan to prepare. I will practice for every imaginable scenario and make practice as real as possible. I feel that when January rolls around I will be ready to win the Rumble in Vegas!”

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Written by James P. Mason

destination 3-gun
available for your enjoyment, including a challenging 18-hole golf course, an onsite winery, a restaurant complete with panoramic views, cave exploration, and more than 2,000 acres of trails for hiking, biking and exploring. It’s no surprise then, with all the accommodations available at Park Mammoth Resort, that Rockcastle Shooting Center is quickly becoming the nation’s premiere shooting sports resort. Home to some of the largest shooting competitions (ARFCOM-Rockcastle Pro Am 3-Gun; Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun), it is not too far-fetched to imagine that you will be enjoying their hospitality sooner or later. It is estimated that by the end of 2012, Rockcastle will have hosted more than 50 shooting competitions (nearly one per week)! Whether you’re headed to Rockcastle to compete or simply spend some quality time with friends and family, the Noble brothers and their dedicated staff will do all they can to ensure you sleep well, eat well, play hard and relax to your heart’s content.

Hidden within the picturesque rolling Kentucky hills, just within eyeshot of Interstate 65, lies a shooter’s paradise. The brainchild of brothers Nate and Nick Noble, Park Mammoth Resort is the home of an entire family of properties designed to provide guests (code word for shooters) with every possible creature comfort available, while providing fantastic hospitality and recreation. Rockcastle Shooting Center, an expansive staple property within the resort, expands further into captivating landscape than can be seen from any single vantage point. From a sunflower bordered shotgun sporting clays course, an entire “downtown” facade for Cowboy Action Shooting, to standard pistolstyle competition and training bays, the Rock can accommodate virtually any style of shooting. However, Rockcastle is most known for its natural, rolling terrain. Thunder Valley, the property’s signature long-range shooting area, enables distance targets uncommon in the eastern U.S. Challenging shotgun and pistol woods courses follow game trails through thick Kentucky hardwoods, providing shooting backdrops unmatched by standard square bays. With great foresight, Park Mammoth Resort is well equipped for many vacation contingencies such as inclement weather, the inevitable 12 hours of darkness each day, and even the occasional bored spouse. For the few moments you, your family, or your friends are unable to pull triggers, a variety of options are

Park Mammoth Resort 22850 Louisville Road Park City, KY 42160 270.749.4101 www.parkmammothresort.us

With 2,000 acres of prime trophy whitetail land adjacent to over 60,000 acres of national Forest, Park mammoth Resort provides the opportunity to hunt much more than paper and steel targets. If you are unsure of where and when to hunt—we are absolutely confident that the staff at Park Mammoth Resort would be happy to help you achieve a most satisfying hunting experience.

Overlooking miles of rolling Southern Kentucky hills, The Lookout Restaurant expertly combines the senses—matching the splendor of your surroundings with an authentic Kentucky cuisine experience sure to leave you checking your watch, anxiously awaiting your next meal.

Whether you prefer to walk, run, ride or drive—the various outdoor exploration opportunities provided by Park Mammoth Resort are sure to provide challenge and enjoyment. If by chance you feel you have exhausted all the opportunities above ground, then might we recommend you put on a helmet and explore the naturally cooled caves that accent this distinct geological region.

When the sun goes down and your guns are clean, head downstairs to the onsite Cave Valley Winery where you can enjoy what truly can be coined “a house wine.” Even in a dry county, this small, relaxing winery allows for sampling and enjoyment of some of the finer things in life!

If you ever tire of hitting your target in one shot, head over to Cave Valley Golf Club and enjoy the exquisitely groomed and challenging 18-hole course. With a brand new Golf Pro on staff, and every accommodation you might need, including carts and smooth paths, who knows—you may actually match your long-range skills with a well-placed (lucky) hole-in-one!

INSIDER TIP
While in the area, be sure to travel north on I-65 about 10 miles to Cave City where you will find El Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant about a quarter mile east off the exit. We won’t spoil the suprise, but we will tell you that during the AR15.COM-ROCKCASTLE PRO-AM, this place was filled every night with shooters - and it wasn’t because of the unique wallpaper.

click for directions!

SAMSON SHOOTERS WORK MAJOR MATCHES ENCOURAGING NEW SHOOTERS AND GROWING 3-GUN

gives back

“Once the regular match starts you get up well before first light, get to your stage, make it ready, and then run shooters until dark,” Vaught continued. “Non-stop, no breaks.” Team Samson’s Brian Vaught, Bryan Ray and Andrew Dreher recently volunteered to RO at the 2012 Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun. For Vaught and Ray, it was the latest in several major matches the brothers-in-law have worked since finding 3-gun a few years ago. For Dreher, who works for Samson, it was his first time officially working a major match; however, he has become an ever-present face at matches across the country, often lending a hand to match staff when needed. And their reward—only the toughest stage to work at this year’s Blue Ridge. “Three days of stress!” Ray said, describing the mental drain one experiences running shooters, especially during a tough, physically demanding match such as Blue Ridge. “As an RO, you want to provide each and every competitor the same experience and an equal opportunity on your stage. To do this requires concentration, dedication and patience. The reward is a ‘thank you’ and handshake from the competitors as they leave your stage with a smile.” “It was quite an experience to see the other side of a match,” added Dreher. “I anticipated a lot of work just because of the reputation of Blue Ridge; however, I never realized how much teamwork a group of ROs have to have in order to make a match like that successful.”

As the sun first begins to light the tree line, eating away the pre-dawn darkness over the range, an Army of boots are already marching throughout the area— carrying supplies, repairing targets, setting the stage. As most competitors are just beginning to crawl out of bed, the unsung heroes of every 3-gun match are already very hard at work. Completely comprised of volunteers, many of which would never have the means to otherwise compete in a major match, Range Officers are the most important, and often overlooked, component to a successful match experience. However, if a free match fee is your only motivation to work a major match—think again. A Range Officer’s job is quite likely the toughest gig in all of 3-gun. “It is a lot of work, but for those of us that really love this stuff, it can be a lot of fun as well,” said Brian Vaught. “For BRM3G (Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun) it is a five-plus-day, all-day-long event. First you show up the day before and get an R.O. briefing. Then you shoot five stages the first day, four the second. That can wear you out but it is shooting, and any shooting is good.

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This year, the Samson volunteers drew a woods course that weaved its way well over 100 yards over uneven, rocky terrain. More than 50 rifle rounds were required before transitioning to numerous pistol and shotgun targets. Throw in a tricky 180-trap during a bend in the trail, one well-covered in the stage description, and the Samson stage proved an extremely challenging one in which to run shooters. “You really have to stay awake, alert, organized, and on your game,” Vaught said. “Safety is paramount. Be fair and consistent as possible, and try to make sure everyone has a good time. Be polite, but be in control.” If tough working conditions aren’t enough of a deterrent,

then match shooting conditions surely should be. Instead of shooting the match on a traditional schedule, ROs are forced to cram in the entire match into an abbreviated timeframe. Walk throughs suffer by comparison, there is more work to be done setting the stage and running fellow ROs, and on the woods courses common at Blue Ridge, finding targets can be even more of a challenge. “(It) probably hurts your score,” Vaught said. “You just do not have the time to focus and shoot your best game. You are too rushed. In a natural terrain match, many times you can’t find the targets to shoot at. By

is helping them have fun shooting for the first time

the most appealing thing for me

the time 100 shooters have gone, entire trees have been felled by gunfire and are no longer obscuring targets.” “It’s a little different challenge, especially at a natural terrain match,” Ray added. “Many times the ROs are the guys clearing shooting lanes to targets, not with an axe or machete, but with shotgun shells and rifle rounds. “The difference is astounding sometimes in how a stage looks from when the ROs shoot it and halfway through the match,” Ray continued. “At BRM3G this year, we shot five stages on Tuesday and four on Wednesday. There wasn’t any time to relax between stages for fear of losing too much daylight. The squads are small and when one shooter is running the clock and another the scoreboard, the remaining shooters really have to hustle to get a stage reset.” Longer hours, tougher shooting conditions, and with what at times can be back-breaking work, ROing a major match is no picnic. At Blue Ridge, several RO teams calculated they walked or ran well over 30 miles, on the

clock, shooting their match and running shooters. The question begs, “Why on earth would anyone do it?” “To see the look on their face change as they hear the walk through, shoot the stage, and then get finished,” Vaught said. “It can go from doubt, to frustration, to amazement in a few short minutes. I really do enjoy seeing them do well. I love to see someone new get as big a kick out of 3-gun as I do. “Ever see a guy start shaking on the line before the buzzer?” Vaught continued. “That guy deserves to get his money’s worth, and the RO’s full attention.” “I think it’s great to see new shooters,” Dreher added. “The most appealing thing for me is helping them have fun shooting a match for the first time. They will either have fun or feel stressed, and I believe it is the job of every shooter and RO alike to do their part to make sure a brand new shooter feels comfortable, stays safe and has a lot of fun.” Most shooters can surely understand the joy of helping a fellow shooter experience 3-gun for the first time. However, being a solid RO requires something even

you really have to stay awake, alert, organized, and on your game.

more. Running shooters brings with it a responsibility, one that cannot be taken lightly. “It gives the RO an opportunity to have a positive impact on someone who is new to our sport,” Ray said. “The shooter can be greeted with a smile, offered words of encouragement, and even assistance if the rules of the match allow it for new shooters. Many times, the attitudes of the ROs are what keeps a new shooter coming back or causes them to give up on the sport. With the other ROs I’ve worked with in the past, fortunately the attitudes are those which hook the new shooters on the sport. “The competitors deserve nothing less,” Ray continued. “They’ve paid their match fees, travel costs, lodging, ammo, etc., to give their greatest attempt at shooting at the top of their game. As an RO, I feel like we owe it to them to give it our best effort at running a fair, safe and consistent stage.” The fact of the matter is that 3-gun, at any level, from a

local club match, to Major Outlaw match, to televised events on the 3GN Pro Series, none of it happens without the immense support from volunteer match staff. Dedicated, tireless, hard-working advocates of the sport, volunteer match staff, ROs chief among them, are critical in further growing 3-gun. “None of this sport happens without volunteers,” Vaught said. “There are a lot of ROs that work way more events than I do, and my hat goes off to them. Anyone who thinks the free match entry, a box lunch, shirt, and getting to walk the prize table is proportionate payback for the work an RO puts into a match is delusional. For the hours, the risk, and the responsibility, there are not many who would do this out of anything but love for the sport.” “Volunteers are the backbone of the sport,” Ray added. “Without those individuals willing to be match directors, range masters, range officers, and statisticians, there would be no matches. The RO is often the only direct

contact a shooter has with match staff and it’s the RO’s attitude that forms a lasting impression on the shooters for any given match.” Take the most creative match director, placing amazing stages at the greatest venue, and put together a deep prize table for all the competitors—but if the ROs can’t deliver, then it’s still likely that most competitors will go home unhappy. “ROs are the backbone of a match,” Dreher said. “It takes a good match director to organize a good match, but he has to have the backup of the ROs. Without good ROs a great match would not even be a good match.” Sponsored shooters are not often seen working events. In most cases, why would they? While sponsorship still has many definitions in this sport, it can often mean help with travel expenses, paid slots for matches, and more. To see competitors in race shirts working a match speaks volumes about their character and their love of the sport.

“I want to give back to the sport that has given me so much enjoyment,” Ray said. “I appreciate the hard work of ROs at all the matches I’ve shot and want to show that appreciation by returning the favor. I think it makes a good impression on the new shooter and veteran competitor to see guys they know working stages, it serves as a small reminder that this is a volunteer sport.” “I wanted to work the match to show shooters our support,” Dreher added. “We put prizes on the tables at a lot of matches and its great, but I felt that working a match is a different level of support and I wanted to give back to the shooters that support us by spreading the word of our products. The only way to help every shooter have a great experience is to put yourself in that position.”

volunteers are the backbone of the sport

Written by Chad Adams In 2011, the Tactical Iron divisions at most Outlaw 3-gun matches allowed the use of 1X optics, which sparked renewed interest in what had become a waning class. In the two seasons since, several match wins have fallen at the hands of competitors running the Leupold Prismatic. “Last year, I used the same rifle setup I would have if I’d shot Tactical Optics class, with the one difference being the Leupold Prismatic instead of a magnified scope,” said James Casanova. “Before the season got rolling and I was contemplating making the division switch to Limited/TI, I tested just about every red dot that fit the application. Then I got lucky, when my brother found a Prismatic on sale at the local Gander, and I figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try.” The Prismatic is constructed of 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. It features an illuminated reticle with eight brightness settings; however, the Prismatic also utilizes an etched glass reticle as well. So if the illumination module should ever fail, or more likely when batteries die, the etched glass reticle is there to save your match.

DiamondCoat 2TM has the additional advantage of providing the greatest level of abrasion resistance possible, proving it’s worth in the wildest places on earth - even your most demanding 3-Gun stage.

Exterior lens surfaces are treated with DiamondCoat 2TM, an ion-assist lens coating, assisting in light transmission, for greater brightness, clarity and contrast.

1x the fun from leupold
Built on a 30mm tube, one Leupold claims is the thickest main tube the company has ever built, the Prismatic is robust enough to stand up to 3-gun punishment. Ultimately, the Prismatic is lightning fast on close-range targets yet still more than capable for long-range work with the appropriate reticle. Casanova is one of several 3-gunners who regularly compete in multiple divisions. In 2012, Casanova shot the 3GN Pro Series, in Tactical Optics, while running his Prismatic in Tactical Iron divisions at other Outlaw matches. “Of all the 1X options out there, I liked it the best,” Casanova said. “One of the really cool things about running the Prismatic is that barrel length becomes less of an issue, since sight radius is not part of the equation, plus you can swap the sight system back and forth between a magnified scope and the non-magnified without alternating any other aspect of the rifle.”

PRODUCT SPECS
LEUPOLD PRISMATIC

MAGNIFICATION FIELD OF VIEW OBJECTIVE EYE RELIEF WEIGHT ELEVATION ADJUSTMENT RANGE WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT RANGE OVERALL LENGTH TUBE LENGTH TUBE DIAMETER MSRP

1X 83.0 (ft/100 yd) 14mm 3.4 inches 8.3 ozs.

70 MOA

70 MOA

5 inches 2.6 inches 30 mm $624.99

a perfect 3-gun rifle ammo option?
Written by Bryce M. Towsley

When it comes to gear for 3-gun shooting I am a huge believer in the KISS principle.
(That stands for Keep It Simple Stupid)
For example, I shot a match a while ago with a guy who apparently had a different rifle load for every stage. How does he stand the stress? There is enough to worry about in any 3-gun match, so why complicate things with multiple ammo products? My philosophy is “find one load and use it for everything.” Life will be so much simpler. I had that perfect load, and life was good, until disaster struck. I am a Federal guy when it comes to ammo. For as long as I have been shooting 3-gun seriously I used Federal .223 Remington ammo with 55-grain Ballistic Tip bullets. It’s a great load, shoots half-inch groups from my JP rifle and runs flawlessly. It handles long-range targets well and making me switch ammo would be as tough as nails. Beat me with a club, I don’t care; I ain’t gonna do it.

Mind Altering MGM Ironman
But then as the MGM Ironman match approached this year my world was knocked off its axis. There was no 55-grain BT ammo to be found. After several sleepless nights, I reluctantly ordered Federal Match ammo with 69-grain Sierra MatchKing bullets. At my 100-yard range, in spite of all my predictions of disaster, the JP rifle put them all in one ragged hole. As I looked at the target the little voice in my head was saying, “Pay attention dummy, this stuff might work.” I filled the truck the next day with steel targets and ran down to a buddy’s farm, hoping the wet spring meant he had not planted any corn yet. One field was open enough to shoot and I worked out the scope dope to 550 yards. At the Ironman, I smacked all the long-range match targets, mostly with first shot hits. I even found I had enough time on the clock left to have a go at the longrange bonus targets. I didn’t bring a long-range rifle so when I finished with the pistol, Katie Harris handed me my JP rifle. I slapped in a magazine and took a prone position. The bonus targets were five hits each at 550, 650 and 799 yards. I figured, what the hell, I had my holds for the close target. Maybe I can hit that one a few times before the buzzer ended my misery. When I was done, all fifteen bonus targets were hit and several seconds remained on the clock. As far as I know I am the only competitor to do that this year, using a competition carbine in .223 instead of a precision rifle. As I walked back up the hill to the starting line there were two things happening. One, I was grinning like a kid at Christmas and two, I was thinking maybe I needed to

give this ammo a chance. After several more matches, including some targets out to 600 yards, I don’t think I have left a long-range target un-hit this year. On the close stuff, I am shooting faster than ever. Fast enough to draw a few compliments from some top shooters. (Which I can tell you is a huge ego booster!)

Let’s Get Technical
This ammo runs perfectly in my rifle and every time I pull the trigger it goes bang. The Sierra Matchking bullet has a long standing and well-deserved reputation for superb accuracy. The bullet exits my gun’s 18-inch barrel at 2,756 feet per second. At that velocity, Sierra lists the ballistic coefficient at .305. Once the velocity drops below 2,200 fps, which happens at 214 yards, the BC goes up to .317, so it shoots flat and carries energy well downrange.

The 69-grain bullet stabilizes well in my rifle’s 1:8 twist and does just as well in the common 1:9 twist rate rifles. It maintains that stability for ultra-long-range accuracy. Recently I shot it at 1,000 yards at the Sig Sauer Academy range. Once I learned the hold, I could hit the target every time and maintain about an MOA group. This proves that the bullet is remaining stable even at that extreme distance. This bullet shoots slightly flatter than the Federal 77-grain Sierra load. With a 200-yard zero it impacts three inches higher at 400 yards. While the 77-grain has a slight advantage in retained energy, there is only eighteen foot-pounds difference at 400 yards. That works out to a 3.7% increase, big whoop. I have never encountered a knock down or flash target that didn’t activate with this 69-grain bullet. When hosing the close targets there is no perceivable recoil difference from the 55-grain bullets. You can’t say that with the heavy 75-grain and up bullets. With the 69-grain, I cannot detect a measurable difference from my old 55-grain

loads. But that is not true with the ultra-heavy .223 bullets, they kick more. After a dozen or so matches, I’ve had an epiphany. My old 55-grain Federal ammo was good, but this 69-grain Matchking .223 load is great. I like to think that even at my age I can learn and grow, and because of it I think I have found a new “perfect” rifle ammo load for 3-gun.

PRODUCT SPECS FEDERAL 69 GRAIN 223 REM
LOAD NUMBER
GM223M

CALIBER
223 REM.

BULLET WEIGHT
69 Grains

BULLET STYLE
Sierra MatchKing BTHP

MUZZLE VELOCITY
2,950 fps

MUZZLE ENERGY
1,333 foot pounds

i think i have found

a new “perfect” rifle ammo
load for 3-gun

...and mecharmor defense systems introducing tac-ops-1 charging handle
I’m a firm believer that the AR15/M16 is the finest rifle system ever devised. However, that does not mean the platform is without shortcomings, especially in regards to specific needs of the 3-gun competitor. Luckily, that AR (which author Bryce Towsley has long said stood for “America’s Rifle”) is extremely modular, and the explosion in popularity in the last decade has seen an equal rise in the aftermarket accessories now available. Recently one such item came across my desk, the MechArmor Defense Tac-Ops-1 Charging Handle. While this product was designed for the tactical community, it has much crossover appeal for 3-gun shooters. The Tac-Ops-1 is CNC machined from aircraft grade Alcoa 7075 T6 billet aluminum and manufactured in an ISO-9001 rated facility—this is a product designed for hard military use. The charging handle successfully passed a 10,000-round, zero-failure independent test by Colt Defense in 2012, according to MechArmor. An interesting upgrade is a 42-percent larger roll pin to beef up durability. But what the Tac-Ops-1 really delivers for the avid 3-gunner is versatility. This game requires run-and-gun shooting, long-range precision, and a multitude of unconventional shooting positions. To play at all, you must be able to perform manual of arms on the clock, meaning you must be able to run the bolt. Since most competitors are running scopes set rearward (toward the shooter) as possible, operating a Mil-Spec charging handle and running the bolt can be challenging. The MechArmor Defense Tac-Ops-1 minimizes that difficulty and is a tremendous upgrade over standard charging handles. In testing, we found the Tac-Ops-1 easier to manipulate in barricade and prone positions typical in match design today. It also ran flawlessly in multiple rifle platforms with various sighting systems employed. for more info visit mechdefense .com

Written by Chad Adams

Semi-Pro Shoot-Off Set For Vegas Rumble
Written by Chad Adams

BECKER, O’GLEE, TURNER & BIRDSALL
posted monster scores to run away with the number one seed in Semi-Pro, including a match win at MGM Ironman and a second place finish in Tactical Iron at Northwest Multigun Challenge. Kyle O’Glee finished second behind a match win at Midwest 3-Gun and a solid second place finish at Texas Mulligan Championship. Rick Birdsall and Joel Turner needed every weekend in the season to crack the top four. Turner, who is in his first season shooting with the U.S. AMU, jumped divisions to get his points down the stretch, with big finishes at Fallen

Four competitors will converge in Las Vegas in January to compete for the inaugural 3GN SemiPro Division Championship, with the winner taking home the title of 3GN Semi-Pro Champion and $5,000 from DoubleStar. The top four competitors qualified out of 113 shooters that logged scores at 3GN partner matches and were signed up to compete in the 3GN Semi-Pro Series. Of the four competitors, two steamrolled their way through the 2012 campaign, while it took the final weekend for the final two spots in the 3GN Semi-Pro Shoot-Off to be claimed. Warren Becker

TO COMPETE FOR $5,000
Brethren in Heavy Metal Optics and Blue Ridge in Heavy Metal to move more than 20 spots into the top four. For Birdsall, the big move was made at Blue Ridge where his second place finish earned him 99 series points to propel him into the final slot. “Initially I just hoped to make into the top 25 to make it into the invitational,” Birdsall said. “But when the opportunity presented itself (to make the Shoot-Off), I knew I had to bear down and get in. It’s a really exciting opportunity. It’s a great chance to compete against some of the best up and coming shooters in the sport. It’s a great chance to get accustomed to the Pro Series in Vegas.” In the first round, the fourth-seeded Birdsall will take on the top seed, Becker. In the opposing bracket, O’Glee, the second seed, will square off against the three seed, Turner. The winners will advance to the Championship round, where the winner will claim the title of 3GN Semi-Pro Champion, taking home a $5,000 payday from DoubleStar Corporation. The four finalists are also among the top 25 3GN Semi-Pro competitors who have earned an invitation to the 3GN Pro Series Qualifier Match Feb. 9 in St. Augustine, Fla. For Pro Series Tour details, go to http://www.3gunnation.com/news/20132014_3gn_pro_series_tour_set. At the Qualifier, top 3GN Semi-Pros, Divisional finalists, along with Pros from the 2012 Tour, will battle for 16 slots in the 2013-2014 3GN Pro Series Tour.

i knew i had to bear down and get in

ALM C
NOW ...Y’K
AND

KEEP

^

in the unfortunate case of a

disqualification
Written by Chris Anderson Loki Weapons Systems 2011 Ozark 3-Gun Championships - I am shooting Tac Irons and having a very good match. I feel I am setting myself up for a chance at the 3-Gun Nation ShootOff. While I am shooting our second-to-last stage, my shotgun bolt locks back when finishing a target array in the high-speed portion of a stage. I ground it in a barrel and transition to my pistol and finish the stage with what I feel is a very competitive time. I stop, show clear, and holster with a smile on my face. Then, in my peripheral vision, I see a crowd of people standing around my shotgun. I think to myself that empty shotguns should not be that interesting. I know my safety is not engaged … I grounded the gun in a hurry to save time thinking it was empty … so now I am worried that there is a round in the gun. I arrive to find that a live round is still sitting on the lifter. Stage DQ. 100 points down the drain, and I drop in the overall standings like a rock. The saying goes that there are two kinds of people: those who have been disqualified in a match and those who will be. Ask anyone who has been in the action shooting sports very long and they will tell you a story (or stories) about when they have been DQ’d. It is hard to handle—even at a local match. You beat yourself up, thinking about all of the things you could or should have done differently, and all of your squad mates struggle with how to interact with you after it happens. You have

nothing you can do is going to make it not sting

just wasted an entire day or possibly weekend, and potentially a lot of money on a match that has basically turned into a really expensive practice session. Nothing you can do is going to make it not sting. But in my experience I believe there are a few ways you can grow from the experience as a shooter if it ever happens to you. A couple of years ago, my friend Phil Strader sent me a video of him shooting a major pistol match in Houston. An RO stopped him for violating the 180-degree rule with his muzzle and he was DQ’d from the match. My first reaction after seeing the video was “Wow, that was a questionable call.” But then my second was: “Man, if I ever get DQ’d, I want to handle it with that much grace and professionalism.” Phil disagreed with the call and calmly made it known. But he also knew the rules of the match and gracefully accepted his fate with a smile and was courteous to the range official. Phil is the consummate pro, and it really showed that day. That really stuck with me. A few months later at the Area 3 Pistol match, I had almost the exact same thing happen to me two stages into the match. I did my best to handle myself in the

same way, knowing what I had done. I then had the entire weekend in Nebraska to think about how best to get your mind around a DQ. I put together a few ideas on how best to hit the reset button in the event of a DQ disaster. I am not saying that you should plan to fail, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to think about how you would handle yourself if it ever happens to you. 3-Gun is all about managing problems, and how you manage those issues has a direct impact on how you finish.

Be Professional
At the end of the day whatever happened is probably YOUR fault. In the moment it might be easy to lose it and blame everyone within a 30-foot radius. Keep in mind that the range officers and match directors are volunteers and treat them with courtesy regardless of whether you agree or disagree with their call. Keep your cool and stay courteous. You will always get further that way.

Show Integrity and Stay Positive
Your match may be over, but something you may not think about in the moment is that your throwing a fit may

i took a deep breath and got back out on the stage as quickly as i could to set steel

affect your friends’/squad mates’ ability to stay focused and perform at their best, and that is not fair to them. Be the first person out to reset targets after the next shooter. Keep a smile and a positive attitude. Nothing you can do will change what has already happened. The faster you start letting yourself have fun again, the quicker you will bounce back, and everyone present will respect you more for it.

things. Then I took a deep breath and got back out on the stage as quickly as I could to set steel. I also did my best to help friends break down the stage that were still trying to finish strong. If you compete in this sport for very long I can promise that eventually you will have to have this same conversation with yourself. Just remember: Everyone chokes, what makes you a winner is how you respond.

Use the Experience to Get Better
Incorporate the mistake you made into your training routine. Ask yourself what went wrong. How can you avoid that mistake in the future? What can you change about your technique to make problems like these less likely? I personally now walk stages with more intensity, and confer with range officers before shooting a stage with questionable shooting positions. I also ground my shotgun a little differently.

Help Your Squad Mates If It Happens to Them
The majority of disqualifications occur with new shooters. At this year’s Fallen Brethren match one of my squad mates was shooting his first major 3-gun match and grounded his rifle off-safe and was DQ’d from the entire match two stages in. He was understandably very upset with himself, and a little upset at the sport in general. I think times like these are where it is important for experienced guys to step in, be an ambassador for the sport and help the new shooter handle the DQ. Don’t let a bad experience like that ruin someone forever on the sport. I spent a lot of time talking to him and sharing stories about the time it happened to me, and also explaining why it is so important that the rules regarding certain safety issues are harsh. Whether you are dealing with a beginner or a seasoned pro, being a friend to them can help them turn the thing positive more quickly. After that Ozark stage DQ, I took a moment to myself as I was putting my guns away and reflected on all these
Admit it ... you’re thinking that a DQ doesn’t sound half bad right now.

Cazin Wins 3GN Amatuer Division
Written by Chad Adams

MINNESOTA LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER FINISHES SEASON STRONG TO WIN TITLE
I also shot some Heavy division this fall, so I think that the limited round capacity forced me to slow down and make some good hits instead of running the trigger like a two-stroke motor on race gas.” Cazin joins a long list of law enforcement officers who excel in 3-gun—names like Garcia, Piatt and Jordan figure large in the history and current hierarchy of the sport. For Cazin, the 3GN Amateur title could be a building block on cementing his name among other top cops in the game someday. “It’s an awesome feeling that an everyday street cop from the Northwoods of Minnesota can come out on top,” Cazin said. “I’m happy that my practice and persistence has paid off. Hopefully I can keep the momentum rolling into the 2013 season and climb the ladder in the SemiPro series. My goals for 2013 are to practice and be more consistent with my scores, practice more, and hopefully catch someone’s eye for a sponsorship.”

In a race that came down to the season’s final events, Minnesota’s Chris Cazin ran down the field and passed junior Jake Denno to take the 2012 3-Gun Nation Amateur Division, winning $5,000 from Hornady. Denno raced out to a big lead early in the season, putting up gaudy numbers shooting in the Open division. Denno routinely was scoring above 70-percent or better of veterans such as Jerry Miculek. But then an injury sidelined Denno for much of the second half of the 3-gun season, whereupon several competitors began running him down, including Cazin, Michael Atha, Anthony Raborn and John Browning. While the field edged closer, ultimately it was Cazin who passed Deno to take the title, putting up solid performances down the stretch of the 2012 season. “I think I settled in a little bit during the tail end of the season, Cazin said. “The first few matches I shot I had a few train wreck stages that really hurt. The shooting and mental rust took longer to knock off than I had hoped.

SHOOTER CHRIS CAZIN JAKE DENNO MICHAEL ATHA

SCORE
248.33 248.19 239.47 231.81 212.85 207.96 202.84 201.72 192.78 190.77

i think i settled in a bit

ANTHONY RABORN JOHN BROWNING AARON HAYES DALE AVERKAMP JASON CARILLO BETHANY HARRIS CRAIG NORDGREN

THAT’S IT. WE’RE ALL OUT OF AMMO

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