Colt’s Maggie Reese with wicked-looking Vepr long-magazine shotgun.
North America’s top female action shooters converged on St. George, Utah recently for the Brownells Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge West Match. Dozens of competitors from the USA and Canada attended this event which featured some amazing stages. Check out the video of the Roller Coaster Stage — bet you never saw anything like THAT at a shooting match before. (This Roller Coaster side-match raised funds for Urijah Smith, a two-year-old boy suffering from cancer.)
Watch Roller Coaster Stage at Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge West:
Thinking of getting started in 3-Gun competition? In this NSSF video, Top Shot Finalist Chris Cerino reviews the hardware you’ll need for multi-gun matches. Chris talks about carbine configurations — including barrel, handguard, and optics options. In reviewing shotguns, Chris discusses shotshell caddies and the high-capacity extended tubular magazines now available. Cerino also demonstrates pistol techniques and explains the key features of a belt/holster rig for 3-Gun competition.
Gun Control — Tips on AR Shooting with Jerry Miculek
In another NSSF video, pro shooter Jerry Miculek provides tips on handling an AR-type rifle in 3-Gun matches. First, Jerry recommends a slightly forward stance, with your nose over your front toe. Second, it is important to have a consistent trigger pull. No matter how good your sight alignment, Jerry cautions, you can miss the target with a sloppy trigger pull. Finally, Miculek recommends placing your non-trigger hand well forward on the handguard. That provides better balance, tames muzzle rise, and gives you better control over the rifle for quick follow-up shots. Some shooters use a low hand position on the magwell, but Jerry says that makes the AR-15 feel top-heavy. Having your support hand out front on the handguard lowers the AR’s perceived center of gravity, allowing faster transitions for better stage times.
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Maggie Reese, one of the nation’s top female 3-gun shooters, recently signed as a factory-sponsored Team Colt shooter. It seems that blue and white suits Maggie just fine. Maggie just won the Ladies Open Division title at the Superstition Mountain Mystery (SMM) 3-Gun match in Mesa, Arizona. This marked the third time Reese finished as “High Lady” at this competition. Maggie told us: “The SMM 3-Gun is a competition I’ve gone to since the start of my shooting career, and it’s always a pleasure to go back.”
Photo credit: Yamil Sued
Reese used a Colt LE6920 for the rifle portion of the SMM 3-Gun. “There was a lot of accuracy involved in this particular match,” said Reese. “Having a dependable rifle made all the difference in trusting my shot placement.”
The stages also included distance targets up to 350 yards, along with some unique challenges. One stage had competitors strapped to a chair that was rotated to a 90-degree angle (See video below). “Shooting sideways was a fun experience,” said Reese. “Body placement was so important for this stage, along with being comfortable with your rifle. Up next for Reese is the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series Event in Tulsa, followed by the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals on April 16 in Las Vegas. To follow Maggie Reese and other Team Colt members this season, visit Facebook.com/ColtFirearms.
Superstition Mountain Tilting-Chair Stage (Benny Hill style)
This video, by Brett Russo, features Jamie Franks, Taran Butler, Craig Outzen, Maggie Reese, Peter Jonasson, Chris Cheng, Jessica Hook, and others.
Here is Maggie with other shooters at SMM 3-Gun. Can you name the people in the picture?
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In his Guns & Ammo Blog, Top Shot (Season 1) Champion Iain Harrison explains how to get started in 3-Gun Competition. Iain begins with some very practical advice: “Don’t worry too much about the gear. Spending a ton of money to get into the game, only to discover a few months later that you want to head in another direction, is a surefire way to alienate your significant other…. Go shoot what you have, even if it’s not ideal; you’ll learn much more about what works and what doesn’t by shooting in a match than you ever will by reading blogs like this.”
It’s obvious that you’ll need three firearms — pistol, carbine/rifle, and shotgun. But Harrison explains you don’t have to go out an get the most expensive (or complex) weaponry. For the rifle/carbine segment, Harrison says: “A vanilla AR15 with a low-power variable scope is a good place to start. Pretty much any flat top AR15 [will do].” For a scattergun, yes it would be nice to have an exotic Benelli M1 Super 90, but a low cost semi-auto from Remington, Winchester, or Mossberg will be competitive. And many guys start off with their “old reliable” Rem model 870 pump shotgun. Harrison explains: “Add an extended mag tube to the Remington 1100 lurking in the back of the safe and you have the shotgun component covered, though if you’d rather run your trusty pump gun… that’s cool too.”
Choice of Pistol and Caliber
The best handgun brand and caliber is really a matter of personal choice. You want a “dead-nuts” reliable pistol, for which you can get affordable accessories (holster, mag pouches, high-cap magazines). Glocks, 1911s, HKs, Sigs, S&W M&Ps are all popular. As for caliber choice, Harrison notes: “Most guys run 9 mm handguns as the capacity advantage over a .40 or .45 is significant, but whatever you choose, your holster is as important as the piece it contains. Bump a loaded pistol out of your holster in the middle of a stage and you’ll be going home early.”
Video Shows Highlights from 3-Gun Nation 2011 Championship
In his Guns & Ammo Blog post, Harrison also give advice about 3-Gun optics and he lists particular firearms models that are favored by competitors. Learn more about these topics by visiting the 3-Gun Nation website. When it comes to gun shopping, Harrison does advise to “buy new” — that’s because active 3-gunners fire so many rounds in practice and competition that they really can wear out their firearms. Click Here to read Harrison’s full Getting Started in 3-Gun Blog article. While visiting GunsandAmmo.com, check out Harrison’s amusing Top Five Reasons to Try 3-Gun. Here’s Reason Number One: “It’s sexy. So sexy in fact, it’s the only shooting sport with its own TV show!”
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Miculeks Dominate Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun
Here’s proof that the family that shoots together, wins together. Legendary shooter Jerry Miculek, his wife Kay, and their daughter Lena, all took home top trophies at the 2013 Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun Match in Mesa AZ, March 22-24, 2013. The annual event hosted by the Mystery Mountain 3-Gun Club, included more than 300 shooters.
Jerry took top honors as the Match Champion, High Senior. Kay was the Women’s Open Champion and Lena won 2nd place in the Ladies Tactical Optics division and was also High Junior. That’s a great across-the-board performance for the Miculek clan. Learn more about them at Miculek.com.
Jerry says: “You get to the next level by being the first one on the range and the last one to leave.”
The Next Generation — Lena Miculek
Lena Miculek, the daughter of Jerry and Kay Miculek, was born and raised on Shootout Lane. Lena claimed her first National title at the Sportsman’s Team Challenge when she was only ten years old, and has since won four more National titles in both the Junior and Sportsman’s A divisions. In 2010 Lena followed in her fathers footsteps, competing in the USPSA Revolver Division.
Lena’s main focus is now on Multi-Gun competitions, specifically 3-Gun Nation events. Lena had a very successful first year of Multi-Gun shooting, culminating in a class win at the 3-Gun Nation shoot-offs in Vegas during the 2013 Shot Show. Lena also had a huge break-though in her shooting career at the 2012 IPSC Shotgun World Shoot in Hungary, where she was crowned the Ladies World Champion (Standard Division).
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3-Gun Nation and Samson Manufacturing announced the first-ever professional lady tournament series in practical shooting. The 3GN Lady Pro Series Tour will feature a dozen of the game’s top females, all competing for cash payouts and a slot in the 3GN Lady Championship Shoot-Off where the winner will be crowned champion and take home $25,000 from Samson Manufacturing.
3-Gun Nation Lady events will take place concurrently with the 3GN Pro Series Tour. The ladies will shoot the same courses of fire, and in front of cameras for 3GN Television. 3GN President Pete Brown stated: “This tour will not only show the top ladies are good, but that some of them can even challenge the top guys in the sport.”
You can watch the 3GN Lady Pro Tour and the 3GN Pro Series Tour by attending the following events: April 13, Glengarry, WV; May 18, Tulsa, OK; June 22, Tulsa, OK; Sept. 7, St. George, Utah; Jan. 15, 2014, Las Vegas. To learn more about event locations, or broadcast dates for 3-Gun Nation Television, visit 3GunNation.com.
3GN shooter Maggie Reese shown in photos.
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The National 3-Gun Association, which operates the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series and 3-Gun Nation TV, has launched a new e-Zine dedicated to 3-Gun Competition. Entitled “3GN Magazine”, this new e-Zine features match reports, gear reviews, and shooting tips. You’ll find a host of 3GN videos, including match footage, product reviews, and instructional segments. Ace 3-gunners will contribute to the articles along with leading outdoor industry journalists. Comprehensive match coverage will include local club matches, regional tournaments, national Outlaw matches, and, of course, the 3GN Pro Series Tour.
Multi-Gun fans should tune in to Shooting USA TV this Wednesday, May 23rd. This week, Shooting USA features the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals held recently at the Desert Sportsman range in Las Vegas.
John Scoutten and Mike Irvine narrate the action and provide analysis of this exciting discipline, which requires mastery of rifle, shotgun, and pistol. In addition, this week’s episode of Shooting USA covers wheelgun competition at the Memphis Charity Challenge. Shooting USA airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm Eastern (check your local listings for other time zones).
Watch Video Preview of May 23 Shooting USA Episode
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You can now watch complete, 21-minute episodes from 3-Gun Nation’s second season on the NBC Sports Network. Web versions of the 3-Gun Nation TV shows are streamed on 3GunNation.com. Episodes 1 & 2 feature Keith Garcia’s dramatic victory at the 2011 Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun. The “must-watch” third Episode covers the popular Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge. More episodes will be released starting March 2, 2012.
Episodes 1 & 2 — Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun
Superstition is one of the premiere matches on the 3-Gun Nation circuit. Watch as 3-Gun pros Keith Garcia, Mark Hanish and 2012 3-Gun Nation Champion Tommy Thacker compete head-to-head in this legendary speed match. Garcia revealed: “I really like the stages at [Supersition Mountain]; they tend to be fast and fun to shoot. I felt confident that if I shot well I would make the Shoot-Off, but when problems come up you know things could get tough. Lucky for me I was not the only shooter who had some rough patches, and I made the Superstition Shoot-Off by a narrow margin.”
As for Thacker, he learned valuable lessons from Superstition and continued to improve throughout the 2011 season, saving his best shooting of the year for when he needed it the most, ultimately becoming the 2012 3-Gun Nation Champion.
Episode Three — Ft. Benning 3-Gun Challenge
Run by the USAMU with support from the U.S. Army, the 2011 Ft. Benning 3-Gun Match was a crowd-pleaser. 3-Gun Nation cameras give an inside look into the life of one of the sport’s most fierce competitors, Clint Upchurch. Also profiled is the 2010 Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun and veteran shooter Bruce Piatt. The Ft. Bennng match draws competitors from around the nation. It is unique in that the Army provides armored vehicles and other military hardware “props” not found anywhere else. You can watch the entire Ft. Benning episode in the embedded video below. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Ft. Benning match.
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Rade Tecnologías SL, through its USA subsidiary Radetec, has developed a fired-shot counting system for pistols and long guns that offers immediate benefits for soldiers and LEO personnel. Down the road, we envision how an automatic shot-counting system could benefit Multi-Gun and High Power competitors. Firing one shot too few in a course of fire can lose a match, and firing one too many can have the same result — or worse yet, a DSQ.
Two Display Options for Pistols
Radetec’s SpeedShot shot-count system employs a sensor in a special, dedicated magazine which outputs to either a digital or LED light display. Both the numeric display and color-changing LED light indicate rounds left in the magazine. For pistols, Radetec will market custom grips which incorporate the shot-counter display modules. Currently, Radetec systems are available for Beretta, Glock, Smith & Wesson M & P, and 1911-platform pistols. The digital-numeric display on these grips indicates the actual number of rounds left in the magazine. The total number of rounds fired can also be accessed.
The SpeedShot counting system is powered by a 5-year lithium battery. Pistol systems feature special Radetec grips with embedded electronics for each make/model of firearm, one magazine, and a user’s manual. MSRP is $160 for either the digital-numeric model or the LED display version.
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Story by Chad Adams for3GunNation.com Blog
Eight Multi-Gun Competitors will be competing for the $50,000 top prize at the 3-Gun Nation (3GN) Championship in Las Vegas on January 18, 2012 (during SHOT Show Week). Eight competitors punched their tickets to Las Vegas for the 3-Gun Nation Finale by winning elimination matches held at Peacemaker National Training Center (Glengary, WV) earlier this month. The winner of the 3GN Shoot-Off Finale will receive a huge payday — $50,000 from Leupold Tactical Optics and NBC Sports.
Rustin Bernskoetter, Taran Butler, Jeff Cramblit, Mark Hanish, Tyler Payne, Phil Strader,Tommy Thacker, and Mike Voigt all qualified for the 3GN Shoot-Off Finale via wins during the elimination round. Thacker was paired against current 3GN Champion Dan Horner of the USAMU. Horner finished the course faster, but the young soldier later conceded the match to Thacker after footage showed that Horner had failed to knock down one of the targets. In another notable one-on-one 3GN elimination at Peacemaker NTC, our buddy Taran Butler knocked off legendary Jerry Miculek. Anytime Jerry Miculek doesn’t make it into the finals, you know the competition is tough.
The road to the 3GN Championship began last September, as competitors have compiled series points at major 3-gun matches across the country. The top 64 competitors were invited to compete in the 3GN Championship Match (at Peacemaker NTC), a one-day Tactical Optics event that featured four stages of fire—each with all three guns.
In what most are calling the deepest 3-gun field ever assembled, the top 16 advanced into the Shoot-Off elimination round. Now the Las Vegas eight will compete for the highest cash payout in the history of the sport, with $50,000 going to the 3-Gun Nation Champion, courtesy of Leupold and NBC Sports. To learn more about 3-Gun competition, watch the video below in which Jerry Miculek, Mike Voigt, and Maggie Reese discuss the 3-Gun Nation shoot-off and the struggles of head-to-head competition.
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Fans of 3-Gun competition should watch this week’s episode of Shooting USA television. Wednesday’s show features the Fort Benning 3-Gun event, the only multi-gun match held on an active Army base. At this 3-Gun match, the USAMU Action Shooting Team created very tough stages, with combat-type challenges for the competitors. The video below shows stages at the 2010 Fort Benning 3-Gun Competition. The video begins with a competitor firing an Army-supplied M249 machine gun.
M24EI Sniper Rifle, Henry Rifle, and Julie Golob Also Featured
In addition to the Fort Benning 3-Gun coverage, this week’s ShootingUSA broadcast features three other interesting items. Shooting USA provides a first look at the U.S. Army’s new, upgraded sniper rifle, the M24EI, based on Remington’s XM-2010 modular rifle. Also, Shooting USA tells the history of the Henry Rifle, the first really successful lever rifle and the predecessor of Winchester’s classic Model 1866 and Model 1873 lever guns. Last but not least, Team Smith & Wesson captain Julie Golob gives a lesson in IDPA shooting — one of today’s most popular pistol competitions.
This rare .44 caliber Henry rifle, used during the Civil War, sold for $48,300 at a 2009 auction.
Shooting USA airs Wednesday on the Outdoor Channel at these times:
Online registration opens today (Feb. 15) for the Rockcastle Pro Am 3-Gun Championship, the largest 3-Gun match in the country. At the match to be held August 26-28, 2011, the nation’s top 3-Gun pros will compete over two and a half days running eight tough stages designed by former and current 3-Gun champions. Amateurs will compete over two days shooting seven similar stages on a separate course, tailored especially for the amateur and celebrity competitors. Over 500 shooters, across both divisions, are expected to participate.
Be Ready to Register at 9:30 ET Tonight
The online registration process commences at 9:30 PM (evening) Eastern Time. There is a good chance that all available places for this match will be reserved right away. You’ll want to be ready when registration opens at 9:30 pm ET. Similar matches have filled up very quickly and every indication is this match will be no exception. UPDATE: As of 11:59 pm 2/15/2011 (Pacific Time), the online registration system was still accepting signups — so if you want to sign up, give it a try.
To learn how to register, go to the Match Schedule Page and read ALL the instructions. You can download the match application in advance and get that filled out. If you have never done this process before, you can practice at www.lchico5u.com/ar15.html. The practice page will be open until 8 PM Eastern on Tuesday, February 15th.
Match registration will be done online and require submitting registration after 9:30 PM Eastern Time (down to the second). Registration will be taken in order of receipt to the database, registration will require picking a division (Pro or AM) and will allow registration of a friend. A confirmation number will be sent out to those in the match, while late registrants will be placed on a waiting list. Applications and payment will be required to be sent in with confirmation numbers after online registration.
The match has also been named a points match for the 2011 FNH USA 3-Gun Nation Tour. With points on the line, film crews will capture all the action for “3-Gun Nation Television” on Versus. The 2,000-acre Rockcastle resort is the newest addition to the Park Mammoth property located in south central Kentucky. Visit RockCastleShootingCenter.com to view the shooting areas and facilities.
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Vortex is an up-and-coming optics maker that has made great strides in recent years. Vortex scopes, spotting scopes and binoculars offer excellent value for the dollar. This year, at SHOT Show, Vortex unveiled its new Viper HS series of scopes, with 30mm tubes and 4X magnification ranges. We checked out the new Viper HS 4-16×50 LR (Long Range) model. This features an exposed elevation turret with Vortex’s CRS zero stop. The 4-16 Viper HS offers 75 MOA of elevation travel (24 MOA per revolution).
Order Custom-Calibrated Elevation Turret Caps
One thing we really liked about the new Viper series of scopes is the availability of custom elevation turret caps. For about $100.00, Vortex will craft a elevation turret cap with range markings custom-calibrated for the ballistics of your load in your rifle. As explained in the video below, you can go to the Vortex website, and input your MV, bullet BC, altitude and other load variables. Then, using the custom elevation turret cap, simply dial in your target range, and hold ‘dead on’.
New Viper HS 1-4x24mm with TMCQ Reticle
The growing popularity of multi-gun competition has spurred interest in compact, zoom scopes that can switch from a wide-angle, zero magnification view for close work to four- or five-power magnification for long-range stages. Vortex Optics has developed a new scope that should work well for 3-Gun carbines, as well as dangerous game hunting rifles. The Viper HS 1-4x24mm with the TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) reticle features a 30mm main tube and built-in illumination with 10 intensity levels with an off position between each setting.
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We had a chance to chat with Team Smith & Wesson Captain Julie Golob at SHOT Show. Julie is one of the finest action pistol shooters in the world, so she knows a thing or two about shooting competitively on the clock.
Kelly Bachand, our SHOT Show correspondent, is primarily a Palma shooter. In that discipline there’s ordinarily plenty of time between shots. But Kelly, a popular contestant on the TOP SHOT TV series, hopes to branch out into action shooting and multi-gun competition.
Julie gives Kelly some great advice on how to succeed in speed games by finding the “acceptable” sight picture. Julie explains that you need to abandon the “pursuit of perfection” and find a zone of “acceptable” accuracy that lets you to score points while running the stage as fast as possible. As Kelly puts it, you need to find out “what you can get away with” in terms of sight picture. Kelly and Julie also discuss equipment for 3-Gun matches and the differences between open and tactical classes.
During Media Day we kept our eyes out for new multi-gun gear, since 3-Gun Competition is becoming so popular. At the Surefire booth we ran into 3-Gun Ace Barry Dueck (pronouned “Duke”). Barry demonstrated the side-mounted iron sights he produces for AR-type carbines (actually these sights can work on any rifle that has suitable rails).
Running a combination of a magnified, 1-5X Leupold on top with iron sight mouted at a 45-degree angle on the sides, Dueck can rapidly transition from optics to irons. The top scope works great for longer shots, but Dueck finds he can engage close targets more quickly (and accurately) with the iron sights. While some other 3-gunners run a magnified optic on top and a red dot sight on the side, the use of two (2) glass optics puts a 3-gun competitor in a different division. Dueck’s Rapid Transition Sight (RTS) System, allows him to compete in the single-optics classes. The side-mounted irons are also more foolproof than any electronic sight, as Dueck explains in the video below.
If you get the Outdoor Channel, tune in to the ShootingUSA hour of programming tonight. The first half-hour features the Fort Benning 3-Gun Match, one of the most popular multi-gun matches of the year. This is the only Multi-gun match that draws on the assets of the US Army — that means competitors get to ride in armored fighting vehicles on some stages. This year the match was designed to represent different army units, beginning with basic training and a DI yelling commands at the competitors. Below is some helmet-cam footage shot by our friend Zak Smith at the 2008 Fort Benning 3-Gun Match. In this stage, which was based on a “Sgt. York” scenario, Zak starts in the back of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and proceeds into a trench system to engage pistol targets.
The “Sighting In with Shooting USA” half-hour follows the Fort Benning feature. On this week’s “Sighting In” segment, soldiers from the US Army Marksmanship team (USAMU) action shooting team conduct a skills clinic for young shooters. This clinic focuses on basic skills and safety training. The USAMU Kids Clinic is the effort to help expand participation in practical shooting, and develop future champions in USPSA competition.
ShootingUSA TV and Sighting In air Wednesday on the Outdoor Channel at these times:
The 3-Gun Nation Finals television broadcast airs this week on the Versus Channel. Held in September at the Desert Sportsmans’ Range in Las Vegas, the 3-Gun Nation Championship pitted many of the nation’s top multi-gun shooters in head-to-head competition. After a two-day qualifier to narrow the field, 16 of America’s top 3-gunners met in a single-elimination, man-on-man Final Tournament. $40,000 in prizes were up for grabs, with a fat $25K check for the overall winner.
The action was fast and furious as, one-by-one, competitors were eliminated in the 3GN Championship Shoot-Off, an all-steel target course of fire, racing to the final stop-plate. In the Shoot-Off, all contestants used FNH arms: SCAR rifles, SLP 12-gauge shotguns, and FNX-9 semi-automatic pistols. We won’t spoil the drama by announcing the winner (you can check our Daily Bulletin archive for match results), but you can preview the event by watching this teaser video featuring Bruce Hiatt, Jerry Miculek, and SGT Dan Horner of the USAMU. More videos are found on the 3-Gun Nation Website.
3-Gun Nation Repeats on Mondays and Thurdays throughout December
This 3-Gun Nation Finals broadcast airs on Thursday, December 2, at 3:00 PM Eastern Time. The entire three-part championship block of episodes will repeat on Mondays and Thursdays throughout December.
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