Sighting-In for 3-Gun
By Rob Reaser
The country’s hottest practical shooting competition continues to grow. If you are looking to get in on the fun, TRUGLO® offers one-stop shopping for all your pistol, shotgun, and AR sighting needs.
If you do it, you already know. If you don’t, you’ll find out as soon as try it…3-gun competitions are a blast. Not only do 3-gun matches scratch that itch we all have to get out on the range, but participation in this popular and ever-growing sport has real-world benefits the likes of which you just can’t get from static range shooting. The practice of engaging multiple courses of fire with your three primary defensive weapons—pistol, shotgun, and semi-automatic rifle—allows you to hone your self-defense skills. What’s more, the trio of weapons you may use on a 3-gun course can be the same ones you employ for your daily personal and home defense.
Getting into 3-gun shooting is simple. All you need is a pistol in 9mm or larger chamber, a pump or semi-auto shotgun in .20- or .12-gauge, and, for most divisions, a .223 chamber semi-auto rifle, the most popular of which is the AR-15 platform. From there, it’s a matter of refining your weapons to suit your needs while staying within the rules for the division in which you want to participate. If you have questions, there are many resources to help you get started, including your local participating gun range or shooting club. The 3-gun fraternity is a friendly lot, and experienced shooters enjoy every opportunity to help new shooters get involved in the sport.
Although 3-gun equipment rules are in place, they are fairly simple—especially when compared to some competitive shooting associations. One area where the rules are fairly straightforward involves sights and optics; depending on the division in which you chose to participate, no magnified optics are allowed or one magnified optic is allowed in your 3-gun set.
For those of you who are ready to give 3-gun competition a try, these three products will get your gear ready for the buzzer.
TFX™ Pro Pistol Sights
If you’ve done any serious pistol shooting, you know that your original equipment front and rear sights do not provide an ideal sight picture in all lighting conditions. The TRUGLO TFX™ Pro tritium/fiber optic day/night sights, however, work in all lighting conditions, such as you
will often find on a 3-gun course. The advantage the TFX™ Pro sights have over conventional open sights, fiber optic-only sights, or tritium-only sights is that they combine Swiss tritium and fiber optics with a contrasting color front sight ring. This combination provides optimal sight picture acquisition whether you’re shooting with a high-noon sun overhead or you are on a woodland course darkened by storm clouds. What’s more, the tritium/fiber optic elements are encased in almost indestructible, hermetically sealed capsules that won’t be compromised by oils and cleaning solvents. Another advantage these sights have for the 3-gun shooter is their radiused, snag-proof design, which allows you to draw and holster your pistol smoothly and quickly.
TRU•BEAD Turkey Universal Sights
You’re probably thinking, “A turkey sight for a tactical shotgun?” Well, listen up. Three-gun courses are increasingly diversifying their courses of fire, and this includes the shotgun courses. In a shotgun course, you may encounter everything from close-quarter target “hosing” with #6s or 75-yard slug targets. As a result, you need an equally diverse sighting system. An ideal middle-ground sight is the TRUGLO TRU•BEAD™ Turkey Universal. You can use the orange fiber optic front sight to focus on your close-range targets. When it’s time to send a chunk of lead far downrange, the contrasting color rear sights will give you precise targeting. Of course, the rear sights are adjustable for elevation and windage, so you’ll know the steel is in trouble as soon as you hit the stage.
To Magnify or Not to Magnify
That is the question you must answer before deciding in which division you want to shoot. The Limited division, which is popular for those just entering the 3-gun world, does not allow any magnified optics. If this is your chosen path, you’ll want to consider using a fast-acquisition red dot, such as the TRUGLO TRU•TEC™ 30mm Red Dot. This sight provides a wide field of view and unlimited eye relief for the fast-paced 3-gun environment while the 2 MOA reticle ensures precise targeting for those way-out-there shots.
If you want to jump right into the highly competitive Tactical division, you will be allowed one magnifying optic in your arsenal. This, naturally, would be best served on your rifle. While some competitors combine canted open sights with a higher power scope to cover both short and long distance targets, fixed power or variable power scopes (1-4X and 1-6X) are commonly used for both. The scope is set at its low setting for engaging close targets, then the shooter cranks up the magnification to engage the 200- and 300-yard plus targets. For this, the TRUGLO TRU•BRITE™ 30 Series is your huckleberry. The TRU•BRITE™ 30 Series can be purchased with either 1-4X or 1-6X magnification and includes two pre-calibrated BDC turrets (one for .223 caliber/55grain and one for .308 caliber/168 grain) so you can be confident of your shot placement. Another feature that makes this scope optimal for 3-gun shooting is the ergonomic magnification adjustment ring, which minimizes fumbling and grip slip when you need to quickly transition between magnification settings.
Try It Out!
Three-gun competition is great fun, and it is a terrific opportunity for developing real-world defensive shooting skills. There are firearms clubs and associations around the country which host three-gun matches throughout the year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation maintains a listing of shooting ranges in the U.S., many of which host 3-gun competitions. Contact your local ranges for more info. You can also check out 3-Gun Nation for additional shooting opportunities in your area. In the meantime, check out this NSSF introductory video to 3-gun competition.
Home Defense Solutions
When you need rapid sight picture acquisition in a high-stress, low-light home defense environment, TRUGLO delivers.
by Rob Reaser
While defense professionals are quick to state their preferences as to what type of firearm is optimal for home protection, the reality is that most of use what we are comfortable with, be it a shotgun, pistol, or AR-15 style rifle. Some of us maintain ready access to all three.
Yet no matter which type of firearm you choose to protect your home, there are a couple of common denominators that should be factored in—stress and low-light conditions. Sure, you may be able to drill the 10-ring at the range with your weapon of choice, but will that proficiency translate once the fight-or-flight mode kicks in, your cone of vision narrows, and you’re trying to line up on an intruder in the middle of the night?
The fact is, not all firearm setups translate well across multiple uses or conditions. This is especially true when it comes to sight picture acquisition. In a defense situation, such as a 2 a.m. home invasion, you need to cut through the mental chaos and quickly engage the threat regardless of the firearm in your hands. The good news is, TRUGLO offers several options to help you do just that—whether your go-to is a shotgun, handgun, or rifle.
Defensive Shotgun Sights
If you rely on a shotgun for home defense, it’s likely an 18-inch pump you purchased specifically for this purpose. Good choice. You have a weapon that is easy to operate under stress, easy to maneuver in the tight confines of a home, and has the “umph” to get the job done. The only thing lacking, most likely, is a proper front sight.
The TRUGLO TFO™ Shotgun Front Sight is the optimal upgrade for your tactical shotgun. Utilizing TRUGLO’s patented tritium/fiber optic technology, this sight is visible in all lighting conditions. The tritium glows in the dark with no need for batteries. In low-light conditions, where the tritium competes with ambient light, the fiber optic element provides the illumination. This is great when you are transitioning between lighting conditions, such as you have in a home environment. Another benefit of the TFO™ Shotgun Front Sight is that the robust housing conceals the tritium/fiber optic element from the target.
For those who have designated an older hunting-style shotgun as their home defender, you can still improve its defense capabilities for low-light conditions. The Home Defense Fiber Optic Universal Shotgun Sight is designed for quick and easy installation on plain-barrel (no rib) shotguns. This sight simply snaps over the barrel right behind the factory bead. It’s a simple solution for any “backup” defensive shotgun.
As a side note for those of you who have a Remington shotgun with dovetail sight mounts, TRUGLO recently introduced the TFX™ Pro Remington Shotgun Sights. This sight also uses the tritium/fiber optic combo for “all light” visibility, but includes a white front focus ring surrounding the tritium/fiber optic element (housed in a chemical and shock-resistant capsule for maximum durability).
For their convenience, high-capacity, and close-quarter effectiveness, it’s little wonder that handguns are the most popular choice for in-home defense. Yet even in optimal lighting conditions, acquiring a proper sight picture with a handgun can be difficult under stress for those who have not spent a lot of quality time on the range. This is where a high-visibility sight such as the TRUGLO TFX™ or TFO™ series can help. The TFX™ line of pistol sights has become increasingly popular with law enforcement professionals.
This year, TRUGLO has expanded the line with the new TFX™ Pro. The TFX™ Pro comes with same front and rear tritium/fiber optic elements, chemical and shock-resistant capsule, and CNC-machined steel housing as the original TFX™ sight system, but instead of a white front sight FOCUS•LOCK Ring, the TFX™ Pro features a high-visibility contrasting orange ring that further enhances low-light sight picture acquisition.
Another popular sighting option for defensive handgun owners is the TRU•POINT™ Laser/Light Combo. This is an ideal upgrade for home defense because it puts a bright, 200 lumen flashlight right on your pistol. There is no need to fumble for a flashlight when it’s right there on your gun. What’s more, an adjustable laser sight (switchable between green or red light) is integrated into the flashlight, providing you another sighting option. The TRU•POINT™ Laser/Light Combo secures to any pistol chassis with a standard Picatinny or Weaver-style rail.
Spot-On for ARs
While the ballistics of an AR-15 platform rifle don’t make it the ideal defensive weapon in a home or in close urban environments, its extended range and high-volume firing capability make it a desirable “homestead” defensive weapon—especially for those who live beyond the suburbs.
For the dual applications of defense and sport shooting, a red dot sighting system is ideally suited to the AR-15/MSR platform. For this, TRUGLO offers two new systems: the TRU•TEC™ 20mm and the TRU•TEC™ 30mm RED•DOT sights.
We say these sights are dual-purpose because a red dot-style sight is optimal for close-quarter defense situations. A magnified optic is a poor choice for close-range defense, and traditional A2-style open sights are challenging in low-light conditions. The TRU•TEC™ RED•DOT sights, on the other hand, provide excellent long-range accuracy for target shooting or hunting, as well as close-quarter sight picture acquisition and low-light visibility in a homestead defense environment. It’s the best of both worlds.
Both the 20mm and 30mm TRU•TEC™ RED•DOT sights feature a 2 MOA reticle, with digital push-button controls and multiple brightness settings to match the light conditions. Unlimited eye relief means its easy to get on target when you’re under stress and, of course, both mount to standard Picatinny or Weaver-style rails.
As you can see, an effective home defense firearm is more than the “spare” rifle, pistol, or shotgun you leave under the bed and hope you never have to use. To better serve you when stress is high and lighting conditions are anything but optimal, you need a sighting system built for the job. Fortunately, no matter which weapon platform you prefer, TRUGLO has the tools you need to get on target in any situation.