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.