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3 gun is one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country and both firearm and ammunition manufacturers are designing and marketing products catering specifically to our shooting sport.


My path into competitive shooting, and eventually shooting 3 gun competitions all across this great nation, is one that starts locally.

I am currently a Sergeant for a large metropolitan Sheriff’s Office in Omaha, NE and a fellow officer challenged me to compete in a local USPSA pistol match in the fall of 2010.  These matches include several stages or courses of fire, and upon completion each competitor’s time and accuracy is tallied to find the winner of the competition.

When I got there I was amazed at the inclusiveness and sportsmanship shown by all, as well as the emphasis on safety and the enjoyment of the shooting sports.  Blazing through intricate courses of fire, many where one misstep could put a competitor completely out of position, appealed to my technical nature.

Needless to say I didn’t win my first match, but the competitive juices started flowing immediately and before long I was attending every local competition possible, running me straight into a local 3 gun match.

As soon as I shot my first stage, I knew I was hooked for good!!  Running around at full speed, shooting pistol, shotgun, and rifle from 3 feet to 450 yards, 3 gun brought a physical challenge but more importantly a mental one. Remembering multiple positions and targets, as well as the manipulation of several firearms per stage, became a challenge I would not soon let go of.
There was no doubt I had found the sport which would sharpen my firearm skills and allow me to bring that confidence to my day job and pass those skills on through training others at my department.

Fast forward years and I currently compete in the 3 Gun Nation Professional Series, as well as over a dozen major matches across the country each year.

3 gun is one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country and both firearm and ammunition manufacturers are designing and marketing products catering specifically to our shooting sport.  Furthermore, as 3 gun grows across the country many local shooting clubs, which may have only held pistol matches in the past, are starting to implement 3 gun matches into their offerings.

I encourage anyone who enjoys some good-hearted competition and the chance to hone their skills across several firearms platforms to get out and give 3 gun a try. Before you go, I suggest heading to your nearest Fiocchi retailer and picking up some ammunition.  Here are just a few of my go to choices every time I am at the range.  

My favorite birdshot and one that I use for nearly every situation is the 3 Gun Match 12 gauge 1 1/8 ounce load at 1250 FPS.  I have found this offering to be the perfect combination of manageable recoil and hard-hitting consistent performance on steel targets.  I follow up that offering with the superbly accurate Exacta 12 gauge 1 ounce low recoil slug and 3 Gun Match 9 pellet buckshot.

For rifle I shoot the 223 Extrema 50 grain VMAX load for any targets within 250 yards.  I have found the soft recoil and excellent accuracy allow for rapid follow up shots and quick transitions that are required to be successful in 3 gun.  For any longer shots out to 600 yards, I rely solely on the 223 Exacta 77 grain Sierra Matchking load.  It is, without a doubt, the most accurate load I have ever shot in my match AR-15 rifle and the increased bullet weight allows me to hold less wind adjustment than other comparable loads and bullet designs.

I decided to split my time competing in both tactical and open divisions and therefore shot different pistols, which cater to each specific division.  I also wanted to run one load all year, no matter which pistol I was using, and found the Shooting Dynamics 9mm 115 JHP offering to fit my needs perfectly.   It ran both pistols flawlessly all year and has been one of the most accurate factory pistol loadings I have ever tested.  They also come packaged very efficiently, making packing and travel hassle free.  

by

Jacob Betsworth

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