Armalite knows a thing or two about making ARs. Chambered in 5.56mm, the M-15 18-Inch 3-Gun is the company’s top-of-the-line competition rifle. It is short, light and easy to maneuver. The low-profile handguard free floats an 18-inch, stainless steel barrel that offers a 1-in-10-inch twist rate. At the muzzle is an Armalite tunable brake. An MBA-1 stock is adjustable for length of pull and comb height, and the 8.9-pound rifle’s Timney trigger is set for a 3-pound break.
While the 3-Gun field is filled with ARs, the AKs of the world have game, too, especially the SLR-104FR. Arsenal remanufactures the rifles using Bulgarian-made stamped receivers and chrome-lined, hammer-forged barrels. The trigger is a two-stage unit made in the U.S. The rifle’s side-mount optics rail means you can add a red-dot or variable-power scope depending on the division you shoot. Best of all, the SLR-104FR’s chambered in 5.45x39mm, meaning ammo is cheap for practicing.
Bushmaster tricks out its XM-15 3-Gun Enhanced in 5.56mm with a lot of features so all you have to worry about is hitting targets. Features like a 15-inch AP carbon-fiber, free-floated handguard, a Timney trigger, a Bravo Company charging handle and an Arrendondo magazine release help ensure that this carbine is ready to take down steel and paper. A Rolling Thunder compensator also aids in keeping an operator on target during rapid-fire strings.
Bold Ideas designs the Colt Competition CRP-18 for performance and guaranteed sub-moa accuracy. Test targets included with each rifle don’t lie. Features include a match-grade, 416R stainless-steel barrel, .223 Wylde Match Chamber, and fully-finger-adjustable gas system. The threaded muzzle carries Bold Ideas’ Triple-Port, 4-Vent muzzle brake. Forged and precision fitted upper and lower receivers are outfitted with a 15-inch vented, modular, free-floating 3-Gun handguard, and Magpul furniture. The two-stage match trigger is Geissele’s Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced model, which breaks at a clean 3.5 pounds.
FN America’s SCAR is the evolution of the 5.56mm AR-style rifle. The aluminum monolithic receiver features a 16.25-inch, hammer-forged barrel, a fully adjustable stock (length of pull and cheekpiece height) as well as ambidextrous controls. Weighing 7.25 pounds, it uses a short-stroke gas piston with a rotating bolt and the barrel is free-floated for optimum accuracy.
Ruger’s SR-762 features a chrome-plated, two-stage piston operating system so the 7.62mm rifle runs clean and cool in the Heavy Metal division. The chrome-plated, lined gas block and chrome-plated piston and regulator offer smooth operation. A telescoping M4-style buttstock and 16.12-inch barrel are also included with the package. The SR-762 comes with folding backup iron sights so this Ruger is good to go out of the box. A top Picatinny rail offers the user the option of mounting an optic.
Sig Sauer designed the Predator for hunting, but it is just as comfortable slaying targets on the range. The 5.56mm rifle uses the time-tested direct-impingement gas system and comes optic ready. The 18-inch, 416 stainless barrel is free-floated in a Hogue aluminum handguard. The pistol grip is a Sig overmolded type that’s comfortable for extended shooting sessions while the stock is Magpul MOE design.
If you shoot Heavy Metal, the M1A National Match offers excellent accuracy. It’s a 7.62mm rifle made to shoot the black out of a target or knock down steel. The 22-inch National Match barrel has a medium-weight contour with a 1-in-11-inch twist rate. The two-stage trigger is tuned for a crisp 4.5- to 5-pound pull weight. The walnut-stocked rifle comes out of the box glass bedded so you can start shooting right away.
Team Stag Arms swears by the Model 3G to take top place in competitions. The 18-inch barrel features a heavy profile and is fluted for optimum performance on the range. A Stag 3G compensator comes standard on the 5.56mm rifle, as does a Geissele S3G trigger. The 18-inch barrel is free-floated in a 15-inch Samson Evolution handguard. With the Magpul ACS six-position stock fully extended, overall length equals 39.5 inches.
One of the most popular shotguns in 3-Gun is the Benelli M2. This four-shot 12 gauge is popular because it has relentless reliability due to the gun’s inertia-operated action. The 21-inch-barreled Performance Shop model is set up with an oversized bolt release, an extended, tactical-style bolt handle and a HiViz fiber-optic sight. The carrier is modified and the loading port is enlarged for speed loading.
The new five-shot 1301 Comp from Beretta uses a fast-cycling gas-operated system Beretta calls “Blink,” enabling the shotgun to shoot four shots in less than one second. According to Beretta, that is 36 percent faster than any other shotgun. The 12 gauge’s controls and the triggerguard are enlarged in order to be manipulated fast and without error. The ejection port and loading port are also enlarged for better ejection and fast reloading. Offered with an optional extended tube, which allows it to exceed 5 shots.
My experience with FN America’s SLP is that it is a fast-shooting and soft-recoiling shotgun. With a reputation as the fastest-cycling shotgun currently made, the 12 gauge Competition model features a 24-inch, back-bored barrel, an 8+1 capacity and a fiber-optic front sight. The rear sight flips up so shooting slugs at distance is more precise. The receiver is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and the loading port is enlarged for speed loading.
The Model 930 has proven itself for decades as a reliable and affordable gas-operated semi-automatic shotgun. The 12 gauge JM Pro is built to Jerry Miculek’s specifications and features a nine- or 10-shot magazine, a beveled loading gate, a shorter forend for quicker reloading, an oversized bolt release and bolt handle, and a dual gas system that offers lighter felt recoil and easier cycling.
The Model 870 has built a reputation based on its time-tested, legendary performance. That’s why millions have been produced. The Express Tactical features a seven-round magazine, an 18.5-inch barrel and XS Ghost Ring sights, making it well suited for the Heavy Metal division. The extended, ported tube helps keep you on target with either 12 gauge slugs or shot.
Stoeger tricked out its M3000 inertia-driven shotgun series for 3-Gun competition, resulting in the clean-running and reliable M3K 12 gauge. The five-shot shotgun maintains its high level of reliability thanks to gases and debris being routed through the barrel so nothing fouls up the mechanism. Features include a fiber-optic front sight, an oversized bolt release and charging handle. This 24-inch-barreled shotgun will get you into the game in Limited and Tactical divisions.
The CZ Custom Shop transforms a CZ 75—already known for its accuracy and reliability—into a 3-Gun machine with the SP-01 Shadow Target II in 9mm. It has a short reset trigger and a trigger pull of 3 to 4 pounds in SA and 7.5 to 8.5 pounds DA. It sports a full dust cover for slightly more weight, a fiber-optic front sight and an adjustable rear sight. The extended magazine release drops the pistol’s 17-round magazines free.
The FNS-9 Long Slide offers a shooter in the Limited or Tactical divisions a striker-fired 9mm system with a DAO trigger that is fast, reliable and crisp. Interchangeable backstraps in the polymer frame allow the shooter to adjust the grip to their hand size. The 5-inch barrel is stainless steel and hammer forged. The pistol also features fixed three-dot sights and an accessory rail.
The new Glock 34 Gen4 in MOS (Modular Optic System) Configuration is optic ready. Just add a reflex red-dot sight and this long-slide 9mm is ready for the Open division. Or, if you prefer not to mount an optic just yet, the pistol also comes with fixed three-dot sights. The pistol unmodified allows it to be used in Tactical Scope and can be configured with the MOS and used in Open. Either way, the 18-shot G34 Gen4 In MOS Configuration evolves as you grow in 3-Gun competition.
The Custom II series from Kimber is the backbone of the company’s 1911 lineup. These are hard-working, dependable 1911s, which you need if you run a .45 ACP in Heavy Metal. The trigger is a crisp 4 to 5 pounds and the all-steel frame gives the 1911 heft for better control during rapid fire. The 5-inch, stainless steel, match-grade barrel is a fitted to a match-grade bushing, all for optimum accuracy. The single-action design also uses a full-length guide rod.
The sleeper in this bunch of 3-Gun pistols is Sig’s P320. I predict more shooters will move to the P320 since the upside is obvious for competition purposes: a smooth, consistent trigger pull, a striker firing system, no external safeties to accidentally leave off to earn a match disqualification, and the pistol’s grip modules can be easily swapped to fit most hand sizes. Equipped with SigLite night sights, the 9mm pistol ships with two 17+1 magazines.
Springfield Armory’s XD and XD(M) pistols have made a mark in all types of pistol shooting competitions because they are super reliable and accurate. The striker-fired XD(M) Competition Series features enhanced ergonomics, a 5.25-inch, match-grade barrel, a short reset trigger, a one-piece guide rod and fiber-optic front and adjustable rear sights. The cutout in the slide allows the slide to cycle faster. Available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, this gun is a serious competitor and user friendly with three safeties.
Three-Gun is a game of speed—fast on target, fast shooting, fast reloading. If there is one thing the pros agree on about what a gun must have is reliability. Karla Herdzik, a sponsored 3-gun competitor, said, “The most important feature for my competition firearms is reliability, hands down. If I can’t count on my gear to run all the time, it’s not worth taking out to a match.”
In 3-Gun matches, competitors are divided into four divisions based on the types of firearm and optics used: Limited, Tactical, Heavy Metal and Open.
Limited allows a non-magnified optic on a rifle as well as iron-sighted shotguns and pistols. Most players start in this division since the gear used is what you probably already own.
Tactical is similar to Limited but allows a magnified optic on the rifle.
Heavy Metal is for .30 caliber or larger rifles with iron sights, 12 gauge pump shotguns and .45 ACP pistols.
Open division is just that, anything goes.
Two other divisions that are sometimes recognized at matches include Outlaw Open, which allows for the use of a box magazine on shotguns, and Trooper Division, which requires competitors to haul all their gear in a backpack or by hand and in turn they are allowed to configure rifles during the match, among other benefits.
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by Personal Defense World / Apr 17, 2015