Back Competing - 3 Man 3 Gun
July 3, 2020
by: Frank Tait
My last 3 gun competition was September 2009 - cut short by a hurricane that blew down several stages. A couple friends asked me to sub in to a 3 man 3 gun competition at the TOPS Range in Topton PA. Now that I'm semi-retired and stir crazy from the COVID lockdown, I wanted to get back into competition, so I was in. Another friend lent me a semi-auto shotgun (I only have pumps and side by sides) and his 3 gun competition cart and I was set. I used my LMT AR with Swarovski glass and a Glock 17.
I didn't realize that I could have gone PCC for the match instead of handgun. I haven't competed in years due to repetitive stress issues with hand and arm and will definitely switch to PCC for future competitions.
My goals were modest, be safe, have fun, don't get DQ'd and finish higher than dead assed last. Goals met as it was a fun day and we came in 64 out of 83 teams.
The 6 stages were a lot of fun. Stage 1 (picture 1) was 3 man pistol - all knockdown steel with 2 plate racks and 3 Texas stars. We got all the targets, but I needed teammates help as my long range pistol sucked. Stage 2 (picture 2) was tag team, pistol steel on left, mozambiques with rifle on the paper and shotgun steel on the right. I took the paper and dropped 2 headshots low. Stage 3 (picture 3) was another tag team with everyone shooting pistol steel - including 2 75yd shots. I struggled with the 75yd shots but eventually made them. I took the rifle shots and cleaned them. Stage 4 (picture 4) was the shotgun stage - 90 knockdown steel, 8 clay birds on a wobbling spider and 2 flying birds. We got all but 1 flying bird.
I forgot to take pictures of stages 5 and 6 as we were first up on stage 5 and the final team on stage 6. Stage 5 was sponsored by IWI and we used Galil ACE rifles in 5.56 as stage guns. There were 3 benches each with 8 knockdown steel for pistol, 8 paper for rifle and 8 knockdown steel for shotgun targets. each member of the team had to shoot 1 firearm on each table. Only 1 person could be at a table at a time. I went Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun and cleaned the targets (needed 1 extra shell on the shotgun). Stage 6 was long distance rifle, with 2 targets at 100yds and 4 at 200 yds. They had to be engaged from a wobbly barrel, a stump and a barricade. 1 shot each, reload and then 1 more shot each. I took the wobbly barrel and went last. On the reload I finally figured out that I was over magnifying (4x) causing misses at 200 and dropping down to 2x had me making consistent hits. The team timed out as I made the last hit , but a quarter second late)
The gear people bring was amazing. A flatbed trailer pulled up with 4 Gators to haul their gear. It was great to see several all women teams and several youth competitors.
Dean DeTurk puts on a great match! I'll definitely be doing more matches.