Your First Major Three Gun Match

By: Chris Andersen
Team Vertx 3-Gun Nation Pro Shooter

Chris Andersen Team Vertx 3-Gun Nation Pro Shooter
Chris Andersen Team Vertx 3-Gun Nation Pro Shooter

Honeoye Falls, NY –( Major matches are the best part of 3-Gun. Not only do they offer you an opportunity to travel to a new state and explore a different region of the country, you will find yourself mixing with best in the sport.

You will meet great people from all over, and to top it all off, you get great prizes from sponsors for your trouble! They are a bit of a transition from local matches though. And being properly prepared can make your experience even more fun. Chris Andersen

Which One to Choose?
The good news is, there are a LOT of great matches all over the country, so you will have a ton of choices. From the natural terrain of Rocky Mountain 3-Gun to the technical shooting at Blue Ridge or the speed of Superstition, the choices are endless. Talk to a few experienced shooters about the matches they prefer and make an informed decision based on their recommendations. Everyone’s top three usually include one or two of the same matches. That should help you pick a winner.
Sign Up Quick

3-Gun is growing faster than any other shooting sport, which is great, except when it comes time to register for a big match. Good matches are in demand, so you need to get registered quickly. With folks clamoring to get in, some of the online registration processes can make you feel like you are on a game show. Once you zero in on the match you want to shoot, do your homework and find out when the earliest opportunity to register is and sign up right away. If you wait around to register, you might not get in.

Get Organized
Now that you are registered at your chosen match, follow up with those same shooters to get info on what to expect. Get to know the type of stages you’ll see, the gear, ammunition, etc., you will need to bring to make sure you have what you need. 3-Gun is full of surprises already; there is no sense in adding new ones that you shouldn’t otherwise have to deal with. This sort of advanced knowledge and planning keeps you from scrambling to have the right stuff on hand when you get there.

Get There Early
Set up your travel plans to allow time to acclimate and prepare. If this is your first major, the stages are likely to be more complex than you are used to so allow plenty of time to get your stage plans in order. I like to arrive at matches with at least half a day’s time to look at stages and prepare. If you haven’t been to a particular match before, it wouldn’t hurt to allow a full day to get signed up, oriented and prepared.
Get Signed in and Get Ready.

You will typically have a sign-in table on sight or at the match hotel where you complete your registration and get your match booklet. Once you are signed in, take that extra time that I just mentioned you should have to get the lay of the land. Check out the stages. Find out your shooting order if you can. Determine what you will need to be ready for your first stage so you are not rushing to do it the morning of the match.

Be on Time
Large matches can have as many as 500 shooters, and match directors like to stay on schedule, so no one is going to wait for you. Staying organized and on time is going to be very important. Know the shooting order and have your gear ready to go in plenty of time prior to each stage. Rushing leads to poor performance, so take time to make sure your gear is ready and your magazines are loaded so you can concentrate on the task at hand when it is time to shoot.

Relax and Have Fun
You have probably noticed a common theme in every part of this article: Come prepared. Arriving early, staying prepared and organized ensures that you only have only two things left to do – shoot and have fun! Follow this recipe and you will enjoy yourself a lot more and perform at your best.

See you at the next major!

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