300: Division Equipment Updates for 3-Gun

Three hundred episodes is a big milestone so I thought we’d do something different than we normally do so here is our first ever (I think) solo episode of The 3-Gun Show!

Before we get down to business here I want to remind you about the 3GunShow Pro Shop. That is where you can find your 3GS t-shirts, coffee mugs and baseball caps plus Vortex Optics and we’re adding new products all the time. 

Coming up in November is the 10th anniversary of the first time that I shot 3-Gun and I’ve been taking stock of where we are at as a sport. 

Over the next few months you’ll hear my thoughts on the need for a sanctioning body or a union of matches, possibly a series. Lower barriers to entry for matches, a tiered system of match levels, ie not everything can be a major, and the possibility or opportunity to bring new games under the multigun banner including 2-gun rifle & pistol matches. Plus I have ideas for a production or factory-style division modeled after USPSA & NRL’s rule sets.

But we will start today with the 3-Gun equipment divisions. 

This one has been in several conversations I’ve had with industry professionals, MD’s and top shooters and yesterday on the way back from the Jeff Kirkwold Memorial match I brought up this topic to my buddy Forest Lathrop and we beat it to death for at least two hours.

So a lot of these ideas are mine but a lot of them have come from the community at large and then Forest and I finalized them yesterday. 

I am going to run down Limited, Tac-Ops and Open divisions and outline how we can bring more people to matches while once again making 3-Gun the cutting edge of shooting technology development.

ConfigurationTube fed, 12gaTube Fed, 12gaUnlimited
Capacity8 round tube (2.75”), 9 total12 round tube (2.75”), 13 totalUnlimited
Optical/Electronic SightsNoNoUnlimited
Port Load Shell HolderYes, One ShellYes, One ShellUnlimited
Loading DevicesNoneNoneUnlimited
ConfigurationSemi-Auto, min .223/5.56Semi-Auto, min .223/5.56Semi-Auto, min .223/5.56
CapacityDouble stack box mag, 30 round maxDouble stack box mag, 45 round maxUnlimited
Coupled MagsNoYesYes
Primary SightsOne, non-magnifiedOne, magnified ok, variable okUnlimited
Secondary SightsNoIrons, okUnlimited
CompensatorYes, max 1” x 3”Yes, max 1” x 3”Unlimited
Bipods & BagsNoNoYes
ConfigurationSemi-Auto, min 9x19mmSemi-Auto, min 9x19mmSemi-Auto, min 9x19mm
Capacity141.25mm max length mags141.25mm max length magsUnlimited
SightsIronOptical/Electronic Okay, Slide mounted between rear of slide and ejection portUnlimited

So there you go, that’s what the future of 3-Gun divisions could look like. 

As with everything on the 3-Gun Show podcast, this is all about the community here so I want to hear what you have to say. Leave a comment below with your thoughts and opinions. 

What did we get right? What did we get wrong? What else do you think could encourage growth in the sport? I’m serious when I say that I want to hear from you.

Once again I want to thank you for listening to The 3-Gun Show podcast. I’m going to keep doing the podcast for as long as I’m able to and I will keep bringing you the best personalities and experiences in the Action Shooting Sports. Whether that is multigun, USPSA, NRL, PCC, Run & Gun or something else completely.

Our community is united by our love of competitive shooting and you’ll find it all right here on The 3-Gun Show. 

Thanks for 300 and here’s to 300 more. See you on the range.


  • N. Johnson says:

    I like the idea you have. I agree with keeping up with the times such as RDS on tac ops pistols, and that would also give someone the option to shoot open down the road without having to buy another pistol. And let’s be honest, anyone who buys a milled pistol and can’t use the dot on it feels cheated.

    • Dave says:

      Good points. Would be a good way to have a dual-purpose pistol too- USPSA Carry Optics and 3-Gun Tac Ops.

  • Don Walker says:

    I think the D60 in Tac-ops is in line with your argument of being the current tech, like the red dot on the pistol.
    Otherwise I pretty much agree.

  • Jason Hubbard says:

    I have a dot on my carry pistol as do many others. I think it would be another Avenue to bring more people into the sport by not having them have to jump into open just because they have a dot on their G17/p320. also, granted my Hayes 2011 is no carry gun but I would like more reps with a dot too as this is the gun I shoot the most.

  • Steve says:

    Man some great comments here I personally would like to be able to shoot my Carry optics pistol from USPSA in Tac Ops instead of switching to an iron sight gun for 3 gun. Also, I think your on to something with a governing body, it’s nice to have a measure of what to chase in a division. I like the USPSA model for moving up in rank. I’m a novice at 2-3 gun but would like the ability to practice and scale up it gives some positive feedback like a classifier stage. Thanks Man awesome show !

  • Mathew Rose says:

    Dave, I can’t tell you how much I agree with your assessment because I’ve been trying to figure out if/how/when a sanctioning body can be implemented and make this a legit sport as much as any televised event.

    I think the gear divisions would be good but almost obligates a pistol optic in tac-ops and that might be cost-prohibitive to start unless you set up a production division. Don’t get me wrong, I think dots would be rad, but I’m poor lol.

    Either way, great work! I hope to eventually get my butt back to matches sooner rather than later and say hey to ya.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Matt!
      I struggled quite a bit on the red dots for pistol and I’m still not entirely convinced on it. I can definitely see how it could add cost to getting into the sport. However, I think we did a pretty good job of streamlining Limited to allow for a lot of beginners to try it out.
      And someday soon I’ll share my thoughts on a Production or Factory type division. I think it could be a cool “spec racing” class similar to what has been done in the motorsports world.
      Thanks for your time, appreciate your thoughts.

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