3GN Long-Range Debuts to Rave Reviews

Monday, November 28, 2016

3GN Long Range Debuts to Rave Reviews as More than 70 competitors take on 3-Gun Nation's Newest Competition Program

by Joe Burdick, Team Nordic Components; photos courtesy of Heather Miller

The newest 3-Gun Nation discipline made its debut November 19-20 at Virginia International Raceway. The 3-Gun Nation Long Range Beta match was a huge success, with more than 70 competitors participating in an entirely new discipline for 3GN.

The 3GN Long Range program combines the speed and dynamic movement of 3-Gun with the precision and accuracy of long-range rifle matches. It incorporates the best of both worlds to provide a new and exciting match with a totally different feel.

3GN Long Range (LR) is longer than 3-Gun and faster than precision rifle. Semi-automatic pistols and accurate rifles are used to engage targets from "arms reach" out to 800 yards in a dynamic environment – with plenty of movement and reactive targetry. It is a challenging new approach designed to stretch out the distance and speed up the shooting. 

This new program will make a 3-gunner push their distance limits and become more accurate. The precision rifle shooter will benefit from the faster pace – as it hones their time management skills and improves their ability to get in and out of various shooting positions quickly.

It is a fast paced and exciting sport on its own, but it is also a valuable training tool for 3-gunners and precision rifle shooters alike. 3GN LR takes both disciplines out of their comfort zones and forces them to get better. 

There are three (3) semi-auto "gas gun" divisions and one (1) bolt-action division.

The gas gun divisions are based on caliber. "Practical" is for gas guns chambered in .223/5.56x45 only. "Heavy" is for .308/7.62x51 only. Finally, "Unlimited" is for gas guns chambered in any caliber from .223 up to and including the mighty .300 Winchester Magnum. This division is where the 6 mm and 6.5 mm shooters will play.

The 4th division is Extreme Bolt Gun (or XBG). It is for bolt-action rifles chambered in any caliber from .223 to .300 Winchester Magnum. 

All 3-Gun Nation LR matches will be scored using “time plus penalties,” just like 3-Gun. A complete set of rules can be found here >  

The pistol portion is very similar to 3-Gun. To speed up the scoring and match flow, pistol targets are usually static steel or auto reset steel. Static poppers, IPSCs, and plate racks are the norm. A sturdy holster that covers the trigger guard and holds the pistol securely during vigorous activity is a must. At least one extra magazine and a belt carrier is a good idea. Distances for pistol targets are normally 10-50 yards, however that doesn’t mean that a 75-yard bonus target is out of the question.  

Rifles must fall into one of the four divisions, be accurate and reliable. Most every modern 3-Gun rifle is acceptably accurate. If shooting a .223 or other smaller cartridge, "heavy for caliber" bullets fly farther and impact steel with more energy. Harder impacts are easier to spot by the ROs and make reactive targets flash with more authority.

While 77-grain loads work very well, 55-grain, .223 loads make it very hard to spot impacts past 500 yards. Clear, quality optics with a some type of holdover scale in the reticle is ideal. Mildots and "christmas tree" reticles work well.

The amount of magnification is a personal preference, but a variable in the 2.5-10X, 3-12X, or 4-16X range will do nicely. There are a few fixed 10-power scopes that are well made but inexpensive, and work very well. An accurate dope chart and way to read it while shooting is essential. There are several rifle-mounted dope holders available, and the quarterback-style wrist band works well also. Spare magazines that are short and tall aid in the positional shooting encountered. A sling is required. A bipod, and a rear shooting bag are invaluable. Tripods, shooting sticks, and other mechanical devices are prohibited. 

Most rifle targets are engaged from 350 to 700 yards. They are most often 2-3 MOA targets or larger. For example, a 12-inch MGM flasher at 600 yards is a 2MOA target. An 18x24-inch rectangle is 3MOA tall when engaged at 800 yards. Occasionally, they are smaller when shot from more stable positions or larger when engaged from less stable positions. Targets are often partially obscured, only available by changing positions, or a reactive target must fall to reveal another target behind the first. The rifle positions are rarely rock solid, and they force the shooter to improvise. Engaging targets from barricades, hand rails, on stairs, over barrels, and under obstacles is common.

The rifle targets at the first match ranged from a 22-yard 3GN paper target to an 817-yard full IPSC and every type of swinger and flasher in between.  In an effort to keep the discipline fresh and exciting, varying target presentations, different props, various shooting positions, and new courses of fire will be showcased at every match. 

Join 3-Gun Nation for the fastest and most challenging new shooting discipline in the country. More events to be announced soon. 

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