Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cactus 3-Gun Fun Match

I'd originally intended to skip the Cactus 3-Gun this month and join several of my to-be-named-later AZ GunBlogger friends at the PHX Rod & Gun Club 3-Gun Match at South Mountain. It was going to be a new experience for most of them and I really looked forward to helping them take their first steps in enjoying my favorite sport. That was until my buddy Jon mentioned that the night before was going to be his birthday party and he'd really appreciate not having to drive further to a match that started 2 hours earlier than the Cactus Match. Well, since I'd intended to share his beer and fellowship until midnight myself, I decided to stick to the 9 am Cactus showtime instead of the 7 am South Mountain start time. That was cool with Big Bob, Ron, and new shooter Chris that we were mentoring at his first match. (Incidentally, those few AZbloggers who made the SM showtime watched for a bit, but didn't compete). Since all of our shooters were invited to Jon's party, they'd gladly endure a a little extra sun (it was only 109F) for a good night's sleep.

Endure it we did. In addition to recording Jon's performance on video like I always do, I offered to document Chris' match for a helpful critique later. The following is a primer for any new shooter trying 3-Gun for the first time, especially those trying it in the Arizona summertime.

  • BE SAFE!
  • Wear sunscreen. And a hat.
  • Bring and drink lots of water.
  • Clean and lubricate your weapons beforehand.
  • Know where your rifle hits at close, medium, and long ranges.
  • Wear a glove on your support hand; Nomex is good for preventing pain caused by your hot black rifle or shotgun.
  • Consider investing in knee and elbow pads in case you want to kneel or go prone where no carpeting has been provided.
  • Bring extra ammo in case you need to re-shoot a stage.
  • Wear something to store extra rifle magazines and extra shotgun shells. Pockets aren't the best for that.
  • Shotgun magazine extender!
  • BE SAFE!
I'm not saying all of these applied to Chris, but you can guess at some of them by watching the video. He got a lengthy post-match critique on shooting grip (Todd Jarrett sez, "Hold it 20 percent tighter!") and match strategy ("Don't shoot your shotgun dry"), so be kind in comments. I'm sure *your* first match had similar hiccups, and if you say otherwise, you're a lying douche-bag.

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