man shooting

Three Gun

A group of three gun competitors practice at the rifle range every Monday afternoon on the days Nicolet College isn’t using it. If you are interested in practicing with them, call Dan Tomasoski at 715-367-1144. They are always looking for new members. Must be a club member to practice. They also practice at Boulder Junction occasionally.

What is Three Gun?

Three gun is one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country right now. It is an action-packed multi-gun competition that tests speed and accuracy. Competitors use three different firearms — a modern sporting rifle (MSR), that is, a rifle built on an AR-platform; a pistol; and a shotgun. Three gun simulates combat or self-defense situations.

Matches involve courses where the shooter must move through different stages and engage targets in a variety of different positions. Each stage requires the use of different firearms and transitions. Targets include clay pigeons, cardboard silhouettes, steel targets of varying sizes and anything else the match organizer designates as a target.

Shooting three gun

Distances of the targets vary from 1 yard to 500 yards. The shooter who hits the most targets and avoids certain “no shoots” in the least amount of time wins.

Rules are set by the International Multi-Gun Association (IMGA) or the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). Each of these organizations have guidelines and rules but the ability to adapt them for specific matches is what makes Three Gun competition dynamic and exciting.

A 13 Year Old Girl That Knows How to Shoot Three Gun


  • Rifles – Most serious competitors choose MSRs in .223 caliber with fairly short barrels in the 18- to 20-inch range and 30-round magazines. But any semi-auto that will handle larger magazines are normally permitted.
  • Shotguns -Any reliable autoloading or pump-action shotgun will work. For serious competition, it should have an extended magazine tube, a good set of sights and interchangeable chokes. Both shotshells and slugs are used in most 3-Gun matches.
  • Pistols – Most shooters use 9mm semi-autos, but the .38 Super and .40 S&W are also popular in some divisions.
  • Accessories – Each shooter needs a holster for the pistol and some sort of belt/pouch system to carry extra magazines and ammo.


  • Limited – This is the entry-level division due to the light equipment requirements. It’s also one of the more fun divisions in which to participate. You are allowed one unmagnified optic on the rifle (iron sights or red dot) and no bipods. No porting or optic on the shotgun is allowed. It can be semi-auto or pump, 8+1 rounds maximum, but no detachable magazines. Also, the shotgun can’t be loaded using speed-loaders during the stage; each round of ammo must be loaded by hand into the magazine. Handgun also must have no porting or optics, and must have a maximum magazine length of 141.25mm.
  • Tactical – This is the most popular division with the stiffest competition among 3-gun competitors. The only difference from the Limited division is that the optic on the rifle may be magnified.
  • Heavy Metal (HeMan) – The rifle must be 7.62×51 or larger with iron sights only; the shotgun must be a 12-gauge pump with iron sights and no porting; the handgun must be .45ACP or larger with no optics or porting only.
  • Open – The “almost anything goes” division. Handgun magazines must be 171.25 mm or less in length. This division also allows speed-loaders for the shotguns during stages.
  • Outlaw Open – As long as it’s safe, everything really does go in this division.

Hodag Sports Club

Copyright © 2023 crafted with care by Corrine Metzger. All rights reserved.