By 3-Gunners from Brownells and Sinclair
We weren’t sure how many of you folks have shot a 3-Gun match before and wanted to make certain you came prepared so you can really enjoy this sport we love. We know you’re going to bring guns and ammo (bring more ammo than required) so we wanted to give you some items to include in your shooting bag. Trust us, it will make life on the shooting line a lot more enjoyable.
Disclaimer #1: If you bring every item listed you’ll need a bigger bag and someone to carry it for you. Consider what we’ve listed, some will make sense for you, some won’t. If you’re shooting with buddies, divvy up the list and each of you bring part of it.
Disclaimer #2: This won’t be everything you could possibly need. It’s just our list of things that we do carry, wished we carried and plan to carry this time. Ask another group of shooters and you’ll probably get a different list.
1) Powdered electrolyte/Gatorade mix or tablets. Kentucky can be hot and humid and there will be water available at the stages BUT, occasionally through the day you need to replenish your system. You can get these at hiking, running and outdoor supply outlets and, of course, online.
2) A couple of hand towels. You might just need to wipe your hands or, if it gets really hot, dunking a towel in water and draping it around your neck can help keep you cool. Save one for wiping down a dusty, dirty gun to keep gunk out of the action.
3) Wet wipes. Just wiping your face and hands occasionally can refresh you. Handy if you have to work on a gun, or if a porta-potty runs out of TP. The last is unlikely to happen at a professional facility like Rockcastle but you never know.
4) Rubber bands. One of our guys likes to keep his score sheets together in a rubber-banded roll.
5) Spare gear: A holster, a couple of mag pouches, extra keepers for your double belt system (some of the appropriate Velcro can substitute), foam ear plugs. Kydex can break, screws can come loose and fall out, electronic muffs can break and everything that can go wrong, will, at the worst time.
6) Tools. Some basic punches, screwdrivers and a multi-tool can help you fix minor gun problems and keep you in the match.
7) Spare parts. Springs (recoil, magazine tube, 1911 leaf) in case one gives up during the match. 1100 shooters should bring gas rings; and spare fiber optic rods for your sights are always a good idea. Benelli® shooters with the quick-change recoil pad should consider a spare, they’ve been known to come out. Many AR shooters carry a spare bolt. One of us spent a long time on a motel room floor looking for the firing pin retaining pin that ran away during an evening cleaning session, a bag of pins and other small parts would have saved all that crawling.
8) Cleaning gear. Not so much for the barrel, but for the action where gunk can collect and stop the gun from running. Q-tips for tight spots, aerosol cleaner to blast debris out, one of the “M16” double-end tooth brushes and your favorite lube.
9) Granola bars or other snacks. You’ll be moving quite a bit. If you’re not shooting you’ll be resetting targets. Getting run-down will definitely hurt your scores.
10) A copy or print out of the rules. You don’t want to be “that guy (or gal)” that nags other shooters about little things, but knowing the rules can help you plan your stages.
11) Raincoat or umbrella. Something to cover your guns is also a good idea.
12) Extra clothes and shoes. Rain, mud, dust and sweat, etc. are a part of shooting. Leave them in the car/truck. The trip back to the lodge/motel will be much nicer if you’re clean, relaxed, and dry.
14) A hat with a brim all around. It will help keep the sun off your neck and ears.
15) Knee and elbow pads. Some stages might have you going prone. Padding makes it hurt less so you can concentrate on shooting, not the irritation.
16) Spare shooting glasses. Make sure they will fit your face and under your muffs.
17) Skateboard tape – adds grip to guns being used in the rain. Or, if you’ve added some to improve grip, what you bring serves as “spare” parts in case what you have on the gun, comes off.
18) Band Aids and Mole Skin. Shooting hundreds of rounds with skateboard tape applied to surfaces is about the same as rubbing your body against a belt sander, you’ll want something to help cover up the blisters.
19) Anti-fog lens cleaner for your glasses and scope.
20) Duct Tape. Yup, it’s a cliché but one of those small size emergency rolls can do lots of things.
21) Some cash. Food and lots of cool gear is is sold at these events, but typically they don’t take American Express®, Visa® or MasterCard®.
22) Bug spray, or one of these new clip-on mosquito repellants.