As 3-Gun competitions continue to sweep across the country with a flurry of popularity and growth, you may be considering to give it a go at some point. Within that decision lies many questions. Where do I compete? Are there different classes? What specific equipment do I need? In the next couple of articles, I will cover one of the key pieces of equipment needed to compete in 3-Gun competition, the pistol. After decades of shooting, I’ve become a big fan of Glock products due to their simplicity and near flawless reliability. I carry a Glock 19 or Glock 43 depending on season and what I’m wearing but for target and competition shooting, the Glock 34 is king. Designed to be the “Practical Tactical” by Glock, it is categorized as a competition pistol.
A great resource is the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) which contains more information and rules on 3-Gun competition.
Ever since I separated from the military, I greatly miss the type of shooting we used to conduct in the 75th Ranger Regiment. It was always dynamic and realistic which is a stark contrast to the static shooting conducted at your average gun range. To fill this void, a couple of non military friends of mine, who also enjoy shooting, suggested we attempt 3-Gun competition this spring. Having developed a comfort due to extended time behind various carbines and pistols, I jumped at the suggestion and began researching what I need to be prepared for this endeavor. Both of these friends shoot shotguns competitively so I tapped their experience for pointers on becoming more proficient with a shotgun. While performing a quick inventory of my current firearms, I noticed a possible weak link in the pistol department. I don’t own a target specific or competition handgun. Now I’m sure I could have got by with my Glock 19 but this was a perfect excuse to look for another gun to add to my collection. Having owned several Glocks over a span of 20+ years and becoming intimately familiar with these firearms, I was leaning towards the Glock 34 to assume the roll for 3-Gun competition.
Choosing the most effective caliber is a concern for 3-Gun competition and should be heavily weighed when selecting your pistol. I chose the Glock 34 9mm pistol to take advantage of the few extra rounds afforded by the smaller bullet. Scoring values at 3-Gun competitions may be different depending on your caliber size. This ensures someone shooting a high recoil pistol like a .40S&W or .45ACP, which are harder to control, aren’t disadvantaged compared to shooters using smaller calibers like 9mm. Check with your local club or visit their website to determine if they use the Major/Minor scoring values. Major/Minor scoring is more common in larger matches that involve cash prizes but our club scores everything as Major so my decision to use a higher capacity, low recoil 9mm made the most sense.