We follow United Multi Gun League (UML) rules
When preparing to shoot a stage, the most important thing you can pay attention to is the Written Stage Briefing (WSB). That will tell you what targets can be engaged with what guns, if you have to start with a particular gun, and other specifics that are unique to that stage. The WSB can override the rule book.
As a competitor, your stage begins when the RO tells you to “make ready.” That’s when the RO will guide you through loading or staging all of your guns. You’ll then be asked “are you ready?” and if you don’t say no, you’ll be given the “stand by” command and a timer beep to signal you to start shooting. Full detail of range commands listed below.
While you’re shooting, you need to comply with the safety rules and the requirements about which targets can be shot with which guns. You also have to stay inside the shooting area unless you want to rack up foot fault penalties.
First, you will need some essential equipment:
Most shooters use 9mm semi-autos, but the .40 S&W and .45 ACP are also popular in some divisions. Glocks are particularly affordable and well performing, making them a favorite of many 3 Gun competitors operating on a budget.
Most serious competitors choose .223 caliber with barrels in the 16 to 20 inch range and 30 round magazines. Many semi-automatic rifles will work for 3 Gun competitions. You do not need to have a scope. A plain Jane AR-15 will work just fine to get started with and you can always make upgrades later if you desire when you have the money and inclination to do so.
Any reliable autoloading or pump-action shotgun will work. At some point along the way, it will be worth getting an extension tube so that your shotgun can hold 8 rounds in the tube but that is not necessary immediately. Both shotshells and slugs are used in most 3 Gun matches. Belt caddies to hold shells really help.
Besides Eye & Ear protection and chamber flags (for long guns), each shooter needs an approved pistol holster and some sort of belt/pouch system to carry extra magazines and ammo. 1-2 extra magazines for your pistol and your rifle for reloading on 3 Gun stages that require a lot of pistol or rifle shots
Second, you will need ammo. You can estimate needing the following:
100+ rounds of pistol ammo
100+ rounds of rifle ammo
40 rounds of shotgun shells.
8 rounds of shotgun slugs
Be sure to ask about our PCC (Pistol Caliber Carbine) division!
“Make Ready”: The COF (Course of Fire) begins with the “Make Ready” command and ends after the “Range is clear” command.
The RO (Range Officer) will give the “Make Ready” command signifying the start of the COF and then direct and supervise the competitor through the process of preparing and positioning all firearms. The initial “Make Ready” command defines the start of the COF regardless of how many firearms are subsequently prepared, loaded, and/or staged following that command.
“Are You Ready-Standby”: After the competitor has staged all firearms to be used in the COF, the RO will accompany them to the start position. The RO shall then issue the commands “Are You Ready” followed shortly by “Standby” and the activation of the timer.
The lack of any negative response from the competitor after being issued the “Are You Ready?” command indicates that they fully understand the requirements of the COF and are ready to proceed. If the competitor is not ready, they shall state “No” or “Not Ready”. Competitors should assume the required start position to indicate their readiness to the RO.
“Stop”: Any RO assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time during the COF. The competitor must immediately cease firing, stop moving, and wait for further instruction from the RO.
“Squib”: Any RO may call squib if they suspect a competitor’s firearm or ammunition is unsafe (e.g. a “squib” load), the RO will take whatever steps he deems necessary to return both the competitor and the range to a safe condition.
The RO may give supplemental instruction to safely ground the suspect firearm in its appropriate container. The competitor may continue the COF using the remaining firearms. This will not be considered RO interference.
The RO will inspect the firearm or ammunition after COF, and proceed as follows:
If the RO finds evidence that confirms the suspected problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a re-shoot, but will be ordered to rectify the problem. On the competitor’s score sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the COF will be scored “As Shot”, including all applicable misses and penalties.
If the RO discovers that the suspected safety problem does not exist, the competitor will have the option to re-shoot the stage, or the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the COF will be scored “As Shot”, including all applicable misses and penalties.
“If You Are Finished, Unload and Show clear”: If the competitor has finished shooting, they shall lower their firearm and present it for inspection by the RO with the muzzle pointed downrange, magazine removed or tube emptied, slide/bolt locked or held open and chamber empty. The RO will instruct and accompany the competitor to safely unload all firearms used in the COF.
Pistols: Release the slide and pull the trigger without touching the hammer or de-cocker then holster the pistol
Rifle: Bolt locked back OR chamber safety flag inserted.
Shotgun: Bolt locked back OR chamber safety flag inserted.
Rifles/Shotguns shall be carried muzzle up/down when exiting the stage.
“Range Is Clear”: This command shall be issued only after all firearms have been cleared by the competitor and RO. This declaration signifies the end of the COF. Once this declaration is made, officials and competitors may move downrange to score, and reset targets.
Default Start Position. The competitor assumes the default start position unless otherwise specified in the WSB.
Handgun start, the competitor must stand erect, facing downrange, with arms hanging naturally by the sides.
Rifle or shotgun start, low ready.
The WSB read by the RO supersedes the match book or any previously posted stage information.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org