Any top competitor will likely tell you that the secret to their 3-gun success is practice. But does that necessarily mean spending hundreds of dollars in ammo every day at the shooting range? Maybe not, according to Chad Adams, Vice President of the National 3-Gun Association, Co-Executive Producer for 3GN TV, and author of the new Gun Digest book, Complete Guide to 3-Gun Competition.
We all love burning ammo. But the cost of sending rounds downrange can get prohibitive, especially when you put in the kind of practice common of some 3-Gun Nation Pro Series shooters. To win, one has to maintain time on trigger, so something has got to give.
A growing trend among 3-gunners is to use air soft guns for training. Unlike the toys more commonly seen, a high-end Airsoft trainer—conversion kits for the actual firearms used in competition—enables competitors to get a tremendous amount of time on the trigger without an over-expenditure of cash.
Inexpensive compared to centerfire ammunition, rimfire rounds provide another avenue to increasing your number of good trigger pulls without spending a lot of money. A recent increase in dedicated .22 uppers and complete rifles make .22 rimfire practice more popular than ever before.
“You need to practice a lot to build up muscle memory,” said Keith Garcia, who is sponsored by BAM Airsoft, a company that specializes in trainers for action shooting. “I like to do a number of things. I’ll dry fire, and I practice with my Airsoft guns at home. I go to the range and do a lot of repetitions with .22 conversions just to build up those repetitions, but also to do so at a more economical cost. If you look at the cost of ammunition for your centerfire rifle or your handgun, a case of .223 would be about $300, a case of .40-caliber about $250. I can shoot 5,000 rounds through my Airsoft gun for about $20. And, through my .22 conversions, a thousand rounds of ammo is about $35. All I do is take the lowers off my competition guns and put the conversion uppers on. The guns feel the same, but now I’m shooting .22 ammo, and I can shoot that for about $.02 a round.”
Regardless of whether one is practicing with an Airsoft, a .22 or their game-day equipment, the old adage remains true: practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.
“For me the key is consistency,” Garcia said. “You want to do one thing every day to improve your shooting. That’s the way you’re going to get good.”
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And, get a front row seat for all the action and competition of the 3-Gun USPSA National Championship, where shooters compete in nine stages of fire for the championship title, with the USPSA 3GUN DVD. The video coverage includes complete match coverage and overall results.
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