The following information remains pertinent for 3-Gun competition.
USPSA shooting’s roots are handgun competition. There is a division for just about everything [9mm/.38 or larger] out there. There is also a fast growing segment of our sport called 3-Gun – basically USPSA with handguns, rifle, and shotgun. Within that discipline there are several “flavors” each with differing philosophies.
USPSA 3-Gun is an emerging environment. While the breadth of issues can’t be covered adequately here, perhaps the central issue is the scoring methodology. What works very well in pistol competition is somewhat problematic in 3-Gun. The issue becomes significant as we shoot multi-gun stages, where the shooter uses two or more firearms on a given stage. Issues of power factor, balancing the possible points for each type of firearm, equipment configuration across Divisions become more complex. There are a couple of different strategies emerging and it is likely that over time a single system of scoring will emerge that will work for everyone.
The USPSA 3-Gun Supplement and the current USPSA Rulebook define one approach to 3-Gun Competition. It is a provisional supplement – good evidence of the evolution taking place in the sport. It uses the same scoring software that is used in handgun competition, recognizes the Comstock scoring and power factors. Links to those resources are provided below.
International Multi-Gun [IMG] Rules represent another strategy. While the safety rules and general structure is the same, scoring is quite different. It is based on “time plus” – ie the shooter’s time on a stage and penalties and bonus points are expressed as time added or subtracted from that. All stages can earn a maximum of 100 points; the shooter with the lowest time [factored with penalties and bonus points] is given the 100 points and everyone else’s points earned are a percentage of that. The actual scoring is also different, in that rather than “points per hit” the target is considered neutralized with either one “A” zone hit or 2 hits anywhere on the target [steel must be activated or fall to score]. Anything less than that becomes a penalty in assessed seconds for failure to neutralize the target. A copy of IMG Rules is available below.
At our club, the monthly 3-Gun matches are scored under the IMG Rules. We find that it is far easier to score, makes stage design and balance easier to accomplish, and reduces the time required to determine match results. As better methods are developed, we will re-evaluate our match guidance and procedures. An important point to keep in mind is that the fundamental gun handling/safety rules and procedures are the same; the scoring of the match is somewhat different.
USPSA Multi-Gun Rules [PDF]
2012 Oklahoma City Gun Club 3-Gun Rules [PDF]
General Talking Points in Preparation for 3-Gun Competition:
Bring what you’ve got, don’t sweat the small stuff, be safe and have fun. That’s all that matters. Come and try out something a little different. It’s a blast!