The Three-Gun Nature

In January of 1982, a song by Hank Williams Jr. arrived on the scene; “A Country Boy Can Survive.”

One portion of the song is:

“I’ve got a shotgun a rifle and a four wheel drive
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive”

Well, darn if I didn’t misconstrue that part to state:

I’ve got a shotgun, rifle, and a forty-five
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

Three Firearms for Three Gun Challenges

Three Firearms for Three Gun Challenges

I guess that I wasn’t alone because (according to Wikipedia under Shooting Sports): 3-Gun (3G) or Multi-Gun (MG) are practical shooting events where each of the stages generally require the competitor to use and transition between a combination of rifles, handguns, and/ or shotguns or other types of firearms. 3-Gun has a lot in common with ordinary IPSC/ USPSA matches, having courses of fire where the shooter must move through different stages and engage targets in a variety of different positions.

3-gun provides a real opportunity to showcase everything that is right about the 2nd Amendment, because 3-gun, by it’s (sic) very nature, is the modern-day battleground for gun rights,” Chad opined. “The equipment we use to play this game—the semi-auto rifles, shotguns, and pistols, the black guns—is what all the anti-gunners would love to ban. So 3-gun is that sport that lives as the shining example of the “sporting purpose” for these platforms we need to protect. 3-gun showcases how individual gun owners compete with these so-called black guns, how we are law-abiding, responsible citizens, and how the mainstream media woefully categorizes these guns and the people who use them in a singular, misrepresentative (sic) light.” – 3GN vice president Chad Adams

Obviously, I am talking about competition with three guns, whether it is a 3GN match or its Western-themed variant, Cowboy Action Shooting. While I am amazed at the skill of these competitors, and at the gear used by these competitors, I am checked by reality – age and resources.

While it takes more than just firearms to survive (as also noted in the remaining lyrics to “A Country Boy Can Survive”) the ability to run the three basic forms of personal weaponry is essential to one’s survival growth. Since my life’s pattern seems to run in threes, having at least one each of the three forms of personal weaponry seems to fit the pattern. I am comfortable and conformable with that.

Three Common Guns for Personal and Home Defense

Three Common Guns for Personal and Home Defense

The choice of what three forms of firearms will, of course, vary among individuals. There are many to choose from and it can be a daunting task to determine what is best for one’s particular requirements. Some folks favor a rifle over a shotgun and vice versa. Handguns are the hardest of the three forms of basic firearms to master but usually are the first choice of those seeking a PDA (Personal Defense Assistant) for the first time. Most common is the shotgun for home defense. I can’t count how many times that I have been in a LGS or sporting goods store and heard something to the effect of, “I’m looking for a home defense shotgun” from a customer. A rifle (or carbine) usually takes a back stage for home defense for most. Since most home-defense shotgun buyers are concerned with the here and now, they tend to forget the distant and bigger picture. That realization may, or may not, come at a later time.

In my personal option, shotguns are the most versatile of the three forms of firearms. Several shotgun manufactures offer shotgun in “Combo” form; interchangeable barrels that can be used for hunting such as a 28’ vented and ribbed smoothbore barrel and a separate 24” rifled barrel for shooting slugs. Within seconds, a shotgun of the “Combo” type can be converted from a bird gun to a deer gun. For home defense, a separate 18.5” barrel can be purchased for a reasonable price.

Of handguns, one of my most prized is the Dan Wesson 15-2 revolver including barrel lengths of 2.5, 4, and 6 inches. Within a New York minute, the barrel length can be changed to accommodate a need (short barrel for carrying, 4” barrel for home defense, or 6” barrel for hunting).

On average; however, the purchaser must decide what type and size of handgun fits a specific need; most handguns are not as versatile as the DW Model 15-2.

The rifle, I feel, is the most complex of the three forms of firearms in the sense of decision making as to what rifle (or carbine) is best suited for a particular need. The AR-based Modern Sporting Rifle, I feel, is the most versatile in terms of caliber (still yet limited) and barrel length. With little effort, I can change out the upper with one barrel length with another of a shorter to accommodate CQB (Close Quarters Combat and within legal limitations) or longer barrel lengths for LDS (Long Distance Shooting) and twist rate to accommodate different weights of bullets.

Regardless of the choice of the three forms of firearms, familiarization with those firearms is essential. This is the point where I submit my own shortcomings in regards to familiarization.

Three Gun Carrying Case

Three Gun Carrying Case

Lately, it seems that when I go for a range session it is for zeroing a scope, sight, or evaluating a new item of gear I have come into possession of. When I do go for practice, it is with a specific firearm. In doing so, I neglect my familiarization with the other two firearms. I am beginning to change that. I purchased a 3-Gun Carrying bag and the last range session entailed carrying, and practicing with, my choice of EDC, shotgun, and rifle. After a long absence, I tend to forget about the blast and recoil of the shotgun, the running of the MSR with a dot-sight, and the short sight radius of my EDC. I practice at ranges from 7 yards to 25 yards (the limit of the indoor range that I frequent most) with each firearm. My objective with each is simply to aim small and miss small; I’ll admit that I am not ready for prime-time competition.

It does not matter if you three guns consist of a revolver or semi-automatic pistol, a pump-action or semi-automatic shotgun, or a lever-action, bolt-action, or semi-automatic rifle/carbine, nor the caliber or gauge of any, the point of this article is to advocate the 3-gun concept. More importantly, this article is meant to advocate the practice of remaining familiar with the three firearms that you choose on a regular basis for survival; something that I am working on for myself. While I may not be a competitor at local or national-level 3GN matches, I am a competitor when it comes to the survival of me and my family. Somehow, I think that you are as well.


Shooting Sports:


How 3-Gun Nation is Changing the Game for Shooting Sports:


Categories: Uncategorized

About Taurian

Taurian is a U.S. Army veteran and former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Taurian also has over fifty years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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