In any shooting competition, a sudden death finale makes all of the hype and build-up worth the wait. A 3-Gun Nation shoot-off offers every bit of that anticipated excitement, but it adds a twist to up the ante. When a competitor makes it to the final round, the switch is made to sponsor-provided equipment—FNH USA’s SCAR, SLP Shotgun and the FNS-9.
“3-Gun competitive shooting has been, and continues to be, a perfect outlet for our products such as the SCAR, SLP and FNS—all of which have been designed and developed to the standards of military or law enforcement applications. Those standards make our products that much stronger and reliable when you’re running to the next stage through rough terrain and every possible weather condition,” said Tommy Thacker, director of product management and team shooter for FNH USA.
The SCAR is a piston-driven rifle built specifically for U.S. Special Operations command. “The SCAR is a wonderful platform that has been proven through extensive trials. In the hands of FN team members, it has proven to be a winner as well,” said Chad Adams vice president of 3-Gun Nation.
Adams continued, “One of the great things about using sponsor equipment for the finals is that it levels the playing field—at least to some degree. It takes away any technical advantage a shooter’s equipment may provide. It creates a drag race, shoot-off stage. What you are seeing is who can run out, pick up those guns and perform on demand.”
“In the previous five years, I don’t believe another gun has had the same level of impact on the sport of 3-gun as the SLP shotgun,” said Adams. The SLP’s popularity stems largely from its popular gas system. “The gas system in the SLP is probably the most widely used for autoloaders in 3-gun. “For years Benelli’s inertia or recoil driven system was a leader in the sport. At the time there simply were not enough gas guns that held up as well as the Benelli and some other shotguns. When FNH came out with the SLP it really did deliver a great gas system that mitigates recoil a bit and makes it easier for some shooters to handle,” said Adams.
The newest of the three FN guns used is the FNS-9. The FNS-9 is FN’s entry into the highly competitive, striker-fired pistol market. “FN really went to drawing board to decide what worked on pistols of that genre and what did not. With the introduction of the FNS-9, it delivered a duty-style pistol that really runs, is extremely robust and the ergonomics are outstanding in the hand,” boasted Adams.
“FNH USA has always been dedicated to the support and advancement of the shooting sports. 3-Gun competitive shooting offers a friendly environment for shooters of all skill levels and gives the FNH USA shooting team the perfect outlet to demonstrate the strength and reliability of our products to those who may be new to the world of competition shooting,” said Ken Pfau, senior vice president and team shooter for FNH USA.
A 3-Gun Nation shoot-off is only one aspect of what 3-gun is really about. During the course of a match there will be several stages. Some stages will feature big, long, natural terrain with rolling hills, high round counts and lots of movement. Other stages will require the shooter to simply stand in a box and grab guns off the table. For these stages, it’s all about speed and accuracy. Over the course of a match, you can have a bad stage and make it up with a good stage.
“Where the match is more of a marathon, the shoot-off tests the shooter’s ability to deliver on demand, in front of a crowd, and when the pressure is at its utmost. The shoot-off tests not only shooting ability and athleticism, but more than anything it tests the competitor’s mental game. You have to be able to block out the crowd, cameras and thoughts of the money you’ll win. Most of all, you have to be able to block out what the competitor next to you is doing. After all, you only get one chance,” said Adams.
“FNH USA has been a continued force in the 3-gun competition world and it is only natural that when 3-Gun Nation, a program dedicated to the advancement of 3-gun as a sport, was founded that we’d find a home there. FNH USA is proud to be one of the first sponsors and we are dedicated to increasing exposure to the sport and making it as robust as other competitive shooting sports such as IDPA or National Skeet Shooting,” said Ken Pfau, senior vice president and team shooter for FNH USA.
“Although we change it up throughout the season, the shoot-off goes something like this. The competitors begin in a start box. After the horn they sprint to their first weapon. Let’s say that is the SLP shotgun. They engage eight targets and return the SLP to the box before sprinting to the next box.
“Perhaps this would be the SCAR. The competitor would then engage targets—offhand—anywhere from about 50 to 100 yards. These targets would be something along the lines of a six-target MGM plate rack. After replacing the SCAR back in its box. The competitor would sprint to the last station.
“Prior to this point, the competitors have been working inboard. Now at the last station, they are going to be close, where they can see and hear each other. The first one to knock hit the crossover stop plate is the winner and takes home the purse,” concluded Adams.The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!