The question is often asked if X match is “beginner friendly” or “as a beginner what is the best way to get ready for, or get into, 3-gun?” The answer often seems simple to those already in the sport and intimidating to those on the outside looking in: just jump in the deep end and get in the game. It really is that simple and it is also really the only way to go about it. Watching from the fence, it’s understandably not readily apparent how to begin. To fully understand the game and excel as an athlete, 3-gun is indeed a dense subject (perhaps that is why it intrigues folks the way it does), but the only way to learn is to sign up for a match, and start digesting it one piece at a time.
The only real prerequisites to signing up to one’s first 3-gun match are a basic understanding of firearms safety, an understanding of how to manipulate the firearms one intends to use (load, unload, functions of external controls, and of course firing), a willingness to learn, and being able to identify and ask questions when one doesn’t know what to do. A 3-Gun match is perhaps not the right place to learn HOW to shoot or manipulate a firearm, but with a basic understanding in hand, just come on out and give it a try. The shooting itself isn’t necessarily what makes 3-gun challenging, it’s the going fast and scoring well that is the challenge…but that comes later.
There’s no secret, no catch, no written test, or permission slip needed to get started in 3 gun. Literally come as you are in comfortable clothes and athletic shoes; bring what you have, and borrow what you don’t. Seriously, most action shooters are more than willing to share equipment with newcomers to help get them started on the right track. Same thing goes for participating in the match and learning the game, a more welcoming and encouraging group of folks cannot be found anywhere else. There are no secrets, most are more than willing to share strategies and advice if only asked. That’s all there is too it: come on out, sign the form, pay the fee, find someone who looks like they know what they are doing, make friends with them, and learn it one piece at a time…you’ll be addicted to 3-gun like the rest of us before long.