As 3-gun competitions rise in popularity across America, so do the challenges. Topping the 3-gun challenge list could be the recent Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational (M3GI) that was held near Bend, Oregon. At the dusty desert range, more than 150 competitors dashed and shot their way through nine stages.

In the dark.

With lasers and lights. Using handguns, rifles and shotguns.

So, what were the many challenges competitors faced, you may wonder?

Shooters had to run, shoot, hit and topple or punch more than 70 metallic targets, more than 50 clay shotgun targets and more than 80 paper silhouette targets. The distance run was approximately five football fields on uneven and rocky ground—again, in the dark.

Then the fun—or frustrating—part was shooting at and hitting targets. On average the competitors shot 145 rounds of 9mm handgun ammunition, and more than 100 rounds each of .223 Remington and 12-gauge shotshells. A range safety officer ran along and observed over the shoulder to be certain all shots were safely fired. Any safety infraction resulted in disqualification as a few shooters discovered.

Adding to the challenge was trying to stay awake—and motivated. The first shots were fired around 9:30 each evening and the final shots were fired between 3 and 5 A.M. each morning. That’s nearly 30 hours of shooting for a large group of the competitors.

Yes, it seems like a lot of work. So what was the reward, you may wonder?

First Place winner Daniel Horner went home with a check for $10,000 ($6,000 first prize, plus an additional $4,000 because he used Crimson Trace products on all his competition firearms.) The other shooters won prizes ranging from AR- style firearms to Leupold scopes to gun cleaning kits to range bags and ammunition.

Not bad for a marathon in the dark—with three guns. More details are at:

Image courtesy Crimson Trace

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