If you’re active in or thinking of joining competitive shooting, the odds are that you’ve heard of 3-gun. Touted as one of the most dynamic, up-and-coming shooting sports in the country, it seems like the 3-gun community is growing by leaps and bounds. Much of that is due to the efforts of 3-Gun Nation (3GN), which has a titanic influence on the sport through its TV show of the same name and competitive programs at the local, national, and professional levels.

“Quite simply, we’re changing the game,” said 3GN vice president Chad Adams.

Chad said that roughly seven years ago, when he and 3GN president Pete Brown helped found the organization, the world of 3-gun was the wild west of sport shooting. There was great enthusiasm for the format, but no unifying force or even a sanctioning body.

“3-Gun Nation, quite literally, started on a cocktail napkin,” Chad recalled. “Pete Brown and I were on the road, working on television shows for NRA, when we started discussing the sport of 3-Gun. We both kept talking about how it was by far the coolest shooting sport we had ever covered, and we couldn’t believe it wasn’t more popular within the shooting community. So we decided to take a shot and start a TV show with the mission of growing awareness for this dynamic shooting sport.”

Not familiar with what 3-gun is? Take a gander at this episode from 3-Gun Nation on CarbonTV:

The show was a whirlwind success, but as interest grew in 3-gun, Chad and Pete soon noticed how hard it was for people to find matches, not to mention actually competing at the upper levels.

“All the major matches ran under different equipment divisions and rule sets, creating an intimidating circuit where it seemed like you needed to be an insider just to get started,” Chad explained. “So we developed the 3GN Club and Regional Series, becoming the sanctioning body for 3-gun, creating a competition structure that was fair, consistent and aimed at bringing new shooters into the game.”

3GN developed the first classifier system for the sport of 3-gun and set the standard for which competitors can challenge themselves. Not only that, but 3GN is one of the easiest ways to get into competitive 3-gun shooting through their online membership portal, where perspective shooters can find nearby clubs, shooting events, and place into 3GN’s classifier system.

“Shoot the stage at your local club, and 3GN calculates the percentage of score against the established standards. Members then get classified, can compete for National Championships by Classification at Nationals, and our Classifier System is even a route to the Pro Series,” said Chad. “So no matter your goals or interests, 3GN Classifiers provide lots of opportunity for competition and fun.”

In the world of 3-gun, 3GN’s top level matches are serious business. In 2015 the organization will be running 17 major matches and debuts its newest competitive format in 3GN Nationals, an invite-only event that draws from the best of the best among its divisions.

“No other organization has ever attempted anything close to what we’re doing out there,” Chad announced.

3GN also completely overhauled the division and equipment rules for 2015 after analysis and feedback from its members. The new major divisions are Practical, Unlimited, Factory, Heavy Sport, and Heavy Optics.


“Since we first hit the airwaves in 2010, 3-Gun Nation has really lit a fire under the sport of 3-gun,” Chad said. “We’re driving interest never seen before in action shooting, as new competitors file into the ranks seemingly everyday, saying they first saw this sport on our TV show and had to give it a try.”

According to Chad, the greatest contributions 3GN had on the sport were the ones it needed the most: promotion and accessibility. The organization now counts over 100 local clubs under its banner and Chad says that they are very committed to reaching states when 3-gun has yet to gain traction, as well as overseas. As 3-gun grows, so does the organization that has been at the forefront for so long. Yet, it’s not all about just seeing 3-gun fill the mainstream spotlight—even thought Chad and Pete would love that—it’s also about clearing misconceptions.

“3-gun provides a real opportunity to showcase everything that is right about the 2nd Amendment, because 3-gun, by it’s 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 light.

“3-gun, as a game we play, has the ability to transcend party lines and political rhetoric. The more we make this a mainstream sport, the harder it will be to regulate the gear we all use to play it. In my mind, there is no shooting sport more important right now that 3-gun, as it has the power to transform the gun debate forever.”

Looking to join up? You can visit 3-Gun Nation’s website here.

You can also watch full episodes of 3-Gun Nation here at CarbonTV.

Images courtesy Chad Adams

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3 thoughts on “How 3-Gun Nation is Changing the Game for Shooting Sports

  1. Looks like a lot of fun. Unfortunately for most of us, it’s yet another sport for rich folks, or for people who are willing to give up everything for a sport. Have you priced guns and ammunition lately?

  2. Funny my previous comment didn’t post. Oh, well.
    Three gun has got to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it’s yet another rich man’s sport considering the cost of three guns, and LOTS of ammunition for each of them. I doubt many can afford it without sacrificing a lot of other things in their life.

  3. 3 Gun is awesome, but those guns should never be argued as something people have a right to because of any “sporting purpose.” That would be like defending the right to free speech based on things like science-fiction and fantasy novels. Those things, and other forms of recreational speech, are covered, but the primary reason the right to free speech is protected is to protect political speech and “offensive” speech.

    Similarly, the primary purpose of the protection of the right to keep and bear arms is to protect the right to possess offensive-capable weapons of war. Using the “sporting” argument plays right into the hands of the anti-gunners. Pointing out that said guns are themselves used in sport is fine, but such an argument should always be accompanied with pointing out what the true purpose of the amendment is.

    War is not just something that countries get into. It is something that individuals engage in with one another as well. If some criminal (or criminals) are trying to maim and/or kill you and/or your loved ones, that person/people are engaged in a state of war with you, and as such, you have a right to destroy (i.e. engage in a state of war in self-defense) back on said person or people. This was amply explained by John Locke in his Two Treatises of Civil Government. The right to resist a tyranny is an extension of the natural, individual right of self-defense, also explained by Locke.

    So yes, weapons like AR-15s are weapons of war. They are weapons used by the military. But they are not weapons that are solely the purview of the military. So-called “defensive” weapons also are weapons of war. For example, in the 1700s, men often carried a dagger and buckler (small shield-like object that could be used to parry and deflect enemy strikes and also to strike itself). These were not military weapons per se, in the sense of armies did not equip soldiers with them as their primary weapons for going into battle. They were more street fighting, self-defense weapons. But they nonetheless still were weapons of war, because if you were attacked in such a fashion that you had to deploy these weapons in self-defense, that would be a state of war at that point on your person.

    Pistols, rifles, shotguns, and rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s are thus very much weapons of war. They are the basic weapons a person would use in self-defense against criminal predation (war against war from a criminal) and in fighting a tyranny should one arise.

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