Posted By admin on May 26, 2012
Continuing the First Major 3-Gun Training of 2012
With Alisa (16), Hayden (12), River (13), and Poppy (13)
Alisha Lierman (16)
My first official 3-Gun training was fun and helpful. I had to go second, it was a little daunting at first being as how there were more people watching me. It just wasn’t my family, Andy, and I. There were other shooters and their families.
Before we started shooting, we set up the course and laid our guns out on tables, also with our ammo and loaded magazines. Once we were ready to start, we had to run about 30 yards to a gate and back. The running is to help us learn how to control our breathing while shooting in the middle of a match.
Above right: Alisha loading the FNH SLP shotgun.
When we ran back we grabbed our FNH SLP 12-gauge shotguns and shot at spinners and poppers that threw up two clay pigeons. After we shot all the shotgun targets we ran back and got the FNH FNX-9 9mm pistol (which my brother Hayden and I shoot) and shot at another group of poppers. We shot at those until either we shot them all or were out of ammo. Once that happened we ran back and grabbed the .22 rifle Chiappa AR rifle from MKS Supply and shot at a dong and a couple other reaction based targets. We had to do one pushup for every shot missed. We ran thorough this course a couple times each.
Once that was completed we gathered up everything and ate lunch. We moved to another section at the gun range, the rifle area. We set up another course with bowling pins, a Caldwell Shooting Supplies shooting gallery, a dong, and a couple of rifle reaction targets including a tiny silhouette rifle popper from MGM Targets. After all that got set up, Scott Dye, Duncan’s dad, helped me with my pistol positions – stances and grip.
That day I learned that I need to work on my pistol. I keep jerking my trigger. One way that I can work on that is keep repeating “squeeze” in my head. I can practice at home by placing a dime on my front sight and not letting that dime fall off when I pull the trigger.
My only question is how can I motivate myself ? Editor’s response: Each time you practice and go to an event, look at what you have accomplished. Think of all of the positive things and especially the improvements. Even small steps achieve huge results. Remember how far you have improved from where you started and how much fun you are having.
Hayden Lierman (12)
I went up to Boise to have a practice day with some other 3-gun juniors. We shot at the Emmet, Gem County Gun Club. I was a little concerned as all that was separating the shooting lanes are little dirt berms. (Editor’s note: It is a nice range and safe as long as you stay inside the berm.)
Left: Hayden shooting the FNH SLP shotgun.
The first shooter to shoot was Duncan (14), the most experienced shooter in our group that day. I thought he did very good job and was very fast on the draw and switching the guns. He had to first run about 30 yards then come back and pick up the FNH SLP 12 gauge shotgun semi-auto and shoot the five shotgun targets, then run back with the cleared shotgun pointed down range and put the shotgun safely back on the table. After all that he draws his pistol (a GLCOK 34 9mm) and shoots the remaining knock down targets, then pick up his .223 rifle (a Rock River arms A2 with an EOTECH holographic optic he shoots in limited class – no magnification) and hit the two rifle poppers five times each then you have to do push-ups for your misses . It was very impressive and I learned a lot.
River Vorse (13)
One of the most important things I learned was making hits. I found that I really need to slowdown. All I was thinking of before was how fast I can miss. Now that I am making hits I am actually faster and wasting less time. This is extremely important on the spinner where I was having a lot of trouble before. Also, I now have more ammo just in case I find it harder later on in the stage.
I really need to work on my movement. Even though I’m shooting better, I think I could shave off 15-20 seconds for every minute just by moving faster between targets and guns.
Above right: River practicing with the S&W M&P15-22.
My rifle accuracy needs improvement as well. Both prone and off-hand positions need work. Last time I was stretched out in the prone position I had most of my weight on my stomach so that I was having serious trouble keeping steady with my breathing.
I also learned a lot about the spinner gathering momentum and I found some new place to hit it and what kind of hold I should use — a six o’clock hold seems to work best for me.
I learned a lot from Cody about loading the shotgun, especially how to hold my loading thumb and pulling it back out after loading a shell. I also learned about positioning my shells in the shells in the right direction and where on my belt to put them.
I learned a lot in my first 3-Gun training session and certainly have a few goals to work on now.
Poppy Vorse (13)
First big 3-gun training session, what a day! I learned so much. I can’t wait to get back out again! The day started with a brief set-up and we jumped right into the shooting. I couldn’t use a shotgun because had a concussion from a skinning fall a couple of weeks ago, but I still learned from watching the other shooters. I watched carefully as they loaded, unloaded and shot the spinner and clays. I started with my pistol. The first round I decided to use my Ruger .22 LR. That was NOT a good idea. It was taking me three shots to hit each target which definitely slowed me down. I switched to my GLOCK 9mm in a heartbeat.
Poppy with her Tactical Solutions (Ruger frame) Paclite .22 at the low-ready position.
Anyways, I would shoot the knockdowns (about 12), then I would holster my pistol and grab my M&P15-22 .22LR from Smith & Wesson from the table. Throughout the day I learned more about transitions. Then we would run up and shoot these little poppers. We would get one hit then switch popper, then back again. We hit each popper five times. This was great because you had to really move from target to target quickly. On my first round I had some issues with my rifle, every shot I would have to tap, rack and roll. I learned from my mistake and we had to switch out the lower in between stations. Every shot we missed on the rifle targets resulted in a couple pushups or sit-ups.
After lunch we moved down to the lower range. I had a blast! We started off shooting our AR .22 rifles on a little moving target. I went prone and made every shot. Then we shot like 20 bowling pins with a pistol, which was a big challenge. Then we would move to our .223 rifles. In the beginning the rifle I was using was WAY off target so we sighted it in on the spot. The next go-around I did pretty well.
Above: Five of the juniors on the Junior Shooters Magazine 3-Gun team: Alisah, Duncan, Poppy, River, and Hayden Lierman in the back.
I think the hardest part of the day was shooting the spinner with my pistol. I almost had it but then I lost focus and just plinked of random rounds. Another hard thing for me was pressing my trigger, I kept jerking it and that wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I found it very helpful to think of the surprise break. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I improved in just one day. I am so excited for our next time at the range. Next time I hope to get some practice with loading the shotgun.
Is it quicker to spend time and go prone, or shoot standing and maybe use a few more rounds? Do misses count in the rifle part of 3-gun? Editor’s note: Shooting from a standing position is preferred depending upon the size of the targets and the distance. If you have to go prone in order to hit smaller, or farther targets that is okay, just make sure that before you go prone you take your pistol out of the holster and place it in front of you facing down range. Going prone with a pistol in your holster is a safety issue. Yes, rifle misses count as a miss as well as any target you don’t try to hit also counts against you.
Who could have known you could learn so much in one day? On Saturday I had another great day with the team. It was a blast! I learned so much, from emergency reloads, to shooting down the spinner with one magazine. Well, not exactly one magazine, but close enough. Hey, at least I got the spinner, right? It was really inspiring to watch Cody Leeper (17 and winner of the 2011 3 Gun Nation Series Junior Class) take down the spinner in just ten shots. I came close several times to getting it spun with just one magazine. We started out with 9mm and .22LR handguns. It was fun because we alternated so we could get more proficient with the .22LR, then move onto the 9mm. Then we got more into the whole “3-gun” aspect and shot a stage. This took a while but once we got through I realized how much that had helped me. Later, we shot the spinner several times and that is when I finally got the hang of it. Overall, it was an amazing day.
My one question: What is the quickest way to hit the spinner? Editor’s note: Many experienced shooters will start at the top and then go to the bottom. Some will start at the bottom and get fast enough to double-tap, or triple tap before moving to the top. Regardless, make sure you follow the target as it moves to the mid-point before shooting. Do not shoot as it is moving toward you. Make each shot hit even if it is slower. That is the sure way to spin the spinner.