Well, it's been just over a year since Top Shot Season 1 wrapped up. I've been on a roller coaster ride since winning TV's first shooting reality show, but this blog isn't going to be about me. Rather, it will cover the shooting sports we love, the guns and gear we use and the people that make it all happen. It's that last item that I'd like to stress, because it's you guys reading this that are going to steer me in certain directions. I have my own favorite hobby horses, so if you find me beating them to death, feel free to poke me in the chest and tell me about it. Welcome, it's going to be a fun ride.
Forgive me if I've struck a rather ceremonious tone in my first post, but there's no better way to kick off a blog about competitive shooting than to examine its most popular discipline, 3-gun.
Here's my top five reasons why every shooter should try 3-gun:
1. It's sexy. So sexy in fact, it's the only shooting sport with its own TV show.
2. If you really want to see how your gear and skills perform under pressure in a practical shooting environment, then you owe it to yourself to a 3 gun competition. Short of being on a two-way range, there's not a whole lot more intense than the cauldron of competition, and you'll discover just how well you can deal with problems when everything goes wrong. And go wrong it will. Your pistol that has fed and ejected every round flawlessly in practice will suddenly develop chronic indigestion, your rifle will mysteriously lose zero and your shotgun will go full auto. Every one of these has happened to me - one time in a single match. Suck it up, buttercup and get back in the fight.
3. You'll learn from the best. The sport is still in its adolescence at the moment, so if you shoot at a major match, there's a good chance you'll compete with the likes of Taran Butler, Daniel Horner or any one of about two dozen pro and semi-pro shooters. The amount of information you can absorb about how to improve your own shooting would fill a book, and all you have to do is observe and ask the occasional thoughtful question. Can you imagine turning up at Pebble Beach and getting a masterclass from Tiger Woods? Neither can I, but you can if you shoot 3-gun.
4. You get to see new gear before anyone else. This is an intensely Darwinian sport - if gear doesn't work, it goes the way of Giant Auk very quickly, but the reverse is also true. There's enormous pressure to develop or adapt new equipment to gain a competitive edge, so you'll often see (and try) innovations on the range long before they make it into print or onto TV.
5. Three-gunners are some of the funnest human beings on the planet. Hang around for the party on Saturday night and you'll see what I mean...
What are the reasons you have tried or would like to try 3-gun?