How Expensive is 3 Gun?

Have you checked out how much it costs to compete in airsoft? $4000 a year per player? If people are willing to shell out $4k to run around and shoot plastic pellets, how much would they be willing to pay to blast away with a real gun in their hands?

The problem is that four grand is just the cost of the guns needed to start into 3 Gun. Match fees and ammo (especially ammo) are going to cost you much, much more. The question remains: How much will you actually spend the first year shooting 3 Gun matches?

A typical four-stage 3 Gun match requires approximately 100 rounds of rifle ammo, 100 rounds of pistol ammo, 50 shells and a half-dozen slugs. You may shoot more, you may shoot less, but that’s a good amount to take to the range on match day, and you can use the leftover ammo for practice or plinking.

Guns: $3500
Match Fees: $180

Shooting one match a month, that means you’ll shoot 1200 rounds each of rifle and pistol ammo, 600 shells and 70 slugs. Match fees vary, but figure $10-20 each time you show up as good benchmark, meaning you’ll pay $180 to your local clubs for the matches you shoot during the year.

Ammo: $880
1200 rounds 9mm: $275
1200 rounds .223: $360
600 12ga shells: $185
70 12ga slugs: $60

First Year Startup Cost: $4560
Subsequent Yearly Cost: $1560

The subsequent yearly cost is based on a year’s worth of ammo cost and match fees, plus an additional $500 each year for gear tweaks and equipment upgrades. To be honest, I was expecting the yearly cost to be much more, but sticking with inexpensive ammo like PMC and Armscor dropped the price significantly. Ammo costs would be even less with remanufactured ammo, reloading your own rounds or going with even cheaper brands like Wolf and Tula.

Is 3 gun more expensive than USPSA or IDPA? Obviously yes, because you are spending more more money on more guns and more expensive ammunition than a pistol-only competition, but it’s not out of reach of the average U.S. household. The startup cost is high, but the enjoyment factor is very high as well.

Time to move on, CZ.

First off, congrats on this accomplishment. You trounced the likes of Glock and Smith&Wesson, and that’s a good thing.

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Secondly, you’ve done a couple of the things that I suggested over a year ago, namely supporting the P07 with more stuff and rolling out new product via new media, with some spectacularly good results.

Well done.

But now it’s time to realize that the only thing driving the gun market these days is concealed carry. Can you PLEASE build an SA/DA gun that is lightweight, skinny that holds 10 rounds or so? There is literally nothing like that on the market right now (I said skinny and lightweight, Rami, please sit down), so you would have the market to yourself.

No, the DHS is not buying up all the .22 Long Rifle ammo

The Rosicrucians made them do it!

Also, Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and Wal-Mart isn’t halting sales of AR-15 and tactical gear because they’ve bought into some liberal gun-control agenda.

There’s a simple reason why you won’t find AR’s, tactical shotguns and assorted accessories on their shelves: They’re not selling.

We are in an AR-15 glut right now. You can find lower receivers for under $50 all over the place these days, and entry-level AR’s are going for less than $600.

This is not a sign of a scarcity of goods.

AR manufacturers have an uphill climb ahead of them: For the last 20 years, there has been no other reason needed to buy an AR other than it was either banned or it MIGHT be banned again soon. Thousands and thousands of ARs were sold on the basis of a ban that was going to happen, had happened or might happen again. In other words, for the last 20 years, actual and artificial scarcity were the drivers behind a very real (and very profitable) demand for AR style rifles.

But those days are over. There wasn’t a nation-wide assault weapons ban passed after Newtown, and the chances of such a ban grow slimmer every day as more and more people clue into the fact that they are their own first responders. That doesn’t mean that anti-gunners aren’t going to keep trying to ban AR’s through other legal and extra-legal means, but the chances of another Brady Bill are pretty much over. We are in a post-scarcity world when it comes to guns, and this especially true of ARs.

There are other reasons why Wal-Mart would want to get out of the AR game:

  • Selling guns is a pain: Make too many mistakes on your 4473’s, and the ATF shuts you down, not matter if you’re Wal-Mart or not.
  • The margin on guns suck, usually 20% or less. Wal-Mart would be better served turning that shelf space into something with 25% (or better) margins.
  • As for accessories, they’re like reloading supplies: Either you carry EVERYTHING, or you carry nothing, because the customer will want the product you’re not carrying more than they will want the products you do carry.

Walmart makes their money at the gun counter by selling knives, ammo, eyes and ears. Anything else is secondary or even tertiary. So calm down everyone, there’s no reason to don the tinfoil chapeau over this. Let’s save our time and energy for the things that REALLY matter, like chemtrails and how the Rosicrucians and the Greys are taking over the world.

Just the essentials

I’m hopelessly addicted to Tiny House Nation. I’m not necessarily going to downsize to 300 square feet (yet), but I love a good hack, and the houses they build on that show  are chock full of space-saving, problem-solving goodness because of their small size.

Which got me thinking: Eight guns are the minimum for a well-rounded shooter, but what if there’s not enough space for even that? What is the absolute minimum amount of guns that I might need to protect myself and my loved ones and participate in my shooting sports of choice?

  • A full-size 9mm pistol.
    It all begins with this. I’d pair it with an OWB holster so that I can shoot IDPA or USPSA with it as well as carry it concealed under a cover garment during the day. For added fun (and to save money), I’d make sure whatever I bought was capable of switching over to .22 without much fuss and bother.
  • A 16″ AR-15 in .223.
    Add on a free-floating barrel, collapsable stock and a 1-4x scope, and you’ve got something to defend the home, take to the range or shoot 3 gun. If I want to save money, I can just drop in a CMMG adapter and blast away with .22LR ammo, and if I want to go after deer or need more thump, there’s .300BLK available if I don’t mind storing an extra barrel and BCG around somewheres. Speaking of 3 Gun and extra barrels…
  • A 12ga semi-auto shotgun.
    Set up for 3 Gun with an 8+1 magazine tube, I can easily swap the barrel and tube if I want to blast one of God’s creatures out of the heavens.
  • A pocket .380.
    For those days when concealing a full-size gun is just not possible.

All of that easily fits into a Plano Two-Rifle case, and that, along with a half-dozen mags for the rifle and pistols, 1000 rounds of 9mm, 500 rounds of .223 and a bunch of shotgun ammo should easily fit into the space underneath the average couch.

Maybe we don’t need all that gear after all.

The premise is wrong, therefore, the conclusions are wrong.

For the record, I like The Gunmart blog. I’ve linked to them in the past, and I’ll continue to link to them in the future.

However, this question completely misses the point of open carry:

“The exit question here is, Is open carry really a deterrent?”

No, of course not. Open carry is no more of a deterrent to crime than having a cop cruise around a neighborhood once a week. Good policing requires the police to be involved in their community, and good gun ownership requires gun owners to be good citizens first, gun owners second.

The point of open carry is that it turns the bearing of arms a normal thing, period full stop. If you want good gun laws, get good people carrying guns out into the public eye. Do you think that fact that Arizona has had the best gun laws in the country for two years running might, just might, have something to do with the fact that open carry has been legal in the state since before it was even a state?

Me too.

Open carry is not a deterrent to crime, because if you’re in a neighborhood where you need to open-carry to stop a criminal, buddy, are you ever in the wrong neighborhood. Rather, open carry is a way to show normal people (not criminals) that guns are not bad, because nice people carry guns. If you act badly with carrying a gun, expect people to think that guns are bad, because the people who have them are arrogant pr!cks and might do something bad with a gun.

Ninjas vs. Spartans.

No, this isn’t about some game app for your phone, but rather about two popular athletic events.

The Spartan Race is a variant of the “tough mudder” obstacle course / marathon competition that’s become popular as of late. It’s not easy (far from it!) and that difficulty is what makes it so popular, with big-time sponsors, a TV series and races on three continents. How they can call it “The Spartan Race” and not have the contestants lop off the heads of a few Helots along the way, I don’t know.

I digress.

American Ninja Warrior is also a very tough obstacle course, but it’s shorter and is more focused on acrobatics and gymnastics rather than endurance and mud. It also has big-time sponsors and a tv show, and unlike the Spartan Race, I’m absolutely hooked on watching on TV, as are my wife and sons.

Why?

  1. It’s better TV.
    All the excitement of the contest happens over the space of 7-8 minutes, not a 2 hour run. If I wanted to watch a mini-series, I’ll re-watch “Band of Brothers” on Netflix.
  2. It’s better to watch in-person.
    I’ve not been to a taping of American Ninja Warrior nor have I ran a tough mudder, but all the action in ANW happens right there in front of you, making for boisterous crowds and a party atmosphere, and what’s good to watch in-person is, by definition, good to watch on TV.*
  3. The obstacles match an urban audience.
    Running around over hill and dale is fun, (and heaven knows I did a bunch of it my younger days), but it’s not really relevant to today’s youth who are more into parkour and rock gyms than they are marathons and farm life.

Here’s the fact of the matter: Practical shooting, as it stands now, is the Spartan Race: The people who watch it and benefit from it tend to be the people who participate in the sport. If it’s going to grow, it needs to become American Ninja Warrior, and draw in fans who don’t have a rock-climbing wall in their basement.

* Think about it: There’s a reason why so many musicians do so well selling recordings of their live performances, even though their fans can listen to the songs as performed in the studio on  the non-live albums. Excitement and fans = $$$. The Grateful Dead figured this out DECADES ago. Why hasn’t practical shooting caught up with what those hippies learned back in the 60’s?

Shooting Teams Are The New Blue Angels, Part II

Let’s pick up from where we left off last time.

The Army’s Golden Knights parachute team has a YouTube Channel, and the most popular video on that channel has over 1.2 million views.

Not bad, until you realize that the most popular video on Hickok45’s channel has over 10 million views, and the most popular video on Jerry Miculek’s channel (a relative newcomer to YouTube) has over 2 million views, and it’s just him and his family cranking out the content, not the full weight and power of the United States Army.

All is not lost, however. Aside from the world-record stunts and two celebrity tandem jumps, the average views for a Golden Knights YouTube video is less than 40,000 views. However, the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) has more videos of over 40,000 views than the Golden Knights, and their content has consistently higher engagement as well.

So the people want to watch people using firearms on YouTube. The question is, who is going to give them content to watch?