I recently conducted a spread test using the three included choke tubes (Full, Modified and Improved Cylinder) on my Mossberg 930 JM Pro (24″ variant) to see exactly where the shot was hitting and how far the spread was at set distances. I tested distances at 5, 10, 15 and 25 yards. I was hoping to see what the most reliable tube was for 3-Gun matches where bird shot was to be used. I plan on testing 00-Buck and Slug ammo as well in the near future.
The ammo used for this test was Winchester 12GA 1 1/8oz 7 1/2 shot.
I want to start this post off with a disclaimer. I am not a 3 Gun Expert, nor am I a master craftsman, but I do enjoy tinkering around until I get the result that I want.
I was first turned on to 3 Gun Shooting by my good friend, Kris. We shot our first match a few weeks ago and I am trying to delve deep into the world of competitive 3 Gun Shooting.
This is the first of what I hope to be a short series of the build of my 3 Gun Shooting Cart.
Let’s start off with what I used for my first match….
I was in dire search all over the area for a used and inexpensive baby jogging stroller, but was unable to find one in time. Knowing that I needed to be able to transport a rifle, a shotgun, and assortment of ammo and magazines, I had to come up with a makeshift solution in the interim.
Looking around, I found my old golf pull cart that had been sitting in the garage for a few years. I added a few pieces of PVC piping for the barrels to fit into and a bungee cord to hold the long guns in place. It worked, but I still had the issue of carrying around a few hundred rounds of ammo around in a backpack along with spare magazines, water and all of the other goodies needed for the day.
The golf cart worked, but not well enough. I was still on the hunt for a baby jogging stroller. The jogging stroller, in my opinion, is ideal. It folds up nice for transport, is lightweight, sturdy and has oversize wheels that are capable of maneuvering over various terrain.
My #1 goal in looking for my first cart was price. I did not want to spend an exorbitant amount of money and I was on the search for one around $20. I checked Craigslist and OfferUp regularly, but ultimately I was able to find one (pictured above) at a yard sale that included a car seat with base for $60. I was able to finagle the cost of the stroller, minus the seat, for $20.
The first steps that I took were to strip down the jogging stroller of all unnecessary portions of the cart. (Bear in mind that each make and model of jogging stroller is different.) I removed the seat and the fabric storage area and discarded them both as I would not need them later. Some jogging strollers do not have a substantial frame on the bottom portion to allow for a shelf to be built. Fortunately the one I found did. If you find a jogging stroller that does not have a substantial frame, you may want to opt to keep the fabric storage area.
I broke down the stroller as far as I could to clean and prep it for paint. I planned on keeping the rain cover and to dye it black with Rit Dye. Unfortunately the rain cover functioned as designed and repelled the dye, so that step was scrapped and the rain cover was discarded as well.
Once the jogging stroller was broken down as far as I could get it, I painted everything matte black and reassembled it.
This is where I am at now and I have to say that the matte black is starting to look very good. I will update the progress as more time has been put into the cart.
I shot my first 3-Gun-Type Shooting Competition today. I say “Type” since it was more or less a fun shoot at a local-ish range (2 hours away) that was not an official 3 Gun Nation match for score, though this range is a 3GN registered club.
I was looking for a low-key, no stress event to get my feet wet, have some fun and soak in as much information as I could. Unfortunately this range would not allow photography or videography, so there will not be any accompanying range images with this article.
For firearms I shot my slightly modified (stippled, with 10-8 Performance Sights and a Glock Triggers “The Guardian Duty-Carry” Trigger System) Glock 19, a “Frankengun” AR-15 built around a Rainier Arms Billet Ambidextrous Receiver Set and a stock Mossberg 930 JM Pro shotty. I had the AR’s scope, a Vortex Viper PST 1-4x dialed in tight before hand, but had not had a chance to shoot the JM Pro before the match…so it was basically new in box with a fresh coat of oil. (Not something that I recommend you do.)
For my equipment belt I had borrowed a buddy’s set up that is built around a Safariland competition belt, a stripped down ALS holster, some TACCOM Qualoads, and a single pistol mag and single AR mag carrier (from unknown manufacturer). Again, it was borrowed.
The Qualoads worked as designed, but I need to look around for something a little more secure as shells would fall out occasionally. My twin/dual reloads were satisfactory, but need improvement and I am not yet there with quad loads. I would definitely go with additional pistol and rifle mag pouches as my pockets were at times stuffed with extra magazines depending on the stage. This may not be a big concern in a sanctioned 3GN match, but with a COF that was all handgun and with one that limited everyone to 6 rounds in each magazine, they started to add up.
I did not go without some sort of malfunction on one or multiple guns on any given stage. I am chalking the problems up to ammo on the rifle and shotgun and problem TBD on the Glock.
The Winchester Universal Game & Target 7 1/2 shot that I started with gave me numerous malfunctions in the first course of fire (COF) in the JM Pro. Another helpful shooter advised that his 930 did not like steel heads/rims and he provided me with some brass headed Suprema 8 shot to finish out the day with. The Suprema worked out great without another malfunction in the shotty.
As for the .223 ammo I was using, the Atlanta Arms remanufactured ammo that I was shooting caused way too many malfunctions to mention and really hurt my times. It is what I had the most of on hand for boxed .223, but I also had two boxes of Gorilla Ammo 69gr Sierra MatchKing OTM in my bag and the rest of the match was flawless with that ammo.
Lastly, the Glock 19 had a lot of problems. At first I thought that it may have been too dry, but some added lube did not remedy the single shot problem that I was having. The gun was clean, so fouling was not a problem. I have yet to break down the gun to armorer level, but I think that it may be an extractor issue. Once the gun is back together I will run some quality ammo through it to ensure that the Speer ammo I was using was not a bad batch. I guess it is just a sign to upgrade to a G34.
The courses of fire were fun, yet challenging. There were initially 5 COF, but one had to be cut out due to Hunter Education being taught on one of the lanes. Only 2 COF involved all 3 guns, while 1 was all handgun and the other was all rifle. That was a little disappointing, but nevertheless challenging.
Prior to the match, I was advised by a friend to have some sort of jogging stroller to haul my gear/guns around with me. Unable to find a reasonably priced stroller on short notice, I re-purposed my golf pull cart with some 3″ PVC pipe to haul around the shotty and the AR. It worked out okay, but still had to haul the ammo bag around. Not the end of the world, but still a PITA. Will work on a more substantial solution for the next match.
Overall, it was a great experience for my first semi-competitive shoot, especially since I was not stressed about my times and was there to get my feet week.
Here is to much more practicing, training and improving on times.
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