Getting into the sport of 3-gun can be overwhelming. The question I hear most often is “What gear do I need to get started?” When selecting 3-gun gear, decide what purpose it will it actually serve.
My bottom line when choosing gear is function, followed by cost. As long as my belt stays in place, my holster retains the pistol, my magazine pouches hold the magazines, and my shotgun shell caddies firmly hold the shells: my gear functions as intended. Spending money on top-of-the-line gear will not make anyone a better 3-gun shooter.
As a new shooter, I cannot justify spending hard-earned money on fancy 3-gun accessories. For example, a belt can cost anywhere between 30 and 250 dollars. Practice makes progress, and that price difference between the low-end and high-end belts can instead be used to buy much-needed practice ammunition. I learned that valuable lesson after spending money on items I did not need, and they did not make me a better shooter. Currently, I am back to the first inner/outer belt combination I started out with and the cheapest magazine pouches I have purchased to date. All that extra, unnecessary gear is now collecting dust in my garage.
At the bare minimum, a new 3-gun shooter needs: a belt that stays in place and can hold two pistol magazine pouches, one rifle magazine pouch, and a pistol holster. There are several different shotgun shell caddy options. If you are just starting out, get on track with the upward curve of fast shotgun reloading, which is the load-two or quad-load methods. There are several different companies who manufacture shotgun caddies for the load-two and quad-load technique. From day one, I have been using caddies manufactured by Carbon Arms and my shotgun reloads have been consistently fast. In regard to cost, caddies designed for the load-two and quad-load methods are not the least expensive option, but they do serve the higher purpose of cutting time on your reloads. In that case, it is absolutely worth the extra cost.
The best way to figure out what equipment to buy is to watch what other, more experienced competitors are using. Several of the top-level competitors are using some of the least expensive gear, and it works perfectly for them. On the other hand, there are competitors who have the newest gear on the market and swear by it. When purchasing gear for 3-gun, start slow and start cheap, you will quickly find out what works best for you.
Originally written for: GunUp the Magazine