Recently a discussion over at The High Road got bumped up out of the archives about how to carry gear at a 3gun match.
If there’s one downside to shooting 3gun, it’s the sheer amount of gear you have to schlep around with you; rifle, pistol, shotgun, ammo for all of them, magazines, shell carriers, mag carriers, safety gear, brass bag, and various other things like sun block.
At a match held at a somewhat traditional range with parking right next to the shooting areas, this isn’t such a big deal. You can just go to the back of your vehicle, grab whatever guns and gear you need, and haul it the twenty feet or so to the line.
At matches that have large numbers of participants, inconvenient parking, or that take place in more open field settings that require a bit of a walk to get to the shooting area, this approach can be problematic, as the last thing you want to happen is to walk 1/4 of a mile only to realize you’ve left your score sheets in the car. (Ask me how I know this…)
So in those situations, it pays to be a bit more organized. To that end, there are a couple of different solutions. There are at least a couple of companies that make 3-wheeled carts for toting gear around.
I’m against the carts for wholly irrational reasons. Frankly, I think they look stupid.
In the THR discussion, Zak Smith makes a couple of points about them, saying that some of the cart fans seem to have sub-par safety skills (though this isn’t a result of the carts themselves) and also that the carts don’t work so well when the ground gets wet. The second point is clearly the most valid argument against them.
I’ve toyed around with carrying guns in various cases, including separate cases for rifle and shotgun, as well as a hard case that can store both- (the Starlight case that I did a writeup on awhile back.)
I’ve found that the hard cases are great for transporting stuff to the range, but once you’re there, they become a pain to carry around with you simply because they’re so unwieldy. Also, if your rifle is stacked on top of the shotgun, it can result in having to dig through the case to get to the gun you need.
So far, the best solution I’ve found comes from the company Eberlestock. They make a number of backpacks for carrying gear, including long guns. The pack I have is the Gunslinger. It’s got a central storage area for all of my gear, and a customized area for toting a rifle. I also added one of the shotgun side scabbards.
With this setup, I’m able to carry both of my long guns, and pretty much all of my gear without much trouble. My only complaint about the system is that the shotgun scabbard is a bit short. I would prefer it if the scabbard was long enough to cover the trigger on the shotgun, but this is more of a personal preference thing, as I’ve had no issues with the shotgun falling out of the scabbard.
So, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for carrying your 3gun gear, take a look at the products offered by Eberlestock. They’re well made and will keep you organized.