3 Gun Shooting: Tips from SSP Sponsored Athlete, Larry Smith
Posted on April 06 2019
By Ali Juten
Getting started as a 3 gun competitor may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Larry Smith, also know as 3gundude on Facebook & Instagram, wasn’t always a 3 gun shooter. Like many of us, he happened upon the sport while searching on YouTube and watched his first 3 gun competition from the comfort of his home. Smith went a bit further by doing his own research and subsequently decided to go out and watch a local match. That was it, he was hooked.
Today, Larry is one of SSP Eyewear’s sponsored athletes. We asked him to share his story and give a few tips for those looking to get into the sport.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and how long you've been shooting.
LS: I grew up in Kansas and lived there until the last 15 years when I moved to Texas. I grew up hunting and trapping in the winter and did just as much shooting at old soup cans or logs while walking in the woods. I have been doing 3 gun competition for the last 5 years.
Describe the environment of a 3 Gun Competition.
LS: The environment is so much fun, relaxed and still intense. When the time comes to shoot, everyone is always willing to help anyone out with advice and loan of equipment if needed. I have never met more people that were so willing to help someone out if needed. But on top of everything, safety is the number one thing at all matches and is strictly enforced.
How do you personally prepare for competition day?
LS: For me preparing is just making sure all my guns are sighted in correctly and functioning safely and correctly the day before each match. I usually double check my range bags to make sure I have what I need and get myself together. Right before the match begins I usually just try to keep my thoughts on how the stage was set up and when I need to reload and change guns.
Any unique things that you do, even to just mentally prepare?
LS: We are given five minutes to walk each stage before we shoot them. I take a few minutes after that to just think about how I will shoot that stage, when to reload and change guns, and which order I will move through the stage. If I get that in my mind it seems to go smoother.
If you could give 3 tips of advice to a new 3 Gun hopeful, what would they be?
LS: Three things to keep in mind:
Do not go out and buy all the new cool items. Think about what division you will be shooting and then decide what is best for you and go small at first until you decide what you like.
Find a gun range that lets you practice shooting on the move and drawing, then go spend some time working on small steps shooting on a walk slowly and switching guns while doing this.
Don’t spend all your time shooting the cool fun guns. Practice what you struggle at. That will make you better.
Anything else you'd like to add?
LS: The most important thing to add is always safety first, even when you are alone. That is the most important thing for yourself and for all gun owners. Don’t worry about placing first, just go have fun and shoot and enjoy an amazing sport. Winning is great but not the most important thing, having fun and enjoying yourself is the best and most important. This is a amazing sport and so much fun to be shooting in so many different places, different ways and always shooting fast.