Gear for the Midnight 3 Gun Invitational
I’m feeling very lucky to be attending the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational this year. As someone who spends a lot of time with night vision: shooting in the dark is important to me. Shooting 3-Gun in the dark will be a real treat.
After some deliberation over NODs and IR systems, I decided that I’m just not experienced enough this round to take the night vision handicap. (I only have one IR laser to my name) Instead I’ll be shooting the match the way it was designed for: lights and lasers.
Because the round count at this event is fairly light, I’ve slimmed down my belt to the bare minimum: handgun holster, and an extra mag or two for each gun. Things have come off the belt, and lots more things have been added onto the guns…
I was really happy with my Jericho 941 compact at the MGM Ironman. But shooting in the dark changes things, and my handgun game is already my weakest component. I’m not keen on hunting for a sight picture in the dark, so I’ve put an old TLR-4 light and laser on there. Sadly my local crimson trace dealer was a little under stocked, but the stream light doesn’t seem any worse for wear after a few months rattling around the gear box.
Since this is 3-Gun not a gun-fight: I can happily turn it on and leave it on for the duration of a stage. But it does substantially enlarge the profile of the Jericho. Suddenly none of my holsters fit: not the IWI, not the Fobus, not the Ghost-holster, even my Tasmanian Tiger soft-cloth unit isn’t quite right.
So I went to the guys at Canadian Tactical Cowboy Supplies and Soley Canadian to throw down a gauntlet. I owe them a huge thanks for being able to turn around a beautifully functional holster in a very short time window. The kydex system from Soley Canadian does exactly what it needs to: holds my weird-ass gun tight enough that I’m not going to DQ myself off the start signal. (knock on wood)
I’ll be drilling the rivets out of my 20 and 30 round stick mags as soon as we cross the border into the US, and my Jericho 941 will be up and running. I haven’t decided yet whether the compensator flash will be an issue, and I likely won’t decide until the night of the match whether to leave it on or swap it out for the standard thread-protector.
Confession time. I’ve never cleaned my Akdal Mka 1919. I put it through the break in, tinkered with the mags to make them run reliably, and sprayed lube inside the beast. That’s it. This gun runs so well I am loathe to change anything. I shudder just at the thought of popping the Razor red dot off and losing my slug-zero. My initial instinct when I was thinking about the Crimson Trace match was “lasers on everything.” But as I look at the stages, and think about trying to put a laser on a clay target, I feel a light and a red dot is a better option for the “close-enough” shotgun.
I’ve busted out a piece of equipment from my very first gun: the barrel clamp light mount. It’s not pretty, but it lets me put a light on the end of the 1919 without needing any picatinny (which would require a firebird precision replacement fore-end) For lights I’m using a Klarus MODEL that I won off the Gun Owners of Canada Forum back in April.
Being my perpetual favourite, I opted to bring the Tavor with me rather than borrow a stage gun. I’ve done some big changes here to make it “more 3-Gun” and less combat rifle. I noticed everyone in my squad at the MGM Ironman used Seekins Precision rails on their AR-15s. The wide flat-bottom hand guards locked in tight when it came to stabilizing against barriers. There were definitely 9-hole walls where I was resting the barrel of the Tavor on the obstacle. Not ideal. So I dropped cash on a Midwest Industries XL hand guard, and added a single section of key mod rail to put a light on the fore-end.
The same debate as the pistol: I’m unsure whether to leave the Ares Armor compensator, or put a fancy Surefire 215 Flash Hider on there to keep the fire-balls down. Side by side comparisons of the two reveal a pretty substantial difference in flash, but I’m not certain how much it matters here. For a light on the Tavor I’m using an offset mount as close to the barrel as I can get, with a surefire defender in there to illuminate down-range.
This all sounds good, but of course there’s one major curve ball with the Midnight 3 Gun: Lots of stage guns.
I know I’ll be shooting an FN AR-15 with a thermal sight on top, a suppressed glock, and a PWS piston-gun with a suppressor as well. There’ll be a mossberg 500 and a few other surprises waiting. These aren’t hard guns to shoot, but they’re not my guns, and that’s one more unknown factor. Plus you know . . . the grenade launcher and the select-fire systems. That’s just part of the fun! To steal and turn a phrase: “F**k it. We’ll do it live. And in the dark!“
I start shooting Wednesday the 13th, and I’ll be writing about it here and on The Firearm Blog.