The Best Shooting Competitions that aren’t 3-Gun

Competitive shooting competitions are great ways to home in your skills and to meet other like-minded competitors. Often, we hear about 3-gun competitions where a competitor must use a modern sporting rifle, a pistol, and a shotgun interchangeably to shoot various targets to show your skills. 3-Gun is highly competitive, and people typically use a fully custom AR-15 where they build the lower and upper receiver themselves using the best internal components to get the best performance and the best chance at first place. If you want to build an AR-15 from a stripped upper receiver. In this website you can find your own and get started building. But what other competitions are there that are fun to participate in that don’t require building a high-end rifle from the ground up? Let’s get started talking about the variety of shooting competitions that are not 3-Gun

Bullseye Shooting

Img source:

There are different types of bullseye shooting such as four-position small bore, gallery rifle shooting, and high-power rifle. Each type has a set number of competitors, targets, positions, and shots. High power rifle shooting in the United States, for example, is a match format that includes three different positions at 200, 300, and 600 yards. The positions include standing, kneeling, and prone. This format is also referred to as “Across the Course.” This is because the competitor must fire their weapon at different distances to complete the match. Various rifles can be used in bullseye shooting, but the AR-15 is quite popular.

Turkey Shoots

Img source:

During the Thanksgiving season, turkey shoots are very popular. Despite the name, live turkeys are not shot at during these competitions. If you go to a turkey shoot and ask where all the turkeys are, you will get met with a response like, “they are in the freezer.” The turkey shoot is a competition where you are rewarded with a turkey if you win first place. There often are other prizes such as bags of potatoes. There are typically 15 rounds using 20-gauge, 16-gauge, or 12-gauge guns.

Any age can shoot, but those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Turkey shoots are great competitions because you can take the whole family and make it a yearly Thanksgiving tradition. They are held for multiple weeks leading up to the holiday. This gives you many opportunities to create family time and to compete to win some items for your Thanksgiving meal.

Skeet Shooting

Img source:

Skeet shooting is where clay targets, often shaped like discs, are flung from a machine into the air. Competitors must use their weapons to shoot the “skeet” successfully. They are flung from different angles, testing the competitor’s skills. The weapon chosen for this competition is typically a double barreled over and under shotgun with open chokes.

The idea behind skeet shooting is to simulate bird hunting. The competitor stands on a semicircle with a radius of 21 yards. There are two machines that shoot the discs. One machine is 10 feet above the ground and the other is 3 feet above the ground. When shooting, the competitor stands in 7 different positions around the semicircle, with an eighth position halfway between stations 1 and 7.

The competition is called “skeet shooting,” which is derived from the Norwegian word for “shoot.” This competition can be fun to watch, as it is fast paced and fun.

Western Shooting

Img source:

There are a couple of western shooting formats of competitions: cowboy action shooting, and cowboy mounted shooting. Both types are meant to simulate what it was like to shoot in the days of the Wild West. The competitors in cowboy action shooting shoot with either revolver or long guns from the era. They typically must choose a cowboy nickname and dress in typical cowboy clothing.

Cowboy mounted shooting is a shooting competition where competitors ride horses through a course as they shoot targets. Shooting patterns vary, and they can mimic various historic shooting events. Both types of western shooting can assist in learning history in certain areas, and it can be fun to both participate in and be a spectator of. If you can do either, it will behoove you to go and enjoy yourself with either your long gun rifle or revolver. Click here for more information on rifles.

Muzzle Loading

Img source:

Muzzle loading is a competition focused more on firing vintage type guns. A muzzleloader is any firearm where the bullet and gun powder are loaded into the muzzle to prepare for firing. These were some of the first types of firearms. Now, they are used for competition, historical reenactments, and historical research. Muzzle loading competitions came to be in the United States in the 1930’s when many of the original operators of muzzleloaders were passing away.

Benchrest Shooting

Img source:

Finally, benchrest shooting is a competition where the competitor is sitting in a chair and the firearm is resting on a table. This type of shooting requires more supplies such as a table and a specially defined shooting rest. The shooting rests can be made of either one piece or two pieces, depending on the competition rules. This allows the competitor to shoot their targets without having to bear the weight of the firearm. This alone makes benchrest shooting a less physically demanding option for gun competitions. Benchrests also allow you to better set your sights, as it provides a stable platform. This can make sighting easier, especially for less experienced competitors.

Benchrest shooters are known for being meticulous about their equipment, and they pay close attention to detail. They often are searching for more ways to improve their shooting skills and accuracy. Benchrest shooting is a great type of competition to get into if you are a detail-oriented individual.

No matter if you are wanting to shoot a handgun, AR-15, or other type of firearm, there is a shooting competition out there for you. Click here for more information on AR-15 firearms. There are good people and hardcore competitors in each type of competition. If you do not like one type, you can practice another. The idea is that you can practice your skills as a sportsman, improve your ability to successfully shoot your targets, and most importantly, enjoy yourself. See what types of competitions are near you and sign up today.