August 5, 2014


3gunDeSoto Rifle & Pistol Club is proud to host 3-gun matches.  The rules and the guiding principles of 3-gun at DR&PC were designed to keep the cost of participation low, to avoid an “equipment race,” and to put the emphasis on the shooters’ skills rather than the size of their wallets.

If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable way to get more trigger time on your favorite “3 guns”, please come out and join us!

General Information

  • Dates:  Please check the Calendar for the up to date schedule of 3-gun matches.  We will have a match every 2 – 3 months, typically on the first Saturday of the month.
  • Time: Setup starts at 8:00 AM. Rounds will be down range as soon as setup up is complete. Please come for setup and be early–we cannot take additional entries after the match has started.  Please consider helping with setup and teardown.
  • Changes:  If the weather looks questionable, shooters are advised to monitor our website after 7:15 AM for updates.
  • Cost:  $15.00 for DeSoto Rifle & Pistol Club members and $20.00 for non-members.  There is a $5 discount to everyone that helps to setup and teardown.  You will register and pay at the match.  No Junior competitors–you must be 18 or older (18-20 will require parent/guardian 21 or older with them).
  • Prerequisites: You must have shot at least three other pistol matches (IDPA or Steel Challenge) with DR&PC previously, or have obtained special permission from the Director of Activities before shooting your first 3-gun match at DR&PC.  This requirement is in place to identify participants whose safety practices are not well-developed, and who might therefore present a physical or legal danger to the Club and other participants.
  • Restrictions:
    • Open to all safe shooters who want to have fun and hone their skills, including non-members of DeSoto Rifle & Pistol Club.
    • Eye and ear protection is required for all shooters.

How many rounds will I need?

The round count will vary from month to month, but to be safe, plan on the following (and always remember that more is better than not enough).  We probably won’t shoot this much, but we’d hate for you to not have enough!

  • Pistol:  100 rounds
  • Rifle:  150 rounds ( .223 / 5.56 mm only, or .22 LR )
    • Tracer, incendiary, armor-piercing, or steel-jacketed ammunition is prohibited.
    • Tip:  Federal XM855 62 grain with the green tips…that’s last generation’s steel tipped penetrator ammo…don’t bring it!
  • Shotgun:  50 rounds ( # 7 1/2 or smaller only )
    • Lead shot only.


  • Safe and operable pistol, rifle and shotgun
  • Eye and ear protection.
  • Ammunition for each gun.
  • Magazines for your pistol and rifle.
  • A holster that is correctly fitted to your pistol.
  • A magazine carrier for two magazines, or speed loader carriers.
  • A quality gun belt to hold your magazine carriers.
  • A concealment garment (may or may not be required by individual stages).
  • An appropriate bag to carry your firearms, magazines, ammunition and other gear.
  • Other items as required.


What are the rules?


These rules apply to 3-gun matches hosted by DeSoto Rifle & Pistol Club only.

Principles and Spirit of Competition

To provide a level playing field for the use and practice of practical self-defense Pistols, Rifles, and Shotguns in defensive situations/scenarios.

Scoring System

3-gun matches hosted by DeSoto Rifle & Pistol Club are scored in a way that emphasizes speed and accuracy.  Below is the formula that would determine a competitor’s score on a single stage.

Stage Score =

  • Raw Time (seconds) +
  • Points Down (x 0.5) +
  • Failure to Neutralize (x 10 seconds each target where best scoring shot is in the outer scoring area) +
  • No Shoot Targets Hit (x 10 seconds each target) +
  • Procedural Errors (x 5 seconds each error)


  • Raw Time = 40 seconds (40)
  • Points Down = 20 on stage (10)
  • Failure to Neutralize = 2 on stage (20)
  • No Shoot Targets Hit = 3 different ones on stage (30)
  • Procedural Errors = 2 on stage (10)

Total time = 40 + 10 + 20 + 30 + 10 = 110 seconds

General Guidelines

These rules are intended for defensive pistol, rifle, and shotgun use. Safety Officers (SOs) may request the Match Director (MD) to inspect any firearms, ammunition, accessories, holders and other equipment and gear for compliance with the spirit of this competition. The decision of the MD as to the appropriateness of all guns and equipment, and their use in this competition, will be final.

Immediate Disqualifications

In some cases, a single action will result in an immediate DQ for the 3-gun match.  We want the 3-gun matches to be safe above all else.  These actions will end your day early, and if serious enough, your welcome at DR&PC.  We must insist on these rules for the safety of everyone at the match, and at the range overall.

  • Shooting any prop in any non-target area with a rifle or shotgun.  Examples include (but are not limited to) walls, barricades, barrels, tables or target stands (wooden sticks & binder clips on target stands are no problem generally).
  • Shooting any prop in any non-target area with a pistol when closer than ten feet away.
  • Putting any rifle or shotgun into a dump barrel or onto a dump table NOT in a “safe” condition (e.g. safety NOT on).
  • Rapid-fire shots from a rifle that lead to rounds “walking up the berm”.
  • Any muzzle safety infraction.  The muzzle safe-zone will be marked with orange or other high-visibility markers.  Muzzle safe-zones move forward and backward with the shooter and will at no point in time ever be more generous than a 180 degree line going from side to side of the shooting area through the shooter.  This also includes sweeping one’s own self with any loaded or unloaded firearm at any time.
  • Leaving a hot firing area with a hot firearm except under the direct and immediate control and supervision of a Safety Officer for the purposes of clearing a jammed firearm.
  • Any other violation of range safety rules.

Rules “In Flux”

These rules presented on this page are meant to make 3-gun at DR&PC as safe, economical, and easy to get into as possible without compromising safety or enjoyment.  Safety Officers and Match Directors may need to adjust rules as the situation dictates both during a match and also on this page.  Consider 3-gun at DR&PC to be “work in progress” for the time being.  Help us make something great!

General Equipment Rules

  1. The firearm must comply with federal, state, and local laws. If any part, configuration, etc. is illegal, then the entire firearm is illegal and is banned from the match. The intentional violation of this rule may lead to the violator being banned from any further competition or involvement with DR&PC.
  2. Automatic actions, subject to General Equipment Rule 1, may be used in semi-automatic mode ONLY (Refer to General Guidelines).
  3. Trigger activation devices including but not limited to “Hellfire” and “Tri-Burst” are prohibited.
  4. Bipods or resting devices of any kind may not be attached to the firearm or used in competition. This includes, but is not limited to tripods, mono-pods, or shooting sticks.
  5. There shall be no limitation on barrel length, diameter, or overall length of the firearm, other than that it must comply with General Equipment Rule 1.
  6. Detachable, hinged, folding, or telescopic shoulder stocks shall be permitted provided they are deemed safe and do not when detached or folded violate General Equipment Rule 1.
  7. The firearm must remain in the same configuration for the duration of the match. Changing of slings, uppers, lowers, barrels, chokes, sights, and/or any other significant component between or during stages is prohibited.
  8. Carrying devices for guns, magazines, or ammunition will have to pass a standard retention test at the Match Director’s discretion. Magazines and spare ammo must start in some form of belt-mounted carrier or in a pocket below the belt. They may not be held in the teeth, hand(s), under arms or between legs, etc. They may not be stowed (dumped) down a shirt or undershirt.
  9. Extended magazine release buttons, safety catches, bolt release/locking devices, and/or cocking handles shall be allowed, provided they have been fitted without modification to the upper or lower receivers.
  10. Law Enforcement Officers participating in DR&PC 3-Gun matches can do so in their full duty gear if desired.

Pistol Equipment Rules

  1. Iron sights only.
  2. No flashlights or lasers may be used (though they may be installed on the pistols).
  3. 5.25″ maximum barrel length (from breech face to muzzle).
  4. No ported slides with ported barrels (ported slides without a ported barrel are OK).
  5. The standard start for all pistols will be loaded to 10+1 or 8+1 rounds for the first start with 10 or 8 rounds loaded in subsequent magazines.
  6. Single action pistols will be safety on at the start.  Double action pistols will be hammer down or safety on at the start.
  7. There is no specified maximum number of magazines you may start with on your body.
  8. Match Directors may inspect and disqualify equipment they deem to be unsafe or granting an unfair advantage (remember, we’re not trying to have a gear race–just fun!).

Rifle Equipment Rules

  1. Iron sights that have tritium-dot or fiber-optic inserts shall be allowed. Optical sights of the red-dot and tritium-dot reflex type shall be allowed. Any kind of telescopic sight is prohibited, except those that are set to 1X magnification only (must stay on 1X for the entire match unless the Course of Fire otherwise allows otherwise).
  2. Muzzle brakes, compensators, and flash-hiders shall be allowed subject to General Equipment Rule 1.
  3. The only allowable calibers for a rifle shall be .223 / 5.56 mm, or .22 LR.
  4. Tracer, incendiary, armor-piercing, or steel-jacketed ammunition is prohibited.
  5. The magazine shall not be loaded to a capacity greater than 30 rounds. The stage description may require a magazine capacity less than the maximum.

Shotgun Equipment Rules

  1. Optical sights of any kind are prohibited, including any form of telescopic sight. Iron sights with tritium-dot or fiber-optic inserts shall be allowed.
  2. The minimum gauge for shotguns shall be 20 gauge.
  3. Lead shot only. Lead shot larger than #7 1/2 is prohibited. Steel shot, buckshot or jacketed slugs are prohibited.
  4. Muzzle brakes, ported barrels, or ported choke tubes are allowed.
  5. The loading/reloading of a fixed magazine is to be done without the use of any mechanical aids such as “speed-feeders” that will insert more that one round into the shotgun in a single movement.
  6. The shotgun magazine tube shall not extend past the end of the barrel. The shotgun shall not be loaded to a capacity greater than 7 rounds (6 in the tube and 1 in the chamber). The stage description may require a shotgun loaded to less than maximum capacity.

Match Rules

  1. All firearms shall be unloaded and remain cased or have their actions OPEN with chamber flags inserted, with muzzle in a SAFE direction at all times, unless and until directed otherwise by a Safety Officer; Matches will be conducted using a “cold range.”
  2. Range Commands:
    • “Load and Make Ready”  The competitor will face downrange, fit hearing protection, etc., unsling firearm (if applicable), point muzzle downrange or in the direction specified by the Safety Officer, turn optics ON (if applicable), load or fill the magazine, load chamber, and place safety catch on safe. The competitor will then assume the required position the stage dictates.
    • “Shooter Ready?”  The competitor will nod or otherwise clearly indicate that he or she is ready to begin the course of fire.
    • “Stand By”  The competitor will remain motionless until the start signal indicates that he or she should begin the course of fire. The start signal will normally be the buzzer or beep of the shot timer controlled by the Safety Officer, but other audible or visual start signals may be used at the discretion of the match director.
    • “Unload and Show Clear”  Upon completion of the course of fire, the competitor will unload the firearm and lock or hold open the action to allow the Safety Officer to inspect the chamber. On the Safety Officer’s command, the action will then be closed and the hammer dropped by pulling the trigger. The action will then be re-opened and locked and remain in an OPEN position if the firearm design makes this possible. If the action cannot be locked in the OPEN position a “chamber-empty” plug or flag must be used, or the firearm must be cased before leaving the line. The firearm will then be handed to a Safety Officer who will remove it from the line and place it in a rack.
  3. A “Standard Start” for long guns will be both hands on the firearm, safety ON, firearm pointing down-range with fingers outside of the trigger guard. The competitor will start standing upright. This will be the start position for all stages unless the course description dictates otherwise.
  4. Stages may have loaded or unloaded starts. In an unloaded start, the competitor must not be touching their ammo, magazines or ammo loading devices. An “unloaded start” means the chamber is empty of any ammunition, action open and the safety on.
  5. If a competitor’s firearm becomes unserviceable during the match, a similar firearm may be substituted at the discretion of the Match Director.
  6. If a competitor’s gun malfunctions, the competitor may clear the malfunction and continue or, if the malfunction cannot be cleared, may elect to re-shoot the stage. One (1) reshoot per shooter per match will be allowed, at the discretion of the Match Director. (Note: Due to safety concerns, a shooter experiencing a malfunction during a DR&PC 3-gun match must either clear the malfunction or stop and re-shoot the stage. Weapon transition drills, where a shooter transitions to a secondary weapon if the primary weapon malfunctions, will be simulated using dummy rounds in a controlled manner. Transitions in response to actual malfunctions will not be permitted during the normal course of a match.)