Competitive shooting on low budget?

Totentanz

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My honest opinion, show up to local matches, watch, help support the match, set up, clean, etc. Let people see your face and come to know you, they will respect your desire to learn and willingness to help. If you have a personality halfway worth a shit, people will start giving you gear, or selling it to you and significantly cheaper. I've literally have pulled brand new $250 BUIS off my carbine in the middle of a match and handed them to a teenager. He wanted them and they were pissin me off, that stuff happens all the time. Especially when dudes get pissed off. I saw a brand new Ruger SR9 get sold with holster, extra mag and pouchesfor $200 at IDPA classifier because an former expert shot marksman. People get pissed and start doing stupid shit, and that's when you want to be the liked guy, who is looking for kit that has a couple hundred buck in your wallet.

First match I went to I showed short on mags (didn't know what I didn't know); the guy behind me in line at registration literally jumped in his truck and went back to the house to make sure I had enough (plus mag pouches) to run the match.

Even if you don't get guns shoved into your hands, most folks are VERY willing to share solid, pragmatic advice. It's a far cry from the gunshow commando types who like to spout off, and much more of the type of person who cares about the sport and wants to see more people showing up to matches and succeeding. As @Diamondback 2/2 said - personality goes a long way... if you're the type of person they want coming back (ie not an assclown), they'll do what they can to see you come back. If they don't or if you get a negative vibe, find a different club/match.
 

Devildoc

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I echo above. There are some solid guys in the sport. It's amazing how humble some of those guys are, the lives they lived, but how personable and helpful they can be.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Something else I forgot to say, is that it would be better for you to learn the organization rules and get a general idea of how things work, before you commit to an organization membership. IDPA, USPSA, STA, NRA. etc are all vastly different in rules and methods. You will probably gravitate towards one or the other, saving those membership dues and match fees will be beneficial if you are on a budget.

I also recommend once you have decided on an organization and classified, take the range safety officer course for that organization asap. They are cheap, and the best way to know and understand the rules, so that you don't end up relying on hearsay, or getting fucked by a pissed off RSO who wants to make it up as they go. Like anything else out there, there is a 10% of shit heads.

If you have specific questions about how to find local matches, what organizations are what and who put on 3 gun/multi gun, feel free to post here or PM me. There are ton of guys on here that are shooters, but I also get sometimes we don't wanna be the guy with a silly question. I'm sure the offer goes for anyone else who posted in this thread.
 

busdriver

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3-Gun is silly expensive, especially if you're starting from scratch in the gear department. So my advice would be to start with pistol only, and stick to 9mm to keep cost down. So IDPA or USPSA, as was mentioned you'll gravitate towards one or the other naturally, so try them both.

First and foremost: DO NOT buy any competition specific gear until you've gone to your first match. If you want a Glock 17 or 34 anyways, have a nut, otherwise just go check it out and watch. I promise there will be dudes who will trip over themselves to let you shoot their toys. If you're close to any of the shooters on this board, I'd bet you can find an entire rig to try it out for free right here.

EDIT ADD: Second, you don't need lots of ammo to get very good. Dry fire is where the majority of your practice should be. You'll need to verify things in live fire periodically, but you can absolutely fit it into a student's budget.

Companies market guns as competition models that are either not legal or not even remotely competitive in the division they are legal for. Same goes for gear. A Glock 17 would work for both, even if it isn't ideal, but do not buy one that has been modified before you know what is legal for competition.

Here's some basics re IDPA and USPSA:

IDPA is less expensive based on typical round count for matches, you only need two spare mags and one double mag pouch. The rules punish inaccuracy more than USPSA, the stages are capped at a lower round count and the rules about cover and whatnot tend to slow down the pace. The stage designs and rules tend to leave less room for choices; my experience in this game is very limited but my impression was that there tended to be a "right way" to shoot a stage. A typical stage will have some sort of notional scenario like "you're at the mall and terrorists start shooting up the place, after you get your family behind cover you ...." then you'd engage the targets in accordance with the rules (tactical priority, use cover, no dropping loaded mags on the ground, etc). A Glock 17 would work here, the 34 is not allowed.

USPSA is a bit more expensive, sticking to 9mm you'd want to eventually shoot production division. I only mention that since that division is limited to 10 rounds in a mag, which is the same as what you'd be shooting in IDPA, but the max round count per stage is 32 in this game. So you'll want a min of 4 extra mags on your belt, 5 is better. That costs a bit more. Speed and accuracy are a bit more balanced, they're both very important. You'll read internet nonsense about it being about running around squirting bullets, and you'll see it at matches. Those people aren't good. That said, there's a learning curve and you end up missing a lot learning to go fast. The stages are supposed to be setup with freestyle in mind. In other words, a good stage presents options to the shooter and lets you do whatever you want as long as it's safe. The written stage brief might say "starting with heels on X's facing down range, handgun loaded and holstered IAW rule 8.1.1 & 8.1.2, at the starting signal engage targets as they become visible from within the free fire area." Then you'd shoot all the targets twice and knock down any steel in whatever order you want from anywhere inside the fault lines, none of the "tactical" rules apply. A Glock 17 would work here, but a 34 would be better mainly for the extra sight radius.

If it sounds like I'm a Glock fan boy, I'm not, I actually hate them, but they're hard to beat for value as long as you don't dump a bunch of money trying to make them something they aren't.
 
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JohnBender

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Not to add too much more but when you catch it right. you can get 9mm for about 16-17 cents per round from freedommunitons.com with free shipping. I've done about 4000 dollars of business with them ( friends and I shoot a lot, and we split orders ). We've never had any issues with any 9mm, 45, .223 or 556. I wait till they have discounts, but you can get .45 for about 24-26 cents, 223 for .27 cents. There are cheaper options out there, but they usually don't offer free shipping and that runs very high.

The promotive/expericity option for vortex is AWESOME. I just got my spitfire 3x prism for 300 bucks shipped and that's a great option for quick but precise shooting. I was able to put 7/8 rounds within a 2-3 inch group, quick firing, from the standing at 50M with my stock bushmaster.

Also, for 150ish I bought a CMMG .22lr conversion kit. it's a bolt and magazine that let's you shoot .22lr through any AR. while the point of aim and impact are different than a 5.56 it let's you run your gun for real cheap. I got it through lanbosarmory.com

Hope some of that helps.
 

busdriver

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Re-attack: the G34 is legal for IDPA. It's illegal for IPSC, which doesn't really matter unless you're shooting overseas. My bad.
 

policemedic

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Not to add too much more but when you catch it right. you can get 9mm for about 16-17 cents per round from freedommunitons.com with free shipping. I've done about 4000 dollars of business with them ( friends and I shoot a lot, and we split orders ). We've never had any issues with any 9mm, 45, .223 or 556. I wait till they have discounts, but you can get .45 for about 24-26 cents, 223 for .27 cents. There are cheaper options out there, but they usually don't offer free shipping and that runs very high.

I do the same thing with them; the free shipping is awesome.
 

JohnBender

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I also have one guys, though I do not know if it was a one time per account use code or if has since been disabled. Regardless, message me if you want it!
 

Totentanz

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FWIW, I'm on Freedom's email list and they routinely have 5% off emails; they're usually a specific product line and rotate (eg May 3rd was 308 168grain HPBT, 223 55 grain remanufactured, 9mm 124 grain HP reman., 40 S&W RNFP (new, not reman.), 38 SPL 125 grain XTP (new), and 380 90 grain XTP (new)).

It's unusual to see that many calibers in an email, but worth signing up for the emails if you're buying in bulk and can time your purchasing to take advantage, and also to coincide with some of their free shipping offers.

Freedom also has a brass credit program (for those who don't reload).
 
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