Fast times at Rock Castle

Aug. 24, 2013 @ 04:30 AM

With seven amateur stages and eight pro stages, the Rock Castle Three Gun ends today. Hundreds of shooters from all over the country have convened on Park Mammoth Resort in Park City, Kentucky, for one of the most prestigious three gun events of the season.

Shooters compete in squads of about 15 shooters with 20 squads each of Pro and Amateur shooters. There are upwards of 600 shooters competing in this event.
Three gun competition is probably the fastest growing shooting sport in the country with the attraction being the broad range of skills needed to succeed. Some stages require shooting pistol, rifle, and shotgun with others only requiring two guns. Many stages allow competitors to choose which gun to shoot on certain targets. Some stages have shots that exceed 200 yards and others are close enough to make quick shots without using the sights. While more conventional competitions focus mainly on marksmanship alone, three gun competition is as much about decision making as about marksmanship. There are a number of ways each stage can be shot, and good decisions result in fast times.
Three gun events are scored based on the lowest time with penalties for missed shoots, no shoots, and procedural mistakes. Shooters who are strong with a pistol might opt for a slightly slower shooting time by using a pistol to compensate for the additional loading time over a lower capacity shotgun. In some stages, a shooter might opt to stay with his pistol rather than transition to the rifle or shotgun to save time or to stop his attempts at a difficult long range target and accept the penalty, rather than continue to shoot until he gets a hit.
In addition to the competition, there are Pro Shooter clinics hosted by some of the best known names in shooting. Jerry Mickulek, Bruce Piatt, and others will be hosting sessions on a variety of issues. Those sessions will include instruction on both shooting and strategy.
The Rock Castle Shooting Center Pro/Am presented by Brownell’s Three gun is like a carnival with tents, motor homes, and trailers representing sponsors and vendors all circled around the square of the Park Mammoth Rock Castle Shooting center. Vendors offering their ammunition, components, accessories, and guns are open into the night with live music.
Joe De Bergalis, NRA Director and Match Chairman said, “This is our third one, and each one is getting bigger and better. We have a special focus this year, with our friends from Bushnell’s Folds of Honor, a charitable organization that assists with the families of fallen soldiers who’ve given their lives for their country. We also have a special focus this year on adaptive shooters. We have a wide variety of guys who’re adapting to the changes in their lives as a result of their valor in our recent Gulf War conflicts. These guys are adept shooters who are dealing with their challenges and enjoying the exciting sport of three gun.”
Dick Jones is an award winning freelance writer living in High Point. He’s a member of the board of directors of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. If you’d like to have him speak to your group, he can be reached at