3-gun Guns, c Nick Leghorn

Last year, I was invited to participate in Crimson Trace’s first midnight 3-gun competition. Shooters from around the country gathered in Bend, Oregon to compete in total darkness for a rather hefty top prize and a generously appointed prize table. Night one went spectacularly well, but night two was an absolute train wreck — I was DQ’ed which sucked. But this year I’ve been invited back, and with much more experience under my belt, I’m aiming for the top of the score sheet. Let’s take a quick look at my chosen tools of awesomeness . . .

SCAR, c Nick Leghorn


As usual, the FN SCAR is my rifle of choice. I’ve swapped optics from the Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 that I was rocking back to the Mark VI because the illuminated reticle looks better at night and the larger optic allows for more light to pass through to my eye. I’m not sure I’ll keep the optic on my rifle for the other competitions this year…we’ll have to see how well it performs. Also added is the AAC 762-SDN-6 silencer, which acts like a massive muzzle brake and almost completely eliminates any recoil from the gun. The only issue with the can is that my gas plug seems to be sticking. I had to bash it over to the “suppressed” setting with a hammer. I should really look into that when I get back.

E2D LED Defender Ultra, c Nick Leghorn

The flashlight I’ve chosen for my rifle is the new E2D LED Defender “Ultra” from Surefire. I was using a P2X Fury light last year, but it was a bit of a pain in the ass. The P2X has two settings, a “low” and an “OH GOD TURN IT OFF I’M BLIND” setting. The low setting came first, and then you had to double click the tailcap for the brighter setting to come on. It wasted precious seconds at the beginning of the stage, and more than once I was forced to leave the flashlight in the lower setting. In short, annoying as hell.

The E2D LED Defender Ultra, on the other hand, puts out the same 500 lumens as the P2X Fury, but does it on the first click of the switch. Oh, and the “low” setting is 5 lumens instead of 15. I’m sure that will come in handy on the ambulance. I’ve got it strapped to the gun using a Weaver 11 o’ clock offset mount and a Warne scope mount ring, which is quite possibly the most “chewing gun and bailing wire” method possible, but it keeps the field of view for the scope clear.

CT Flashlight, c Nick Leghorn

For the shotgun, I’m sticking with the FN SLP Mk. I. Except instead of using the E2D LED like I usually do, I slapped a Crimson Trace rail-mount flashlight on that sucker. I want to see how well CT’s gear holds up to the punishing recoil of a 12 gauge shotgun, and the low profile keeps the gun nice and compact.

P226 Mk25, c Nick Leghorn

The handgun of choice is my trusty SIG Sauer MK25, with attached AAC Ti-rant 9mm silencer. When I read the rules and noted a distinct lack of a prohibition against suppressed handguns, I fired off an email to the match staff just to be sure and was given a green light on attaching my can. Seriously, who would ever turn down the opportunity to run a suppressed handgun in a 3-gun competition? All of the stages allow for a staged handgun, so a holster isn’t even required at this match. For a flashlight, I’m running the same Streamlight TLR-1 light that I’ve had for a couple years, and the Crimson Trace lasergrips for the P226.

P226, c Nick Leghorn

Am I worried about accuracy issues with this handgun? Nope, not really.

I take off for Oregon on Thursday and then shoot through the weekend. There’s a media day event scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Hopefully we’ll have some nifty stuff to tell you all about when I get back. This really is shaping up to be an awesome weekend — I just hope that Delta doesn’t lose my baggage.

39 Responses to Packing for the 2013 Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun

  1. NIck – let me be the first to say, you are a tool of awesomeness. Now – what smokes are you packing?

    • Did… did you just call me a tool? I don’t even like their music…

      This year’s selection will be the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real. I believe I still have a box of those at the club…

  2. Nice equipage there. I have to assume you’ll remove the team FNH shirt prior to unholstering the Sig…? OR… you could borrow my FNX 45 Tactical and do the kind folks in Fredericksburg proud.

      • Yes for shotguns, even Red Jacket did it although it was one of their “neva bean dun beefour” deals. Most are integral type, basically a ported barrel surrounded by a tube with baffles.

    • No, not worth it. There is a reason that only companies like RJ do “shotgun silencers”. The wad is the issue…there are designs to help make sure it doesn’t get caught in the baffles, but they eventually do, then bad day for everyone involved.

      I sell silencers for a living and have never had a 3 gunner buy one for competition purposes. There are so many things you are already dealing with in 3 gun, why would you add the complication of a device that will provide you ZERO advantage, adds weight to the gun, has a good chance of causing a malfunction (nothing gets dirty like a suppressed firearm) and has legal baggage (NFA). You are dealing with recoil, muzzle rise, …its a .223, put a good comp like a Griffin M4SDII on it. There are even tunable ones out there if you really want to get expensive. Word of advice Nick, if you are going to toss that SDN-6 equipped SCAR into the bucket, I would know how to check your concentricity in the dark after every stage. Neither the mount nor can are designed to be the landing gear for the rifle.

      This entire post seems like a “look at me, I have silencers” kind of thing…yet again.

  3. Lose the SIG and SCAR get a good AR and Glock. Say hi to my best friend Rusty Jobe he contracts for CRKT knifes and will be joining you for that match.

    • Lose the Sig MK25? For a Glock? Surely you jest? The Navy SEAL’s can carry any sidearm they want, and when they’re out on a Spec/Op, they carry Sig’s in their holsters, not Glock’s. Ya know, they probably have a pretty damn good reason why. Leave the Glock, take the cannoli..i.e. the Sig.

      I might go with a Benelli M4 super 90, the current US military combat SG. Ya know, they probably have a pretty damn good reason why, too. Just sayin’. Since Nick is shooting for Team FN, I really can’t object to his choice of SG.

      Good luck, and good shootin’ Nick.

        • It’s the only handgun I own that can accept both a light and a laser, specifically one made by Crimson Trace. And since Crimson Trace is picking up the tab for this trip, Sig it is.

        • Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be negative; just surprised it isn’t a team mandate to run all FNH weapons. You could always run that Crimson Trace rail mount on a FNX or FNS. Anyway, best of luck.

      • Did you seriously just advocate dropping the Mk25 for a GLOCK-brand GLOCK?!

        I’ve really never seen a dyed-in-the-wool fanboy for any brand on this site ’til now. Your devotion to all things GLOCK is downright scary.

  4. I’m jealous. I like Bend, well I liked it as a kid. I’m not sure what it is like now. The 3 gun match would be a lot of fun there.

    • Compared to how it used to be, Bend is now a trendy Californian infested butthole.

      Well okay, it’s not that bad but I grew up there and every time I visit I get a little irritated.

  5. I admit I’ve not seen the E2D LED Defender light you have mounted on your rifle in person, but in the picture it looks like it is pointed the wrong way????

    Anyway good luck at the shoot.

  6. I thought you had to have ATF approval to move the fun items from one state to another, even temporarily? Have I misinterpreted that section? Does this mean I can take my SBR to visit friends in the next state over?

    • Approval not required for suppressors. Destructive devices, machine guns, SBR’s, SBS’s only. It would still have to be legal in the state you’re going to though.

    • You can take them, as long as it is legal where you are going. If you want to take any other NFA controlled stuff (SBR, SBR, AOW, DD, MG), you have to file a 5320.20 before you go.

  7. Nick, it’s pretty inspiring that a normal guy like you can get a spot on the FN team and do so well working your way up. Keep up the good work, it gives me hope. I love reading the match reports.

    • Methinks so many people have a misconception of the relationship or how this started (your post being an example).

      “FNH USA has agreed to embed Mr. Leghorn in their world-class 3-gun team. As a competitor, no less. Nick will be blogging the beJesus out of team FNH USA’s entire 2013 season: the guns, the gear, the instruction, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the human drama of multi-firearm ballistic competition.

      I’d like to take this opportunity to thank FNH USA for this unique — indeed groundbreaking — chance to provide Leghornian insight into the world of 3-gun. And I know (or at least suspect) that I speak for our 120k+ daily readers when I say to Nick: hey guy, let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to compete with the best or the best.”

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/02/robert-farago/nick-leghorn-to-join-team-fnh-usa-for-2013-3-gun-season/

      Not trying to take a dump on Nick’s efforts or accomplishments, but so many people have the incorrect perception of the genesis of how/why Nick is “on the team” and what that role really means. I see many questions being posed and answered as if Nick were a top-tier shooter (like those on the Pro circuit currently or like those that are trying to be on the Pro circuit). Just my opinion, but I think it’s disingenuous to lump Nick into the same bucket as Tommy Thacker, Mark Hannish, Patrick Kelley, Ravin Perry, Rob Tate, or anyone else actually at the Pro or Am (almost Pro) level.

      Flame all you want, it’s my opinion.

        • Reading the trials and tribulations that you have from match to match (shotgun rack, SCAR charging, pistol aiming, cleaning, etc) or “tricks” that you discover (load 2, etc), certainly paint the picture of exclusivity in the two representative endeavors. Awesome? Hmm… Are you trying to compare yourself to people that did earn their spot by top performances on stages as opposed to top performance on the web? Think about it… Improving? More accurate. Journeyman? Maybe, maybe not. Getting there? Sure.

        • Hey long time listener, first time caller here. Love the show!

          I for one am glad to see you taking full advantage of all the opportunities that YOU have created for yourself. Take Luck and looking forward to reading about it.

  8. Nick, I really like the Texas rail panel on the SCAR. I’ve never seen that before, so I think it’s neat.

    Why is your SCAR three different colors? That’s just weird.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *