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The Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational kicks off this weekend, and you cannot imagine how pumped I am. What follows will be four days of live fire demos by local gun manufacturers, factory tours (like if “How It’s Made” did a live version) and topping it all off is a nighttime 3-gun competition in the high desert of Oregon. I’ve spent some time preparing for this, and I think I’ve got my loadout all figured out. Let me walk you through my thinking on shedding some light on the competition . . .

The obvious choice for a rifle is my .300 AAC Blackout gun. Besides the name being extremely fitting, the rifle is the perfect fit for a competition where anything goes. The larger ammunition means a better chance of “greasing the line” and getting a higher score, and the fact that all the targets are within flashlight distance means that I don’t have to worry about the “rainbow-esque” long range performance of the round. Plus, the silencer should do wonders for preserving my night vision (besides the “ooh shiny!” factor).

My choice of illumination on this gun is a Surefire Fury flashlight. I wanted something small yet powerful, and this is absolutely it. It can light up my apartment as if it were daylight, and my testing on the Kee ranch has proven that it can light up a steel plate from over 100 yards away. In short, I’m ready.

The handgun was a tough decision, and actually stil isn’t decided. Months ago I asked SIG SAUER for one of their new MK25 P226 guns for the competition, and I only just picked it up from the FFL this morning. So while I have the perfect gun (with the rail and awesome trigger and night sights) I’m not sure I can use it, especially since the holster I ordered weeks ago still hasn’t appeared. So for now I’m planning on using the P226 I always use (with some Crimson Trace lasergrips, thanks to Iain), but bringing the MK25 in case I run across a stage that lets me start from the low ready instead of the holster.

For lights on the handgun, while I had originally planned on running with the TLR-1 on the MK25 I’ve had to come up with a backup. The backup being a pair of LED flashlights duct taped to the head mount for my GoPro camera. And they actually work surprisingly well, enabling me to see targets a good 30 yards away without any issue. The laser on the handgun should help with that whole aiming thing too.

Ever since I ditched my Saiga-12 I’ve been using (and slowly upgrading) my Mossberg 930 SPX. I’ve swapped the barrel from an 18″ ghost ring thing to a 22″ affair with fiber optic notch-and-post style sights and interchangeable chokes. That last part is essential for 3-gun at this level, since the ability to switch between shotgun patterns can be the difference between a hit and a miss on steel. Especially Texas Stars — man I hate those things.

The shotgun was the most difficult part to light. I’ve purchased about three different rail mounting solutions for it so far, but none of them have worked. Which means I’m probably going to have to use the “Doom III” solution and duct tape a flashlight to the tube magazine and hope the headlamp does its job.

Chris is meeting me at the airport on Saturday and bringing most of the ammo with him (since flying with live ammo and guns is always a little hairy), but I’ve got 200 rounds of match grade .300 BLK as provided by PNW arms, and another 150 rounds of practice ammo that yours truly loaded and tested. I promised Chris that he would fire a silenced weapon, and I aim to keep my promises.

Now where did I put my Kindle? This is going to be a long flight if I don’t find it…

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  1. Have fun in Bend! Great city to be in (if you like great beer and food i cannot recommend 10barrel brewing enough) and shooting there at night is fun (albeit freezing). Especially if you’re at COSSA, I swear weather there just likes to make life miserable.

  2. Seems like a solid set of choices… except the pistol.

    Everything else you’re very familiar and practiced with; the pistol you just picked up and you don’t even have a holster yet that you’ve adapted to you and trained with.

    Go with something you’ve owned for some time and have trained with, review the $ig $auer later.

    • I’m fairly certain that Nick does use a P226 for competition, just the older non-railed style… his holster he uses now for the P226 won’t work with the P226R (R = railed dust cover).

  3. Hopefully Robert, from R & R Targets will be there– he’s only a few hours away. If you get a chance to unleash one of his Saiga 12 conversions, you will probably reconsider the Mossberg. I have had one of his tactical conversions for about a year, and it performs flawlessly regardless of what I feed it.

    Enjoy the high desert.

    PS This is not a paid plug! I have no affiliation with R & R Targets. I’m just a very satisfied customer.

  4. Good Luck Nick!!!
    Can’t wait for the on site reporting. Please if someone can post videos. So wish I could make the drive up but I have a day job I can’t leave darn it!!!!

  5. Where can I get a tube extension for my buddies 930SPX like that?
    By the way, both of those Sigs are dreamy as hell. I cant wait to see your review (fingers crossed) on the MK25!
    Thanks for the gun nudes before my day started 🙂


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