Multigun is a new shooting sport to NZ – combining the three firearms (pistol, rifle, shotgun) into one course of fire.
While it isn’t the first time that Multigun in some form has been shot, it was the signalling for a formalisation of the rules and setting in motion of regular competition.
Like all the competition shooting disciplines, safety is the primary concern. To this end over thirty people turned up for training to qualify as Multigun Range Officers – learning and discussing the unique requirements of managing multiple firearms on a single course of fire.
In New Zealand, we are adopting a set of rules based on the 3-Gun Nation Ruleset. A simplified set of rules, that, while maintaining high levels of safety, doesn’t bog the participant down in complicated scoring and division rules. Scoring is based solely on time taken, with a time penalties applied for misses or other procedural issues. This results in a faster, quicker competition – which is likely the reason for the phenomenal growth around the world in recent years.
Most shooting sports result in a bit of a specialisation of equipment. Multigun being no exception. It draws heavily upon the IPSC disciplines – Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun, favouring lightweight, flatter shooting and faster handling firearms. Quick reloads and high capacity magazines are a requirement – as the number of targets to engage will often be larger than the amount a standard rifle or shotgun can hold. This results in long tubes on the shotguns and large magazines on the rifles.
Man Vs. Man
Warkworth Pistol Club regularly holds a Man-vs-Man Multigun event. It is a phenomenal event in that – the format creates a unique level of spectator excitement that we don’t often come across in a match. While spectators will often give a fast run the acknowledgement it deserves, creating a race against two people significantly heightens the excitement. The finals get nail biting – as the shooting gets closer and closer.
It is also interesting also to observe how the added ‘perceived’ pressure of having someone beside you trying to outpace you creates a lot more fumbles and gear issues that I don’t think you would usually see.
Multigun is by itself always going to be exciting – as it involves switching between multiple firearms and moving and shooting – in this case – running and gunning. Consider it the cousin to IPSC Pistol – where you get to use a semi-auto rifle and shotgun as well! Similar (but ultimately different in practice and rules) to 3-Gun, Multigun is a real test of one’s ability to shoot at speed at multiple ranges.
Range Officers – there to keep us all safe
For someone who has never shot on a range, the environment of Multigun (and other practical shooting sports) may be a bit foreign. Only one shooter at a time, all under the strict and watchful eye of the RO1 – this individual is responsible for carrying the timer (capturing how long the shooter takes to run the course of fire) and is also constantly checking the shooter is maintaining some safety protocol that simply cannot be broken. Brake any number of rules – like ‘breaking the 180’ and pointing the muzzle of a loaded or unloaded firearm anywhere other than in a safe direction, and you are instantly disqualified, won’t be shooting for the rest of the competition and are effectively ‘sent home’. We had one instance during training where a shooter walked up to the firing line with an unloaded firearm – however, he had forgotten to put in his chamber flag. The RO noticed this, stopped the proceedings, and that was the end of the competition for the shooter. No arguments, no negotiation. Both the RO’s and the Shooters understand why things are so strict, and while obviously frustrated, take it in the stride in the understanding that safety sits above the individual in these competitions.
Fail on any number of points – like ‘breaking the 90’ – pointing the muzzle of a loaded or unloaded firearm anywhere other than in a safe direction – and you are instantly disqualified. You won’t be shooting for the rest of the competition and are effectively ‘sent home’.
We had one instance where a shooter walked up to the firing line with an unloaded firearm – however, he had forgotten to put in his chamber flag. The RO noticed this, stopped the proceedings, and that was the end of the competition for the shooter. No arguments, no negotiation. Both the RO’s and the Shooters understand why things are so strict, and while obviously frustrated, take it in the stride in the understanding that safety sits above the individual in these competitions.
Fussy? Not really.
Multigun, due to having multiple firearms in use, means further measures to ensure the firearms are controlled and made safe. Multple RO’s walk the field – clearing the firearms that are no longer in use, so that by the time the shooter has finished, the range behind them has already been cleared and made safe, and the other shooters can quickly move out, patch up targets and reset the course for the next shooter.
This all may seem fussy and over the top to newer shooters – but it all results in one of the safest environments to handle and shoot firearms. Anyone who has been shooting competition for a while knows the expectations and high standard and adheres to it. It’s the ‘social contract’ all the sports shooters have between themselves and the general public. We hold ourselves accountable, we get to enjoy this as a sport.
So, another great weekend at Warkworth Pistol club, and another great development for competition shooting in New Zealand.
They are excellent days, and here’s hoping they become a more common occurrence throughout the country – certainly – it’s the sort of thing that will help raise the profile of competitive shooting in New Zealand – because it’s suddenly a very viable spectator sport!
If you are in NZ, putting on events, please get in touch – here at Precision Shooter, we want to get out and start filming/promoting all the notable events that happen every weekend. Hopefully, we can provide a bit of a centralised platform to promote the safe, fun and the somewhat addictive sport of competitive shooting – say hello – [email protected]
range officer ↩