What makes a good 3-gun upper?

In putting together my first AR, I was eyeing its use in competition for Service Rifle category and Precision Gas Gun...and it's a fairly heavy build. I've decided that I want to try getting into 3-gun as well and, in the short term, will run the AR as it is. But, in keeping an eye toward the future, would like to ask: what makes a good 3-gun upper?

I don't mind having to do a bit of work in the swap. For example, I've got a Magpul PRS stock on the build currently but imagine I'd switch that out for something lighter for 3-gun. Currently using a rifle-length gas system...not afraid of messing with the buffer if swapping to a shorter gas system in another upper. I know...why not just get a second lower? I very well may...but, for now, am focused on just the upper.

Thanks for your advice, now school me if you please.
 

2Wheels4Ever

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You want an upper that is as heavy as you're comfortable using in a match. Something that can aid in stability, but is still fast on target aquisition and transitions. Couple that with a rifle length gas system that is perfectly tuned for the load, buffer and spring you're running. Add a nice muzzle break and your choice of optics. That should give you a good starting point.
 
You want an upper that is as heavy as you're comfortable using in a match. Something that can aid in stability, but is still fast on target aquisition and transitions. Couple that with a rifle length gas system that is perfectly tuned for the load, buffer and spring you're running. Add a nice muzzle break and your choice of optics. That should give you a good starting point.
Well, that makes it sound like what I’ve got may be a-okay. I guess time will tell.

I would have guessed the lightest possible weapon...why heavy and rifle length gas over lighter and shorter?
 

2Wheels4Ever

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Well, that makes it sound like what I’ve got may be a-okay. I guess time will tell.

I would have guessed the lightest possible weapon...why heavy and rifle length gas over lighter and shorter?
A heavier gun has more inertia and will aid in follow up shots. 3 gun is a game that's all about speed; faster transitions and rounds on target gain you more points. The less recoil the gun emits, the faster you can shoot. A rifle length gas system is the softest shooting and thus provides the least amount of recoil.
 

Reno

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I ran 3 gun a bit. It’s fast paced. Depending on where you are competing, the gun ranges differ in 3 gun coarse greatly up here. Some will have nothing more than 50 yard shots, some will have up to 200 yard shots.

Light weight was my goal. Combined with a good quality pencil barrel is a good combo.

I say pencil profile as they are the lightest and still very precise. If you suck, it will get hot faster. Try not to suck! If you think you will be taking more than 10 shots to hit 1-4 plates at 200 yards, you may want a different profile.

LPVO are usually the optic of choice. Some run that and a red dot on a offset. I’ve seen fast folks run just a LPVO. Also seen guys run a red dot and a magnifier.

Muzzle brakes are huge in three gun. Loud obnoxious muzzle brakes! Combine that with a tuned gun, IE good buffer/spring/ammo combo and you’ll be good to go.

Gas length is debatable in my opinion, mine was a carbine length, but I worked to “tune” it with a heavier buffer and spring combo. That and the ammo I used worked well to be very flat shooting and minimal recoil.

In my honest opinion, none of the above really matters though. I’ve seen guys running heavy guns go very fast.

So my advice, use what you have already first. See if you like it. Go from there.
 
I ran 3 gun a bit. It’s fast paced. Depending on where you are competing, the gun ranges differ in 3 gun coarse greatly up here. Some will have nothing more than 50 yard shots, some will have up to 200 yard shots.

Light weight was my goal. Combined with a good quality pencil barrel is a good combo.

I say pencil profile as they are the lightest and still very precise. If you suck, it will get hot faster. Try not to suck! If you think you will be taking more than 10 shots to hit 1-4 plates at 200 yards, you may want a different profile.

LPVO are usually the optic of choice. Some run that and a red dot on a offset. I’ve seen fast folks run just a LPVO. Also seen guys run a red dot and a magnifier.

Muzzle brakes are huge in three gun. Loud obnoxious muzzle brakes! Combine that with a tuned gun, IE good buffer/spring/ammo combo and you’ll be good to go.

Gas length is debatable in my opinion, mine was a carbine length, but I worked to “tune” it with a heavier buffer and spring combo. That and the ammo I used worked well to be very flat shooting and minimal recoil.

In my honest opinion, none of the above really matters though. I’ve seen guys running heavy guns go very fast.

So my advice, use what you have already first. See if you like it. Go from there.
What I have is a 20" HBAR DCM contour sitting inside of a Seekins SP3Rv3 hand guard and counter balanced by a magpul PRS stock. I'll make sure to eat my spinach/wheaties before the match :D.

Right now I'm running iron sights until Vortex gets some stock. I haven't had the chance to shoot it at all yet...trying to figure out a spot out on BLM not too far from Hillsboro that will afford me the opportunity.
 

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