Resurgence 3-Gun, reawakening the original

In what is looking to be a real blast from the past, a group of individuals are putting together something called Resurgence 3-Gun. It is a 3 gun competition, but the similarity with current 3 gun competitions is where it ends. Unbeknownst to me, the sport of 3 Gun as we know it today, got its origins in the early 1980s with the Soldier of Fortune Magazine competitions that initially started the activity, basing it on realistic fighting conditions, using the three disciplines. The last Soldier of Fortune 3 gun match happened in 2001, and there hasn’t been one since. A number of folks have reinvented the matches, using the same rules as the original match, but there hasn’t been anything put on that level of organization. This “Resurgence 3 gun” match will be from September 21-25 of this year, in Logan, New Mexico, at the Blue Steel Ranch. The emphasis will be on military/LE rifles, military equipment, and physical fitness. It doesn’t seem that this is a Soldier of Fortune magazine officially sanctioned and sponsored event, but instead is taking the spirit of the original competitions as an avenue for competitors who may want something more than today’s 3 gun matches, or for those who want something more from the match.

Personally, I find this opportunity extremely exciting. There as always been this divide in the competition world where do we do these competitions to become an absolute master with firearms, or do we do them to win gunfights. Because you cannot be successful in both. Either you have your C-More sights and high capacity .38 Supers and you win trophies, or you have your endurance and stock guns, and you train for a real world scenario. I mean, this is why we have the split from IPSC to IDPA, because people felt that there wasn’t enough real world application that was supposed to be the backbone of IPSC but ended up not being so.

So we got together a bunch of guys who shot and administered the old SOF matches.

JP ENTERPRISES and COMPETITION DYNAMICS present RESURGENCE, a Tactical 3-Gun Match that captures the full spirit and flavor of the legendary SOF 3-Gun matches.

It’s all authentic, from the original rule set to the semi-surprise stages in open terrain.

This match is being brought to 3-Gunners, law enforcement, and military shooters by SOF 3-Gun veterans.

It’s time to rekindle the spark: the ancestor to all modern 3-Gun events.

RESURGENCE brings that history to life.

Camouflage is encouraged and you will get dirty!

You may have heard the “old time 3-gunners” speak of the SOF 3-Gun Tactical Match. These stories stem from the glory days of 3-Gun, from which all modern day 3-gun descended from and is still measured against.

This match is a test of shooting, tactical awareness, movement and weapon manipulation. All the stages are “semi-surprise”, meaning there will be no “walk throughs” and stage procedures and briefing will be done beforehand.

If you are a relatively new 3-Gun shooter, this match is a must-shoot. It will be straight-forward and transparent. “Gaming” is almost impossible.

You do not need “ultra expensive” firearms to shoot this match. An M-14, Mossberg pump, and Browning Hi-Power are perfect.

Too many of the current generation of 3-Gunners have no idea where their sport came from. We are “putting the band back together” to bring you RESURGENCE. It will be epic.

The match staff are experienced “SOF Vets” and vetted match administrators that have been running matches since the year 2000 including the last “SOF” in Raton, NM (2001).

For LE and Military personnel, there will be a certified training seminar put on by our LE Liaison on todays LE issues and tactics.

There will be expert pins and medals for the “Top 50”, and prizes will be handed to the shooters through the “Top 50” until prizes are gone. LE and Military will have separate prizes. There will be a special prize for the “returning SOF Vet”. A sponsor will be offering a cash purse to the winner.

Take a look at the rules. They are identical to the original rules, with almost no changes. The reasoning for this is for you to read through and get familiar with the old rule set. We like it, and the rule set is 100%.

We can guarantee you will get dirty. Holsters and magazine retention systems will be tested. This is not to discourage you, but to expose you on what we had to experience per “SOF” stage rules.

The mandatory shooter meeting will be at specified time per the match schedule. Plan to be there for 1.5-2 hours. Feel free to bring a fold up chair and a note pad. At the shooter meeting stage procedures will be gone over, and this will be a time for Q&A’s.

There will be no stage boxes or buckets to ground firearms. These rulings and stage procedures will be per stage, and the information will be given during the shooter meeting.

Below are a number of pictures from some of the original events that SoF put on in the 1980s.

sof3g015 sof3g018


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • Lance

    Get more pics??

  • Mark

    >>>Actually<<< 3-Gun has its roots in the 1970's "Combat Pistol" such as seen at Gunsite and the Midwest Combat Pistol League in Omaha.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Do want!

    But 4 days across the country is kinda pushing it. Hopefully this takes off because “omg can’t holster a live weapon!” is dumb and I’m kinda sick of it.

    • Kelly Jackson

      When you post all I can think of is

      • Gatoraide

        I actually laughed way too hard at this.

  • Ethan

    Yes Please!!

  • De Facto

    “All the stages are “semi-surprise”, meaning there will be no “walk throughs” and stage procedures and briefing will be done beforehand.”

    Neat. It’s almost like they’re attempting some actual realism! I would actually be interested in watching this. Heck, I’d love to compete, but I am not nearly proficient enough to even try.

    • Jwedel1231

      Considering the last SoF competition was 15 years ago, everyone will be a bit rusty. Go out there, try your best, fail a bit, and have fun. No one will think less of you, and most will be impressed.

  • Texas-Roll-Over

    Oh, i love hearing about new mexico and the shooting sports. Rugged, beautiful, and state that you can truly get lost in still.

  • KestrelBike

    Nice! I love the stock weapons idea. 3-Gun is awesome, but at this point it’s definitely a matter of who can afford the most expensive/custom gear. Or rather, take two equally-skilled shooters, the one with the bigger budget will win every time.

  • Don Ward

    I see the Soldier of Fortune target demographic hasn’t changed much in 33 years.

    • Devil_Doc

      That is a big boy… The picture captured his moobs in the up position.

  • Kefefs

    Put me in the “NM is way too far but I’d love to try it if it catches on” camp. This seems really cool and mildly realistic, which I like in shooting sports.

  • Joel

    “Either you have your C-More sights and high capacity .38 Supers and you win trophies, or you have your endurance and stock guns, and you train for a real world scenario. I mean, this is why we have the split from IPSC to IDPA, because people felt that there wasn’t enough real world application that was supposed to be the backbone of IPSC but ended up not being so.”

    This characterization of USPSA seems a bit off.
    1. There are USPSA divisions which do not allow optics, C More or otherwise.
    2. IDPA is not the real world event that many think. It does not allow J frames in BUG, for example. J frames are about the most popular BUG out there and they are prohibited. If you want to practice with your J Frame, you are welcome to attend a USPSA match.
    3. Oddly enough, if you want to use AIWB carry, a “real world” form of carry, you could shoot USPSA Limited but would not be allowed to compete in IDPA.
    4. Want to load your magazines to the max? Shoot in USPSA Limited. You will not be allowed to put 17 rounds in a Glock magazine in IDPA. Nor 15. Nor 13.

    Think of USPSA as a toolkit. It allows great flexibility in the competitor and course designer. What they do with this is up to them. Want to race? Knock yourself out. Want to get something else out of it? You can do that also. In the matches that I attend, Production division (no optics, no race guns, no race holsters) is the most heavily attended.

    All of that said, it’s great to see the return of SOF 3 Gun.

    • Full Name

      At first I wondered where you get that J-frames were not permitted in BUG matches. But unless it is a misprint, the rules say 6 round capacity. From the rulebook: Revolver BUG (BUG-R) Handguns permitted for use in BUG-R must be: Any revolver that uses .38 or larger cartridges with a rimmed case and is not loaded with moon clips. The use of trimmed (shortened) ammunition is not allowed. Barrel length of 3.00” (76.2 mm) or less. The unloaded firearm must weigh 38.00 oz. (1077.3 grams) or less. Be loaded to the division capacity of six (6) rounds in the cylinder. The firearm must fit in the IDPA gun test box measuring 8 3/4” x 5 ½” x 1 5/8” (222.3mm x 139.7 mm x 41.3 mm.) Revolver BUG Modifications: Revolver BUG must comply with all Stock Revolver features and modifications, and equipment restrictions.

  • Kyle

    Sounds awesome. I wish I could go and run my stuff. Sadly at this point I don’t have any bone stock stuff left. I like to tinker.

    • Jwedel1231

      It doesn’t look like stock guns are mandatory, just that they are competitive. The real requirement is reliability.

  • Liv Sining

    Interesting that at least the top three went on to open shooting schools and/or write books. John Shaw runs the Mid-South Institute of Self-Defense Shooting (currently only teaching military and law enforcement, and who has trained SEALS in the past). Bill Rodgers runs his own shooting school, Rogers Shooting School and has also trained SEALS. J. Michael Plaxco wrote a book that is now quite expensive if you can find a copy.

    I attended Rogers Shooting School and it was quite challenging and very educational. I only wish I had the time to go once or twice a year.

    • greek preparedness

      And Mark Lonsdale opened the S.T.T.U. Sniper School

  • Evan

    Umm, anyone who has ACTUAL tactical training, as in military training, is trained to retain their mags instead of throwing them away.

    • Actually there is a time for both. Highly situational dependent.

      • Evan

        No, there really isn’t. Retain your mags. There’s no downside to it, with proper training it doesn’t take any longer. You might not look as “cool” as knocking your empty out with a fresh mag, but you’ll retain gear that you WILL need in the future.

        • Short range with no secondary (very common to not have a pistol in the military side of things), the priority is getting your gun up and running. Policing your magazines is a secondary priority.

          As far as looking cool, hate to break it to most people, shooting a gun rarely looks cool.

          • Evan

            Pistols are practically useless for most military applications, so yeah, most of us don’t have them. I was pistol qualified only because I managed to work my way into an empty slot on a pistol range where I got to skate and shoot guns for a week. And I never threw away empty mags under any circumstance, mainly because it doesn’t take any longer to retain them. It’s a matter of how you train. I trained to drop my mag into a retention pouch in the same motion that I went for a spare.

            And if shooting guns didn’t look cool, there wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos of people shooting guns.

          • Joe

            Going to a range to skate totally shows the overwhelming attitude the Military has in regards to handguns and handgun training and effectiveness. The Marine Corps places more emphasis on MCMAP than one a far more lethal form of warfighting. If you could pick between ground fighting a hadji, and shooting them repeatedly in the chest with an M-9 which would you choose. Having seen both extremes of Handgun marksmanship training RTT/SRT handgun ranges vs. Regular Marines (both Grunts and Pouges alike) there is a world of difference in results. Most people SUCK at using ANY kind of handgun, yet 99% of MIL types blame the M-9, 9mm ball ammo, or the weather on why they barely qualed with their service pistol.

          • Evan

            I know one guy who ever fired a pistol in anything even close to combat (one shot at a VCP). I’d never shot a pistol at all until I was a senior Lance Corporal getting ready to EAS. Yes, pistols are more effective than MCMAP (well, MCMAP is a joke that teaches you things that anyone who’s ever been in a fight knows combined with nonsense that nobody would use in a fight), but for the most part, pistols are still useless in combat. I never got in a fight with the muj where a pistol would’ve made a difference. But if you got a chance to go to the pistol range when you know you’re not deploying again and you’re just waiting to get FAP’d out, you go. I had fun and learned a few things. I’m still not great with a pistol, I had two, had to sell them because of where I lived, and then moved somewhere normal two years ago and haven’t had the money to buy a new one since.

        • Joe

          Funny I was trained in the Marine Corps that there is a time and a place for both techniques. Also just because you are taught or trained to do something as minor as immediately retaining your magazines doesn’t mean that in reality you will actually have a chance to do so. For instance at machine gun ranges Marines are taught to pick up empty links from their 240, or 249, but in combat you will seldom find the marine that is hopping about on one knee trying to pick up all the empty links even though some dirt squirrel will eventually pick them up and stick them in his yellow water bucket, HME IED.
          In Sangin Afghanistan on one patrol our platoon was ambushed by 10 + Taliban. I had to mag dump 8 magazine in the space of 5 minutes. Guess where all those empty magazines ended up at? Guess how much I cared about the possibility of having to get new ones? That’s right, they were on the ground, I ended up picking all 8 back up, taking them back to the FOB and reloading them.

          • Evan

            Oh please, there’s a difference between police calling Range 400 and retaining mags. Picking up links in a combat zone so the muj won’t use them as shrapnel sounds like a boot Lt and the good idea fairy getting together, not reality. I’ve admittedly never fired off as many as eight mags in five minutes, never more than three or four for me, but every time my mags made it into my drop pouch. It’s a matter of muscle memory.

          • Joe

            To be clear I’m not saying police calling MG links in a firefight is a good idea, I’m saying that in circumstances where you NEED fire superiority NOW that worrying about retaining a disposable peice of Armory gear is asinine. In a gunfight half a second is a lifetime. If avoiding a missing gear statement is more important to you than potentially being shot in the face than roll that way. Just don’t denigrate those that disagree with your statements, and opinions.

    • Joe

      Depends on the Military , and Service Branch.

      • Evan

        I learned magazine retention in the Marine Corps. I learned to retain magazines before I ever fired a live round at boot camp. My friend, who was an Army ranger, learned basically the same thing. It’s really common sense; you don’t throw your gear away. There is zero advantage to throwing your gear away. You WILL need magazines later. Chances are, you can’t just walk into supply and grab new ones whenever you want. Besides, if you need ammo resupply in the field, it won’t come in preloaded magazines. Throwing away empty mags is pure Hollywood.

        • Interestingly enough, the original concept for the 30 round magazine we use today, was for it to come from the factory, preloaded with 30 rounds, you fire it, and forget about it, like a LAW rocket.

          • Evan

            Didn’t know that. Sounds cool from a military perspective, but expensive from a civilian one.

    • Kelly Jackson

      Spoken like an arrogant and boorish American

      Most European militaries don’t fire a weapon until it’s empty and they absolutely drop magazines.

      • Evan

        Most European militaries suck. In a firefight, you keep shooting until you’re empty, then reload. Marines have a reason to be arrogant.

    • Sam

      I don’t know what your MOS was, but I guess you never trained a Tactical Reload vs. a Speed Reload. One is to plus-up after expending rounds and retain a magazine that still has live ammunition in it *if time permits*… and the other is get your gun back up as fast as possible without worrying about magazine retention. Magazine retention is pointless and detrimental when speed is a necessity… i.e. when you’re in an active firefight. Magazines are cheap and easily replaced.

      You also come off pretty arrogant in almost every comment I see from you on this site. But this is the internet, so I guess I shouldn’t expect anything different.

      • Michael Bane

        Michael Bane
        P.O. Box 153
        Masonville, CO 80541

  • Evan

    I like this idea. I’ve always liked the idea of three gun, but unfortunately the reality of it is simply ridiculous, it’s too far removed from real-world gear and tactics. They start doing stuff like this, where idiotic gimmicks like Cobalt Kinetics rifles that throw your mags away won’t help you, and I might actually get into three gun

  • Michael Bane

    Was really excited about this initially. JP is a good friend of mine and he personally asked me to film this match on his property. I figured I’d shoot it with my FAL, H-P and 870 and sent a permission letter to the match director. Match director told me to piss up a rope. We always ask for the same thing — no money or covered expenses, we pay full entry fee, I don’t go to the prize table, we asked to be squadded with people we’ve worked with before, my scores aren’t posted, we work with the match officials to make sure match sponsors get good coverage, etc. My crew is the best “gun crew” in the world, with literally 100s of matches under their belts.

    In a rant worthy of a third grader, I was informed that they don’t need no stinkin’ media coverage because..well, because….Cool, I guess. There are lots of 3-Gun matches. There’s a perception out there that 3-Gun is the savior of the shooting sports. I’ve seen the ratings (I live & die on the ratings, for that matter), not just on my own shows but others as well. IDPA swamps any other competition. 3-Gun is barely a blip on the radar; we cover it because I like it and my cohost Dianna Muller is the head of Team Benelli. I went to the old SOF conventions & Col. Brown is a good friend of mine. Match woulda been a nice entry into the history of the sport.

    So it goes.

    Michael B

  • greek preparedness

    Hey! I am seeing familiar names in the participants list…(and I am a foreigner)
    Like Lonsdale, the pistol second place winner…

  • MeaCulpa

    Reads “The emphasis will be on […] physical fitness”
    Scrolls down
    Sees the first picture of a participant from the old SOF magazine

    • Wolfgar

      Don’t under estimate fat guys. When I was in my youth we had extremely fit Grizzly college football players work on a logging crew who only lasted a couple of days working along side some fatter, older loggers who worked them into the ground hooking logs.Never judge a mans toughness by looks, you may regret it.

      • MeaCulpa

        Oh, I know but a little chuckle is good for the soul. Usually I do find that the ones you really have to worry about is the quiet, wiry dude that looks like he could be anything from 40 to 70 years old. That dude is usually able to outwork, outrun and outfight anybody.

        • Wolfgar

          I get it, the guys in tactile pants with a 54 inch waist,eating for 3 people at each meal and drinking a diet coke. My mistake!

  • Nicholas C

    I have heard of something regarding this. Not sure if it specifically this Resurgence 3 Gun but I heard talk of where 3 Gun came from and some people were trying to bring it back to its military roots. Very cool.

  • Michael Bane

    You misrepresent my letter and your response. . i would be happy to publish both and let readers decide. I have no idea who Travis nor Contungecy-X is other than your brief mention in your letter.I looked them up while we were talking and they are a marketing and training video company, not a company in direct contention with a television series. I contacted JP because, as I noted, he is my friend and he is the one who told me about the match and asked me to cover it. He, not you, is my direct contact.

    Aa for an “air of entitlement,” we try very hard to let match directors know in advance what the consequences are of having a television crew at your match. What you refer to as “entitlements’ are simply the necessities of running a crew in often far-flung locations. Because we’ve shot together in the past, I tried to explain to you very specifically why we couldn’t meet some of your conditions — most notably your demand that all raw footage be turned over to your representatives before the end of the match, a point that as I noted was in direct violation of my contract with OUTDOOR CHANNEL. In fact, many of your points of contention you wanted to discuss were in conflict with my contract with OC. As I explained to you, on those points — ownership and control of the actual video product — I have ZERO flex. I can change the way were work in the field, but I cannot change my master contract with the company that pays me. As I tried to explain to you, my contract concerning the ownership of the product is consistent in the television industry it is not exclusive to the people I work with and not subject to negotiation.

    I offered you unlimited “noncommercial” access (that is, you could not press DVDs and sell OUTDOOR CHANNEL copyrighted material) to our video after the show aired, including video we didn’t air. I also said I would inquire if OC would wave some provisions and let me give you some short pieces of video for promotional use before airing, for example, at SHOT 2017 if they show had not aired by then.

    The only “olive branches” you have offered me have been prefaced by, “who do you think you are?” As far as your final condition, which is certainly consistent with your third grade attitude, I have been called worse names by far better men than you.

    Once again, best of luck with your ventures, and I will no doubt see you on the range.

    Michael Bane
    Executive Producer

    • Randy

      So here’s an outfit aiming to put on a back to it’s roots, down to earth event. Before the match even kicks off a rather large media outlet is giving them grief about it. Am I the only one who sees the irony here? Surely it’s crap exactly like this that motivated them to get away from the mainstream competition scene. You’re pretty out of touch to have not picked up on that, and I believe it to be in incredibly poor taste to go public with such dealings. Anyway, this match sounds awesome and I really hope I can make it!

    • Chuck

      It looks to me that the response you that you wanted wasn’t what you got from the match staff so you tried and end run to the match title sponsor if I’m reading this right ? And when that still didn’t work out you posted about people throwing temper tantrums on a public forum , things that make you go hmmmmm .

  • Jwedel1231

    Look into “mud runs” and “color runs”. People sign up in DROVES to get filthy dirty and only get a medal. If they marketed it as such, it might get more entrants.

  • The editors at The Firearm Blog have been gracious in tolerating this public airing of grievances. They have asked us to take it offline, so I will not be responding here anymore.