What is a Run and Gun?
A Run and Gun is a similar in spirit to an Olympic biathlon by combining both physical fitness and target shooting combines. The major difference is that in a Run and Gun there is no skiing; competitors run or walk as desired. Run and Gun competitions are most often two-gun events
utilizing a center-fire rifle and pistol to complete the shooting stages. Competitors are generally required to carry all equipment with them over the entire course, including water.
Do I Need To Qualify?
There is no qualifying necessary to compete in a Run and Gun, unless it is a championship or stated in the event rules. It is important that you are familiar with the firearms you are carrying during the match. This is not the time to bring a weapon you have never shot before. Safety is the major qualifier. If you personally don’t think that you can safely operate you particular weapon, then you’re not qualified to do a Run and Gun.
What Distance Do Most Run and Guns Cover?
A typical Run and Gun usually covers about 5 miles. The distance is decided by the race director and is usually defined by location and land area available for that event. The area needs to be large enough so that all shooing stages are shot in a safe direction in order not to cross the paths of the runners. Distances can vary anywhere from 3 miles to 15 miles.
There are usually five to seven shooting stages depending on the length of the course. Both rifle and pistol stages are generally shot at some sort of steel target, although other types of targets may be utilized. The targets can be any shape, size, or style. The range to the target can vary from up close and personal to out to 500 yards. All targets are set at a far enough distance as to be safe for everyone involved. Often, the ranges to the targets are defined in the course of fire description given before the competition but may not always. There are many aspects of arranging and organizing an event that is left up to the discretion of the Organizers.
Run and Guns are typically a two-gun event. You will need a rifle (.223 or larger), a pistol (9mm or larger), all magazines associated with both guns, enough ammunition to complete the mission (200% of the minimum round count is usually a good place to start), and any gear you wish to wear on the course. The gear can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. A safe holster that covers the trigger is required for your pistol. A sling of some sort is highly recommended for your rifle. A standard two point is usually the best option. You will need to bring some way to carry your magazines. You can run a MOLLE chest rig or something as simple as a belt with magazine pouches attached. Don’t forget a sturdy pair of shoes. Depending on the terrain you may want to wear boots, but a good pair of trail running shoes is usually enough. Oh, and don’t forget it is flippin hot in Texas, so don’t forget your hydration.
How Many People Compete In a Typical Run and Gun?
Typically, a max of 100 per day compete at a Run and Gun. Often times the event is run over two days with the first day to allow the range officers to run the day before the competitors. This number is capped at the race director’s discretion. There are time constraints in the day that limit the maximum number of people allowed to compete. The events have a five to seven-minute staggered start, making an event last anywhere from eight to ten hours.
How Do I Get My Score?
The scores are compiled when all competitors have completed the course. If you decide to leave early, these scores are usually posted to the event’s web site and/or Facebook page after the event.
There are prizes for the top competitors at the end of the race at many events, but not all. At minimum, there is usually a trophy of some sort. Depending on the sponsors of the race, the prizes can also include some very nice swag ranging from koozies to firearms. At some races, there are large enough sponsorships that every competitor walks away with something. Of course, there is almost always an event t-shirt.
Often times the event coordinators offer on-site camping (tent or RV). You can usually find local hotels close to the event for a more comfortable sleeping environment. Lodging is usually defined by how remote the location of the race.