Subgun Match Tips

UZI Talk Life Member
Feedback: 44 / 0 / 0
Nov 30, 2004
There are two major Subgun matches coming up this weekend, the Arizona State Subgun Match and the Knob Creek National Subgun Match.

Subgun Match Tips

For the MAX-31 mk2 with drums, I like using a MOLLE vest with our Drum Mag' carriers. It distributes the load evenly and is comfortable. For stick mag's, I would go with a belt with suspenders. The stick mag's need to be kept low so you do not have to pull them up too high to clear the mag' pouch or holder. I use a dump pouch to put partially used mag's into, in case I need them later in the course of fire.

Set up your mag' carrying rig, load it with EMPTY magazines and practice pulling every mag and loading it into the gun. I practice in my living room. Set a blanket on the floor to catch the mag's when you drop them (so you don't damage the floor or the mag's). I aim at a vase in the room. Start at "Port Arms" or "Low Ready". I shoulder the gun, aim at the vase and dry fire. Cock the gun, change mag', aim at the vase and dry fire and repeat until I have used every mag'.

Practice changing mag's while on the move. Set up two shooting boxes on the ground to run between, about 12 feet apart. Start in the first box with an empty magazine in the gun, gun shouldered, aiming at an imaginary target (or a real target if you want to set one up). Run from the first box to the second box while changing the magazine. The moment you leave the box you should cock the gun, release the mag' in the gun, grab a new mag' and insert it in the gun. By the time you reach the second box, the gun should be shouldered and aimed in the direction of a new target and ready to fire. Use empty magazines and dry fire at an imaginary target once you are in the box. If you want to make it an exercise, run between the boxes changing magazines each time until you run out of magazines. Make sure you shoulder and aim the gun at a target each time you are in the box. You will be surprised how quickly you get tripped up and have to stop. Repeat often and it will become natural and you will not have to think about it.

A couple of basic tips (I am by no means an "Expert Shooter", so take it for what its worth):

1) Safety- Make sure your gun is always pointed downrange. You can get disqualified for breaking the 180 rule and no one likes getting swept.

2) Use a gun that is reliable. A jam costs a lot of time to clear. You do not have time to "Gunsmith" while the clock is running.

3) Make sure your magazines are reliable, all of them. If you have a custom extra capacity magazine, such as a 50 round stick mag' or converted drum magazine, make sure it is 100% reliable. If it jams, even once, do not use it in a match. It is quicker to use two reliable 30 round magazines than to have to stop to clear a jam on a 50 round magazine.

4) Don't change something on your gun, just before a match. New sights, new magazines, new ammo, new stock- all can change how your gun performs. Have all of this stuff taken care of and proved out weeks in advance with 100's of rounds fired.

5) Make sure your gun is sighted in correctly and you know where it hits from 3 feet to 50 yards. I zero at 25 yards. My gun shoots about a 1/2" low at 12 yards and 4-5" high at 50 yards. Your gun will shoot differently.

6) Make sure you understand the course of fire and have already shot it in your head, or better yet have walked through the course of fire.

7) Do not shoot until you are ready. If you are unsure about the course of fire, do not shoot. Have the RO move you down a position or two until you are ready.

8) Watch other shooters- See what strategies are being used. Make sure how you are going to shoot the course of fire is within the rules. While another shooter is shooting, anticipate how they are going to engage the targets. Follow through the course of fire with them. By the time you shoot, you will not be thinking about which target to engage next, it will be imprinted in your brain. Make note of difficult targets. If a heavy popper target did not go down easily with two hits, was it because the shooter had hit it in the middle? Aim for the head and the target will go down easier. Watch for targets that fall forward instead of backwards. If you shoot a long burst on a forward falling target, you will prevent it from falling forward. Give it a short burst and let it fall. Pay attention to which targets require only one hit to go down or multiple hits. You will see shooters engage a target with one shot and the target will not go down, then shoot it with another single shot and it still won't go down. Then they will try a two round burst and it will go down. If you are paying attention to this, you will try the burst first and save time.

9) Don't miss- Rushed shots result in misses which cost you time for the miss plus reduced amount of ammo in your magazine. If you miss enough, you may have to do an unplanned mag' change which will cost you even more time.

10) When shooting steel plates or poppers, do not wait to see if a target went down before engaging the next target. It wastes time. Engage all targets in a steady cadence, then go back and re-engage the ones that did not go down.

11) Keep your gun shouldered when possible. It saves time not having to re-shoulder the gun. It's easy to do for short distances. For longer distances, it will slow you down.

12) Plan your magazine changes. You do not want to shoot a plate that activates a moving action target and realize it was the last round in your magazine. Plan magazine changes to be on the move between shooting positions. It costs you less time.

13) If there are shooting boxes, be careful to keep your feet within the shooting box when shooting. None of your shots will count if your foot is outside the box. Take a quick glance down to make sure you are in the box before shooting.

14) Footing- If you are going to be running from a shooting box at the start, spread your feet apart, crouch down a little and dig in so you are ready to launch out of the box running. You know you are going to be running, so don't just stand there casually holding your gun. If you will be shooting from the first box, plant your feet apart into a strong shooting stance and lean forward, ready to absorb recoil.

15) Holding your gun at ready- If you will be starting from a "Low Ready" shooting position, have the buttstock firmly against your shoulder already so all you have to do is rotate the gun up into shooting position. If starting from a "Port Arms" position, align the muzzle of the gun at your first target as a focal or aiming point. It makes it quicker to snap your gun into a shoulder position when it is already pointed at your target.

16) Positioning your gun and magazines- If you are to start shooting with your gun laying on a barrel or table, make sure you position it so it is easy to grab. Same with magazines. If convenient, I place my drum magazines on their edge, not flat, so I can quickly pick them up. Just hope they do not roll away.

17) Make sure your magazines are secure when you run. Mag's can be bounced out of mag' holders or pouches when running. There is nothing worse than seeing a magazine you know you are going to need rolling away from you. Practice running "flat". Do not bounce up and down.

18) Make sure you have shot every target before you stop shooting. If you think you are done shooting, quickly scan the target area and make sure every target has been neutralized. The shot clock only picks up the last shot, so scanning for targets does not cost you any additional time. Shoot any remaining targets. It will take less time to re-engage the target than the penalty time you will be stuck with. 10 seconds is a long time.

19) Shooting position- when possible, figure out ahead of time if you can position yourself so you can shoot multiple targets with out repositioning your feet. Twist your torso or lean to one side or the other. It takes time to reposition.

20) Weakside shooting- occasionally a match will require "Weakside" (left side for me) shooting. Practice this position. At first it will will feel awkward. Work on bringing your shoulder and weapon up, not bending your neck down to the gun. Practice reloads from the weakside, as well. Even if a match does not require it, you may find shooting from the weakside is a quicker way to engage a target.

21) Scope offset and shooting props or hostages accidentally- keep in mind, that up close, your bore is a couple of inches below what you are sighting through. Your sight picture can be clear, but your bore may be obstructed by a prop or other target. Same thing with aiming over the top of a Hostage target's head. Your red dot may be above it, but your bullet will drill a hole the the Hostage's head.

22) Bullet deflection- Shooting through a wood stick target holder will deflect your bullet away from your intended target. Make sure you shoot clear of it. If you see splinters flying in the air, get a clear shot and re-engage the target.

23) If you can, have someone shoot video of you while shooting so you can pick out any errors you may be making.

24) Have fun- even if you do not win or place at the match, you are having fun shooting a machine gun at paper and steel targets. What's not to like about that?

Oh, and use Lage products for the win :)


UZI Talk Supporter
Feedback: 10 / 0 / 1
Sep 11, 2013
Raleigh, NC
This is so helpful to me and others starting out. Thanks. May I add one?

Load your mags the night before!
Last edited:

Vector 9mm

Well-known member
Feedback: 1 / 0 / 0
Jan 17, 2010
Stillwater, Ohio
If I may add another point that got me at KCR in the spring-

Don't shoot twice in the same class where you shoot back to back (or in my case 1 shooter between)

Don't get over confident or cocky if you had a good run and then shoot again as it WILL come back and bite you


UZI Talk Life Member
Feedback: 71 / 0 / 0
Sep 4, 2007
These are some great tips.

Richard, you should put this on your website for the future competitors who use your stuff.

Paul Winters

Well-known member
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
Oct 20, 2006
Good stuff. There are some similar discussions on tips on the website. Thanks for sharing.

Paul : -)#

LT Rob

UZI Talk Supporter
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
Apr 2, 2016
Colorado Springs, CO

I'm not a competitor, but there are some excellent tips for general and tactical shooting in your list. Thank you very much for taking the time to share these.

I am greatly enjoying your products: MAX-11A1/380 mk2, Left Folding Buttstock, 2-Piece Molded Grip with Thumb Activated Magazine Release, M-11/9 Select Fire Competition Trigger, and Extended Safety. Looking forward to my next purchase.



UZI Talk Life Member
Feedback: 4 / 0 / 0
Jan 22, 2013
Great stuff Richard. I've never shot at a competitive level yet. But we sure have fun with the little things we put together. But that certainly doesn't compare to the intensity a structured competitive environment can generate.

After reading that ... I want some now!

Thanks man.
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Please Visit our Sister Sites Below

Sister Board - Sturmgewehr Sister Board - MachinegunBoards

Please consider becoming an UZI Talk Supporter