Taylor Thorne’s Setup for 3-Gun Competition and USPSA

Taylor Thorne lives and breathes competitive shooting. She’s also the driving force behind the biggest 3-gun matches in New England. Needless to say, when it comes to competition guns, she has some opinions.

Like many, her first handgun was a Glock 17. She used it for competition for a while, but ultimately switched to the Walther PPQ M2 with a 5-inch barrel, which she loves. She’s put over 50,000 rounds through it. “We’ve been through a lot,” she said with a laugh.

She picked the PPQ M2 because the grip was smaller than many other competition handguns. Having small hands, this allowed her to get a good grip on it. She says the trigger is the best on the market.

She’s done a number of modifications to her gun including some drummel work, shaving off parts and creating a larger undercut beneath the trigger guard. She added Talon Grips, Dawson Precision Sights and an Apex “Tactical” Flat Faced Forward Trigger.

Taylor Thorne’s Walther PPQ M2. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Taylor Thorne’s Walther PPQ M2. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)


Thorne’s competition rifle is a custom AR-15. She admits she did a ton of research before building it. Weight was the biggest factor in her choice of parts, as was high performance. As a result, her AR weighs only 5.2 pounds without an optic, and it shoots extremely well. She’s very proud of her build.

Many of the core components such as the upper, lower and buttstock are from Battle Arms Development. “Most of these parts are actually titanium, so it’s adding to that lightweightness,” said Thorne.

Being a big fan of Noveske, she added a Noveske Super Badass Charging Handle. Up front, she has a 2A Armament BL Rail M-LOK 15″ handguard. “It has a nice, narrow diameter to it,” she said.

At the end of the barrel is a DPMS Miculek Muzzle Brake. “I absolutely love it,” said Thorne.

Thorne’s AR gets a lot attention because of its color. This is a result of the paint job she had done by Wicked Weaponry. They came up with a custom color that is now called Taylor’s Teal.

Thorne’s latest edition to her AR is a Vortex Razor HD Gen. II-E JM-1 BDC Reticle. She used to run a red dot, but she’s been competing in other states where long range shooting is key. “So, this gives me the capability for that,” she said.

Taylor Thorne’s custom competition AR-15. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Thorne’s favorite gun is her shotgun. It’s a Breda B12i, and it’s almost as tall as she is since she added a Briley Tactical Carbon Magazine Tube to it. “The best upgrade that I think can absolutely be made to the Breda is this,” she said, referring to the mag extension. It allows a 12-round capacity in the tube, weighs only 5 ounces and looks impressive.

She also added a Dissident Arms Handguard. It gives her a good grip on the gun and also covers the barrel which is a benefit on long stages with lots of targets causing the barrel to get hot. “If you’ve gotten blisters on the tops of your thumbs before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about,” she said.

Thorne added a Taccom Stage Saver to her shotgun. She adds them to all of her shotguns. This is for when you need that one last shot to finish a stage, and the shell is right to there to grab and load.

She had the loading port custom enlarged to make it easier to load shells into the tube. She installed a Riley Match Trigger which is nice and crisp. An A&S Enhanced Trigger Guard has a cut in it to make it easier to load shells into the loading port.

She added an oversized lifter. The one that came stock on the Breda B12i was a bit small for her. She also added a Taran Tactical Oversized Ultimate Safety.

Finally, she had her Breda custom painted by Wicked Weaponry. Again, they invented a color together. This time it’s called Mermaid Shimmer. There’s a nice pattern of trees on the gun that remind Thorne of New Hampshire, her home state that she loves and where she’s building the sport of 3-gun shooting.

Taylor Thorne’s Breda B12i competition shotgun. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Taylor Thorne’s custom AR-15 rifle and Breda B12i shotgun. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Taylor Thorne’s AR-15 mixed in with a bunch of competition shotguns. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Taylor Thorne chooses her line at a 3-gun competition at Pioneer Sportsmen in New Hampshire. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

Taylor Thorne with her custom competition AR-15 after shooting a stage at a 3-gun competition at Pioneer Sportsmen in New Hampshire. (Photo: Ben Philippi / Guns.com)

What do you think of Thorne’s 3-gun selection? Let us know in the comment section below.

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