The Steel Challenge 2009

The Steel Challenge 2009

29-05-2The first Steel Challenge was held in 1981, created by Mike Fischman and Mike Dalton. Since then the match has stayed essentially the same, how fast can you shoot five steel targets. It’s been described as drag racing with guns, and the appeal of the challenge has spread the competition across the country. The National Championship is the US Steel Shoot in Florida, but the World Titles are decided in Piru, California.

This match is the second year being run by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association, a division of the USPSA, that is intent on expanding steel shooting to more ranges across the country. The appeal of the competition is evident, as steel shooting becomes an organized form of plinking, but with the timer to chart your speed and progress.

29-05-1All stages of fire have five steel plates as targets, with one designated as the stop plate that must be shot last.

Your score in Steel Competition is the total seconds required to shoot the best four strings of fire out of five attempts on each stage of fire.

In the centerfire divisions, shooters start at the surrender position, hands above the shoulders, then draw and shoot at the start buzzer. In rimfire, shooting begins at the low ready position.

29-05-3There are titles for numerous gun divisions, including production gun, revolver and single action six-gun, but the fastest shooters are in the open division, using compensators and red-dot optics.

The Steel Master title is awarded to the man and woman who shoots the lowest total score in rimfire, limited, and open division competition over the three days of the match.



The Stages of Fire:


Pendulum - The targets are two twelve inch and two-ten inch diameter round plates set at 18 yards. The 12 inch stop plate is at ten yards. 


Smoke and Hope - The stage is made up of four 18 by 24 inch rectangle targets, two at seven yards, and two at nine yards. The 12 inch round stop plate is at 14 yards. 


Five to Go - Four ten inch round plates staggered away from the shooter, out to eighteen yards. The 12 inch stop plate is on the shooters right at seven yards.


Showdown - Two 18 by 24 inch rectangles, and two-ten inch round plates, with the 12 inch stop plate at 12 yards. There are two shooting boxes, three strings must be fired from one and two from the other. 


Outer Limits – The one stage where four strings of fire are shot, and the best three are kept for score. Shooters move between two shooting boxes during each string. The 18 by 24 inch rectangles are at 35 yards, and the stop plate is at 18 yards.


Round About - The stage is all 12 inch round targets, the two in the back are at 15 yards, the stop plate is at 10 yards. 


Speed Option - The array is four 12 inch round plates, and one 18 by 24 inch rectangle at 35 yards. This is the only stage that uses a rectangle as the stop plate.


Accelerator - This stage is a mix of three target sizes, set out to 20 yards, with the stop plate at 15 yards. 

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