The Steel Challenge - 2010  

Shooting USA - The Steel Challenge - 2010
How fast can you draw and shoot five steel targets? It’s been described as drag racing with guns, and the appeal of the challenge has spread the sport across the country. The National Championship is the US Steel Shoot in Florida, but the World Titles are decided in Piru, California.

News Note: The Steel Challenge will move to Frostproof, Florida in 2012 due to restrictive California Gun Laws.

30-04-2The match is managed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association, now a division of the USPSA. All stages of fire have five steel plates as targets, with one designated as the stop plate, that must be shot last to stop the timer. Strings of fire are measured to the 100th of a second from the starting beep.

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.

30-04-3In 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, with the gun gripped in two hands, pointed at a 45-degree angle down in front of the shooter.

There are titles for many 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 Challenge World Champion will come from the Open Division competitors

Steel Master titles are awarded to the man and woman who shoot the fastest combined scores in rimfire, limited, and open division competition.

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. 

Related Links


History’s Guns – The Gatling

30-04-4Dr. Richard Gatling was a farm machinery inventor, who changed military strategy and warfare, when he created his first Gatling Gun. Today the descendants of his invention ride the nose of the Apache helicopter, the Wart Hog Tank Killer, and protect navy ships from missile attacks.




Gatling hoped his machine gun would revolutionize the battlefield, and it did, just not the way Dr. Gatling had expected, as he created one of History’s Guns.





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