The Steel Challenge 2011
For 30 years, the challenge has been how fast can you draw and shoot five steel targets? It’s been called “bang and clang” and “drag racing with guns”. The organizers advertise it as the World Speed Shooting Championships, but people in the shooting sports know it, best as The Steel Challenge.
Three decades of competition have pitting the greatest handgun shooters in the world against each other, facing 40 steel targets, and the unforgiving clock. Names like Miculek, Eusebio, Leatham, and many more; are part of the history. They’ve all competed at the Steel Challenge, building impressive personal records, and 30 years of shooting history.
The 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.
Click here or on image to view the 12 Stages of Fire for the Steel Challenge.
John Builds up a Full Power Rifle to Grow Up With
I’m putting together a rifle package for my friend Trevor’s 11 year old son Noah, and the challenges are, we need enough caliber so it will be effective on game, but we also need to manage the felt recoi,l so an 11 year old, 80 pound kid can comfortably break the shot.
The other challenge is length of pull. We need this rifle to fit Noah now and as he continues to grow. The key piece to solving these challenges is the Blackhawk Axiom stock. It has a five position adjustable stock and it’s recoil reducing.
The barreled action we have for this set up is from Howa. It’s a 1500 long action in 30-06. This is a good middle of the road cartridge, with many options in bullet weight so Noah will be able to find the combination that is best for him.
The assembly is as simple as taking the Axiom stock apart with the supplied long Allen wrench, long so you can reach the rear take down screw that lives behind the trigger guard. Then drop the action into place. And tighten the hardware that came with it. Chances are that you will not find a barreled action sitting in your gun shop, but a quick call to Legacy will get one on the way, and save you the cost of starting with a complete rifle.
Now for the optic, and Bushnell has a perfect fit for this project, in the Trophy XLT line. The 3 to 9 by 40 variable power optic, fully water proof, shock proof and fog proof. The windage and elevation adjustments are ¼ MOA. A set of weaver base with medium height rings pull everything together. An interesting bit of trivia here, The contour and threaded mounting positions of the Howa 1500 are exactly the same as the Remington 700, so your selection of mounts can be pretty varied.
At the range we first set the length of pull to fit Noah. To do that hold out the right arm at 90 degrees, with the palm up, now I am going to lay the rifle in and get the butt stock right in to his elbow. We want his hand to take a natural grip and we want his finger lined up with the trigger.
To help Noah ease into using this new rifle, I want him to take his first shots out of a recoil reducing rest. We are using the Caldwell Lead Sled for that. Another key thing, we’ve got reduced and managed recoil ammunition from Remington. It’s effective out to 200 yards so it is going to be perfect for any deer hunting in this area.
The final touch for Noah’s rifle, a Champion bi-pod to support the rifle weight and steady his shots from the prone position.
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The Nevco Long Range Flasher Target
Nevco targets are AR500 and that means it is going to hold up to all of the rifle shots you throw at it. And it is really enjoyable, especially in the case of youth shooters, to see a flasher target react to an accurate shot.
Nevco has made this target man portable, it breaks down into three pieces easily, and will fit in your trunk or in the back of your SUV with no problem. And if your rifle should suffer a case of inaccuracy and you were to hit the cross bar or one of these legs and damage it, you can buy each of those parts individually from Nevco. The Nevco long range flasher target is $150.
RCBS Pistol Bullet Feeder
Kent Sakamoto Shows the Set Up
The RCBS pistol bullet feeder automatically drops bullets into position on the press. The system will work on most progressive presses including the Dillion RL550, XL650, and the Hornady Lock-N-Load. The bullet feeder comes with four different bullet fingers for 9mm, 38 long, 40, and 45, and bullet finger tension bands, four retention clips, and four guide bushings, one for each caliber.
Kent Sakamoto: “The pistol bullet feeder is designed to use jacked or plated bullets. To begin, based on bullet caliber and bullet weight, take the appropriate bullet finger and install it into the base of the feed die. It’s held in place by this clip. I have one installed in this die here, then take the bullet guide put it in the top of the die body and thread it into your press.”
After the die has been threaded in, add both the clear tube and spring tube from the collator. Add bullets to the collator and plug in. The clear feed tube fills with bullets.
Kent: “The expanding die has been adjusted. Lower the case mount 30 thousands over bullet diameter.
This is a critical step to ensure that the bullet feeder activates properly. Now raise the case into the bottom of the feed die and we’ll adjust the die down.”
Once the bullet drops, turn the die body down one full turn and lock the die lock ring. The bullet feeder only places the bullet on top of the case. Cycle the handle to seat and crimp the bullet to finish the cartridge. You are now ready to load all your rounds.
Pro Tip – The Pre Shot Routine - Olympic Gold Medalist, Vincent Hancock
If you have watched a professional golfer get ready to tee off, or a pro baseball player get into the batter’s box, Every time they go through the same series of motions and the same routine. The fact is great shooters always do the same thing before they pull the trigger. And they credit having a pre-shot routine to their success. So we’ve lined up Olympic Gold medalist Sgt. Vincent Hancock of the Army Marksmanship Unit to show you how to establish a Pre Shot Routine.
See the Pro Tip
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