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STEEL CHALLENGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steel Challenge competition is a great way to get started in shooting sports. It's an excellent place for beginners because the rules and targets are simple, and movement is not a significant factor.

Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) is often just referred to as Steel Challenge. It's a speed shooting competition that has simple rules and stages, which makes it an easy event for first-time shooters.

When you come to a Steel Challenge match, it's not just about the guns. You'll see people of all ages having fun with others as they compete in this friendly competition that has something for everyone!

Steel Challenge works to make you the best shooter possible through a competition format that challenges your grip, stance, trigger control, and seeing sights at speed. The farthest target is thirty-five yards, and most targets are seventeen to twenty yards out, making it suitable for beginners and experts.

Steel Challenge is a game of consistency at speed, so whoever has the best skills and makes the fewest number of mistakes wins!

Competitors are scored on how fast they can complete a stage. The winner will have the lowest total time across all stages in a competition. For each run, only one hit per target is needed using an unlimited number of rounds. Your last target is called the stop plate and your stage time and score are recorded when you hit this plate.

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The Steel Challenge Stages

STEEL CHALLENGE OVERVIEW

Steel Challenge competition shooting is a great way to get started in the pistol shooting sports. It's an excellent place for beginners because the rules and targets are simple, and movement is not a significant factor.

The farthest target is thirty-five yards, and most targets are seventeen to twenty yards out, making it suitable for beginners and experts alike. Steel Challenge competition is a great way to learn and practice your draw, grip, stance, trigger control, transitions, and seeing your sights at speed.

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The Eight Stages of Steel Challenge

Competitors are scored on how fast they can complete a stage. The winner will have the lowest total time across all stages in a competition. For each run on the stage, only one hit per target is needed using an unlimited number of rounds (called primary targets). The last plate is called the stop plate, and your stage time and score are recorded when you hit this plate.

Stage planning is simple because there are only five targets per stage, and they are all directly in front of you. Targets consist of circles and large rectangular plates, all set at varying distances. You engage the targets from designated shooting boxes. Only one stage requires you to move horizontally—about six feet, on the clock, to a secondary shooting position to complete the stage. 

Steel Challenge is a game of consistency at speed, so whoever has the best skills and makes the fewest number of mistakes wins!


The Targets

In Steel Challenge, all plates are the same color and usually painted white. The stop plate is designated by painting the two-by-four post with a color (usually red, orange, or black). The post color makes the stop plate quickly stand out from the rest of the four targets.

There are only three types of plates used in a Steel Challenge competition.

  • 18-by-24-inch rectangle plate

  • 10-inch round plate

  • 12-inch round plate

Target heights are consistent for each stage except for two targets on the pendulum stage. Rectangle targets are five feet, six inches from the top of the plate to the ground, and round targets are set five feet high from the top of the target to the ground. The pendulum stage has two round, twelve-inch targets that are six feet from the top of the target to the ground.

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Stage Summaries

When you attend a Steel Challenge match, you will see that there are only eight official stages. Each stage has five plates at distances of seven to thirty-five yards. You always shoot the same eight stages so you can easily practice outside of match competition.

Each run or string gets timed, and your cumulative times become your score. The competitor with the lowest overall cumulative score wins. A minimum of four scored stages per division are required to receive a classification.

Steel Challenge competitions are very much a mental game of consistency and performance. It helps to have a plan when shooting any stage. Review the stage diagrams so you understand where you will shoot first and where you will finish on the stop plate.

The table below is an example of an eight-stage competition where you shoot multiple strings per stage.

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Start Positions

Centerfire Pistols - Wrists Above Shoulders

Centerfire pistols use a holster, and the starting position is “wrists above shoulders.” This position is also called a “surrender start.” Your wrists must be visible to everyone behind you. It helps to create a consistent index for these kinds of starts, like touching your hearing protection or the rim of your hat. Using the same hand positions at the beginning will help develop consistency as you move from the starting position to your pistol grip.  

Whenever a competitor is in the shooting box and the range officer has given the command to “make ready,” you must always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed downrange as you prepare for each string. When you have settled in with your wrists above your shoulders, this is the signal to the range officer (RO) that you are ready to go.

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Rimfire Pistols and All Rifles - Low Ready

For rimfire pistols and rifles, you will make ready and point your firearm at the designated aiming point. This point is usually a safety cone, flag, or sign that is centered downrange ten feet from the shooting-box start position. Always keep the firearm pointed downrange and your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

Whenever a competitor is in the shooting box and the range officer has given the command to “make ready,” you must always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed downrange as you prepare for each string. When you have settled with the firearm pointed at the designated aiming point, this is the signal to the range officer (RO) that you are ready to go.

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