The Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) promotes Steel Challenge, which is the world championship of steel shooting. It’s held each year at Frostproof, Florida, and everyone who’s anyone in speed shooting will be competing there. With over $300,000 in prizes, it’s easy to see why hundreds of participants show up to shoot.
In this sanctioned competition match, there are eight standard stages:
- Five to Go
- Speed Option
- Smoke & Hope
- Outer Limits
Each stage consists of five steel targets, and shooters are required to hit each one. Competitors shoot each string of five as fast as they can, and are judged solely by the time it takes them to hit all five. Shooters do each stage five times in a row, and the slowest run in each string is thrown out.
The steel targets range in size from 8”, 10", and 12" circles to 18" x 24” rectangles. There’s no doubt when a shooter scores a hit, because you can hear the ding! Targets can be shot in any order, except for the “stop plate,” which must be shot last because it records the time.
Steel Challenge is primarily a handgun match, but there is also a rifle division, too. Participants can choose to compete in a number of divisions.
Steel Challenge handgun divisions
- Stock service pistol
- Custom defensive
- Enhanced service pistol
- Iron sight
- Optical sight
- Limited, draw from a speed holster
- Rifle divisions
- Rimfire rifle
- Pistol-caliber carbine
Centerfire divisions start with guns holstered and wrists and hands above the shoulders. In the .22 pistol, optic or iron sight divisions, shooters start at low position without a holster.
Local Steel Challenge Competitions
Steel shooting matches are accessible to almost everyone. Local clubs will often run their own unofficial club steel matches, modeled on the Steel Challenge. They’re usually relaxed, yet competitive events where shooters begin from a static position, and focus on hitting their five steel targets as fast as possible. These events feature plenty of fun and camaraderie, with experienced shooters to help you do your best and have a great time.
Steel Challenge Equipment
If you’re interested in Steel Challenge shooting, you can begin with a .22 pistol, a couple of magazines and a box of ammo. For a centerfire pistol, you’ll also need a holster. It’s a good idea to have five pre-loaded magazines ready to go, so you don’t have to stop in the middle of a stage to reload. And, you may want to bring more ammo than you think you’ll need. Steel challenge targets can be hard to hit—especially when you’re nervous about competing, which can happen to the best marksman!
Steel Challenge is Fun
Steel Challenge matches are great for testing your skills. Or if you want just want to get a feel for what goes on at a match, come out and be a spectator. Make sure you bring hearing protection and safety glasses, and you’ll want a hat, too, since fragments will fall through the air.
Once you see how much fun Steel Challenge matches are, you’ll probably want to compete yourself. So check out our complete line of AR500 steel targets and get started today in this fun and challenging shooting sport.