June 21st, 2019

Fun Shooting — Steel Plates with Rimfire Pistols and Rifles

rimfire steel challenge keltec cp33 plate rack
The Action Target Sport Plate Rack is specifically designed for .22 LR Rimfire shooting. This rack features six 4″-diameter plates that reset with a provided cable.

Shooting plates is fun. You get immediate feedback — “instant gratification” when you make a hit. When shooting steel inside 100 yards, we like to use .22 LR rimfire guns. The ammo is inexpensive, noise levels are lower (though you still need ear protection), and at close ranges there are fewer issue with ricochets and bullet splash-back. Additionally, for busy folks who don’t have time to reload, you can pick up a .22 LR rifle or pistol, grab a couple $5 boxes of ammo, and get to the range in a few minutes. The convenience means it is easier to shoot every week if you like.

SFC Joel Turner from the USAMU’s Action Shooting Team offers a few pointers on how to shoot plates quickly and accurately. He’s using a centerfire pistol, but the same principles apply for rimfire handguns. Click speaker icon to activate audio.

New .22 LR CP33 Pistol is Great for Plates
If you like shooting plates, one of the better new handguns for the job is Kel-Tec’s CP33. We tested this interesting handgun at the 2019 SHOT Show Media Day at the Range, and were impressed. The pistol is big, but balances well. The sights are easy to see, and the full-length rail lets you easily mount a variety of optics. The trigger is surprisingly good — better than 90% of rimfire handguns out there. For the plates game, this “quad-stack” gun can handle long stages without mag changes. The standard clear-sided CP33 magazine holds 33 rounds of .22 LR ammo.

rimfire steel challenge kel-tec cp33

If you are interested in an affordable, but very accurate, high-capacity semi-auto rimfire pistol you should consider Kel-Tec’s new CP33. Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) notes: “The rapid growth of rimfire competition in Steel Challenge has prompted some gun makers to enter the fray. Kel-Tec is one, and their new CP33 .22 LR pistol has a lot of potential.” Watch 22 Plinkster’s video review below. He reports: “This handgun has been 100% reliable IF I load the magazine the right way… and it’s pretty dog-gone accurate.”

SSUSA’s testers tried the pistol with a variety of ammo and it consistently shot about one-half-inch for five shots “from a 25-yard sandbag bench rest using the iron sights.” SSUSA noted that the gun disassembles quickly and easily by removing one central pin. That’s a nice feature.

READ FULL Kel-Tec CP33 Review in Shooting Sports USA »

Overall SSUSA’s tester, Chris Christian, was impressed with the gun, saying it balanced well and the sights aligned naturally: “…the neutral-balance-point grip produced an almost instinctive sight alignment.”

Christian used the CP33 in a 6-stage Steel Challenge Match, and did well: “I decided to shoot Rimfire Pistol Iron (RFPI) and used the CCI Mini-Mag. The high-speed ammo ran perfectly. [T]he bright sights and handling qualities let me finish top among iron-sight shooters and even hold my own with C and B class rimfire pistol shooters using optical sights. It would be interesting to put a reflex sight on the gun, and maybe even shoot some Bullseye with it.”

The competition was founded in 1981 by Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman, in Southern California. The two Mikes wanted an exciting alternative to paper targets and came up with the all-steel format. The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships have grown to one of the largest professional pistol competitions in America. In 2018, hundredes of competitors from the United States and around the world competed at the Talladega Marksmanship Park for glory and huge cash prizes. The Steel Challenge is governed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) that consists of eight standardized stages with three types of steel targets: small circle, big circle, and square. Here is a steel challenge layout in Germany.

rimfire steel challenge outer limits germany

Steel Challenge is similar to IPSC, but has simpler rules and more consistent stage designs. Up until 2011 the annual Steel Challenge World Championship was held in Piru, California every year. Then, as renamed the World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC), the Championship was held in Frostproof, Florida (2012, 2013), St. George, Utah (2014), San Luis Obispo, California (2015-2017), and Talladega, Alabama (2018, 2019). There are also over 100 Steel Challenge Regional Matches held around the country.

This Video Shows the Steel Challenge Rimfire Rifle Optics Divison. These guys are FAST!

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October 3rd, 2016

Watch World’s Top Action Shooters on Hot Shots TV

Hot Shots TV Series Max Michel Jerry Miculek Clint Walker

If you like 3-Gun shooting, definitely check out this video, a complete 22-minute episode of the Hot Shots TV series. This Hot Shots Season Three episode features three of the greatest action shooters in the world: Max Michel, Jerry Miculek, and Clint Upchurch. This superstar trio demonstrate their skills with a variety of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. You’ll see the latest “full-race” ARs, ultra-high-capacity scatterguns, and high-end pistols.

Click to Watch Full 22-Minute Episode from Hot Shots Season Three:

In this game it’s all about speed on target — matches are decided by fractions of a second. You’ll see Max Michel training with a pistol — and his speed is truly amazing. He gets six shots on target in under 4 seconds including draw. This season-opening episode of Hot Shots finds Max in Arizona tuning up against his fiercest rival, Jerry Miculek and family. You’ll also see competition footage from the West Coast Steel Championship and Clint playing host to a hometown 3-Gun match.

Hot Shots TV Series Max Michel Jerry Miculek Clint Walker

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September 2nd, 2016

Max and Jessie Win World Speed Shooting Championships

Max Michel WSSC San Luis Obispo Jessie Duff

The 2016 World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC) were held August 25-27 at the Hogue Action Pistol Range in San Luis Obispo, California. This prestigious U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) match attracted 125 competitors from around the world, who competed in eight precisely-configured Steel Challenge stages. At the WSSC, it’s all about speed — getting hits on steel in the shortest possible time. And no one on the planet is better at that than Max Michel Jr., King of the Steel Challenge.

This year, Max Michel captured another World Championship title, finishing 0.85 seconds ahead of second place K.C. Eusebio, with B.J. Norris placing third. This was Max’s fourth straight WSSC title and his seventh overall. We’d call that dominance. At this year’s competition, Max logged a best-ever overall score of 74.84, while setting a new world record on the final stage (Outer Limits). Max now owns the overall course world record and seven (of eight) stage world records.

Max Michel WSSC San Luis Obispo Jessie Duff

Not to be outdone by Max, Taurus® Team Captain Jessie Duff took her sixth consecutive Ladies Open WSSC Title, and Duff won the Overall Single Stack World Speed Shooting Championship as well. As in years past, Jessie dominated the Women’s Division, but she was most proud of her Single Stack Overall Victory: “To win an overall championship title has been a dream of mine since I started shooting, something I’ve spent all my time working towards. I couldn’t be more proud to win the overall Single Stack title with my Taurus, allowing them to share in this victory with me!”

With a 30-year heritage, the WSSC Steel Challenge Match draws the world’s top speed shooters — both men and women. The three-day match is unique in that competitors shoot different guns each day: Rimfire on Thursday, Iron Sights on Friday, and the full-boogie Open guns on Saturday. The stages are precisely set up with exact Steel Challenge target spacing and distances. That creates an equal playing field at all WSSC events so stage record times can be set at any WSSC venue.

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September 1st, 2016

Video Guides for Competition Shooting Disciplines

Ruger logoRuger has created a series of videos showcasing competitive shooting competitions including: Rimfire Challenge, Metallic Silhouette, Biathlon, IDPA, SCSA (Steel Challenge), USPSA, and Cowboy Action shooting events. Log on to Ruger’s Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Competitions webpage to see informative videos for these sports. Rimfire Competition is affordable and fun, Silhouette is a great family sport, and the Steel Challenge is the ultimate pistol speed-shooting event.

INTRO to RUGER RIMFIRE CHALLENGE Matches

INTRO to STEEL CHALLENGE Pistol Competition

Ruger also offers many other cool videos, both on its Video Webpage and on Ruger’s YouTube Channel. On YouTube, you’ll find a great four-part Tactical Carbine video series, hosted by Dave Spaulding, winner of the 2010 Trainer of the Year award by Law Officer Magazine. There are also a number of videos featuring the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) a popular (and affordable) rig for Tactical/Practical shooting competitions. The video below explains the RPR’s adjustments:

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September 1st, 2014

Preparing for a Match — Jerry Miculek Explains How to Train

The Hots Shots TV show was broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus). This show followed four competitors — three shooters and an archer — as they trained for, and competed in, matches around the country. One of the featured shooters was 3-gun and revolver ace Jerry Miculek. Here’s a sample from Episode 4 of Hot Shots. In the video below, Miculek explains how he prepares for a major match — in this case the Steel Challenge, held each year in Piru California. Jerry explains: “Put in some practice, but don’t get burned out. You don’t want to have your best runs on the practice range. I want to try to wait for the match… staying a little hungry for a good performance.”

NBC Sports Network assembled some of the best shooters on the planet for the Hot Shots series: Jerry Miculek, K.C. Eusebio, Patrick Flanigan, and Randy Oitker. Miculek, an expert with rifle, pistol, and shotgun, has won 14 International Revolver Championships and is a top 3-Gun competitor. Our Friend K.C., formerly with the USAMU, was the youngest USPSA Grandmaster at the age of 12. Patrick is a world-class shotgunner who has re-defined the world of exhibition shooting. Randy is a true phenom with bow and arrow, having won over 17 National Pro Archery titles.

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April 29th, 2014

STI International Featured on Shooting USA Television

This Wednesday, April 30th, Shooting USA will feature STI International, an employee-owned company based in Georgetown, Texas. STI builds great pistols. In fact, STI has claimed more modern-era national pistol titles than any other manufacturer. This week’s episode of Shooting USA will provide an inside look at STI, showing how STI’s match-winning handguns are crafted and assembled.

STI International

STI SteelMaster
STI International’s SteelMaster is a shorter, lighter race pistol optimized for faster target acquisition and faster follow-up shots. With a STI 2011 frame, 4.15″ classic slide, STI Recoilmaster, and Trubor compensated barrel system, the SteelMaster delivers the advantages of a full-size race pistol in a smaller, lighter, faster reacting, and less violent package. And unlike many other compensated pistols, the SteelMaster runs factory ammo without a hiccup.

STI International

The Steelmaster’s shorter Trubor barrel system and shorter slide combine to decrease slide cycle time allowing the shooter to achieve faster follow-up shots. The slide has lightening cuts front and rear to reduce weight, and “Sabertooth” serrations. With an overall weight of 38.9 oz, the SteelMaster is significantly lighter than full-size race pistols. MSRP for the STI Steelmaster is $3,048.00 with one magazine.

STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the grip.

STI Edge 1911 2011 Pistol

Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge costs $2,180.00 with one 126mm magazine.

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January 23rd, 2014

Fastest Pistol Shooter on Earth Reveals His Training Techniques

At the SIG Sauer booth at SHOT Show, we had a chance to interview Max Michel, Sig Sauer’s Pistol Team Captain. Winner of multiple speed shooting world championships, Max is widely considered to be the fastest pistol shooter alive. How fast? Watch the video below. Max puts 18 shots on three targets with two (2) reloads, in a total of 4.79 seconds. That’s right, drawing from holster, he sends 18 rounds in under five seconds, with two mag changes in the process. That works out to a rate of fire of 225 rounds per minute — faster than a 19th-century Gatling Gun.

Max Michel on Fire — 18 rounds with 2 Mag Changes in Under 5 Seconds:

How did Max manage that incredible speed run? “I ate my Wheaties that morning”, Max joked. But in fact, Max acquired his amazing shooting skills the hard way — through years of dedicated practice. We asked Max about the kind of training required to attain “world-class” speed (and accuracy) with a handgun. It has taken him decades to reach this level of perfection. Max started shooting competitively while in elementary school (at age 8 or 9). He recalls coming home from school and dry firing for hours. He has spent thousands of hours practicing over the past two decades. Interestingly however, Max does most training drills at half speed. Watch the video to learn why Max trains at half speed:

Train to Win — Max Michel Reveals His Training Strategies:

At age 32, Max Michel is a legend within the world of competitive shooting. A four-time World Speed Shooting Champion, six-time USPSA National Champion, and three-time US National Steel Champion, Max is a dominant force in pistol shooting sports. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Max began shooting when he was just 5 years old. In 1999 Max joined the USAMU’s Action Pistol Team and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Army shooter and trainer. Today, Max is recognized worldwide as a top-tier athlete and instructor.

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December 17th, 2013

Jessie Duff Becomes First-Ever USPSA Female Grand Master

Jessie Duff USPSAYou go girl! Jessie Duff is the first woman in history to earn the title of USPSA Grand Master (GM), the highest rating conferred by the U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA). To earn this prestigious ranking, Duff had to maintain an average above 95% in shooting classification courses, something never before achieved by a lady shooter. Jessie finished the year with a 95.39% average.

2013 was a banner year for Duff, who scored Open, Limited, and Single Stack Division wins at the USPSA National Championships. Duff also took multiple wins in the Steel Challenge World Championships, Steel Challenge Nat’l Championships, and Arkansas Sectional Championships.

“I am honored to have earned the designation of Grand Master with USPSA” said Duff. “This is something I have been working toward my entire shooting career and I’ve come this far thanks to a lot of hard work and a lot of support,” she added.

Jessie Duff USPSA

Duff, one of the most accomplished competition shooters in the world, has “raised the bar” for female shooters across the country. As female participation in shooting sports has grown, Duff’s accomplishments and continued success have blazed a path for women in competitive action shooting. “Jessie is one of the best shooters in the world,” said USPSA Executive Director Kim Williams. “USPSA is proud to announce her historic record as the first woman to ever reach this ranking in Practical Shooting,” added Williams.

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July 26th, 2013

Max Michel Triumphs at World Speed Shooting Championships

Sig Sauer team captain Max Michel reclaimed his title as the world’s fastest speed shooter with a pair of titles and a new world record at the World Speed Shooting Championships, held in Frostproof, Florida last week. Heavy rains and winds added an additional level of difficulty to the match, which attracts the world’s best steel challenge competitors.

Max Michel World Speed shooting championships Florida

Max Sets Rimfire World Record
Michel began the weekend with a world-record setting time, winning the rimfire pistol event by almost two seconds with his 61.84 second time. Michel paired a SIG SAUER 1911 MAX lower with a .22 LR conversion upper to take the title. A long-time supporter of Steel Challenge shooting, SIG SAUER returned as a platinum sponsor of the event.

Max Wins Main Event by 7.5 Seconds
Michel’s 75.58 total time brought home the main match title with a commanding 7.5 second lead over the runner-up finisher. This is Michel’s fourth World Speed Shooting Championship, which places him in a tie for the most titles at the event.

“We could not be more proud of Max and his accomplishments,” said Jarrod McDevitt, Rifle Product and Competitive Shooting Program Manager. “From the West Coast Steel Challenge to the Pro-Am to the World Speed Shooting Championship, Max has been unstoppable.”

Watch Max Michel Demo Drill (This Guy is Blazing Fast!)

At age 30, Max Michel is a legend within the world of competitive shooting. A four-time World Speed Shooting Champion, six-time USPSA National Champion, and three-time US National Steel Champion, Max is a dominant force in pistol shooting sports. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Max began shooting when he was just 5 years old. In 1999 Max joined the USAMU’s Action Pistol Team and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years as an Army shooter and trainer. Today, Max is recognized worldwide as a top-tier athlete and instructor.

Follow Max Michel, Jr., on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/maxmichel.us.

Follow SIG SAUER on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SigSauerInc.

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May 20th, 2013

Ruger Shooting Sports Introductory Videos

Ruger logoRuger has created a series of videos showcasing Metallic Silhouette, IDPA, SCSA (Steel Challenge), and USPSA shooting events. Log on to Ruger’s Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Competitions webpage to see informative videos on each of these popular sports. Below you can find the Video on Metallic Silhouette and the Video on SCSA Steel Challenge pistol competition. Silhouette is a great family sport and the Steel Challenge is the ultimate pistol speed-shooting event.

INTRO to RIMFIRE RIFLE METALLIC SILHOUETTE Competition

YouTube Preview Image

INTRO to STEEL CHALLENGE Pistol Competition

YouTube Preview Image

Ruger also offers many other cool videos, both on its Video Webpage and on Ruger’s YouTube Channel. On YouTube, you’ll find a great four-part Tactical Carbine video series, hosted by Dave Spaulding, winner of the 2010 Trainer of the Year award by Law Officer Magazine. Spaulding also hosts a set of Ruger videos on defensive handgun use. For novice handgunners, Ruger offers Beginner Shooting Tips with video segments covering each of these topics:

Introduction
Firearm Safety Rules
Pistol Functionality
Body Position Stance
Dominant Eye
Gripping the Handgun
Sight Picture
Aiming
Trigger Control
Loading and Unloading
Range Basics
Ready Position
Shooting Pairs
Shooting to Slidelock
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May 16th, 2013

KC Eusebio Wins European Steel Challenge Beating Europe’s Best

KC EusebioThis past weekend, Team Glock Captain KC Eusebio won the 2013 European Steel Challenge in record time. Held in Winterswijk, Netherlands, the Euro-Steel competition was hosted by the Stichting Winterswijkse Accomodatie Sportschieten. Eusebio shot the 6-stage indoor Open match in 58.57 seconds, winning by 3.07 seconds over two-time past European Steel Challenge champion, Saul Kirsch. This match was shot entirely indoors under artificial lighting. Eusebio used as GLOCK 34 pistol prepared by ZEV Technology.

Watch KC Shoot the Euro Steel Challenge

“I have always wanted to shoot this match against Europe’s best shooters on their turf,” said KC. “It was an honor to finally be able to do so. I can’t wait to come back to this beautiful country next year!”

KC Eusebio

After winning the Euro Steel Challenge, KC attended the Dutch Army MOD match (Harskamp, Netherlands) on May 15-16 as guest of the Dutch Army Shooting Team (photo below):

KC Eusebio

Eusebio Won U.S. National Steel Challenge in Florida in March
KC’s victory in Europe followed his win at the 2013 U.S. National Steel Championship on March 23, 2013 in Titusville, Florida. Eusebio shot the match in 76.27 seconds, setting a new Main Match record. KC beat his next closest competitor, Max Michel, by almost three seconds. KC’s 2013 time broke the previous record of 80.09 Eusebio set back in 2007. In Florida, KC won four of the eight stages outright, and he set two new stage records.

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November 10th, 2012

K.C. Eusebio Wins Steel Challenge in Florida

KC Eusebio Steel ChallengeTeam GLOCK member K.C. Eusebio won the High Overall Award at the World Speed Shooting Championship (aka Steel Challenge) held November 1-4 in Frostproof, Florida. This was the first time in the competition’s history that a Glock (albeit a modified version) boasted the lowest elapsed time over the 8-stage course of fire.

Using his hot-rodded Glock 17, 24-year-old Eusebio shot approximately 200 rounds in less than 79 seconds. That’s total time for multiple stages of steel targets set at 10 to 35 yards. The GLOCK, modified by Zev Technologies of California, had a C-More Red-dot sight, 3-port compensator and a textured silicon carbide grip coating. “Regardless of the modifications, it’s still a GLOCK,” commented Eusebio. “Flawless. This was my fourth championship win, the first time that’s been done by anyone.”

When it comes to raw speed on the Challenge course, Eusebio is the man. K.C. currently holds several world records in the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA), including the fastest time on the “Smoke And Hope” stage: 1.69 seconds to draw and hit five individual steel targets. That’s not a misprint — 1.69 seconds for five shots hitting five different plates. Here’s a video of K.C. Shooting “Smoke and Hope” in California a few years back when he was a member of the USAMU shooting team.

Eusebio told us: “We definitely set the bar high at this match. I shot record-breaking scores of 2.55 seconds on the “Pendulum” stage and 2.27 seconds on “5 To Go”, and came out on top in 4 of the 8 stages. I also averaged 1.80 seconds on the “Smoke and Hope” stage. Heads were turning, some said it couldn’t be done, but I had confidence in my ability and my Glock”.

K.C. Eusebio glock Shin TanakaPhoto courtesy Shin Tanaka

The Steel Challenge was created in the early 1980s in Southern California, as a new and exciting addition to combat or practical shooting matches. The originators, Mike Dalton and Mike Fitchman, wanted an exciting alternative to paper targets and came up with the all-steel format. The match awards the fastest time, but accuracy is also critical. The Steel Challenge is now a hugely popular event with West Coast Championship in Piru, CA and East Coast Championship in Florida. There are also regional Steel Challenge Matches held around the country.

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April 10th, 2012

Jessie Duff Wins U.S. Steel Challenge Nationals in FL

Jessie Duff Steel NationalsNow competing with major sponsorship from Taurus firearms, Jessie Duff (formerly Jessie Harrison) thoroughly dominated the ladies’ division of the recent U.S. Steel Challenge Nationals in Florida, winning the Steel Master title. It seems like you can put any makers’ firearm in Jessie’s capable hands, and she comes out a winner.

Jessie defended her 2011 titles in Ladies Limited, Open and Steel Master, making this her 6th year in a row to win the Ladies Steel Master title. “Competing for Steel Master is a lot more difficult than you would think,” Duff says. “You have to be just as proficient with all three guns, as someone would be with one. A lot of time goes into training for it, and thankfully it paid off this weekend!”

At the U.S. Steel Challenge Nationals, Jessie competed in three divisions: .22 Optic Rimfire, Limited, and Open. All three divisions qualify her for the Steel Master title, an Aggregate score of all three divisions. After the match Jessie commented, “This match was the first match of the year for me, and I wanted to kick the season off with a victory, especially with my new relationship with Taurus. I was very proud to come home with three national titles!” Mark Kresser, President and CEO of Taurus USA comments, “We are very pleased with Jessie’s performance. Jessie is … taking Taurus to a new level and breaking open the door of the competition world.”

Jessie Duff Steel Nationals

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August 23rd, 2011

You Go Girl — Jessie Harrison Dominates Steel Challenge

jessie harrison

Jessie HarrisonNew Name, Same Game
Jessie Harrison (who formerly competed as Jessie Abbate) stormed through the Steel Challenge last weekend, winning multiple titles (including her fourth women’s Overall Win) in a truly dominant display of speed and accuracy. This was a gutsy performance by Jessie, who has faced tough family issues lately*.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Steel Challenge, one of the most prestigious action pistol events in the country. The match, held August 18-21, 2011 in Piru, California, attracts the top handgunners in the world, who compete against the clock in multiple stages. All targets are steel plates.

In a dominating “three-peat” performance, Jessie Harrison won the Women’s Division of the Steel Challenge. This is the third year in a row that Jessie won the Women’s Overall Title. Her 2011 win now gives her FOUR Steel Challenge Overall titles. This year, Jessie also won the Rimfire Title, the Women’s Limited Title, and the Steel Master Title. Jessie, who shoots for Team Smith & Wesson, proved convincingly that she is the woman to beat in the speed-shooting game.

B.J. NorrisB.J. Norris Blazes in Men’s Division
Jessie’s Team Smith & Wesson team-mate B.J. Norris rolled over the competition in the men’s Open division, demonstrating both blistering speed and consistency. Like Jessie, Norris won multiple titles: Open Division, Rimfire Open, and Steel Master. B.J. shot an impressive 81.18 score to secure the Open Division win.

Former Team Glock shooter Dave Sevigny won the men’s Limited Class (iron sights) with a cumulative time of 90.51. Dave obviously has not suffered too much from his move away from Team Glock, which has lost many top shooters lately. The men’s Production Class winner was Mike Seeklander with a 99.73 score. Living legend Jerry Miculek once again showed he is the world’s greatest wheelgunner, winning the OSR (revolver) class.

*Jessie’s 45-year-old husband, William L. Abbate, a professional shooter, was recently arrested and charged with improper conduct with a 15-year-old female shooter whom he coached. READ News Story.
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July 14th, 2011

Steel Challenge Applications Due Soon

The Shooting Wire reports that there are just two days left to take advantage of the early registration discount for the 2011 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships. Competitors must submit Match Applications this Friday, July 15, 2001, to take advantage of the discounted match fee. If you get your application postmarked by Friday then you’ll also be entered in a drawing for a new Ruger Mark III pistol. If you aren’t familiar with the Steel Challenge, held each year in Piru, California, it is one of the top pistol competitions in the world. Check out this video highlighting our friend K.C. Eusebio, who has set fastest times on many of the Steel Challenge Stages.

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August 20th, 2010

17-Year-Old Whips Pros at Steel Challenge & Jessie Abbate Wins

Steel Challenge 2010The Steel Challenge, one of the world’s premier speed-shooting events, kicked off yesterday in Piru, CA, just down the road from AccurateShooter.com’s home base. Thursday saw shooters compete in the rimfire division. The star of the day was young Ryan Leonard of Oregon City, OR. This 17-year-old pistol prodigy proved that youthful enthusiasm (and quick reflexes) CAN beat age and experience. Ryan outgunned all the big-name pros, including Glock’s Dave Sevigny, Blackhawk’s Todd Jarrett, and Smith &Wesson’s B.J. Norris.

Leonard posted the fastest score on three of the eight stages — 5 To Go, Smoke & Hope and Outer Limits — to finish in a final time of 69.76 seconds. Next fastest man was Dave Sevigny, 1.45 seconds behind. It was a brilliant showing by the 17-year-old Leonard, who claimed the Open Rimfire Championship. Congrats to the Oregon teen — we expect we’ll here more from the young shooter in the years ahead.

Steel Challenge 2010Finishing 5th overall, and winning the women’s open rimfire division was Jessie Abbate, now with Team Smith & Wesson. The popular shooter from Georgia was the fastest lady on seven of the eight stages in the match. Abbate’s final time of 76.90 seconds outpaced her Team S&W team-mate Kay Miculek by 11.60 seconds. In the Ladies’ iron-sight Rimfire event, the winner was Team S&W co-captain Julie Golob.

The Rimfire event is the first leg of the three-event contest that decides the Steel Master winner. The second is the iron sight centerfire pistol event shot in either the Limited or Production division. And the third is the Open pistol contest, the main event of the World Speed Shooting Championships.

Abbate is the defending Ladies’ Steel Master Champion and is a favorite to win the title again in 2010. For more info visit www.SteelChallenge.com.

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May 27th, 2010

Jessie Abbate Joins Team Smith & Wesson

Among female action shooters, Jessie Abbate, 2009 USPSA Ladies Back-to-Back National Champion, may be the most marketable talent in America right now. Jessie has been featured on several TV shows, including Shooting USA, Cowboys, Shooting Gallery, and American Hunter. After Abbate left Team Glock in a contract dispute, the shooting world has been wondering which sponsor would secure Jessie’s services for its team. Well, now we have an answer — Jessie Abbate will shoot for Team Smith & Wesson. Jim Shepherd’s Shooting Wire reports that “Abbate has signed with Team Smith & Wesson”, as confirmed by Abbate’s agent Russell Stott.

Jessie Abbate S&W

This now gives Team S&W a powerful threesome of female shooters as Abbate joins Womens’ Team Captain Julie Goloski Golob and Kay Clark Miculek. While 9-time USPSA Champion Golob is primarily a pistol shooter, both Kay Miculek and Jessie Abbate are top-flight multi-gun shooters as well. Abbate developed her rifle and shotgun skills in Cowboy Action shooting, and Kay is a 13-Time USPSA Multi-Gun Open Champion. Having Kay AND Jessie under contract is a big coup for Smith & Wesson, as multi-gun matches afford Smith & Wesson a chance to showcase its handguns AND its rifle products.

Jessie Abbate S&W

The Rise of Multi-Gun Competition
Multi-Gun and 3-Gun matches become more popular every season. One top 3-gun shooter who originally came up through the pistol ranks told us: “Multi-Gun is the future — it’s what TV viewers want and what sponsors want”. The major multi-gun matches are drawing 30% more competitors each year. And now 3-Gun Nation has brought multi-gun shooting to prime-time television with a compelling nationwide series with a huge cash payout in the end. That’s smart, NASCAR-style marketing. We predict that, within a few years, multi-gun events will eclipse the handgun-only events in popularity, prize money, and sponsorship interest. With Abbate added to the S&W team, along with long-time multi-gun ace Kay Miculek, S&W is positioned to dominate womens’ multi-gun competition for years to come.

Photos courtesy JessieAbbate.com

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December 13th, 2009

Job Watch: USPSA Seeks Steel Challenge Coordinator

Looking for a position that lets you work from home and be involved with many of the leading organizations in the gun industry, such as Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and the USAMU? The U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) is seeking a coordinator for its annual Steel Challenge competition, held each summer in Southern California.

Steel Challenge USPSA

The Steel Challenge Coordinator will assist in producing the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships. The successful candidate must be good with details, able to meet deadlines, have a good working knowledge of Excel spreadsheets, and have some event experience. The position also requires some Shooting Sports Industry experience and working with sponsors. The Coordinator will work from home but must be able to travel to the SHOT Show and the World Speed Shooting Championships. To apply for the job, send email to Scott Moore, SSC Director, scott@steelchallenge.com, or call (602) 687-9675.

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August 18th, 2009

Jessie Abbate Sets 5 Records, Wins 3 Titles at Steel Challenge

Jessie Abbate of McDonough, Georgia is widely considered the best female action pistol shooter in the world. And yet she seems to get better and faster each season. This year she truly “raised the bar” at the 2009 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships held August 12-16 in Piru, California. Breaking records left and right, Jessie dominated the women’s field, earning the coveted Ladies Steel Master title.

Jessie Abbate Pistol

Jessie Abbate PistolAbbate, a Team Glock member, set five new world records on her way to scoring a hat trick at the Steel Challenge, where she won the Ladies Open Rimfire Pistol, Limited Pistol, and Open Pistol titles. In addition to collecting top honors in three divisions, Jessie claimed the Ladies Steel Master title which is for the best combined time of the three events.

Abbate held off the defending ladies champion and Team Smith & Wesson member Kay Miculek who stalked Abbate through the match taking second place in all three events. Miculek has won the Steel Challenge an amazing seven times and held seven women’s world records, four of which Abbate broke.

“Jessie really put on a clinic and her outstanding shooting through the entire Steel Challenge demonstrates how far she has come in the shooting sports. Hers is the standout performance of the match,” observed Michael Voigt of the Steel Challenge Shooting Association. This is the second time Abbate has taken top honors at the Steel Challenge. Her first win came in 2007.

World’s Best Shooters at the Steel Challenge
Jessie Abbate, of course, wasn’t the only story at the 2009 Steel Challenge. As usual, this event drew many of the world’s top pistoleros, including the legendary Jerry Miculek and the defending Open Class Champion, the USAMU’s young hotshot, K.C. Eusebio. This year Max Michel claimed the Open Class title with a blazing 82.09 total time, followed by B.J. Norris (2nd place, 84.42), and K.C. Eusebio (3rd place, 86.07). As expected, Jerry Miculek won the Optical Sight Revolver class by a wide margin. Rob Leatham won Production Class with a remarkable 97.07 time, beating runner-up Julie Golob by more than 19 seconds. Simon “JJ” Racaza turned in a fine 92.78 to win Limited Class against stiff competition, while Taran Butler (109.07) took the enhanced Service Pistol title, with an impressive winning margin of nearly 13 seconds.

CLICK HERE for Complete Results from 2009 Steel Challenge World Championships.

Top photo courtesy Tactical Solutions, maker of rimfire barrels, suppressors and other products.

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May 27th, 2009

Spaniard Wins 2009 European Steel Challenge

European 2009 Steel ChallengeJorge Ballesteros of Spain captured the coveted Steel Challenge title at the 2009 European Speed Shooting Championships held May 22 and 23 in Winterswijk, Netherlands. Facing Europe’s best shooters, Ballesteros won the Open Pistol title with a time of 61.31 seconds, besting last year’s top time by over two and a half seconds. Jan ter Borg of the Netherlands finished second while Germany’s Oliver Damm placed third for the second year in a row. Defending 2008 champion Saul Kirsch of the Netherlands finished fourth.

The European Steel Challenge drew 135 top speed shooters from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United States, all vying for their share of $40,000 in cash and prizes and the title of Europe’s Fastest Gun. The match was shot indoors and featured six of the eight stages used in the USA Steel Challenge: Smoke & Hope, Five to Go, Roundabout, Speed Option, Accelerator and Outer Limits.

“The European Steel Challenge is growing in popularity thanks to the hard work of match director Hans Wigger and, with so many strong competitors, it’s only a matter of time before we see a squad of top Europeans competing at the World Speed Shooting Championships here in the U.S.,” said Dave Thomas, executive director of the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA).

Fierce Competition Among Wheel-Gunners
In the Open Revolver division, shooters from the Netherlands ran the table with Mario Siemeling leading the way and defending his 2008 win by posting a time of 68.99. Harry ter Borg, who finished third in 2008, moved up to second shooting a time of 77.00 seconds. In third, with a time of 78.35, was Jan ter Borg. Below is a video from the 2008 ESC showing Harry ter Borg, Mario Siemeling (at 4:00 minute mark) and other wheel-gunners in action.

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