Steel Challenge

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Steel Challenge Shooting Association
Logo of the Steel Challenge Shooting Association.png
Founder Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman
Owner United States Practical Shooting Association

The Steel Challenge is a speed shooting competition governed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) that consists of eight standardized stages with steel targets, ranging in size from 10" (25 cm) round plates to 18x24" (45x60 cm) square plates. Competitors are scored solely by the time it takes them to complete each stage, and the match winner is the competitor with the lowest overall time.

The annual World Championship called the World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC) is held in Frostproof, Florida (since 2012), and draws shooters from around the world. Up until 2011 the World Championship used to be held in Piru, California each year.


The competition was founded in 1981 by Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman.[1] The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships have grown to one of the largest professional pistol competitions in America.[2] In 2007, more than 220 competitors from the United States and around the world competed for a portion of the $390,000 in cash and prizes - the largest purse in competitive pistol shooting.[3]

Seventy shooters competed in the first Steel Challenge in 1981. John Shaw claimed the first ‘World’s Fastest Shooter’ title along with his share of the $20,000 in cash and prizes.

In the winter of 2007, Dalton and Fichman sold the Steel Challenge to the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA)[4] which is the US sanctioning body of IPSC.


The stage "Outer Limits" set up on a shooting range in Germany.

There are 8 stages with 5 steel targets on each. Shooters get five runs on each stage. Each competitor shoots each stage five times, with their slowest run dropped, excluding the stage Outer Limits where only four runs are shot and the top three counted. The counting times are totaled for their stage score, and the eight stage scores are added together to establish the competitor's match score.

For each run, one hit per target is required, with an unlimited number of rounds. The last target to be shot is known as the "stop plate", which stops the timer. All primary target hits made after the stop plate has been struck, will be scored with a 3 second penalty each. The maximum time permitted for a run is 30 seconds and a competitor will be stopped and asked to reload if they reach the 30 second limit.

The Steel Challenge comprises eight courses of fire called 'stages.'[5] They are:

Target sizes[edit]

The steel targets used are:

  • 10" round plates (approximately 25 cm)
  • 12" round plates (approximately 30 cm)
  • 18x24" square plates (approximately 45x60 cm)

World records[edit]

To be considered a world record, the run must come during the annual World Speed Shooting Championship.

Men's world records[edit]

Stage Shooter Time Avg. Run Year
Five To Go Max Michel 8.97 2.24 2013
Showdown Max Michel 7.98 2.00 2012
Smoke & Hope KC Eusebio 7.20 1.80 2012
Outer Limits BJ Norris 11.14 3.71 2008
Accelerator Max Michel 8.70 2.18 2013
Pendulum KC Eusebio 10.02 2.51 2012
Speed Option Max Michel 9.09 2.27 2013
Roundabout Max Michel 7.51 1.88 2013

Women's world records[edit]

Stage Shooter Time Avg. Run Year
Five To Go Jessie Duff 11.94 2.98 2014
Showdown Jessie Duff 10.27 2.57 2010
Smoke & Hope Kaci Cochran 9.05 2.26 2013
Outer Limits Kaci Cochran 13.26 4.42 2013
Accelerator Jessie Duff 11.19 2.80 2009
Pendulum Jessie Duff 11.75 2.94 2013
Speed Option Jessie Duff 11.65 2.91 2013
Roundabout Jessie Duff 9.41 2.35 2009

Past champions[edit]

Year Top Men Top Woman
2014 Max Michel Jessie Duff
2013 Max Michel Jessie Duff
2012 KC Eusebio Jessie Duff
2011 BJ Norris Jessie Duff
2010 KC Eusebio Jessie Duff
2009 Max Michel Jessie Duff
2008 KC Eusebio Kay Clark-Miculek
2007 Max Michel Jessie Duff
2006 JJ Racaza Kay Clark-Miculek
2005 Max Michel Kay Clark-Miculek
2004 Tatsuya Sakai Kay Clark-Miculek
2003 KC Eusebio Athena Lee
2002 Rob Leatham Athena Lee
2001 Doug Koenig Kay Clark-Miculek
2000 Doug Koenig Kay Clark-Miculek
1999 Doug Koenig Julie Goloski
1998 Jerry Barnhart Cathy Levanza
1997 Ross Newell Kay Clark-Miculek
1993 Jethro Dionsio Valerie Levanza
1992 Jethro Dionsio Valerie Levanza
1991 Jerry Barnhart Judy Woolley
1990 Jethro Dionsio Judy Woolley
1989 Angelo Spagnoli Shirley Hamilton
1988 Chip McCormick Suzan Cooper
1987 Jerry Barnhart Michelle Griggs
1986 Chip McCormick Jo Anne Hall
1985 Rob Leatham Lee Cole
1984 Nick Pruitt Lee Cole
1983 Mickey Fowler Linda Zubiena
1982 J. Michael Plaxco Pamela Morris
1981 John Shaw Melba Pruitt

Press coverage[edit]

Since at least 2003, the Shooting Gallery show on the nationally syndicated Outdoor Channel has covered each Steel Challenge championship. It has also been covered in other press, including notable articles in American Handgunner,[6][7] GunWeek,[8] and Outdoor Life.[9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]