Steel Challenge

A Primer on Steel Challenge

Steel Challenge is an exciting shooting discipline that combines speed and accuracy in a fun format that can be enjoyed by almost anyone at any level of experience. Whether you come out and watch a match or ‘jump right in’ like most of us have, the following is an overview of the game and rules that govern it. It is important that everyone understand and follow the rules – for safety’s sake as well as to facilitate a smooth match that’s fun for everyone.

SAFETY – always our first priority

Hearing and eye protection is always mandatory, for all participants and guests.

Schultz Gun Club is a cold range:

  • The only time a shooter may handle a firearm is at a designated Safe Table or instructed to do so by the Range Officer [RO] in preparation for shooting a Course of Fire [CoF].
  • At the Safe Table, you may take your gun out of the gun bag, put it in your holster, or work on it. When not holstered, the muzzle must be pointing in a safe direction – into the adjacent berm.
  • All firearms are to remain unloaded at all times – no magazines, moonclips, etc. in the gun ‐‐ until instructed by the RO to Make Ready in preparation for shooting a CoF.
  • You may load magazines or moonclips anywhere on the range except within the fault lines at the Safe Table. Under no circumstances is ammunition to be handled at the Safe Table; it is permissible to have loaded magazines or moonclips on your belt at the Safe Table, but they may not be handled.

Please read and understand all rules before shooting Steel Challenge. If these rules are not followed you will be disqualified from the match for that day. Rules are at the bottom of the page if you go to the Steel Challenge website.

GENERAL – we need your help!

A lot of effort goes into running a Steel Challenge match and it’s a volunteer sport – We need help setting up and tearing down stages. Please come early and help set up, when possible.


A shooter’s score is based on the total time it takes to engage and hit 5 steel plates. There are 5 strings of fire for a total of 25 rounds per stage if there are no misses. There are four primary plates and one stop plate set up in different arrays. The stop plate must only be shot at the end of the string. The shooter may take as many shots as required to score hits on the plates.

The maximum time allowed for a string of fire is 30 seconds; most are shot in 10 seconds or less. Penalties are expressed as time added to the shooter’s performance on that string. A miss on a primary target [an unmarked plate] will incur a 3 second penalty added to the time for that string. Missing the stop plate will result in a 30 second string time.

Shooters will shoot five strings of fire, and the best four will count toward the match performance – ie., the longest string is thrown out. At the end of the match all scores are added to obtain the shooter’s total match time.


For centerfire handguns, the shooter will start with the gun loaded and holstered with wrists above shoulders.

For rimfire handguns there is no holster and shooter will start aiming at a flag or Low Ready position.


Rimfire Pistol:
Open = optics permitted
Limited = iron sights only

Open = optics permitted
Limited = iron sights only
Production – See USPSA requirements for Production Division equipment


Rimfire Handgun
Any revolver or semi auto in good working condition and a shooting bag that closes completely to carry the firearm. There are no holsters in Rimfire Division.

Centerfire Handgun
Any revolver or semi auto in good working condition of at least 9mm or larger caliber. A holster is required. The holster must retain the firearm securely and cover the trigger guard completely.

Magazine pouches are for centerfire only. Pouches or loaders must be worn on a belt with at least 5 – 10 round magazines, or, 4 – high capacity magazines with 15 rounds plus, or, 5 – speed loaders or moon clip holders.

You will shoot a minimum of 25 rounds per stage so make sure you have enough magazines/ moonclips /speed loaders so that you do not have to reload between strings of fire. If you do not have enough magazine pouches, you may use pockets.

For rimfire, 5 – magazines or moon clips can be worn on a belt or carried in your pockets.
Please bring enough magazines so that other shooters do not have to wait on you – This will avoid lengthy delays in the match.


  • Breaking the 180 rule while loading, unloading, or shooting
  • Any unsafe gun handling at the range
  • Failure to follow RO instructions
  • Accidental discharge of a firearm
  • Dropping a loaded firearm or being in possession of a loaded firearm at any time other than on a CoF [and after having been instructed to Make Ready by the RO]
  • Any shot fired over a berm or backstop
  • Bad/abusive language, unsportsman‐like conduct, or appearance of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Inappropriate attire, as determined by the Match Director. The use of offensive or objectionable garments is not allowed.

Sound interesting? It is!! Take a look at YouTube and seaRch for “Steel Challenge”. There are a number of video clips that will give a good look at what Steel Challenge is all about.

Come on out and give it a try.