Speed Steel matches


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BCRider
August 10, 2009, 10:44 PM
Up this way where we're only allowed to use handguns at specified ranges we use our wheel guns for such fun things as speed steel shooting matches.

This Speed Steel event consists of suspended armour steel discs between 6 and 10 inches in diameter with longer range options sized to 18 x 24 inch rectangles. 4 white targets followed by a black "finisher". This number of targets makes the stages both semi and revolver friendly.

Range to the discs is typically in the 10 to 20 yard range but the odd stage can have some of the larger rectangular targets out to 50 yards just to test the skills and make the shooters curse the stage designer's ancestry a little :D The idea isn't to make it a pure accuracy event but to test the skills at fast multiple shots while providing some variations that offer up some challenge.

Stages are shot from a low ready position and do not involve running like with IPSC or IDPA. However variety is added by shooting from around barriers, through barrels or openings, using strong and weak hand only, requiring kneeling or stepping one or two steps to the side, laying prone or other variations and combinations. Holsters are used just for holding the empty guns between stage uses. Or the competitors can just carry them unloaded between stages. IPSC style commands for "load and make ready", "Shooter Ready", "Standby" and "unload and show clear" are used and observed to ensure safety.

Scoring is based on time only with the fellow running the IPSC like shot timer listening for the steel CLANG!'s and watching the discs while holding the timer and calling out "DONE!" when the final round hits the black finisher or when 30 seconds has been reached. We step up and shoot 6 strings at a time at each stage so there's a lot of shooting at a time. As each string is called "DONE!" the time is recorded and the timer/RO calls for the shooter to reload for the next string unless it's the last one in which case it's "unload and show clear". Shooting the 6 passes in one sequence really speeds things up by avoiding all the movement of persons and is good fun since you get to shoot 30 rounds, assuming no misses :D. If you miss just keep shooting at the missed targets until you hit them or the 30 seconds is called. It's all about getting the 5 HITS.

Around here the other shooters gang up to help reload magazines for the person shooting so no one has down time and things keep moving smoothly. There's seldom any downtime other than for those that are shooting .45ACP or .38Auto while they collect their gold like brass for reloading :D

Scoring is based on the best 5 out of 6 string times. The worst time is tossed out. A max of 30 seconds is the rule so that it won't cost too much in ammo for the poor shots :D Penalties for not hitting targets are 5 seconds per target or 30 seconds for not hitting the finisher before the string hits 30 seconds. The max possible time is thus 60 seconds even if they missed more than the black finisher.

Unlike IDPA and IPSC this is not just for higher power handguns. We shoot semi pistol, .22 pistol, CF revolver and if there's enough to make up a decent class .22 revolver. Locally we also have a category for handgun caliber carbines. The restriction is to avoid damage to the steel targets. Again, if there's enough room for them, this can be split into .22 and center fire classes. Also we break down the caliber classes into Stock (iron sights) and Open (red dots or scopes).

This whole Speed Steel event is a huge local success. It's not hard to set up once the welding is done and the stages themselves go very quickly since there's no targets to be patched or fallers to be stood up. Just listen for the CLANG! and keep moving on.

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