What is the Steel Challenge?
The Steel Challenge as a match has a history which rivals USPSA’s own. In his column in the July 1986 Front Sight, then-USPSA president Dave Stanford wrote:
“While I usually do not report or comment on matches that are not USPSA/IPSC sanctioned, I think that there are two that warrant an exception to that policy. The first one is the Steel Challenge. The Steel Challenge is a steel match extraordinaire. It is a real professional undertaking. The SWPL puts on a real show every time.”
The match draws top shooters from a broad spectrum of shooting sports, including USPSA, IDPA, SASS, GSSF and others. The event generates international attention, accompanied by broad newspaper and television coverage, even in California.
The match is highly spectator-friendly and the competition is easy to understand – it is all about the speed. And by maintaining consistent challenges from year to year, the competition lends itself to the notion of setting – and breaking – speed records, which greatly adds to the excitement for shooters, spectators and media.
Steel shooting offers a port of entry to the shooting sports that is far less intimidating than practical shooting. Steel shooting provides an excellent starting place for young or beginning shooters. It also provides a soft way for those who have begun to suffer the problems associated with ageing a vehicle to remain involved in the shooting sports. All this provides an alternative for those who might otherwise be lost to shooting.
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This is the most "Shooter Friendly" handgun sport that I know of. In engages shooters of all ages to allow them to shoot firearms they already own, .22 rifles and pistols and centerfire pistols, and to do so in an exciting and challenging enviroment.