For some time I’ve wanted to try my hand at shooting competitions. The main reason I haven’t? Scheduling. Things have been happening lately tho that have spurred me to get off my duff and finally try competition shooting. I still have to get my schedule happy, but at least my desire to do competition has moved from passing thought to “OK, let’s seriously consider this.”
As you can see here and here, the Austin and greater Central Texas area provides for a lot of competitions. Shotguns, rifles, carbines, pistols, combinations of them (e.g .3-gun), and just various types. So where to begin? I figure I’m going to start with handgun-only competitions, because that keeps it simple to start. But even with handgun-only there’s still many things to try. So I asked my mentor what to do and he suggested I start with Steel Challenge-based competition. There’s the ALSPPC that sounds like a good group to get started with.
I think steel will be a good way to start. It’s a simpler competition, by design, which is good for breaking into the world of competition shooting (less to worry about). Given the skills I’m working on and need to improve upon, Steel Challenge seems right up the alley: distances 7-35 yards, every shot must count, speed is important but accuracy more important (slow hit better than a fast miss). It really seems exactly the sort of thing I need right now. An additional benefit is you can shoot it with a .22 rimfire handgun… given the state of ammo today, that’s a great thing. Furthermore, kids can shoot! If Daugther eventually wants to try, she can! As I was researching for this post, I came across videos of a Tori Nonaka, who appears to be a 13-year old girl shooting Steel and IPSC competitions and being quite good at it:
I watch her videos and am not just impressed with her shooting, but I can’t help but think of my own Daugther and wondering if that might be her someday. :)
But back to steel… here’s some resources:
- Steel Challenge Shooting Association — the official website.
- The Rules
- The Stages. Another listing of the stages. Provides for different file formats.
- Past Champs. Men’s Records. Women’s Records.
- Shooting tips from Karl and Penny.
- ALSPPC’s entry on their steel matches.
- YouTube search on “steel challenge”. It’s great to watch the top-level shooters and the “Joe Blow” club matches.
So, at this point I’ve got more reading, practice, and preparation to do. But as soon as my schedule will allow me, I’m going to try shooting steel.