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IF we were to add new stages to steel challenge would you rather see something new or modifications of what we have such as shorter versions of Outer Limits and Speed Option?

What about movement? Want more of that or is stand and shoot the way to go? Let me know your thoughts please.

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If you were to add new stages it should be for ranges that are limited to straight back placement I see that as the most common issue that ranges have. But TBH I dislike shooting matches that are mostly not the standard 8 stages. It is sort of like NRA Action Pistol, it has over a dozen courses of fire, but only four are relevant because that is what is shot at major matches.

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I'm all for more and varied stages. Movement is fine.

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Totally new stages. Movement would be good. Why not bring back some of the oldies but goodies, like Flying M and ZigZag? I already think the current selection has enough fast hoser stages, so stages that are more technical would be good too.

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To add more, maybe HQ can contact current SCSA clubs with a survey to determine average bay sizes, etc so any new stages that might be designed will fit at the majority of the SCSA clubs

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Decreasing the size of speed option and outer limits would be the most logical first step. Many shooters don't get to shoot them often because clubs don't have the distance to shoot them.

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Start adding a lot of movement will make it more USPSA and less SC.

Some of the best local steel challenge shooters are older and not as fast on their feet as they once were.

Stand and shoot still has its place in our sport.

If we make the stages smaller to fit smaller bays, its hard to make it more technical. But then, I always thought of Steel Challenge stages as all speed shoots.

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Good feedback. I do want to start communicating directly with fellow MD's and asking about bay size is a great idea. After Troy's review of the rules I want to sent it out to all MD's (and post it here) for comment as well.

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The Steel Challenge was designed from the beginning to be a "Speed Shoot" with all fast and dirty stages. Hence the title "World Speed Shooting Championships". To replace stages with longer distances and more movement is going away from the core concept of the match. The Pro/Am style steel matches are an example of that and are a lot of fun but leave the "Steel Challenge" alone. If you want to change up the stages go back to the beginning with stages like "Triple Threat".

Not all change is good...

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The Steel Challenge was designed from the beginning to be a "Speed Shoot" with all fast and dirty stages. Hence the title "World Speed Shooting Championships". To replace stages with longer distances and more movement is going away from the core concept of the match. The Pro/Am style steel matches are an example of that and are a lot of fun but leave the "Steel Challenge" alone. If you want to change up the stages go back to the beginning with stages like "Triple Threat".

Not all change is good...

yer right, bob-and flying M with the knock off can to start! but the old distances for outer limits and speed option should return.

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What affect are you trying to have on the sport by making changes to the stages?

Get more people interested? Unless you plan to make major changes in the sport you most likely will not really affect bringing in lots of new shooters becuase it's not the stages themselves that people who don't like SC use as a reason not to shoot it ... It's the style of shooting they don't like.

Making the shooting challenge easier? That's what you do by shortening OL or Spd Option or eliminating movement.

Make the sport more like USPSA? That's what you do by adding more movement.

Steel Challenge ain't broke so let's not try to fix it (or make it more like something else we already have)

Let's focus our energy on promoting the sport we have, not trying to change it .....

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I don't want SCSA to become Pro-am or USPSA. They are separate types of shooting and each has its own merits. Yes SCSA is a gateway to USPSA and 3 gun and that's fine. Many steel challenge shooters also shoot USPSA but many do not. I like it the way it is because I am not running around stages, but still have the movement on outer limits. It is the drag racing of shooting and although I may never be a GM I still enjoy the hell out of it the way it is. The new classification system just made it even better.

If you added movement you would just drive a lot of long time shooters away.

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yer right, bob-and flying M with the knock off can to start! but the old distances for outer limits and speed option should return.

What were the old distances and do you know why they changed?

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There are two changes I would really like to see made to stages and both involve Outer Limits and Speed Option. I can only run one or the other at their current distances.

On the other hand if we were to shorten them to 25 yards then I could run them in most any of the bays we have and the other club that I shoot at here in SC could also run in their pistol bays instead of having to get special permission from the rifle guys to use their bay.

I also think it would be interesting to run S&H with 10 inch plates or alternatively with 12 inch plates. Our rules permit us to do that for level 1 matches so I'll do that one of these days.

I also get there's a rich history for steel challenge and I'd welcome feedback from those of you that have a lot of history in the sport to share what we can do to make it great once again. Email me directly at zack@uspsa.org.

I'm not suggesting change for the sake of change. Any changes that are made should be for a very good reason.

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yer right, bob-and flying M with the knock off can to start! but the old distances for outer limits and speed option should return.

What were the old distances and do you know why they changed?

When I first shot it in 1984, OL plates were 25 and 40, stop plate at 20. SO option plate was 25, stop plate 35. Was that way when I last shot it in 2001. Dunno when it changed.

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One of the 'issues' I see with some Steel Challenge stages is that they exceed the distance that many smaller clubs (which, IMHO, are the heart & soul of SCSA) have the bays to set them up in. As a result, the only time many shooters get to practice these are at larger club matches that have the room to set them up... and not at their home club.

I'm not saying that distances with existing plates be decreased. Maybe distances with smaller (6 or 8 inch) plates could be decreased. Shrink distance to allow smaller clubs to run them, and shrink plate size to maintain the Challenge.

As for adding more movement.... as noted above, many club shooters are of an advanced age that has 'diminished their foot speed'... add the raised tubes on the shooting box and some have to spend more time watching their feet than the targets when they move on Outer Limits. Painted line shooting boxes would ease that, but not many smaller clubs would do that. Those ranges have to be torn down after the match so that the 'regular club members' can use the ranges.

Just some thoughts

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The 2 things that make OL the preeminent stage in the match are the 35 yd distance & movement. Change or eliminate either of these and you turn it into just another stage ....

A rule change allowing for reduced target size at Tier 1 events so the effective distance/size is the same would be a great solution ... And we know how to do that .... !

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I guess I might as well chime in; I've got just a "little" bit of history with steel shooting and the Steel Challenge... ;)

Butch, you are correct regarding the COF changes you described for Outer Limits & Speed Option. These changes were incorporated at the 2001 match along with the 8' front plates on Showdown being changed to 10". The Mikes incorporated all of these changes in an effort to grow the match's attendance by making the COF more shooter & iron sight "friendly" and to tap into a group of shooters who were involved in another action pistol sport organization (and typically did not shoot the SC.) Participation did increase slightly and, as expected, the same shooters continued to excel at the match, shooting the stages even faster.

Back in 1981 when the Mikes designed the COFs, they were WAY ahead of their time. The original stages (Double Trouble, West Covina Speed Option (w/ 6 plates!), Five to Go & Flying M) were their first attempt to BALANCE speed, accuracy, level of difficulty & FUN. As the number of available stage sponsors grew, so did the number of stages (Outer Limits, Triple Threat, Showdown & In & Out- now known as Roundabout). The balance of those attributes has been maintained with the newer stages the match has evolved with (Smoke & Hope in 1989, Pendulum in 2004 & Accelerator in 2006.)

IMO, I believe the current lineup of stages is nearly the perfect balance and that one stage with movement is enough. We have our premier stage, Outer Limits, just as the Bianchi Cup has its Mover and the IRC has its Far To Near. Another movement stage was tried again when Flying M 2000 was a part of the match from 1998 to 2003. It was removed because there was too much foot fault "controversy."

The Steel Challenge has been dubbed as "The Ultimate Display of Speed & Accuracy" as well as "Drag Racing with Guns." It is a sport that stands on its own and doesn't need to try to emulate or be USPSA or ProAm. Ultimate perfection does not exist and can never be achieved at the Steel Challenge. The stages can always be shot faster, but go too fast and you know what happens... It is a FUN shooting discipline that is friendly to new & experienced, young & old and physically challenged shooters as well as virtually every type of handgun & PCC. It is a FUN discipline that is shot at the entry level, highest level and "used to be" level. In its current form, it caters to all and they can participate in it for a lifetime.

I COMPLETELY agree with Bob, Flatland & Nimitz, as I do with those who were the previous "Keepers of the Flame" (the Mikes, SWPL, Don Hamilton & John Madigan, Kerby Smith and the Mikes again.) Let the sport evolve; DON'T change things just for the sake of change.

The Steel Challenge in itself is NOT broken and does NOT need to be fixed. Spend time on promoting & managing it effectively and it will grow & thrive. There are multiple LARGE steel matches all over the country that are run successfully and the Steel Challenge can be as well.

Jim

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One of the things I like most about Steel Challenge is that is a good "intro sport" for people new to competition shooting, simply due to the smaller set of skills necessary to succeed. (You don't have to reload on the clock, you don't have to make much in the way of stages plans, and almost no movement at all.) As such, while I think Outer Limits is a great stage and is important to the sport, I probably would be against adding another movement stage. (On the other hand, adding another "from two positions" stage like Showdown might be interesting, particularly if the two views are NOT symmetrical...)

I get that a number of clubs can't fit in Speed Option and Outer Limits (or at least not both at the same time). Yet....having a couple of stages with MUCH longer shots than normal (even though the plates are huge) gives a type of skill test we don't see in the other stages. As was said above, there really IS a great breadth of shooting-accurately-at-speed tests in the various stages. If we bring in the far plates to 25 yards or so, that isn't much farther than the 18 that we shoot Pendulum, and the steel is much larger. And if we use smaller steel targets, then....it is going to feel a lot like other stages we already shoot. Making a Level I exemption for reduced-size targets at reduced distances would probably be an adequate fix for local bay issues----but I would be seriously against changing the official stages.

I wouldn't mind adding a couple of extra stages, just to give some more variety. (Our local matches have space for 6 stages, and we switch them up so we run all 8 in approximately equal numbers of times in one year.) I don't think it would be helpful to come up with a stack of new stages, however, because I think it would be hard to find a large number of new shooting concepts to test on a stage. The stages we currently have all have slightly different shooting problems associated with them, and that is one of the things that makes them so good.

....I suppose, summing it up, I really like the way the stages are already. I think one stage with a little movement is good, but enough; I think that the distances we have to shoot accurately for Speed Option and Outer Limits are good tests; Coming up with a new stage or two would be interesting to me, as long as the stage design (like the current stages) each had a slightly different shooting problem associated with it.

Steel Challenge, as is, is really a well-designed and well-developed competition. Looks like I really only think a Level I exemption for reduced plate/reduced distance SO and OL stages would be something useful, and don't want to change anything else. :)

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while not as 'fun' as designing and/or adding new stages; getting our house in order with all the administrative tasks associated with the sport will pay far larger dividends. having a well oiled machine that executes events is the ticket to growing the sport .... a classification system which works for all divisions ... done! Way to go Zack!

- Official rule book updated and approved

- ranking system up and running

- new membership cards which reflect individual's new classification

- promoting more state & area matches

- - a national championship that is sanctioned,

- the world championship in a more gun friendly state

- developing & promoting a world championship slot point system so active clubs can be rewarded with reduced or free slots to the WSSC .....

There's plenty to do to make our sport better .... other than work on stages

Mike Foley said during his run for president that there is nothing wrong with USPSA between "load & make ready" and "unload and show clear" so he didn't plan to 'fix' that.

The same goes for Steel Challenge .....

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This is great feedback. Jim I will see you at WSSC. I want to spend some time with you talking steel challenge. I think I can learn a lot from you. I like the idea of L1 exemption to run reduced targets on OL and SO. I just wonder what impact this would have on our new classification system.

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Zack Every club has the ability to use whatever stages they want, but can't report them to SCSA unless it is a sanctioned properly set stage. So with out changing anything, and keeping things fair, those same clubs that don't have the distance to shoot O/L or Speed option can use reduced target sizes and set the stages reduced. They are just outlaw stages.

I don't see how you could allow them to be classified the same as full size stages. Closer targets are easier to see hits and hear them.

The one thing I don't want to see happen is that stages start getting changed that would force clubs to buy more sizes than the current 3.

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No movement. That would only slow matches down. Part of the appeal of the 6 classification stages is that there is no movement. If people want to run and shoot there are other games for that.

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I like the idea of L1 exemption to run reduced targets on OL and SO. I just wonder what impact this would have on our new classification system.

Using the Level I exemption means also that those stages don't count for classification purposes. (Which is fine, since the classification system can run just fine using the others.)

Only the "official" stages, set up in original mode, count for classification. If a local match wants to run other stages, or take an exemption for OL or SO, they can do so, and they'll count for local results---but not for classification.

That would be my suggestion.

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Good points. So the general consensus is we don't need no stinkin' new stages. If you want to practice OL or SO and you can't run them at normal distances set them up short and don't list as classifier on the tablet.

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