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New to steel...


jakfrost1
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Hi all, been shooting IPSC and USPSA for a couple of years now and had a great time last season shooting a few local steel matches using my STI DVC Open gun in 9 Major. Wondering if a ‘dedicated’ steel gun is necessary or could I continue to use my DVC, albeit with different loads other than my 170PF major loads, and if so what might those ‘steel’ loads look like? I’m using both WAC and 3N38 behind 121gr hollow base RN jacketed Campro’s and 125gr HP Zero’s... 

Any thoughts? I’m not looking for an excuse to buy a new gun, IF the DVC can do a reasonable job with a proper load...

Jim

Edited by jakfrost1
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1 hour ago, jakfrost1 said:

Hi all, been shooting IPSC and USPSA for a couple of years now and had a great time last season shooting a few local steel matches using my STI DVC Open gun in 9 Major. Wondering if a ‘dedicated’ steel gun is necessary or could I continue to use my DVC, albeit with different loads other than my 170PF major loads, and if so what might those ‘steel’ loads look like? I’m using both WAC and 3N38 behind 121gr hollow base RN jacketed Campro’s and 125gr HP Zero’s... 

Any thoughts? I’m not looking for an excuse to buy a new gun, IF the DVC can do a reasonable job with a proper load...

Jim

 

I think like with anything, it comes down to your application.

 

You have to realize you'd have to get used to 2 different guns. 

 

Even if another platform had a slight advantage vs your primary competition gun, unless you're fluent and versatile with the switching, you'd disadvantage yourself.

 

The efficiency of you honing in on a single platform might outweigh any advantage/disadvantage a separate platform might give you.

 

As the poster above encouraged, you might do well to stick with a single platform. 

 

However, if your application is such that you're getting bored and want a new toy.... which is usually the case.... :D

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Call the club before the shoot and ask if they have velocity restrictions.  Some clubs have a 1250fps max.  Others, like some near me, strongly discourage the use of 9mm major because of the possibility of a ricochet or damage to the steel.

 

Most of the Open shooters I shoot with shoot loads centered around 5.6gr WAC under a 115 JHP.  They say it's enough to work the comp some and not hot enough to damage the slide.  They all seem to be in the 150-155 PF range.  Really, it all depends on your gun(s).  Neither of my first two Open guns would cycle anything under 160 PF.

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Well....there’s a lot of topics in that seemingly simple question, and all the posts so far are good info.  I’ll try to add.

 

First, as Zack said, you may need to evaluate your devotion to steel challenge.  Do you like it enough to continue?  Is it trigger time practice for other disciplines?  Or is steel challenge going to be a serious competitive focus?  Personally, I fit best in the last category with rifles, however I shoot USPSA rather competitively in the Open division with a 9 major Tanfo.

 

Shoot what you have with what you have first.  If it’s what you are used to, you will have an honest evaluation as to what you think and feel compared to your previous experience with your known equipment, rather than wondering if differences in feel or result are from a recent change in equipment you’re not yet familiar with.

 

With that said, when I decided to shoot the open division with my Tanfo Witness, my first deviation was to use Winchester white box.  My open load was just way too much for steel challenge in my opinion.  My pistol has 2 barrels, a factory loaded round only (minor) with far less porting, and the open barrel with 12 ports.  The minor barrel, even with less velocity ammo, had far more dot movement, obviously due to lack of gas through the comp.  The open barrel worked quite well, however zeroing was needed.  I found there was a significant difference in zero from my open loads to the Winchester.  The recoil was “less,” and as you might expect, “different” from 9 major with slightly more dot movement.  For me, it worked just fine.  I shot a level 2 match with that ammo without need for spring adjustment.  For me, because my main steel challenge focus is rifles, the Winchester was good enough.

 

If I were to become more serious about steel challenge open division I would begin load development with a 100 grain FMJ bullet.  I think the 3N38 would be fine.  Personally, I greatly prefer HS-6 for all things open.  As said above, I would look for the 150ish PF range with focus on dot movement during recoil as the determining factor.  For that matter, stick with your current powder load and just change the bullet, test to see where u are at - it just might be very close to the desired change.  At this point, again, like all things open, you would have a very good idea of where you want to be with your particular equipment.  The low weight bullet will allow loading for very little recoil with very little dot movement due to still working the comp.  From there, move down in PF until dot movement increases or gun won’t function reliably even with spring tuning.  If enough deligence is spent in this area, open guns can be made to run almost like its cheating.  Nearly no recoil with nearly no dot movement.  Just try to remember to maybe give a friendly heads up to the RO, those low weight bullet loads in open, as you may know, are super loud!  ESPECIALLY through mine, which is already one of the loudest.  Also, maybe check out Atlanta Arms, they make some 100 grain bullets you can buy loaded.  Certainly not perfect for open, but to get an idea if you like.

 

Now, if you happen to be one of the many on the range with seemingly unlimited funding, lol....after determining your interest level, and finding a devotion to steel, a designated gun tuned to a designated load is in all our dreams.  STI has a specific product for it as well if that’s your preferred company.

 

No matter what, absolutely come out and play.  Steel Challenge is exploding and I absolutely love seeing more and more people of all levels joining in.  Open has crazy peak times set by the pros, so it’s really cool to see where you stack up and chase improvement!  Hope to see you out there somewhere.

Edited by Hammer002
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20 hours ago, zzt said:

Call the club before the shoot and ask if they have velocity restrictions.  Some clubs have a 1250fps max.  Others, like some near me, strongly discourage the use of 9mm major because of the possibility of a ricochet or damage to the steel.

 

They discourage 9mm Major but not .38 Super Major?  Do they allow PCC? 

 

And 1250 fps max?   I take it these clubs don't run USPSA matches?  (Because 124 gr .38 super is going to need a significantly higher velocity than that to make Major, and there's plenty of steel targets in USPSA...)

 

 

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T, don't be daft.  It's the velocity they discourage, so all .355/.356 major falls under the same category.  Don't know about .400 major, because that is travelling a whole lot slower.  No, the club with the 1250fps restriction does not run USPSA matches.  Think about it for a second, how could they? The OP's question had to do with steel matches, not USPSA, so why bring it up?

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On 2/21/2019 at 10:28 AM, zzt said:

T, don't be daft.  It's the velocity they discourage, so all .355/.356 major falls under the same category.  Don't know about .400 major, because that is travelling a whole lot slower.  No, the club with the 1250fps restriction does not run USPSA matches.  Think about it for a second, how could they? The OP's question had to do with steel matches, not USPSA, so why bring it up?

 

"Don't be daft."  Huh.  Politeness, it's a thing.

 

You specified 9mm Major, that's why I asked.  (In a separate sentence, you talked about velocity.)  Since you specified it, it seemed odd that would be the caliber singled out, since .38 Super is (in general) more in use and goes just as fast.  Hence, the question.

 

And yes,  I asked if they ran USPSA matches, and I'm aware the OP was asking about SC matches.  You said "some clubs" and so on, and oddly enough, a lot of clubs running official SC matches also run USPSA matches, hence the question.  I'm personally not aware of any official SC club that has said velocity requirement since that isn't in the SC ruleset, and therefore the club itself would have to get permission from SCSA HQ to add a rule, unless of course they aren't official.

 

Have they gotten official written permission from USPSA/SCSA to make that additional restriction?  Or are they not official SC clubs?

 

As for the "they must not run USPSA matches" that was more along the lines of "people who run USPSA matches know that if you have decent steel, velocities such as that aren't an issue."

 

So....people can't run standard factory 115 gr 9mm out of PCCs, either, since those tend to go over 1250?  Do they chrono everyone?  Or do they just not allow PCC, either?

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I ran a Match Master is USPSA and SCSA.  My Major load was a 115 at close to 1500 fps (9.0 grns of HS-6).  

For SCSA I used the same components and dropped the charge to 6.8-7.0 grns (8.0 was my knock down steel load).  This took the load to barely above a 125 PF.

Was the timing on the gun different?  Yes, considerably different, but a 250 round practice session, and I was good to go.

 

You might try replacing your 125's with 115's and see how you like it.

 

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SCSA Rule

4.1.3 No multiple-projectile or magnum loads allowed,

4.1.5 There are no minimum power factor or velocity minimums in Steel Challenge. The Pistol Caliber Carbine Divisions (PCCI/PCCO) have a maximum velocity of 1600 feet per second.

So I'd say keep loads under 1500 f/s, a bit of cushion, and it would be ok.  

As velocity gets up to rifle levels damage to steel is possible unless designed for it.

Local clubs may do their own thing, but if it's an SCSA certified event/club the above should be adhered to.

The thing to look at is the lightest load that works your comp efficiently, keeps the dot where you want it and is accurate.

Good start would be to use lighter bullets with existing powder charge.

If using a 124@1400 =173pf try some 115's with same powder charge and it will usually, not always, give you a bit less velocity so 115@1350 for 155pf.  Go to a 95@1300=123pf.

Since under 25 yds is the norm, except for 2 35 yds in outer limits and 1 35 yd in speed option, You may have to worry more about windage than elevation.

 

As for a dedicated gun if the bug bites ya sometimes just have to scratch it.

The reason for the lighter, specific Steel Guns are two fold: 1st reliability (using a light bullet at a lower PF can require more than just spring changes) and 2nd a lighter gun has quicker transitions.

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15 hours ago, Thomas H said:

 

"Don't be daft."  Huh.  Politeness, it's a thing.

 

 

While you might be the nicest guy in town in person, most of your posts come across as very dogmatic and argumentative.  Take the stick out of your, errr I mean relax a little bit, not every club/match has to adhere to your rigid interpretation of the rules of the game and not every shooter is here to become World Champion.

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On 2/27/2019 at 12:10 AM, Ming the Merciless said:

 

While you might be the nicest guy in town in person, most of your posts come across as very dogmatic and argumentative.  Take the stick out of your, errr I mean relax a little bit, not every club/match has to adhere to your rigid interpretation of the rules of the game and not every shooter is here to become World Champion.

 

Hm.  So you are saying that clubs don't need to follow the rules?

I mean, I've specifically mentioned only the rules that official SCSA clubs are required to follow.  Is there a problem with that?

With regard to "very dogmatic and argumentative" ---- I can't help that you may be adding tone to simple words.  I asked about wording that didn't seem to make sense, I asked about rules that didn't seem to match official club rules, and I mentioned that politeness is a thing.  If you have an issue with those simple words because you are adding random emotions on your own, , I can't do much about it.

 

It would help, however, if you replied to a topic.  So:  Ming, do YOU think that clubs should follow the SCSA rules if they are an affiliated club?

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6 hours ago, Thomas H said:

 

Hm.  So you are saying that clubs don't need to follow the rules?

I mean, I've specifically mentioned only the rules that official SCSA clubs are required to follow.  Is there a problem with that?

With regard to "very dogmatic and argumentative" ---- I can't help that you may be adding tone to simple words.  I asked about wording that didn't seem to make sense, I asked about rules that didn't seem to match official club rules, and I mentioned that politeness is a thing.  If you have an issue with those simple words because you are adding random emotions on your own, , I can't do much about it.

 

It would help, however, if you replied to a topic.  So:  Ming, do YOU think that clubs should follow the SCSA rules if they are an affiliated club?

 

HMMM, I can't help that you may be adding intent to simple words.  No, I did not say clubs don't need to follow rules.

What I did say was that matches and clubs did not need to adhere to your very rigid interpretation of the rules.  Not all matches are held by affiliated clubs and not all affiliated clubs can set the targets within .5mm of the posted dimensions.

 

Yes, politeness is a thing, learn to use it.

 

Yes, affiliated clubs should follow the rules to the best of their ability.  However, some clubs have more ability than others due to range limitations, membership (numbers or cash), weather, or  other reasons that may be beyond their control.

 

This is a game, and as I said not everyone plays the game to become World Champion

 

It does help that I did reply to a topic:

Rigid, argumentative, unpleasant people within the sport drive more people away than the cost of playing the game ever has.

 

Feel free to have the last word.

 

 

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Non-affiliated clubs hold steel matches, SCSA affiliated clubs hold Steel Challenge Matches.

To some it matters not, to others it does.  To each their own, but reading a post here I default to SCSA information.

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On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 8:43 PM, jakfrost1 said:

Hi all, been shooting IPSC and USPSA for a couple of years now and had a great time last season shooting a few local steel matches using my STI DVC Open gun in 9 Major. Wondering if a ‘dedicated’ steel gun is necessary or could I continue to use my DVC, albeit with different loads other than my 170PF major loads, and if so what might those ‘steel’ loads look like? I’m using both WAC and 3N38 behind 121gr hollow base RN jacketed Campro’s and 125gr HP Zero’s... 

Any thoughts? I’m not looking for an excuse to buy a new gun, IF the DVC can do a reasonable job with a proper load...

Jim

Back to the Op's topic

If you don't want another gun for steel.

It's a great thing to shoot the gun you compete with in uspsa in steel matches

 

Or play with lighter different loads and springs.

Fortunately my open guns shoot my minor load with in an inch or so of the major loads at 20 yds.

But I no longer mess with changing springs etc and when I shoot open at steel matches I use my major loads.

 

Clubs in my area don't have any velocity restrictions FWIW

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this isn't all that complicated ....

 

shooting open division with a gun that requires the higher PFs like what is necessary for USPSA will eventually put you at a disadvantage against open shooters who have a dedicated steel open gun which can run at much lower PF.  My open gun for example runs perfect with 130 PF loads.  However, until you develop the skills to be competitive against those shooters I wouldn't worry too much about it.

 

Unless you decide you want to go 'all in' on steel challenge I'd just figure out what is the lowest PF your open gun will run at 100% reliably and shoot that.  If you change your mind about SC you can always look to get a dedicated SC open gun ...

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I also agree that shooting major in SCSA puts you at a disadvantage.  That's how I started, because I didn't know any better.  Both my current Open guns will not run anything under 160 PF.    I found out I was faster using my Limited gun with a red dot on it.  It will shoot 40sw bunny fart loads.

 

The 2011 Open gun I am now putting the finishing touches on ejects minor (135PF) loads, but they literally dribble down the side of the frame and land at my feet.  I wouldn't trust that in a match.  So I'm building a dedicated 9mm 1911 Open gun just for SCSA.

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On 2/28/2019 at 5:03 PM, Ming the Merciless said:

 

HMMM, I can't help that you may be adding intent to simple words.  No, I did not say clubs don't need to follow rules.

What I did say was that matches and clubs did not need to adhere to your very rigid interpretation of the rules.  Not all matches are held by affiliated clubs and not all affiliated clubs can set the targets within .5mm of the posted dimensions.

 

Yes, politeness is a thing, learn to use it.

 

Yes, affiliated clubs should follow the rules to the best of their ability.  However, some clubs have more ability than others due to range limitations, membership (numbers or cash), weather, or  other reasons that may be beyond their control.

 

This is a game, and as I said not everyone plays the game to become World Champion

 

It does help that I did reply to a topic:

Rigid, argumentative, unpleasant people within the sport drive more people away than the cost of playing the game ever has.

 

Feel free to have the last word.

 

 

 

Regarding the first thing I emphasized in bold:  "Rigid interpretation" is an interesting way of responding to my comment that clubs holding official SC matches can't put a cap on velocities unless they have permission from HQ.  That isn't a "rigid interpretation," that's a simple fact.  So saying they don't need to do it seems to be saying that clubs don't need to follow the rules.  Hence my question to you---which you effectively ignored.   I'm not adding intent---I'm speaking directly to exactly what you said.


Not all matches are held by affiliated clubs-----hence my question as to whether or not is was an official match held by an affiliated club.  If it wasn't, none of the rules matter, since they can make up their own.  If it was official, though, that's a problem.  Hence my question.  Saying afterward, "not all matches are held by affiliated clubs" rather admits that what I was asking about was rather the point, yes?

 

You say: "Yes, politeness is a thing, learn to use it."

 

....coming from someone who said "While you might be the nicest guy in town in person, most of your posts come across as very dogmatic and argumentative.  Take the stick out of your, errr I mean relax a little bit, ".....in response to literally no comment of mine that was rude or impolite, I find that amusing.  On the other hand, I don't really worry much about the opinion of people who post anonymously, either.

 

But politeness in conversation, basic courtesy, is a useful thing, especially on forums such as this.

 

My question was regarding official clubs running official SCSA matches.  If you wish to discuss a different topic, please don't bother attacking me for posting regarding the topic I specifically stated.  Of course non-official clubs can do whatever they want.  That wasn't the question.

 

Regarding the "World Champion" comment, I'm unsure how that is related to a question regarding official clubs and rules.

 

 

 

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