Monday, July 02, 2007

CWSA Steel Challenge 07/01/2007

KeeWee decided to sit this steel match out, and spend the time tending the garden instead. You can check out KeeWee's Garden to see what she's been up to lately garden-wise. Since I had shot every single class in Saturday's bowling pin shoot, and since I need to make some major improvement in my Steel Challenge shooting, I decided to concentrate on shooting my High Standard in the rimfire open class, and a box stock High Standard with iron sights in the rimfire limited class.

At the present, at the CWSA range we only have enough space to set up two stages, so our Steel Challenge matches are sort of "Mini" Steel Challenges. (Plans are in the works, however, to build six or seven more bays, and if that happens, we'll be able to put on full matches. Maybe next year, I hope, I hope!!)

For this match we used "Showdown" and "Speed Option" for our two stages.

Here's the Showdown stage drawing from Steel Challenge's website.
Click to bigify.

Here's the Speed Option stage drawing from Steel Challenge's website.
Click to enbigilize.

The basic plan is to shoot each plate once, then shoot the stop plate last. You do that five times, and your slowest run is thrown out, with the remaining four added together for your score for the stage. If you shoot the stop plate before hitting all of the other plates, you get a three second penalty for each plate missed added to your time. This is really easy to do, particularly when the last regular plate you shoot is really close to the stop plate. You have to shoot the plate and assume you hit it, then shoot the stop plate. You don't have time to see if you hit it or not. To give you some idea of how fast the good shooters shoot these stages, two second times are not unusual, and sometimes even sub two second times! WOW!

As I was paying attention mostly to my own shooting, I didn't keep track of how the other classes came out. In both rimfire classes, Limited and Open, first through third were within 6/10th of a second of each other for the total times!

In Rimfire Open "Evil Al" was shooting way faster than anyone else, and he was the last shooter to shoot. Excluding Al's times, I had a .06 second overall lead over Tony C. !! Al shot Showdown first, and our times were very close, but I had a very slight edge. It all boiled down to the Speed Option stage to determine the winner. Al was shooting REALLY fast, and it looked like a cakewalk for him. His first run was perfect, with an excellent time. Second run, also super fast. Third run, again very fast, but he missed a plate and got a three second penalty! One run gets discarded, so nothing to worry about. Fourth run, blistering fast. Fifth and final run, again a spectacular time, BUT HE MISSED ANOTHER PLATE! Three second penalty! As fast as Al was shooting, he still might have had enough cushion to take the penalty and still win, but it was down to the final adding of the times to find out the winner. When the totals were finished, Al's total time was 2.4 seconds faster, but with the three second penalty, that dropped him to third behind Tony and I. I had FINALLY managed to get past Al in a rimfire open Steel Challenge. ! ! !


Even so, there's no doubt that Al is a whole lot better shooter than I, and maybe SOMEDAY I'll actually be able to give him a run for his money speed-wise, but I've got a bunch of practicing to do before that happens.

Rimfire Limited was also really close, with perennial rimfire iron sight winner Jim P. narrowly beating out new shooter Mike F., and I was right behind nipping at their heels.

We all had a lot of fun, the weather was great, and the competition was incredibly close. All in all a great way to spend a Sunday!!

By the way, if any of you are going to the 15th Annual STI-American Handgunner® World Shoot-off Championship in Montrose, Colorado in a few weeks, see if you can find a revolver shooter from Whidbey Island named Al. He'll be there, so introduce yourself and tell him Mr. Completely sent you.

He won't shoot you.....




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