Speed (Steel Challenge)


(Click on name above to contact Dan)

Welcome to the PNZ Speed Shooting page

The Steel Challenge started in the US in 1981 and over the next few years migrated to NZ.  The first NZ Nationals are recorded as being held in 1987.

THE US STEEL CHALLENGE..where it all started

The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships are one of the crown jewels of the shooting circuit and the premier professional pistol competition in America. With more than 220 of the world's fastest shooters competing for over $390,000 in cash and prizes in 2007, it has found a permanent place on the shooting schedules of every major competitive shooter......click here for the end of this story


In NZ the format is the same, your time is your score. He who has the least will win! 5 runs and keep your best 4 to count (Outler limits has 4 runs and keep your best 3) so the scoring couldn't be simpler. All penalties are +3 seconds to your time, max time allowed on a single string is 30 seconds. So you can see in practice exactly what you are capable of. This is markedly different to IPSC, where your score is a percentage of someone else's score.

Speed Shooting as it is known in NZ began in 1987 and has run ever since. The stages run in the states have changed several times & at one stage were changing every year. Today, the stages shot in New Zealand are exactly the same as shot by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) in the USA.

These are Roundabout, Pendulum, Smoke and Hope, Outler Limits, Speed Option, Accelerator, Five to Go and Showdown.


The Speed Nationals have been contested every year since 1987. The championship has been dominated by Phill Brown winning the overall title 11 times! "Buggs" Foster and Simon Leadley, have won 3 apiece.

Attendance numbers at the Nationals have been as low as 19 in 1996 and as high as 70 in 1991 but the sport is currently on an upswing of popularity and in 2016 had one of its biggest matches with 55 shooters competing as well as attracting international shooters for the first time since 1993.

Originally there was only the overall winner, now with the advent of Divisions, Grades and Categories within the Divisions there are multiple titles contested every year, Junior, Senior, Super Senior, Ladies, Limited, Open and the list goes on. There is a place for everyone even Shot-gunners, Pistol Carbines users & .22s.

Junior shooters are the future, without them we will just fade out. The best thing any of us can do is to take a young person shooting. The section has recently started club speed postal matches which are perfect for the younger members who can start out shooting .22's. 


2015 World Speed Shooting Championships

The Following video shows some of the worlds fastest shooters at the World Championships held in the USA.


Purchasing a full or partial set of Speed Steel targets can be a daunting task and is certainly a major investment for any member or club. You do, however, gain something that will last a lifetime.

What do I need?
First decide whether you are looking to purchase a full or partial set. While its nice to have a complete set, unless you have the facilities to hold a single stage per range i.e. that you have 7 ranges, you just don't need a full set.

A full set is 7 @ 250mm Dia, 17 @ 300mm Dia & 11 @ 450 x 600mm large rectangles. A considerable amount of metal! You can get by with much less; perhaps start with a single stage or a set that would allow you to do all the stages but perhaps only one or two stages at a time. (See details below)

Don't forget you will need brackets on the back of the steel to attach them to your stands, you did remember stands didn't you? There isn't any standard stand design but they breakdown in to two types, those that are freestanding and those that are fixed into the ground. Usually they are constructed from 100 x 100mm wooden or approx 16mm round steel. Remember you will need to have the plates facing downward slightly to contain the splatter on the range you are shooting on, especially if you have a NDA range. (Best practise would be to contact your Range Inspector)

How can I minimize the costs?
Before you do anything make sure you are up to date with the rules and you are buying correct specification items. Steel prices vary greatly and you should shop around. Dealing directly with a profile cutter is the biggest single savings you will make. Make sure the cutting is done under water as this will prevent the edges of the hardened steel being softened, sorry Bob and his gas-axe are a no no. Check out the members in your own club, a fitter-welder or builder will help the process along nicely. Pick up the steel yourself if you can or get it delivered to a local company and then pick it up. Once you have your steel paint it! especially etch prime the bracket and the back of the plate, keeps the rust at bay and you cleaner when you haven't used it in a while.

As a guide what should I expect to pay?

This is the hardest to answer as it depends on who you are dealing with and how much you are getting done, are brackets being added, freight can also be a considerable cost and should be specified in the quote you get, and of course you did due diligence and got at least 3 quote's didn't you?

As an example only of the approximate prices you could pay. I have listed some price ranges below, excluding GST but including freight FIS

A Zone

$20.00 - $33.00

250mm Dia

$24.00 - $37.00

300mm Dia

$33.00 - $45.00

450 x 600mm

$90.00 - $130.00

This is a guide only on standard AR400 and is for the shapes themselves you would still need to spot weld a bit of pipe onto the back. Arrange stands etc.




PNZ Speed Section Director

Current Steel Challenge - Courses of Fire

Click on the name or image to download the course diagram - with measurements:


Setting up all 8 courses of fire on a 50 Meter range

Links and Information

Speed Shooting Facebook Page

The Pistol New Zealand Speed Section is a member of the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA):

Speed Scoring Programmes

  • Download speed score (2.2Mb pdf) - a simple Excel scoring programme for Steel challenge (this will need Excel to open and use).

How to Run a Speed Match Guidelines

Speed Shooting Sites of Interest

Steel Challenge Website Steel Challenge Website
www.maxmichel.com Max Michel is a 6 time World Speed Shooting Champion as well as the holder of numerous speed shooting records.
www.bjnorris.com BJ is a multiple Steel Master World Champion (best overall at Open, Standard and .22 at the same match).

FOR ALL SPEED Training and Coaching CLICK HERE