SPRINGFIELD, Mass.– Smith & Wesson Corp., announced that team member B.J. Norris was named the overall winner of the Steel Master Division while earning multiple top three finishes in several divisions at the 2008 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships held Aug 14-17, 2008 in Piru, California. Along with competing in and winning the Steel Master Division, B.J. finished 2nd, 3rd and 2nd in the Rimfire Optics, Limited and Open Divisions respectively. In the overall standings, Norris finished in a close 2nd place to Army Specialist K. C. Eusebio of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit.
During the course of the three-day match, Norris used a variety of Smith & Wesson firearms in what turned out to be one of the biggest matches in the 19 year old’s professional shooting career. On the first day of the competition, Norris competed in the Rimfire Optics Division using a Smith & Wesson 1911 TRS pistol that was retrofitted with a Tactical Solutions 22L Upper. With a total time of 69.8 seconds, Norris finished in 2nd place out of 55 divisional competitors. Competing in the Limited Division during the second day of the match, Norris finished in 3rd place with a total time of 94.45 seconds using a Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistol. On the third day of the competition, Norris competed in the Open Division using a Smith & Wesson 1911 TRS pistol that had been converted to 9mm. His total time of 80.84 seconds earned him 2nd place in the division that featured 231 shooters. With a combined time of 245.09 seconds in each of the three divisions, Norris was named the 2008 “Steel Master.” Norris also set a world record on the stage Speed Option by shooting a 9.81. He now holds three of the eight world records in Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) shooting.
“The Steel Challenge is always one of the most mentally challenging matches of the year and this year was no exception,” said Norris. “Competing in three separate matches on each day of the three-day event for the Steel Master title is more mentally tiring than it is physically. The courses of fire leave little room for error. If you have a bad run, then you have to mentally prepare yourself for the next stage in order to stay focused.”
In all, Norris competed in 24 timed stages of fire that required competitors to shoot at target distances ranging from 7 to 35 yards. Governed by the SCSA, the sport of Steel Speed Shooting uses steel targets, arranged in five-target arrays, and an electronic timer to record a competitor’s time for each stage of fire. This year’s competition was Norris’ fourth appearance in Steel Challenge events.
After the match, Norris elaborated on a few of the reasons why he joined Team Smith & Wesson. “One of the main factors in my decision to use Smith & Wesson firearms is the fact that these are high-quality, American made products, manufactured by an American company,” said Norris. “The M&P series is, in my opinion, the best polymer pistol available. Its ergonomics and adaptability make it a great gun to use in competition. I also choose Team Smith & Wesson because the company has been very active in supporting and growing the shooting sports over the years.”
Norris plans to compete with the M&P9 again at the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Nationals in September.
To learn more about the Steel Challenge Shooting Association and the Steel Challenge visit the website at www.steelchallenge.com.