Slow weekend for major matches, with the Easter holiday likely causing most match directors to decide against scheduling a match. However, the West Florida Steel Challenge Championship provided shooters a chance to get out of the house and pull some triggers.
West Florida Steel Challenge Championship Location and Details
The host range for the W. Florida Steel Challenge was the Wyoming Antelope Club in Clearwater, FL. Yes, it’s called the Wyoming Antelope club, and yes it’s in Florida. I had it explained to me once but I don’t remember why it’s named that. Regardless, it’s a fantastic range that makes the most of its location with some clever stage construction. It also has a wet bar on site, which is a treat.
Major match sanctioning for big Steel Challenge matches requires a match to use at least 6 of the official 8 stages. The West Florida match used the following stages:
- Smoke and Hope
- The Pendulum
- 5 To Go
The two stages with the longest shots, Outer Limits and Speed Option were likely omitted due to the layout of the range. The WAC, as it’s called, has covered bays that might have a hard time accommodating the 35 yards required for those two stages.
Match Results By Division
For the full match results of the 2022 West Florida Steel Challenge Championship, check out the practiscore link. Per our standard practice, we’ll combine the two PCC divisions into one, the two rimfire rifle divisions into one, and the two rimfire pistol divisions into one. Your rimfire pistol winner is Gatlin Johnson, who turned in a hot sub 7.00 run on Smoke and Hope. Rimfire Rifle’s winner is Raegan Hearn, with Gatlin right on her heels. Less than 0.3 of a second separates first and second place. Raegan was also the fastest gun of all the women shooters at the match.
Moving on to centerfire guns, PCC’s overall champion is also Gatlin Johnson, who had a pretty good weekend, it appears. Donna Farr in PCC division is also the fastest female shooter in the centerfire divisions, and Lise Mahoney is the fastest woman with a centerfire pistol.
The centerfire overall winner comes from the Carry Optics division, with Andres Viera handily taking the win. The vast majority of shooters were in the rimfire divisions, with only 32 in centerfire pistol, counting 2 DQs. However, revolver was unusually well represented. There were shooters in both Optical Sight Revolver and Iron Sight Revolver. Bob Farr took the win in OSR, with Jeff Wootton winning Iron Sight Revolver.
Changes to Steel Challenge
In recent years, Steel Challenge as a sport has shifted away from a handgun centric sport. In the past, Limited and Open were the kings of the game. However, changes to the rules now mean the game is dominated by the rimfire guns. Which, to be fair, are incredibly fast. This has had the side benefit of making the sport even more accessible to new shooters, while speed demons at the top of their game chase world records with custom 22 LR rifles and pistols.
Congrats to everyone who got out of the house this past weekend, whether it was a club match or the West Florida Steel Challenge Championship. If you’d like to have your major match featured here, email me a link at email@example.com to be in an upcoming match results roundup.