The concept of a team shooting sport combining rifle, handgun, and shotgun along with difficult targets and timed events makes this sport the ultimate fast-action shooting challenge. To win, shooters must be proficient with all of the weapons being good with just one won't put you or your team in the winners' circle. The most famous of these is the Chevy Trucks Sportsman's Team Challenge (STC) event. The National Skeet Shooting Association (NSSA) and the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) sponsor this event.
Four classes are available:
Courses of Fire
Several events, using different guns, make up the Sportsman's Team Challenge.
Flurry Event - This event has five computer-controlled traps that throw 50 clay targets toward a team of three shooters, standing in side-by-side shooting stations. Five clays are thrown at once, followed by one about every second.
Mixed Bag Event - Two members of the team take turns shooting at a series of double clay targets thrown simultaneously.
Flush Event - This rapid-fire event is the reverse of the flurry event. Five traps throw 50 clays at different angles and heights away from the shooter. Miss a target and its range increases while the potential to score a hit decreases. Just one team member not loading fast enough or shooting out of sync can cause multiple misses.
This timed event, with banks of ten steel targets at 45, 60, 75 and 90 yards distance, has all three team members shooting together. Team members can shoot at the same bank of targets or shoot assigned banks. There is no limit on shots fired, but each team member begins with only two loaded magazines. Once emptied, each member reloads his or her own magazines. In Open Class, the team is allowed up to 1 minute e 35 seconds to knock down 44 regular targets and 6 bonus targets for a combined possible score of 100 points. In the other classes, the time allotted is two minutes and targets vary. More information on this event is available in the Rifle-Team Shooting Sports subsection.
The handgun event combines 48 metal targets with two banks of centerfire and one bank of rimfire targets in the context of a team relay race. A time limit of 1 minute and 35 seconds for Open Class competitors and two minutes for other classes adds to the challenge of this event. Each target is worth two points. One bonus point is awarded for each bank of 12 targets knocked down for a total of 100 possible points. Most competitors shooting the centerfire portion of this event use .32 caliber or larger cartridges.
.22 caliber handguns and rifles are used simultaneously to knock down 50 metal targets at 25 to 80 yards distance. Open Class competitors have only 1 minute and 35 seconds to knock down all three of the four-inch targets. Some targets are not in view until a clearing target is knocked down prior to hitting the "real" target. Two team members known as hand-gunners shoot handguns while the third shoots a rifle. The hand-gunners shoot at the close-range targets while the rifle shooter attempts to knock down the more difficult long-range targets. After both handgun shooters empty their two pre-loaded magazines or speed loaders, they can reload the rifle magazines for the rifle shooter. Many competitors consider this the most challenging event.
A final round with the best three teams decides the match. Again all three guns types are used with a somewhat different format. See the NSSF Website for more information on this format.
Shooters can begin competing in this sport with basic, everyday inexpensive handguns, rifles and shotguns. Once a team progresses at the lower levels of competition, mo re expensive, finely tuned guns will likely be added to the team's collection of competition firearms. Competitions continue to grow in numbers and prize money. The sport offers high prize payouts of up to $30,000 per team for winning an open class event.
National Skeet Shooting Association/National Sporting Clays Association
5931 Roft Road
San Antonio, TX 78253.
Phone: (800) 877-5338 or (210) 688-3371
Fax: (210) 688-3014
(Material courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation)