Sacramento Valley Steel Shooters

Getting Started


Steel shooting is a sport in which competitors are required to combine speed and accuracy to successfully complete the match. All the stages are 5 strings of 5 shots each, requiring the shooter to engage steel targets from 7 to 35 yards. The targets vary in size from 10", to 12" round targets and 18" x 24" rectangles. There is no power factor like in USPSA, IDPA, and ICORE matches, and the targets do not fall. You only need to hit the target.


Firearms safety is a matter of personal responsibility. The shooter is always responsible for his actions and safe gun handling. Safety violations swiftly lead to disqualification from the day's competition.

The Four Basic Rules of Firearms Safety*

1. All guns are always loaded.
Treat every gun as if it was loaded, at all times, no matter what. Think and BELIEVE every time the gun is handled, it could fire.

2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
Be conscious of the direction your muzzle is pointed at all times. This includes at yourself, any other person, animal, or property unless you are either intending to or do not care about destroying or killing that person/object. NEVER handle a gun behind other people or bend over with a gun in your hand on a shooting range.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are aligned with the target.
Pay attention to what you are doing while handling a firearm. DO NOT let your finger contact the trigger until the gun is on target.

4. Be sure of your target and its surroundings.
Pay attention to what is going on around your target. YOU are responsible for the terminal resting place of the bullet, intentionally fired or not, no matter what happened.

*Base rules from Col. Jeff Cooper, American Pistol Institute, 1977


Steel matches and practical shooting, as it is conducted at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center, is a sporting activity. The object is to be safe and have fun.

Competitors and visitors come from all walks of life; on the range, they are not representatives of any particular social, cultural, or political affiliation. They share their shooting experience and expertise with each other.

Our activities are conducted on a public range. We must represent the sport and the responsible ownership and use of firearms in the most positive light as possible.

We also ask that you not wear any clothing, or apparel which may express any controversial or inflammatory sentiments.


Eye and Ear Protection
Don't go on the range without them. Don't skimp on quality when it comes to your eyes and ears.

Magizines or Speed Loaders
Depending on your gun, you'll need anywhere from 3 to 5 magazines. If your magazines hold 16 or more rounds you can get away with just 3 magazines. If your magazines hold 10 or lesss rounds you will need 5 magazines. Each stage will require you to shoot 5 separate strings of fire of a minimum of 5 shots each. If you do not have enough magazines then bring at least 3 and have someone load your used magazines for you while you are shooting.

You'll need a minimum of 200 rounds for the day, but plan for misses. Even the experienced shooters do not complete the match without misses. Most shooters bring between 250 and 300 rounds.

The holster needs to securely hold the gun and cover the trigger. Nylon or leather "generic" holsters with top straps seem to work well for beginners and are inexpensive. Your holster should be attached to your waist belt on your strong side (no shoulder holsters, etc.).

If you are shooting in the IDPA division then you holser must meet IDPA holster rules.

Holsters are not required for the .22 division.

Magazine Holders
Also refered to as mag pouches, these go on your belt to hold your magazines or speed loaders. These are not necessary for the steel matches. Tables next to the shooting boxes are provided for the shooters convenience.

It can be quite warm during the summer months so please wear appropriate clothing and use sun screen. We also ask that you not wear any clothing, or apparel which may express any controversial or inflammatory sentiments.

Food and Beverages
Don't forget a lunch, snacks, and liquids, as the steel matches can run till 1 or 2 for large amounts of shooters. Dehydration can be a problem, particularly during the summer months. Vending machines with basic snacks are available at the range. Otherwise, the closest food is about 6 miles back down the road.

Work Equiptment
Since all shooters are needed to help set up and put away props and equipment, you should also bring a pair of work gloves, and any other clothing or equipment (such as a lumbar brace) that you might need.


Since the club is small and shoots on a multi-purpose range, shooters are asked to show up at the setup time (8:00 am) to help set up the stages. The sooner the stages are set up, the sooner the shooting can start. At the end of the day, the stages are broken down and put away.

Primers are awarded by division once the stages are torn down and put away. Shooters must be present to be awarded primers.

If you simply come to a match to watch, you'll find out more about Steel shooting and what to expect. We have many people on hand who can explain the match rules, safety rules, equipment options, range procedures, and anything else related to the match. Keep in mind the object is to be safe and to have fun.

New shooters are always welcome. Please see the Club News section for requirements for new shooters.


Each match consists of 8 stages. We set up 4 stages in the morning on bays 3, 4, 5, and 6. After the squads have shot 4 stages the stages are changed to 4 different stages and the match continues. In July and August we will shoot the championship stages of the Steel Challenge Championship. During the other months we will shoot other stages.

Each stage consists of 5 targets with a stop plate. The stage is shot in 5 seperate timed strings, with the worst time being thrown out. The stage score is the shooters best 4 scores. The only exception to this is that there is one stage in the championship stages that is the best 3 of 4 strings. Centerfire divisions start with hands in the surender position, wrists above shoulders. The .22 divisions start with the pistol or rifle pointed at a start disc approximately 10 feet directly in front of the shooter.


The match fee is $20 for the first gun (division) and $15 for the second gun (division), with a 2 gun (division) limit per match. You do not need to be a Folsom Shooting Club member to shoot the steel matches, everyone is welcome. Juniors under 18 years old are welcome, but must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The Sacramento Valley Steel Shooters operates under the auspices, direction and control of the Folsom Shooting Club., Inc. Monthly matches run from a cash box and we ask that all competitors please pay for their shooting fees in cash.


Just a few reminders, for new shooters and veteran shooters...

Please help out!
This club operates with volunteer effort and has to set up stages on the morning of the match. Try to arrive at 8am to help set up. During the match, stay with your squad and help out with range duties. Consider helping out even when it isn't your turn.

Score Sheets
Remember to fill in the name on your score sheets with the name you used when you registered for the match. Do not assume that just your first name, or a nickname is enough. Also if you are shooting two guns remember to circle the division at the bottom of each score sheet so your times are entered correctly.

If you retire from the match for any reason, please turn your unused score sheets into the scoring shack with a DNF to indicate that you did not shoot the stage.

Final Scores
Match scores will be posted as soon as possible, usually before the last stage is torn down and put away. Every attempt is made to accurately record your scores, but mistakes do happen and you should check your scores for accuracy.

Help Tear Down
After the match is completed the stages are torn down and put away. Please help out. A truck and trailer will be available to help move the steel targets and bases.

Monthly Match Awards
After the match is completed and all the stages have been torn down and put away awards for the different divisions will be given out. Please note that you must be present to receive an award.

Be safe, have fun, and don't assume
Please remember to be safety conscious at all times and comply with range rules. Action shooting sports have a great safety record, due in great part to the fact that you will be quickly disqualified (DQ'd) from the match for safety infractions. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask. Most members will be more than willing to help you out.