CJ Steel Rules

I. General
II. Safety
III. Scoring
IV. Equipment
V. Range Commands
VI. Starting Positions


No one will be allowed to participate if they have been drinking alcohol or are not in complete control of his or her faculties.

Eye and hearing protection must be worn when shooting. Spectators must also wear hearing and eye protection.

These matches will be conducted on a "COLD RANGE" which means that there will be no loaded firearms carried on the range. The only time a gun will be loaded will be on the line as commanded by the Range Officer.

Pistols must be kept in a holster or case and unloaded until at the firing line and the command to load is given. All semi-autos must be kept with the hammer down and the magazine removed.

There will be a designated "Safe Area" on the range where shooters will be able to bring their unloaded gun in their range bag and place into their holsters. At the end of the match the shooters will return to the "Safe Area" where they will unholster and bag their guns.

When called to the line a competitor should take up his position in the firing box, facing downrange and await instructions.

If at ANY time the Range Officer issues the command "STOP", the competitor must immediately cease all activity and await further instructions.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES may a competitor leave the firing box/ line with a loaded pistol!

Muzzle must be pointed down range at all times when your pistol is out of the holster or case.

Failure to obey any of the safety rules will result in match disqualification and loss of entry fee.


The range is “cold!” Handguns will not be loaded except as directed by Match Officials. Semi-autos will have an empty chamber and magazine well, and all chambers and revolver cylinders will be kept empty.    

During loading or unloading, engaging the course of fire and during remedial action in the event of a malfunction, the muzzle of the handgun must ALWAYS be kept pointed down range. If the muzzle of the gun points rearward of the limit line (180 degrees of the shooter box), the contestant will be asked to unload and will be disqualified from the entire match.

After a string of fire, no contestant may leave their position until the firearm has been unloaded, inspected and cleared by the Range Officer. The firearm will then be holstered or placed in a protective sheath or bag.

In the event a firearm cannot be unloaded due to a broken or failed mechanism, the shooter will notify the Range Officer. In no case will a shooter leave the line with a loaded weapon.

During the contest, shooters will refrain from handling their firearms, except when instructed by a match official or in designated areas.

Should a firearm be dropped during a course of fire, the contestant will not pick up the firearm, but allow a match official to do so. The match official will then unload and inspect the firearm.


The following violations shall result in disqualification:
• Pointing a firearm up range (breaking the 180 degree line).
• Dropping a loaded firearm.
• Leaving the line with a loaded pistol.
• Any accidental discharge, including: any discharge or detonation while
loading/unloading/reloading, lowering the hammer, any shot fired outside of a timed string, and any shot that leaves the confines of the range (over a berm).
• Picking up a dropped firearm without the direction of a match official.
• Any shot fired into the holster or into the ground within 10 feet of the contestant.
• Unsafe handling of a loaded firearm.
• Contestants under the influence of a controlled substance. (Alcohol or
• Any disrespectful words and/or gestures to or towards a match official.
Persons who have been disqualified may not shoot during the remainder of the match.



Scoring is simple: your time is your score. There are five targets, commonly referred to as plates. One of the five plates will be designated as the ‘stop plate’. Each of the primary targets must be hit at least once during each string of fire, followed by the stop plate, which must be hit last to stop the time. Competitors may fire as many rounds as needed for each string of fire. The best four out of five strings will be counted as the total score for each stage. Total score for all stages will determine the order of finish for final standings.

The maximum time allowed for each individual string is 30 seconds. Any hits made after the maximum time allowance will not be counted. The competitor will be stopped and asked to reload if they reach the 30 second limit.

All scoring for an individual string of fire ceases when the stop plate is hit.  If multiple hits occur on the stop plate the clock will be rolled back to the time of the first hit on the stop plate.

All misses (primary targets left un-hit once the stop plate has been struck) will be scored with a three second penalty each.

If a Range Officer scores a miss, it is the shooter’s responsibility to appeal the decision at the end of that particular string of fire. The Range Officer will then go downrange and check the target. If the bullet leaves a clear mark on the plate, even if only on the edge, it will be scored as a hit. Once the next string of fire begins, there will be NO further opportunity to appeal the call. The Range Officer’s ruling as to a hit or miss shall be final.


The same gun, holster and holster position must be used throughout the match. If there is a mechanical problem, equipment of similar make or model may be used as a replacement.

Center fire handguns must be the minimum caliber of 9mm/.38 special to maximum of .45ACP.
Center fire firearms shall be suitable for holster use.

Rimfire shall be .22 Long Rifle caliber only.

Holsters shall be mounted in the general vicinity of the waist and must retain the gun. Triggers may not be fully exposed with the exception of western holsters for Single Action revolvers. Due to the unique nature of steel shooting, drawing from concealment is not allowed.

Rimfire competition does not involve the use of a holster.

Rounds must travel a minimum of 750 FPS. Competitors whose ammunition does not make minimum velocity will be disqualified from the match.

No multiple-projectile rounds
No magnum calibers are permitted
No armor piercing rounds
No tracer rounds
No extreme velocity. (5.7x28 etc.)

.22 Long Rifle ammunition must be used for Rimfire.

V. Range Commands

Range commands will proceed as follows:

“Make Ready” – Under the direct supervision of the Range Officer, the competitor must face down range and prepare their handgun. The competitor must then assume the required start position. At this point, the Range Officer will proceed.
Note: The “Make Ready” command signifies the start of the stage. Once the “Make Ready” command has been given, the competitor must not move away from the start location without the prior approval, and under the direct supervision, of the Range Officer.

“Shooter Ready?” – The lack of any negative response from the competitor indicates that he fully understands the requirements of the course of fire and is ready to proceed. If the competitor is not ready at the “Shooter Ready?” command, he must state “Not Ready.”

“Standby” – This command should be followed by the start signal within 1 to 4 seconds. “Start Signal” –If a competitor fails to react to the audible start signal, for any reason, the Range Officer will confirm that the competitor is ready to attempt the course of fire, and will resume the range commands from “Shooter Ready?”

“Reload If Required And Holster” – This command follows the completion of one of the component strings in a stage. Either the contestant has shot the stop plate, or has exceeded the maximum time.

“Stop” – Any Range Officer assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time. The competitor must immediately cease firing, stop moving and wait for further instructions from the Range Officer.

“If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear” – This normally follows the completion of the final string. If the competitor has finished shooting, he must lower his handgun and present it for inspection by the Range Officer with the muzzle pointed down range, magazine removed, slide locked or held open, and chamber empty. Revolvers must be presented with the cylinder open and empty.

“If Clear, Hammer Down, Holster” – After issuance of this command, the competitor is prohibited from firing. While continuing to point the handgun safely downrange, the competitor must perform a final safety check of the handgun as follows:

  • Auto-loaders – release the slide and pull the trigger (without touching the hammer or decocker, if any).

  • Rimfire self-loaders, as above, but at the shooter’s option, he may decline to pull the trigger to prevent firing pin and barrel damage.

  • Revolvers – close the empty cylinder (without touching the hammer, if any). If the gun proves to be clear, the competitor must holster or bag his handgun.

“Range Is Clear” – This declaration signifies the end of the stage. Once the declaration is made, officials and competitors may move forward to score/paint targets.


Hands are to be held in the “Surrender Position,” which is shoulder high, with the wrists and full hands visible from behind. The Range Officer will stop the countdown and give one warning and one warning ONLY if they see that the competitor is setting up too low or starting to creep or “bounce.” Failure to comply will result in a three second penalty for each occurrence.

Rimfire shooters will start with the muzzle pointing at the ground approximately 12’ directly in front of shooter’s box. The competitor must wait for the command to fire while pointing/aiming their gun at the spot.