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PIRU, Calif. — B.J. Norris of Tyler, Texas, one of the fastest shooters in the world, went into Saturday’s Open Pistol division finale of the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships looking to pick up his first Steel Challenge championship having already won Thursday’s Open Rimfire Pistol event and placing a strong second in Friday’s Limited Pistol event.
His chances looked good too, that is until he discovered at the end of his Saturday morning practice session that he had broken the firing pin in his pistol.
With little time before the start of the all important Open match, Norris sought assistance from fellow competitor, and top-ranked shooter, Todd Jarrett who came to the rescue loaning Norris the firing pin from one of his own guns.
After some quick gunsmithing, Norris was back in business and put his gun troubles behind him to focus on the task at hand, winning the Steel Challenge.
Over the course of day Norris attacked the eight stage competition, never placing below fourth on any stage and winning three of them outright.
In Steel Challenge competition shooters race the clock shooting a different five target array multiple times on each stage with their worst run thrown out. The aggregate of their top runs make up their stage score and all eight stage scores are combined to determine their overall match time.
Starting with his win on the first stage, Norris led the field, which included several past champions, through the entire match. When the last shots were fired the Lone Star State shooter claimed his first overall World Speed Shooting Championship title in a time of 81.18 seconds.
In addition to winning the overall title, Norris’ win in the Open division also earned him Steel Master title. The Steel Master title goes to the the shooter with the fastest combined time from the Rimfire Pistol event, one of the iron sight pistol events, such as Limited, and the Open Pistol division.
Norris claimed the Steel Master title with a time of 239.78 seconds.
“B.J. has always been among the fastest shooters here at the Steel Challenge, picking up several world records over the years, but never the overall title. This year B.J. overcame his last minute gun issues and put together a great eight stage speed run,” said Mike Dalton, match director and one of the co-founders of the Steel Challenge.
“The name B.J. Norris will now be added to the distinguished list of 15 shooters who can claim the title of World’s Fastest.”
Placing second in the Open division, just 1.16 seconds behind Norris, was three time Steel Challenge champion (’09, ’07, ’05), and Team Sig Sauer shooter, Max Michel of Covington, La. with a time of 82.34 seconds. Michel won two stages in the match and set a new world record (7.96 seconds) on the final stage of the match, Roundabout.
Third place went to another three time champion (’10, ’08, ’03), and Team Limcat shooter, K.C. Eusebio of Buford, Ga., who won two stages, and set a new world record on the stage known as Showdown (7.99 seconds), to finish with a final time of 85.22.
Fourth place went to the 2004 Steel Challenge winner, Japan’s Tatsuya Sakai of Isehara, Kanagawa Prefecture who finished with 86.03, while fifth place went to Dave Sevigny of Smyrna, Ga. with a time of 88.31.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships has served as the unofficial proving ground for the latest shooting equipment and determined who within the shooting sports community is truly the fastest of the fast.
For more information on the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships and the Steel Challenge Shooting Association, visit SteelChallenge.com, follow @SteelChallenge on Twitter, find the Steel Challenge on Facebook or visit the Steel Challenge blog.