2016 2016 STEEL SAFARI

June 3-5, 2016 at Logan, NM

The Original Hike And Shoot Match.

The Steel Safari is the archetypal "hike-and-shoot" long-range rifle match. It tests a wide spectrum of skills involved in getting to a shooting location, identifying targets, and engaging long-range rifle targets with only one shot each. Some of these skills include target recognition, ranging, wind doping, ballistic data management, marksmanship under field conditions, non-standard shooting positions, rudimentary trail skills.
OFFICIAL Targetry Systems - AA Targets
OFFICIAL CD Holster Sponsor - 303 Arms

What do these ratings mean?
   Physical Difficulty: 3 (Moderate)
   Marksmanship Complexity: 8 (Very Hard)
  • 3-day match
  • 25 total stages (nominal) spread over 3 field courses
  • 3 miles of hiking per day (approx) through rough desert terrain
  • each stage will have 6 target opportunities
  • only one shot to engage each target opportunity
  • a time limit of 5 minutes per stage (includes target ID, ranging, and shooting)
  • movement between stations during each field state will not be timed;
  • local altitude of 4000'
  • carry gear used during the courses of fire
  • target distances 100-1200 yards, most within 250-700 yards.
  • most targets are approx 1.5 - 2.5 moa at distance
  • fantastic geographic features for a hike-and-shoot match
  • Mandatory check-in by Thursday at 1800.
  • T-shirts will be available for a reasonable price prior to the event
  • ALL COMPETITORS MUST BRING A RELIABLE STOPWATCH - RECOMMEND a cheap Casio digital watch, or other digital watch, to be worn by one member

Rifle: Any 243/6mm up to 300 Winchester Magnum. 3200fps limit.
Shooters can use any ancillary equipment as long as such equipment is carried during every stage. (See Rules for details.)

The Steel Safari is one of the best true field/practical long-range rifle matches in the world. It's been going on since 1998 and we've been running it since 2008. The Steel Safari is one of four core matches of the Competition Dynamics season, and we continue to develop new match concepts. The Steel Safari may be the longest running match of its type. The Steel Safari has helped to shape the concept of what field shooting means and helped to forge the strong tradition of practical shooting that runs deep in the Rocky Mountain shooting community.

An average competitor will be able to make hits on targets at random distance out to 1000 yards on his home known-distance (K.D.) range and will have some experience with shooting positions other than prone. He has no problem walking 3-4 miles a day on uneven terrain at 90-105 degrees.

The winning competitor will be able to locate steel targets scattered out in natural terrain with ease, usually without using magnified optics. The data for his rifle will be dead on at every range out to 1200 yards. He will have a lot of expertise determining the most stable and efficient shooting position to use when confronted with an awkward field shooting problem. He will have excellent efficiency of motion.



Posted By: Zak Smith on June 6, 2016

Congratulations to all competitors in the 2016 STEEL SAFARI! The STEEL SAFARI is the longest running field-style practical long-range rifle shooting match (that we know of).

Succeeding at the STEEL SAFARI requires an exceptional level of commitment to the science and art of practical rifle shooting. Just showing up is a significant achievement. Attendance has been increasing year over year and this year was the largest match to date.



Our goal is to create and run the best events. Please email us with feedback on how you think we can make our future events better.


Thanks to John Paul of JP Enterprises, the new owner of the Blue Steel Ranch.

Thanks to the staff: Jimmy Holdsworth, Stan Sanchez, and Paul Scott.

Also, thanks to our sponsors: US Optics, TBAC, AA Targets, Burris, Alexander Arms, Machinegun Tours, Contingency-X, JP Enterprises, Mile High Shooting, Hornady, XS Sights, 303 Arms, AttackPak, Bison Tactical, Kifaru, Lapua, La Sportiva, Sierra, Subway of Logan, The Tactical Medic, and Viking Tactics, Special thanks to Bill Alexander for bringing the 17’s and running that stage.



Posted By: Zak Smith on May 27, 2016

The Steel Safari is upon us! Here are final notes to competitors:

All competitors to bring the following items:

1. A reliable stopwatch. Link to cheap Casio stopwatch

2. A few permanent ink pens. Ultra-fine sharpies are recommended. Link to Ultra-fine sharpies

3. Binoculars for acting as RO.

Any competitors who are registered but have not had their entry acknowledged as “PAID” by 5/27/2016 need to bring payment to match check-in in the form of cash or a check.

Staff will be heading down Monday for final setup. Thus, we will have limited communication between now and match check-in on site. The best way to get a hold of the match director will be email or to leave a voicemail. We will check messages in the evening.

This year will be the biggest Steel Safari ever! Each year we’ve been letting in a few more competitors and the timing has more or less stayed on track. What this means, though, is that it’s even more critical to not waste time while on the course– that means no idle chit-chat before or after shooting a stage.

The front range will be open to competitors for zero check / sight-in Thursday from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. Mandatory check-in/sign-in will be held during this time. All competitors must be checked-in by 5:00 PM. We will have a tech inspection during check-in. At 5:00 PM, there will be a mandatory shooters’ meeting at the front range.

For directions, please refer to this map, Map to BSR. Park only in the new parking lot located to the west of the main front range shooting area.

The range will be closed the week of the match, until 1:00 PM Thursday.


La Sportiva to be OFFICIAL FOOTWEAR Sponsor for 2016

Posted By: Zak Smith on February 19, 2016


We are pleased to announce that La Sportiva is the OFFICIAL FOOTWEAR Sponsor of the 2016 COMPETITION DYNAMICS season!

La Sportiva, with US operations based in Boulder, Colorado, is a global manufacturer of premier outdoor gear and is best known for their world-class mountaineering, hiking, and trail-running footwear. Their Nepal EVO boot is probably the most-recognized modern mountaineering boot in the world and you’d be hard pressed to find a Crossfit Gym around the country in which there aren’t a few people wearing their Crosslites.

Speaking personally, I have been spending my own money on La Sportiva mountaineering boots and trail-running shoes since the late 2000’s. They are simply my “go-to” footwear for active endeavors.


La Sportiva will be sponsoring our prize tables throughout the 2016 season as well as offering a very special discount package for 2016 COMPETITION DYNAMICS Range Officers.

GPS coordinates for the parking area / front range:
UTM 13 S 645794 E / 3904352 N (Lat/Lon: 35* 16.409' N / 103*23.823' W)

Lodging is available in Logan.
Match staff will be staying at the Budget Inn Express.

1300-1700 CHECK-IN and Sight-in/Check Zero (Front Range)
1700-1800 Mandatory Shooters' Meeting (Front Range)

0700-1300 Course of Fire (Start @ Front Range)

0700-1300 Course of Fire (Start @ Front Range)

0700-1300 Course of Fire (Start @ Front Range)
1400-1600 Award Ceremony and Prizes

Shooters must be present for all days of the shooting portion of the match and shoot during their scheduled time-slots. There is no "shoot through" at this match,
  1. Competitors shall practice good muzzle control and firearm safety at all times. Competitors that do not handle their weapons safely will be disqualified from competing further in the match with no refund of match fees.
    1. Do not ever allow the muzzle of your weapons to point at anyone.
    2. Do not load your weapons until directed to do so by a range officer.
    3. Do not put your finger on the trigger until your sights are aligned with your target.
    4. Obey all Range Officer commands immediately.
  2. While shooting a stage, the action may only be closed and the safety off when the rifle is aimed at the target array, and between the two left/right lateral limit flags.
  3. Rifles shall be loaded only upon the command of an RO. Rifles shall remain unloaded at all other times (no magazine present). Rifles may be carried between stages with the bolt forward (to prevent a lost bolt) provided it is unloaded and no magazine is in the rifle.
  4. Rifles shall only be carried muzzle up or muzzle down. Horizontal carry of the rifle is prohibited. Any time the rifle is set down on the ground, it must be pointed in a safe direction.
  5. When setting your rifle down, always have the action open and pick a safe muzzle direction such that nobody will be downrange of your muzzle. If you discover that people are downrange, or may be, wait until nobody is downrange and then pick up the rifle and choose a better direction. While on the field courses, the best direction to point rifles is generally at the target array for that station.
  6. Any unintentional discharge of weapon shall result in the disqualification of the competitor without refund of match fees.
  7. Safety glasses and ear protection are required to be worn at all times by competitors and spectators when in the vicinity of any weapons being fired.
  8. Violation of any safety rule will result in match disqualification (DQ).
  1. The competitor may use only one rifle during the course of the entire match.
  2. Rifles must be equipped with a sling suitable for safely carrying the rifle muzzle up or muzzle down.
  3. All equipment used including, but not limited to spotting scopes, range finders, bags, bipods, tripods, slings, tripods, shooting sticks, gloves, or other shooting support devices, etc are permitted, but must be carried for the entire match (clothing and consumables excluded).
  4. All rifles must be equipped with a functioning safety.
  5. Any firearm or ammunition deemed by any RO or match staff to be "unsafe" for any reason may not be used in the match until a determination is made by the match director that it may continue
  6. Any firearm that can be demonstrated by any RO or match staff to have a hammer/striker that will fall without the trigger being pressed shall be deemed unsafe and may not be used in the match until repaired.
  7. Cartridge/bullet/ballistic requirements:
    1. Maximum bullet caliber = 7.62mm/.308", minimum caliber = 6 mm/.243"
    2. Maximum muzzle velocity = 3200 fps.
    3. Rounds that do not strike targets with sufficient energy to cause the target to react in a manner observable to the R.O. will be scored as misses.
    4. Armor piercing, steel jacketed, tracer and incendiary rounds prohibited.
    5. Competitors may be required to submit as many as 5 rounds of ammunition to match staff for testing at any time and cooperate in the testing of their ammunition when requested.
  8. Ammunition that must be "fired" to be unloaded once chambered is declared to be unsafe and may not be used in this match. All firearms must be able to be completely unloaded without firing a round.
  9. Since each competitor will serve as the Range Officer (RO) for the competitor following them, it is essential that they be competent and adequately equipped to spot bullets hits or misses on targets at long range. This requires that each competitor have good binoculars.
  10. Eye and ear protection is mandatory.
  11. Competitors shall practice good muzzle control and firearm safety at all times. Competitors that do not handle their weapons safely will be disqualified from competing further in the match with no refund of match fees.
  12. Range rules of the Blue Steel Ranch shall apply.
  1. Each target that is called a "hit" by the RO shall score one point.
  2. A "hit" is a bullet that the RO judges to have impacted on the correct steel target plate. The RO's judgment on hits or misses is final and not subject to appeal. However, if the RO has doubt about his call the benefit should go to the competitor. For example, if the RO observes the target move slightly upon a shot, but is unsure whether it was caused by an edge hit or a hanger strap hit, a hit should be awarded to the competitor.
  3. Targets not located and/or engaged, targets engaged after time has elapsed and targets missed shall score no points.
  4. The competitor with the most points after completing all courses of fire shall be the winner.
Standard Operating Procedure
  1. The competitor shall be completely prepared and ready to begin the course of fire at their assigned start time. Late competitors will be moved to the last start time for the day. The competitor shall start on the course of fire immediately when directed by the Match Staff. The Match Staff may advance the start times if the course is running ahead of schedule and competitors are requested to cooperate in this regard.
  2. Competitors are expected to walk directly from stage to stage without excessive rest stops. Those that do not keep up and thus delay other competitors may be required to skip one or more stages and/or fall back as required by the match staff to maintain the match schedule. Competitors will receive no points for stages skipped nor will any match fees be refunded.
  3. The trail for each course of fire shall be designated with a specific color of survey tape. The competitor shall follow the trail between stages by traveling from ribbon to ribbon and shall not take any short-cuts.
  4. Each competitor will serve as the Range Officer (RO) for the competitor following them on the courses of fire.
  5. Each stage shall have a Holding Area. The Holding Area shall be designated with two strips of yellow safety ribbon. The competitor shall not wander about nor advance beyond the Holding Area until directed to do so by the RO.
  6. Upon arrival at each stage, the RO will read the stage description to the competitor. When directed by the RO, the competitor will load their weapon then immediately assume the start position.
  7. Unless otherwise noted, the start position shall be as follows
    1. Standing at first shooting position
    2. Rifle loaded, with safety engaged, held at port arms.
    3. Pack on back with all gear and equipment on your person.
  8. Each stage will have one or two shooting positions. Each shooting position shall be designated with a stake, painted mark or other object. At two-position stages, the competitor will locate and engage the 3 targets from the first position, "safe" the rifle appropriately, proceed to the second position, and then re-engage the same 3 targets.
  9. The competitor shall remain within arms' reach of the position designator when engaging targets. If requested by the RO, the competitor will demonstrate that the position designator is within arms reach by touching the spot without moving his torso.
  10. The targets for the stage are visible when standing on the first shoot position and looking between the two left/right lateral limit flags or markers.
  11. Upon the start signal the competitor shall have a fixed amount of time (5 minutes unless otherwise noted) to locate, range and engage each available target with only one round from each shooting position. All targets will be located so as to be visible from the start position unless otherwise noted.
  12. The competitor is responsible to communicate to the RO as to which target he is engaging so that the RO may direct his attention to the correct target and properly observe the shot.
  13. After each shot, the RO will immediately advise the competitor whether it was judged to be a "hit" or a "miss". No other information may be provided to the competitor regarding the location of the bullet impacts until the after the competitor has engaged all of the targets for the stage.
  14. Upon request, the RO will provide the competitor with information concerning elapsed time or time remaining for the stage.
  15. The RO will announce when the stage time has elapsed at which point the competitor shall immediately unload the rifle and demonstrate to the RO that the rifle is cleared of all ammunition.
  16. The RO shall then move clear of the stage area to allow the on-deck competitor to be briefed and shoot the stage without distraction.
All information and rules subject to change. Be sure to check periodically for any changes. Steel Safari LLC reserves the right to penalize or disqualify competitors that cheat, fail to follow the rules or behave in an unsportsmanlike manner. Note: rules are subject to change up until the match date.