May 24, 2022

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

Overview of USPSA Steel Challenge – “Smoke & Hope” (SC-103)

2 min read

Here’s a simple overview of how to shoot the Smoke & Hope (SC-103) in USPSA’s Steel Challenge.

First off, if you’re not familiar with Steel Challenges you should check consider trying it out. These are local matches across the U.S. that use a standardized setup of steel plates and allow you to track your performance within your division/class.

Out of the standard 6 to 8 USPSA Steel Challenge stages, everyone’s favorite is called “Smoke & Hope”. This stage includes larger 18″ steel plates, allowing you to shoot a little faster than the other stages.


Smoke & Hope (SC-103) Stage Overview

The simple run down is, each stage contains 5 steel plates, and one of them is the “stop-plate”. You must shoot each of the plates and shoot the stop-plate as the 5th (last one). You can choose the order in which you shoot the other 4. On this Smoke & Hope stage, the common route is left to right then hitting the stop-plate located in the center to end the time.


In this match I ran a Smith and Wesson “Victory” .22 with ALL the TANDEMKROSS upgrades. This pistol fits into the division of RFPO which is Rimfire Pistol Optics. I went with an 8 MOA C-more optic and a Volquartsen barrel. About a dozen other folks have run this pistol and every one of them has said they’ve loved it.

Many ranges throughout the U.S. will use a website called where you can search and register for upcoming matches. Otherwise just run a google search for Steel Challenge in your local area and check

So get out there and find a match!


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