By Amy Abdelsayed for Boulder City Review
One of Boulder City’s longest running nonprofit organizations, the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club, will be partnering with Venture Scouts Crew 45 to host a Steel Challenge on Saturday.
The Steel Challenge is open to participants of all shooting levels and is one of many events to be held at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club range this year. Sign in starts at 7:45 a.m. and goes until noon, and the event starts at 8 a.m.
Crew 45 hosts Steel Challenges at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club range three times a year: two four-stage competitions and one eight-stage event. Thomas Vince has been a Crew 45 member since its formation in 2008 and an avid gun enthusiast since he was around 4 years old.
“Venture Scouts are like a devision of Boy Scouts but they do more high-adventure than normal Boy Scouts do,” Vince said. “So, if Boy Scouts were to go rock climbing, we might go mountaineering. They might go skiing and snowboarding, but we might go snowmobiling. It’s just a higher skill level I guess you could say.”
Vince added that Crew 45 was established with a specific focus on gun safety and the sport of shooting. The advisors in his group are all certified gun instructors and, unlike Boy Scouts, to be a Venture Scout you must be at least 14 years old.
“When we started our advisors began teaching us some National Riffle Association (NRA) courses,” he said. “We started with fundamentals and safety then we moved on to the Winchester/NRA marksmanship program.”
As for the Steel Challenge, Vince explained that it is made up of a series of stages consisting of several steel plates varying in size, shape and distance from the shooter. The shooter then starts with their gun in a holster and must quickly pull out the gun and try to take out the targets as fast as they can.
The Steel Challenge consists of shooting 5 strings, or chances, at each stage and there are 8 stages total for this match event.
Vince said that the United States Practical Shooting Association recognizes the eight-stage Steel Challenge coming up as a legitimate competition on the national level.
“We use their rules and we are registered with them to host the event,” said Vince. “So we can actually submit the times for whoever comes out.”
There is a $10 one-time event fee for non-club members. It costs $35 for the first round of eight stages and $5 for each additional stage.
The Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club will close the member range bays for the event on Saturday, and its website encourages people to attend: “This is the big one of the year for our Venture Crew, come out and support our youth.”
The club sponsors Crew 45 and is affiliated with several other organizations, including churches, police departments, Eldorado Cowboys, NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Club President Harry Helfrich said that he enjoys sponsoring the Venture Scouts and thinks that it’s important for youth to know about gun safety.
“If a youth sees a gun or is around a gun, it is important that they know what to do or what not to do.” said Helfrich. “They should know how to handle a gun.”
Helfrich said that the club sponsors the Boy Scouts as well as the Venture Scouts and offers classes and a safe place for them to shoot.
“Not everyone agrees with me. A lot of people don’t think anyone should have a gun,” Helfrich said. “But if you’re going to have guns around then kids should be educated so it can be safe.”
Vince said that the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club does a lot for the community and is thankful for their sponsorship. “Without them,” he said, “our Venture Crew wouldn’t exist.”
This article was originally published here: Boulder City Review