Max Michel, Jr., solidified his reputation as one of the world’s best steel shooters with a third-place finish in the Open Division at the United States National Steel Championship this weekend in Titusville, Fla.

The first major steel match of the season, the U.S Steel Nationals draws hundreds of shooters and fractions of a second can often separate competitors. The eight stages consist of four steel targets and a stop plate. Competitors must draw and engage each target before hitting the designated plate to stop the clock.

“My practice sessions leading up to the Steel Nationals went really well,” Michel said. “With such a thin margin for error, I really have to focus on each aspect of shooting, from the draw to the sights to the trigger. Everything has to be as near perfect as possible to get the maximum speed out of each run.”

Michel finished with a total time of 81.84 seconds for all eight stages. To put this time into perspective, Michel drew his pistol 39 times and hit 195 targets in that span. Michel finished just .76 of a second behind the top spot.

In the Rimfire Class, Michel scored a second-place finish in his first-ever run in the .22LR event. With a total time of 65.14 seconds, Michel was just .52 of a second off the leader.

Next up for Michel, will be a series of appearances at the SIG SAUER booth at the NRA Annual Meetings in St. Louis, Mo. He’ll be on hand to talk about the newest SIG SAUER products and will be doing demonstrations.

Michel returns to competition in mid-April at the United States Practical Shooting Association Area 6 Championship in Frostproof, Fla.

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