TALLADEGA -- For the second year in a row, Talladega’s CMP Marksmanship Park is hosting the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championship, the largest such event of its kind, according to a release issued by the organizers of the event.

And, the Talladega facility will be hosting again next year.

“The event was in California for about 10 or 15 years, until they moved it here last year,” Park Manager Joey Hardy said. “Unfortunately, it’s a little more unfriendly environment for gun owners out there, so obviously, people were looking for a more friendly place.”

Talladega fit the bill perfectly. The competition got underway Wednesday and will continue through Sunday.

“We sold out this year at 650, which probably translates to about 400 people,” Hardy explained. “Entry fees are paid separately for each of 14 different events, with many participants signing up to compete in multiple events.

“Last year, we actually had a couple of people that signed up for all 14 events. No one did that this year, but there are at least two people that signed up for eight events each this year.”

Each participant must hit each of five steel targets with the appropriate weapon while being timed. Categories include various types of handguns and long guns, with the targets set up in one of eight different configurations.

Participants come from all over the United States and from other countries as well, although Hardy said he did not have a specific breakdown of where all the competitors hailed from.

According to the press release, “Steel Challenge has experienced tremendous growth since 2017 and doubled down in 2018. There have been over 1,600 new classifications, over 90 newly affiliated clubs and several more sanctioned events. The competition will be out in force; we hope that you will again support this world championship…”

The release also says “Part of 2018’s success was the host range, The CMP Marksmanship Park in Talladega; this is a world-class facility, and it is perfect for this May’s event.”

This week’s competition will not be the only national and international championship CMP Talladega will be hosting this year. Hardy said the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation Award Match will be Sept. 19-22.

It will be followed by the International Defensive Pistol Association National Championships, which will be Oct. 24-27.