cowboy action shooting


July 2, 2005, 06:39 PM
Im thinking of looking into cowboy action shooting.I was wondering if anybody could tell me more about it. Ive been to the sass sight and e-mailed a local club and am waiting for a reply. Just wanted to know what to expect, what the courses are like, what things I would need to get started any general info.

If you enjoyed reading about "cowboy action shooting" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 2, 2005, 07:23 PM
Like most things it depends on the people involved. I shot with a group for a while and a couple were so pissy about costuming that it took the fun away. Not everyone has a closet full of period clothing and I wore jeans, a western hat, and a long sleeve shirt with a western flair (and pull-on boots that were something less than really cowboy) but this wasn't good enough.

The shooting is fun although some folks don't care for the yodeling and such that is often part of the course of fire. I thought it was a hoot.

Go observe a few times before making a big commitment.

July 2, 2005, 08:30 PM
yeah I was going to watch as soon as I had a chance. I hope theyre not like that with period clothing, I know you have to look the part but I dont want to go broke doing it. Would rather spend the money on a nice colt s/a.

July 2, 2005, 08:52 PM
Mokster SASS is the most fun you can have with your cloths on :eek:

I just came back from a shoot today and still have a smile on my face.

Go to one of the local clubs and check it out. Everyone will greet you with open arms (I have never been to a club that hasn't).

As far as clothing, we do ask that you get into "the spirt of the game", but also understand that it takes time and money to get all the equipment.

A pair of jeans, any cowboy type shirt/hat and some type of boots is just fine. If have never seen anyone turned away from a local club for not dressing the part. At state or regional matchs it's a different story.

SASS is what you want it to be... You can be competitive or just go out and have fun. You can dress as authentic as you wan't or just the minimum that is needed and no one will really care.

Bottom line, come on out, pull the trigger, have it go bang, and maybe you'll get a clang (a hit) ;)

Check out the SASS Wire:

Rustler - SASS #33316

July 2, 2005, 09:20 PM
It's great. Of course there are a few like "thatguy" that can't, and won't ever "get it!! Try it, almost all enjoy the fun.

July 2, 2005, 11:39 PM
I cant wait to just go and observe. From what Ive read it really looks like a great time.

July 3, 2005, 12:00 AM
then again you might do what i did, i showed up to "just watch" my first full match in jeans, a haiwaiian shirt (with WW2 aircraft on it at that), and a pair New balance tennis shoes.... was approached by one of the club officers, and told "boy your gonna shoot today, if have to prop ya up on the line with a 2 by 4 to get ya there!!"

probably helped that i had shown up the previous week on a NON-match day the by coincidence happened to be one of the days picked for a "range day" and helped out with the work while i chatted with them about what was expected at the average match. paid my dues to join at the match that next week.

unfortuately the expense of getting all of the gear together coupled with a several other factors both financial and otherwise caused me to sell what little CAS gear i had and move on at least for the time being, haven't paid my SASS dues since that first year so i don't even know if the alias i registered under is still legit.

July 3, 2005, 02:50 AM
I was told by one of the Cowboy shooters at SGVGC that it is "Not for the faint of wallet."

But it shore looks like fun.

July 3, 2005, 09:53 AM
Done it a couple times going with a friend -- good people, light-hearted fun. I'd agree with the "not for the feint of wallet" though... shotgun, two pistols, carbine... not to mention around a hundred rounds. If you're shooting .45 Colt, that'll add up fast unless you reload.

At least where I was, the most common way seemed to be folks shooting really lightly-loaded .38 special so they could shoot fast.

Anyhow, just show up and ask questions.. maybe even call ahead and introduce yourself, or ask questions on SASS wire. I've never met a nicer bunch of folks. You bring your own ammo and the shirt on your back, and at least in my experience they'll fix you up with loaner gear faster that you say "yippie ki yi yay"


Texas Moon
July 3, 2005, 10:09 AM
Welcome to CAS. Loads of fun.
Basically you will need the following stuff.
2 single action revolvers
Lever action rifle
double barrel scattergun
gun belt and holsters

Hat, boots, pants, shirt are basic. Depending on where you shoot(heat/cold) will determine any extra costume parts like chaps, vests, etc.

Whoever told you it isn't "for the weak of wallet" isn't pulling your leg.
It is pricey to get into.
You get to pick your "alias". It can be a movie character or an actual historical fiqure and then you dress to that character.
You decide your own name aka alias.
SASS membership isn't mandatory usually but some clubs charge you extra to shoot if you're not.

Shooting scenarios(called stages) always involve rapid accurate shooting of various shapes and distanced metal plate type targets.
You are scored by misses and elapsed time. Misses add time to your final time. Shortest time wins the stage.

Hope this helps.

July 3, 2005, 10:51 AM
While it can be expensive to get into, if you like "old timey" firearms anyway like I do, it really isn't bad. I don't consider the cost of my guns as entrance anymore because I like them so much. Even so, here is my grand total to get into CAS:

2 Vaqueros, 45 Colt -- $625 (both purchased used off the internet, $300 and $325)
Rossi M92 -- $275 (again, used off the internet)
Win 97 -- inherited from grandfather (hoping he is looking down on me from heaven and smiling that I'm still using this old workhorse)

Costume (I go as a Spanish Amer soldier):
Pants: workpants $15 on sale at Old Navy
Shirt: Dickies $12 at WalMart
Hat: $15 off internet
Scarf: $5 at material store
Leggings: $6 off eBay
Shoes: recycled (hidden by leggings)

Gun Leather:
Shotgun belt: used $12 off internet
San Pedro Mexican double loop holsters and gun belt: $160 from Big Ed

Gun Cart: total $26 by using lots of recycled parts

Total investment = $1150 ($250 if you don't count the guns, I don't)

July 3, 2005, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the info. I guess Ill start checking out the internet to get an idea on some stuff. I wouldnt count the guns either they are nescesities and a good excuse to roam the gunshops and shows.

Jim Watson
July 3, 2005, 11:24 AM
All you need the @#$%^&* internet for is to look up location and schedule so you can GO. Computer can't give you the flavor of CAS (or any other shooting event.) Shooters are helpful folks, the only problem will be to pick whose advice to go by.

Uncle Jim
SASS # 3879

July 3, 2005, 11:31 AM
I cant really do anything else because the next club shoot isnt until sept. 18. Unless I visit another club in boulder city which is 30-40 miles from me.

July 3, 2005, 11:32 AM
I have also been thinking about getting into this as well. I am Canadian I have a Ruger blackhawk(.357) and a sxs 12 gauge why do you need 2 revolvers? But I also have acess to a cap'n Ball old army as well. what is really needed for a rifle? could I use my 45/70 sharps? or does it have to be a repeater (lever gun)?


July 3, 2005, 11:40 AM
I was wondering that too, why 2 revolvers? Also can you even use a ruger blackhawk because it has adjustable sights? I also checked on the boulder city club and they didnt shut down for the summer like the vegas club did so maybe its worth the drive, plus they go for the whole weekend not just sunday morning.

July 3, 2005, 12:06 PM
MountainPeak, I'm not the one who didn't "get it." I enjoyed the matches but because I was less than 100 dedicated to the costuming I was shunned and made to feel unwelcome. If CAS is all about welcoming people they are the ones who didn't "get it," not me. My dress was admitedly minimal, but it met the SASS minimum requirements. That wasn't good enough for that particular group.

mokster, you need two revolvers because with the ammo limit (5 shots in a safely loaded SAA) many shooting cvourses require two gun to increase the amount of actual shooting. Most CAS types are really into the guns and will walk around wearing numerous pistols.

July 3, 2005, 12:50 PM
Howdy! The reason for two revolvers is that most stages call for two pistols. Origionally only one was required but over the years the trend is for two. Rifles must be lever or slide action, pistol caliber. While definatly period correct, a Sharps can't be used for a main match gun. They are great for the longrange side matches some clubs hold. A Ruger Blackhawk is a good CAS gun. Due to the adjustable sights, however, it is used in the Modern catagory. We have several catagories. The differance between them is what type pistol, shooting style(two handed or duelist) or what powder you use. Don't fret the costuming too much. The basics are found in most peoples closets anyway. The best advice has been given: Drop by and check us out!

Texas Moon
July 3, 2005, 01:37 PM
CAS has a number of different shooter classifications.
It boils down to what type of pistols(C&B or cartridge) you shoot and the way you shoot them(one vs. two handed hold) and choice of propellant(Holy black vs. smokeless).
Two revolvers are pretty much mandatory. Most shooting stages do not have a reload in the scenario. You could do it with a single gun but your times will be exceedingly long.
Lever guns in pistol calibers are pretty standard. It really helps to have the rifle in the same caliber as your pistols.
Caliber in rifle must be .25 or larger, pistol .32 or larger.
Shotgun must be .20ga are larger. You can use smaller gauges but you will not be allowed to win. You will be DQ'ed but can still shoot the stages.
Most folks are pretty cool about helping newbies. Just head to a shoot. Be cool and ask questions. Most folks will readily answer.
Unless you have an extremely thick wallet, reloading is almost mandatory.
You'll shoot about 100-150 pistol/rifle rounds each match. Shotgun about 20-50 rounds. Add in a few hundred practice rounds and you can see the cost.
Ammo velocity must be kept low to moderate. No super-duper reloads allowed. Cast lead bullets only. NO JACKETED AMMO.
Some of the ammo makers manufacter cowboy ammo just for CAS so it is low velocity.
The usual drill on a shooting stage is a mixture of shooting the pistols, rifle, and shotgun. Range distance is normally quite short like inside of 30yds
The big rifles like the Sharps, Rolling Blocks, Large frame Lever guns, etc are fired alone in a side match at longer distances up to several hundred yards.
In the larger shoots there are also side matches for pocket revolvers and even derringer type guns.
A real handy thing to have is a small wagon or cart to carry all your stuff. Some ranges require you to carry all your gear quite a distance from the vehicle. Toting 100pounds of gear can be a real pain.
Once you get to a match or two you'll have a much better idea of what types of equipment you'll need.
Best advice: Start slow. DOn't jump off into a boatload of expensive gear.
The gun bug in you will eat you alive wanting all the cool old guns.
If you want to start a MAJOR debate ask "Which guns are best"! LMAO
Ruger makes a darn good entry level gun in the Vaquero. It can also double as a heavy duty revolver on the range or field. The Colt SAA's and clones can't tolerate heavy loads.
Like any other shooting group you have a great difference in peoples attitude toward the hobby. Some are just weekend warriors who want to shoot and have fun. The there are the hard cores who are ate up with it. Most folks fall somewhere in between.
Start looking at various people of the Old West era. Decide what type of person you want to portray. The list is endless:gambler, cowboy, city dude, indian scout, soldier, etc. Pick one and start assembling your costume. The civil war re-enactor web sites will hook you up with the soldier stuff.
It really just depends on you as how far you want to go in costuming and period correctness.

Whew...I need a drink! LOL

July 3, 2005, 03:26 PM
great info, thanks everybody.

If you enjoyed reading about "cowboy action shooting" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!