Why aren't you a cowboy action shooter?


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J-Bar
February 26, 2011, 09:36 AM
There is a discussion on the SASS Wire about how to attract more shooters into Cowboy Action Shooting. Cowboy Action shooters tend to be older folks who watched a lot of westerns on TV when they were kids, but we enjoy shooting with younger shooters and we are eager to get them involved in our game.

This General Gun Discussions forum seems like a good place to mine for data. So if you have considered cowboy action shooting but decided not to participate, I would like to find out why you made that decision.

I promise I will not criticize or argue your decision...I just want to know why you decided it was not for you.

Thanks for taking your time...

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thorn726
February 26, 2011, 09:51 AM
i had never heard of this- it looks awesome. the main thing would keep me from it is the expense, but i see some comps not too far away, looks like a fun thing to watch as well as be in.

SuperNaut
February 26, 2011, 09:54 AM
The costumes/aliases and powder-puff loads. Nothing wrong with SCA-ish games, just not my bag.

david58
February 26, 2011, 09:54 AM
The price of admission keeps me from shooting.
Two pistols.
Rig to tote said pistols.
Lever gun.
Shotgun.
Outfit.
Ammo.

Have shot muzzleloaders for years, and have a fair penny invested in some custom guns now (procured via a combination of trade, friendship, and cash). But my entry point in 1989 was an under-$200 Thompson Center Hawking Kit. No such entry point for SASS. Would love to do it, but just too much $$$.

GJgo
February 26, 2011, 09:56 AM
Ok, as a non-CAS I'll weigh in. I know a number of people who are CAS. Here's a couple reasons why I've never jumped in.

- It's 3 more guns I'd have to buy, since I don't own any period-correct peices.
- I don't care for the idea of paying for / practicing with a high volume of light loads that I'd never use for hunting or defense.
- I prefer jacketed bullets to lead.

Of course, these things may change as I get older and I a) buy more guns and b) stop enjoying my magnums so much.

G27RR
February 26, 2011, 09:58 AM
What David58 said, and younger folks tend to have kids around and the time constraints that brings with it.

The only SA revolver I have is a Single Six. I'd love a pair of SAAs but they are pricey and I can't justify them as also being fo CCW or HD. Someday I'll have at least one, though.

bayhawk2
February 26, 2011, 10:09 AM
I'm not a spring chicken,so I may not be benefit to your
data,but I like the Cowboy Shooting format,just don't
know if I want to spend that kind of money to get into it.
(4) guns.Not cheap guns.The guns of Old West caliber.$2500
would be a conservative low dollar number for new ones.
Now don't get me wrong.I love to shoot.I cast my own and
have to only buy (2) more.The shotgun and the rifle.I probably will
get into Cowboy Shooting soon if I continue to wake up in the
mornings.The new age group?I think they played video games and
are going to be into Self Defense weaponry over the good old
"shoot em up" Cowboy Westerns I/we grew up with.I've seen this at the range.
A lot of young guys showing up with those kinds of weapons.
I too am curious as to the reasons why not?Good stuff.;)

shockwave
February 26, 2011, 10:10 AM
Probably because I don't like shooting "action cowboys."

TIMC
February 26, 2011, 10:12 AM
Cowboy action is what you do when you're too old to shoot IDPA! :D




Seriously I have done some cowboy action shooting and it was a lot of fun, they just like to do it too early on the weekends for me. 07:00 on a Saturday is still my bed time!

kingpin008
February 26, 2011, 10:43 AM
Like a few others, I simply don't have the cash to devote to four guns that I'll likely never use outside of that specific organization. I'm also not interested in getting into reloading, which raises the cost of competing considerably - I'm sure commercial SASS loads aren't cheap.

I'm also a full-time student looking for a job. There simply isn't time enough in the day to attend a match, let alone practice for that match.

Don't get me wrong, it looks like a heck of a lot of fun - I just think that for a lot of people (especially younger individuals) getting into competition shooting of any flavor isn't a realistic option right now.

FatPants
February 26, 2011, 10:47 AM
Too much money, and I can shoot IDPA/USPSA/Fun matches/Steel Challenge etc. all with handguns I currently own.

ultradoc
February 26, 2011, 10:48 AM
I allways thought that this looked like a fun sport to do. I just don't have the time. I have too many irons in the fire as it is. But maybe someday I will try it.

RUDY850
February 26, 2011, 10:49 AM
The place near me that has cowboy shoots has a open house day every year
They do what they do for every one to see. And let you shoot some also.

Its been 6 years since the first time I went. It looked like fun to me.

I got the guns that I would need
I got the ammo
I got the hat and boots

If I could get someone I know to go with me I think I would be doing it now

I know I should get the rest of the stuff I need and just go.But I haven't and don't know if I ever will.I currently have my rifle for sale and if I sale it I probably will never do it then

TheGrimReaper
February 26, 2011, 10:52 AM
I couldn't wear the costumes they wear.

CraigC
February 26, 2011, 11:05 AM
I've got two dozen single actions, nearly a dozen leverguns, several leather rigs, numerous pairs of cowboy boots and a good Resistol beaver felt hat. To be honest, what keeps me away is watching the TV shows and seeing how the gamers shoot. Too many grown men shooting .32 and .38 mousefart powderpuff loads out of guns with no other purpose. This is not how it was supposed to be but like lawyers, the gamers found a way around the rules. I also notice that a lot of the competitors are fairly ignorant of anything other than CAS competition. I know you don't "have" to compete that way but, well, maybe some day.........

22-rimfire
February 26, 2011, 11:09 AM
I'ver known about SASS for a long time. It looks fun, but I can't see myself shooting that much ammo away at powder puff levels. The other factor is I don't have the right equipment and don't really want to spend the money to have the right assortment of firearms for the competitions.

Carne Frio
February 26, 2011, 11:26 AM
Dress-up and play acting with adults in public ? No thanks, but do enjoy yourself.

InkEd
February 26, 2011, 11:26 AM
I am 28 years old and would REALLY like to try Cowboy Action Shooting. It appears like it would be very fun. I will tell you right off the bat, there are two main things that keep me from pursuing it.

The first one and it is the BIGGEST thing that keeps ALOT of interested
people away from Cowboy Action Shooting is the REQUIREMENT TO WEAR A COSTUME. The majority of shooters have absolutely NO DESIRE to dress-up like a cowboy. I can personally think of at least 3 or 4 people (not counting myself) that would do it in an INSTANT, if not for the costume requirement! It shouldn't be about being re-enactment
society. That is a whole different hobby. It should be about the firearms and having fun. The dressing up should be OPTIONAL. Many people my age feel ridiculous wearing stuff like (even simple non-flashy) cowboy hats and boots. "It's part of the fun." Only if you like it! Even if everyone else is dressed up, I would feel awkward and self-conscious and not be able to fully enjoy the shooting part. There are many people that feel the same way. If people could wear "normal" clothes (or clothes like they do for other shooting sports), I would tell you to sit back and watch a very steady increase in competitors!

The second thing that prevents people from joining is the cost. As mentioned by numerous people the mandatory equipment isn't cheap. However, I will be honest and say that (at least personally speaking) it isn't so much the cost of the actual guns keeps people away. In fact, if you do the math a person can buy 2 SAO Rugers, a
Stoeger coach gun and Henry rifle for about the same (or less) as they would on an AR-15 loaded up with a nice optic, extra mags and other accessories. The difference being the AR-15 is deemed "more useful" but most of them are really just range toys too.

Anyway, the costs that people don't want to pay are for little things. The lead bullet requirement is a big one. The majority of shooters do NOT reload. If cheap WWB or whatever is on sale at Walmart could be used it would save a good bit of money. (If needed move the targets a little farther away for safety.) Another suggestion and I assure you even current Cowboy Action Shooters would get on board would be to allow adults (I think kids under a certain age already can) to shoot guns chambers in .22lr because it is very economical and fun. I would suggest that maybe JUST THE RIFLES be allowed in .22lr because it would save money on ammo AND because IT IS THE RIFLES THAT COST A FORTUNE. A "cheap" Henry will cost around $700 in .38/357 or .45lc BUT the same rifle
in .22lr is only about $400. People would be a lot quicker to buy a $400 "toy" than a $700 or more one. Nevermind what the Cimarron rifles cost!

Conclusively, if you wanted to make two changes that would bring alot of people to your game they should be first and foremost MAKE THE COSTUMES OPTIONAL and
second allow adult to use .22lr (EVEN IF JUST FOR THEIR RIFLE) to help with the equipment cost and ongoing ammo cost. Do by all means keep the style of the guns
pretty basic and the overall mood recreational BUT make those two changes and watch the numbers go up, especially without the costumes.

Claude Clay
February 26, 2011, 11:33 AM
i joined long ago--my badge # was under 5000. still use the same handle when i go to local outdoor shoots. the rule book back than was 4 pages folded over twice. it was new, uncluttered with silly (and complicated) rules and fun. most shooters were shy a pistol or SxS but there were always them who shared their hardware.

recent times have seen great growth in membership....and the rule book.
and the tricked out equipment--i'm sorry to say but i've seen the spirit of the game made rather thin.

i still make a regional shoot annually. but its more to reconnect with old friends than for my 73 seconds of glory.

InkEd--costumes in the beginning were not even $200--just buy a hat and boots; a denim shirt and blue jeans.
the longer you played, the more clothing & equipment you accumulated. some took dressing up more seriously than the shooting.
some had the $$ to do both. it was fun than. in some ways it is a victim of its own success now.

Trebor
February 26, 2011, 11:35 AM
I've considered CAS a few times. Here's why I haven't done it:

1. The expense - I need two pistols, a rifle, a shotgun, *and* costumes. That's a lot of scratch up front. Double that if my wife wants to participate.

2. The "silly factor." Part of me think playing "dress up" and shooting cowboy guns would be fun, part of me thinks it's too silly.

3. There's no good way to "try before you buy." Unless you have a friend who is into CAS, and is willing to loan you the gear, there is no good way to try a match or two without investing a lot of money. What if you decide it's not for you after that?

4. The gamemanship - From what I've read about the ultra-light loads, I'm a bit turned off. They don't necessarily need to be full-bore loads, but I think they've gone too far in the other direction. (There are gamers in every sport though, So take that for what you will).

The Lone Haranguer
February 26, 2011, 11:45 AM
Role playing games have no appeal for me.

david58
February 26, 2011, 11:51 AM
I've considered CAS a few times. Here's why I haven't done it:

1. The expense - I need two pistols, a rifle, a shotgun, *and* costumes. That's a lot of scratch up front. Double that if my wife wants to participate.

2. The "silly factor." Part of me think playing "dress up" and shooting cowboy guns would be fun, part of me thinks it's too silly.

3. There's no good way to "try before you buy." Unless you have a friend who is into CAS, and is willing to loan you the gear, there is no good way to try a match or two without investing a lot of money. What if you decide it's not for you after that?

4. The gamemanship - From what I've read about the ultra-light loads, I'm a bit turned off. They don't necessarily need to be full-bore loads, but I think they've gone too far in the other direction. (There are gamers in every sport though, So take that for what you will).
Stepping back in:

I don't like the gamesmanship. Shoot authentic loads in authentic guns. Then I might be more interested. Shoot with one hand like the old timers. Etc, etc.

Costumes? I hate costumes. But Period Clothing - I can do that. Coming from a Living History background, I can't get past the farby (nonauthentic) stuff. Or, do a "Hollywood Division" and a "We're Into Doing It Like the Folks Then Did It Division."

doubleh
February 26, 2011, 12:06 PM
I just can't get my head around the game. You spend all that money to look and dress like the old cowboys, etc. and then you want to shoot cap pistol loads so there is no recoil and you can be faster. :rolleyes: If the game required loads that equaled the loads these old guns originally shot it would be realistic. I might be able to work up some interest then. Add a class where only one pistol and a rifle were required to keep down expenses and you would probably attract more shooters. Add another class where single action and lever action .22 LR guns could be used and I bet membership would really jump. Lower cost to shoot and no recoil. I know it wouldn't be true to the Old West but TV and movies weren't and CASS isn't either.

buck460XVR
February 26, 2011, 12:11 PM
i still make a regional shoot annually. but its more to reconnect with old friends than for my 73 seconds of glory.



I went to a coupla open houses and tried it. It is a fun format but required more time than I had to make a legitimate commitment. Maybe now that the last of my kids is outta High School(and High School Sports) I might look into it again. To me it seemed many were like Claude Clay, and it was more about the socialization than the shooting. Many really got into their persona and played their character to the hilt, much like folks into civil war re-enactment. Funny part is, altho it's "cowboy action", most of the folks I met there never rode a horse except for maybe the pony rides at the carnival. Reminded me of the biker posers wearin' their leathers while ridin' to the rally in their mini-van.


Regardless, folks there seemed to be friendly, eager to share and having a good time. Can't ask for more than that from any shooting sport.

JellyJar
February 26, 2011, 12:18 PM
Don't want to wear costumes. Too expensive and I just don't like it.
Bad feet so I can't wear period boots/shoes.
Why can't there be matches where only one handgun is used?
Needing to buy all those guns is too expensive.

Skoob
February 26, 2011, 12:21 PM
Overall, I guess I'm with everyone else. I don't mind buying more guns. :)

But to get all dressed up and not shoot real loads, seems odd to me. If wearing the clothes is supposed to make it "authentic", why not use real loads too?

If you swapped it around and used authentic loads but did away with the costumes, I think it will appeal to gun people more. As it is, I think it would appeal more to people that want to be actors than people that enjoy shooting.

gatorjames85
February 26, 2011, 12:21 PM
Can't afford it right now, but I don't think I will ever be open to the costume part of it.

SundownRider
February 26, 2011, 12:39 PM
I played for several years. Somehow I became a Life Member and still get the publication, but I stopped shooting CAS a while ago. One of the big reasons was equipment. If you couldn't afford the latest modifications or gunsmithing to "slick up" your '73 or '97, then you weren't going to go to the top of the class. There are those who love it and have made it a way of life. I read the writing on the wall and decided to play another game (IDPA) It wasn't like I was bad at it, I have numerous local trophies and plaques, but when I saw a top shooter advertising ten different things to make me a better shot, I knew CAS had gone completely commercial.

Claude Clay
February 26, 2011, 12:46 PM
Buck---i ain't takin no offense about no nuttin you said, but a little bit about the way you said it;

my handle is the one period outfit i ever had--still have.
your loads may be croned at the match so factory power levels are out. but i get as close as i can and often get long looks from other's what for all the noise i make and tipping over some of the steel; it being use to powderpuff loads.

i grew up with a peacemaker ( well, a cattleman actually) and am a point shooter--something that gets you DQ'ed real fast. even in the 90's when i was ranked high, i did not take it too seriously as a full time job kept me from traveling to overnight regional events. thus i never submitted my 'games' for score and played locally just for the fun of it.

IDPA, once you get the rules down and your score raises ( due in part to the lack of penatities) so does the fun factor. same with CASS

and fun it was till it attracted too many 'gamers' with the resulting flood of rules.

Frank Ettin
February 26, 2011, 12:50 PM
I used to shoot CAS, and I'm a life member of SASS. In fact I competed at Winter Range for a number of years. It was great fun, but I've drifted away for a number of reasons:

[1] Dealing with all the gear got to be very old and not much fun. Whenever I went to a match, even for a day's shooting at my local club, I needed to lug two pistols, a rifle, a shotgun, ammunition, accessories for my costume and a shooting cart to carry it all in.

[2] The stages tended to be too choreographed -- right down to the details of the order in which targets were engaged. I tended to prefer IPSC where we had a shooting problem and we had more latitude deciding how to solve it (as long as we were safe).

Crunchy Frog
February 26, 2011, 12:54 PM
By way of background I've been shooting since the late 70s; began reloading while in college to be able to afford to shoot. Shot IPSC back in the 1980s. I put shooting on hold for several years to concentrate on career and starting a family. Decided to get back into shooting a couple of years ago; started shooting clays and decided to get back into competitive pistol shooting. My local gun club has a very active IDPA chapter, a smaller non-affiliated action pistol league, and a SASS-affiliated cowboy action club.

Just over a year ago I thought it looked like fun so I contacted the match director of my local club [this is a great way to get started or to find out about cowboy shooting, just go to www.sassnet.com, click on the "SASS Clubs" link, click on your state, and you get a club list showing match dates and the name, phone number and email address for the club match director or officer]. I did not own a single cowboy gun and no Western clothes. The guy said, "come on out, don't buy anything, you can bring some ammo if you have it but just come out."

I showed up in jeans and tennis shoes. Everyone made me welcome and I was invited to shoot if I wanted to try it. An extra gunbelt materialized. A stranger handed me a pair of three-screw Ruger Blackhawks to use for the day. The rest of the morning people practically lined up to offer me the use of different types of rifles, shotguns and revolvers. I had never fired a single action revolver or a lever action rifle before. I did not try to hurry and I'm sure I had the slowest time on every stage. No one was impatient. After a stage people would say things like "good shooting", "you're getting the hang of that rifle", and "I've been doing this for years and I'm still having as much fun as you're having today". Some shooters gave me ammo to shoot in their guns (a wise precaution) so I offered to pay them. No one would accept payment and when I would thank them they would say, "no problem, lots of people helped me when I was a new shooter, hope you come back next month".

The shooting was fun. If you like to shoot (and not just talk BS about shooting like some gun owners) it's a good sport. We generally shoot 120 rounds of pistol/rifle ammo and about a box of shotshells per match. The people are what stand out, though. There are some very good shooters in my club but they are good folks. They do not look down on the less "competitive" shooters. We have some folks that are really into costuming. Some are more into the shooting part. We have teenagers, a good number of lady shooters and we have some older folks. The level of skill and competition really varies but everyone gets along great.

I'd like to address some of the points from the local club standpoint. Keep in mind that what you see on TV or on YouTube may not be representative of local club matches which are the real life of CAS. First, as to costuming. Unless you opt for one of the costume based categories, the minimum clothing requirements for SASS (which by the way local clubs can choose to loosen for local matches) is pretty basic: Long sleeved shirt (other than t-shirt), no ball caps, tennis shoes or combat boots. You don't have to wear a cowboy hat or cowboy boots if you don't want to. If you don't have what you need in the closet you can probably get it for ten bucks at a thrift store. You can easily satisfy the clothing requirements in such a way that won't draw attention when you stop for gas. Believe me, no one will care what you wear.

Yes, we use aliases. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. Make up something humorous. If you don't have a sense of humor, well, I don't know make up something grouchy. "Andy Dry Gulch Rooney" or something!

I wanted to address the "no way to try before you buy". The cost of guns thing resonates with me (remember I didn't have any cowboy guns when I started). What offsets the cost is the fact that cowboys tend to be friendly people who want to encourage new shooters. That means they tend to share. We make a point of telling prospective new shooters NOT to buy any guns. We let the new folks try examples of what is out there before they buy. Lots of cowboys have "backup" guns (often because they bought one thing and upgraded later on). I shot for about three or four months before I bought my own revolvers. I continued borrowing long guns after that while I saved my nickels. I finally got my own rifle last month. I always had guns to shoot.

Also once you decide that cowboy shooting is for you, you will probably hear about guns other cowboys have for sale. That is often a great way to get into the sport at less than retail.

Occasionally you run into a real great deal but let's be honest. Good quality guns are not cheap. On the other hand if you buy them and later decide to go shoot Sporting Clays or start scuba diving, you can sell the guns and not lose your shirt on.

A word about ammo. Yes, I've seen the videos with people shooting loads so light that it looks like they are dry-firing. I don't see much of that in our local club. The rules mandate lead bullets at low-to-standard velocity since we are shooting steel at relatively close range but most of the ammo I see fired is not the super wimpy version. Oh, and wait until you see the guys and gals who shoot black powder-see the ball of flame and feel the concussion in the air and then tell them about "wimpy loads".

Most cowboys handload. I think it's another fun part of the shooting sports. If it is not for you, there are options that are cheaper than the factory ammo at your local gun store. For example, www.georgia-arms.com. If you are interested in starting reloading, it can be done at a reasonable outlay. Shooting cowboy you would recoup the equipment costs after a handful of matches. With lead bullets (if you know where to buy them) the savings with handloads is significant.

Deanimator
February 26, 2011, 01:04 PM
I'm not a big one for playing "dress up".

Aside from that, I think the rules regarding pump shotguns are weird and unrealistic.

My best friend from college likes cowboy action.

co_dave
February 26, 2011, 01:13 PM
Howdy folks!

There are several flavors of cowboy action
- Western 3 gun - I've never tried it, understand it to be alot of run and gun
- NCOWS - never tried it, understand it to have a heavy emphasis on costuming and period correctness.
- SASS - Is a bit of a mixture of the two above.

I've been shooting cowboy action with SASS clubs for three years now, and would like to share a bit of what I've learned about it with you.

COSTUMES - While there are some costuming requirements, especially for some shooting classes, a pair of boots, jeans, and a work shirt are all that is really needed. If you want a hat, then some sort of cowboy hat. Many folks get their "costumes" from the good will thrift store for little money.

GUNS / AMMO - A wide variety are used in the game, from cap and ball to cartridge guns. Initial cost is steep for some folks, the $2500 estimate above is about what I spent. Most, if not all clubs welcome new shooters and are happy to loan them guns to try for a stage or a match so they can decide if the game is for them or not. Most clubs are flexible on the costuming requirements for regular monthly matches, especially for newcomers. I shot for several months in tennis shoes, sweat pants and a t-shirt, and borrowed the guns I hadn't gotten yet, as I was getting started.

LOADS - Like many gun sports, some folks use lower power loads to reduce recoil in hopes of being more competitive. Others use full case black powder loads. Some like the little .32s, some like the 45 long colts. It's all a matter of how the individual chooses to enjoy the game. I use 38s to reduce my reloading cost over 45s, but load them nearly at the top of the published range.

MANY WAYS TO ENJOY THE GAME - Some folks love the costuming and go to the Nth degree with their costumes. Some just wear jean,s boots and a work shirt. For others it's all about the guns, shooting cap and ball pistils, open tops, schoefileds, mule ear shotguns, or whatever. For others it's all about the competition, they practice each transition and sequence to be as fast as they can be. The game truly is many different things to different people, from a fantasy of being in an old west gunfight to just enjoying shooting with a bunch of friends.

It's been said many times, with cowboy action shooting, you come for the shooting but stay for the people. For the most part folks are always ready to lend a hand, especially to new comers.... anything from coaching to lending guns and ammo, to repairing a broken gun.

Besides, in what other gun game/sport do you get to shoot along side ladies in saloon girl outfits? :D

If it sounds interesting I'd suggest going to a match to check it out. Ask questions. Chances are you'll be welcomed with open arms and offered guns and a chance to shoot a stage to see how you like it, or invited back to a clinic for folks new to the sport.

It's not for everybody, but I know I've certainly enjoyed it.

Dave

Joe Demko
February 26, 2011, 01:19 PM
The costumes and costs, same as everyone else.

teetertotter
February 26, 2011, 01:21 PM
We have SASS at our club and I ocassionally volunteer once a month during the summer as a helper at their matches. We have people from IA, IL, and neighboring clubs that participate on a regular basis at our club. There are 3 persons from the SASS group that practice .22 pistol metallic silhouette on Wednesday nights during the summer season. I have found the SASS folks most, humble, have loads of fun, and offered to have you try their equipment if you are hanging around before or after match. Yes, like any group, some members are more friendly than others.

If someone is hanging around our metallic Silhouette range, I am always the first one to offer they try using my rifle or pistol, which ever night it is. I am a very outgoing person and always invite people which there aren't many of us in todays society. Most people today have to take the initiative to make/meet a friend.

My first choice before being active in SB Mettalic Silhouette was SASS, 5 years ago. When I started pricing out used and new equipment, that pretty much did me in. I was not worried about joining a group and making friends later. It was the INVESTMENT. I thought if I bought just 2 six guns for starters, I could compete just in that stage. Well, they don't just have strictly six gun stages ........it is all or nothing.

I think mainly of the old wild west as 6 gun competition first with shot gun and rifle as secondary. I could afford 2 used six guns to try the sport out with expensive off the shelf ammo. .22 caliber six gun class would be even nicer for the young and old. Be able to dress up in blue jeans, a flannel shirt, no hat, and work boots, for example.

Any more ideas out there? SASS is looking for input to make their sport better or inviting to the mass or more affordable. One can start small and graduate up if so desire?

Matthew Duncan
February 26, 2011, 01:26 PM
Y'all talikng about SASS or NCOWS?

If'n y'all talking SASS:

Powder puff loads? Yep some do. Mine is 45 Colt with a 250 grain bullet. 1 grain below manufacturer's recommended maximum of Titegroup powder.

Costumes? You got work shoes, blue jeans and a plaid shirt? Hat is optional.

Free Education (http://www.bnincustomers.com/~rloucks/)

Geneseo1911
February 26, 2011, 01:37 PM
Funny you should ask. I've been seriously looking at going to a CAS shoot as one of my goals this summer, it looks like fun. The thing that really turned me off was the rulebook. I wanted to know what kind of guns were allowable, and what the clothing requirements are. I figured, "hey, I'm a farmer, it should be no problem to dress up like a cowboy." Then I read the rulebook: "must pick four from this list of accessories..." Yikes. I don't like being micromanaged to that point. I don't mind buying guns (although that list seemed a little restrictive, too) or handloading light or BP loads, but the dress code turned me off. Let me show up in jeans, work boots, and a straw hat and I'd be more interested. I think I'm going to look into 3 gun instead. It's at the same club and I wouldn't have to buy anything new.

The other thing that turned me off was the cost to join SASS, the local club, the range, and then more money to shoot. I understand the local club has costs, but SASS wants a bunch of money just for a newspaper and a cute name. Maybe they should offer a limited membership for people who just want to shoot local meets

I appreciate Crunchy's post above. Perhaps the local clubs are more forgiving of the rules. I may have to attend one of their shoots just to see it & talk to some of the people there. The problem I see is that people will loan guns to a new shooter, but you still have to buy them if you want to keep coming back, and I have to save for months to buy a new gun. Maybe SASS could encourage local clubs to start a gun rental program. Shoot with the club's rifle/shotgun for $5 until you can get your own.

MartinS
February 26, 2011, 01:46 PM
I expect I ain't the first saddletramp to tell you that a three gun admission can be a bit dear to folks right off. Yeah, I know, it keeps out the riffraff, but if you want more people you're gonna have to widen the crack in the door a might and deal with the salloon trash like me who manage to crawl in.

Justin
February 26, 2011, 02:04 PM
CAS/SASS is freakin' awesome. The photos I've seen from the End of Trails event look like it would be a blast to attend, and I have no doubt that the matches are a lot of fun.

Frankly, I consider Cowboy Action Shooting one of those things that is uniquely American, not because of the historically-influenced aspect of the game, but because it's a thoroughly self-contained sub-culture of like-minded people out to have a good time and openly celebrate something that they all geek out over.


That said, the reason I don't compete in Cowboy Action matches has to do with where my interests lie. Old west stuff, and cowboy stuff just doesn't get me all that fired up.

It's purely a personal preference, but I'm much more interested in USPSA, Steel Challenge and modern 3 Gun.

co_dave
February 26, 2011, 02:07 PM
Local SASS affiliated clubs are free to pretty much do as they want as far as costuming and gun requirements for local matches. SASS membership is not required at most of the clubs I know of for monthly matches, Many offer .22 adult classes at some shoots, some offer classes where only one pistol is used.

Sure, there is a rulebook, if you want to play at the state, regional and national level, you need to follow it. As far as "choose 4 from the list.." I think you are referring to the Classic Cowboy category, There are more requirements for that category, but there are plenty of other categories that have much less requirements.

If the cost of guns is the only thing holding you back, find a buddy, each buy one pistol, one buy a rifle, the other a shotgun, and then share guns at a match, my brother in law and I did this. Not a big deal.

This thread is an informal information gathering effort by a member of SASS, not an official thing, just one guy trying to gain some insight.

Like I said in my other post, it ain't for everyone, but if it sounds interesting, go out to a match and find out! Don't let the cost scare you away. I had NOTHING when I started, but I gave it a try, liked it alot, and sold off other toys to buy my cowboy guns and gear.

Dave

co_dave
February 26, 2011, 02:09 PM
For any interested, here are some videos I took at our local match here in Colorado last week. http://www.youtube.com/user/GrizzlyDaveCowboy#grid/user/E9746C45018F321E

twofifty
February 26, 2011, 02:11 PM
Maybe there is a future for RAP action shooting.
Dress as you are.

mcdonl
February 26, 2011, 02:19 PM
Saloon ninjas :neener:

Another hobby I could not afford.

MartinS
February 26, 2011, 02:26 PM
You will rarely, if ever, find nicer, warmer people all in a bunch than Cowboy Action boys and girls. It's all smiles and open arms with a whiff of cordite for spice.

NMGonzo
February 26, 2011, 02:31 PM
I want to go as a Pancho Villa Raider.

420Stainless
February 26, 2011, 02:59 PM
I will when the kids are older and don't require so much direct attention.

I like cowboy guns and even the clothes. I must say that the fluffy loads used by most of the competitors is definitely counter to the strong cowboy image. Not at all sure why that is allowed, but maybe something that had to be done to draw enough people into the sport.

trickyasafox
February 26, 2011, 03:13 PM
I would participate- especially in the wild bunch style matches that allow 1911 style guns (because I own some that would be eligible) however, not much going on in my part of NYS.

kayak-man
February 26, 2011, 03:17 PM
I was skimming the rule book, and theres one phrase that caught my attention:

American history buffs and serious shooters alike agree the use of vintage firearms,
authentic costuming

Everything that I've heard about the sport gives off this slightly serious vibe, that I'm not really interested in. Thats not really a big deal, but I thought before I start into my rant, I should atleast try to give you some constructive criticism :D

For me its the cost:

I could probably piece together a costume from Good Will for about $15-20, so thats not too bad, but the guns and ammo add up.

Including the non-working derringer/minirevolver, I own 10 guns. Of those, 2 are apropriate for CAS, but since one is the aformentioned non working pistol, that leaves me with a single shot shotgun.

I'd have to buy a rifle and a revolver. Thats cool, I'd love a lever gun and a large wheel gun, except that the guns I would use for real world aplications don't fit the bill for CAS. I really like the idea of Cowboy Shooting, but I just can't afford to put $800+ dollars into guns that will only be used for competition, when I'm scraping together all the cash I can find, just so I can start reloading. And yes, reloading is a much higher priority, because its the ONLY way I'll be able to shoot the guns I already have.

For me, it comes down to the fact that I might be able to piece together an acceptable costume, but right now, I can't even pay the match fees, let alone a whole new set of guns and the ammo to run them.

It sounds like a lot of fun, but I just can't swing it right now. Maybe one day...

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Big_E
February 26, 2011, 03:27 PM
My grandpa was in SASS for a long time. After I was shooting out in the boonies one day and drove past the shooting range I saw signs for the state SASS championship. So I stopped by and observed for quite some time. When the events for the day were over I started talking to some of the competitors and they were all really friendly. They told me what equipment they prefer to use and how to get started.

I think that they were impressed that a 20 year old went out there and was interested in the sport. Considering the youngest shooter there that wasn't a child was probably in the mid 30's.

I also like to play dress up. A lot of comments here show that members don't like dressing up. The only thing that is really keeping me from competing is the equipment cost. I have some of my grandpa's stuff, but there are other firearms higher up on my purchase list and I don't have disposable income right now. Plus I need to get into reloading, which isn't a bad thing because I have been putting it off for a few years.

It honestly looks like a lot of fun with a great group of people. I think if they reduced the clothing requirements they could draw more shooters. (Like maybe allowing a "western" style button up shirt, jeans and normal western boots. So you can dress casually but still have that modern western look.

I also thought there are events where you can use one pistol, I don't remember them saying you need two. Only if you want to shooting the gunslinger class or whatever its called.

mac266
February 26, 2011, 03:29 PM
WOW, there is a LOT of misinformation and misconceptions here.

1- You do NOT have to wear a costume, all you have to do is dress western. Blue jeans, a modern western shirt (long sleeve), a modern western cowboy hat, and modern cowboy boots suffice. Your dress does not have to be "period correct," but you're welcome to do that if you want to. Since I'm from Colorado, that requirement is rather easy to fulfill. I started that way because I felt the costumes were silly, but the longer I've been into the game the more the costumes have grown on me. Your mileage may vary. Don't like the costumes? No problem. Wear something western.

2- The point of the game is NOT historical re-enactment. It's having fun with guns from the old western era. You can dress historically authentic, modern western, or "Saturday at the matinee."

3- There IS a "hollywood" costume category for those who want to dress like a B western. If you don't like the B western look, don't shoot in that category.

4- You CAN use authentic loads or shoot one-handed if you want to. "Authentic" loads are black powder, and there are classes for black powder cartridge shooters -- both one-handed and two-handed. One-handed shooters are called "duelist," and you only compete against other duelists. For super-authenticity, shoot "frontier cartridge duelist" category (black powder cartridge, one-handed).

5- There is NO "role playing" whatsoever. In fact, that one is so far out in left field I'm not even sure where it came from.

6- The rule book makes concessions for those with physical disabilities, so the guy who can't wear cowboy boots would still be allowed to shoot. Just make sure the rest of your clothing is western.

Claude Clay
February 26, 2011, 03:34 PM
http://www.zootshooters.com/

for trickyasafox or any other interested in the 'G-Man' period of American history. think of it as the grand-children of the SASS generation grown up and still playing with guns

Oyeboten
February 26, 2011, 03:39 PM
I had some acquaintances who were into the 'Cowboy Action Shotting' when it was first starting up, or when I first heard about it anyway, which was like in the mid 1980s.

I was interested, but, the people who were into it seemed really stuck up and condescending about it and were just too hammy with the schtick of how they were so special and cool with all their fake and typically TV Land costumes and always totally wrong Shoes and so on, and, no one else was allowed...etc.


I felt embarassed for them.

I tried several times, over-coming their attitudes, to go out and check things out some more, and, just got run arounds or told how one HAS to have the 'three guns' or whatever it was, so I never even got to where I could just show up and watch or see things...all of it very snooty and excluding.

Since then, now and then talking with different people who are into it, it did not seem much better.

All the hammy stupid personas and 'nick names' and so on, everyone prancing around like they were a famous outlaw or lawman of the old West...just so 'click-ish' and myopic demi-monde.

Yuck...

Just seems like a bunch of silly people trying desperately to 'be' someone to eachother, they have no interest in being friendly or inviting to any new-comers.


Not saying I will not try again...or that it might not be netter or worse elsewhere...but, been trying to 25 years now to see if I could meet any groups or individuals who were not idiots and aloof snooty ham-actors first and foremost, with the rest of it as a sort of pretext, has not been encouraging.


Maybe it was spending time with old time Bulls Eye Shooters, that sort of spoiled me when it comes to trying to get along with click-ish snooity demi-monds full of idiots.

Those old guys I got to know a little bit, and shoot with, were just so gentlemanly, serene, intelligent, quiet, good humor, no BS, deep knowledge, and more than glad to extend a friendly hand to a new comer. Glad to have me come and watch, try their old pre-war National Match Pistols, tips and pointers, everything so nice and on the level.

Professor Gun
February 26, 2011, 03:44 PM
I have no interest in dressing up in the costumes they wear. Also the types of courses of fire just do not seem as relevant to self defense scenarios compared to USPSA, IDPA, or Three Gun (I know, those are usually not that relevant either to real life but I think they are closer); the firearms are not as useful to me for self defense compared to modern firearms.

Having said that, I fully support our Cowboy Action Shooters; anything that gets people out to shoot and involved in the shooting sports, more power to them. To me, a shooter is a shooter no matter which shooting sport they prefer.

Kingofthehill
February 26, 2011, 03:49 PM
I have no desire to play Dress-up and shoot old stuff.

I like Modern, fast, latest and greatest.

JOe

EddieNFL
February 26, 2011, 03:52 PM
I don't carry a six-shooter. Can I use 1911s?

Sniderman
February 26, 2011, 03:52 PM
Too wierd,,,
Never felt comfortable talking to someone who is pretending to be someone else. :scrutiny:
I find myself embarrassed for the participants, whether it's a "Cowboy Action" shoot or a "Mountain Man" rendezvous.
I've been to both and after about an hour I'm ready to get back to my home planet.

However, I do admit to a certain attraction to the "Salloon Girl" participants. :evil:

Cosmoline
February 26, 2011, 04:39 PM
I love the firearms, but I really don't like the overlay of strange rules. Beyond that, I like friendly chats at the range but it's a solo activity for me, not a group one. Once I start getting competitive the fun goes out of it and the stress comes in.

Also, if I ever dress up it would be to get a better appreciation for actual historical periods. In this respect the muzzleloader folks are a lot more interesting to me than the CAS crowd. CAS seems more about recreating a media "west" that never really was. Where everyone was a drover or a riverboat gambler who could somehow afford a revolver costing a year's earnings. I've done quite a bit of research into western American history, and you'd be much more likely to find men in suits and ties than in chaps and cowboy hats. Drovers were the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. It's nothing like most of the films show. Nobody back then wanted to be a cowboy. They wanted the same things people want now. Land, house, family, stability. Hollywood took the dime novels and the CM Russell paintings and turned them into something that never really existed at all. I love old westerns, but I'd be more interested in recreating what really was.

But I'm all for the activity, and I get a kick out of watching their shoots. And if someone ever does a ZOMBIE action shoot, I'll be all over it. Something where you don't get to pick your own firearms, but have to use a mix of ratty old single shot toppers and H&R breaktops.

volleyfire
February 26, 2011, 05:23 PM
Cost. Even cap & ball revolvers are just to expensive now.

Single Action Six
February 26, 2011, 05:39 PM
@ Oyeboten post #52

I agree with what "Oyeboten" had to say in their post.

Often, when I'm thinking about joining a organization or group that I might be interested in, I use a technique to see what they're like that I call "sit back.. and see what happens". I did so recently when I went to one of the local club shoots (about 30 miles away), to decide if they were a group that I might want to join.

That morning I got all cowboy'd up from hat to boots, along with bringing my two B.P. 44's and Stagecoach 12ga. (Don't have a lever action.) I purposely sat at one of the wooden benches (along with my empty firearms), that was located in one of the stage areas. Every so often I would nonchalantly walk among the shooters (this was before even the first stage was to be shot), while innocently looking at some of their equipment on the gun carts.

I expected someone within the group (I counted 34 shooters that were there that day), to at least come over, say HI.. and introduce themselves. Unfortunately that didn't happen. The club members were either standing around in their own "click-ish" groups, or seemed to have a "stuck-up" attitude of NOT having any interest in being friendly or inviting to a new-comer.

I returned to my seat (next to my firearms) and waited to see what would happen. Needless to say, it wasn't until half way through the shoot that someone FINALLY decided to come over, introduce themselves and ask if I was looking to shoot.

It is no wonder at all why this club might have a problem with increasing membership if, considering, they act this way toward prospective members. I haven't been back there since. There's another SASS club about 15 miles North of where I live that I'm thinking about joining, but will only be able to tell once I "sit back.. and see what happens".

So to answer a question often asked.. "NO, they're NOT friendly at all!!"

Single Action Six

sappyg
February 26, 2011, 05:49 PM
I use to shoot SASS for several years. Why I stopped:

It was simply a lot of work. Most people don't see what goes on behind the curtain. Setting up a match is a chore. There is a ton of steel to set up and you get little help doing it. In my experience most of the older guys are not so into helping out when it comes to the grunt work. Add to that working the match in progress and barely take the time to shoot. When the match ends you get to tear down and store all the equipment while they watch. That got real old. What starts out as fun just becomes too much like work.

It was expensive and you have to have a backup for everything. i.e. 2 pairs of pistols, 2 rifles, 2 shotguns yadda yadda yadda.

Unless it came to work most of the people i met were nice enough. All clubs seemed to have a kind of personality. Some clubs were gamy, some were strict, and some were more open and super friendly.

Patriotme
February 26, 2011, 05:52 PM
1) I don't want to dress like a cowboy.
2) I don't want to buy several new firearms just to shoot these matches.
3) My time is limited and if I do shoot a match I'd rather use my self defense firearms to shoot an IDPA match or steel plate match. I think this would be better real world practice (better skills builder).
4) I cut back on the different calibers that I shoot and SASS shooting would add more calibers to the mix and they would probably be more expensive than what I currently shoot.
5) I really don't want to dress like a cowboy.

It looks like fun and if it was some way to rent the gear for a day then I might try it just for kicks but it just seems to be too much money to put out for something that I might not really like. I can shoot steel plate matches, IDPA or local matches with my self defense guns so my costs are lower, I'm building some skills and some muscle memory. I've watched a SASS match and the people seemed very nice and really enjoyed themselves. It's just not for me.

Patriotme
February 26, 2011, 05:56 PM
That's a shame.
I don't think that I'll ever really get into SASS but I did see them shoot a match one day at my range. Everyone was very friendly towards my wife and I and they really seemed to want new members. They seemed very nice but kind of reminded me of Dungeon And Dragons guys from High School (and yes, HS was long ago).

co_dave
February 26, 2011, 06:42 PM
Single Action Six - I'm sorry your experience was less than enjoyable.

Perhaps part of the problem is that since you dressed cowboy, you were less obviously a newbie.

Ranges I have shot at require you to sign in, pay the match fee, and sign a waiver. New comers that are identified at that point are most often assigned a mentor to walk them thru their first match. My first full match I didn't have a shotgun, and was set up with a mentor that not only guided me, but loaned me a shotgun and provided shells.

Additionally, at the clubs I shoot at, during the safety meeting it is almost always asked if there are any first timers, either at that range, or with cowboy shooting. At that time they're assigned a mentor.

I shoot at several different clubs, and I don't know everyone. If I see someone who looks the part, I don't necessarily identify them as a newbie. Show up not looking the part, and I'll probably introduce myself and see if you have any questions.

I hope your next try goes better.
Dave

SharpsDressedMan
February 26, 2011, 06:43 PM
I was for awhile, but the whole thing, buying two handguns, a lever rifle, and a "cowboy" type shotgun, not to mention the possibility of another $1000 worth of clothes, leather, and hat to go along with it, seemed like an unreasonable expense for a beginning hobby. More expensive than getting into practical pistol shooting. I already had several avenues of gun culture (hunting, long range shooting, Class III, combat pistol shooting) that I had put money into, and the SASS "game of shoot this, don't shoot that", etc, was more of a "Simon says" than anything real. IDPA/USPSA had already turned me off that way....more gamesmanship than "practical",that it became "not fun" anymore. Additionally, some guys that "created" cowboy shooting" were clipping EVERYONE $35 a year to belong to SASS....great thing for them......what is it now, 50,000 plus memebers times $35 going into the pocket of a handful of guys so that you could keep a tin badge and get a newsletter, and a badge number that allowed you to shoot in cowboy shoots. Somebody gets rich, but non-profit organization they ain't. I shoot in my backyard, challenge myself, and don't feel like I'm missing that much, as I have a lot of friends that join me.

SaxonPig
February 26, 2011, 06:49 PM
I did it for a while where I lived before moving to my current city of residence. But the group quickly proved to be a bunch of... well, let's just say I didn't wish to continue their company.

After moving here, there was no active group. I have heard there is one getting started but I have already lost interest and sold my guns. Well, I kept the shotgun because it's too cool.

http://www.fototime.com/7C31EC8470C7E50/standard.jpg

Jon Coppenbarger
February 26, 2011, 06:51 PM
They need to come out with more video games taylored to SASS. Look at all the action shooting games out on video in the last say 10, 15 or 20 years.
It is only a natual progression of a yound kid learning on a video game and when they gr w up and are old enough to buy a gun on their own they would wish to still have the same fun as when they were just a pup.

Just look at the make up of certain sports.

say trap shooting or long range shooting at a national level you usually find folks that are highly educated and well off and have more time on their hands so they can afford to travel around to compete.

I see SASS as a more family sport that you see alot of familys participate in. It looks like fun and the few events I have watched I saw alot of husbands and wifes and some of the kids also shooting. Great sport!

Cmp and highpower and small bore I see alot of young folks shoot but when they reach the late teens and early twentys they most of the time move out of the sport due to many reasons. school, getting married, jobs or just not as much fun any more or when you have to foot the bill it gets put on the back burner so you see alot of folks in their late twentys and up.

The run and shoot sports from what I have seen for the most part derived from them having that glock or ar15 and shooting aliens and the such in all of those video games so when they grew up its just natual to want to continue on with it.

Now we are going to get some folks in each sport that have just gotten into the sport of their choice because they just thought it was darn fun and thats ok also as what ever sport you do nobody else should knock you for which ever shooting sport you pick.

Nushif
February 26, 2011, 06:51 PM
I actually really wanted to try it once, but then I was told I needed two single action revolvers.

Now, I understand that the stages for scoring need to be standardized, but for some reason I think if I ever had to use a gun to defend myself and I actually had a rifle I'd use that, instead. 8)

So what turned me off it was the whole two revolvers needed thing. If they ever have a "hold-out" or one gun competition I might rethink it though. A stage that really only calls for one revolver.



They need to come out with more video games taylored to SASS. Look at all the action shooting games out on video in the last say 10, 15 or 20 years.

They do actually! The western games got a huge revival with Red Dead Redemption. I wouldn't be half surprised if most meets don't get at least one or two fresh faces just because of the revival of western games.

Jon Coppenbarger
February 26, 2011, 06:53 PM
Saxonpig I have one of those shotguns also. I really like them and forget I have it sometimes untill someone talks about one or I see a photo of it.

Again nice shotgun!

mcdonl
February 26, 2011, 06:53 PM
Blue jeans, a modern western shirt (long sleeve), a modern western cowboy hat, and modern cowboy boots suffice

You don't call that a costume!!??!!

There is NO "role playing" whatsoever. In fact, that one is so far out in left field I'm not even sure where it came from.

I see more role playing in IDPA... shoot, every stage is setup to simulate a shooting situation so I do not see where this is a bad thing.

liberty -r- death
February 26, 2011, 06:53 PM
I did it for several years off and on. I had alot of fun doing it, but got bored with it and moved on to other shooting.

Jon Coppenbarger
February 26, 2011, 06:55 PM
Yes you are right I remember them talking about and seeing that video game advertised on tv. I think they talked like it was a real high selling game if I remember right.

Sam Cade
February 26, 2011, 07:05 PM
1.) I have no desire to dress up like a cowboy.

2.) The only reason I shoot any competition is to keep myself inoculated against stress should I have occasion to use the same skills and weapons in a "social" context. I don't really shoot for "fun".

3.) I already run tabletop RPGs a couple times a month so I get that particular need out of my system.

4.) My 5 year old said that playing dress up is silly.

ArthurDent
February 26, 2011, 07:28 PM
It's all been said before, but I'll say it again. ;)

When I first got interested in firearms, I heard about cowboy action shooting, and it sounded very interesting to me. I did some investigation, and promptly ruled it out.

Why it sounded good:

I'm old (46) and I like old, historical guns. I like the history of firearms.

I like the idea of getting together with other like-minded folks to share an interest.

There are at least two clubs that meet regularly within 10 miles of my house.

At the time I was dating a woman who loved horses and she had the whole style of the old-west going on. I thought it might be a good hobby to go along with her interests.

Why I rejected it:

Costumes: Seriously? you HAVE to dress in period costumes?

Fake "Stage" Identities: SERIOUSLY??? I have to make up a person from that era, and then become that person and behave in character the ENTIRE event? If I read the requirements correctly, that is part of it. I might choose to play-act for a short part of the event, but I'm too old to play make-believe for long. I am who I am.

Also, it seemed that you HAVE to have a whole set of different types of guns. What about if you were just interested in old revolvers or old lever guns or old shotguns? Of course this also brings in lots of $$$.

So it's never gonna be my thing. Still, if I could find some like-minded folks to play with, I might enjoy getting together to play with old-style guns in a less formal setting.

Bottom line: Too much other <deleted> associated with it, beyond the old, historical guns.

tarosean
February 26, 2011, 07:32 PM
hmmmmm... I own the wrong horses.

1st shot would either

A) result in a immediate trip to the ER.
B) depending on which way they bolted would be a record trip via horseback to either Canada or South America.

tarosean
February 26, 2011, 07:36 PM
They need to come out with more video games taylored to SASS.


Just an FYI.. Red Dead Redemption was last years Video Game of the Year...

Every bit a Cowboy Shooter...

co_dave
February 26, 2011, 07:38 PM
Yes, you choose an "Alias" if you like, you can use your real name. There is no requirement that you adopt a "persona" and play act in "character." I suppose that some folks do and it makes the game more fun for them, but the majority of folks I know don't.

SuperNaut
February 26, 2011, 07:40 PM
Just an FYI.. Red Dead Redemption was last years Video Game of the Year...

Every bit a Cowboy Shooter...

If it has offline co-op I'm buying it today.

tarosean
February 26, 2011, 07:53 PM
If it has offline co-op I'm buying it today.

Nope only "Online" multiplayer..

Im over 40 and enjoyed the game....

Wedge
February 26, 2011, 08:06 PM
Jeans, Boots, Hat, western shirt...sounds like I am doing work in the yard - not a big deal.

Now cost to play, that is a big deal.

Could do IDPA with a Used S&W Model 64 for ~$250 I believe, homemade holster (or just a cheaper say $20), a few speed loaders ($6/each). That's pretty cheap equipment costs, I have spent that match trying out a new hobby and didn't get a new to me revolver out of it!

towboat_er
February 26, 2011, 08:08 PM
Too many rules. I'm a rebel...LOL.

vaherder
February 26, 2011, 08:10 PM
Never liked the Village People. I prefer to compete with my dogs and sheep

Va herder

kiskicowboy
February 26, 2011, 08:11 PM
Been reading through this thread, and thought I'd add my two cents to it. For starters, thought I'd share two great videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HusXZTzzEk4
This is Randi Rogers from Team Glock shooting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0mobzNCinM
This is Holy Terror from SASS shooting.

Randi Rogers goes by the handle Holy Terror when shoooting SASS, and has been the SASS Womens Champion several times running.

The skills one learns while shooting in one discipline can most certainly carry over into any other shooting discipline. Randi/Holy Terror, has been shooting SASS since her early teens, and has been shooting for Team Glock for the past four years.

danprkr
February 26, 2011, 08:12 PM
Bottom line? Money, I have to many other expensive hobbies to take this one on. Having said that I'd love it I'm sure, but I until I become wealthy...

Also, I'm not a big fan of playing dress up. But that's an side, that I'd probably deal with for the fun an camaraderie etc. But, a modern cowboy division might attract me. Then I could use some of competitive dance outfits that I can't compete in anymore.

Dr.Rob
February 26, 2011, 08:22 PM
I think it looks like a hoot.

Things keeping me away:

1. lack of second 44 magnum Vaquero
2. lack of rattlesnake embedded in grip of first Vaquero
3. lack of olive green serape and sheepskin vest
4. need to take up smoking small hand rolled cigars (cheroots?)
5. 2 mules to haul all that stuff around with

Honestly it looks as fun as any other shooting sport, plus it adds a bit of costuming.

I've never been clear on the cross draw rule, though I know one exists. Not sure my gunleather us up to spec.

co_dave
February 26, 2011, 08:36 PM
Dr. Rob, all of those are easily remedied....

I'd like to invite you to a match in Willington, CO 3rd Saturday of March.
http://www.pawneestation.com/index.html
I always bring enough ammo for an extra shooter in case there are new folks without guns, so that won't be a problem. If you come, I'm "Grizzly Dave" a short fat bearded guy, most folks know who I am, so ask. Hope to see you there!
Dave

kiskicowboy
February 26, 2011, 08:50 PM
Dr. Rob,
What you need is pretty easy to aquire, besides, it's fun to shoot dressed like this:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/cmr314/Me2007.jpg

Rembrandt
February 26, 2011, 08:59 PM
Somethings not right......looks like a Clint Eastwood poncho/vest with an Indiana Jones hat.


http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/cmr314/Me2007.jpg

kiskicowboy
February 26, 2011, 09:04 PM
Well, it's not a Clint Eastwood style hat, and it's not an Indiana Jones style hat either. It's an 1885 pattern US Cavalry Campaign Hat, with the crown shaped the way I like it.

oneounceload
February 26, 2011, 09:46 PM
Why not join? - I have enough trouble reloading the 12 gauge I shoot at targets, let alone pistol and rifle.......besides a good Marlin lever gun are impossible to find at any price around here

mgmorden
February 26, 2011, 09:48 PM
I think part of it is the culture of western movies and TV is gone. I have to admit that though I'm very into guns, I go to my dad's house and he watches the Encore Westerns *all the time*, and I have to admit that most of them seem pretty cheesy.

With that in mind, I wouldn't mind going out and participating in the competitive aspect of it - I enjoy shooting single actions - the main problem is the rules requiring that you compete under a "persona". The dress rules and particularly choosing an alias. No problem with anyone who chooses to do it, but it's just not for me. Seems too much like playing dress-up :).

Souris
February 27, 2011, 12:41 AM
#1 Reason I quit shooting SASS and let my membership lapse and quit shooting matches was the gamer attitude that took the fun out of going to a shoot. Comments like "You'll never be competitive with a 45. You have to have a .357 or a .32".
The original spirit of the game seems to be gone. It is no longer guys having fun with old style firearms and cowboy hats. It is now about the match. If I wanted that then I could shoot IPSC and not worry about the 3 extra guns.

#2 There is a gentleman who is never wrong and if he shoots a stage wrong then he changes the stage to match what he shot. The local groups have not done anything about him. They have lost 4 shooters due to him but continue to let him stay.

Tim the student
February 27, 2011, 01:20 AM
A couple of reasons for me:

Initial cost - those guns don't hold much interest to me. With the money I can put towards shooting, I'd rather it be towards something that I like. I also don't have any desire to buy clothes that I specifically wear only to go play cowboy in. Carhartts, workboots, baseball hats, and wool shirts is as close as I can come to looking like an old west cowboy without buying new clothes - which I'm not doing.

Location - there isn't any group near me that I know of, but I haven't looked either. I don't have any desire to go drive two hours to do it either.

The west just doesn't fascinate me. If it did, maybe I would already have a gun or two that I would need and the clothes.

The stages I have seen videos of do look like fun though.

Oyeboten
February 27, 2011, 01:38 AM
Here is how every encounter so far, has gone -


Any of various local Gun shows, me pausing at the recruitment Table of one of the Cowboy Shooting Associations.

Usually they have some nice repro Guns on the Table, and, some literature about their Organization.

Me - "Nice Walker you have there...is it a Uberti?"


Thee people behind the table, two guys and a woman, all busy chatting and in costume.

One of them looks up, says, as if correcting someone he thinks is a stupid child, "That's a WALKER, it uses Black Powder"...then he goes back to chattingwith is table mates.


Me - "Yes, I had said, 'Nice Walker there...is it a Uberti? Or?"

Him, lagging now, in how he turns to reply, saying "It's a Black Powder Gun, it does not use Cartridges..."

Me _ "Thanks..."

And I walk on.


Another typical way it goes -

I pause at their Table, the usual one gal two guys, in costume...

I say "Wow, this looks like it would really be fun...I have the Guns, I have Steamer Trunks of actual period Clothing also...can you tell me more about it?"


One of the guys sort of barely turns his head away from the chattering the three are doing, and, says, "info on the and of the table there" and he sort of chin-points to the little tri fold pamphlets or whatever...and he goes back into the chatting...

I say, "Oh, well..golly, thanks..."

And I walk on.


Lol...

russ69
February 27, 2011, 01:50 AM
I looked into it. No problem with jeans, boots, dress shirt and hat. I don't really want any handmade clothes, just stuff I would wear today. Western but not 1880. More Marlboro man than Wyatt Earp with a 3 piece suit.
No problem with a pair of pistols and a rig but I just don't want to haul a cart around with a ton of crap. Lets get real, cowboys would be lucky to have one gun much less a shotgun, matched pistols and a rifle. I just want to get out of my car, slip on my belt, grab a box of ammo and go to the shooting station. The three gun just is too much and looks like golf with firearms, I'd need a caddy, lol.

Thanx, Russ

Dr.Rob
February 27, 2011, 02:01 AM
co dave can I take a rain check? I'm going to be working on a feature film end of March-most of April.

I'd love to come and see how you all do things. I need to stock up on some cowboy legal 44 mags (Ultramax makes them) for my Vaquero and 1894 Marlin.

(Dr.Rob is actually an art director and knows where to get most of that stuff.)

Justin would totally do it if there was a Steampunk class.

kayak-man
February 27, 2011, 04:25 AM
Co_Dave:

It sounds like a lot of fun, and you've got me convinced to try it out. Theres a couple clubs in my area: one withing 20min, and another farther away(buts its on the way to my favorite surf spot, so its all good :cool: ). I can't shoot shotgun right now, but once my shoulder heals up, I think I'll email the match director and see about coming out.

I take it I can't use my sweatshirt style poncho as part of my costume? (like this http://www.amazon.com/Unisex-Jerga-Large-Black-colors/dp/B001AIQHLW/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1298798644&sr=8-19)

If not, no worries, I'll just wear it to the Trap and Skeet range. It will be my Saiga 12 shirt :evil:

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Man From Boot Hill
February 27, 2011, 04:59 AM
Just my two cents as a member of SASS and as a cowboy reenactor: I am reading the posts and have to wonder, What are some folks thinking?????? I am hearing things like "it costs too much," " I don't want to dress up," and so on. Have any of these folks gone to a match and seen what happens there????? I did before I joined SASS and I met some great folks that were willing to help a newbie get started. My lady & I met one shooter (a woman) who loaned me her stuff and let me try it out after a stage had been shot. I was hooked after that!!!!!

As to cost: I started out buying a marlin 38/357 lever rifle at big 5, followed by a sxs hammer coach gun. I bought two Rugers from a fellow sass member/gunseller at a better price than I was able to find any where else. I got a Rossi 92 copy at Big 5 also and my lady bought me a old Winchester 97 pump at a gun show for a good price. Leather was from an Ebay seller, I now have more than three rigs and might buy more. You do not have to be rich to shoot, you can buy used guns, and other gear.

Nobody says you have to dress like Kurt Russell in "Tombstone" (I do sometimes). Just get a pair of western jeans and a western shirt & hat (all can be bought 2nd hand). Some good boots and go to a match and start talking to folks. Some people have spare gear and will loan it to you for a match. Ask questions and you might be surprised at how much fun you can have! And if you want to look like a B-Western star, there is a category for that!

Don't be so quick to knock what you have not tried, some of the nicest folks I have met are cowboy action shooters! I dress as a Old West marshal and folks always ask "why"? Well, I tell them and invite them to come to a match and find out for themselves what they might be missing.

I am also a volunteer at Roaring Camp Railroads Park in Felton, Ca. I dress as a 1880's marshal with dummy guns and I am there as a informal information person, direction giver, photo op,and general entertainment for folks getting on and off the trains.

So I am having fun in both worlds! As I said: don't knock something till you try it!

Pete D.
February 27, 2011, 05:52 AM
It looks like a lot of fun. My club in PA (North Mt. Sportsmans) has an extensive SASS venue set up in a ravine on the club property. No excuses there.
The folks that I have met at the site were a open and friendly - and quite willing to help a person new to the sport with info and lending guns.
But...
Man from Boot Hill: everything that you write is so. There is, though, a however.
It is so, however....
As to cost: I started out buying a marlin 38/357 lever rifle at big 5, followed by a sxs hammer coach gun. I bought two rugers
from a fellow sass member/gunseller at a better price than I was able to find any where else. I got a rossi 92 copy at big 5 also and my lady bought me a old winchester 97 pump at a gun show for a good price. Leather was from

You may have done a good job shopping but the bottom line is that you had to buy five guns - and even at a good price, that is a considerable investment (far more than entry level in any other shooting sport). And Ammo - one needs to shoot a lot. Cowboy ammo is expensive. Reloading is the way to go - I could do that but already reload for three other shooting sports. A fourth? Not right now.
Pete

Jon Coppenbarger
February 27, 2011, 09:01 AM
I have never shot in a sass event but like I said before it looks like fun and everyone has always been real nice to me while I was there.

Joe Demko
February 27, 2011, 10:46 AM
If I were going to get into some combination of playing dress-up and shooting, I guess I'd have to form my own shooting sport. Like most here, I don't really have a lot of interest in playing movie or TV cowboy. Characters like Indiana Jones and Rick O'Connell (from The Mummy) interest me more and use weapons more to my taste. I also like their costumes better. Lots of us probably own suitable guns right this moment without having to buy additional guns.
So, I guess what we're looking at here is a shooting game that has the flavor of those movies and the serials that were their ancestors. Can't come up with a catchy name right off the top of my head, though. I think this might actually be fun. Anybody else? PM me with ideas or we can start a new thread rather than highjack this one.

lcambre
February 27, 2011, 10:47 AM
I used to shoot SASS. I haven't shot it since the boots I used to use messed up my feet enough that I had to go to the podiatrist.

I also found that there are some cowboy shooters that need to back off on being the clothing police. Trust me, a new cowboy shooter doesn't want to be brow beaten for their SASS legal clothing not measuring up to your standards.

Justin
February 27, 2011, 11:19 AM
I have to wonder if the folks that have a problem with the light loads used to shoot SASS would also balk at having to conform to the standards of making Major or Minor for IPSC.

J-Bar
February 27, 2011, 11:33 AM
I want to thank all those who have taken the time to post comments. I should make it clear that I am just a guy with a question. I have no official standing in the SASS, and I am no longer even an officer in any of the cowboy action clubs I belong to. I am not trying to recruit anyone into cowboy action shooting. I just wanted to do a little casual research to see if some of the opinions expressed on the cowboy website were valid.

After beginning this thread on THF, I posted a link to it on the cowboy wire. Your comments have generated a lot of interest. A lot of cowboy action shooters have taken me to task for not trying to correct "misconceptions" about the sport. I did not see that as my responsibility...I asked for information, not an opportunity to argue about what was right and what was wrong. I respect a shooter's right to choose the activity that appeals to him or her, for whatever reason.

In fairness to all of you who have posted on this thread, I am now posting a link to the cowboy wire thread where, if you are interested, you can look at how your comments were perceived by folks who are actually participating in cowboy action shooting. I am NOT doing this to stir any pot or start arguments or anything of that nature. I have made good on my promise not to comment or criticize any post made on this thread. I just thought some of you might like to know how your comments were perceived by those who are participating in the sport.

It has been an interesting exercise and I appreciate all who have contributed to both threads.

http://sassnet.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=165111&st=0

InkEd
February 27, 2011, 11:36 AM
Everyone keeps saying.....

"You don't have to wear a costume... just a pair of blue jeans, cowboy boots and western shirt."
Well.....for MOST of us.....that IS a silly costume!

"It will only cost you about $20 for the clothes."
True but it still "feels" ridiculous and has NOTHING to do with shooting firearms.

"It has to do with historical accuracy."
No, it doesn't. Neither does tricked-out Winchesters and SAA revolvers with glass-smooth triggers. It is a shooting competition. Those are competion guns. Period. (AND THAT IS FINE!) If you want to dress-up and be historically accurate then join a re-enactment
group. There's nothing wrong with it. Just don't try and pretend they are one in the same.

"The weaker ammo is for safety."
Wrong. It is for competition. Which is fine because it's a shooting competion. It's a bit hypocritical to say the ammo is okay but costume are needed for historic value.

IMHO this is why CAS/SASS is going to stay relegated to being "a renaissance fair with guns." It is NOT historically accurate and the (majority of) people involved like to dress-up and pretend to be from another time. If that is what you're into for fun, it's perfectly fine. However, if people REALLY want to increase participation and be seen as a "real shorting sport" (which IMHO it is one AND they have some skilled shooters) then the
costumes have GOT TO GO (or be COMPLETELY optional.)

It can still be a fun and friendly event. I think ALOT of people feel it will get too serious lie IPSC if they get rid of the costumes. Don't worry it won't happen. It can stay a good family atmosphere like a Ruger Rimfire Match.

Justin
February 27, 2011, 11:42 AM
"It will only cost you about $20 for the clothes."
True but it still "feels" ridiculous and has NOTHING to do with shooting firearms.


It's not my thing, I don't shoot SASS, but I'm not going to criticize the sport for requiring you to dress appropriately.

If you've ever seen pictures from the End of Trails event, it makes sense as to why they require you to dress up. Literally thousands of people, all of them in costume competing, interacting, socializing, and just generally doing their thing. I have to imagine that attending the event would be about as close to actually walking through an Old West movie as you're likely to get.

Also, if you're not willing to drop $20 on ancillary materials to compete in a sport, it's unlikely that you would have shown up even if the costume requirement was waived completely. You're likely to spend more than $20 just on the ammunition to shoot a local match.

"The weaker ammo is for safety."
Wrong. It is for competition.

From what I've seen, SASS matches tend to put a lot of steel targets at fairly close range. It would stand to reason that light loads and unjacketed lead bullets would reduce the risk of ricochets and frag bouncing back and injuring shooters, ROs, or spectators.

MattTheHat
February 27, 2011, 11:43 AM
People crack me up. I've read the whole thread, and it seem like most posts say something like "Looks like a bunch of fun, except I don't want to dress up, and I don't like whimpy loads." That being the case, why does it look like a bunch of fun in the first place?

So, I too will say it looks like a bunch of fun. I've just never taken the time to go to a match and check it out for my self. I hope to change that some day. As to the need to purchase additional guns, well, that too sounds like a bunch of fun!

My only problem is that I'm going to have to find a pretty special hat to live up to my screen name (Matt-the-hat). :)


-Matt

230therapy
February 27, 2011, 11:52 AM
Goofiness with crossdraw and "speed is king" courses. Long waits between shooting just became too boring for me.

The WORST offense is their allowance of powder-puff loads. This is totally gaming it.

Yawn.

Justin
February 27, 2011, 12:05 PM
People crack me up. I've read the whole thread, and it seem like most posts say something like "Looks like a bunch of fun, except I don't want to dress up, and I don't like whimpy loads."

Haters gonna hate, playas gonna play.

co_dave
February 27, 2011, 12:21 PM
Kayak Man - I don't see a problem with that shirt for a monthly match, most clubs are flexible on costuming for monthly matches for newcomers. An email to the match director or club contact is always a good idea, they can fill you in on any club specific stuff, and might even volunteer to line you up loaner guns if you don't have everything.

Dr. Rob, anytime, come on out!

Jon Coppenbarger
February 27, 2011, 12:34 PM
It turns my stomach when I hear all of the comments from some people who shoot in one or two of the action shooting sports here on this site and I thought this was the HIGH ROAD?

After reading the post on the other forum its sad the impression we give others. Like I have said I have always been treated with open arms while watching their events. If someone wishes to dress up like mountain men, cowboys, western outfits, military or mall ninjas I do not care but to put them down is not right.

I know a club that has been thinking about letting a few more groups build areas for the different sports and after reading these post I know which ones I can suggest go foward and which ones I would not allow on the place.

I just might go watch a few more of the cas and sass events this year and you guys have a nice forum also.

Redbeard55
February 27, 2011, 12:39 PM
I'm by heart a single action revolver fan. I will never shoot in a cowboy action even because.
1. There are too many rules about what is legal and what is not legal to shoot. Anyone that concerned about what is authentic or not is way too anal retentive in my book.
2. I have the firearms, but I'm not about the spend the money on clothes
3. I find cowboy boots uncomfortable
4. Time spent on creating an alias would better be spent on reloading for the next match.
5. The targets are too close and people game the system just to lower their times. Short strokes kits?????? How authentic is that?
6. What is so bad about adjustable sights???? Last I heard there was a movement to ban adjustable sights.

kayak-man
February 27, 2011, 12:54 PM
J-Bar,

Thank you for posting a link to the CASS-Wire. I read a bit of the posts and I'm glad to see that a lot of our "issues" with CAS are misconceptions. Also, BLue Steel Duke in post #9 on The Wire, had what I think is a pretty good idea.

Personaly, this is where I stand on the big 3 isssues that have cropped up:

Costume: Personally, I think the costume requirement might be kinda fun, especially if I can keep it limited to jeans, boots, a duster and a hat. I don't want to have dress in 100% hand made clothing, but I wouldn't object to dressing up kind of like Clint Eastwood for a day.

Powder Puff Loads: Honestly, I don't care what other people shoot. Hell, I enjoy being competive with less than ideal equipment. My sporting clays gun is an 870. Yes, I shoot pump gun. If everyone was shooting powderpuff loads, I would see it as my moral obligation to shoot full power 44magnum loads.

Cost: This goes both ways - some of the guys on the wire were saying that you only spend a couple grand guns, and allot of people put that into a single 1911. Heres the thing though, you CAN spend $2000 on a pistol for USPSA, but you don't HAVE to spend $2000 on a pistol. my USPSA pistol is my carry pistol, a $350 Ruger SR9. I plan on shooting 3 gun, and I'm going to use that, my Saiga AK that I have about $450 into, and my $250 870.
Part of the thing is, I really want a lever gun, but I don't want a pistol calliber levergun- I want a 45-70 so that when I finnaly go fishing up in Alaska, I can have something that will be usefull. I want a big revolver, but I want to get a double action so that I can shoot it quickly with one hand. The CAS guys keep saying that its not all that expensive, and compared to running a "race" STI 1911, they are right. The thing is, they are single use guns. USPSA/3Gun utilizes my HD and carry guns, while CAS is based around guns that I wouldn't really use for other competitions or carry because of the slow reload time. Gear wise, I've only got $400 invested in USPSA. Can I actually compete in CAS with only $400 worth of gear?

I'm sorry, but the cost of gear is kind of a "hot button" for me, and its all welll and good for people to say "It only costs $xx" but even $x is outside of my price right now. You can compare the price of gear to a race gun all you want, and you can say that compared to other shooting sports, its not expensive - thats all fine. But when I say that for me its too expensive, well, until y'all try paying for tuition and gas, while having been out of work for the past 6 months, then you can say that I'm wrong about the cost of shooting. Tone doesn't carry well over the internet, so just so you know, this isn't me foaming at the mouth, and if it comes off as snarky/abrassive, it wasn't really meant to be that way. I agree that the cost of gear isn't that bad compared to some of the shooting sports out there, but well, In all honesty, I've only got about $27 to my name right now. Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk, just wanted people to understand where I'm coming from when I say "no really, I would, but I can't"

Rant over.

Sorry if I came off a bit abrassive there, but I felt like it needed saying.

That being said - CAS looks like a lot of fun, and it sounds like y'all are an upstanding group of people. When I can start working again, it will definately be something I'll look into. It must be really frustrating from your side, with all these misconceptions flaoting around.

Dave, Thanks for the answer. I'll look your club up if I ever find myself in CO.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

mdauben
February 27, 2011, 01:05 PM
So if you have considered cowboy action shooting but decided not to participate, I would like to find out why you made that decision.
I have considered getting into Cowboy Action Shooting for a while now. I guess like some others have said, the biggest issue for me is cost, I would not only need four guns that I don't currently own (two SA pistols, one rifle and shotgun) and a relativly expensive holster set, but also the cost of an outfit, too.

From the matches I have seen on TV, I also am somewhat put off by the overly 'gaming' nature of the competitions (non-prototypical "speed" holster rigs, squib loads, short stroke kits, etc.). Since I have never been to a CAS match, perhaps I'm just seeing the 'unlimited' competitions, but something a bit more 'period' and laid back would suit me better.

Also, the option to just compete with one gun in some form would be attractive, as it would allow people to spread the cost of a full four-gun setup over time, while still allowing them to participate in the interum.

The first one and it is the BIGGEST thing that keeps ALOT of interested people away from Cowboy Action Shooting is the REQUIREMENT TO WEAR A COSTUME. The majority of shooters have absolutely NO DESIRE to dress-up like a cowboy.
Honestly, if they did away with the costume requirements entirely I would have zero interest in Cowboy Action Shooting. In fact, I would say that in some ways I find the reinactment aspect of the sport more interesting than the actual competition itself.

Justin
February 27, 2011, 01:23 PM
For those of you who are regular CAS/SASS shooters, what are the misconceptions about light loads?

Are there ammunition requirements similar to the power factor requirements seen in USPSA?

Regarding some of the "gamey" aspects of equipment, like the short stroke kits, are those only allowed in certain divisions?

GCBurner
February 27, 2011, 01:52 PM
I've got the guns, and a cowboy hat. The local club decided to hold their competitions on Sunday mornings, though, and I have comittments at church.

Pete D.
February 27, 2011, 01:54 PM
I'm sorry, but the cost of gear is kind of a "hot button" for me, and its all welll and good for people to say "It only costs $xx" but even $x is outside of my price right now. You can compare the price of gear to a race gun all you want, and you can say that compared to other shooting sports, its not expensive.....

+1 about that. I read the comparison to the expense of other shooting sports on the SASS forum. There is some truth in comparing the expense of four guns to the cost of a full out race gun but as was well stated by the author of the quote above, one doesn't have to have a full out race gun to start. SASS - ya gotta have the guns.
It might be OK for someone who is completely new to shooting competition to compare expenses. But for those of us who are already invested in other shooting sports, the expense is additional.
Interestingly, none of the guns that I have for other competitions is usable in SASS - not the shotguns that I hunt with or use for Trap and Skeet, not the rifles I use for prone or HP, not the pistols that I use for Bullseye.

Pete

WNTFW
February 27, 2011, 02:13 PM
In general shooters have a hard time finding out about competitions and getting started.

For many shooters it is hard to try anything new because of equipment needed. This can apply to highpower, fclass and such. Usually some form of pistol competition is easier to get started as your carry gun can be used. SASS guns don't have as much of a widespread dual purpose as some of the other competitions guns can have. Some of us just can't justify more time and expense for another "thing".

I have to admit the whole costume and pretend thing is not my type of thing. I'm sure you do get to know some great people on a bit of a deeper level than other events.

I have know idea how the competition portion of it works.

kiskicowboy
February 27, 2011, 02:37 PM
As per amuunition/power factor requirements, we have rules that govern pistol and rifle ammunition. As per the SASS Shooter Handbook:

"The minimum standard for center-fire ammunition used in all smokless categories in all
SASS matches State, Regional, National, International, and World Championship
Competitions is not less than a minimum power factor of 60 and no velocity may be less than
400 fps. The maximum velocity standard for revolvers is 1000 fps. The maximum velocity
standard for rifles is 1400 fps."

Shooters can select their loads based upon these guidelines. Some shooters feel the need to compete using the lightest load/bullet possible, others like to shoot using standard cartridge loads. Myself, I shoot a 158 gr. .38 Spl load, at 900 fps, in both my revolvers and my rifle (I load my rounds to the same velocities as my carry ammunition). A good many of our shooters prefer to use the "holy black" for all of their loads, and as such, the bigger the fireball and boom, the better.

As per the use of short stroke kits, these are allowed, but again are covered in the SASS Shooters Handbook:

"All lever action rifles must have a lever travel distance of not less than 4-1/8 inches when
measured as follows:
With the action closed, measure three inches back from the back edge of the trigger at the
point where it enters the frame. Mark this point on both the bottom of the buttstock and the
lever opposite the buttstock mark. Open the lever to its maximum extension and measure the
distance between the two marks"

The short stroke modifications were performed to enable the earlier Winchester designed rifles (1866/1873/1892) to keep up with the Marlin 1894 rifles (the Marlin design has a shorter lever throw). The limitations in the handbook were put in place to limit on the amount of modifications performed on these rifles.

Now, as for categories, there are many choices to choose from:

We have age based categories: Buckaroo, Cowboy, Wrangler, Forty-Niners, Seniors, Silver Seniors, and Elderly Statesmen...just to name a few.

We have Traditional Class shooters - Two handed supported revolver style

Duelist - One handed unsupported revolver style, both Single and Double Duelist styles in this category

Gunfighter - Two revolvers, one in each hand

B-Western - Relive those glory days of your youth, and dress like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tom Mix, Randolph Scott...or any other of your silver screen heroes. Buscadero Style drop holsters are a must, as are embellished costumes, leather, hats and boots (this is Hollywood you know, must keep up appearances).

Classic Cowboy/Cowgirl - This is where the clothing requirements are the strictest, with required items that must be worn (chaps, spurs, cuffs, scarfs, vests, knives, pocket watches with full chains). Proper leather gear is a must (no buscadero holsters, no drop holsters), traditional style boots, and fur/felt hats required (no straw hats allowed).

Blackpowder Categories - Frontier Cartridge (blackpowder cartridges in all firearms), and Frontiersman (percussion revolvers, blackpowder cartridges for rifle and shotgun).

As you can imagine, there are many ways to play the game, and everybody can play the game as they see fit within the established rules and guidelines.

One last thing, as per outfits, any pair of blue jeans (no designer jeans), a long sleeve shirt or long sleeve henly, and some form of shoe/boot (no tennis shoes, no sandals, no military boots), these are the minimum requirements. Hearing and eye protection are required for all participants.

Leadfoot
February 27, 2011, 02:42 PM
Fellas for tha cost of guns in SASS:
2 used Ruger Vaq 750.00
used 92 win or marlin 550.00
used stoger SXS 300.00
new locally made double rig (pistol) 200.00
Shotgun slide for ya belt (ammo holder) 35.00
clothes? Use whats in you closet. Long sleve shirt, blue jeans, work boots.
No hat required ta win EOT.

Thats about 1835.00, it ain't free but it ain't a mint either. Probably about 75% shoot these type of guns.


LF

just1more
February 27, 2011, 03:39 PM
WOW!

I started shooting SASS a couple years ago, and its been great.

I do see where some of the confusions come from.

SASS is a fantasy shooting sport. It is not a reinactment or perfect history correct sport. There are other Cowboy Action Shooting related groups that cover those. NCOWS being a common one.

You make it what you want. If you want to shoot all dressed up like the fancy cowboys of the big screen era, there's a category for that. If you want to get dressed up like the real cowboys of the late 1800' there's a category for you. If your a woman and want to shoot, there's many categories you will be more than welcome in (girls & guns, what could be better). If your the woman that wants to shoot in a tight visible corset and melt the hearts of all the men in the territory you will be most welcome.
If your a shooter who wants to see if you can improve your shooting skills, using a variety of guns from the old west all at once, this if for you.
If you want be first in class, or first overall, it will still take a lot a practice, skill and a bit of luck.

Categories:
There are many to chose from.
Most are minimum age based (young gun/bucaroo/buckarette up to 14 or 16; cowboy - open to any age; wrangler - 36+; fourty niner - 49+; senior - 60+; silver senior - 65+; elder statesman/grande dames 70+), but there are others to chose from based on shooting style.
Two catagories have the requirement of shooting one handed (duelest and gunfighter), others are open to two handed or one handed. In B-Western its an option to any of the three ways (duelist, gunfighter or two handed).
Gunfighters use two hand guns at once, all others are one loaded hand gun out at a time. Duelist and double duelist are shot one handed either both guns from the same hand, or right gun right hand, left gun left hand.
Any category can be broken down to add an optional ladies category. They do not have to shoot in the ladies only category.

Costuming:
Two are costume based categories (B-Western, and Classic Cowboy) These are the ones you see all the fancy duds and extras that have a minimum requirement. Its also where a lot of misconception that the rules for these two classes apply to all classes. NOT TRUE
All the other categories have very open rules for attire. Leather boots are fine (I use leather work boots). Others use hiking boots. Rules only state no tennis shoes or combat boots.
Long sleeve shirt. Any long sleeve shirt. Only rules specify no advertising/logos.
Hat is optional. (I will say you'll want one) either from the funnin with you'll get about losin your hat, or to keep the weather from getting to ya (straw type in the sun or felt or leather in the rain), or mostly, some guns (1873, 1892 rifles) throw the brass right on top of you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7kuFE3xsL4
We are dressed up because thats what our imagination desired when we decided to complete own little shooting fantasy.

Power factor:
We have a minimum PF. It is rather light to some, but this encourages the targets be close enough to aid the shooter in getting the most hits with minimum splash back in the fastest time. We strive for hits on steel. We like to hear the ring of the steel (see below). PF is rarely checked, and many of the so called Mouse Phart loads would likely be illegal.

Guns:
Pistols, most curently use Ruger Vaqueros or Black hawks, or Colt SAA's and their replicas. If you only have one, you can reload on the clock to shoot the other 5 shots, or maybe hook up with a pardner who will share. Another option I've seen is to shoot one pistol but your score does not count in finals.
Shotguns, most use either a double coach gun with or without visible hammers, or the Winchester 1897 pump action. Another that has a great cool factor is the Winchester 1887 lever action.
Rifles, most use either a Marlin 1894 or reproduction 1873. Another comon rifle is the replica 1892.

Ammo:
We use lead only for all rounds for safety. See PF above.

Scoring.
We have a script or scenario for each stage. Some instructions are more open to interpretation than others. Different clubs will vary just how open the instructions/target sequence. Basicly you have four guns, and an array of targets. The script may give you the order in which the targets need to be hit, or leave the exact order up to the shooter. If there is a sequence and you shoot targets out of sequence, your given a procedural time penalty of 10 seconds. If you miss a target you recieve a time penalty of 5 seconds per miss.

We use a sound pressure sensitive timer. The shooter starts at the beep given from the timer after the shooter acknowleges they are ready (usally saying a line, either made up, or from a movie). The timer picks up the time each shot is fired, and the stage time ends when the timer records the last shot.

Benifit of doubt always goes to the shooter.
If you know its a hit its a hit.
If you think its a hit its a hit.
If you think its a miss its a hit.
If you know its a miss its a miss.

WILDBUNCH
I see some even wanted to play with their 1911's. We gotchya covered here too.
This is for higher PF and a place to use your more current 1911 pistol.
This is new to SASS, but many clubs have been doing it for 10-12 years or more.
Similar to SASS, but hand gun requires a 1911, either "Traditional" original GI style gun, or "Modern" allows things like beaver tails, adjustable sights, and other comon now standard items.
A Winchester 1897 pump action shotgun starts with a loaded mag tube.
A large caliber SASS aproved rifle.
Many clubs offer a little bending of the rules in this class to entice more shooters to come play.

endlessendeavor
February 27, 2011, 03:54 PM
I first looked into CAS about 6 months ago, right around the same time I started looking into percussion revolvers. This was triggered by my roommate purchasing a Ruger New Vaquero in .45LC. After seeing him play quick-draw and twirl it around in the living room for a couple weeks, I finally got a break in my work schedule and we got a couple boxes of cowboy action loads and took it out into the desert in true Southern Arizona style.

I had so much damned fun with the thing, I started looking at revolvers as soon as we got back. I liked the New Vaquero but it just didn't give me that "have to have it" feeling, and in the process of searching I found two things that demanded further research. Percussion cap pistols, and CAS.

The idea of BP sixguns hooked me right away and I spent an outrageous amount of time reading and researching, and promised myself I'd by at least one in the near future. My experience with looking up CAS shooting however, was a little less enthralling.

The first things I stumbled on were most of the concerns previously mentioned in this thread. Some have been addressed in one way or another, but I figure I'll share my own two cents as well.

Costumes first of all. I don't have a problem dressing up as a cowboy. I've lived in cowboy country the better half of my life, ridden horses, raised steers, driven fence posts. It's how my parents dressed me from 5-10 as we owned and operated a Wyoming guest lodge. However, the idea of it being absolutely required is a bit of a turn off. That's the impression I got. Now, a couple folks have stated the requirements to be a little more lax. Blue jeans, a long sleeve work shirt, no tennis shoes or combat boots, and if you wear a hat it has to be western in styling. That I can get behind, but it's certainly not the first impression I received.

The next issue is the matter of the guns. I have no desire to invest well over a thousand dollars in firearms that will be mostly plinkers and range queens. That's a lot of money to anyone, but especially to the 20's crowd who have a lot of hobbies and ways to spend their money. I recently ordered an 1860 Colt and an 1858 Remington, one as a gift for my father. I own an inherited Winchester 9422XTR lever action .22. Why can't I compete with just what I've got? Events need to be organized in a different manner, in my opinion. Think of athletics. You can be a swimmer, a runner, or a bicyclist. You can specialize in what you enjoy, and even then you can specialize further. If you're a bicyclist, are you a street cyclist or a mountain biker, maybe you ride BMX. If you want to participate in all three, you join a triathlon.

That's how it should be with CAS in my opinion. I'd like to be able to just go have a good fun day of action oriented competitive shooting with my revolver, against other people shooting cap and ball revolvers. Short, fun events where you can use cartridge or black powder. One gun, or a pair. I believe in some basic limitations on loading, but it's a little strict from what I gather. A box of winchester cowboy action loads for my buddies Vaquero run $45 a box. Lead bullets for higher power loads makes sense, but there will always be a degree of risk involved. Look at the ever growing airsoft community. They have fully automatic weapons that fire 3 to 6 grain projectiles at 300-600 fps at each other, and most places only require a one page safety wager.

On a short note, I really don't like the idea of aliases. I've used my name with pride for the entirety of my life and I don't have any desire whatsoever to play reenactor. The poster that said it should be about the guns and the shooting hit the nail on the head.

Another thing I found lacking was a good website with an in depth description and detailed rundown of all aspects of the sport with a proper index. The internet has become a pivotal point in decision making, research, and information gathering the world over. Especially among youth. If you want to convince more young people to take part, you need this sort of a resource. Even a well maintained wiki will do wonders. It can't appear pretentious, strict, or targeted to a limited audience.

This is all coming from a 19 year old lifelong shooting enthusiast, long time "cowboy country" resident, and someone who really did look into it and was turned off by the strictly controlled environment which the sport presents to someone like myself. For comparison, while looking into black powder firearms for the first time I found a remarkably varied, welcoming, friendly and helpful community with members fitting every possible niche.

To summarize, here are the main things that resulted in my CAS links ending up sequestered in a folder in my bookmarks list. The first is what came across as a horrifically strict "authenticity" doctrine. My guns sights might not be historically correct, but that's just because I'm trying to expand on the usefulness of the firearms I'm purchasing. I really don't believe that someone with a Ruger Old Army or Pietta with adjustable sights has an outrageous advantage over someone with original sights once they get to know their gun. Not at the ranges seen in normal CAS. Or for that matter, a fictional 1851 Navy in .44. I don't want to play dress up. If I can just wear my Levis and a long sleeve button down shirt, that's fine. I'll grab my wool felt hat on the way out. I've got a couple buddies though that are huge firearms fans but won't wear cowboy boots. Shouldn't be a big deal. I don't want to have to buy a side-by-side or a lever in .44LC. I should be able to participate with my Pietta and Winchester .22.

What it boils down to is, if you want to attract a younger crowd of new shooters, you're going to have to appeal to a younger crowd. If you can believe it, there are folks in my age range that have never seen Tombstone. It's a different world, and while there are plenty of shooting enthusiasts who place plenty of value on historical significance they don't want to be constrained by it. I've got up 4-5 pals that I'm sure would give it a shot, and one or two I'm sure would really enjoy participating if it wasn't quite so demanding. If I could grab my 1860 Colt, my buddy could grab his New Vaquero, and my other buddy could dust off the Marlin .30-30 in his closet and we could go out for a day of laughs and competitive fun we'd be all over it. We have the most fun just 4-wheeling out into the remote deserts of Arizona, setting up and plinking like cowboys. If we could do it in an organized competitive setting, all that much better.

A bit long winded, now that I look at it. I hope, however, that I've provided some good insight on how to revamp the image of SASS and CAS to bring some fresh blood to the hobby. :)

Until then, carry on cowboy.


EDIT: Just a note, after I saw the comment about people wanting to play with their 1911's. I'd like to play with my Springfield. It's even older than the 1911 and has that enticing bolt action ring to it.

mokin
February 27, 2011, 04:40 PM
I don't own the guns and I don't own a cowboy hat. I have an interest in the guns and can see myself eventually, maybe, owning at least some of them. I don't see myself ever owning a cowboy hat. Also, for much of the year, I'm busy enough that I don't need more to do on the weekends. I have met and shot with a few of the more notable CAS members in the area and for the most part they are good guys. There are a few however, that are serious gamers and ruin it for many.

cane
February 27, 2011, 05:37 PM
I don't carry a six-shooter. Can I use 1911s?

Yes as a matter of fact you can. http://www.sassnet.com/wildbunch/

Larry Ashcraft
February 27, 2011, 05:43 PM
There are a few however, that are serious gamers and ruin it for many.
Shouldn't be that way at all.

Thirty years ago my wife and I got involved in IHMSA big bore handgun silhouette shooting. All we had to start was a Super Blackhawk and some factory ammo. A year later, I was heavily into handloading and another year later, we were both shooting unlimited class, her with an XP100 and me with a Wichita.

We had a ball. Most of the competitors were young couples with kids, as were we. We made big jokes about the women always outshooting the men (and they frequently did). We hosted the state match a few times and always put on a quality match.

But it was always in good fun.

But, speaking of gamers, one of our members was Lon Pennington, who later became international champion. He took the sport very seriously, but I don't think any of us ever thought less of him because of it.

We had our goals, he had his. Nothing wrong with that.

Larry Ashcraft
February 27, 2011, 05:55 PM
But, speaking of gamers, one of our members was Lon Pennington
Actually, I mis-spoke. There's no way to game a silhouette match. The only way to shoot at Lon's level is to tweak your handgun and your loads to the max, and practice, practice, practice.

Back on topic, I spent a day at a SASS match in Ramah CO a few years ago, watching a friend shoot. People kept offering me guns and ammo if I wanted to try shooting. It looked like a lot of fun.

I don't know if that club is still active, but I suppose they are. They had bought a ranch and set up a permanent SASS range. It was top of the line, I thought.

Deanimator
February 27, 2011, 06:05 PM
It's not my thing, I don't shoot SASS, but I'm not going to criticize the sport for requiring you to dress appropriately.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that any of the period bolt action offshoots of the Garand matches require you to wear a pickelhaube, a Stetson (doughboy OR New Zealand), or scarlet trousers. They still seem to be pretty well attended.

kayak-man
February 27, 2011, 06:18 PM
Forgive me making a blanket statement, but theres a lot of you, its 3pm where I am, and I still haven't eaten yet, so...

...To all the folks over on the wire who registered over here to post on this thread, Welcome to The High Road!

If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go grab some food.

Thanks,
Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Also, sorry if my earlier post was a bit on the abrassive side

Larry Ashcraft
February 27, 2011, 06:21 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that any of the period bolt action offshoots of the Garand matches require you to wear a pickelhaube, a Stetson (doughboy OR New Zealand), or scarlet trousers. They still seem to be pretty well attended.
So, are you saying the SASS shooters are wrong for requiring period clothing, or the bolt action people are wrong for not requiring it? Or are you saying that all shooting sports should be required to be in lock-step with each other?

Apples and oranges, anyone?

SuperNaut
February 27, 2011, 06:34 PM
It would be wise for the visiting SASS shooters to view this thread as an opportunity and not as an attack.

mgmorden
February 27, 2011, 06:37 PM
So, are you saying the SASS shooters are wrong for requiring period clothing, or the bolt action people are wrong for not requiring it? Or are you saying that all shooting sports should be required to be in lock-step with each other?

Apples and oranges, anyone?

It's not that they have to be all the same. The simple fact though was that the question was posed "Why aren't you a cowboy action shooter?" It looks like the dress requirements are a major part of the answer for a lot of people. Hard to get too mad at people for simply answering the question honestly.

As I said, I wouldn't personally mind competing - I've already got 1 appropriate SA revolver (have another but it's a .22), the shotgun, and a lever rifle, but I have never in my life put on a cowboy hat, shirt, or boots, and I have no intentions of ever doing so. If that means I can't shoot CASS, meh, so be it. I'm not going to petition them to change that but if they ask me why I'm not participating I'll give my answer.

gizmodog
February 27, 2011, 08:02 PM
why aren't I a CAS shooter........welll.........

i wanted to join a local CAS club but really didn't want to buy another rifle or shotgun. i suggested why not allow those members who just wanted dress out and shoot their B.P. revolvers during club shoots be allowed to do so.

the officers said no;:uhoh: so i joined the skunk skinners muzzleloader club at the same range. shoot without having to spent a fortune on more guns and get to dress out too, plus the match fees are only $4.00. win/win for me. ;)
P.S.my persona was a confederate soldier gone west. having done authentic campaigning i had REAL historical clothing which didn't seem to be accepted by the general lot of saturday afternoon hoolyweird cow pokes that i was rubbing shoulders with.............
gizmodog

familyman555
February 27, 2011, 08:09 PM
I have been interested in it. A range about 45 minutes away lists CAS as one of the things that happen there. However, whenever I visit I have never seen a schedule of planned events. I have never seen anyone wearing a cowboy outfit. It could be that club has died out or they just do stuff at different times. I think that I would check it out if there was an opportunity available.

Jim Watson
February 27, 2011, 08:17 PM
It's OK, folks.
You don't have to shoot CAS if you don't like the clothes, or the rules, or the loads, or the old fashioned otherwise worthless guns, or the expense, or anything else about it. No excuses required. Heck, I don't shoot it any more because of the drift in standards from when I started.
You can shoot IPSC, or IDPA, or NRA, or NSSA, or ATA, or ISU or PPC or IHMSA, or probably in some other alphabet soup sanctioning organization. That is unless your real problem is somebody keeping score. I see a lot of people whose objections to organized shooting boils down to the fact that their skills will be measured and publicized to all.

MBaneACP
February 27, 2011, 08:39 PM
This sounds silly, but all sports are what they are...you want to play at the highest level of the sport, it's going to cost you. Go price a nice Perazzi for sporting clays. And every sport has their "gamers" -- for every IDPA shooter who shoots his or her carry gun, there's one building a $3000 9mm 1911 ESP blaster. But that doesn't have anything to do with us regular shooters.

I just got home from Winter Range, the cowboy nationals, and I was lucky to shoot on a squad (called a "posse" of course) with three class champions...what I saw was a breath-taking exhibition of shooting talent. Forget the cowboy hats...when you see shooters able to hit 10 rifle, 10 pistol and 6 knock-down shotgun targets, transitioning between 4 guns and 3 shooting positions, in 19 seconds, your jaw will drop.

There was an issue with ultralight loads a few years back, but SASS responded with knockdown plates -- Winter Range had 2 banks of plates for pistol and 2 for rifle. believe me, there is nothing more depressing than blazing through a plate rack (as I did last year at the Wild Bunch World Championships) Turn around and see 4 plates standing, with neat little perfectly centered hits...a 6 o'clock!

I could tell you some interesting stories about how cowboy shotgun techniques have had a profound effect on self-defense shotgun techniques, but in truth I have never had as much fun in a shooting sport as my Sweetie and I have had shooting cowboy these last couple of years.

Dr. Rob, join Dave and I in Colorado and I'll bring the trick guns...

Michael "Wolf Bane" Bane
Outdoor Channel

Jon Coppenbarger
February 27, 2011, 08:42 PM
I live in colorado and would love to see your club shoots. thanks jon

InkEd
February 27, 2011, 08:46 PM
The answer is clear. Lose the costume requirement. Move the targets back a little and drop a couple more grains of powder in the casing. Get more shooters involved.

Several CAS have responded that they REALLY like the costumes. Okay. Great. Wear
it. Don't require it.

The lighter loads aren't THAT big deal to most people. However, logic would follow that since the lighter loads are used..... then why not ALSO allow .22lr to be used too?

Old krow
February 27, 2011, 08:52 PM
Why aren't you a cowboy action shooter?

Most of it has to do with Kayak-man's post. I don't own many "plinkers" or range queens. I am also pretty reluctant to go out and purchase 4 guns for a competition that I really don't know if I would like all that much. It looks like a lot of fun, but that's all from the outside looking in. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on 3-gun, or whatever competition you chose, but, it doesn't mean that you have to. If I want to shoot IDPA I use my CCW so if I decide that I don't want to, I'm not out of anything because I haven't bought a gun for it.

The short version: I've never really been introduced to it. I don't know anyone that does it and I had never really looked that deep into it until this thread and the subsequent link back to the SASS thread. I believe that the closest club to me is 3 hours away so I've never ventured out looking for a match.

I know people made comparisons to "race ready" 1911s and the relatively low cost to play, but, 4 guns @ $2k (I rounded up Leadfoot's number) is a pretty sizable chunk of change, especially since 2 of the guns really wouldn't have a practical value for me. I could probably justify an 1894 and a SxS. IMHO, it would be far more approachable if you could compete with one gun.

Otherwise, It looks pretty neat and I thought it was pretty cool to get input from the SASS guys on their hobby.

kayak-man
February 27, 2011, 08:59 PM
I do have one question: What do you guys all do for hearing protection? Are the earmuff style headsets discouraged, or is that ok?

tazbigdog
February 27, 2011, 09:01 PM
I am going to join SASS to shoot cowboy action shooting. Just need a name...:cool:

gga357
February 27, 2011, 09:04 PM
I did for several years, along with 3 gun. Now I have 2 kids, third on the way. My time is limited. We make EOT, to watch, each year now that it's in NM. To address the gamesmanship. I also am disappointed that it has gone this way. I still load 250gr at 900 fps. I do miss competing.

Frank Ettin
February 27, 2011, 09:09 PM
This sounds silly, but all sports are what they are...you want to play at the highest level of the sport, it's going to cost you. Go price a nice Perazzi for sporting clays. And every sport has their "gamers" -- for every IDPA shooter who shoots his or her carry gun, there's one building a $3000 9mm 1911 ESP blaster. But that doesn't have anything to do with us regular shooters....Michael, a great and important insight. Competition is what each of us wants to make of it.

I've shot ATA trap at the Grand American (and at our own state championship). I've shot SASS and USPSA. I guarantee I'm not a contender. Rob Leatham has lost no sleep over me, and while Dan Bonillas and I get along well, he's not worried about me breaking any of his trapshooting records.

So I don't worry about the gamers. They're playing their game. I'm playing mine. As a short, fat, old, slow guy, I just want to have fun (and improve). And I have had fun and improved. So as long as I don't shoot myself or anyone else, and I'm not dead last, I'm happy.

mcdonl
February 27, 2011, 09:17 PM
Michael, welcome to THR.... I enjoy your work.

J-Bar
February 27, 2011, 09:19 PM
InkEd,

.22s are difficult to score because many times the heavy plates dont move and they are too far out to hear the little "tink". Little kids are allowed to use them because we want to encourage them to shoot. When they get to be teenagers, they shoot centerfires with us big kids.

Larry Ashcraft
February 27, 2011, 09:21 PM
The answer is clear. Lose the costume requirement. Move the targets back a little and drop a couple more grains of powder in the casing. Get more shooters involved.

IOW, your game is almost perfect, but if you would change it to fit MY requirements, it would be better. :rolleyes:

Iggy
February 27, 2011, 09:30 PM
I never met a more unfriendly group in my life.

co_dave
February 27, 2011, 09:30 PM
Kayak man, while I have seen ear muff type hearing protection, most use the stuff in the ear type.

Jon Coppenbarger - within a max 2 hour drive of Denver there is a match pretty much going on every weekend of the month. Earlier in this thread I posted a link to some videos of this months match at Pawnee Station in Wellington, CO. Their website gives times and directions. One note on that range, please follow the speed limit signs in the yard on the way to the range, our landlord appreciates that.

When I started CAS, I was looking for a shooting sport, with my kids finally in college I had more time to myself, but didn't have much money. My brother in law told me about IPSC, IDPA, Cowboy Action and others. I decided that IDPA sounded like the best fit, as I had the guns, but I did want to check out the cowboy shooting, even though on some levels it seemed kinda silly with the costumes and such. One Saturday I had planned to go to an IDPA match, go thru the orientation and shoot. As luck would have it, I overslept. There was a cowboy match at a much closer range, so I went out just to check it out. As I said before, I was welcomed, and even before the match started offered guns and ammo to shoot the match, I declined, but did shoot a couple of stages. My wife knew she was in trouble when I came home with a grin a mile wide and wouldn't shut up about it for hours. I sold off some other toys, collectibles, and anything that wasn't nailed down (and a few things that were) and bought cowboy guns, leather, and started reloading. Three years and thousands of rounds later I'm still having a ball. I did finally make one IDPA style match, it was ok, just not quite my cup of tea. I enjoy being able to shoot 4 guns each stage and transition from one to the next.

Cowboy Action Shooting and SASS are alive and well and growing. Last year SASS passed the 90,000 level in membership numbers.

Dave

If it sounds like fun, go check it out, if not, that's fine too.

kayak-man
February 27, 2011, 09:32 PM
Micheal, Welcome to THR.

I think Larry Ashcraft got it right, we can't really expect a sport to change to suit the new shooters.

If I were going to get into some combination of playing dress-up and shooting, I guess I'd have to form my own shooting sport...like Indiana Jones and Rick O'Connell (from The Mummy) ...So, I guess what we're looking at here is a shooting game that has the flavor of those movies and the serials that were their ancestors. Can't come up with a catchy name right off the top of my head, though. I think this might actually be fun. Anybody else? PM me with ideas or we can start a new thread rather than highjack this one.
If anyone is interested in Joes idea, theres a thread open in the Competition section.

mcdonl
February 27, 2011, 09:43 PM
I never met a more unfriendly group in my life, and I kinda even got the required duds

I never would have believed you because my experience with CAS/SASS has been what I have seen on TV, and a good friend of mine who does mounted shooting competitions.... until I was attacked in a private message and told that all people from New England are snobs because I simply pointed out that not everyone wears Cowboy boots and Cowboy hats... just like not everyone wears bean boots and mad bombers....

Jbar4Ranch
February 27, 2011, 10:12 PM
Wow, I'm astounded how many replies there are that claim we are "clique-ish" and "unfriendly". I don't think I've ever seen that, and certainly never experienced it.

Dr. Rob,
What you need is pretty easy to aquire, besides, it's fun to shoot dressed like this:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/cmr314/Me2007.jpg

Or this:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v93/jbar4ranch/GoodGuyJbar.jpg
:D

FROGO207
February 27, 2011, 10:32 PM
I have attended a couple events at the local range. Yeah it is fun and all but I have so many irons in the fire presently that the time is not there. I could get a new lever rifle or use the 45-90 in the family presently. The rest of the stuff I have now, and the outfit is no problem. I may soon compete but will have to drop some other activity to do so. That is the rub for me.

Rodman579
February 27, 2011, 10:46 PM
sounds like to me there is alot of misconceptions to the sport of SASS. i have been shooting SASS ground matches since august 2010 and for 2 years prior i shot SASS mounted matches (meaning off the back of a horse). i shot ISPC, IDPA, modern 3 gun, steel plate challenges, long range rifle and anything else where i could be involved in competitive shooting for 10 years prior to getting involved in SASS. for me personally SASS is the most fun shooting sport i have been involved in and the fellow shooters make it this way. i shoot for fun win, lose or draw but i give it my all every time and i let the chips fall where they may. you dont have to dress up in period correct clothing if you dont want to. i wore wranglers and button down shirts just as if i were competing in a rodeo. all in all though i am just saying some of you guys ought to be a bit more open minded. if your a good shooter than you should be with any firearm. as far as i am concerned it takes more shooting skill to be able to accurately & quickly run single action pistols, lever action rifles and the shotguns that we compete with in this sport than my glocks, 1911s and AR15s. thats one of the reason i enjoy SASS because its challenging. but if any one of you all is ever down in florida give me a shout and come try shooting with us. you will be more than welcome to use my guns, gear and ammo. hell i will even buy your lunch if you dont have a smile on your face after your done shooting.

InkEd
February 27, 2011, 10:52 PM
Sorry Mr. Ashcroft,

The OP asked a question. The OVERWHELMING complaint is about the mandatory costumes. (Heck there's been two people on this thread that ALREADY OWN the guns BUT just won't do to dress-up.) The OP wanted to know the general consensus and that is it. Nobody is trying to be argumentative. It is the information the OP was requesting for suggetsions. As others have noted Black Powder and Garand Matches are shot
in ordinary clothes with NO negative effect to the sportsmanship or challenge. A person's individual OPINION can't really be wrong.

The SOLE reason that I (and at least 2 of my regular shooting buddies) don't do CAS is the costume/clothing requirement. That is a fact. The same is true for another member who answered on this thread. He joined a BP club instead. If they ever drop the requirement for cowboy clothing, I (and some friends) will join and enjoy ourselves. If not, no big deal. I still really enjoy shooting "cowboy guns" on my own.

Best regards and shoot safe,
-InkEd



The second is the underpowered loads. A few CAS participants have said that they have gotten a little better than in the past and for safety with close range targets, ammo use is okay. The money for competition isn't all that bad.

A serious open class IPSC gun will START at about $2500. 3-Gun will run about $2000 or better. The price of the guns and ammo aren't a big deal for those wanting to do competition shooting other than rimfire.

SleazyRider
February 27, 2011, 11:21 PM
I don't mind dressing up, heck, folks laugh at the way I dress anyway. But wearing two six-shooters just doesn't make sense to me. Is it historically accurate?

Nonetheless, I called my local SASS chapter to see if they'd let me observe a shoot, and they were less than enthusiast about my visiting them. Maybe Twain was right: I'd never want to be a member of an organization that would have me as a member.

Hardtarget
February 27, 2011, 11:38 PM
First...I can't afford the ammo to shoot a bunch of matches.

Second...I can't afford the array of guns to shoot the ammo through. :D

I shoot enough through the various guns I already have and none of them are cowboy types. Just never went that direction with my gun purchases. :(

Y'all have fun!

Mark

just1more
February 27, 2011, 11:53 PM
Since their are so many misconceptions to the clothing requirements, even from some SASS shooters. Here are the rules for all but two classes, and why the rules makers want it.

From Shooters Hand Book
CLOTHING AND ACCOUTERMENTS
Cowboy Action Shooting™ is a combination of historical reenactment and Saturday
morning at the matinee. Participants may choose the style of costume they wish to wear, but
all clothing must be typical of the late 19th century, a B-western movie, or Western television
series.
SASS puts a great deal of emphasis on costuming because it adds so much to the
uniqueness of our game and helps create a festive, informal atmosphere that supports the
friendly, fraternal feeling we encourage in our competitors.
All shooters must be in costume, and we encourage invited guests and family also to be
costumed. Shooters must remain in costume at all match events: dinners, award ceremonies,
dances, etcetera.
ALL clothing and equipment MUST be worn appropriately, how it was intended and how
it would have been worn in the OLD WEST or as seen on B-Western movies and television.

From RO II manual
ILLEGAL ITEMS
The following are examples of SASS “illegal” items. The current version of the SASS
Handbook should always be used as an additional reference for illegal items. The use or
presence of any outlawed item is a Stage Disqualification.
• Modern shooting gloves
• Short sleeve shirts (Male competitors only)
• Short sleeved tee shirts, long sleeved tee shirts, and tank tops for all competitors. (Long
sleeved Henley type shirts with buttons are allowed.)
• Modern feathered cowboy hats
• Designer jeans
• Ball caps
• Tennis, running, jogging, aerobic or other modern athletic shoes, combat boots
• Apparel displaying manufacturer’s, sponsor’s or team logos. Manufacturer’s labels on
such apparel or equipment are acceptable.
• Nylon, plastic, or Velcro accouterments.

These are all the clothing rules I know of. It is really very open to interpretation. I have heard of the costume police. I have never seen or talked to someone who was actually told that they were not in costume. I think that was a phase that has died out, much like the mouse phart loads people used to use. I have heard some light loads, but it was only when someone was trying out a new recipe, or had press issues. I have even see some shotgun targets fall, just from the velocity of the wad, because the press didnt drop any shot.
Here in the great northwet, we do tend to be even more open to rules for safety and warmth. So we allow much more including good rain coats.

co_dave
February 28, 2011, 12:03 AM
And it should be pointed out, that newcomers at monthly matches are welcomed however they come. If you want to shoot an annual match or higher, then expect the clothing rules to be enforced.

Sure, you might run into some hard cases who like to nit pick what you're wearing, but those are few and far between in my experience.

Oh, and there are more clothing rules if you want to shoot in the B Western or Classic Cowboy categories.

Griff, SASS93
February 28, 2011, 12:55 AM
Interesting thread. Sad there is so much misinformation and misconceptions. But, truthfully, very little has changed in the 20 years since I helped form the 2nd oldest cowboy action club in TX. The requirements are simple, all lead bullets, pistols 1000fps, rilfes <1400 fps (pistol-length calibers only), 20 - 10 guage with #4 shot or smaller.

There is no costume requirement (except for the Classic Cowboy/girl & B-Western categories). Long sleeved shirt, pants and leather footwear with no grip enhancing soles. Jeans are not a required minimum, wool was probably as prevalent as synthetics are today. A pair of broghams work as well as boots. Most clubs make accomodations for varying degrees of disability.

Just because some folks dress to the 9's, there are plenty of others that meet the minimum requirements... but if that's your excuse, stick to it. Fashion police are an urban legend in my experience. I should know... don't ask. But I've reformed... lately.

As for light loads... My guns are all over 20 years old... and have an untold number of rounds thru them. I firmly believe that shooting lighter than standard loads has helped them live this long. And at the time they started, my wife was a new shooter, why punish her and the 10 year old son with what they'd perceive as heavy loads? Let's put it in perspective, if my wife is havin' fun... so'm I!

One thing I've learned in 25 years of cowboy action shooting... you go out for the guns and shooting, come back for the people and keep coming back for the FUN! If you don't like socializing, then cowboy action probably ain't for you. Yes, different clubs have different character, but I've seldom been to one that didn't put on a feed bag after the shootin, do some visitiin' and socializin'. But, if that ain't your bag... stay home and play on the computer.

As for the guns... nothing worthwhile is cheap. some hobbies are more expensive than others. Take up water-skiing. Okay, just price it out! No you don't need a $65K tournament boat, but... if you're gonna do something, do it right!

When I started we used one sixgun. And about 10 years later the shooters demanded MORE shooting. So, a second sixgun fulfilled that need. As with most businesses... they try to please their repeat customers. Most shooters like MORE shooting. Bring out your lonely sixgun... either someone will loan ya one, or you can reload on the clock... that's a skillset that might come in handy. When I was with the SO, my Colt SAA was on my duty list... and I qualified with it. Droppin' one of the guns would diminish the draw and appeal of the game for current members.

If you've ever been treated poorly, you owe it to yourself to try again. I suggest you come on down to TX and visit us at the Lone Star Frontier Shooting Club (www.lsfsc.com/). Send an email to one of the officers and introduce yourself. Let them know you're interested and when you'll be out. You'll be pointed to someone that'll take care of ya. If that ain't an option, try the same with any of the clubs on the listing found at: SASS Affiliated Clubs (http://www.sassnet.com/clubs/index.php).

If you're happy playing whatever game you play, don't have the time or the inclination to add another one... so be it. Even if you've tried it and didn't find it your cup of tea... the game isn't to blame. It is what it is. Trying to change cowboy acton shooting into what you think it should be is like folks visiting TEXAS from someplace else, liking the weather... moving... and immediately trying to change TEXAS into something like what they left. I'm sorry folks, you get what you don't like with TEXAS as well as what you like.

I love silhouette shooting, and even played at cowboy lever silhouette before it was a recognized NRA sport. They've now got a couple of rules I don't like. Should I expect that they'll change them, just to get me as a shooter... I don't think so! Likewise SASS.

For those that have replied honestly, I thank you. As the author of the topic said, he ain't an official representative os SASS, nor am I... but this is a sport that I truly enjoy... just the way it is. I also recognize that it ain't for everyone. But, if you have an interest, I sure hope any misconceptions you may have held have been dispelled; any misinformation corrected. If not, feel free to email me or another active SASS member, heck for that matter contact the SASS Office directly and get your questions answered. I certainly ain't gonna ask an IDPA shooter about BPCRS. You shouldn't either.

Justin
February 28, 2011, 01:10 AM
The OP asked a question. The OVERWHELMING complaint is about the mandatory costumes. (Heck there's been two people on this thread that ALREADY OWN the guns BUT just won't do to dress-up.)

The name of the sport is Cowboy Action Shooting. Tie the word "cowboy" to something, and you're infusing it with a whole host of cultural references and expectations. The founders of CAS set out with a specific notion in mind; as I understand it, is to create a romanticized realization of the old west built on the foundation of shooting matches.

I'm not interested in CAS, but even I can recognize that the costuming part of CAS is built right into the DNA of the sport, and demanding that they change or omit that rule for you strikes me as tremendously presumptuous.

The OP wanted to know the general consensus and that is it. Nobody is trying to be argumentative. It is the information the OP was requesting for suggetsions. As others have noted Black Powder and Garand Matches are shot in ordinary clothes with NO negative effect to the sportsmanship or challenge.

Black powder and Garand matches have goals fundamentally different than CAS. Those matches are strictly interested in the marksmanship aspects inherent to their particular venues, and nothing more.

What you're not comprehending is that CAS is meant to be more than a shooting competition. It's fundamentally designed to have inbuilt cultural and nostalgic significance to the participants.

Now, if cowboys aren't your thing, that's fine. Old west nostalgia and cowboy culture isn't my deal, either. But for the people who participate in CAS, the cultural trappings of the old west are arguably as important as the shooting competition itself. If you don't get that, or it doesn't turn your crank, CAS likely isn't the sport for you.

If you're so starved to shoot cowboy guns without having to abide by a dress code, go shoot a local IDPA match with your single action revolver.

A person's individual OPINION can't really be wrong.

By definition, opinions aren't right or wrong, but that doesn't keep them from being ill-informed.

The SOLE reason that I (and at least 2 of my regular shooting buddies) don't do CAS is the costume/clothing requirement. That is a fact. The same is true for another member who answered on this thread.

If you and your friends were really so fired up to shoot your cowboy guns in a match without having to worry about a dress code, you'd already be competing at local IDPA matches with them. I've seen it done.


On a fundamental level, railing against the dress code for CAS is a bit like wearing an oil-stained t-shirt, jean shorts, and flip flops, walking into an exclusive country club with a dress code, and then getting butthurt over the fact that they won't let you in. If you want to roll in certain cultural circles, it will be expected that you dress the part.

rocky branch
February 28, 2011, 01:47 AM
I don't have a horse...
Fully agree with the post on suiting up if you want to participate.
It's their show-their rules.

There is no "I" in group, bunch, or team.
Lynch mob, either.

Justin
February 28, 2011, 02:10 AM
With little exception, the practical shooting sports are all individual-based competitions.

Doesn't change the fact that you need to play by the rules.

InkEd
February 28, 2011, 02:46 AM
They asked, what would draw more shooters? I answered the question. I didn't ask (or expect) them to make a personal exception. I get that it's "part of it." Doesn't change my suggestion. Not really trying to get into a fight about it. Soooooo, yeah....... anyway.

Shooting a SAA in an IDPA isn't the same idea. No rifle or shotgun. Practical draw and cover vs. Fast and fun. One thing I will give to the CAS guys is they are polite and LISTEN to the suggestions when they ask a question.

Take Care.
-InkEd

P.S. If there is anyone that actually does CAS on this thread anymore that would like to answer a few questions about the "minimum cowboyish" dress, one could wear at an average local event, please p.m. me. It seems like fun and I enjoy the firearms and style of competition. After reading that technically a cowboy hat is not required under SASS Official Rulebook, I would like to have some questions answered by a knowledgeable person.

Calibre44
February 28, 2011, 03:16 AM
You may be interested to know that CAS has spread over to here in the UK: Click here (http://www.bwss.org.uk/)

Click on the photos section once the website has opened up for a look at the guns used. Not the sort of thing I'm personally interested in but it looks like fun. We have to use Black powder pistols of course.

Man From Boot Hill
February 28, 2011, 03:50 AM
I want to give a small rebuttal to the poster about my guns: In SASS, only four guns are needed, two six-shooters, a rifle and a shotgun. Yes I bought two more guns than needed. In fact I also own three black powder revolvers, a single shot black powder pistol, a ruger 45 vaquero(old model) a 9mm auto pistol and a derringer in 38spl. Why do I have more guns? Because I can! Cowboy action shooting is as much or as little as you want to it to be. I find it fun and a chanch to relive in a small way what once was. No one is twisting your arm to join up, it's your choice. Unless you have been there and done it, don't be critical of what you don't understand. I don't understand the appeal of some video games, but I don't knock the folks that play them. It's different strokes for different folks. I like to try something once, if I like it I do it again! if I don't, well I can say I did it but did not care for it. Be glad you live in a country where you still have fun with a choice in that fun.

Dr.Rob
February 28, 2011, 04:28 AM
Co Dave has convinced me, I'm gonna try it out. Might not be til May, but I'm game.

Brass Rain
February 28, 2011, 04:34 AM
I think it looks like a lot of fun, but I don't have the money for all the required arms, or the costumes.

Also I feel more at home in pinstripes and a fedora.

2ndAmFan
February 28, 2011, 05:41 AM
Money. Heck, I can barely afford to get out and do some target shooting twice a month unless I limit myself to .22 only.

xcgates
February 28, 2011, 06:34 AM
Personally I just don't have the time to get involved in a league, much less the money for the guns. That, and I'd be much more likely to do something involving guns I'm more likely to use in the course of my duties. (Service pistol/carbine type stuff)

As far as the whole "costume" controversy, boots, jeans, button up shirt sound pretty darn close to my Sunday best these days.:uhoh:

IOW, nothing against the rules or the people, just not my cup 'o tea.

GBExpat
February 28, 2011, 07:01 AM
Why aren't you a cowboy action shooter?

It holds zero interest for me ... but I am glad to see that others are enjoying it so much and expanding the base.

Jbar4Ranch
February 28, 2011, 10:17 AM
I want to give a small rebuttal to the poster about my guns: In SASS, only four guns are needed, two six-shooters, a rifle and a shotgun.
Back ups are nice, but, on the other hand, in all the years I've been shooting this game, I've never had to swap out a handgun, and only swapped out a rifle and shotgun one time each. If you have a malfunction, it will be no problem at all to borrow or share someone elses gun(s) to finish the match.
Of course, after those 4 initial required guns... then you'll want to get into the side matches and want to buy a Sharps or High Wall or somesuch for the long range matches... then there are pocket pistol side matches... derringer side matches... Wild Bunch matches... ;)
Keep your eyes open for used guns or closeouts and you can put together a set of the four required guns relatively inexpensively. In January of '09, I bought an "as new", unfired .357 Rossi 1892 for $300, in the fall of '09, I bought a .357 Marlin '94 for $249 from a pawn shop, and another one from a SASS Wire member a year later for $375. Two months ago, I bought six Uberti single action revolvers from Wholesale Sports on close out for $327.75 each; 3 .38 spls, and 3 .45 Colts. Old, but solid SxS's, such as a Stevens 311, can be commonly be found for $250 or so. A single shot is even legal, just a but slower - I use this one every once in awhile just for the fun of it.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v93/jbar4ranch/Blunderbuss_3A.jpg
Technically, it isn't legal due to the "external modification" on the muzzle, but no one has ever complained about it at a local match.

You can shoot this game how you want to shoot it; light gamer loads to see how fast you can go, or warthog black powder loads to be a bit more authentic. Winning or losing is nothing to most of us, it's just a fun thing to do on a Saturday, more of a social event than anything. I can finish in the top half of the pack at any shoot I go to, but more often than not, I'm shooting something like 18" Uberti Buntlines, a 7 shot Spencer 56-50, and a 10g hammered shotgun w/brass shells and black powder where I consider a 90 second stage time to be pretty damn good... and I haven't finished dead last yet! :D

As for the clothing... well, wouldn't you don a western shirt, boots, & hat and try to get some personal tutoring from experienced shooters such as these?

The lovely Rocky Meadows -
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v93/jbar4ranch/RockyMeadows.jpg

or

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v93/jbar4ranch/MyCASpard.jpg
:D

MattTheHat
February 28, 2011, 10:33 AM
They asked, what would draw more shooters? I answered the question.

We get it. Change it from CAS to something else and they'll draw new participants. That's about as helpful as going to the doctor for a bad cough and having the good doctor suggest suicide. Sure enough, suicide would cure the cough. It's not really a relevant treatment, though, is it?

I think what this thread has done is identified many points of confusion for those of us who don't participate in CAS. Largely, those points have been addressed and corrected. If there's one thing CAS can do to encourage new shooters is to bear those misconceptions in mind and try to better educate those who might stumble across the various CAS web sites. The thing is, all of the sites I've visited in the past all had pretty good FAQ sections that already address the majority of these misconceptions. So I'm not sure how much more can be done. Maybe move a couple of the more mis-understood points to somewhere on the main page of the various websites in addition to the FAQ pages.

Then you have the complaints of those who feel they have been treated rudely by CAS representatives, for instance, at a booth at the local gun show. That's a problemwhich can be rectified fairly easily: Don't let the grumpy old guy run the CAS booth. If the grumpy old guy runs that particular CAS club and wants to run the booth anyway, maybe the others in the club need to figure out how to tell him he needs to hone his people skills, otherwise his efforts are largely wasted.

-Matt

mcdonl
February 28, 2011, 10:35 AM
Well, I have learned that people are passionate enough about it that if there is ever a match near me I would like to attend. The pictures of the women pretty much sold me, but I would enjoy the skilled shooting as well.

I have watched the end of trail special that Mr. Bane hosts every year and it looks like a blast.

cane
February 28, 2011, 11:13 AM
Lots of comments about "costumes". I would think that a "costume" is something you wouldn't wear daily. Look at shotgun shooters, they for the most part wear vests, and the vests for trap, skeet, international, and sporting clays are different. "Action" and 3 gun shooters wear shorts, knee/elbow pads, and shirts with all kind of firearm related patches on them. Different games, different "costumes", OTOH, most of us have "jeans", a long sleeve button shirt, and leather boots. No hat is required. I just came from "Winter Range" which is the SASS national championship, one shooter on my posse wore bib overalls, that's it (of course I don't know if he was commando or not) no hat, no boots/shoes, and met the "dress code".

Nushif
February 28, 2011, 12:27 PM
Don't let the grumpy old guy run the CAS booth. If the grumpy old guy runs that particular CAS club and wants to run the booth anyway, maybe the others in the club need to figure out how to tell him he needs to hone his people skills, otherwise his efforts are largely wasted.

I'd say that' a problem that's not exactly isolated to the CAS community. So really most clubs could learn a thing or three about that, be it a chess club, IDPA, CAS or whatever.
the biggest problem to most recruitment efforts to niche sports and the like is the exclusiveness.


To me really the biggest drawback that stops me from doing CAS is that there is no specialized stages, no niches within the sport.
A shotgun only stage or league would be amazing! I've been meaning to pick up a nice side by side and love the way they handle, but I don't like two revolvers or rifle shooting. Gimme an excuse to save the pennies for cheap Stoeger side by side and I'd be on it. I already have the hat, and the white undershirt and overalls idea sounds like a hoot.
So a one revolver league and a shotgun league would be a lot more likely to draw me in than having to shoot two revolvers, a rifle and a shotgun.

tinygnat219
February 28, 2011, 12:27 PM
I used to shoot CAS, and it was the most fun I've had in any of the shooting games. Lots of fun, camaraderie, and shooting period firearms doesn't hurt.
I simply stopped going as I have too many other committments these days. I'd LOVE to get back into it as the shooters there are warmer, friendlier, and more relaxed than anything at
I'm loving the "mandatory costume comments" here. Especially when one looks at 3-Gun, IPSC and IDPA where specialty holsters, vests and other concealment items are considered "equipment". Change equipment to costume and you can can have the same complaints about them. :rolleyes:.

Either way, it's up to you just how much into the "game" you want to get. I got in on the cheap:
2 Taurus Gauchos (when they were made) 800
SXS Stoeger Shotgun I already had: 250 was what I paid for it used
.357 Levergun I got lucky in a consignment sale: 250.
Leather was another 100 bucks and the belt was taken from an old toolbelt.
Startup costs ARE high, but they plateau quickly once the guns are procured. Ammo is the main expense after that. The goal should be to choose a common caliber, .38 SPL / .357 is probably the most popular due to the inexpensive nature of the .38 LRN ammo.
It's not the cheapest game around, but if you look at 3 Gun with an AR-15, the costs mentioned above might cover the AR-15 and the optic. This doesn't count the shotgun, or the handgun, or magazines for the handgun, or the fact you'll be hitting 3 different kinds of ammo rather than 2. So, compared to modern 3 gun, CAS is actually cheaper. Not cheap, but cheaper.

I ended up getting rid of the Gauchos. Crappy guns. I ended up going Nuclear cheap and getting two Nagant 1895 Revolvers for 150 each back in the day and shot .32 S&W Long through these. I'd generally finish middle of the pack. One time I was accused of being a gamer b/c of the .32 Long ammo. I handed the Nagant over and had them try the SA trigger (both of them are SA). He couldn't release it easily, and this is one I had worked on to get it down to 8 pounds. He apologized, shook his head, and asked: "THIS gun replaced the No. 3 S&W in Russia?" I let him shoot them after the match was over. The guy hit the 200 yard gong with the .32 Long. :what: We're now pretty good friends. At one point I also picked up a SA Ruger Super Bisley Blackhawk in .44 Magnum shooting .44 Russian with the 7.5 inch barrel. So, I used that in a cross-draw right handed holster with one of the Nagants. You get some wierd looks when you use those. However, I had fun, and that was the goal.
CAS has its issues like any other group. I personally can't stand the use of the 1897 Winchester Pump gun. Why? b/c it's not really a Wild West gun. However, when talking to some of the older folks who told me that the movie the Wild Bunch was partial inspiration for the game, I got a bit more perspective as the 97 pump was used in that movie pretty heavily. Still, it's a fun group that I miss hanging out with and I will get involved again.

Oyeboten
February 28, 2011, 01:05 PM
Well, as it happens, yesterday at the local Gun Show here, I had a nice conversation with one of the local Cowboy Action Shooting Club's reps.

This is the first time anything like a conversation, let alone a warm or friendly mood has occurred.

They said "Come on out and watch, have fun, learn more..." and so on.

Very nice people, was a pleasure.

So, I will go and check out the scene next time they convene for their Matches.

HGUNHNTR
February 28, 2011, 01:19 PM
It seems silly, I guess I outgrew that at age 8 or so.

Anyway, There is no "I" in group, bunch, or team.
Lynch mob, either

There is however you, me, he, and them.

Jabez Cowboy
February 28, 2011, 02:11 PM
It seems that some people are under the impression that all "Cowboy Action" shooters shoot light loads ..... This is just not so ...
My pistols clock between 916-960 Fps. with 250 gr. bullets and the same loads clock between 1,224- 1,268 Fps. depending on rifle used ...



Jabez Cowboy

kayak-man
February 28, 2011, 02:29 PM
It seems that some people are under the impression that all "Cowboy Action" shooters shoot light loads ..... This is just not so ...
My pistols clock between 916-960 Fps. with 250 gr. bullets and the same loads clock between 1,224- 1,268 Fps. depending on rifle used ...

It probably doesn't help much that light loads are sometimes refered to as "cowboy loads"

Out of curiosity, what kind of barrel lengths are you guys commonly running on your pistols? is a midlength, 4.5" -5" barrel more or less prevelent than the 7.5" models?

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

mdauben
February 28, 2011, 02:34 PM
the biggest problem to most recruitment efforts to niche sports and the like is the exclusiveness.

Unfortunatly, this can happen with any group sharing any interest. :rolleyes:

I had a smilar problem with a non-shooting related special interest club I tried to join a couple years ago. I was new to the area and didn't know anyone yet who shared this interest, so I checked out their website and called the "recruitment chairman". He invited me to a weekly get together, spent all of 5 minutes talking to me and then wandered off to sit with his friends (didn't invite me to join them), I stood there for a good half hour and had two people walk up to me and say hello, then wandered off to sit with their friends (didn't invite me to join them). I figued maybe it was just a coincidence to I tried another meeting a couple weeks later. After sitting around by myself for another half hour, I finally realized that this group really wasn't that interested in anyone outside their "clique" joining, so I left and never came back. :cuss:

MD_Willington
February 28, 2011, 02:40 PM
Never tried it before, no one ever invited me out to a shoot.

rugerman
February 28, 2011, 02:44 PM
Don't play dress up, have several single action pistols but no two alike and all with adjustable sights, dito on the leveractions, no side by side shotguns and no cream puff loads that are good for nothing else. My lever actions and single actions are for hunting not Saturday morning dressup time.

co_dave
February 28, 2011, 02:46 PM
Kayak man -
I would say a majority are in the 4 & 5/8 - 5 & 1/2 inch range. You do see the 7.5 inch ones sometimes though, it's all about how the individual wants to have fun, within the rules and structure of the game of course. Part of what I like is getting to see other folks guns, open tops, Ruger old Armys, Schofields, Walkers, etc.
Dave

CraigC
February 28, 2011, 02:49 PM
InkEd, what is it exactly that you are afraid of??? Is it just too far outside your comfort zone to wear anything but your every day clothes, or do you really just hate it?


Lots of comments about "costumes". I would think that a "costume" is something you wouldn't wear daily. Look at shotgun shooters, they for the most part wear vests, and the vests for trap, skeet, international, and sporting clays are different. "Action" and 3 gun shooters wear shorts, knee/elbow pads, and shirts with all kind of firearm related patches on them. Different games, different "costumes", OTOH, most of us have "jeans", a long sleeve button shirt, and leather boots. No hat is required. I just came from "Winter Range" which is the SASS national championship, one shooter on my posse wore bib overalls, that's it (of course I don't know if he was commando or not) no hat, no boots/shoes, and met the "dress code".
This is a very good point. Who is more likely to look out of place at the grocery store, the shotgunner wearing a sporting clays vest, the 3-gun shooter with his tac-vest or the guy in a cowboy hat and boots???

raz-0
February 28, 2011, 02:52 PM
Well, lets see.

I've been aware of SASS since I was 27 or so. I've been actively competing with firearms since about age 28. I'll split my answer into two parts.

1) Why I didn't get into SASS in the first place:
-startup cost. 4 guns, clothing, ammo, etc.
-period nazis (I've dealt with them in other recreational activities, and I have no need of any hobby that encourages them interfering with me). AT the very least, there are guns that fit their time range that they won't permit even if you offer to meet the lead requirement and velocity requirement.
-variability of what gets you a hassle. I'm 6'7", and the availability of period clothing in my size is nearly zero. Some clubs are more lax, some are more strict. I didn't need the hassle.

2) Why I continue to stay away.
-as a shooting sport, there's nothing really unique about it. It's a steel plate match with costumes, and the costumes cause hassle.
-lead bullets. I don't really like loading with cast lead.
-cowboy calibers in lead. I wouldn't share ammo with anything, or reloading setups with anything. Which means more components and more press changes or more presses.
-safety. At least locally, the SASS crowd seems to think lead + 1000fps is a guarantee of safety. Their steel is a death trap. You couldn't pay me to shoot at it.
-plus everything I mentioned in 1).

Texas Moon
February 28, 2011, 03:00 PM
I shot in CAS for a few years back in the late 90's/early 00's.
Gave it up. It just got too expensive for me.

I think expense is the big reason most folks don't join up.
The costume thing can be a bit tedious but a simple pair of jeans, hat, and shirt will suffice.
Personally I didn't care for the rules that allow firearms like the 1897 Winchester pump shotgun(which was never on the frontier) but not allow an 1880 D/A Webley revolver.
I never liked the mouse loads either.

CAS will have to evolve and begin a classification for folks to shoot .22LR to get new folks in. Maybe only allow subsonic?
If gamers can shoot mouse loads whats the diff of shooting .22's?

MattTheHat
February 28, 2011, 03:01 PM
-lead bullets. I don't really like loading with cast lead.

I don't normally load lead either, but it's mainly because the indoor range where I normally shoot prohibits it. Considering the small amount I'd need for a typical CAS event, it certainly wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me.

I can see, especially for those who don't hand load, that the lead requirement could be a show stopper for some folks. Maybe having reasonably priced hand loads available might help in this regard. I understand the liability issue, but if folks are freely letting others shoot their hand loads in guns they allow others to borrow, it doesn't seem like any additional liability.


-Matt

co_dave
February 28, 2011, 03:11 PM
Matt, the difference is that with one you are commercially selling a product, with loaned guns and given ammo you aren't. There are a number of commercial reloaders selling rounds for CAS.

I am NOT trying to talk anyone into it, nor am I putting down those who have chosen not to try it. Just trying to let folks know what it is all about from my experience, having been in the CAS game for 3 years now.

I'm not a fan of the pump 97 shotgun either, but it sure doesn't effect my enjoyment of the game. I shoot my mule ear double and have fun.

DammitBoy
February 28, 2011, 03:27 PM
I've always like the idea of going to a CAS or SASS competition to see if I wanted to join up.

I have all the guns, the costume idea doesn't bother me at all, and the fact that lots of women participate sounds like it's a great boon for all the shooting sports. If more people get involved in shooting sports because they can dress up and act goofy - more power to them.

My problem is I have no idea how to meet up with these folks or where they compete anywhere near me. I belong to my local shooting club, I go to about ten gunshows a year in multiple states, and I read several shooting publications every month.

I've never seen a poster, a flyer, or an advertisement about CAS or SASS. I've never seen a table at a gunshow promoting CAS or SASS. Seems like, if these organizations wanted to find new members - they would be at the gunshows...

MattTheHat
February 28, 2011, 03:55 PM
Matt, the difference is that with one you are commercially selling a product, with loaned guns and given ammo you aren't. There are a number of commercial reloaders selling rounds for CAS.

Never thought of it that way. Well, as long as reasonably price ammo is available, I don't see that as a huge problem for most folks. Same as any other shooting sport, then. You either buy your ammo, or roll your own.


-Matt

Jabez Cowboy
February 28, 2011, 03:57 PM
I don't recall any one calling the .45 ACP GI load light (230 gr. bullet at 830 Fps.) so I hardly think my stated CAS loads running a 250 gr. bullet at over 916 Fps. Could be considered all that light .... This speed attained in my SLOWEST 4 5/8 inch barreled gun ..... My 5 1/2 inch gun clocks 960 Fps. with this load ...

As for folks not being friendly , I ain't found that to be the case ....
Come on out and visit and shoot ....



Jabez Cowboy

co_dave
February 28, 2011, 03:57 PM
dammit boy - http://www.sassnet.com/clubs/Clubs_list.php?state=Mississippi there is a link to the Mississippi clubs that are affiliated with SASS.

David E
February 28, 2011, 03:58 PM
I will get around to it, as my wife seems to be attracted to it....BUT

As others have said, it costs a LOT to get started.

At one match, I borrowed a nice '73 lever gun (my .44 Trapper only holds 9 in the tube) and it costs $1400. I can get a real nice AR for that......maybe two.

Holster rig for the wife is $500.

So even sharing the guns we're looking at over $3500 just to get started. Double that to $7000 if we each have our own set of guns......and we haven't even bought the costume(s) yet.

On top of that, to be competitive, the guns need to be modified from how they were originally designed, such as the short-throw lever on the rifles, etc.

I'd have to spend time getting good shooting loads that kick less than blanks big fat targets up close.......and that has zero practical application for me.

And all the time I'd spend getting good with gamey, antiquated gun designs, I could (and should) be spending getting good with modern, practical firearms.

Contrast that to buying a used Glock or Beretta trade-in and an Uncle Mike's holster and mag pouches and you're ready to shoot USPSA in Production division.

CraigC
February 28, 2011, 05:03 PM
I don't recall any one calling the .45 ACP GI load light (230 gr. bullet at 830 Fps.) so I hardly think my stated CAS loads running a 250 gr. bullet at over 916 Fps. Could be considered all that light ....
It ain't light but most of your "competitive" shooters are using superlight bullets at minimum velocities. I mean seriously, a 160gr .45???

Vern Humphrey
February 28, 2011, 05:17 PM
I was in a saddle shop when the owner was pressuring me to join. I noted several pictures of people riding wooden horses. I don't ride wooden horses.

TrakHack
February 28, 2011, 05:52 PM
Where *does* the mounted aspect of the competition come into play?

Years ago (before I had any interest in guns) my dad gave me a Ruger Vaquero and suggested I do CAS, but said I shouldn't do anything mounted. It was all very strange as I actually had the perfect mare for it, and it might have got me interested in guns sooner.

The current horse is retired from the show ring but age doesn't translate into a quiet mind. The Vaquero continues to be a "display item" on my bookshelf.

danprkr
February 28, 2011, 06:16 PM
Somebody mentioned a 22lr category, and that MIGHT tempt me to try it a time or 2. I could buy or borrow those guns fairly easy. But I just don't need to buy 2,000+ in guns and leather to get started. Now if you hooked me on the little stuff...

Zundfolge
February 28, 2011, 06:25 PM
I've always like the idea of going to a CAS or SASS competition to see if I wanted to join up.

I've never seen a poster, a flyer, or an advertisement about CAS or SASS. I've never seen a table at a gunshow promoting CAS or SASS. Seems like, if these organizations wanted to find new members - they would be at the
gunshows...


My friend Google told me about this one: http://www.mississippipeacemakers.com/

Justin
February 28, 2011, 06:38 PM
Where *does* the mounted aspect of the competition come into play?

The equestrian sports are, as I understand it, a separate game under the purview of SASS.

Philly Slim
February 28, 2011, 07:17 PM
I've see a couple of folks say it's too much trouble coming up with an alias. You already have an alias. Just use your user name from here. :D

Also, it sould be pointed out that there are three different "sports" under the banner of SASS.

The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) is the overall governing body. It's run by a group of gentlemen called The Wild Bunch. This group of men used to be HEAVILY into IPSC, IDPA and other modern shooting sports. After their normal matches they'd go back to someone's house, sip whiskey, smoke cigars and watch old western movies. One day one of them got the bright idea of shooting thier modern matches with the old cowbody guns they had laying around. They had a blast. Not long after that they formed SASS and the rest is history.

Now under the banner of SASS you have three completely different and separate sports.

Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS): two sixguns, a lever rifle and a double barrel, model 1887 lever or 1897 pump shotgun. Minimum costume requirements are a pair of jeans, long sleeve button down shirt and a pair of work boots. That's it, nothing more is required. You don't have to wear a hat and you don't have to wear cowboy boots.

Cowboy Mounted Shooting: Sort of the same as above except you do your shooting while riding a horse as fast as you can. Targets are baloons and rounds are black powder blanks.

Wild Bunch Action Shooting (WBAS): This is the newest sport under the SASS banner and is just now in its infancy. It's based off Sam Peckinpah's movie of the same name. (Remember the group of men who started SASS who call themselves The Wild Bunch. Guess what their favorite movie was.:D ) This is different from CAS in that it's a game for all you who hate mousephart loads. This is a big bore game. Required guns are Model 1897 pump shotgun, lever action rifle of .40 caliber or higher and a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. Minimum power factor is 150. That's a 200 grain bullet @ 750 fps. That's a MINIMUM. Not what I'd call a mousephart. Lots of movement during the stages and lots of reactive targets. So flirting with the minimum loads will probably come back to bite you in the butt.

If you don't do anything else, at least go out and watch one of the three. If it's still not your cup of tea, at least you gave it a look. That's all anyone can ask.

J-Bar
February 28, 2011, 07:20 PM
SASS Mounted Shooters use .45 blanks shooting at balloons while riding their horses through a gymkhana-like course.

http://www.sassnet.com/mounted_news.php

Cowboy Action Shooters use live ammo on steel targets with our feet on the ground:

http://www.sassnet.com/sass_news_article.php?New-SASS-Home-Page-82

You can find clubs near you on the "Affiliated Clubs" tab on the SASS home page.

You can find ALL (well, most all!!) the rules in the Handbook under the "SASS Handbooks" tab on the home page.

kayak-man
February 28, 2011, 08:14 PM
Wild Bunch Action Shooting (WBAS): This is the newest sport under the SASS banner and is just now in its infancy. It's based off Sam Peckinpah's movie of the same name. (Remember the group of men who started SASS who call themselves The Wild Bunch. Guess what their favorite movie was. ) This is different from CAS in that it's a game for all you who hate mousephart loads. This is a big bore game. Required guns are Model 1897 pump shotgun, lever action rifle of .40 caliber or higher and a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. Minimum power factor is 150. That's a 200 grain bullet @ 750 fps. That's a MINIMUM. Not what I'd call a mousephart. Lots of movement during the stages and lots of reactive targets.

Philly Slim, I would have been content to just shoot my AK and 870, maybe some 9mm and 45 when I can afford a 1911, then you had to go and post about this. Are you trying to get me to go broke :D

I assume that the 1911 has to be a GI model, or are beavertail grip safeties allowed? Are the rifles still limited to pistol callibers?

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

ZeSpectre
February 28, 2011, 08:30 PM
I was a SASS member for several years. I drifted away in part because I lost my "sidekick" and it was just less fun going to matches without him but there were other issues that finally made me stop going.

Gamers who should have been playing IDPA or something (because they had FITS about the "scenarios" which I considered a vital part of SASS).
Ever increasing arguments about the rules (Rather than just "cowboy up" and move on).
"Big Britches" attitude from "on high". When prizes and money started getting involved it wasn't a game anymore.
And eventually spending several hours on travel, working scenarios, and just plain waiting to eventually get in a total of roughly 7 minutes of shooting time also wore pretty thin at the end.
Inconsiderate shooters who would show up late <to avoid setup> and/or vanish immediately <to avoid takedown>. The smartest coordinator I knew would hold scores "ransom" until after takedown/cleanup was finished. <evil grin>.

David E
February 28, 2011, 08:36 PM
The Wild Bunch matches do have some appeal, but mostly, it seems, they are part of a larger SASS match, not yet a stand alone in any real numbers.

Of course, I'd have to buy an 1897 Winchester pump shotgun, since, unlike SASS, they can load more than 2 rds at a time, making that the gun to have.

SuperNaut
February 28, 2011, 08:54 PM
Do the aliases have to be approved and registered, or is that another rumor like the cowboy hat requirement?

royal barnes
February 28, 2011, 09:45 PM
I have been a cowboy action shooter for 15 years and shot a number of other disciplines before deciding on this game as the one to stick with. Yes, it is fairly expensive to get started but my brother just paid more for his new bass boat than I have invested in my sport. I generally shoot three monthlies, at least one state match and a couple of regionals yearly to the tune of about 4000 black powder rounds. I have backup guns but my main match ones are Colts in .44-40, an original 1873 Winchester in .44-40, and an original 1887 Winchester lever action shotgun. No one has ever accused me of shooting wimp loads. The amount of money I have invested in clothing and gear sometimes makes me hyperventilate when I think on it. I am a SASS life member, Territorial Governor, and Rangemaster for our state match, Range Operations Instructor and spend several weekends each year at gunshows promoting the sport. I am immersed!

After reading this thread I will try to give my perspective on some of the reasons stated for not participating in the sport.
1. Costs too much to get started.
Yes, it does. I didn't get involved until my kids were grown and gone but show up at a CAS match and see how many guns are offered for you to try out.

2. I don't like to play dressup.
OK, but it's cowboy action shooting so you have to wear the minimum clothing as stated in the rules.

3. I don't want to come up with some silly name or stay in character for a match.
Aliases are required when you join SASS. They can be historical or whimsical. Your choice. Role playing is very rare and not required. I have shot with some people for years and I have no clue what their real name is. Doesn't change what I think of them.

Regardless of some things I have read, cowboy action shooters are some of the most friendly, helpful people you will ever encounter in any sport. Most shooters will never win big awards which, by the way, will never result in anything more than a buckle, trophy, or bragging rights. There are no cash prizes or new cars. The rule book has gotten bigger and more complicated but it's because newcomers are constantly trying to change the sport. What once went unstated now has to be spelled out.

Everything is not perfect in CAS. As in any other sport there are those who concentrate only on winning but they still must abide by the rules. Most of us are there for the friendship and low key competition. Something must be working. My badge number is in the 5000 range. New members badges are around 91,000. Complaints are that the average age is too high and that we need younger shooters. I believe this to be true but not at the expense of the game. Just a feeling from my side of the fence.

SleazyRider
February 28, 2011, 09:53 PM
Well said, sir.

J-Bar
February 28, 2011, 09:55 PM
You can shoot at monthly club matches without being a SASS member or even a club member without an alias. If you want to shoot in a state or regional or national level matches you must be a SASS member and declare a unique alias, which is checked for duplications before approval. I guess you could register your real name as your alias, but where's the fun in that? J-Bar was my grandfather's nickname, after the brand he used on his cattle.

XxWINxX94
February 28, 2011, 09:56 PM
It looks like a lot of fun, but I'm not sure I could afford it.
If walmart starts carrying 50 rounds of .45 Colt for $9.99 then I would start up instantly. Until then, or until I win the lottery, Not sure the ability is there.

I can also barely afford to buy alot of my regular ammo, let alone Cowboy rounds that are close to $1 a shot in some instances.

Philly Slim
February 28, 2011, 10:00 PM
Since I can't figure out how to quote yet I'll just say names.:D

kayak-man: There are two categories in Wild Bunch; Traditional and Modern. Traditional does require a G.I. model and is shot one handed. Only allowed mods are internal smoothing. Can't even have a full length guide rod.

Modern category allows a lot of mods including beaver-tail safeties and longer triggers. Sights can be changed but have to be fixed and no aiming dots. Modern can be shot two handed or one handed.

Yep, rifle has to be pistol caliber. The most common you'll see are '66s, '73s and Marlins in .45 Colt

David E: No, Wild Bunch maatches are stand alone. True, some clubs are trying to do them both together simply because they don't have enough participation in Wild Bunch yet but, that's really not the way it's supposed to be. I liken it to trying to hold a hockey game and a figure skating competion on the same ice at the same time. Yeah, they both are on ice and wear skates but, that's where the similarity ends.

SuperNaut: Yes, when you join SASS you choose your alias and it goes into the SASS records. It then belongs to you. Nobody else can use your alias until you're completely done with it. (Meaning you're dead;) )

kiskicowboy
February 28, 2011, 10:15 PM
Kayak-Man,
In reference to your question

"I assume that the 1911 has to be a GI model, or are beavertail grip safeties allowed? Are the rifles still limited to pistol callibers?"

From the Wild Bunch Action Shooting Handbook:

"1911 PISTOL REQUIREMENTS
Full size single stack steel frame 1911 style semi-auto pistol in .45 ACP caliber. No
more than one main match pistol may be carried to the firing line.

TRADITIONAL CATEGORY MODIFICATIONS
• Barrel length must be five inches. No barrel porting or compensators or other recoil
reducing devices allowed.
• Unloaded pistol weight may not exceed 40 ounces with an empty magazine inserted.
• Barrel with standard barrel bushing. No Bull barrels allowed.
• Magazine wells may be beveled, but may not be oversized, extended, or flared.
• Only non-adjustable “military style” rear sights and blade type front sights allowed.
• No sight inserts or colored sights allowed. Sights must be black or blued.
• Stainless steel is permitted. Stainless pistols may have stainless sights.
• Grips must be GI-style wood or plastic grips. Other natural materials are allowed but no
rubber grips. No target style or thumb rests allowed.
• Only rear slide checkering or serrations. No front slide checkering or serrations.
• Magazines must be standard length and cannot hold more than eight rounds. No extended
base pads on magazines.
• Only standard grip safeties. No beavertail style grip safeties.
• Standard length magazine release. May not be extended or oversized.
• Standard thumb safeties only. May not be extended.
• Standard slide release. May not be extended.
• Standard recoil spring and guide. No full-length guide rods allowed.
• Short or long solid trigger permitted. No match triggers allowed.
• Flat or arched mainspring housings permitted. Mainspring housing may be serrated or
checkered.
• Lowered and flared ejection port is allowed ONLY if factory original. Standard ejection
ports may not be modified.
• Checkered front strap or trigger guard not allowed.
• Standard spur type hammer only.
• Lanyard loop is optional.
• Internal accurizing and action tuning is allowed.
• Thumb and grip safeties must function correctly.
• Note: “Standard” in all cases means Standard Military Specs.

MODERN CATEGORY MODIFICATIONS
• Barrel length must be five inches. No barrel porting or compensators or other recoil
reducing devices allowed.
• Unloaded pistol weight may not exceed 42 ounces with an empty magazine inserted.
• Barrel with standard barrel bushing. No Bull barrels allowed.
• Magazine wells may be beveled, but may not be oversized, extended or flared.
• Adjustable or non-adjustable rear sights and blade type front sights are allowed.
• Sights may not be optical or fiber optic. Colored inserts or dots are permitted.
• Stainless steel is permitted.
• Grips must be wood, plastic or other natural materials. No target style grips or thumb rests
allowed. Wrap around grips that cover a portion of the front strap are illegal.
• Front and rear slide checkering or serrations allowed.
• No external “rib” allowed on top of slide. Original Colt Gold Cup ribs are legal.
• Extended beavertail grip safeties allowed.
• Magazines must be standard length and cannot hold more than eight rounds. No extended
base pads on magazines.
• Magazine release may be extended but not oversized.
• Thumb safeties may be extended and be ambidextrous.
• Slide release may be extended.
• Full-length recoil spring guide rod allowed.
• Lowered and flared ejection port allowed.
• Match trigger allowed.
• Lanyard loop is optional.
• Lightweight competition hammer allowed.
• Checkered front strap and trigger guard allowed.
• Flat or arched mainspring housing allowed. Mainspring housing may be serrated or
checkered.
• Internal accurizing and action tuning is allowed.
• Thumb and grip safeties must function correctly.

RIFLE REQUIREMENTS
Rifles or carbines used in the main and team matches must be original or replicas of lever
or slide action rifles manufactured during the period from approximately 1860 until 1899,
incorporating a tubular magazine and exposed hammer. Rifles with box magazines may not be used. Rifle must be chambered in a pistol caliber of .40 caliber or larger. (i.e. A SASS legal rifle
in .40 caliber or larger.) Rifles must comply with all SASS Main Match Firearm Covenants."

Hope this helps you out, and answers your questions.

kayak-man
February 28, 2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks guys. That helps alot. If theres ever a Wild Bunch match in my area, I'll definately go check it out. It sounds like a lot of fun, and like its a bit more run-and-gun than the normal CAS, which really apeals to me.

Once my shoulder has healed up, and I'm cleared to shoot the big guns again I'll go check out some of the local CAS matches.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

straitnate14
February 28, 2011, 11:07 PM
I went once.... I was blown away at the total lack of shooting that I saw. I could have thrown bullets faster then about half of the guys there. I have no problem with people using light loads for shooting but when people stick bullets in the barrel on a regular basis I think it's a little silly. The senarios were fun and I shot a lot more than I do in a regular idpa match but I just felt like watching a bunch of guys throw bullets at steel was a little bit boring.

kiskicowboy
February 28, 2011, 11:09 PM
Almost forgot, for those of you interested in SASS Wild Bunch Action Shooting, here's the appropriate website:

http://www.sassnet.com/wildbunch/

co_dave
March 1, 2011, 12:27 AM
"stick bullets in the barrel on a regular basis"
In my three years in cowboy shooting I have never had a squib, not has anyone on my posse. I've heard of others in a match having them, but it is a rare occurrence. Squibs are more indicative of poor reloading and a likely under, or no powder situation than shooting reduced powder loads. Nobody should be shooting loads below the published minimum. Some may be, but they should not be.

I haven't chrono'd my SASS loads, but just based on loading data, my 130 gr RNFP 38s leave my pistols at somewhere around 940 FPS with a power factor of about 122. If someone can throw lead at steal accurately at that speed, more power to them.

Like I said before, the game isn't for everyone, if we all liked the same things the world would be a pretty boring place. I don't dispute that some have run into bad attitudes and other deterrents, but I can say from my experience, those are the exception, and not the rule.

Enjoy your shooting no matter what flavor it takes.
Dave

SGW42
March 1, 2011, 02:05 AM
I have a Single Six and 39A and I love "the old west." I was really upset when I heard about SASS, but then read the rules and found out I couldn't compete.

I don't get why there is no .22 LR competition. Someone said the steel targets are for centerfire and placed accordingly. Why not set up .22 LR stages? Just think about how many Henry leverguns and Heritage Rough Riders are out there. All those people could play.

I would actually even be willing to pony up a few bucks for a centerfire Vaquero. Why are there no stages for just one type of gun? Someone said the regulars wanted more, and that's fine, but if there were seperate games specific to single revolvers, or single rifles, I think more new people would come out and step into the multigun games. I know the point has been made that many club members are so nice and willing to loan out their guns, but maybe some people are like me and feel bad imposing no matter how generous
the host.

There are all these available classes and different sports, but all of them involve 4 centerfire arms. How about a rimfire sport? I don't even have any complaints about the costumes. I'd kill for an excuse to dress up like Clint Eastwood.

When I can bring my .22s, give me a call, I'll throw together a Blondie outfit as fast as I can and I'll be there ASAP.

RugerBob
March 1, 2011, 07:09 AM
I have been shooting cas for about 3 years. Its all about fun for me. I do not have tricked out guns. Some do and thats ok. My vaqueros are shooting about 800fps. Not max, but doable for me. I am not there to 'win'. Just having a good time shooting the types of guns I enjoy and doing it in a safe enviroment.
As far as clothes, well a pair of jeans and a button up long sleeve shirt and 20 dollar hat got me started.
Most people are nice, and some just stay to themselves and their curret friends.
Now that my wife wants to do this....well , more guns to buy!!

oldfool
March 1, 2011, 08:04 AM
wow, a lot of responses
me, like many others here -

too many rules, rules, rules
the dress up requirements go too far, protests from fans notwithstanding

just why should tennis shoes disqualify a shooter, or be considered to have anything whatever to with shooting skills in any shooting contest ??

total game emphasis (dress up day aside) is speed, speed, speed and speed only... it is not an accuracy game, given the target sizes and distances

I am not going to buy SA revolvers just for speed; for speed I will shoot DA, thank you
I don't wear boots and I don't want to
if I am going to shoot near zero recoil guns, make mine rimfire, please, at 3 cents a round
to wit, if they did do rimfire, they really would get a LOT more participants, as many have said
but the marketeers who push the game (and people who sell cowboy boots) see no profit in encouraging that

with all that said, it is great fun to watch, and I encourage everyone to enjoy any safe, responsible recreational shooting activity of their choice... in that respect, it's all good

but make mine without boots, fewer rules, rules, rules, and cheaper ammo please
(then I would bring along an old Hi-Std D-9 and shoot it SA only, and a Browning BL22, maybe a Ruger SingleSix, and even wear my cowboy hat... and I bet a bunch of other folks would too)
and move those targets downrange, while you are at it

short of all that, I can just put on my cowboy hat and shoot at old Grizz with my Wii zapper, and pretty quick, too ;)
(the bear don't care if I am wearing cowboy boots or not)

pockets
March 1, 2011, 08:24 AM
I used to do the historic reenactment thing with flintlocks a few decades ago, so the costume/alias thing isn't foreign to me.
But the cost of buying two revolvers, a rifle, a shotgun, plus two types of ammo I currently do not buy...just to start in CASS. Even reproductions are not inexpensive. I'd honestly never use them for anything else.
I'd jump on an old-codger rimfire version though. I already have those and ammo is a whole lot more affordable than CASS-type centerfire.

From the Wild Bunch Action Shooting Handbook: "1911 PISTOL REQUIREMENTS - Full size single stack steel frame 1911 style semi-auto pistol in .45 ACP caliber.
Why aren't the Star Model B 9mm's used as "1911" blank shooters in the movie included?

tallpaul
March 1, 2011, 09:13 AM
Well you asked....


I loved it the few times I tried. I bought a Ruger Bisely in 44 mag,a winchester trapper in 44 and a SXS just to get into the game... by the time I got the guns the local matches started to require two pistols and it pissed me off enough that I quit playing. I have two many guns as it is and just got miffed that I needed two pistols after I got the supposed basics.

Heck I even have a sHILOH #1 that would be great for the side matches etc.

It was just a principle thing on my part. The game itself is a lot of fun!

Also the fees and the membership crap is a bit much for my tastes. I already have several other "membership" type hobbies and I am not unlimited in my funds.

Well ya asked....

Deanimator
March 1, 2011, 09:32 AM
So, are you saying the SASS shooters are wrong for requiring period clothing, or the bolt action people are wrong for not requiring it? Or are you saying that all shooting sports should be required to be in lock-step with each other?

Apples and oranges, anyone?
I'm saying that period guns != period costume.

Neither a #1MkIII Enfield nor a Cimarron SAA require a particular costume to function safely and accurately.

If you WANT to play dress up, that's fine by me.

I don't, and that's why I won't be shooting CAS.

It's as simple as that.

Philly Slim
March 1, 2011, 10:06 AM
pockets: "Why aren't the Star Model B 9mm's used as "1911" blank shooters in the movie included?"

Wild Bunch Action Shooting has it's roots in the movie The Wild Bunch. Since the only semi-auto handgun represented in that movie was a Colt 1911 in .45 ACP, that's the pistol requirement in WBAS. As I stated earlier, WBAS is a big bore sport for those that enjoy full power loads. 9mm need not apply. ;)

P.S. Just for clarification, the 1911 doesn't have to be a Colt. Any brand of 1911 is fine as long as it meets the basic requirements laid out in the rules.

Philly Slim
March 1, 2011, 10:13 AM
I forgot to respond to this earlier. A few folks have objected to the "no adjustable sights" rule. Problem is, there is no such rule. There used to be separate categories for fixed and adjustable sighted pistols but, they've since been merged. We have quite a few folks who compete with adjustable sighted Ruger Blackhawks.

Here are the rules concerning adjustable sights on pistols:

REVOLVER – ADJUSTABLE SIGHT MODELS
• Adjustable sight revolvers may have dovetailed or adjustable rear sights and/or dovetailed front sights.
• The rear of adjustable sight revolver front sights may be reshaped (such as rounded).
• Ramp style front sights are allowed if original to the firearm.
• Beaded post front sights or inserts are not allowed.
• Adjustable sight revolver REAR sights may be replaced with commonly available sights of the same size and type. Modern replacement target sights such as the Bomar and Millett type sights are not allowed.
• Rear sights may utilize an insert of the same color as the rear sight to allow easy sight adjustment.
• Adjustable sight revolver FRONT sights may not be undercut.

shooting time
March 1, 2011, 10:53 AM
I thought about it but I like riding a horse and shooting off it at the same time.So I do cowboy mounted shooting which gives me a intense adrenalin rush. you have to use 2 single action revolvers and ride thru a course as fast as you can and bust all the balloons in the shortest time.and we have to dress for the period also and also shoot rifle off the horse. http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee217/ko4zb/Boaz%20%20Alabama%20shoot/DSC_0329.jpg

tarosean
March 1, 2011, 11:14 AM
I thought about it but I like riding a horse and shooting off it at the same time.So I do cowboy mounted shooting which gives me a intense adrenalin rush. you have to use 2 single action revolvers and ride thru a course as fast as you can and bust all the balloons in the shortest time.and we have to dress for the period also and also shoot rifle off the horse


When I think of the term cowboy shooter this is exactly what I envision....

Did you have to debomb/train your own horse? I would imagine finding a horse that is acceptable to gun fire is quite hard now-a-days.

Ive got 3 horses and the only one who isnt bothered by gun fire is my daughters pony.... (lot of good that does me. LOL ) I posted way back in this thread what would happen if I attempted to shoot of one of mine.

Anyhow. I might have to look up any local matches and check them out... I am a country boy Texan so the guns and the dress are not a problem.. Wont call it a costume since that is my everyday wear when not at the office.

bayhawk2
March 1, 2011, 11:40 AM
I have to respond on the re-coil speed thing.I shoot .45's.That leaves me out
of the 1'st place trophy.So what fun is it if you are out of the running
before you even start?The little .32's with low velocity loads?What's that
all about?I agree that I've seen more re-coil from a .22 L.R. than
from some of those pistols in SASS.
With that negative,there are several positives.The comroderie.No doubt
it is a fun event as far as friendship and getting out of the house.
As far as dressing the part and the names?Well I used to hear some
pretty funky names on the C.B. radio I had in my truck.I was into that.
They also have those duelist matches.One hand.Left first,then right.I saw
some decent re-coil in those matches.Gaming is in every sport.If there is
a way to bend the rules to win?Someone will.
"Sorry but I won't embarrass my pistols with those loads."
P.S.-This is not to say I won't join someday.From what I understand,
they have a "duelist over 60 years old"match.That sounds
interesting.:rolleyes:

sierrabravo45
March 1, 2011, 11:45 AM
I find it amusing as people talk about dress up!!!

DO YOU NOT READ ABOUT MINIMUMS!!!!!!

There is more dress up at the 3 Gun or Standard USPSA/IPSC matches

Dress up at an IPSC match is.

5.11 Tactical Pants or Blackhawk Pants (most prefer 5.11 Because you need them, in case you do a tactical entry, and they are tacticool, most prefer tan pants with black shirt that is the style thats currently in)

Short Sleeve - GLOCK, STI, Para, or whatever gun or bullet company shirt.

Oakley - Half Jacket Shooting Glasses

LaRue Tactical Hat

Dress up at a SASS Match.

Jeans

Long Sleeve Shirt

Boots

Cowboy Hat optional

(The second sounds pretty much like my standard attire without the hat)

Money for guns isn't a problem. Ammo isn't a problem either, I have two Dillion 550's (one for small primers and one for large)

Time certainly is. I work all summer. I have actually given up USPSA.


BTW:

Dress Up at the Shot Show

5.11 pants, Black Shirt, Stomach that hangs over 5.11 pants

dtalley
March 1, 2011, 11:51 AM
I have not shot CAS in a few years because the range that was close shut down. I purchased my (what most of you call a costume) attire at Goodwill including a hat for $8.00. I wear a button up shirt (Goodwill $6.00), cowboy hat (Goodwill $4.00) blue jeans, lace up work boots (that I have anyway). Unlike some of you, any reason to by more guns is a good reason. I enjoy it and do not shoot powder puff loads, I shoot 45LC Ruger Vaqueros and Lever Action Rifle and 12ga shotgun. I built my Gun cart out of scrap lumber laying around the house and purchase two wheels for I think $20.

There as been recent activity at a new range in my area and I am planning on going to check it out when the weather warms up. Yes, some of the stuff is silly but I try to make it enjoyable. Some people take it way to serious but it is only a fun as you make it.
I was a memeber of SASS but the price of membership didn't give me what I thought it should so I stopped that.

It's fun and funny all in a morning of shooting weapons with other people who like shooting weapons.

I'd rather Shoot CAS than Play Golf...

Philly Slim
March 1, 2011, 12:07 PM
And ANOTHER thing. :D

I just remembered that even the button up shirt isn't a requirement. You can wear a long sleeve Henley style t-shirt instad of the standard button up collar shirt. Only stipulation on those is you'd have to take off the pocket if it has one. (They didn't have pockets on their t-shirts back in the 1800s.)

CraigC
March 1, 2011, 12:49 PM
You have to train a horse to not panic around gunfire. None of them come that way. I've never done it but my cows, donkeys, cats and chickens are all very comfortable around it. I can't go out back and shoot without a cat at my feet. So it can't be too difficult. There are books and articles on the subject.

Justin
March 1, 2011, 12:57 PM
Did you have to debomb/train your own horse? I would imagine finding a horse that is acceptable to gun fire is quite hard now-a-days.

Probably not as hard as you think. This might be a good place to start looking:
Western Shooting Horse Magazine (http://www.westernshootinghorse.com/)

shooting time
March 1, 2011, 02:37 PM
I trained my horse but my horses have been around gunfire because I shoot at my house all the time so they are used to it and it wasn't hard to do except for one high strung Arabian that just will not do it .If they are around other horses that do not get scared when you fire they will not be scared either.

hardworker
March 1, 2011, 03:45 PM
I do not do it because I've never had any interest in it. My family has no ties to the old west, we're from the southeast. I like shooting stuff but my style is more like "redneck plinking" than cowboy shooting

Nuclear
March 1, 2011, 03:47 PM
To the OP's question:

I originally thought that the costume requirement would do me in, along with the cutesy names. Way too much like SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) without the good partying. Now that I know that all I'd need to buy would be a shirt, jeans and boots, that's not so bad. Still have the cutesy name thing though.

Now it appears the gun cost would be a bit much. It would be cool to have a lever action rifle, so no problem there. One single action revolver I'd like, two is too much. Same for a shotgun that I could only really use for this one thing.

The other thing is the attitude. Something about the CAS people I've run into has rubbed me the wrong way. Could be just luck of the draw, as there are some of the local IDPA that aren't exactly on my Christmas card list either, if you know what I mean.

Oh, BTW, low speed bullets are MORE likely to ricochet than fast ones, regardless of whether lead or jacketed.

Philly Slim
March 1, 2011, 05:34 PM
Nuclear: "Still have the cutesy name thing though."

Is Nuclear your real name? :D


The only issue I can't address is the attitudes some folks have run into. I'm terribly sorry for your experience. I sure wish I could change what you've seen but, I can't. The best I can do is tell you that I've been involved in a LOT of different shooting sports over the years. And the folks I've met in SASS have been without a doubt the kindest, most generous group of people I've ever met.

If you ever find yourself in the Las Vegas area, we have four clubs within easy driving distance. That means you can go to a match any weekend of the month. Get ahold of me and I'll show you what Cowboy Action Shooting is REALLY about. You'll have a ball. Even if you don't choose to take it up, at least you'll have a more honest representation from which to make your decision. ;)

Nuclear
March 1, 2011, 06:00 PM
"Is Nuclear your real name?" Nope, just a cutesy name I use on internet forums to avoid embarrassing the rest of my family more than I already do. ;-)

That does give me an idea about changing my real name, though...just kidding.

I'll try to remember to take you up on your offer the next time I'm in Vegas on my annual trip.

bannockburn
March 1, 2011, 07:16 PM
Why I'm not a cowboy action shooter...

Well I already have all of the requisite guns; I have always been fascinated with the Colt SAA, lever action rifles, and double barrel SxS shotguns. I even have the ammo and the appropiate leather gear, and I wear the basic clothing requirement every day when I'm not at work (don't have a cowboy hat but that's not a big deal). Don't have a problem with having an "alias" either; I'm glad my computer can remember all of my user names because I sure as heck can't.

I suppose the biggest problem for me would be finding the time to do it, and also the travel involved. I checked the SASS website and not one of the dozen or more affiliated clubs in my state are anything less than 3 hours away. Couple that with having to work the occasional weekend, with precious little time leftover to spend with my family as it is (while also going to all of their school functions and sporting events), and that's why I'm not (going to) be a cowboy action shooter.

mr.trooper
March 1, 2011, 08:43 PM
There is a discussion on the SASS Wire about how to attract more shooters into Cowboy Action Shooting.They could START by NOT JUMPING DOWN PEOPLES THROATS when they sign up and ask a simple question about the rules. :mad:

A year or more ago, I had become very interested in joining, so I signed up for the SASS wire forum....

I had the NERVE to ask why the rules exclude many historical weapons from competition, and got a non answer ("because the rules say so" :rolleyes:).

I THEN had the GALL to politely point out that my question was blatantly ignored... and that invoked a 3 page "pile on the noob" retaliation.

In the end, one of the senior members came along and said something to the effect of "because we are not a historical shooting group, and we are only concerned with recreating inaccurate 1950's spaghetti westerns."

That sealed the deal for me. I will never be in ANY CAS group, let alone the SASS.

The No.1 problem for the SASS IS the SASS. The very members who are posting in that thread ARE THE ONES WHO DRIVE PEOPLE OFF.


(The obsession with "lonesome dove" doesn't help them click with outsiders either.)

J-Bar
March 1, 2011, 08:51 PM
99.99% of SASS shooters DO NOT post on the SASS Wire. You will find the shooters at a match to be more friendly than the curmudgeons on the internet, if you give them a chance. (Yes, sometimes I am a curmudgeon.)

ball3006
March 1, 2011, 09:15 PM
for several years. I gave it up because the "spirit of the game" bacame
"win at any costs". It was not fun any longer when 5 guys had to count shots/misses and the shooters would argue every one. Case closed. I still have all my guns because they are fun to shoot. I will never enter that arena again......life is too short to put up with all that BS....chris3:mad:

Millwright
March 1, 2011, 09:49 PM
lWhatever it takes to attract more shooter to our sports is Jake with me ! >MW

ZeBool
March 1, 2011, 10:53 PM
I don't shoot cowboy action because I outgrew Halloween by age ten. However, it is a shooting sport and I will support any who choose to do it.

Fat_46
March 1, 2011, 11:08 PM
I did CAS...once. I showed up with 2 Rugers in 45LC, a repro Colt Lightning, and an original 1897 shottie. After being told on multiple stages my Rugers weren't "original" enough, even though they fit all rules, I decided I would rather shoot with folks not so judgmental. I was seeking a fun group of folks, but found a number of cash flashers, intent on belittling those just getting started that have limited means.

NoirFan
March 2, 2011, 02:51 AM
I have no problem with the dress-up aspect of the sport. It could be rather fun if you are into that period. I just have no interest in single action revolvers and the whole cowboy culture.

I would love to see a nationwide sport as popular as Cowboy Action but inspired by film noir and the guns of the "Golden Era". Maybe there could be a stage where you have to spin around and fire after being hit in the head with a sap? Or another where you have to shoot straight after taking a belt from the bottle of rye in the bottom drawer. Haha OK I'm joking about that but seriously I would love to see a sport like this.

Sam1911
March 2, 2011, 06:45 AM
inspired by film noir and the guns of the "Golden Era"
Sort of like this? http://www.zootshooters.com/

lizziedog1
March 2, 2011, 07:30 AM
No. I would never join an organization that would have me as a member.;)

skipjack
March 2, 2011, 07:37 AM
I am a SASS member, and have only shot a few years. My
brother and I shoot black powder cartridge in our rifles,
black powder shotshells, and this coming season, cap and
ball revolvers. For us, it is not about speed or using light
loads for reduced recoil. We like to replicate what was
shot back in the day.

I do most of my shooting at a club that is not SASS affiliated.
It is not uncommon to see regular folks wearing regular clothes
shooting at a match. They even have a class for those who
only have one pistol. They also allow folks to shoot a 1911
instead of two revolvers. The atmosphere is very relaxed,
but of course, safety is still paramount.

At SASS affiliated club shoots that I have attended, the gamers
are usually put together in one or two posses. They do
their thing, and we do ours. I have no desire to be ultra fast,
particularly at the expense of shooting light loads. I shoot
to enjoy the big boom and smoke of black powder loads in
my guns.

I did not think I would enjoy dressing up, but in fact, it is
part of the fun for me. To each his own, I guess.

Pete D.
March 2, 2011, 08:23 AM
They even have a class for those who
only have one pistol. They also allow folks to shoot a 1911

Now...that would be just fine. I give that a try in a minute.
I have a Vaquero and I have a 1911. Could do either. Or both.
Pete

pockets
March 2, 2011, 09:26 AM
Wild Bunch Action Shooting has it's roots in the movie The Wild Bunch. Since the only semi-auto handgun represented in that movie was a Colt 1911 in .45 ACP, that's the pistol requirement in WBAS.
I do know where it comes from. But it seems like this simply ignores that many of the "1911" guns used by the main actors in the movie were actually Star 9mm's that just looked like 1911's. Is this what you mean by "the only semi-auto handgun 'represented' in that movie was a Colt 1911"? ;)
IIRC; At the time the movie was made, Star 9mm's were more reliable with blanks than the 1911.
No worries.....it's a game and folks can make up any rules they want for their games.

Owen
March 2, 2011, 10:44 AM
I'm just not interested in the guns that are used.

Larry E
March 2, 2011, 07:08 PM
I gave up playing cowboys and Indians nearly 60 years ago, I've lived around real cowboys enough to know that CAS is make believe and let's pretend. It's too expensive to boot. Shooting low powered loads doesn't help either.

Black powder cartridge rifle shooting looks interesting, but is way too expensive for me.

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