Why aren't you a cowboy action shooter?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by J-Bar, Feb 26, 2011.

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  1. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Springfield, MO
    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...
  2. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    berkeley, CA
    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.
  3. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    The costumes/aliases and powder-puff loads. Nothing wrong with SCA-ish games, just not my bag.
  4. david58

    david58 Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    High Country New Mexico
    Too expensive to start

    The price of admission keeps me from shooting.
    Two pistols.
    Rig to tote said pistols.
    Lever gun.

    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 $$$.
  5. GJgo

    GJgo Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Western Colorado
    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.
  6. G27RR

    G27RR Member

    Oct 27, 2009
    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.
  7. bayhawk2

    bayhawk2 Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    S/W Texas
    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.;)
  8. shockwave

    shockwave Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    Probably because I don't like shooting "action cowboys."
  9. TIMC

    TIMC Member

    Feb 16, 2003
    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!
  10. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    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.
  11. FatPants

    FatPants Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Too much money, and I can shoot IDPA/USPSA/Fun matches/Steel Challenge etc. all with handguns I currently own.
  12. ultradoc

    ultradoc Member

    May 20, 2008
    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.
  13. RUDY850

    RUDY850 Member

    Jan 6, 2008
    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
  14. TheGrimReaper

    TheGrimReaper Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    I couldn't wear the costumes they wear.
  15. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Jan 27, 2006
    West Tennessee
    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.........
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    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.
  17. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Near Fairbanks
    Dress-up and play acting with adults in public ? No thanks, but do enjoy yourself.
  18. InkEd

    InkEd Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Parts Unknown
    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.
  19. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    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.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  20. Trebor

    Trebor Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    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).
  21. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    Role playing games have no appeal for me.
  22. david58

    david58 Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    High Country New Mexico
    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."
  23. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    NM-south of I-40
    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.
  24. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    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.
  25. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    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.
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