Cowboy Action Shooting is an adventurous sport where we fire guns of the Old West at metal targets, most of them stationary, but some swing, pop-up or travel. We shoot single action revolvers, lever action rifles and side-by-side, double-barreled, pre-1899 pump or lever action shotguns. The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) Handbook has specifics about the guns that must be adhered to both to make the sport safe and to level the playing field. The Cowboy Action Shooters (CAS) in this sport pride themselves in safety, authenticity and the ability to have fun.

 

A Match may consist of five to 10 stages depending on whether it is a club practice or fun match, an annual club match, or regional or national match. A scenario is written for each stage around a theme. Shooters load their guns before being called to the first firing position and go to an unloading table to unload their guns after taking their turn. Both loading and unloading tables are supervised to ensure the safety of all participants. Eye and ear protection are worn when the firing line is live.

 

The shooter speaks an opening line before the range officer (RO) announces to the shooter to standby, then the RO starts a timer. All three types of guns are shot in a specific order and target sequence. Spotters watch to see if any targets are missed and if the shooter follows the pattern. Scoring is based on accuracy and speed. Pickers pick up the empty casings and setters reset any targets that were knocked down as part of the sequence. All members of a posse help out as each shooter takes their turn. Participation is both enjoyable and helpful in keeping your head in the game.

 

A key component of cowboy action shooting is the authentic period dress worn by the shooters. CAS love to play cowboy and have active imaginations when it comes to getting in character and taking part in a shoot. Some shooting categories have specific dress and accessory requirements. Shooters may dress old west or 'B' Western depending on their category.

 

ALIASES  It is probably true that most shooters love the old westerns for their story lines, characters and costumes. We even take on an original alias that has to be approved by the SASS if you plan to shoot in SASS sanctioned matches, to make sure there are no duplications in names. A shooter may chose to only take part in club shoots or fun matches. Aliases help when it comes to checking out your scores after a shoot, or that of that desperado you see as a competitor. To see some of the aliases used by our club members see the Membership page.

 

This sport places a big emphasis on the spirit of the game, or the need to follow the rules, keep the competition fair and have fun. We all feel it is important to model the "cowboy way," which means we honor one another, encourage each other and enjoy taking on a persona for the day.

 

This sport is also suitable for all ages, and both men and women. We all shoot together and the comradery is evident. Whole families can get in on the fun. Many become shooters, but others just enjoy the fellowship and the costuming. Come on out and see what we're all about!

 

 

Cowboy Action Shooting What is It?

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SHOOTING CATEGORIES from SASS Handbook

CATEGORIES

 

SASS recognizes shooting categories based upon age, gender, costuming, equipment, shooting style and/or propellant. The age for a competitor is determined by their age on the first day the match starts. All SASS categories may be subdivided by gender, e.g. Lady Duelist, Lady Gunfighter, Lady 49'er, Lady Wrangler, etc. Competitors may compete within any category for which they qualify. There are no men's categories.

 

 

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AGE-BASED

 

  • Any Main Match revolver.
  • Revolvers may be shot any style except Gunfighter.
  • May use any SASS-legal main match shotgun and any main match rifle.
  • May use any SASS-legal ammunition.
  • Juniors are persons aged 16 and under. The category may be subdivided by age and gender. Suggested divisions are 'Young Guns', aged 14 through 16 and 'Buckaroos' 13 and under. Caution is urged in allowing competitors under age 14. Local laws, regulations, and insurance requirements may prevent matches from offering some age groups.
  • Parental consent and supervision is required for all competitors under twenty-one years of age.
  • 'Buckaroos' must use revolvers, rifles, and shotguns meeting the external standards but may be chambered in .22 LR for revolvers and rifles and .410 caliber for shotguns. Standard velocity ammunition for these firearms must be used. Knockdown targets are not required to fall for Buckaroo Category shooters. A hit will be scored as long as the target is clearly hit. An alternate target MUST be provided for all aerial shotgun targets for Buckaroo category shooters.
  • Buckaroo Category shooters choosing to use center-fire ammunition in handguns and/or rifles must meet all center-fire power factor and velocity requirements.
  • The women's category may be subdivided according to the use shooting style, e.g., Lady Duelist and Lady Gunfighter.
  • Cowboy Category shooters are competitors of any age range.
  • Wrangler Category shooters are competitors 36 years of age or greater.
  • Forty-Niners are competitors 49 years of age or greater.
  • Seniors are competitors 60 years of age or greater. Senior Duelist is also a recognized Senior Category. Senior Duelist category shooters may use any SASS-legal firearm or ammunition but must shoot Duelist or Double-Duelist Style only,
  • Silver Seniors are competitors 65 years of age or greater.
  • Elder Statesmen/Grand Dames are competitors 70 years of age or greater.

 

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BLACK POWDER CATEGORY

 

It is expected the blackpowder competitor shall contend with smoke obscured targets. To insure this, all shotgun, revolver, and rifle powder charges must produce smoke at least equivalent to a base line load of 15 grains by volume (1 cc) of fff blackpowder.

 

FRONTIER CARTRIDGE

  • Any Main Match fixed sight model revolver.
  • Revolvers may be shot two handed or one handed (duelist style).
  • Must use blackpowder in all loads (rifle, revolver, and shotgun).
  • Must use a side-by-side or lever action shotgun in the main match stages.
  • Any SASS-legal pistol caliber rifle is acceptable.
  • Frontier Cartridge Duelist is also recognized with all requirements being the same except the Duelist and Double Duelist shooting styles are used. See Duelist description for the required shooting technique(s).
  • NOTE: Frontier Cartridge competitors may use any SASSミlegal firearms and propellants in team and side matches.

 

FRONTIERSMAN

  • Any Main Match percussion revolver with non-adjustable sights (Note exceptions listed re: dovetailed sights). (Exception: The 1873 Uberti percussion revolver is not allowed. )
  • Revolvers must be shot duelist or double duelist style. See Duelist description for required shooting technique.
  • Must use blackpowder in all loads (rifle, revolver, and shotgun).
  • Must use a side-by-side or lever action shotgun in the main match stages.
  • Any SASS-legal pistol caliber rifle is acceptable.

 

 

 

COSTUME SHOOTING CATEGORY

 

CLASSIC COWBOY/COWGIRL

  • Any Main Match fixed sight model revolver.
  • Revolvers must be shot duelist or double duelist style. See Duelist description for required shooting technique.
  • Revolver calibers: .40 caliber rimmed cartridges or largerムrevolvers and rifle Examples include, but are not limited to, .38-40, .44 Special, .44 Russian, .44 Mag., .44-40, .45 Schofield, .45 Colt or .36 caliber or larger cap and ball.
  • May use any SASSミlegal ammunition as long as it adheres to the above caliber restrictions.
  • Rifles: Any 1873 or earlier manufacture SASSミlegal rifle or a replica thereof (e.g., 1866 Winchester, 1860 Henry, 1873 Winchester).
  • Shotguns: SASSミlegal external hammer double barrel or lever actions.
  • Costuming: Must choose at least five of the requirements listed below. All clothing items must be worn appropriately during all shooting events and awards ceremonies.
  • Chaps, spurs, cuffs, tie or scarf worn loosely around the neck or with scarf slide, vest, pocket watch with full length chain, jacket, sleeve garters, knife, botas, leggings, braces; no straw or palm hats allowed.  In addition to the above items, ladies may choose from the items listed below in order to compete within this category:
  • Period watch, split riding skirt, bustle, hoops, corset, Victorian style hat (straw allowed), period jewelry, period hair ornaments (e.g., feathers), snood, reticule (period handbag), period lace up shoes, camisole, bloomers, fishnet stockings, feather boa, cape.
  • No Buscadero or drop holster rigs allowed (i.e., part of the grip must be above the belt on which the holster hangs).
  • Boots are required and must be of traditional design with leather or smooth rubber, non-grip enhancing soles. Mocassins are not allowed.
  • Hats must be worn for the entire match.

 

 

'B' WESTERN

  • Any main match revolver.
  • Revolvers may be shot in any SASS-legal shooting style, at the shooters discretion.
  • Rifles: Any SASS-legal rifle of 1884 or later design or a replica thereof (i.e., 1892, 1894, Lightening Rifle, or Marlin).
  • May use any SASS-legal shotgun.
  • May use any SASS-legal ammunition.
  • Leather: Buscadero holster rigs or drop holster rigs. (All of the revolver(s) must be carried below the top of the gun belt.) All belt and holster rigs must be embellished (fancy stitching, conchos, spots, or tooling). All holsters must be of the メDouble Strong-Sideモ type. No crossdraw, shoulder rigs, or butt forward configurations allowed.
  • Costuming: Shirts must be of the 'B' Western style with snap buttons or any of the following: 'Smiley Pockets,' embroidery, appliques, fringe, or different colored yokes. Shield shirts are also allowed if it has piping or embroidery.
  • Pants must be jeans, ranch pants, or pants with flap over the rear pocket, keystone belt loops, and/or piping or fringe.
  • Pants must be worn with a belt. Suspenders are not allowed. Felt hats only, no straw hats. Hats must be worn.  Boots are required and must be of traditional design with fancy stitching or multi-color fancy design with smooth, non-grip enhancing soles. Lace up boots and moccasins are not allowed.
  • Western Spurs with rowels are required for men. Ladies may wear skirts or split riding skirts.
  • You must choose at least one or more of the following optional items: gloves or gauntlets, scarves with slides or tied around the neck, coat, vest, chaps or cuffs.
  • All costumes are expected to be fancy and flashy. The 'B' Western costuming must be worn during the entire match and awards ceremony with exception of evening formal occasions.

 

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SHOOTING CATEGORIES

 

 DUELIST

  • Any Main Match fixed sight model revolver.
  • Only Duelist Style or Double Duelist Style may be used.
  • Duelist Style is defined as shooting a revolver cocked and fired one handed, unsupported. The revolver, hand, or shooting arm may not be touched by the off hand except when resolving a malfunctioning revolver problem or when transferring the revolver from one hand to the other.
  • Double Duelist Styleモ is defined as shooting a revolver cocked and fired one handed and unsupported, with each hand, that is, left gun with the left hand and right gun with the right hand. The revolver, hand or shooting arm may not be touched by the offhand except when resolving a malfunctioning revolver problem or when transferring the revolver from one hand to the other.
  • At no time shall the competitor have two loaded revolvers in hand at once.
  • May use any SASS-legal main match shotgun and any main match rifle.
  • May use any SASS-legal ammunition.

 

GUNFIGHTER

  • Any Main Match fixed sight model revolver.
  • Only Gunfighter Style or Double Duelist Style may be used.
  • Gunfighter Style is defined as shooting with a revolver in each hand. Revolvers must be cocked and fired one handed, unsupported, one right handed and the other left handed. There is no set pattern as to how the revolvers are to be fired, but alternating revolvers is clearly the most efficient.
  • The Gunfighter and B-Western Categories are the only categories that allow two loaded revolvers out of leather at the same time.
  • When a stage calls for 10 revolver rounds in a single sequence or the use of only one revolver for the stage, the Gunfighter may draw both revolvers and engage the targets. The Gunfighter shall shoot the targets in exactly the same sequence as prescribed in the stage scenario.
  • Both revolvers may be cocked at the same time, but must be shot one at a time to facilitate scoring. A Gunfighter may not holster revolvers with the intent to engage another revolver sequence. Once cocked, all rounds must be expended prior to holstering unless the revolvers were drawn at the wrong time or a revolver/ammunition malfunction has occurred. Inadvertently leaving unfired rounds in a revolver is a miss unless the round is under the hammer, then it is a Stage Disqualification.
  • Stage design may allow a competitor shooting Gunfighter Style to stage or restage revolvers between target sequences. If the stage scenario requires the use of another firearm between the revolver sequences or the shooterユs hands are otherwise constrained (e.g., rolling the dice between revolver sequences), the revolvers must be drawn and shot one at a time unless they can be safely staged rather than holstered. In this case, both revolvers may be employed at the same time for the first five rounds, safely restaged, and then employed at the same time again for the second five rounds.
  • May use any SASS-legal main match shotgun and any legal main match rifle.
  • May use any SASS-legal ammunition.
  • Two standard holsters are required, one on each side. No cross-draw or 'butt forward' configurations are allowed.

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