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
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.
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.
COSTUME SHOOTING CATEGORY