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Old December 1, 2008, 04:15 PM   #1
Jack O Spades
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target sizes & shooting distances for C.A.S.

I want to set up a shooting scenerio in my backyard to practice some cowboy action drills so I kind of know what Im doing before I go to my first shoot. I wonder if any of you can give me some ideas as to target sizes and the shooting distances for each firearm (revolver, rifle, shotgun). Obviously it all varies from one shoot to the next. Im just looking for a good starting point because as of right now I dont have a clue...other than what Ive seen on Cowboys on The Outdoor Channel. Id like to go see some live shoots but they dont start in this area until April and I am hoping to be plinking well before then.
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Old December 1, 2008, 05:36 PM   #2
Fingers McGee
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Try here:

http://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/MatchDir/MDSDvH.pdf

It should give you all the particulars you need about setting up a stage.

Where are you located?
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Old December 1, 2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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The distances are a TOTAL disapointment to those of us that like to shoot!!and a little bit dangerous and Stupid!!!!

It would sure be nice if the targets were set a distance that actually challenged folk to shoot well...Instead it is just a "who can unload there gun the fastest" type of drill.

I'm not sure of distances, but the last one I shot at was sooo close that I was Very scared that the boolits might explode and blind me...Not much fun at all....If you have any leverage please try and change this NON-sense!!
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Old December 1, 2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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CAS is a game of speed. You might (prolly will) occasionally get hit with lead splatter. Sounds and looks pretty easy but it isn't that easy when you're going as fast as you can. Some of those guys can empty two revolvers(10 rounds), a rifle(10 rounds) and four rounds out of a shotgun loading two(or one) at a time in under 20 seconds and still hit the targets with most of them.
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Old December 2, 2008, 12:09 AM   #5
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
The distances are a TOTAL disapointment to those of us that like to shoot!!and a little bit dangerous and Stupid!!!!

It would sure be nice if the targets were set a distance that actually challenged folk to shoot well...Instead it is just a "who can unload there gun the fastest" type of drill.

I'm not sure of distances, but the last one I shot at was sooo close that I was Very scared that the boolits might explode and blind me...Not much fun at all....If you have any leverage please try and change this NON-sense!!
Freedom 475,

I will respectfully disagree with your assessment of CAS. It is a very safe sport and is not as easy as it looks. Other shooting disciplines have targets even closer than CAS ranges. If you don't like the game, no one is going to make you play it. If you are afraid that the bullets will explode and blind you......although how a lead bullet is going to explode is beyond my understanding - .........do something else.
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Old December 2, 2008, 02:21 AM   #6
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Why not wear some safety "spectacles"?
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Old December 2, 2008, 03:46 AM   #7
freedom475
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Sorry about the negativity No disrespect intended.......ANY shooting is Good shooting... Just know that my Daddy would Woop my butt if he found out I shot at a steel plate with a 45 at a few feet.

The ranch I worked on had the local clubs range on some of our mountain property and my brother and I use to shoot the coarse all the time...Great Fun....had no idea we were running the rifle coarse with our revolvers until we went to an actual shoot.
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Old December 2, 2008, 06:07 AM   #8
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It does keep me from shooting SASS that the targets are so close ....to me it`s like an ammo dump ..done as fast as you can ....I only shoot black powder cartridges out of my guns and it takes to long to reload them for this type of shooting ......With some cheap smokeless cases ..yea I might be tempted ...anyone know where they give away cheap smokeless bullets ...I didn`t thiink so .
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Old December 2, 2008, 06:37 AM   #9
Gecko10
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Jack:

Getting back to your question:

Revolver: 7-10 yds
Rifle: 13-50 yrds (most will be in the 15-25 yrd range.
Shotgun: 8-16 yds. (Most will be in the 8-10 yrd range and low to the ground}

Target size will vary, but 16" X 16" is the recommended standard. If you use steel they should be set a little off vertical so that when the lead bullet strikes them the bullet is deflected downward.

On a standard stage of 10 pistol, 10 rifle and 4 shotgun the average shooter around here will get through it in say 30-35 sec, a good shooter in 25-30 sec, an excellent shooter in the high teens to low twenty seconds. Of course all of that is dependent on the complexity of the stage. Misses are 5 sec penalty each, procedural errors (shooting something out of sequence) is 10 sec penalty.

Last edited by Gecko10; December 2, 2008 at 06:49 AM.
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Old December 2, 2008, 08:24 AM   #10
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Man that is close.

I've never been to a CAS or SASS shoot but if the targets are that close then I would have to learn to shoot quick if I was ever goin to get into that.
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Old December 2, 2008, 09:16 AM   #11
Jim Watson
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A recent major match - Mule Camp in Georgia - one of the many assets that made it enjoyable was reported in the Cowboy Chronicle as "the targets were large and close." I shot CAS for a number of years and watched the targets get bigger and closer so speed rather than accuracy became the emphasis. Complicated "sweeps" were dreamed up to provide a memory challenge.
It got to where I seldom if ever got through a shoot without getting peppered by spatter off the plates, sometimes hard.
Folks must like the easy targets and not mind getting popped, the SASS membership is much larger than when I was active in it and there are other organizations in the game besides.
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Old December 2, 2008, 12:05 PM   #12
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One of the primary objectives of CAS is safety. At every range I have shot on here in Missouri as well as ranges in WY, OK, NE, IA, KS, and TN, the emphasis is safety. Safety glasses are mandatory for competitors and spectators alike. Hearing protection is mandatory on most ranges, and highly recommended on all others. Splash back can be virtually eliminated by using non-cratered targets and having them angled properly; but, FME, no matter how carefly a stage is set up splashback can occur.

Sundance - I'm a black powder shooter. 2nd Gen 1861 Navies, 66 Carbine and 1889 Remington SxS. Half the fun is trying to see the targets after the first couple rounds go down range. On the whole, we BP shooters aren't that fast unless sun and wind conditions are perfect.

Raider - There is a saying in CAS; They don't make a target too close or too big to miss. It's true - and don't ask me how I know. CAS is speed and accuracy. You have to find the right combination of both.
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Cynic: A blackguard whose faulty vision see things as they are, not as they should be. Ambrose Bierce
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Old December 2, 2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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Big, close targets? Sounds like my kinda' sport!

Thought I read some complaints that CAS is now dominated by people who want to win at any cost and are taking the fun out of it. Sour grapes?
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Old December 2, 2008, 01:47 PM   #14
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I enjoyed CAS for a while but also watched the targets grow larger and closer. The last FOUR matches I attended we gathered up a posse to talk to the range masters and have some of the targets moved BACK because everyone was getting splattered too much and we felt it was a hazard.

Quote:
I read some complaints that CAS is now dominated by people who want to win at any cost and are taking the fun out of it. Sour grapes?
Nope. Create any sport and the the "gamers" will eventually show up to "game the system". It's happened with every sport I've ever seen and I find it immensely disappointing when it becomes about "gaming the rules" not having fun with the game as intended. I simply stopped shooting with the clubs full of "gamers" and found some that were more fun-oriented but those groups have been fading away as the sponsors and such all flock to the super-gamers. Eventually I'd had enough and about all I do these days are set up some targets myself and have at it.

Regardless of all of that, somewhere around here I also have a set of targets that, when printed on 8.5x11 inch paper and placed 9 feet away give you the same "sight picture" you'd have with real targets at a match. Nice for dryfire practice indoors

If I can find the targets I'll put 'em up someplace and post a link.

Last edited by ZeSpectre; December 2, 2008 at 01:53 PM.
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Old December 2, 2008, 05:57 PM   #15
Jack O Spades
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I seriously cant believe theyre that big and that close! I was picturing about a 10"x14" target @20yds for revolver and the same target @35yds for rifle with a 10"-12"x30" silouette @20yds for shotgun. I am a fabricator and at work we have a CNC plasma cutter. I was going to burn out some 8" round targets and some 10" round targets. I also thought it would be cool to make some diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs targets too. The round targets I planned on putting on a pipe to make spinning targets out of with the others just stationary on a pole or whatever. I had no idea the actual targets were so big, I guess if I can hit an 8" circle at 15 yards with any quickness Ill probably do just fine, depending on how bad the butterflies are of course. Thanks for the info and someone asked where I am located...Im in Coldwater Mi (just north of the IN border)
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Old December 2, 2008, 07:45 PM   #16
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
Thought I read some complaints that CAS is now dominated by people who want to win at any cost and are taking the fun out of it. Sour grapes?
grymster2007 - There are those that try to win at any cost; but, they are a minority. The majority of shooters at matches I attend are there to have a good time - do as well as you can - but have a good time. Every top shooter that I have shot with on a posse isn't one of the 'gamers' that people complain about. They practice ALOT and are very good at what they do. In the 10 years I have been doing CAS, I've probably run into less than 10 shooters that are 'win at any cost'.

ZeSpectre - There's no excuse for targets or target placement that causes excessive spatter. I've only encoutered something like that at a couple of ranges & a quick word to the match directors solved the problem.

Jack - Come down & shoot with us here in MO. We have standard sized targets at standard distances with a few smaller/longer range ones thrown in for good measure. Some of our pistol targets arent easy to hit (dous beer bottle size mean anything to you?) & I get cussed at by members every time I add them to a stage.
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Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts - Alter ego of Diabolical Ken; SASS Regulator 28564-L-TG; Rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman, Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, NMLRA, SAF, CCRKBA, STORM 327, SV115; Charter member, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Cynic: A blackguard whose faulty vision see things as they are, not as they should be. Ambrose Bierce
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Old December 3, 2008, 01:30 PM   #17
O6nop
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I have yet to try CAS, so I don't know much, but I find it odd that no one mentions that there are specifications on the loads for these matches. "Cowboy Loads" are much lighter and less likely to cause any damage to the plates. This seems to be an answer, in part, to the safety issue.
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Old December 3, 2008, 04:30 PM   #18
Jack O Spades
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Beer bottle size! Thats right up my alley. I shoot cans and bottles all the time with my AK-47 at about 40 yards or so with a relative quickness. A friend of mine brought over a
.38 double action last summer and he couldnt believe I was even going to attempt shooting 4" square blocks at 40 yards with it, but I did. It wasnt a "pull the trigger as fast as you can" shoot but it was fun. It reminds me when I went to the sheriff dept. shooting range and outshot a cop with his own gun. At 25 feet he had about a 10" group, my dad shot it, it was a SIG .40, he had about a 3" group, when I shot it I had 3 holes touching and about a 1/2" away there were 2 more touching. He just looked disgusted and reholstered his pistol. Anyway I think that all targets should be challenging or it wouldnt be any fun. Kinda like driving roofing nails into a fence post at 40 yards with a .22 mag. Now thats fun.
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Old December 3, 2008, 07:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Anyway I think that all targets should be challenging or it wouldnt be any fun.
Try hitting a 16" target at 7 yds. with a SAA shooting as fast as you can and see how easy it is to miss.
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Old December 3, 2008, 09:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Haggen
Try hitting a 16" target at 7 yds. with a SAA shooting as fast as you can and see how easy it is to miss.
I can hit pretty consistent with my Pietta '58 with the 5.5" barrel & my heavy load at that range HH but I'm not trying to beat an autoloader either.
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Old December 3, 2008, 09:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
I can hit pretty consistent with my Pietta '58 with the 5.5" barrel & my heavy load at that range HH but I'm not trying to beat an autoloader either.
More than a few can out run an autoloader. I'm not one of them.
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Old December 4, 2008, 05:45 AM   #22
Jack O Spades
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I agree that the speed will be the challenge, but with a target that big and that close you dont even have to aim. Just point and shoot. Sort of like instinctive shooting. I dont plan on winning any trophies in my first year. Im going to just go through the courses hitting every target and I think the speed will come later. Thats why I want to set up some targets at home, so the speed will come sooner. I used to shoot competitive archery and I didnt think I would do very well my first year at that either but I ended up with a trophy and several medals locally with a 596 out of 600 at the indoor nationals which put me in about 200th place which isnt terrible for a first year competitor when there are 5000 people shooting. Practicing at home has a big advantage, thats why I never bet money on a billiard game against someone that ownes his own table.
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Old December 4, 2008, 06:42 AM   #23
Gecko10
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Jack posted:

"I agree that the speed will be the challenge, but with a target that big and that close you dont even have to aim. Just point and shoot."

Jack a year from now you will have changed your mind. If you don't acquire the front sight you will have more misses than you think and remember each miss is a 5 sec penalty and procedural are 10 sec. The transitions and movements can also be very costly, time wise, if not done correctly. Listen to what Hawg is telling you and believe him.

BTW, I routinely shoot with Evil Roy and several other world "ranked" CAS shooters. They are very nice, helpful folks, but in a class of their own in which I will never be competitive. I don't even want to. Most CAS shooters I know are in it for the sheer fun of it (not the competition) and many concentrate on other areas of the sport other than shooting, such as period correct gear and clothing, the social aspect, black powder firearms (I think Hawg does this), etc. Around here the CAS folks are a very close nit group, including the world champion class folks.

In final analysis it is a fantasy shooting sport and not necessarily a competitive one.

Here is a link to the Official SASS/CAS forum. You will get a much better idea of all aspects of the sport and answers to future questions there as it is very active:

http://www.sassnet.com/forums/

Last edited by Gecko10; December 4, 2008 at 06:55 AM.
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