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Old January 18, 2011, 11:55 AM   #1
Noz
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CAS/SASS

There are many disparaging remarks being posted about Cowboy Action Shooting under the SASS umbrella being posted. Here is my reply to some of the remarks.

RE: Costuming. Sass requires that you dress in your interpretation of the "old west". Minimum being leather footgear without large visible lug soles, a long sleeve shirt (without advertising), and jeans. No hat requirements other than no feathered cowboy hats and no baseball caps. The shirt requirement becomes obvious when hot cases start hitting you. Some of our shooters dress minimum and some go to the wall with full "cowboy" regalia. Both are welcome. We find that shooters that start with the minimum, as did I, soon begin to blossom in more cowboy clothes. Just adds to the fun.

RE: Mouse fart loads. SASS has initiated a minimum power factor that eliminates the very low level powered load some competitors were using. Most of the high level shooters learned that they need a "feed back" in the form of recoil to really shoot fast. The majority of the extremely low level shooters have been therefore eliminated, both by experience and by the power factor.

Yes, you can occasionally see the bullets in flight. 3/8" to 1/2" flat shiney lead bullet bases tend to capture the sun and make them quite visible. The majority of these bullets are traveling in the range of normally loaded 38 specials and 45 acps, that is 600 to 900 fps.

High pressure loads are neither desired nor tolerated. We shoot all steel and in many cases very close targets. A full powered load could cause some damage among participants as well as damage to the targets themselves which in turn causes more splash back etc.

Most of the black powder shooters shoot either full loads or very nearly that.

Knock down targets become an unbearable hassle. They must be precisely regulated to fit all of the range of legal guns from 32 caliber to 45 caliber. They must be reset for each shooter and they are 2 to 3 times as expensive as regular targets.

Most of the criticism of CAS/SASS shooting comes from those that have never tried it. If you have an interest in that era of history(roughly 1860 to 1899) and single action revolvers, lever action/pump rifles, double barrel/lever shotguns of the era, find a local match and go watch. You'll never find a better quality of people than will be there.

Our biggest value comes from the fact that, from it's inception, there have never been prizes awarded for shooting other than bragging tokens, simple trophies or buckles etc. This removes the intense competition and makes it a social event with guns with no possibility of financial gain. The world champion gets a belt buckle.

Those that laugh at the big targets set closely should watch the really fast shooters shoot said targets. When you can draw from holster, put 5 pistol shots on 5 targets, reholster, draw second pistol from holster, put 5 pistol shots on 5 targets, reholster, pick up rifle from stand/table, fire 10 rifle shots on 5 targets, restage rifle, pick up shotgun from stand or table and fire 4 shotgun shots on 4 knock down targets in consistent sub 20 second runs with any load level you desire above minimum then you can laugh at the skill required.

We have many former, bulls eye, IDPA and all of the other alphabetic pistol competitions, trap shooters and skeet shooters that have burned out and gravitated to us because of the position that there is no Cadillac to be won and all pressure is self generated. We have shooters that consistently shoot in the high teens and shooters that consistently shoot in the high 60s and from 8 years old to 90 years old. All on the same range, following each other, and all having fun!

Many of our shoots have lengthened into 2 day to 4 day matches, with banquets, costume contests, side matches, dances, cooking contests and parties, all with your friends that you have met or those that you will meet. If you feel intimidated by the parties then you do not have to attend.

Come play. You'll enjoy it and us.
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Old January 18, 2011, 12:27 PM   #2
Fingers McGee
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Amen

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Old January 18, 2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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+1

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Old January 18, 2011, 05:58 PM   #4
g.willikers
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My complaint with the Cowboy Action game hasn't been addressed by the above.
It's that there's too danged many guns needed.
And too much danged cleaning up afterwards.
Not to mention trying to keep my pants up with all that gear.
Now, if only one sixgun and one lever action rifle were needed, that would be more authentic, and agreeable - at least to me.
The round count could easily be the same as with four guns,
By reloading on the fly or having more courses of fire with less rounds each.
For those who feel cheated if they can't drag out, and dirty up, their whole arsenal, side matches could be added.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents on it.
And worth about both pennies.
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Old January 18, 2011, 07:32 PM   #5
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
Now, if only one sixgun and one lever action rifle were needed, that would be more authentic, and agreeable - at least to me.
Then NCOWS is right up your alley. They have the following:

Men’s and Women’s Working Cowboy: Shooter uses one pistol and one pistol caliber rifle. Smokeless or Black Powder cartridges may be used. No gun carts are to be used at any time. Pistol may be fired with one or two hands.
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Old January 18, 2011, 07:43 PM   #6
g.willikers
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Shucks, there aint' no NCOWS matches nowheres near our part of the country.
But here's their web site anyhow:
http://www.ncows.org/
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Old January 18, 2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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I have been shooting SASS for a year now. I agree that the "costuming" requirement is not a problem since the minimum is easy to meet. It may require a visit to the local thrift store but that's about it, and I have never heard anyone given a hard time about costumes.

I originally thought the four gun requirement might be an issue since I didn't own a single compliant gun. What I found, though, is that cowboy shooters are some of the most generous and helpful folks I have ever associated with. People fell over themselves offering to lend guns. I brought my own ammo but was offered that as well. It has taken me a full year to assemble my own full set of cowboy guns but I have never lacked for shooting irons. At our club's annual match the fellow whose rifle I had been using had sold it to another new shooter but he assured me he'd pass the word and find me a rifle for the day. I was handed a brand new rifle that one of our guys had just received from a gunsmith. He was on another posse that day and we hardly saw one another. That's the kind of people you'll find at a SASS match, almost without exception from what I hear.

Oh, and if you like to shoot, we throw a lot of lead downrange in the course of a six stage match.
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Old January 18, 2011, 09:28 PM   #8
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SASS Cowboys

What can I say.
I Shoot SASS cause I like:The Guns,The Clothes,The Pards,The Food,The Cowboy Code and everything that goes along with The Old West.
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Old January 18, 2011, 10:06 PM   #9
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For those that think hitting a 16 inch steel plate from 7 yards is easy. Try it sometime shooting as fast as you can. It's a lot easier to miss than you may think.
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Old January 18, 2011, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
For those that think hitting a 16 inch steel plate from 7 yards is easy. Try it sometime shooting as fast as you can. It's a lot easier to miss than you may think.
I thought the same thing about Steel Challenge until I stood in the box. All of a sudden, 7 yards looked like a mile and 20 yards was at the horizon. And that was with an autoloader. Standing in one place. With a plastic holster.

The cowboy thing is something else.
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Old January 18, 2011, 11:53 PM   #11
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SASS shoots

Noz: Great thread. I shoot at a local club in NE Ariz. we have a lot of fun and every one is laid back and willing to help any time some one has a problem with a gun or ammo. I had loaded some 45 loads with some 230 gr. commercial cast bullets that worked just fine in my Ruger single action but they were to long to cycle through my 92 Rossi. One of the guys gave me a box of 45's and I finished the day with those in my Rossi. He would not let me replace the ammo. The next time I loaded some of the commercial stuff I just seated them a little deeper no more problem.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:05 AM   #12
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Keeping pants up

g.willikers: As for keeping your pants up with all that gear. You just need to wear suspenders and everyone I see shooting at the cowboy shoots wears them. They really add to the authinticty of the out fit. It took me about 5 years to acquire all the guns and clothing that was needed. I started getting all the stuff together about 5 years before I retired. I've been doing the cowboy shoots for 11 years now.
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Old January 19, 2011, 11:34 AM   #13
Noz
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http://www.spencerhoglund.com/files/...pencer1316.wmv

Here is the best.

13.16 seconds, 24 rounds from 4 different guns of 3 different types.

This is what we are all trying to do with varying levels of success.

Anyone that is even semi competent with a handgun can hit a 12-16 inch plate placed at 5-7 yards using their choice of style of shooting. If you think cowboy is a joke try this: http://www.spencerhoglund.com/files/DeucePistol2.44.wmv

2.44 seconds from 2 pistols shot single action taken from and replaced into leather.

Rifle? http://www.spencerhoglund.com/files/...Rifle_1.73.wmv

Shotgun? http://www.spencerhoglund.com/files/Savage_Sam_2.64.wmv That's 4 shotgun shells fired by the way, started open and empty, load 2 from body, fire, shuck, load 2 from body and fire. No ejectors allowed.


Not the joke it is portrayed to be.

And yes, I enjoy dressing like Howdy Doody. I even take it farther than that on occasion. Here is yours truly making a Dooley Gang presentation.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:17 PM   #14
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I watched a couple of mounted cowboy shoots last year, & thought it was awesome... but I don't have a horse & no intentions of getting one

so doing some cowboy shoots would be fun... I have enough shooting gear to start ( so long as the Ruger Montados are legal or the 32 mag single six ) don't really have a pistol caliber lever, unless my 50 A.E. counts... but I have been wanting one in 357 / 38 anyway... I have a really nice original rabbit ear 12 ga

can a shooter use a powder like Trailboss ( I have some black powder, but for lazyness in cleaning I prefer Trailboss in my loads )

ever any events in northern IA or southern MN ??? if so... how does one get started ???
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:53 PM   #15
Noz
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The mounted shooters shoot blanks at balloons, we shoot real bullets at steel.

What you have in pistol and shotgun would be fine. Always rifles to lend at every shoot. Come on and make some noise. Only about 12% of the Cowboy Shooters shoot black powder and a much smaller percentage shoot cap and ball, we are just louder. Trail Boss was invented for CAS.

Go to SASSnet.com. Open Members. On a bar across the page is affiliated clubs. Click on the state you want and the SASS clubs in that state will come up. There are 3 Iowa clubs and 8 MN clubs listed. Look around at the bordering states and there are a bunch. I know it's not next door but there are 3 MAJOR shoots at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta Ill. These are super shoots with up to 300+ shooters. Not a good place to start but a good place to see what it's all about.
Call the numbers listed on the clubs closest to you for more information on shoot times etc. Tell them you are a newbie.

Last edited by Noz; January 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:59 PM   #16
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I must have missed something; I saw some people say they didn't personally see the point in trying to fire 3 different guns rapidly at short ranges, but I don't recall anyone saying it was a joke.
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Old January 19, 2011, 03:01 PM   #17
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Noz said: "I even take it farther than that on occasion. Here is yours truly making a Dooley Gang presentation."

I think one of my club members was talkin' 'bout you at a recent shoot. He was laughin' about you getting them braids snarled up in yer rifle lever or some such while shootin' a stage....had us all rollin'. I think that woulda been Comin' at Ya last year (before I started shootin').

I'm a SASS newbie (along with my 13 y/o daughter). I can confirm that the folks in SASS are some of the most hospitable and welcomin' people you'll find on this planet. Over the last 4-5 weeks, I've been diligently hunting and buying SASS-compliant shootin' irons. What I don't have, other folks loan us. As I type this, I've purchased three pistols and one rifle. The fourth pistol is on "permanent loan" from another club member. He bought it on GB because "I just knew that it would match your daughter's other one, so I thought you'd want it eventually." The rifle I just bought last weekend from another member. The price was just above charity. The shotgun is on "permanent loan" from another fella in the club. He doesn't want to sell it (at least not yet), but we can use it (and take it home and practice with it) until we find one of our own. My daugher's been given (literally) 4-5 wild rags (scarves), a wild rag holder, and a well used (but serviceable) leather rig to hold her pistols. Another nice lady sold her a used duster (in A-1 shape) for $5 at a recent shoot when it was cold. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

I cannot speak highly enough about the people we've met in SASS.

As for "the point" of SASS.....well, I was a shooter in other venues before starting SASS. "The Point" was to win....be the top shooter....be "the man." SASS isn't that at all. Do we keep score? Sure. But I'm having a lot more fun doing this than that other stuff I was doing before. I was happy that I made it to "the middle" of the score sheet on my first shoot. And, with my background, I thought it would be really easy to shoot <40 second stages.....NOT! I've done 4 shoots so far and I think I have 2 stages under 40 seconds. It's not as easy as it looks. But, back to "the point"......the only person I'm competing with is me. If there's any pressure to shoot good or fast, I put it on myself. And the same guy who's loaned me guns to shoot is the same guy that I beat a couple of shoots ago.....and after the results came out, he called me at work to congradulate me! That don't happy anywhere else.

To me, that's "the point." FWIW.
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Old January 19, 2011, 03:23 PM   #18
Jim March
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I don't think my gun is SASS legal any more:



I'm designing a CO2-powered ejector system and a spring-loaded-in-a-tube "injector" speedloader. When I can get my reload times down around 3sec or so I'll go play with the IPSC revolver class guys, go freak the hell out of 'em .
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Old January 19, 2011, 05:45 PM   #19
sewerman
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i'm gearing up for this hobby and only want to shoot my black powder remington 1858.
i made my jute/web cartridge belt with 45/70 rds in the loops just for looks.
my outfit will be all left over clothes from my C.W. days.
my friend made some slim jim holsters.
my question: is there a shoot just for pistols or will i need all the other guns?

thanx,

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Old January 19, 2011, 07:29 PM   #20
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sm, you'll need the lever action rifle and a shotgun. In fact, if you load BP in your rifle cartridges and use either a SXS or lever-action shotgun with BP loads, you can shoot Frontiersman (a category that I find VERY cool). Lot's of smoke, lots of cool points, and not a lot a shooters in that category (least as far as I've seen).

While it may be a year or two down the road for me, I hope to shoot in that category eventually.

If you don't have the other guns, don't worry about it. Show up and shoot. Somebody'll let you borrow a gun here or there. Heck, if you show up at my shoot, you can borrow my new '92.
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Old January 20, 2011, 10:12 AM   #21
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hey tanker6 thanks for the info.

i have a .357 marlin will that qualify as a lever...1894 model?

yes in fact i do have a muzzle load shotgun which i purchased for a C.W. event "Bummers over georgia", which i never attended.

if the 1894 will do then i 'm happy with not having to purchase another rifle, though the rifle will not acompilment my historical impression 1866-1873...I can always ditch it if photos are taken .

s.m.
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Old January 20, 2011, 10:46 AM   #22
Noz
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Frontiersman is my category. It requires two cap and ball pistols with fixed sights, a cowboy legal lever gun and a SxS(with or without exposed hammers) or lever action shot gun. All must be loaded with black powder or subs. Pistols must be shot duelist.
Frankly, the learning curve for this category is fairly steep. It can be very frustrating for a beginner until they begin to learn the hows and whys of care and feeding of these pistols. Takes a while.
Dealing with the smoke and the 1860 era engineering of the guns makes things much more difficult than shooting modern guns.
An example is a State match I attended in 2008 had around 200 shooters. The best score shot by a Frontiersman(one of the best in the country st the time) put him in 43 place.
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Old January 20, 2011, 10:47 AM   #23
darwins
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Sewerman,

Yes, your Marlin 1894 is acceptable for CAS events. I just bought a Marlin 1894 in .357 specifically for cowboy action shooting.
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Old January 20, 2011, 12:25 PM   #24
sewerman
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thanks dawins........

s.m.
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Old January 20, 2011, 12:37 PM   #25
Magnum Wheel Man
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BTW... I found a way to get on the SASS site... turns out they hold state championships pretty close to where I live... I'll definately have to go watch a monthly match in April & see if I get a good feeling from that group ( there are 2-3 other clubs within reasonable driving distances ) but I think I'd like to try shooting this summer...

looked at the results from last years monthly matches, & the best times looked to be in the 20's ( seconds ) ( I know... newbie talking here ), but would seem reasonable that after va summer of shooting monthly matches, I should be ableto at least get close to those times ???
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