View Full Version : SASS free cowboy action shooting?

September 19, 2004, 12:54 AM
Can you do cowboy action shooting without SASS? It seems a waste of 40 dollars just to get a badge with a number on it, or am I missing the point somehow?

Jim Watson
September 19, 2004, 08:07 AM
I am told there are outlaw clubs shooting cowboy style without any central sanctioning organization like SASS or NCOWS. Thing is, there is no central organization of unorganized clubs to publish locations and schedules. If there was, it would have to charge you dues to operate. So if you don't want to pay dues to SASS, it is up to you to find someplace not affiliated.

There are a fair number of people who are either just naturally cheap or who object to SASS being a corporation that might make money for the Wild Bunch - Socialists with guns, I guess - so it ought to be possible.

Are you an NRA member or do you not see the point of paying their dues either?

September 19, 2004, 08:04 PM
CAS costs money. Most of the following itemization doesn't come from SASS dues, but it all takes money and money comes from dues.

A large hunk o' land must be acquired; Bought, rented, or leased, but it takes $$$. Berms have to be built for backstops and to isolate the stages from each other, don't want anyone getting shot ya know. (Speaking of getting shot, don't forget insurance premiums.) No one is going to trailer a CAT 966 to your location, then spend a few days leveling and building berms for nothing. You're going to have a mixed blend of shooters, male & female, all ages. There will have to be an outhouse or two, maybe Porta-Potties that need to be dumped after the shoots. More $$$. How 'bout a "clubhouse" to store targets, trash cans, etc. in? Oh, targets... say a half-dozen stages... fifteen to twenty targets per stage, minimum... 120 targets. And stands for 'em. Other props might include false building fronts, mock mine adits, and wooden horses. More $$$. And don't forget maintainence on all this, somebody's got to weld up broken hinges on plate racks, broken stands, and get some more 1/2" - 3/4" plate targets made up when some yahoo shoots the hell out of 'em with his 7mm Rem mag. Two and a quarter square feet of steel for each silouette adds up in a hurry (18" square), more $$$. Clay birds? We go through a box every match. Not much $$$, but it all adds up. Awards? Certificates? Trophies? Electricity? Telephone? Timers? Ya need one per stage, plus a couple spares. $120 per.

Most of the above, plus a lot more, is provided by dues from local clubs, but SASS is the organization that keeps the local clubs organized and schedules & organizes the bigger shoots. When you get up to national levels, take the above estimates times a hundred to get enough $$$ to run the national matches. SASS dues. Sure, you can get a group of shooters together and set up a local CAS match, but without SASS, to publish dates & times and advertize your presence, no other shooters will ever know about it, and that's all it will ever be... local. And even if you get a decent local CAS range set up, without wanting to be more than that, are you going to fund all the above out of your own pocket and invite 50-100 people to shoot at your range every month free of charge? My local club charges $15 per member or $20 for non member to shoot at a CAS match, times fifty people equals around $800 per match. I used to think that was a LOT of money to put on one single match per month til I got to adding things up like above.

September 19, 2004, 08:26 PM
So I said to myself, "Self, stay on their good sides, these guys mean bidness!"
That hadta hurt. Ouch, quit it. lol

Lucky Cuss
September 20, 2004, 09:09 AM
Being a member of SASS is only required if you want to compete in a SASS sanctioned state, regional, or national match. You do not need to join for local matches. I would try before you buy. The clubs that I shoot at do not have any such requirement. If your situation is different, just tell them your decision to join is pending. I shot IPSC for about three years before joining USPSA, by just writing down the word "pending" on the line for membership number when filling out the score cards. I did ultimately join USPSA and SASS because they are good organizations which promote the shooting sports.

October 8, 2004, 11:29 PM
Thanks Jbar4Ranch and Lucky Cuss, that helps clarify some things.

To Jim Watson:

"Are you an NRA member or do you not see the point of paying their dues either?"

That was an asinine statement. I would expect better from a fellow shooter.

Jim Watson
October 9, 2004, 06:55 AM
I thought "It seems a waste of 40 dollars" was kind of asinine, myself.

I'm done and will not comment further.

October 9, 2004, 03:37 PM
Yo Jbar4Ranch - The $ spent for SASS are pretty much the same for any public range activities. A number of these ranges have gone "belly up" because of increased insurance liabilities. A number of the ranges where I have shot have club memberships and if you are a member it will reduce your range fee. And they require an NRA membership to join. In my humble opinion, I think SASS should also require NRA membership because if you can't own the firearm, all else is pretty much mute.

October 11, 2004, 05:41 PM
:barf: on your attitude Jim. Get over yourself and get a life.

Sir William
October 16, 2004, 03:48 AM
I used to be a SASS customer. They are in business for profit. If you join, your alias is NOT protected. You will find your wallet $40.00 lighter. Benefits? None. No firearms insurance. There is 0 discounts on anything from or by SASS. SASS membership is ONLY required for SASS sponsored shoots. There are few SASS sponsored shoots, state, regionals and EOT. The black powder shoot at their new Founders Ranch is a joke. It started with rain and mud. It got cold and started snowing. Some folks just gave up and left. There is a new CAS sanctioning body out there too. You can choose, SASS, Western 3 Gun, NCOWS, WASA and there black powder sootlords even within them. Visit, talk, borrow and shoot a few firearms first. Gauge the mood and attitude towards SASS. Your money, your decision.

October 25, 2004, 12:53 PM
One thing to keep in mind: SASS legally owns the term "Cowboy Action Shooting." So CAS without SASS is something of a misnomer. But we know what you mean.

Frankly SASS has a lot of nice folks in it, but the people running the show are starting to wear thing on a lot of people. Its a for-profit corporation not a non-profit society or association. Your membership is not a share of the corporation so members effectively have no vote other than threatening to stop paying dues. There is a lot to dislike in this sort of system.

November 21, 2004, 09:38 PM
From what I have read here, I see a parallel between SASS and SFA "Sport Fliers Assn." in modeling, a scam to sell insurance, in other words.
SFA went under because there were no members in the association, only Owners and subscribers," aka" payers".
If the owners do not make the people who pay the bills into fully participating members, there should be a total lack of response from the majority of suckers soon.
Alike SFA, SASS is likely to fade into the sunset as soon as the faddists lose interest and the hard core get tired of being treated as though they are cows to be milked at pleasure of their masters.

December 7, 2004, 04:20 AM
Dear Sir,

I will be picking up my Colt P1840 later today, and I'm interested in trying out some fun Old West style (hope this term isn't licensed too) shootin' matches. I am moving to the Southeast in 6 days. What Old West style contests are out that way (other than SASS), if any, and what are the organizational names? I like my more "modern" Colt Model 70's, but find SA revolver's very interesting, and did like my S&W DA's a lot too (never should have sold them)!

Happy Holidays! :)

December 7, 2004, 04:48 AM
I have been shooting since I was 16 (I'm semi-retired now), used to belong to the NRA for years, but finally realized that their lobbying efforts are neither financially efficient, nor tremendously effective anymore. For example, take a look at all the gun laws out there, and the new ones being concocted each day, look at what guys like Gov. Arhhhnold S. are doing (banned .50 center fire recently, and is very pro-gun control), and realize that the NRA, although beating their chests loudly over the AWB that sunset a few months ago, are no longer the prime movers in the war against those who are vitiating our Constitutional rights. Also look at the fact that our current President said that he WOULD have signed a renewed AWB, if Congress had put it on his desk. (So much for the NRA's big clout with the Republican ticket). :rolleyes:

There are several RKBA grass-root organizations out there (other than the NRA) who are far more effective for the dollars spent, e.g. Gun Owners of America (GOA), and Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), just to name a few. (It is also a good idea to send them a few $'s whenever you can - they can't do all that research without an income!)

GOA has a mailing list, regular legislative action alerts, and they run a heck of an e-mail campaign! Once you register with them, NO $$ required, they will send you an e-mail whenever a Congressional Bill needs to be stopped and/or changed. You click on the internet link, are taken to a pre-written letter page, and because you have registered, your Congressional leaders are already addressed on the e-mail message(s). Just click to send. Very efficient I'd say!!! One of my Senators gets so many third-party legislative e-mail messages, e.g. GOA, that she is blocking them. No problem, I just cut and paste the pre-written note into her e-mail site, and it's barraging her inbox again (along with a few thousand others). :D

Further Clarification: Because lobbying on Capitol Hill is very expensive and time-consuming, and because politicians usually only care about being re-elected, and since the NRA only has a relatively small group of lobbyists (remember it costs $$), the politicians; in many cases, just breeze past the NRA people in the corridors, while looking for the bigger fatter lobbying prizes (as in I want to get re-elected again, and that other group over there has hundreds of thousands of constituents that will flood my office with e-mail, faxes, and phone messages if I don't lick some boots right now). The GOA e-mail campaign(s) costs far less to administrate, and can, and do (when gun owners actually do something about it) flood politicians e-mail inboxes with thousands of letters. Very effective, because each letter represents one VOTER, and only voters can put the politician back in office. And that's efficiency, and clout!!!

Last, the biggest problem with the NRA, is that they are trying to do too much. Meaning, are you trying to train new shooters, law enforcement and run national matches (which cost $$$, and take time), or are you watching Congress? (And yes, I am aware of the NRA-ILA). To try and do it all, is just not a wise allocation of resources. Personally, I think the NRA, should at least try to reduce expenses by getting rid of their lobbyists, or better yet, only handle the training and contests, and let other groups like, GOA and JPFO, monitor Congress and motivate gun owners to take action.

Happy Holidays! :)