View Full Version : Is Frontier Category dead?

doc raven
October 1, 1999, 05:03 AM
Im in South Australia. CAS has never been stronger BUT no-one here is shooting Frontier Category. Is this a world wide trend?
Guess this is a "break the ice" question. Just joined the firing line.
Doc Raven

October 1, 1999, 08:46 AM
Welcome aboard!! Always glad to have new cowboy action shooters here. We are sort of the red-headed step child here. But we seem to manage. :)
Personally I shoot in traditional category though at the shoots I attend there is usually every class shooting. The matches average between 30 - 100 shooters.

El Chimango Pete
October 1, 1999, 12:27 PM
And welcome from Argentina - "The Other down Under" :) CAS is barely getting started here, mainly in Buenos Aires (alas, everything Argie is relly 'Buenos Aires' - with two thirds of the population and it seems all the $$ :( ) - Here in Cordoba, 800 Km NW, we are very few, not enough for proper matches.
Peter Knight

October 4, 1999, 08:52 PM
I was wondering also. Lately, I've been posting on www.gunspot.com. (http://www.gunspot.com.) I live here in NCOWS country where they strive to be more authentic than SASS. This has caused much friction in the past. IMHO SASS sometimes is almost like revisionist history. I've been shooting blackpowder (the real stuff) in cartridge guns since 1982 when I bought an Allen Arms (remember them?)Henry. Lately I've fallen in love with my new Cimarron 1871-72 Open Top repro in .44 Colt. It is accurate and loves blackpowder, especially Elephant brand. I'm getting 1-1 1/2 in. groups offhand @ 15 yds. so far. Yes, as you can tell, I think smokeless has no place in cowboy shooting as it is not authentic and the reason I got into this is because I wanted to see how the old time guns really shot. In other words, history as it was & not how I wanted it to be. Blackpowder. Try it.

Bill Mitchell
October 8, 1999, 03:41 PM
>>IMHO SASS sometimes is almost like revisionist history.<<

I'd be interested to hear you expound on this comment a bit.

SASS has never claimed to be a re-enactment group. It is an organization of folks who shoot Old West style guns,dress in Western style garb,be it Old West or B-movie western,and shoot at steel targets. SASS allows its members to use gun carts,so they don't have to tote their gear all over creation. SASS allows it's members to use Ruger Vaqueros and Marlin Cowboy rifles. The majority of SASS members shoot smokeless powder. Now,a lot of this may not have been seen in the "Old West",but,since this a shooting sport and not Old West re-enacting,it doesn't make much difference.
And how all of the above comes across a "revisionist history" is beyond me. And the only friction comes from folks who claim that one organization is superior than the other.
Yes,NCOWS does stress realism,and,if that's what you're into,more power to you. But,judging from the membership numbers,it would seem that the revisionism is the more popular. And,it seems ironic that realism means not drawing from the leather.

Bellicose Bill

October 9, 1999, 11:49 PM
Alright Bill, allow me to extrapolate. If SASS is not reenactment why do those fellows dress the way they do? Why don't they wear Dockers & Polo shirts? My theory as to why SASS has more members is they are HQ'd out of CA whereas NCOWS is in Iowa. Therefore the weather is a factor as well as population. Also, SASS had a headstart of many years. Also, most people don't want to try to "recreate" the Old West as they have little or no idea other than what has been presented by cinema. Granted, I'm sure they have a fine time and the fellowship is grand but what is the average person's motive on joining initially? Probably they want to imagine themselves as some legendary gunfighter & here's a chance. The down side is to be very authentic one risks alienating many potential new shooters at a time when we need more gun advocacy voters. In conclusion, I think the main awards should go to those who authentically duplicate the Old West, i.e. guns, cartridges, etc. from the time period usually associated with gunfighting, e.g. circa. 1870-1885. I can't condone the '97 pumps & '92 Winchesters as the Frontier WAS DEAD, according to F.J. Turner in 1890.

Bill Mitchell
October 10, 1999, 09:18 AM
Howdy BOGE,

The reason SASS members dress in western clothing is because it is part of the game. Some folks,myself included,enjoy the clothing part as much as the shooting. If their motive is to imagine being an Old West gunfighter,what's wrong with that? CAS is a shooting sport,plain and simple. Most folks do it to have fun. At nearly every shoot I attend,there are folks who are either new to shooting, or have taken up shooting again after a long layoff,just to try CAS. I doubt few other shooting sports can say that. If we lined up all these new shooters at a shoot,and told them,"You can't wear that-you can't shoot that",we risk alienating entusiastic shooters at a time when we need all of the enthusiastic shooters we can get-on that point we agree.

SASS is booming. In the 18 months since I joined,there have been over 10,000 new members added to the rolls. There are SASS clubs in nearly every state,including Alaska and Hawaii.

NCOWS has stricter guidelines as to clothing and guns,but it is still CAS. It isn't re-enacting. If it was,you'd be loading up blanks,riding around on horses,and shooting at each other,instead of targets.

I'm not a big fan of the Winchester '97,but I don't see anything wrong with using a '92. And I'm sure that there were cattlemen in Montana and Wyoming who believed the Frontier to be alive and well past Turner's 1890 cutoff date.


Bellicose Bill

October 10, 1999, 11:38 PM
I'll bet you shoot a '92(?). C'mon Bill, admit it. The '92s and smokeless are more convenient, right? You hate the cleanup, right? I just think we should show special recognition for those who ACCURATELY recreate history. Sorry, but Ruger Vaqueros in buscadero rigs don't cut it.
I don't want to start a war here, but I think my side needs mentioning. I refuse to believe smokeless or any firearm TYPE manufactured after 1885 as not really being "cowboy". By the way, we should call it "waddy" shooting as the term cowboy was not really used until circa 1890.

October 11, 1999, 07:39 AM
As I recall, cow boy was actually a scornful and disrespectful term used to describe the Texas trail hands when they hit the Kansas cow towns in the days of the cattle drives.

Bill Mitchell
October 11, 1999, 10:07 AM

No,I don't shoot a '92. In matches,I actually use a gun that you're going to dislike even more-a Marlin Cowboy. My pistols are 1875 Remington reproductions in a historically correct gun rig. I do own a '92 and a Ruger Vaquero,I just don't shoot them in matches.

SASS does recognize those who shoot BP and use historically correct firearms. SASS has a BP Cartridge class,and a Frontiersman Duelist class for those using C&B pistols. So,if recognition is all you're after,then SASS already has you covered. And,correct me if I'm wrong,but NCOWS doesn't require the use of BP,does it??

Bellicose Bill

Mal H
October 11, 1999, 11:44 AM
I had never seen or heard anything contentious about SASS, until now. If there are sides to be taken (step over that line pardner!), I'll have to side with Bellicose Bill. It's all about having fun with a bit of competition thrown in and little else. If someone wants to use a pistol gripped '94 and a Vaquero (uh, that would be me), then as far as I know they are always welcomed at the SASS meets.

Bill Mitchell
October 11, 1999, 01:29 PM
Howdy Mal,

Like I stated in my original post in this topic,contention only rises when someone has a "holier than thou" attitude about one incarnation of CAS or another. If shooting BP out of period guns while wearing clothes correct down to the last button is your thing,then more power to you. But denigrating an organization because that group doesn't hold its members to the same strict standard is just plain wrong. Both NCOWS and SASS promote the same sport-one group just wraps it up in more realistic packaging. I get personal satisfaction from how I dress and what I shoot,and I could really care less what other folks think about either of those things. I participate in CAS to have fun and comiserate with like-minded folks. If they're wearing Levi's and pointy-toed boots,it doesn't bother me in the least,as long as they're friendly and have a good attitude.

Infighting has ruined many a shooting sport-let's hope it deosn't ruin ours.

Bellicose Bill

Mal H
October 11, 1999, 02:28 PM

October 11, 1999, 11:22 PM
I don't think my attitude is "holier than thou". You're right Bill, NCOWS does allow smokeless. Of course after they've been rightfully shamed about their virility and such! Just kiddin! Now Bill, if we were doing CMSA we wouldn't feed the horses ethanol would we? It's modern & convenient! Ha! Ha! Alright, I've had my say & I respect your opinions. But just remember that smokeless is a passing fad!