View Full Version : Cowboy Guns Competition without Costumes

November 13, 2009, 06:58 PM
I've been asking about it and after searching this board it seems to be a shared interest.

Would you be interested in cowboy shooting matches if you did not have to dress up in the costumes?

If you currently shoot cowboy events would you be deeply upset if participants had the option of wearing a costume or not, knowing that it would bring alot of new shooters into the game?

Fingers McGee
November 13, 2009, 07:49 PM
You do not have to be dressed like someone that stepped out of an 1880s photograph in order to shoot in a SASS Match. While the SASS Handbook says:

Cowboy Action Shooting™ is a combination of historical reenactment and Saturday morning at the matinee. Participants may choose the style of costume they wish to wear, but all clothing must be typical of the late 19th century, a B-western movie, or Western television series.

A long sleeve western shirt, cowboy boots and non-designer blue jeans will meet the "or Western Television Series' criteria.

NCOWS now, that is a different story.


November 13, 2009, 09:29 PM
I don't want dress up like a cowboy at all! I want to wear regular clothes. Maybe it's just me but I think the whole dressing up is great if you're into playing pretend but I think there are alot of people who are turned off by the costumes.

Kind of like an armed star trek convention. Nothing wrong with liking Mr. Spock but when you start wearing the ears it's a whole different thing. Slot of the SASS seem real nice that I've talked to online but I simply can't convince myself to dress up even in the minimum attire. It is corny to me. I think the important thing us the love of the guns. Maybe even have a seperate division or something? The costume guys could enter both by saying that's hoe they normally dress.

Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way?

November 13, 2009, 10:19 PM
I've played cowboy shoots and had fun, I've also shot my older type guns in modern shoots, which was also fun. I may be more likely to shoot "cowboy type" shoots if the dress wasnt as much of a part of it. For some, thats a big part of why they shoot cowboy shoots, so I guess that's why its the way it is.

I reckon I don't want to dress a particular way to go shoot either. I dress a little different than most people in the 21st century, but not exactly cowboy.

November 13, 2009, 11:26 PM
The difference is that Star Trek is science fiction and people really DID dress like they do for CAS 100yrs ago. I would probably qualify for a CAS match about 90% of the time when I'm just going to town to buy cattle or poultry feed. To me, lots of "modern" dress is a hell of a lot sillier than a Stetson and a pair of Tony Lama's. Folks don't seem to have too much of a problem with pants hanging under their butt cheeks, backwards hats and big fat gold chains. So I don't feel too silly in my cowboy hat and one of fourteen pairs of cowboy boots. :rolleyes:

To keep things in perspective, the age of modern man is about 10,000yrs. Is it really that big of a deal to dress like they did 100yrs ago???

November 14, 2009, 03:10 AM
The dress code does help to keep certain folks away so that all of the others who are serious enough about the sport to meet the minimum dress requirements don't have to wait all day to shoot.
Apparently the requirement works. :rolleyes:

I don't want dress up like a cowboy at all! I want to wear regular clothes. Maybe it's just me but I think the whole dressing up is great if you're into playing pretend but I think there are alot of people who are turned off by the costumes.

November 14, 2009, 03:24 AM
Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way?
No, you are not. Reenactment - while fun and interesting for some - is not for me, not at any level. The shooting, though, looks like a whole lot of fun.

November 14, 2009, 05:24 AM
Would you be interested in cowboy shooting matches if you did not have to dress up in the costumes?So put an event together. If people are interested, they will show up!

Uncle Buck
November 14, 2009, 06:54 AM
The only part of the cowboy shooting that I do not fit into is the hat category. They will not allow me to wear a ball cap. The only time I wear what could be considered a cowboy hat (or any other type of hat for that matter) is when it is raining.
But I think it is a good idea to try to set up a match on your own. Word of mouth may get it to take off and you'll be having lots of fun.

November 14, 2009, 11:19 AM
To me the outfit is half the fun right down to Mexican spurs with big rowels and jinglebobs. If I want to shoot in everyday clothes I'll do it in the back yard.

November 14, 2009, 11:20 AM
I'm just wonderin', did everyone wear a hat in the 1890's? Were people "naked" without a hat on? "Don't come in, I'm not wearing my hat!!!!":D

November 14, 2009, 11:32 AM
They will not allow me to wear a ball cap.

Get yourself a reproduction 1876 baseball cap. :) Meets the "all clothing must be typical of the late 19th century" requirement.

November 14, 2009, 11:37 AM
How about the flip side of the coin?

"I like the costuming, but I wanna shoot my 686 & Beretta 92, Marlin Camp .45, and Benelli shotgun instead."

Wear the clothes, or stay home. How could anyone ever look on this as being "corny"?

Well, OK... maybe just a little. :D C'mon, the costuming is a major part of the game!

November 14, 2009, 11:47 AM
CAS ain't my thing but its somebody's thing, so they can shoot it however they please. The salient point is that regardless of our individual opinion of the game, it gets a lot of folks out shooting- who might not otherwise. Shooters really do vote, although you couldn't tell it by the '08 election. When they're galvanized however, we have a '94' and politicos tend to remember those for a long time.

The get-up is part of the game. You wouldn't participate in a Civil War reenactment dressed like Liberace, so I guess I don't really get it.

PS...LOL Jbar4, ...If I had to wear a sky blue, crotch length scarf like that- I want a gun in each hand too!

November 14, 2009, 12:10 PM
Part of the attraction of B Western category is to look just a tad silly. :D

November 14, 2009, 02:44 PM
You can shoot your modern guns dressed like a cowboy!

That is exactly the point. You can wear your spurs that jingle jangle and shoot any other competition. I think it is ridiculous to require people to look like an extra on Bonanza to shoot in otherwise cool event. I think it is just snobbery. It isn't a reenactment of Dodge city, it's a shooting competition.

Muzzle loading shooters don't have to dress up in racoon caps to shoot. It is not relevant to the shooting in anyway. People should decide do they enjoy shooting or playing dress up? One is more important or it least it should be IMO.

If there are any SASS type club members reading this does yooir particularclub ever allow people to shoot it regular clothes or do you shun them away.

Don H
November 14, 2009, 03:02 PM
I'm just wonderin', did everyone wear a hat in the 1890's? Were people "naked" without a hat on? "Don't come in, I'm not wearing my hat!!!!"
It appears that they mostly did in Oregon:

And Dodge City:

And Texas:
Captain Hughe's Texas Ranger company, 1894

November 14, 2009, 03:36 PM
I just joined the SASS but will probably let my membership expire, I don't think the whole dressing up is for me, BUT those that like it sure look like they have a lot of fun, my local club has a SASS group they do the whole thing but I can't stand cowboy boots, I've never found a pair I like and I've owned many different ones.
But for a hat I'd get one of the chin strap type and just let it hang.

November 14, 2009, 04:04 PM
Another vote for guns over costumes.

Not Cool:



I think most will agree.

November 14, 2009, 07:34 PM
I did not like the idea of dressing like a cowboy. BUT I do now out of respect for the guys in our club that built the cowboy town. Like most clubs only very few do the work, I am sure most of you whitness that in your club's. If you have ever run a shoot of any kind it's not that easy. So if we want to shoot those targets and guns of that era I can't see what would be so hard to at least do the minimum considering all the extra work others are doing. I bought my hat at a garage sale for a buck and wear an old pair of wellingtons I had laying around.

Uncle Buck
November 14, 2009, 08:38 PM
I did not mean to say I would not participate in the shooting because of my hat. I could either go hat-less or wear my rain hat. I fully support the cowboy shooters, because with them it is much more than just shooting. The camaraderie and family atmosphere can not be beat.

November 14, 2009, 08:41 PM
Damn, that's a pretty Vaquero. I'm gonna link it to display, even though you didn't Ed. It'd be a shame not to.


Claude Clay
November 14, 2009, 08:57 PM
besides CASS -- the hard wear and the soft wear there is forming 'the zootsuiters'. i had an idea a few years ago that the CASS had been around long enough for the children of the cowboys to have grown into the roaring 20's.
a bit of research showed that my idea was happening already.
check it out

but ya still gotta get dressed.....

November 14, 2009, 09:25 PM
You didn't want to post the other pic for me? LOL

Yeah, I think it is probably the prettiest gun I've ever seen.

Uncle Buck
November 14, 2009, 09:31 PM
Where could I get grips for my New Vaquero that look llike that? I wonder what they would cost?

November 14, 2009, 10:02 PM
I'm getting involved with gunfights "re enacting". I dont look like I came off bonanza...but I do look like Im bout to shoot sombody, Its just some canvas range pants, boots, bib shirt, hat, overalls and a gun belt...i think its cool to get all dressd up like my ancestors...its sorta like trying to catch a peak of history through the feel of historical firearms and clothing.

November 14, 2009, 10:09 PM
Where could I get grips for my New Vaquero that look llike that? I wonder what they would cost?

executioner posted about having & making them this past June.


November 14, 2009, 10:15 PM
Key phrase "reenacting gun fights".

Not the same as shooting competition. I'm glad you like dressing up for whatever reason. I have nothing against people who want to play cowboy To me it is childish and silly.

I have an appreciation for firearms not playing dressing up.

Perhaps in a few years when most of the sass guys are a little older and the sport starts to die off they will open up a division for people who aren't into the irrelevant costumes and just want to shoot and have a good time.

November 14, 2009, 10:52 PM
Perhaps some of you are missing the point? It's not just shooting. It's not just action shooting. It's Cowboy Action Shooting.

Btw, Edlnk, for many people, me included, a shirt with a "western" cut/design, blue jeans, a pair of boots and a "western" hat are "regular clothes" ;).

Yes, B.L.E.: Once-upon-a-time, and up until not all that long ago, a man wasn't dressed without a hat :)

November 14, 2009, 11:38 PM
Okay then is there any "mid to late 1800s firearm" shooting competitions that aren't cowboy action shooting?

I'm really starting to think alot of these guys are more into playing dress-up than shooting guns.

Old West L.A.R.P.ing, anyone?

If western style clothing is your normal attire that is fine. I wear T-shirts and cargo shorts. I think if you wear jeans, shorts, dockers or Santa Claus suit; if you want to shoot that should be the important thing.

I think I'm just going to give up and stick to shooting at stationary targets at the range. A little discouraging about the importance of looking like a background character in Oklahoma. I thought it was suppossed to be about the guns. Guess not. Have fun.

November 15, 2009, 12:31 AM
I think it is just snobbery.
I think you're wrong and your attitude is at least as bad as what you accuse others of. If you don't like it, don't play. Complaining about it on the internet and making a bunch of condescending and offensive statements about something you obviously know nothing about is doing nobody any good.

Would you be the best man at your friend's wedding dressed in your cargo shorts and T-shirt? How about to an expensive restaurant?

It's Cowboy Action Shooting. Period. CAS is a huge sport and has done much for the shooting industry. You can thank all those folks who "look like extras from Bonanza" for all those wonderful cowboy guns and replicas being available today. If it were not for the sport, the market for all that stuff would be dismal. So drop the attitude and try to show some respect.

Uncle Buck
November 15, 2009, 01:22 AM
EdInk, If you have never been to a cowboy shooting match, please don't judge them.
As others have posted, it is about shooting AND period dress. It is a great way to meet others, have fun and shoot a very cool, and timed, event.
The "Dressing up" part of the event is just part of the atmosphere. Most of these folks have more than a thousand dollars invested in their guns alone (pistol, shotgun and rifle). They actually do not look silly, at least here in the Midwest where we have the Amish and mennonite farmers. You run into people all the time in the local stores dressed like they just stepped out of the wild west. Some of the period dress is very simple, some is very elaborate and some of it looks like a really bad class B movie. I guess you would have to be there to understand.
I checked them out because I had heard so much about it I wanted to see for myself. There were cowboys, doctors, bankers, bakers, miners, peace officers and their wonderful spouses. (Not all of them wore hats. :eek:)
There were people sharing guns with others who did not own a gun.

I do not like the militarize type guns. I usually refuse to shoot at the range when others are there shooting them. I do not think it is silly that they dress in camo and act like they are in the military, it is just how they want to dress when they shoot.

I do not think the zoot suiters are silly for their dress. They get together and just have a good time.

I guess what I am saying, your statement about something being childish and silly, could cause you to miss out on meeting some of the nicest people in the world.

November 15, 2009, 06:45 AM
I thought it was suppossed to be about the guns.

One of the main characteristics of maturity is tolerance. It would appear that at least one of our members needs a bit of practice in that area.

It's not about the guns, son. It's about being and adult and enjoying the short time you have to step away from the hard parts of life. Not everyone is made like you; we each have our own unique likes and dislikes. Learning to allow others to enjoy themselves will eventually help you to enjoy yourself, and being with yourself, more. After all, if you continue to exhibit this intolerance, you may well find yourself all by yourself.

November 15, 2009, 09:47 AM
Sometimes I don't want to "dress up", and I just shoot in my underwear.

November 15, 2009, 09:48 AM
I guess some of my comments were pushing the limit between lighthearted teasing and mockery. Sorry, if I offend any of you.

Maturity levels and playing Dress Up? Hmmm. Not gonna stir the pot anymore. Just pointing out the irony. (This is a tongue in cheek statemen. Laugh at it and yourself a little. It's okay to do silly things it proves you have a sense of humor. Relax.)

Have I done a cowboy match? No. I watched one and it looked fun to me, except for the costume bit. I sometimes watch the Cowboys show on the Outdoor channel to see the GUNS because sa revolvers are cool to me.

Your ball. Your rules. I can accept.

Again, I apologize if I went too far with the teasing over the costumes. No disrespect was intended just jokes.


November 15, 2009, 11:06 AM
I do not know you, nor you me. I do know a little about intolerance. Intolerance (racial, religious, or otherwise) is a serious problem in the world. Intolerance has caused many deaths and generations of peope to hate each other for no apparent reason. I don't think intolerance is the best way to sum up a juvenile (which I admit it is) debate on the internet. Furthermore, i said from the start that costumes are fine if you enjoy them. The opposite viewpoint was less widespread. Not trying to argue. Just pointing out an observation. That is all. Anyday, you wake up on this side of the dirt is a good day. Always try to find the positive side of things. Especially when it is most difficult. Have fun and shoot safe.


I love the long johns pic. I just hope they don't have a flap. That become an em-bare-ass-ing situation. Hilarious. Thank you for keeping this thread upbeat with your pictures and openminded viewpoint. You have been a good ambassador for the game.

If the rules ever change, maybe we can compete (me without a costume) one day. Until then everyone be safe, shoot straight, and have fun.

November 16, 2009, 11:20 AM
Couldn't you use cowboy guns at IPSC or one of those other competitive shooting organizations?

November 16, 2009, 12:35 PM
If the rules ever change, maybe we can compete (me without a costume) one day. Until then everyone be safe, shoot straight, and have fun.

Maybe wearing the required apparel would be more tolerable if it was thought of as wearing a uniform just like in any other organized sport.
The main difference is that the shooter is representing a team of one.

In team sports the players wear uniforms and they're not regarded as being costumes. The team has a name and an identity separate from the individual, just like how in cowboy shooting the competitor has an alias.

Springfield Kid
November 16, 2009, 01:42 PM
What costume ? I`ve been dressing cowboy my whole life and always thought it was normal .
If I had to wear a baseball cap and tennis shoes tee shirt and boy shorts to compete in a sport , it would not be a sport I would want to play , for me that would be a costume .
Hey talk about costumes and sports , check out the Golf channel sometime !

Cap'n Billy
November 16, 2009, 02:26 PM
The way I look at it? If you've a love of these period weapons? You should know something about the period they were used in...to me? the "dressing up in a costume" is just another way of showing a respect for the history of the weapon.
The mindset and culture WERE a whole different animal in the days when these weapons were used!
First, most folks didn't even OWN a sixgun, they were reserved for a different kind of breed! Fashion? It was the Victorian age (something WAY too foreign for many people of today to comprehend)...you DID wear a hat! You never showed your bare arms in public (on the ranch/farm? yes, but NEVER in public), you went to church on Sundays (no questions asked), and if you wore a sixgun? You were expected to be ready to die by one.
Simply shirking off the "wearing of a costume" is kind of like telling a punchline without knowing the joke it came from.
You DON'T have to wear a costume to love the weapon, but it DOES kind of round out the whole experience of being able to use one.
I don't think you'd enjoy going to a fancy restaurant and getting powdered eggs and instant coffee...some things just seem expected and accepted.

November 17, 2009, 05:17 AM
ive watched a few matches, it looks interesting, and lots of the guns are sweet!
i just couldnt wear all the cowboy stuff, i rarely ever wear long sleeved shirts, and cowboy boots are a definite no-go for my feet.

that being said, the matches down here seem pretty relaxed on the interpretation of the rules. doesnt need to be cowboy boots or hat, just leather boots and a "non-modern" hat.

one match there were a bunch of Sherlock Holmes guys there, shooting cane guns, and derringers and stuff. in the same match were chicks in petticoats and stuff.

i think anything that brings more people to shooting is a good thing, no matter if they are dressed like a cow boy, or GI joe.