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bewildered by rules

flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
Am I the only one who "doesn't get" the mare's nest of complicated rules and regulations put forth by SASS ? Here's the deal . . . I've been shooting this summer with a local "Cowboy Action" group, and they're a great bunch of guys, and I find the proposition a whole lot of fun - but - there are a few all caught up in going to sanctioned matches, and start splitting hairs over a whole lotta rules and regulations from the firearms themselves to garb, and it doesn't seem anyone (including whoever does the SASS website) even knows 'em, or can keep it straight. What gives here ?

Comments

  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    I like to shoot 'cowboy' handguns, and a couple of times I have looked into SASS, in spite of some negative impressions of their 'regimen', that I had previously gotten. But I ended up so baffled and turned off by their rules each time, that I quit the idea of joining.

    It appears, IMHO, that they have created a 'rules bureaucracy' that would put the IRS, EPA, and TSA, to shame - collectively. Worse, the main matches are dominated by loads that generate less power than a factory-loaded .32 S&W short, and there goes any authentic cowboy shooting.

    I think it's become a game for people who are geared more towards a carnival environment, than the way things really were. But, it's their game. Perhaps someone will develop a SASS-type organization which doesn't regulate the creases in hat crowns, and which requires full-house .44-40's (Yikes, LOL).
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 50,935 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Perhaps it is more about playing cowboy, or gunfighter, than really shooting, much like the Society for Creative Anachronism.
  • Riomouse911Riomouse911 Member Posts: 3,492 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I joined years ago (#13999) but let it lapse because of time and kids being more important that paying to go shoot. SASS was created to bring our memories of Saturday movies back to life. As with any shooting contest, there are always people who cut corners to get one up on the competition. (ala NASCAR)

    There are two things that make the SASS rulebook as thick as the owners manual for a 2013 Mercedes Benz; The rules grew like weeds once folks started getting sponsors (China Camp, Holy Terror, etc) and prize $$ became an issue. Folks were using rounds that were spitting out little turds like a .22, different sights, funky shotguns, etc. in order to gain an advantage.

    Also, there are several disciplines in SASS, and each one has it's own set of rules. I got these from another site;

    Aged based:
    >> Buckaroos (13 & under)
    >> Young Guns (14 to 16)
    >> Wrangler (36 to 48)
    >> Forty Niner (49 to 59)
    >> Seniors (60-64)
    >> Silver Seniors (65-69)
    >> Elder Statesman/Grand Dames (70 & up)


    These are the categories:
    >> Duelist -- cocking & shooting the pistols one-handed (the way a cowboy should shoot)
    >> Double Duelist -- again, one-handed, but right side with right hand and left side with left hand
    >> Gunfighter -- pistol in each hand, generally alternating hands with each shot
    >> Frontier Cartridge -- all loads must be blackpowder; revolvers may be shot with 1 or 2 hands
    >> Frontiersman -- all loads must be black powder, but the revolvers must be percussion cap & ball type
    >> Classic Cowboy/Cowgirl -- fixed sight revolvers, .40 caliber or larger, 1873 or ealier rifle, and csome costuming requirements
    >> "B" Western -- fancy or 'Roy Rogers' type outfits, 1884 or later rifles, Buscadero or drop holster rigs.

    There is also a mounted discipline, etc.

    It is fun, but like any thing else you're occasionally going to find guys who are soooo competitive that they piss and whine aboiut everybody elses' equipment or technique in order to win. I steer clear of those dudes, I'm not there to listen to folks piss and moan, I'm there to shoot and have a good time!
  • JohnnyBGoodJohnnyBGood Member Posts: 1,443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by flyingcollie
    . . . I've been shooting this summer with a local "Cowboy Action" group,


    Well at least you get to shoot. Last year I bought a Colt SAA and thought I would introduce the wife to some competitive shooting. I contacted a local club and asked for some basic information. Guy told me a person needs TWO revolvers, a rifle and a shotgun to compete, and of course, the COSTUME.

    Johnny
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    You might look for an NCOWS posse in your area. They are more strict as far as historical accuracy of your outfit (no Hollywood cowboys)but they also allow double action pistols if they are made (or replica) of one made before 1898. They also have a "Working Cowboy" class that uses only one pistol and a rifle. Link:
    http://www.ncows.org/
  • ken44-40ken44-40 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've been doing this for 14 years, shooting full house 44-40s and C&B revolvers. The days of the 2 gr of powder and magnum primer mouse fahrt load is over, there is a power factor requirement now - albeit rather low. Costuming is really pretty simple. Jeans, Western long sleeve short and some kind of Cowboy, work, dress boot or shoe. Hats are only required in two categories - but to keep hot brass from going down your neck, highly recommended. You can go from the minimum to any level you desire. The firearms requirements aren't any more restrictive in SASS than any other shooting sport - just different - and cheaper in some cases. There are shooters that are highly competitive - like any shooting sport - and there are those that are in it to have fun. Shooting a BP category I'll never be uber competitive; so, I shoot for fun and if I place all the better. I shoot with 4 clubs in Missouri and have shot matches in Iowa, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi Arkansas, Tennessee, and Illinois. I've been on posse's with some national and world champion shooters and shooters from Austrailia and New Zealand. I've had more fun doing this than anything else I've tried.

    One misconception is that there is money in this sport. That couldn't be further than the truth. While some top shooters have gone on to use their skills to further a career, the only "prize" for winning in most cases is a belt buckle, plaque and free entry into the next higher level match. There are numerous matches where some sort of plaque or certificate is all you get when you win a category.

    But; Some people just don't 'get it', and that's their perogative. CAS isn't for everyone.

    And, if you think SASS rules are complicated & picky, NCOWS is one step beyond.

    JohnnyBgood, Don't know where you're from; but most clubs encourage new shooters to just show up without guns. Members will invariably offer a wide variety of guns for you to try, and if you bring your Colt; will probably give the opportunity to use it on a practice stage.
  • beffabeffa Member Posts: 47 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    too expensive for me!
    u5u0.jpg
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by beffa

    too expensive for me!
    u5u0.jpg



    In 2003 I set out to join cowboy shooting as cheap as I could. Our nearest posse was NCOWS, so I had to stay within their rules, which mainly meant historical authenticity.
    I go to civil war re-enactment camps, so I was able to get a shirt and pants that were clearance items from vendors for $25 each. I also bought a pair of civil war brogans (shoes) for $70. I used a plain black civil war belt and holster for an 1860 army which cost $35. No hat is required.
    For guns, I obtained an 1882 Remington hammered double 12 Gauge, at an auction for $110. I already had an 1851 Navy and 1860 Army pistols. My only big expense was the rifle and I got a brand new 1866 Yellowboy 44-40 (Uberti) for $550. I can use the rifle for more than cowboy shooting, so that helped me justify the expense.
    I make all my own ammo for all the weapons, and it's all real black powder. I bought a lot of Graf and Sons black, back when it was $9 a pound. Try to touch any of the subs for that these days.
    So I was able to do a 4 gun shoot, with historically correct outfit, for less than $800. Plus, shooting cap and ball class, I usually win my category because I'm usually the only one shooting it.
    In the last couple years a few more shooters are doing C&B, so I'm occasionally relegated to second.
    If you are creative and shop around for guns you can do CAS on a budget. I often find holsters and belts at gunshows for $10. And my wife found a like new pair of mule ear boots in her size for $15.
  • Layne12gunLayne12gun Member Posts: 178 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I thought that Cowboy Action was going to be really fun.. Loved it when they started the Wild Bunch matches.. But again the RULES ruined it . Could not shoot my lever action .357/.38 rifle with my .45 ACP and Shot Gun. Had to shoot a .40cal rifle or better to shoot wild bunch matches.. Again the rules are driving the average shooter out of the sport due to the price of playing the game. Soon it will be a Rich Man's Sport.. I have sold all my cowboy guns and went back to IDPA. i say return the cowboy matches back to the day when a guy could put on a cowboy hat, boots jeans and shoot one revolver one rifle and a double barrel shotgun.
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Layne12gun
    I thought that Cowboy Action was going to be really fun.. Loved it when they started the Wild Bunch matches.. But again the RULES ruined it . Could not shoot my lever action .357/.38 rifle with my .45 ACP and Shot Gun. Had to shoot a .40cal rifle or better to shoot wild bunch matches.. Again the rules are driving the average shooter out of the sport due to the price of playing the game. Soon it will be a Rich Man's Sport.. I have sold all my cowboy guns and went back to IDPA. i say return the cowboy matches back to the day when a guy could put on a cowboy hat, boots jeans and shoot one revolver one rifle and a double barrel shotgun.

    I say create a 'Poor Cowboy' category for guys that only have one gun. Even Lucas McCain couldn't join SASS.
  • flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think that's an excellent suggestion . . . and I'm going to propose that to our local "posse". They're a pretty easy-going bunch, and on our local level likely to do anything that would make it easier for folks who are interested to get into.

    I don't know the national outfits would go for the idea, but they oughta !
  • fideaufideau Member Posts: 11,890 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was interested once too but saw it getting too complex. Looks like it's just how fast you can rip off rounds. Too corny and clannish.
  • torosapotorosapo Member Posts: 4,946
    edited November -1
    I was lucky when I started a few years ago. The local club doesn't care too much about dress for our monthly shoots. The club owns guns for you to use if you don't have every thing. I started with C&B revolvers and used the club shotgun and rifle till I could buy my own. I got away cheap on the clothes due to I was a dirt farmer and that was my name too. Old bib overalls no collar shirt straw hat and low heel work boots.
    Had to give it up after loosing my last job because I ended up selling guns to keep eating. I would like to get back into it again someday. If I ever do I'll go with 45LC instead of C&B though.
  • Nite RyderNite Ryder Member Posts: 31 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I started shooting 'cowboy' in 2006 and joined SASS as a life member. It is true, there are a lot of rules to follow, but these rules came about because everyone pushes the rules and wants to use some part of the rules to their advantage. Rules were made by the men that own the business, a group of people called "Territorial Governors" meet each year and discuss rule changes. If the owners agree with the changes suggested by the TG's, then the new rules are applied. In the early days there were fewer rules, and the game was simple, but as membership became world wide and approached over ninety thousand shooters the rules have to cover more areas. Most clubs are somewhat lenient with dress and equipment, but when shooting at a National Match the rules must be followed. I don't look at this as a rich man's game, two revolvers are required, one rifle and one shotgun, and proper holsters and clothing, and that is all. If you think this is expensive check out some other sports like golf or racing a vehicle. Some people want to use the bare minimum equipment, and think you should be able to use 22's, that is not the way this game is played, the rules were already in place before some of you came along. No one is going to change the rules to make everyone happy, that is impossible.
  • minitruck83minitruck83 Member Posts: 5,369
    edited November -1
    "Hats are only required in two categories - but to keep hot brass from going down your neck, highly recommended."


    Trying to picture how to eject brass at an angle that would toss it down your neck. Then I realized that some might shoot breaktops. [:I]



    Allen
  • flyingcollieflyingcollie Member Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ha ha ha ! Good laugh, "minitruck". What I noticed at cowboy shoots is the guys with '73 Winchesters, Yellowboys and Henrys catch a lot of brass in their hats . . . they eject pretty much straight up, and throw pretty high when the speed-demons are really cranking the levers. I guess they could get hot brass down their necks !

    Never seen a top-break revolver that would throw brass . . . mine just kinda dribbles out. Any road, they don't re-load pistols on the firing-line.

    Nite-Rider, I'm softening . . . didn't realize SASS was so huge, you're right about "rules" . . . it gets complicated when a lot of folks are involved, and more and more questions come up. And it's true, you sure can't please everyone. I do think the SASS folks could work on a "kinder, gentler" introduction to their maze of rules, for us iggorant folk ! Thanks for posting.
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,728 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For a simpler and less expensive intro to cowboy style shooting, you can also try CFDA (Cowboy Fast Draw Association). One gun, 45 Colt, holster, and any kind of western-style garb. Reloading is done cheaply because you don't use any powder and you don't need a press. You stuff a wax bullet in the case and poke a 209 shotgun primer in the back and you are ready for the firing line. The rule book is VERY thin. [:D][:D]
  • Nite RyderNite Ryder Member Posts: 31 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    While we are on the subject of rules, we do have a cowboy here in Oregon who can quote you almost word for word any rule you want to know about SASS. His name is Pale Wolf Brunelle, he is not only one of the Territorial Governors, but he also holds one of the highest ranks a Range Officer can hold. He knows the rules, and he knows why the rules were made like they were made. Most of our club members are happy to loan out guns and gear, but we all take a dim view of those who complain about the dress code and the expense of owning the firearms. No one will twist your arm to join a club.
  • Smitty500magSmitty500mag Member Posts: 13,603 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I used to enjoy SASS shooting matches but I finally gave it up when they started doing a lot of stuff that I'm not interested in. I know it's all in fun and a lot of people enjoy it but I don't really care for things like riding a stick horse and signing a cowboy song before shooting different segments of a match or dressing in a frontier woman's dress, apron and bonnet while shooting out of a make believe log cabin at robbers. I liked the cowboy outfits and guns of the day but doing the goofy stuff just wasn't for me.
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