Monday, November 15, 2004

The Shooting Sports: Cowboy Action Shooting

coltThe Single Action Shooting Society: The closest you will get to the old west without a time machine.

(Since the MSM never seems to cover all of the shooting sports, I thought I would from time to time cover one of them.)

Whenever I run into the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), I am always struck by how much fun these people are having. Period costumes, period firearms, good food, and serious competiton. What else could you look for in a weekend sporting event?

The first time I ran across the SASS, was at the Guns of August in Ohio, a few years ago. This is the mid-west regional championship. My then-girlfriend and I went to see what was going on. They didn't know us, and since we weren't in 19th century costumes, we obviously didn't belong. That didn't stop them from inviting us to join in a birthday celebration for one of the members. What a great group of people.

The competition is on stages - these are a bit hard to explain to someone who has never seen one - that include targets for six-shooters, double-barrel shotgun and lever-action rifle. Shooters are timed, and accuracy counts. Stages may include swinging saloon doors, for the wild west feeling. Some are elaborate, some less so. The competition is always tough, and safety always comes first.

Guns are representative of what was actually used in the old west. Six-guns are single action, and shotguns don't have shell ejectors. The lever-guns are state-of-the-art, 1870.

Check the SASS website for shoot near you. (I think it is always good to have hearing protection if you go to a shooting event.)

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