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Cowboy Action Shooting is a celebration of all the Old West ever was and all you imagine it to be. It is a multi-faceted shooting competition using firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West – about 1865 to 1899. The competition courses of fire use single action revolvers, lever action or pump action rifles, and shotguns of a pre-1900 design, which include double barreled side-by-side shotguns, with or without external hammers, or the Model 1897 Winchester pump shotgun.
We shoot at steel targets using lead bullets or shot. It’s a scenario based speed competition, and each scenario has an Old West flavor to it.
A unique aspect of Cowboy Action Shooting is that each competitor adopts an “alias” – selects a unique name and persona that represents the Old West to them. Costuming is also required. Since we’re representing the Old West and the Cowboy Way, shooters are required to dress in an “old west” manner. Costuming can be as simple as an old pair of button fly jeans, a banded collar shirt, cowboy boots and a hat (not a baseball cap); or as elaborate and authentic as you desire.
The use of specific “old West” firearms and scenarios, adopting a persona and costume come together to form what SASS members call “The Spirit of the Game.” The Spirit of the Games means that each competitor full engages in what the competition asks; you do your best to dress the part, use the correct competition firearms, and respect the traditions of the Old West and the Cowboy Code.