I had an absolute blast this past Saturday when I attended my first Cowboy Action. For those that don’t know, Cowboy Action is an event that takes place monthly out at the gun range in Logan. One Saturday every month, gunslingers from around the area gather to take part in the fun.
Cowboy Action has many chapters and hosts events that take place around the state, country, and world. They’re put on by the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS).
SASS is a group dedicated to the preservation of the Old West and competitive shooting. The organization has been around in spirit since 1981 and was formally incorporated in 1987. Over the decades, it has grown to garner interest all over the world which is unsurprising due to the far reach of classic Western films. The events are a fever dream for anyone who grew up watching Cowboy flicks.
SASS has a few rules for participants. Here are some ground rules:
- Participants must come in costume. Every participant has to wear a minimum of 5 pieces of traditional Cowboy attire. These pieces can be hats, bandanas, boots, pocket watches, etc…
- Shooters can only shoot single-action weapons. These are weapons that would have been around in the days of the old west. Revolvers, shotguns, and repeating rifles are the weapons required. Calibers and gauges are not important so long as the weapons are all single-action. Every shooter has their own preferences for weaponry and loads.
- Every shooter must have a unique alias and backstory/occupation. There is a registry of names on the website, and no two shooters can be the same. My buddy, Steve, shoots under the name “Too Late LeRoy” because he famously showed up too late to participate in his first event. I decided to dust off the nickname from my football playing days. I ended up shooting as Maddog Myles.
- Every event consists of “stages.” Each stage has a different storyline as well as a different pattern of weaponry and targets that shooters must do accurately, quickly, and in the correct order. The storylines consisted of everything from a holdup on the trail, trying to stop a gang from stealing dynamite, defending the family homestead, etc.
- Based on the storyline of the stage, there is a different phrase that a fighter has to say to signal to the judge that the fighter is ready. Phrases I got to utter included: “Not today,” “That’s far enough,” and “Not so fast!”
- The scores are based on time and accuracy. For every missed shot, there is a 5-second penalty. Shooting targets out of sequence counts as a miss, so remembering what order to shoot the targets in is of great importance.
- Gun safety is taken very seriously. Guns must remain unloaded until a participant is on the stage. The “170” rule is also strictly enforced which means all gun barrels must stay within a 170-degree spread and always pointed down range.
The event was a great time and the club members could not have been any more welcoming, patient, and helpful. I can’t wait to go back and will definitely remember earplugs next time.
Below, find a video of my first stage ever shooting Cowboy Action. I had never shot any of the weapons prior to the filming of this video. The footage was shot with my gopro. While it wasn’t the fastest stage of the day by a considerable margin, I only had one miss which surprised even me. Enjoy the video and drop by Cowboy Action some time for a fun afternoon of responsible gun usage. The people are great and love to share their passion for the Old West with new friends.
Special thanks to my local chapter of SASS for the help, lessons in responsible gun usage and for the warm welcome. You sure made this dude feel like part of the posse. Until next time…
#logan #logangunrange #cowboyaction #SASS #events #fun