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I don't hear much about it anymore.

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I believe it is dying. I have tons of CA guns and love them, but shoots have diminished in the past several years and attendance to those has fallen as well.

I hope it doesn’t die, but it is ailing severely…


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Seems like it's on the wane here. I had been kind of interested in getting into it 15-20 years back, but never did. I'm not even sure if they do shoots around here anymore. I haven't seen them advertised at any of my local-ish LGS in years.

A lot of the bigger/online shooting retailers that used to carry a lot of CAS stuff haven't in quite a few years now, which is also a pretty fair indicator, imo.

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I use to be pretty active. I gave it up up when SASS imposed period clothing rule.I have not followed it at out club, but don't see it on the schedule anymore


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certain areas are still seeing good numbers of shooters with a fair amount of new shooters. Seems that the new shooters aren’t coming quite as fast as those aging out or moving on to other things. Early 2000’s saw a huge surge in new shooters and many vendors and manufacturers capitalized on that. Many of the current shooters have been at it a while and have the gear and guns they need, so the demand for new products isn’t what it was.

By the way there is no “period clothing rule” other than no ball caps, tennis shoe, tee shirts, etc. it is cowboy action shooting after all.


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Originally Posted by one horn
certain areas are still seeing good numbers of shooters with a fair amount of new shooters. Seems that the new shooters aren’t coming quite as fast as those aging out or moving on to other things. Early 2000’s saw a huge surge in new shooters and many vendors and manufacturers capitalized on that. Many of the current shooters have been at it a while and have the gear and guns they need, so the demand for new products isn’t what it was.

By the way there is no “period clothing rule” other than no ball caps, tennis shoe, tee shirts, etc. it is cowboy action shooting after all.


How many of those are cowboy?

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It is alive and well here in the florida panhandle. I can shoot every weekend of the month and twice one weekend so 5 different clubs. We have new shooters/observers quite frequently. I am mentoring a new shooter right now. The high cost and scarcity of guns, ammo and reloading supplies has become a barrier to entry. Stuff is out there but isn't cheap. I knew about CAS 25 years ago but life happened and I didn't get into it then. Two years ago I heard someone talking about it in a local gun shop and got interested. I am really enjoying it. If you are letting the clothing requirement deter you from shooting you are just looking for an excuse. My first outfit came from the good will store, $2 pants, $1 shirt, $2 suspenders. I already had boots but you can find them at good will cheap also. Hat was $20 bucks at tractor supply.

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Maybe the rules have been changed but it was what it was back then. At out club, to shoot,you had to be a member of SASS. Maybe your club doesn't enforce SASS rules. I am not looking for no damn excuse. Especially from rule makers that walk around in chaps and spurs at a gun range and wouldn't know which end of a rope to throw. . This was started as a competition where a fellow could outfit his kids and such and rapidly became something that was less than affordable for a family.

Originally Posted by one horn
By the way there is no “period clothing rule” other than no ball caps, tennis shoe, tee shirts, etc. it is cowboy action shooting after all.

Maybe your club does not know about or doesn't enforce SASS rules. Mine did. You might want to read below before posting as you did


https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/RO/SASSHandbook-16-2010.pdf

Here are the clothing rules for SASS.


SINGLE ACTION SHOOTING SOCIETY
Shooters Handbook
~3~
Copyright © Single Action Shooting Society, Inc 2010
Sixteenth Edition
CLOTHING AND ACCOUTERMENTS
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.

SASS puts a great deal of emphasis on costuming because it adds so much to the
uniqueness of our game and helps create a festive, informal atmosphere that supports the
friendly, fraternal feeling we encourage in our competitors.
All shooters must be in costume, and we encourage invited guests and family also to be
costumed. Shooters must remain in costume at all match events: dinners, award ceremonies,
dances, etcetera.
ALL clothing and equipment MUST be worn appropriately, how it was intended and how
it would have been worn in the OLD WEST or as seen on B-Western movies and televis

Last edited by saddlesore; 05/18/22.

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Probably need to dump my stock in stick horses.


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Originally Posted by saddlesore
Maybe the rules have been changed but it was what it was back then. At out club, to shoot,you had to be a member of SASS. Maybe your club doesn't enforce SASS rules. I am not looking for no damn excuse. Especially from rule makers that walk around in chaps and spurs at a gun range and wouldn't know which end of a rope to throw. . This was started as a competition where a fellow could outfit his kids and such and rapidly became something that was less than affordable for a family.

Originally Posted by one horn
By the way there is no “period clothing rule” other than no ball caps, tennis shoe, tee shirts, etc. it is cowboy action shooting after all.

Maybe your club does not know about or doesn't enforce SASS rules. Mine did. You might want to read below before posting as you did


https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/RO/SASSHandbook-16-2010.pdf

Here are the clothing rules for SASS.


SINGLE ACTION SHOOTING SOCIETY
Shooters Handbook
~3~
Copyright © Single Action Shooting Society, Inc 2010
Sixteenth Edition
CLOTHING AND ACCOUTERMENTS
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.

SASS puts a great deal of emphasis on costuming because it adds so much to the
uniqueness of our game and helps create a festive, informal atmosphere that supports the
friendly, fraternal feeling we encourage in our competitors.
All shooters must be in costume, and we encourage invited guests and family also to be
costumed. Shooters must remain in costume at all match events: dinners, award ceremonies,
dances, etcetera.
ALL clothing and equipment MUST be worn appropriately, how it was intended and how
it would have been worn in the OLD WEST or as seen on B-Western movies and televis



Halloween with guns

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I have no angst with dressing in "period" clothing but most of the cowboys of that era wore the clothes that don't look like the drugstore variety do. Boots?? They were fortunate to have shoes. Boots came after they made a little money.

I would think the biggest risk to any of these shooting sports will match the availability and price of Primers.

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Originally Posted by saddlesore
I use to be pretty active. I gave it up up when SASS imposed period clothing rule.I have not followed it at our club, but don't see it on the schedule anymore
Cowboy Action is going the way of the black powder shoots. Here in Pa. in it's heyday there were monthly shoots at a great number of clubs lots of shooters, on weekends there were rendezvous all over the state. There were lots of guys who were competitive shooters and a group of period reenactor types more interested in costume and other things to recreate the mountain man long hunter period. Some of the groups imposed a strict primitive dress and equipment rule nothing that was not pre 1850 was allowed. This became a point of friction and many of the shooter types avoided going to the shoots that imposed the strict requirements. This slowly took a toll. Fewer shooters smaller shoots prizes got smaller and the sport faded to a shadow of what it was. There are still active monthly shoots and rendezvous but its is nowhere close to what it was. They would do well to ease up on enforcing rules and concentrate on encouraging participation. The shooting sports have serious problems with ammo and components not to mention travel costs etc. We need to make participation in what ever type of shooting easy and fun for all.


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Originally Posted by saddlesore
Maybe the rules have been changed but it was what it was back then. At out club, to shoot,you had to be a member of SASS. Maybe your club doesn't enforce SASS rules. I am not looking for no damn excuse. Especially from rule makers that walk around in chaps and spurs at a gun range and wouldn't know which end of a rope to throw. . This was started as a competition where a fellow could outfit his kids and such and rapidly became something that was less than affordable for a family.

Originally Posted by one horn
By the way there is no “period clothing rule” other than no ball caps, tennis shoe, tee shirts, etc. it is cowboy action shooting after all.

Maybe your club does not know about or doesn't enforce SASS rules. Mine did. You might want to read below before posting as you did


https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/RO/SASSHandbook-16-2010.pdf

Here are the clothing rules for SASS.


SINGLE ACTION SHOOTING SOCIETY
Shooters Handbook
~3~
Copyright © Single Action Shooting Society, Inc 2010
Sixteenth Edition
CLOTHING AND ACCOUTERMENTS
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.

SASS puts a great deal of emphasis on costuming because it adds so much to the
uniqueness of our game and helps create a festive, informal atmosphere that supports the
friendly, fraternal feeling we encourage in our competitors.
All shooters must be in costume, and we encourage invited guests and family also to be
costumed. Shooters must remain in costume at all match events: dinners, award ceremonies,
dances, etcetera.
ALL clothing and equipment MUST be worn appropriately, how it was intended and how
it would have been worn in the OLD WEST or as seen on B-Western movies and televis

Jeans, a button up shirt, and leather boots are a SASS legal costume. Most folks wear a cowboy hat as well.


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Exactly Pa Shooter. We had quite a few families where the father, mother and 2-3 kids were shooting, usually with only 2-3 sets of firearms. When the dress code/costume rule came along, those folks could not afford to outfit the entire family. Kids were usually wearing sneakers and ball caps , but we had a lot of youth shooters which you need to bring along. The wives got involved because of the kids. Those shooters dropped out. The other shooters dropped out in support of those friends.. The 40-50 shooters dwindled to 10-15


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I'd say it hasn't peaked here in SC. My local club is hosting the state match coming up but I'm not sure about the participants. No doubt it's not as strong as GSSF, IDPA and USPSA.

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We have about half the CAS clubs here in LA than we had a few years ago. My local club is no more. Now, if I still shot, it would be a 2 hr drive. I gave it up.

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I guess we are the exception around here, just in the last couple of months we have gained 6-8 new shooters and I have a couple more I am talking to about it. New club also just started up. Barrier is still finding guns, ammo and reloading supplies but with a little scrounging we are keeping everyone shooting. I have three guys sharing one set of guns right now.

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I've only been to one CAS shindig, and it was ok.
Everybody was really friendly, and if you showed
an interest in a particular firearm or something,
they would all go out of their way to explain or
demonstrate something or let you pop off a
couple of shots at a range
That's comparing my experience with a couple of
buckskin/black powder clubs a brother in law and
I were interested in back in the 80's.
I'd arranged to meet up with the president of the
club at a weekend rendezvous they were having,
and when we got there they were already in the
midst of one of the events, so we had to stand
not quite an hour and wait on the guy. After it
was done he just did an introduction and rushed
away to some other something and left us standing
again. The other people kinda snubbed us as
well and pretty much ignored us. They were
also obsessed with one up manship as far as
who had the newest and most expensive gear
and were always talking about having a so-and-so
new gun built, etc.
The few times we went, none of the people
would be portraying the same period as the
last. The same dozen top dogs in the club would
go from french and indian, to southwest, then
back to fur trade, then to revolutionary war,
then to southern mid 1800's plantation, etc.
It was a bfm to me. The last time we went,
my bil had made some clothing something,
moccasins I think, and whoever it was made
fun about some kind of snide comment, and
my bil asked if I didn't mind if we left.
We did leave and never attended anything
like that again. He sold all his BP stuff and
gun, but I still use all my BP stuff to hunt with,
I just stay away from snooty bast*rds

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Ranger, sorry you had a bad experience.

From the clubs I’ve visited in and out of state, I’ve never felt other than welcomed. I think your experience is more of an isolated incident than the rule.

Would like to hear from others on that topic.

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I think Ranger was talking about his experience with a black powder re-enactor/rendezvous group. Cowboy action people are some of the nicest I have ever met.

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Originally Posted by Boogan1
I think Ranger was talking about his experience with a black powder re-enactor/rendezvous group. Cowboy action people are some of the nicest I have ever met.

Yes
As far as I'm aware, CAS groups don't call
their gatherings "rendezvous "

At the first of the post, I laid out the positive
CAS experience I've had, and I try to always
point out what fickle vain richards the buckskin
people I tried to be a part of were.
At least the CAS and War between the States
people don't switch personas every trip trying
to outdo each other , and they try to ingratiate newcomers
and potential new members

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Originally Posted by one horn
Originally Posted by saddlesore
Maybe the rules have been changed but it was what it was back then. At out club, to shoot,you had to be a member of SASS. Maybe your club doesn't enforce SASS rules. I am not looking for no damn excuse. Especially from rule makers that walk around in chaps and spurs at a gun range and wouldn't know which end of a rope to throw. . This was started as a competition where a fellow could outfit his kids and such and rapidly became something that was less than affordable for a family.

Originally Posted by one horn
By the way there is no “period clothing rule” other than no ball caps, tennis shoe, tee shirts, etc. it is cowboy action shooting after all.

Maybe your club does not know about or doesn't enforce SASS rules. Mine did. You might want to read below before posting as you did


https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/RO/SASSHandbook-16-2010.pdf

Here are the clothing rules for SASS.


SINGLE ACTION SHOOTING SOCIETY
Shooters Handbook
~3~
Copyright © Single Action Shooting Society, Inc 2010
Sixteenth Edition
CLOTHING AND ACCOUTERMENTS
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.

SASS puts a great deal of emphasis on costuming because it adds so much to the
uniqueness of our game and helps create a festive, informal atmosphere that supports the
friendly, fraternal feeling we encourage in our competitors.
All shooters must be in costume, and we encourage invited guests and family also to be
costumed. Shooters must remain in costume at all match events: dinners, award ceremonies,
dances, etcetera.
ALL clothing and equipment MUST be worn appropriately, how it was intended and how
it would have been worn in the OLD WEST or as seen on B-Western movies and televis

Jeans, a button up shirt, and leather boots are a SASS legal costume. Most folks wear a cowboy hat as well.
That seems more than reasonable.

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It sounds like SASS is alive and well in certain parts of the country, but not so much in others.

Last edited by Just a Hunter; 07/24/22.
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Originally Posted by Just a Hunter
It sounds like SASS is alive and well in certain parts of the country, but not so much in others.

Yeah, and it changed so much from when I first got involved. Too complicated these days. When I started I was still in college. Owned a Stevens 311, a Ruger SBK, and a Marlin 94 in 44 Mag. Folks would let me borrow one of their guns if a stage needed something I didn't own. People were super helpful and generous. What a difference 35 years makes.

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Cowboy movies and folklore were huge with boomer generation as kids. I suspect that a lot of cowboy action shooting was fueled by the boomer generation and as they get older and compete less it’s causing a decline.

Unfortunately most 30 year olds for instance if they shoot at all are going to gravitate towards different shooting disciplines such as long range precision shooting or something tactical.

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Originally Posted by TheLastLemming76
Cowboy movies and folklore were huge with boomer generation as kids. I suspect that a lot of cowboy action shooting was fueled by the boomer generation and as they get older and compete less it’s causing a decline.

Unfortunately most 30 year olds for instance if they shoot at all are going to gravitate towards different shooting disciplines such as long range precision shooting or something tactical.

When I was shooting, at least 50% were families. Husband,wives in the 30-40 yr old bracket and teenagers. I'd say less than 25% were boomers

Last edited by saddlesore; 07/26/22.

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Don't know about dying but with the current powder and primer situation I imagine it is probably a bit sick.


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I went and observed the last Chorro Valley Western Regionals.

Very nice if not one of the best cowboy action ranges. Very well run event.

What I saw was a bunch of old FAT guys dressed up mainly in the same costumes trying to be serious.

I think they had fun after the shooting.

No young shooters. Very few women.

A lot of shooting events are dying, HOWEVER Tactical events are growing by leaps and bounds.

Younger folks do not relate to cowboys.

Chorro Valley Western Regionals are Aug 10-14

Last edited by Reba; 07/31/22. Reason: more info

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I guess old fat guys dying off sorta speaks for CAS dying off.

A few young ones, not a lot.

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I started shootings cowboy matches in the mid 90’s. No pressure, just fun friendly competition. By the time I drifted away from it, due to kids and family obligations, the club was over run by the “gamers.” At least that’s what the regulars called them. Always trying some new thing to shave seconds off. Our club specifically did not allow holding the trigger back and thumbing the hammer. I was range officer one day, caught a guy doing just that. I called him out on it, he whined to the shoot coordinator and I was told to stand down. He was one of the gamers. The attitude of the shooters was diminished too. It wasn’t a family event, it wasn’t fun competition, it was deadly serious to the gamers. If I wanted to shoot high pressure and stress matches I’d shoot 3 gun or ipsc. The gamers all run the show at that club now, or did last I checked. None of old familiar faces were around, all the people who busted their humps and donated time and money to get it all rolling.
I guess time change, but the changes didn’t suit me.

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Originally Posted by Rawhide67
I started shootings cowboy matches in the mid 90’s. No pressure, just fun friendly competition. By the time I drifted away from it, due to kids and family obligations, the club was over run by the “gamers.” At least that’s what the regulars called them. Always trying some new thing to shave seconds off. Our club specifically did not allow holding the trigger back and thumbing the hammer. I was range officer one day, caught a guy doing just that. I called him out on it, he whined to the shoot coordinator and I was told to stand down. He was one of the gamers. The attitude of the shooters was diminished too. It wasn’t a family event, it wasn’t fun competition, it was deadly serious to the gamers. If I wanted to shoot high pressure and stress matches I’d shoot 3 gun or ipsc. The gamers all run the show at that club now, or did last I checked. None of old familiar faces were around, all the people who busted their humps and donated time and money to get it all rolling.
I guess time change, but the changes didn’t suit me.


Pretty much what happened here. The fun shooters eventually left leaving only the gamers and there was not enough of them left to setup 6 stages. So it died completely

Last edited by saddlesore; 08/13/22.

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I won the overall at the Panhandle Cowboys in Holt, FL today with 22 shooters in attendance. Will probably have more when it starts cooling off. Alive and well in the Florida panhandle. I can shoot with 5 clubs a month within a 2 hr drive. If you let the gamers run you off you were looking for an excuse to leave anyway. Lots of ways the game can be played, "gaming" or shooting fast is just one of them. I also hear the complaints about costuming requirements. It isn't that hard or expensive. As I have said, I shoot with 5 different clubs, not a one has ever turned anyone away because of costume. They may have told some they can't wear a ball cap or to not wear tennis shoes next time but they still get to shoot. The biggest barrier to entry for new shooters is the availability of firearms, ammo and reloading supplies although all of those are out there if you are willing to do a little looking. I guess it all depends on how bad you want to shoot or if you just want to cry in your coffee.

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Sounds more like one of the "gamers". If a club is following strick SASS rules those ball caps and tennis shoes would not be permitted to shoot.

I was denied shooting at one match because I had over sized grips on my Blackhawk. There was also another family, parents and two boys that were hassled so much they never came back.

I was teaching NRA certified basic pistol courses at the time and taught a lot of those new comers how to shoot. I only charged enough to pay for the ammo and supplies. The youngsters were free. I had all the shooting I wanted, but would not put up with all that BS.We typically would have 50-60 shooters each match. That dwindled to less than 20 because of it all. When the club's BOD got involved, because of all it, the gamers (the ones that were left) gather up all the props , targets,etc. and left.


Guess it depends on the people running the matches.

Last edited by saddlesore; 08/15/22.

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I agree that the people running the matches can make or break a club. The ball caps would not be allowed to shoot, just take it off and leave it in the car, but the tennis shoes would be allowed once if you were new and didn't know any better. Some clubs can really be rule nazi's but if they want new shooters and to grow their membership some lenience needs to be allowed. I am an RO and was running the timer a lot yesterday. We had two brand new shooters that made several errors that would have been a stage DQ for a seasoned shooter but they didn't have a clue what they did wrong until we stopped them and corrected them. If I had stage DQ'd them for all of those infractions they probably would have left with a sour taste in their mouth and not come back. As it was they were both really excited to pursue shooting with us again when the match was over. One of the first things that really stood out to me when I started was how friendly and accomodating the people were at all the clubs I shoot with regularly. I did shoot with a club that was not that way, very stuffy and full of themselves, and I have not gone back.

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Quote
SASS Rule - "all clothing must be typical of the late 19th century, a B-western movie, or Western television series."

If you really want to look authentic, just go outfit yourself like the late Tom Mix. Now that cowboy knew how to dress in style. grin

L.W.


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I don't know if dying - just never seemed to catch on here. I had some interest a while back but nearest "club" is a couple hours away.


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Just to be sure everyone is talking about the same game. SASS and CAS are two entirely different organizations with vastly different rules and CAS does require strict compliance with their dress code. SASS not so much.

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Originally Posted by 12gabigbore
Just to be sure everyone is talking about the same game. SASS and CAS are two entirely different organizations with vastly different rules and CAS does require strict compliance with their dress code. SASS not so much.

When I was shooting, it was SASS here and they did require compliance with dress code. You could shoot the first match, but then had to join SASS after that to continue in the club.That club also required you be a NRA member, but that has since been dropped. I have an original family life membership there.


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"Cowboy Action is going the way of the black powder shoots."

My take was the Rendevous were killed by CAS, here anyway.

Couple of weekends ago I met my boy and his bud up at their college town, primarily to take them to a cowboy action shoot. Was shocked as there were not over twenty competitors. I'd be surprised if any were under 70. Everyone was friendly and one of the guys showed them his guns and explained the shooting to them. The boys were quite interested in it, but commented about the gaming (lever actions with special triggers to increase their speed, and they were impressively fast & accurate with the leverguns). I was surprised at the poor pistol shooting... god, they were only about seven yards from the steel, and nobody was setting the world on fire.

The last time I'd been to one of these shoots, was probably twenty years ago and there probably was close to a hundred competitors, quite an event.

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Until a few months ago when I moved to Texas, I worked part-time at the Otero County shooting range in La Luz, New Mexico. We had a cowboy action shoot once a month, and there had to be a "quorum" of at least five shooters for the match to go on. Many times, there were just the bare minimum there for the match, all aging Baby Boomers like myself. And if one of the five was sick, no match. This handful of shooters constituted the distilled residue of two once very active clubs, one up in the historic resort town of Ruidoso, and one made up primarily of folks from the Alamogordo area.
Inside the clubs' locked storage compound, I would step carefully amongst all the great old steel targets, now disused and likely harboring at least one rattlesnake: Evil Roys, hearts/clubs/spades/diamonds, knockdowns for the shotgunners that could toss a clay pigeon when hit, props for the stages, etc. It was like walking in a graveyard. And this was in the very heart of the country we all think of as the real Old West. Pat Garrett once lost a three-day card game in my great-great uncle's saloon in Tularosa to Oliver Lee, the rancher he believed helped murder Col. Albert Fountain and his young son after they left La Luz to cross the White Sands to Las Cruces. Just up the road in Mescalero are the ruins of Blazer's Mill, where Dick Brewer and his group of Regulators -- including Billy the Kid -- shot it out with Buckshot Roberts in April of 1878, mortally wounding him, but not before he used a Trapdoor Springfield to shoot Brewer in the head. The two enemies are buried next to each other in the mostly forgotten Blazer's Cemetery just up the hill from the mill. I've been there and paid my respects.
Seen in this light, it makes me sadder still to think about those last five CAS stalwarts trying to keep the corpse alive, God bless them.

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Carbon County Utah built this multi purpose range 8-9 yrs ago...

To the tune of $5M including property purchase

I believe they still offer CAS matches

https://www.carbonutah.com/amenity/north-springs-shooting-range/


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At the range I shoot at, CAS has declined somewhat over the last 10 years or so. But they still have regular monthly matches.

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CAS has quite a following in Eastern Europe. I will be visiting there this summer to visit my wife's relatives in Slovakia. I am hoping to at least visit the venue. It would be awesome if some friendly sort would actually let me shoot. Range safety language is probably universal, otherwise normal conversation will definitely be a problem.
https://www.sass-slovakia.eu/indexEN.html
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Seems there are usually one or two that do most of the work to keep a club going. If those get tired or become unable to keep it going, it doesn’t take much for a club to wither away.

And most CAS shooters are seasoned citizens. A few young one, but not enough evidently.

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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
seasoned citizens

That's a nice way to put it.


Anyone who thinks there's two sides to everything hasn't met a M�bius strip.

Here be dragons ...
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Originally Posted by T_O_M
Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
seasoned citizens

That's a nice way to put it.
Yeah, it does sound better than Old Farts.... grin

Gotta be sensitive these days.... wink

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the Covid scare thing hurt all shooting groups , clubs , including archery , many seasoned seniors probably died too , seems to me not many young people want to help any more at clubs either . at my age of 70 with health problems i still help at one club with trap and i have noticed its us old seasoned seniors still doing most of the work but we get it done much slower now than we did in the past. good luck seasoned seniors and be safe ,Pete53


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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer
Seems there are usually one or two that do most of the work to keep a club going. If those get tired or become unable to keep it going, it doesn’t take much for a club to wither away.

And most CAS shooters are seasoned citizens. A few young one, but not enough evidently.

DF

I have found that to be the case with a lot of things though. DU/Snowmobile clubs/Motocross clubs etc - it's a small core of die hards with few satellite people that show. Nothing's growing and most everything has shrunk to it's minimum viable size.


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Twenty years ago it was going hot n heavy around here in wild west NV. I haven't seen any notices for events for about 6-7 years.


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I wonder if the disposable income of average folks is a factor? CAS always seemed pricey, although I have never been.
Twenty years ago the fur trade re-enactment rendezvous was huge around here. Entire families would attend, enjoy themselves because it is truly a family experience, and in short order you would see them participating regularly. It offered a wide variety of activities, crafts, cooking, outdoor skills, shooting, camping...something for every age and sex. And then.... it just faded away. Was it money?


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I would agree that almost certainly plays some part. Less than half of Americans have $1000 in the bank, according to quite a few surveys over the last several years. People are broke 🤷‍♂️

Considering you need a couple handguns, a rifle, a shotgun, and then your other gear for CAS, that's a fairly high entry bar these days. Then throw in ammo and gas on top of the gear... it adds up.

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One thing I may have benefited from...seems to me quite a few classic vintage rifles and revolvers of a Western flavor started appearing on the market in the last few years. Not raging bargains, but good solid guns with excellent bores at prices I could justify. 15 years ago, when CAS was booming, honest shooter grade classics were rarely found at prices I was comfortable with.


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It's unfortunate that it's dying, but due to the age group that attended, it's understandable.

I was pretty active in the mid 90's while I was stationed in WA. Still have a couple Colts, 1897, and an 1894 Marlin that I had slicked up,. Also have a couple "costumes". Got to the point I bought a Sharpes just to shoot in the side matches during the state shoots. Then I got hooked on the BPCR long range stuff; buff matches, then silhouette. Unfortunately they also catered to a more "seasoned" crowd and are now headed (went?) the same way. When I competed in Silhouette I was one of the younger shooters doing it at 34. So now I've got 3 BPCRs and a .22LR (1885 Low-Wall) that also sit unused.


Originally Posted by flintlocke
One thing I may have benefited from...seems to me quite a few classic vintage rifles and revolvers of a Western flavor started appearing on the market in the last few years. Not raging bargains, but good solid guns with excellent bores at prices I could justify. 15 years ago, when CAS was booming, honest shooter grade classics were rarely found at prices I was comfortable with.

In the CAS heyday, you couldn't find a decent 1897 that wasn't going for stupid prices.


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SASS probably contributed as much to the demise as anything. Somehow, feeling empowered to regulate, SASS became the organization that set standards that they thought were best and many people followed.

When Cowboy Action first started, they had power factors that had a maximum and minimum rating to make things safe, yet keep with the tradition of old west guns. The minimum made the gun, whether rifle or pistol, shoot a powerful enough round to knock over a target, not just ring it. The maximum was so that a guy with a 30-30 or similar cartridge, could still shoot, but with cast bullets at a reduced load to keep it safe.

There was also a part of the game that required good shooting. They wanted you to dress in the traditional style of the 1880’s and look the part.

SASS steps in and makes it more about dressing up than the importance of the old west guns. They dropped power factors, allowed modifications to firearms to make them slick and quick, and then it started to attract “gamers” and speed shooting large targets at close distances.

It’s too bad that any competitive sport morphs into what CAS has, but it is the same in any shooting discipline, as someone has to get an advantage, then someone else has to regulate it and the original intent is lost to modifications…


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CAS is still happening at the range I shoot at, but there are considerably fewer shooters that 10-15 years ago. I never shot CAS and compete in more modern events like IDPA, USPSA and 3 Gun. It's too bad to see the decline in CAS, but times change and there seem to be fewer people interested in cowboy related activities.

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Originally Posted by shrapnel
SASS probably contributed as much to the demise as anything. Somehow, feeling empowered to regulate, SASS became the organization that set standards that they thought were best and many people followed.

When Cowboy Action first started, they had power factors that had a maximum and minimum rating to make things safe, yet keep with the tradition of old west guns. The minimum made the gun, whether rifle or pistol, shoot a powerful enough round to knock over a target, not just ring it. The maximum was so that a guy with a 30-30 or similar cartridge, could still shoot, but with cast bullets at a reduced load to keep it safe.

There was also a part of the game that required good shooting. They wanted you to dress in the traditional style of the 1880’s and look the part.

SASS steps in and makes it more about dressing up than the importance of the old west guns. They dropped power factors, allowed modifications to firearms to make them slick and quick, and then it started to attract “gamers” and speed shooting large targets at close distances.

It’s too bad that any competitive sport morphs into what CAS has, but it is the same in any shooting discipline, as someone has to get an advantage, then someone else has to regulate it and the original intent is lost to modifications…

Precisely what happened around here. Initially we had the entire family shooting, but it got to expensive to outfit all of them.

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Thread resurrection. It was pretty strong here in NE Nevada, and I got into it for a couple of years, back in 2008-2010. There is nothing here now.

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I posted earlier in this thread that it is still alive and well in the area in Florida where I live. I am going to be spending more time in Missouri so I checked into the Cowboy Action shooting clubs there. It seems it is alive and well there too, two different clubs that shoot every weekend. They also shoot a couple of days through the week and have a pretty good turn out of shooters. If I drive south there are 5 clubs that shoot both days every weekend.

Back when SASS was in it's hayday I can see where some clubs may have been costume nazis but today they realize they need shooters so the rules have relaxed a little at least at monthly shoots, still no ball caps, short sleeve shirts, tennis shoes or lug sold combat boots. At larger matches costumes are still required to meet SASS rules.

Some of you may not be aware that SASS very recently changed the rules for Wild Bunch shooting to include any SASS legal rifle and shotgun and removed the power factor on the rifle requirement. They also changed some rules on the 1911 pistol requirements. They are trying to make it more appealing to people.

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Gamers and covid.

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Lotta bp shooting sports have experienced downward trends. Cost of equipment, components, travel , food , lodging and etc.. an entry level Shiloh or C. Sharps 74 about 3000 another 700 for sights. No factory.ammo on this stuff gotta make your own dang little of its cheap. Spotting scope and range stuff. For some it is disheartening to watch the gamerfugs kick your ass. Most of us do it because we like working up loads and shooting lr steel. Not inexpensive at all and anything run by the nra is fugged. Your depth of involvement can get expensive or you can keep it cheap
In the summer I shoot once a month at a local shoot maybe 30 bucks ammo and gas to get there. It's up to you on how much or how little
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Things change, competitive people go where the competition is, change the rules to make things easier, the result is the exact reverse of the desired effect.
When I started shooting Sporting Clays, I found quite a few World Speed, IPSC, Silhouette and Cowboy Action shooters on the weekly clays line. Clays may well be the most expensive shooting sport, but the expense does not deter the competitive spirit one bit.
Try this on for size, multiple types of guns in the 8-15k each range, A clays cart and clays cart vehicle trailer, several hundered cases of shells of each guage and shot size on hand, annual membership at a club, shoot 100 round sets three times a week with every station setup at a competition set. You need to shoot sub guage class in the mid 90s to even start to be competitive in the 12-16 guage class. Plus you need a half dozen ranges to go to, in order to stay tuned up. Mediocrity does not improve competition or participation, excellence in shooters improves participation, people come to shoot with or against the best.

It took a bit of time for me to get it also, so do not be shocked. It is pretty simple, mountain climbers do not walk up hills. Every single time the preposed answer is less, you get less.

I spent 40+ years as a match director, tried everything I could think of to improve participation, inclusing creating new shooting games. It never occoured to me that difficulty was the only driving force of competition.


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Around here it is about dead. The shooters seem to have aged out.
The black rifle crowd now occupies the vast majority of nenches at the club range.

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I think so.
I am in the center of Wyoming. Wyoming is called the "Cowboy State" and 20-25 years ago Cowboy Action Shooting was a big thing here.

But those involved were mostly of the age groups that grew up on Westerns both from TV and movies. The next generation had only the connection through the older generation and 3 gun "combat shooting"
So every one I know in Wyoming and also in Nevada and Montana that "used to" shoot CAS or even tried it have told me the same story;
Cowbow Action is over-regulated. "Safety" so strict it's impractical. We look at the "run and gun" shooters and the fact that their safety record is extremely good and then look at the Cowboy-Crowd and I understand the frustration. A lot of money needs to be spent on guns and then on costume, and once spent you are treated like a 4 year old child by a "range master" who will not let you start from the holster with a hand gun or from a combat ready position with a shotgun or rifle, and if you step out of a "box" you are disqualified. To those who can wear street clothing, and only invest in guns, ammo and shooting gear and learn some real skills to go to pre-kindergarten with "Cowboy Rules" is somewhat insulting to their abilities and even to their intelligence. (One thing I have heard objections to is the need to have a "name" to be in the competition I.E. Windy Bill, Prairie sally and so on)

None of these things are "bad' in themselves, but all are very poor policies if the older generations want to instill any interest in the next generation in that sport. Kids and grow up in shooting sports from a generation of constant wars on the news and movies and want to emulate a fight, (to learn the skills) are not impressed with such ridiculous rules, when buying a 9MM pistol, a pump shotgun and an AR15 rifle (Or any 1 of them to start with) give them a LOT of leeway to learn skills with and cost less. And in most cases their intelligence is not insulted in Combat Action shooting.

I am an old muzzleloader guy and I see the same decline in the sport of shooting flintlocks, but the Cowboy Action Crowd seemed to go way too far with their "safety" rules to a point it's not teaching safety at all, but only treating people like they were 4 year olds.

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