Now that you have decided to
join in the fun with the
AK49ers’ Cowboy Action Shooting Club...
What do you do and what do you need?
First things first, get the administrative stuff out of the way. You will need an “alias” when you join up. Your alias is the name you will go by as a member. It can be most anything you want as long as it is not vulgar. It is a good idea to have at least three choices before contacting SASS as there are now around 100,000 members and no two members can have the same name. Now you’re ready to join SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) and the AK49ers’.
Costuming is also a major element in this sport. Just as it is with your alias, how you dress is up to you. Minimum requirements are pants or skirt/dress, shirt/blouse, shoes and hat (women are not required to wear a hat) that would have been worn in the 1850 to 1899 old west. There are categories with dress requirements, but more on those later. Your imagination is the only limit to your wardrobe. Family and guests who are not shooting are encouraged to dress in costume too. This goes a long way toward helping create a feeling of the old west.
You have a name and have dressed in the appropriate attire now you need something to shoot. The AK49ers strongly encourage new members to come out to a few matches before buying their guns. You will need a rifle, two revolvers and a shotgun to participate in cowboy action shooting. Buying guns for this sport comes with a rather substantial financial commitment, so you want to know that what you buy will work for you. Although there are some restrictions for example caliber, type, year produced, SASS does allow many variables for personal preferences for the guns you use. Coming to a match will give you a chance to try before you buy. If you already have all or some of the guns you need bring them out. There are never too many guns to admire, shoot or discuss.
Safety tops the priority list when it comes to the sport of cowboy action shooting, therefore you will not be allowed to put your revolvers in your waistband no matter how many time you have seen it in the movies. Revolvers need to be holstered, so when you decide on your revolvers you will need to get a set of holsters and all the little extras that go with them. There are even more variables here than there are in the guns you may choose from. Don’t worry if you don’t have your “leather” to start with, there are allowances in place for “staging” your guns and ammo.
There is one more element of our sport that you may want to consider before buying guns and leather and that is the “category” you may want to shoot in. There are 34 categories recognized by SASS based upon age, gender, costuming, equipment, shooting style and/or propellant. You are allowed to shoot any category for which you meet the qualifications, although you cannot change category once a match starts. The AK49ers have added two age based categories for those 80 years old and older. They are Cattle Baron and Baroness. And for those who enjoy shooting large bore rifles occasionally we have the “Kantankerous Cowboy” category. These lucky few will shoot a different rifle sequence from the main match shooters, fewer rounds and much heavier rifle targets. Revolvers and shotgun do not change.
Looking forward to seeing you at the range. Be SAFE, HAVE FUN, Be SAFE.