Cowboy Action Shooting

Cowboy Action Shooting, CAS, is an Action Shooting Sport where shooters use firearms typical of those used in the old west.  These include single action revolvers, lever action rifles chambered in pistol calibers, and side by side double barrel, pre-1899 pump or lever action shotguns.  Additionally, the shooters dress up in clothing of the old west period, or as a character from one of the “B” western movies or cowboy TV shows.  These outfits include cowboy boots, spurs, chaps, western style gun belts and holsters, and of course, a cowboy hat.  Finally, the shooter choses an alias reminiscent of a character or profession, of the mid to late 1800’s that possibly existed in the old west.  Some shooters go to great lengths to match the persona of their character with the outfits they wear. 

In carrying this western theme further, the group of people who participate in CAS here at AAF&G are collectively referred to as the Mill Creek Wranglers.  The group among the Mill Creek Wranglers who help administer and run the matches are known as the Mill Creek Wrangler Regulators, and the core group representing the Mill Creek Wranglers on the Action Pistol Committee, is referred to as “The Wild Bunch.”  The leader of The Wild Bunch is our Trail Boss.  When the shooters are divided up into groups to shoot the courses of fire, the group of shooters is called a “Posse.”  The idea behind all of this is to carry the western theme throughout all aspects of the sport.  

The characteristics of Action Shooting Sports include courses of fire where any, or a combination of the following aspects are present: Shooting at multiple targets, sometimes targets of various sizes and at different ranges, from a fixed firing point; Shooting at targets that move; Shooting at reactive targets that fall down, swing, disintegrate, or activate other targets; Shooting at targets where the shooter is moving from point to point; and Changing or reloading firearms while shooting the course of fire.

The course of fire for our CAS matches consists of an array of rifle, shotgun and pistol targets.  These targets are steel plates of various shapes and sizes, specifically developed to be safely used as targets with live ammunition, (lead bullets only).  They are fired at in a specified order.  Each of these shooting scenarios is called a Stage.  Sometimes, the order of the targets coincides with a shootout scene from an old west movie.  Often times the shooter is given a line or phrase to say prior to beginning to shoot, which relates to the shooting scenario about to unfold in the stage.  Additionally, some of the stages also feature props, such as fake store-fronts, wooden horses, and such, to provide even more of an old west feel to the stage.  Sometimes, the shooter moves from one point to another to engage certain targets.  Each stage is timed with additional time penalties added on for missed targets or procedural errors, (such as shooting targets out of order).

Our matches generally consist of 4 stages.  The safety rules and course of fire for the stage design follow rules set up by an organization called the Single Action Shooting Society, SASS.  SASS has developed this sport and administers it on a worldwide basis.  Many of the shooters at our matches are members of SASS.  For more information on SASS, go to www.sassnet.org

We hold our Cowboy Action matches on the 3rd Saturday of each month, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  If you feel like CAS might interest you, come on out to watch one of our matches.  We are a very friendly bunch.  If there is time left after the match is finished, there are many shooters willing to let you try out their firearms and take a shot at one of our courses of fire.

The Wild Bunch, Mill Creek Wranglers

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