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Attracting new (younger) shooters into the game?


J.D. Lee

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There's a cross post between the SASS wire and "The High Road", about why you aren't a cowboy shooter. The most common answers are:

 

Expense, most people quote $2000 minimum for firearms. Many said they would like to participate if they could use their DA revolvers, .22s, Glocks, 870's, 94 Winchesters, etc. They would like to play but not with "cowboy" guns. Others wanted to just shoot 1 or 2 revolvers and not shotguns or rifles. Several said they couldn't justify buying guns that were only good for CAS matches. Mixed in was the belief that you had to have your firearms worked on and modified and shoot reduced loads.

 

"Costumes" second most common turn off, CAS has been compared to medieval reenacting, and many of the responses were they would like to shoot if they didn't have to wear cowboy costumes. Let me come shoot my .22 in my normal clothing and they would think about it. Several members explained the minimum clothing requirements to no avail.

 

To those of you who believe in "change" (where have we heard that before?) there are the most obvious ones, gathered from a non CAS shooting forum. Do away with the costumes, and cowboy guns and you will get new members. This is not my opinion, it is the responses from 13 pages of posts here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=577267

 

Yup I don't care if we get new, younger shooters into SASS if it means destroying the game I enjoy.

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It's us older shooters who are paying the costs, and if you as the match director "don't really care about pleasing our older shooters" you won't have a match to direct. Face it, it's a game, when I get too old to play, I'll hang up my guns and go do something else, then I'll die. I'm not going to loose any sleep worrying about recruiting younger shooters. We've all seen how to do it, allow firearms that aren't legal now, do away with the 4 gun stages, do away with "costumes". Just do away with the things that makes CAS what it is today. As for my "crappy attitude" I'm expressing my opinion, or do you insist I toe the PC "party line"?

 

This is kind of the reception I received when first getting started in SASS, or at least that is the way the attitude came across. I was fifty years of age and did not feel very welcome.......Bad Hand, you seem like a really nice guy and certainly have a right to your opinion. If we all stopped the grumpy old man thing maybe more young people would join, but then again they probably just laugh at us and then give us a lesson on quickness and accuracy.

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Nothing has to be changed about this game. I am a 15 year old shooter, going on 16, and I have been in this game since I was 11. This game is my life. I love everything about it, and I don't think it should be changed. I enjoy the costumes, the guns, the traveling, and most of all, the people. I think everyone that does this sport is a young person at heart. You have to be. This sport is a great sport, and I announce to my friends I am going to a Cowboy Action Shooting match this weekend just as casually as I would announce that my friends and I are going to the mall. It's that simple. This sport is what it is BECAUSE of the costuming and the guns and the people.

 

It's being made to sound like you need to change things about this game to attract younger shooters. You really don't. I love this game just as much as all the older shooters. The young shooters that join this sport are just as dedicated as the older ones are. If you think you have to change this game to attract younger shooters, you would be wrong, take it from me. I have been lacing up my cowboy boots and shooting my six guns since I was 11 years old. The thing that attracts young people to this game is not the type of guns or clothes you wear, it is the people in this game.

 

I would not change this game for the world.

 

~Snazzy Mcgee

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Nothing has to be changed about this game. I am a 15 year old shooter, going on 16, and I have been in this game since I was 11. This game is my life. I love everything about it, and I don't think it should be changed. I enjoy the costumes, the guns, the traveling, and most of all, the people. I think everyone that does this sport is a young person at heart. You have to be. This sport is a great sport, and I announce to my friends I am going to a Cowboy Action Shooting match this weekend just as casually as I would announce that my friends and I are going to the mall. It's that simple. This sport is what it is BECAUSE of the costuming and the guns and the people.

 

It's being made to sound like you need to change things about this game to attract younger shooters. You really don't. I love this game just as much as all the older shooters. The young shooters that join this sport are just as dedicated as the older ones are. If you think you have to change this game to attract younger shooters, you would be wrong, take it from me. I have been lacing up my cowboy boots and shooting my six guns since I was 11 years old. The thing that attracts young people to this game is not the type of guns or clothes you wear, it is the people in this game.

 

I would not change this game for the world.

 

~Snazzy Mcgee

Very well said, and a class act.......

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Well said Snazzy.

 

It is the mental challenge of manipulating the single action revolvers; of single loading the shotgun; of having to run a lever on the rifle while staying on target. Those are what make the sport what it is and a challenge for younger shooters. Costuming is a non-issue. If folks don't care enough about the sport to figure out all you need is a long sleeve shirt, jeans, hat and something vaguely resembling boots... well... they're not interested.

 

As stated above: show some younger shooters, in a cowboy hat, with their cool glasses in a plain long sleeve shirt blazing away at targets. That will get the point across.

 

I do NOT want to see the game changed to modern firearms or the elimination of costumes. It's the fun of shooting the single actions under the fantasy umbrella of it being a little bit "cowboy" that makes it what it is.

 

Now back to dry fire/transition practice and loading ammo. We've got matches to get ready for this weekend! :)

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My wife got her renewal notice today and no offense against Deadwood Stan and others pictured on the stagecoach but they are not exactly youngsters. Perhaps the WB should get some pics of younger shooters on there marketing materials. First thing I thought of was dang those guys are about the average age of our shooters. Secondly, I noticed Deadwood Stan and it's been a while since I've seen him in person.

 

 

LL'

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my 14 year old son posted this on his Facebook page

 

"......added sass competitive shooting to his sports."

 

all his friends should see that and maybe they will ask him about it.

 

He tells he that he only tells a few of his friends at school about his shooting exploits...says most kids are not interested...Even his best friend who lives across the street would rather sit inside his room and play videogames instead of shooting, riding a bicycle, playing ball or anything outdoors. He never heard of "Play 60" either.

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