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Fox Tail Bob

Not renewing SASS membership

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I'm a new SASS member, most likely not going to renew. There's been lots of discussion on why people don't join, but I've seen very little on why people leave, so I thought rather than just disappear, I'd explain myself.

 

FIRST, this is NOT a criticism of SASS. I'm not one of those people who joined SAS, and then want to change the game to suit them, this is simply saying why I most likely won't renew. Maybe this could be helpful, maybe not.

 

As background, SASS is the only competitive shooting I've done since shooting smallbore rifle in high school, so I can't compare SASS to any other shooting sport competition. I shoot a good amount, but all my shooting is hunting-related in one way or another.

 

I came to the recent realization that I just wasn't going to be committed to SASS when I sold my lever action (.30-30) and a few other things (my violin, ham radios, +) to get money to buy some SASS guns. (I do have a single action revolver). Now I had some money to buy new guns, a real rarity for me! :D

 

And I did buy new guns. None of which are SASS compatible.

 

When I was looking at shotguns, I found one I really liked. Bought it. Not a SASS gun. Found another lever gun I liked, bought it, not a SASS gun. Now I thought well, I better spend some of this on at least one SASS gun, so I looked for a SASS-usable lever action (again). Bought a lever action I really liked. Not a SASS gun (again).

 

At this point it became obvious to me that when it came to cash on the barrel head, I wasn't interested enough in SASS to actually spend my very rare 'gun money" on guns I'd only use for SASS. I like lever guns (obviously, having just bought 2), but I have no (non-SASS) use for a pistol caliber lever gun. I like single action revolvers, but I have one, and except for SASS I have no use for another just like it. Don't particularly need a short double barreled shotgun with no ejectors.

 

Now to be honest, I didn't really understand what SASS was about when I joined. I did understand that the main matches were shot with 2 single action revolvers, a lever action rifle of pistol caliber, and a shotgun.

 

What I didn't realize is that generally that's pretty much it at local matches.

 

I had read the SASS handbook about long range side matches with rifle caliber guns, but I didn't really understand that these were not included in the average monthly local matches. I had expected to use my lever action .30-30 for long range at monthly meets, and figured there'd be something I could do with one single action revolver, and I could get guns for whatever else in the matches I liked when I had the money.

 

The first match I went to turned out not to really be a match. It was raining on and off so we a shot a sort of non-formal, very non-standard (I now know) shooting match without timing, pretty much like a bunch of guys out with guns having fun. It was a lot of fun. :)

 

Next match was a 'real' monthly match. Everyone was great in loaning me stuff I didn't have. I didn't need any costuming, except for a bandana around my neck pretty much everything else I needed was actually what I wore most of the time anyway!

 

First stage was fun. Second stage seemed a bit repetitive. By the third stage I was thinking "We just did all this, just in some different order. Is this all we're going to be doing?" By the fourth stage I knew the answer was "yep." Well, that's pretty boring.

 

Went to a match at a different club just to see, and yep, that was what we're going to be doing. When I saw the state match was going to have a long range side match, I enquired, and was a liitle disapointed to find that I couldn't shoot the side match without shooting the main match. I obviously didn't quite understand the "side match" idea fully, my fault.:blush:

 

But it wasn't really until the gun-buying revelation came about that I realized that SASS just wasn't the place for me. Nothing wrong with SASS, it just isn't the place for me.

 

The thing is, for me, SASS shooting has no application for my "real" (if you'll pardon the expression) shooting. I have never had to empty 5 shots as fast as I can into a squirrel at 15 feet.:P

 

So there it is, for whatever its worth. I'm not saying that SASS needs to change this thing or that thing, I am simply stating why I'm not renewing. I figured it might (or might not) be useful to those trying to increase membership.

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Thanks for putting down such an interesting perspective, FTB. I'm sure that you'll find a shooting activity that you enjoy. Most important, be safe out there. Good luck to you.

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Thanks for putting down such an interesting perspective, FTB. I'm sure that you'll find a shooting activity that you enjoy. Most important, be safe out there. Good luck to you.

 

Can't say it any better.... +1

 

but one thing has rung true for me - "you join (or play) because of the guns (shootin'), but stay because of the people" (BT Blade)

 

 

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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Howdy FTB -

 

Sorry you didn't find CAS to your liking. Sounds like you could have saved yourself a lot of time and effort if you had attended a couple of matches before joining (one of the most often-offered pieces of advice you'll see here on the Wire).

 

The old phrase, "Different strokes for different folks" comes to mind.

 

Good luck on your next shooting adventure!

 

Regards, TJH

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As background, SASS is the only competitive shooting I've done since shooting smallbore rifle in high school, so I can't compare SASS to any other shooting sport competition. I shoot a good amount, but all my shooting is hunting-related in one way or another.

 

 

The first match I went to turned out not to really be a match. It was raining on and off so we a shot a sort of non-formal, very non-standard (I now know) shooting match without timing, pretty much like a bunch of guys out with guns having fun. It was a lot of fun. :)

 

Next match was a 'real' monthly match. Everyone was great in loaning me stuff I didn't have. I didn't need any costuming, except for a bandana around my neck pretty much everything else I needed was actually what I wore most of the time anyway!

 

First stage was fun. Second stage seemed a bit repetitive. By the third stage I was thinking "We just did all this, just in some different order. Is this all we're going to be doing?" By the fourth stage I knew the answer was "yep." Well, that's pretty boring.

 

 

But it wasn't really until the gun-buying revelation came about that I realized that SASS just wasn't the place for me. Nothing wrong with SASS, it just isn't the place for me.

 

The thing is, for me, SASS shooting has no application for my "real" (if you'll pardon the expression) shooting. I have never had to empty 5 shots as fast as I can into a squirrel at 15 feet.:P

 

So there it is, for whatever its worth. I'm not saying that SASS needs to change this thing or that thing, I am simply stating why I'm not renewing. I figured it might (or might not) be useful to those trying to increase membership.

 

It has been a while but I wrote an article about diminishing returns, where I shared a story or two of new or potential new shooters: well, losing them over, ( all stages / or whole shoots / regions) were designed around the top local shooters doing each stage in 20 seconds or less.

Many, folks at the time did not really believe what I was trying to articulate.

This shooter did a good job with his clarification.

Before you all get the flame throwers out, I fully understand that SASS can not please everyone, nor should we expect too.

 

I have pretty much quit shooting for the exact same reasons; our local shoots have become just what the fellow spelled out.

I am signed up for our NV state championship Wild Bunch shoot, because they offer more diversification in their stage design, target placements on purpose.

 

This probably happens more than most shooters see or understand.

Here was a person with a desire for a shooting sport / hobby and a budget to play.

 

Here again

Mileage always varies

 

Good luck in your future shooting prospects, but you might want to try a SASS wild bunch match before you move to far down the road.

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Locally one club that I belong to shoots Cowboy Silhouette. I don't shoot it because it does not appeal to me. Google this shooting activity for the rules. Your lever action rifles might work for this activity. Life is too short and our recreation time to limited to shoot something you don't enjoy. Also check out black powder cartridge long range shooting. There's a home for you somewhere in the shooting sports.

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Sir thank you for your honesty, and may life have other adventures in store you. SASS is not for everybody for OT example I tried motocross just didn't do it for me, but I loved the heck out of cross country racing and enduro's so to each is his own.

 

Mad Mike my friend you been around this game a long time and you have seen it change and yes the stages are written fast but not for the reason you mention, if we had stages that averaged 45-50 second and have 100 people at that match, you do the math? Even worse a match like Winter Range with slower stage times instead of three days it would be a week, not everybody is a sub 20 second stage shooter as matter as fact I would say less than a 1/3 of SASS shooters, the satges are fast but still times average a lot slower than 20 seconds.

Mike people come and go and I'm sure you can't point one finger at one major reason why, because people stay and go for many reasons.

 

KK

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FTB - Ride and shoot safe.

 

Game ain't for everyone, better you found it wasn't for you before buying all the guns and gear.

 

People will come and people will go for all sorts of reasons. Individual interests often change over time.

 

For me, I've been in the game 4 or 5 years and am having a ball with it.

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The thing is, for me, SASS shooting has no application for my "real" (if you'll pardon the expression) shooting. I have never had to empty 5 shots as fast as I can into a squirrel at 15 feet.:P

 

Clearly you have never encountered a charging carnivorous Ozarks Mega-Squirrel. :lol:

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Dang Grizz seems like only yesterday ye were startin' out askin' questions and all. Time sure flies when ye are havin' fun don't it?

 

I am still having fun. I shoot just about every Saturday. But FTBob does have a very very valid point. And it is a major problem to me and some others apparently MM amongst them.

 

And that is that all the stages are getting more and more cookie cutter all the time. All the old goofy stuff is gone now as if it had actually been banned.

 

That cookie cutterness is hurting us I do believe.

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I'm a new SASS member, most likely not going to renew. There's been lots of discussion on why people don't join, but I've seen very little on why people leave, so I thought rather than just disappear, I'd explain myself.

 

SASS is not for everybody! But we like it!!!

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Yep, you are absolutely correct sir in everything you say. It is a competitive game that requires certain guns and actions unlike any other and it truly is not for everyone. I started about the same time as Grizz and in fact met him at my first shoot. I can not shot very often for various reasons but have a good time when I can. The most important thing for me, being that it is competitive, is that I have never felt that I was competing with anyone but myself. I have been helped and coached by pards in the same category as I was shooting with out regard that I might beat them. That's what I like about it. I can compete with myself and I do not have to have the best guns or the fastest times.

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Howdy FTB -

 

Sorry you didn't find CAS to your liking. Sounds like you could have saved yourself a lot of time and effort if you had attended a couple of matches before joining (one of the most often-offered pieces of advice you'll see here on the Wire).

 

The old phrase, "Different strokes for different folks" comes to mind.

 

Good luck on your next shooting adventure!

 

Regards, TJH

 

I would have to second that. I do appreciate your cander, time, and effort you put into explaning your reason for leaving and not just blasting SASS for not being your thing, or just disappearing. I have shot all types of shooting skills and left them all for CAS, but that's me. I don't hunt any more, (I hate cleaning the nasty little critters) and like to shoot alot, or as much as I can. I wish you the best of luck and would suggest that if you made any good friends while with SASS you keep in touch, these are some of the finest people I have ever known.

 

Best wishes and God's speed,

Slim

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Down here in se Georgia a lever action in any of the larger pistol calibers makes a good deer rifle for the swamps and thick woods we have here.

 

That being said there is more to SASS than the monthly shoots. When you get more involved there is researching the history of the west and the guns of the west. Some get into black powder including cap and ball revolvers.

 

The great people you meet have already been mentioned.

 

Tired of the class you are shooting? Change classes.

 

Hang out on the Wire.

 

Get involved in your local club and be the person organizing the side matches you like/want.

 

 

Want more challenge? Try gunfighter, duelist or even outlaw.

 

Try making your own leather gear.

 

The more you get involved in SASS the more options open up for you.

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I am a new member as well. I am 66 years old, been there done that and have plenty of tee shirts and ball caps to prove it. I would like to give you my perspective on CAS. Where else can someone my age be with like minded people in a sport that is only as competitive as you want it to be? What other competition shooting allows the old timers to compete with just other old timers in their senior catagory? I have not shot a match yet, my first happens tomorrow morning but I have been to several practice sessions and realized that I was with some of the nicest people I have ever met and being in their company was worth the couple SS checks I had to fork out for the guns and gear. I guess it all depends on what you want out of the sport.I for one was tired of going to an indoor range to shoot at pieces of paper, with no one to share the boring experience with, paid my fee, shot the paper and went home thinking "that was boring and not worth the time or money"

People my age who like guns and shooting and are willing to dress up like a cowboy are considered a couple clicks off by many. Well,I am a couple clicks off I guess but I am in real good company with the CAS people I shoot with.

You might want to give it a little more thought before you bail out on the organization and the sport. To me IT IS ALL ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE, the bang and clang is secondary to that and the competition is third..only my opinion of course. Good luck to you!!!

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Bob.

Sorry things didn't work out for you. As many have said, this game is not for everyone. I would encourage you to hang out on the wire now and then just to keep up on what is going on. Who knows, some day you may want to give it another shot. Good luck in whatever you decide to do and good shooting.

 

Irish Tom.

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Very thoughtful essay, Bob. Thanks for writing it.

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I am sorry this game isn't for you, as others have said, glad you found out sooner than later.

 

When me and Old Top joined after my heart attack, I had been thinking about it for about 12 years, and finally made the move.

 

One thing that helps is one should be interested in the guns and gear of the period.

 

One should also be interested in the period. In getting my gear together, one learns about the history behind the stuff...so there is a lot of side sport.

 

As for side matches, one club I belong to (Silver Queen Mine Regulators) they have a total side match Sunday EVERY month. long guns, short guns, and everything in between..

 

as for the stages being not very interesting, well, you just may have been shooting at the wrong club. did you do ANY of the following:

 

a Lefty sweep, a Liberachie sweep, a progressive sweep followed by a reverse progressive sweep..

 

and of course there is always that stage with TEN shotgun knockdowns...

 

Shooting for bonus points at targets like a credit card on a post about 20 yards off, a popup soda can on a shotgun target.....and then the shooting the hangmans noose to drop the outlaw to safety...

 

and then they get really creative....you ride in an ore cart and shoot at targets on both sides as it moves along. (we have done both an hand pushed and a motorized one..)

 

 

I am not trying to tell you that you are wrong. if you don't get at least what you expected to get, then it is best to move along....and I wish you the best..

 

as bt blade said I came for the shootin and stayed for the friendship. Me and Old Top have been friends since 8th grade, and this has just cememted our friendship, and we got to meet and hang with the likes of BT Blade, LayLow Curly, Jittery Jim, 4Trod, Phil DeGraves, and I could go on for a page or two on these folks that have made our game fun and enriched our lives.

 

But, I hope you find something that will fill your spare time and give you as much enjoyment that we have gotten.

 

good luck to you and be safe.

 

curley cole

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No explanation was necessary!

 

SASS isn't for everyone and I can appreciate that.

 

Your post was thoughtful and none inflamitory.

 

I hope by writing out your thoughts, you have come to peace with yourself and at least you now know where your heart is,,,,,hunting.

 

Good luck.

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Good post Bob. Unlike you I'm just getting started. LIKE you I find no practical application for CAS in the real world, unlike High Power in which I currently compete. But then again, millions of people pay to whack a little dimpled ball over carefully manicured grass (not me) and I find no practical application for that either.

 

I like the fact that women are involved in CAS and this appeals to my wife as well. As such, she's excited to compete and this will be something we can do together. To fund my firearms,I'm getting rid of some "Safe Queens".

 

The competitors I've met so far are very kind and generous.

 

I've noticed many of the competitors do it for sheer enjoyment rather than comptition. This makes CAS a very relaxing endeavor in my opinion.

 

I enjoy handloading and bullet casting both of which come in handy in this sport.

 

I can see where shooting targets 15' away might get a little redundant and I hope there are some matches that require a slightly higher level of precision rather than shooting close, large targets as fast as possible. The only place I've actually shot so far has some stages like this in that you're not just blazing away as fast as possible at relatively large targets. In fact I found it a fairly good balance of requiring speed and a little careful shooting.

 

Good luck in your future shooting ventures and thanks for your honest assessment.

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A well thought out post Fox Tail..I enjoyed the read & your explanation is both interesting & non inflamatory.

Everyone is different in their pursuits of 'sporting happiness'......I had been a clay target shooter for thirty years but never in any of those years did I have a real passion for it....Cowboy changed that !!...can't get enough of it & the fabulous people involved is the icing on the cake.

 

Best of luck...regards 'Painted Mohawk

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Not everyone gets fired up and passionate about the game Bob. There's plenty of shooting sports out there, and CAS just wasn't the one for you. Don't worry about it.

 

It happens, not just in CAS but other sports as well.

Look at the number of golf clubs, bicycles, tennis rackets, kayaks, and other gear that's collecting cobwebs in garages all over the country.

 

If you want something that's a little more action-oriented and will give you an excuse to buy more guns, check out 3-Gun.

Semi-tactical with modern weaponry ... http://3gunnation.com/

They have sanctioned clubs and matches all over. There might be one near you.

 

Good luck in your future endeavors, and thanks for at least giving us a try.

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Bob

 

Sorry to here of your dissapointment, but understand your position.

To be honest, I felt the same at one point in my SASS career. Then I realized that the time I spent not shooting the stage was the best part of my time spent at that particular club match. The stages are nothing more than hunks of steel stuck on a pole to afford something to shoot at.

The people that make up the posse are the main draw to any match, not the stages themselves. The people are are where the fun is. As in any action shooting sport; out of a four to five hour day, we only spend maybe 2% of that time actually shooting. Only seems to make sense to enjoy the other 98% with those around us.

I think you will find this in any action shooting sport you participate in.

Regardless of where you find what floats your boat, I wish you the best. At least you want to shoot!

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Yep, as Gunner stated of BT Blade's trademark (Gunner & BT both two of my very best Pards), you come fer the shootin', and you stay fer the people. The real value to SASS is the many great and long lasting friendships that each of us are blessed with. I'd like to encourage you to reconsider.

 

Your Pard,

Ricochet Roy

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I think FTB raises some good points about the guns. First you need a lot of guns to play which is expensive. Second the calibre typically recommended to newbies is not suitable for hunting.

 

The first point might be addreesed if a working cowboy class was sanctioned. One revolver, one rifle, come play.

 

The second might just need a recommendation as to a calibre best suited for the dual role of CAS and hunting.

 

Might end up with a lot more people giving this game a try?

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Guest Texas Jack Black

Dang Grizz seems like only yesterday ye were startin' out askin' questions and all. Time sure flies when ye are havin' fun don't it?

 

I am still having fun. I shoot just about every Saturday. But FTBob does have a very very valid point. And it is a major problem to me and some others apparently MM amongst them.

 

And that is that all the stages are getting more and more cookie cutter all the time. All the old goofy stuff is gone now as if it had actually been banned.

 

That cookie cutterness is hurting us I do believe.

 

 

I do seem to recall mentioning this very problem years ago. ;)

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I think FTB raises some good points about the guns. First you need a lot of guns to play which is expensive. Second the calibre typically recommended to newbies is not suitable for hunting.

 

The first point might be addreesed if a working cowboy class was sanctioned. One revolver, one rifle, come play.

 

The second might just need a recommendation as to a calibre best suited for the dual role of CAS and hunting.

 

Might end up with a lot more people giving this game a try?

 

 

44mag & 45 Colt & 44-40 are SASS legal calilbers that could be used for hunting (depending on state and game). Heck, a 38/357mag can sometimes be used for hunting. Up to the shooter to decide which caliber to go with for his dual need purpose. Most recommentations are based on the cost of the ammo and giving a heads up that new shooter could save money by going to the smaller caliber.

 

Nothing stopping a person from using one rifle and one pistol & SG. He could reload the pistol for the second string. That would eliminate the need for a twin to the first pistol.

 

I know of a couple clubs that offer a stand alone long range monthly shoot. Both seem to draw about 4-6 shooters, on a fair weather day. Both of these LR shoots draw both Cowboy shooters and strictly LR shooters.

 

To bad the OP doesn't live near a club that does the long range shooting stuff, so he could air out his 30-30 and such like guns.

 

I can relate to the high cost of guns. That is why I don't own all the side match pocket pistols, derringers, slicked up 22 revolver,slicked up 22 lever rifle, Long Range Single Shot Rifle, Lever Action rifle caliber gun , black powder this, smokeless that and so on. Those side matches don't float my boat, just like the regular match guns do not float the OP fancy.

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If hunting is a major concern, think best choice is probably a 44Mag. 92 Win & clones are typically very strong and handle the cartridge pressures well as do marlins. You will give up some speed to the marlins and 66,73.

Think 45 colt would be a second choice, modern cases allow loads from suitable (not 66-73) rifles than be a better game round than your standard loads. 44 or 38-40 have taken a lot of game over the past 140 or so years as well.

 

No question our game is expensive. If ya shoot a whole lot there comes a time where the guns do not seem to cost much at all, compared to the ammunition especially if one does not reload.

 

One gun 5 targets sounds good to me. Even without the class being sanctioned at the national level, local clubs could certainly have their own. Heaven knows we have many local non standard rules for everything else.

When you get right down to it, a cast bullet sitting on top of 8-10 grains of you name the faster end pistol powders coming out of a 30 30 would not hurt our targets and would be within current velocity standards. 5 shots vs 10 for the pistol caliber rifle people due to the reduced magazine capacity. Were we to move rifle targets out to a true rifle shot range I expect a soft point jacketed round would even be safe and not damage the targets, but those that enjoy big close and fast would be up in arms unless only the rifle caliber folks had to engage the farther targets. Any old pump shotgun could also be allowed in the "we aint got the money to buy all the guns but still want to have a good time class". Open empty at all times load 2 round when ready to engage. Just as with a 97, the shooter would have the option to load singly thru the ejection port or closing action and using magazine.

 

I do think with some adaptations we can be more inclusive and still not change the game for the vast majority. We really do need to keep folks coming in. Every time I go to a match I see a whole lot more of folks with my white hair and greybeard than 20 - 30 something year olds or Kids in middle or high school. If we do not bring in young blood eventually the calendar alone will kill SASS. That would be a shame because it is so much fun and the pards and pardettes are a great bunch of folks.

 

And Eusta as slow as I am I get to spend 5% of the time shooting costing me 3% of the camaraderie. I really do need to shoot faster!!

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Dang Grizz seems like only yesterday ye were startin' out askin' questions and all. Time sure flies when ye are havin' fun don't it?

 

I am still having fun. I shoot just about every Saturday. But FTBob does have a very very valid point. And it is a major problem to me and some others apparently MM amongst them.

 

And that is that all the stages are getting more and more cookie cutter all the time. All the old goofy stuff is gone now as if it had actually been banned.

 

The majority of the shooters can not handle cookies with sprinkles and frosting targets/scenerios.

Try being a MD and writing a stage at a major match with the 'good old goofy stuff'. There will be an additional staged make up, called 'Tar and Feathers on a split rail fence, headed out of town at dusk, stage. :blush:

 

That cookie cutterness is hurting us I do believe.

 

Then speed it up, work on gun transitions to put a mental challenge to the game.

 

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Pard, thanks for taking the time to explain your thinking.

 

As I read it, I thought of the old saying in the car biz, "there is a (rear end) for every seat". This one just doesn't fit you. No problem. Hope you find one that does.

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Some join SASS for the shooting.

Some for the entire experience.

It's not for everybody.

Good luck to you.

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Hey since yer quit tin; R U selling yer guns??? LOL

 

 

Too bad this sport is not for you, hope ya had some fun while it lasted.

 

:) Rye

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Hey since yer quit tin; R U selling yer guns??? LOL

 

:) Rye

 

You looking for guns you can't use for CAS?????

 

I got a bowling ball that you can't golf with, make you a good deal.

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You looking for guns you can't use for CAS?????

 

I got a bowling ball that you can't golf with, make you a good deal.

Dat's funny!

 

Have to remember this one.. :lol:

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