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SASS shooters get no respect


Dang It Dan 13202

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I won't bother you with the details, but once again over the weekend I heard from a shooter from another discipline that "SASS shooters aren't really shooters". I said "do tell". He went on to say that SASS shooters shoot under-powered loads at over-sized targets at dangerously close distances. I said, "so what?" with a stupid grin on my face so the conversation stopped there. BUT....he was right.

 

What he said got me thinking. His perception is fairly representative of what the other shooting disciplines think of us but, should I care what they think, or should "we" care? It's an interesting question but if we were to give it any credence we would have to ask ourselves how we got to this point, and by that I mean, the point of shooting under-powered loads, over-sized targets, close distances. I think the answer to that is that it's more fun to shoot at big targets than small targets and five yards is better than ten yards - but at what cost?

 

The only real difference between when I started in 1998 and now is the distance to the target and the size of the targets. I was on the original Last Stand Committee during that period of time and we were one of the first matches to advertise "big and close", which meant pistol targets at 7 yards and rifle from 10 to 15 yards. Most of our targets were 16" X 16" in size (we did have a novelty target which was 3' X 3' on one stage). Stage times for a really good shooter was in the low 20's. Almost no one shot in the teens. In comparison it's pretty common to see a 13 second stage at a big match now-a-days.

 

What I am suggesting is that we may have gone too far in search of "fun" and forsaken accuracy and consistency. How can we, as shooters, really ever expect other shooters to look at our Champions as who they really are when the targets five yards out and the size of a car door?

 

Now, before you start cutting me to small bite-sized pieces, I love a good "turn and burn" stage as much as the next guy. And, I have a great deal of respect of those at the top of our sport because I know first hand how hard it is to get there but I think it may be time to establish some variety in our game and actually require folks to AIM occasionally.

 

Let the games begin.

 

Respectfully,

 

Dang It Dan

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I always say

So What

Then ask them. How many shooters you got at your matches?

 

Then tell them.

 

We have around 250 at our State Championship. Have to turn down shooter at our Regional after 400 and it always

fills up. 750 at our National Championship.

Can't count how many matches have over 150 that are within driving distance.

 

So. Please tell me again how many you had at your last match?? As we much be doing something right.

 

 

That normally shuts them up.

 

 

I have told one person that I would put up one of our 14 year old kids up again him any day.

And he could put the target where ever he wanted.

After he watched a video of him. He really did shut up.

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I won't bother you with the details, but once again over the weekend I heard from a shooter from another discipline that "SASS shooters aren't really shooters". I said "do tell". He went on to say that SASS shooters shoot under-powered loads at over-sized targets at dangerously close distances. I said, "so what?" with a stupid grin on my face so the conversation stopped there. BUT....he was right.

 

What he said got me thinking. His perception is fairly representative of what the other shooting disciplines think of us but, should I care what they think, or should "we" care? It's an interesting question but if we were to give it any credence we would have to ask ourselves how we got to this point, and by that I mean, the point of shooting under-powered loads, over-sized targets, close distances. I think the answer to that is that it's more fun to shoot at big targets than small targets and five yards is better than ten yards - but at what cost?

 

The only real difference between when I started in 1998 and now is the distance to the target and the size of the targets. I was on the original Last Stand Committee during that period of time and we were one of the first matches to advertise "big and close", which meant pistol targets at 7 yards and rifle from 10 to 15 yards. Most of our targets were 16" X 16" in size (we did have a novelty target which was 3' X 3' on one stage). Stage times for a really good shooter was in the low 20's. Almost no one shot in the teens. In comparison it's pretty common to see a 13 second stage at a big match now-a-days.

 

What I am suggesting is that we may have gone too far in search of "fun" and forsaken accuracy and consistency. How can we, as shooters, really ever expect other shooters to look at our Champions as who they really are when the targets five yards out and the size of a car door?

 

Now, before you start cutting me to small bite-sized pieces, I love a good "turn and burn" stage as much as the next guy. And, I have a great deal of respect of those at the top of our sport because I know first hand how hard it is to get there but I think it may be time to establish some variety in our game and actually require folks to AIM occasionally.

 

Let the games begin.

 

Respectfully,

 

Dang It Dan

 

Interesting viewpoint on the part of the other shooter.

I suspect that he was unknowledgeable about CAS.

Around these parts there are CAS, IDPA, a little 3 gun, Zoot shooting and the occasional police match.

There are a few in IDPA (who are exceptional shooters) who do not shoot CAS.

However for the most part those who shoot CAS transfer their skills from Cowboy into the winners circle of the other disciplines

but have yet to see it go the other way.

In fact there is a local charity match for the police chaplain that has participants from ICE, local police of several departments,

IDPA and 3 gun teams who have yet to beat the cowboys when they show up :)

Nothing like seeing a couple teams of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement shaking their heads at the scores after they vociferously

proclaim how Cowboy shooters aren't really shooters!

 

Regards

 

:FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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I have told one person that I would put up one of our 14 year old kids up again him any day.

And he could put the target where ever he wanted.

After he watched a video of him. He really did shut up.

 

Yes, that's nice - I am not talking about attendance, I am talking about respect. Give the 14 year old a 1911 and let them run plate racks at 11 yards on 6" plates. I am not saying that he can't do it, I am saying that it's much more difficult, which in turn, gain the adoration of other shooters who aren't playing SASS.

 

BTW, our local IDPA match will pull in about 90 shooters a month.

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My first response would be.....who cares. Our sport is not made or broken on what some other shooting sports think of us. When it wasn't our loads and targets it was our goofy clothes and the silly games we played. I have little respect for someone with a $4000 dollar race gun with a comp and red dot telling me we are not real shooters. That being said the largest change since I've been playing (12 years, and I've played lots and traveled miles upon miles) has been target size and distance. We are now seeing non support hand categories in the top of the heap and I think that is due to target size and distance changing. But ask any match director what they hear the most about and what gets written on comment cards the most besides the lack of port o johns is targets size and distance. I am starting to see some diminishing returns when it comes to big and close. Never thought I'd say that, but I also thought I'd never see targets inside of three yards either. But in the end when it comes to SASS and CAS I'm all in. I'll shoot whatever because I love the people, then the sport. I also find it interesting that this thread has been started by a guy who served on a state match committee that literally invented big and close. I'd never seen a life sized horse target until I went to Last Stand. I don't think one mind set is more right than the other.

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My first response would be.....who cares. That was my point....should we care? I know I didn't up 'till the last couple of years.

 

Our sport is not made or broken on what some other shooting sports think of us. When it wasn't our loads and targets it was our goofy clothes and the silly games we played. I have little respect for someone with a $4000 dollar race gun with a comp and red dot telling me we are not real shooters. Yup, but those guys have factory sponsors and they are the bench mark for every other action shooting sport.

 

That being said the largest change since I've been playing (12 years, and I've played lots and traveled miles upon miles) has been target size and distance. We are now seeing non support hand categories in the top of the heap and I think that is due to target size and distance changing. But ask any match director what they hear the most about and what gets written on comment cards the most besides the lack of port o johns is targets size and distance. I am starting to see some diminishing returns when it comes to big and close. Never thought I'd say that, but I also thought I'd never see targets inside of three yards either. But in the end when it comes to SASS and CAS I'm all in. I'll shoot whatever because I love the people, then the sport. I also find it interesting that this thread has been started by a guy who served on a state match committee that literally invented big and close. I'd never seen a life sized horse target until I went to Last Stand. I don't think one mind set is more right than the other. You have to understand that at the time a 16" X 16" target was huge!

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Do other pistol shooting disciplines give match directors discretion in target distance and size? I wonder if any do, have they seen a similar evolution in their game.

This is the only shooting discipline in which I've ever participated.

 

"Other" shooting sports have official targets that must be used and official steel shapes (and size) that must be used. The arrangement, distance, cover, no-shoots and props are up to the stage designer and MD and must be submitted for approval for State matches and above. It's common to see an 8" plate at 20 yards.

 

AND, while I am at it, the majority of folks who shoot USPSA (IPSC) are not using red dot sights and comps anymore. Most of them are using Production guns, because they are cheaper to build and feed, AND that's where the sponsors put their money.

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I used to shoot IPSC, DPSC, and modern three gun and they can all go whine in a corner and "sass" us all they want. There's a reason I left those all behind and now shoot solely cowboy. Every shooting sport is only limited by their creativity for scenarios and SASS is the most inventive. All the others are "lean out from behind cover. don't shoot the black part of the target. Move 4 feet and lean out from the other side of a different piece of cover". I say "whoop-de-crap" I believe we have more skill due to our guns and different categories. Everyone in any shooting sport is looking for that edge over the competition. We are able to scale down our loads because we do not rely on a feeding mechanism other than our thumbs so we don't have to worry about having enough power to work a slide (unless it's WB). Let them say that we aren't a real shooting sport. I for one don't care and will take SASS over the other competitions any day.

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I always reply with, "yeah, but have you tried it?" I see new shooters, that may be well versed in other shooting sports come out with the intention, "...I'll show these guys how to REALLY shoot." And get their kiester handed to them on the very first stage... then again on the second... only to be repeated on the 3rd, 4th and 5th. I've yet to see one of these guys... perform up to their expectations.

 

And yet, I've seen a fairly "middle of the pack" SASS shooter go to... say, a 3-gun match and perform very admirably. I, myself, who is woefully slow, have shot in the top of games like speed plates, pins and such... But, even those I shot with my SA Colt! The speed plates guys really got mad when I won a stage... But, back then I wasn't quite so slow at SASS either, especially since I was shooting those games just for my SASS practice.

 

I've also seen some persons that used to shoot SASS, who having very limited success, getting beat at almost every turn... turn quite virulent in their criticism. Other folks that have no direct exposure to SASS take up this opinion, and parrot it.

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What I have learned in life is that whatever person A is doing , he /she thinks thats the way all people should do it . It does not matter if its Ford versus Chevy , Bow hunting versus Gun hunting etc. etc. etc. . We all choose our hobbys for fun . The last thing in this world I'm going to worry about is what respect I'm earning shooting any sport or any other hobby I take on . We all have the option and lots of us do shoot other disciplines . But not for respect , for fun . By the way Dan I have a ton of respect for you and so many others in this sport that has worked hard to make it look so easy .

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I take offense to the comment that we shoot "light loads". I shoot .44-40 with as much black as I can git in the case! I'd like to see some of the "other" shooters from different venues compete with Pale Rider loads! :ph34r: One guy told me "I love the hardware but I don't like the Halloween costumes". I said, "Then don't come out and have fun" :P

 

CAS rules!

 

Rye

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I agree with Duece...whatever cowboy action shooting is, I'm all in.

 

That said, we've worked pretty hard to present SASS in the best possible light. Our "Duels in the Sun" have been great for both SASS and the other sports (thank you FJT & Misty Moonshine!).

 

I think Wild Bunch shooting added a much-needed greater marksmanship challenge for us all.

 

I'm at the airport on the way to a 3-Gun match, but I am always at heart a cowboy shooter. I'll go where the sport goes...

 

Wolf Bane

SASS13557

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There is an annual Cops and Cowboys charity match put on by the Thurmont Rangers every year. An FBI swat team participated last year, cowboys took the top 4 spots. I don't think the swat team had anything negative to say about CAS. :-)

 

I think Al's comments about the number of shooters is spot on.

 

I have never shot competitively in anything but SASS, but everyone I ever talk to that has, says,hands down, that cowboy shooters are the nicest you will ever meet. My experience reflects that. The Cowboy way is to help everyone get better, apparently that is not the approach in other disciplines. I'm glad there is no $ to win in SASS because it would ruin everything.

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Should we be offended?

 

Jeezus, don't we already have too many people that are offended by way too many things? Criminy, we got enough "offending" to go around in the US already.

 

Be happy you're talking to another shooter and just shrug it off. See what he really enjoys about his shooting choice. Then tell him what's fun about your choice.

 

No foolin' Everything that goes BANG is fun. No need to spend time trying to find fault with any of it. Spend your time celebrating the good, the good in his kind of shooting and the good in yours. Why would you want to waste time talking about things he doesn't like?

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Yes, that's nice - I am not talking about attendance, I am talking about respect. Give the 14 year old a 1911 and let them run plate racks at 11 yards on 6" plates. I am not saying that he can't do it, I am saying that it's much more difficult, which in turn, gain the adoration of other shooters who aren't playing SASS.

 

BTW, our local IDPA match will pull in about 90 shooters a month.

 

 

Be glad to give that kid a 1911. I hear he is PRETTY darn good with one.

IDPA clubs around here. Which is few and far between. Are lucky to pull 20 when I went to them.

 

But to me attendance has to have something to do with it.

As just how many wives they got going? How many kids? Around here. Not many.

 

Who is introducing more shooters to the shooting sports??

So it HAS to have something to do with it.

 

And besides that. I never really care what others think. Never have. Never will.

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I agree with Duece...whatever cowboy action shooting is, I'm all in.

 

That said, we've worked pretty hard to present SASS in the best possible light. Our "Duels in the Sun" have been great for both SASS and the other sports (thank you FJT & Misty Moonshine!).

 

I think Wild Bunch shooting added a much-needed greater marksmanship challenge for us all.

 

I'm at the airport on the way to a 3-Gun match, but I am always at heart a cowboy shooter. I'll go where the sport goes...

 

Wolf Bane

SASS13557

 

Wolf Bane, long time....

 

And I for one, greatly appreciated the "Duels in the Sun" matches that were aired and would have thought this alone would have given us enough "street cred" to quiet the nay-sayers, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case.

 

Again, it would be easy enough to just say "who cares" and move on, but I do wonder if we are not just becoming a group of "gun manipulators" and not real shooters.

 

In the world of Speed, Power and Accuracy, SASS is a one-legged stool.

 

Have fun out there. Hope to see you again.

 

Dang It

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once you shoot KOK show any naysayers that bit of action, ok, we don't shoot at 10+ yards for pistols, but full cases loads and an occasional 20 second or less stage.

 

to me it's apples and oranges, I don't much care what they think, but then I don't hang around any black gun shooters...

 

pbcc

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They can look down on cowboy shooter and cowboy guns all they want.

 

Kind of like when the Swat team came to the Bar 3 to practice. They set there course of fire. Was running it.

When the Capt ask Nuttin to go get his Cowboy guns and run it. I am sure the Swat team was thinking Ya OK So what.

Nuttin ran it with his Cowboy guns faster and clean. Which most of them was not.

As they stand there with there jaws dropped.

The Capt tells them.

See. This is what COULD be waiting for you on the other side of a door.

 

Don't under estimate just what Cowboy shooters can do.

 

I watched you FL boys in the shoot off at EOT last year.

Think you boys can hold your own with IDPA shooter pretty well.

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Shooting wax bullets at the "convention" does not help our cause. I was asked how to load wax bullets by someone at the gunshop. Told them we use real ammo not wax bullets, they replied that they had read about a wax bullet competition in Las Vegas.

 

Assassin

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Lets change the mindset a little bit.

If we were in the food business, we would know that the fancy French restaurant is always going to get the write up in the glossy magazine.

The Sushi chef is going to get the acclaim for his creativity and presentation.

 

But we're not French and we don't serve sushi.

We run a steakhouse.

I don't have to become a connoisseur or develop my palette . I don't have to learn to appreciate the offering.

What we offer is enjoyable. For everyone.

At the end of the day - I think we provide the best meals in the area.

 

And if I honestly believe that (and I do) - then why should I care about the opinion of the folks that aren't as good as we are?

 

SASS casts a much larger net than ANY other discipline.

We encourage, advocate and cater to ANYONE that wants to play our game.

NO other discipline can say that (and I have shot most of them).

 

Just like I am not impressed by the French chef looking down his nose at me because (in his opinion) I lack the refinement to appreciate his cooking.

I am not impressed by any shooting discipline looking down their nose at CAS because (in their opinion) we lack challenge.

 

Their opinion just doesn't matter.

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When I first started, 9 years ago, I had a former bullseye shooter tell me pretty much the same thing. I really didn't care what he said about it, but I do remember it. He had never been to a match or even seen a cowboy range. Our targets at that time were not anything like the big and close targets we shoot now. In fact, we had many 6-8" targets that would get set at 15-20 yds for rifle and some 16" circles that hung at 70 yds. While we did have some larger targets that got set at moderate distances, the majority were MUCH more difficult than what we shoot today. While I do think we are getting a bit ridiculous on size and distance at some matches, I much prefer the game as is to what it was when I started.

 

As far as our loads go, I think we have gone slightly heavier than what we used to see as folks have realized some recoil will speed you up. .Besides, we have no need to shoot heavy loads in our sport. They only damage our targets and our hearing.

 

If we were shooting bottles off of fence posts at 50 yds with our eyes closed would they be impressed? Probably no more than they are now. If we were blowing holes through our targets with every shot wouId they be awed? Probably not. Frankly, I can't see any compelling reason to care what anyone who isn't a cowboy shooter thinks. To paraphrase Monte Walsh, "They can't know how little I care."

 

FWIW, All the folks I work around, that see videos of myself or other cowboy shooters, are always impressed.

 

Possum

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Guess it depends where you are for what's big in shooting right now. Cowboy was the first shooting sport I ever tried and fell in love with it, started back when as Dan said 16x16 at 7 yards was big and close. Since I have tried both IDPA and USPSA really enjoyed them both and found all the people to be very friendly and helpful the local IDPA club will pull between 70 and 120 shooters in the summer. With quite a few women and kids. A big cowboy match around here is 40.

Cowboy will always be my first love but I do miss the variety we used to see.

BT

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Yes, our targets are big and close. At a recent monthly in Ohio, I watched one of our top shooters go to the line first with clean targets. His pistol groupings were on center and all in a 3" circle....same with rifle.

 

At a match everyone shoots at what is there, but many practice on small distant targets. Case in point is check out what Lassiter trains on....or Black Tom....small and distant as I recall. Would be nice to see a challenge of some sort with some of the other disciplines.

 

I am with Duece and CC when they say "Who Cares".... I have shot competitively for over 50 years to include military and police and I've never had more fun than CAS....and while I'll never be at the top with Dan or Duece I still like to shoot and compete....but it remains the people that keep me coming back....

 

KK

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Shoot "Pale Rider" with .44wcf. Not wimp loads! Shoot it duelist, double duelist or better yet Gunfighter !

We have not gone as close or big up here in Ontario as many in the states have as well.

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Just another thought.

 

We dress up in funny outfits.

Build make believe old towns.

Have goofy props at times.

Say funny lines.

 

SO.

Are they really going to take our shooting serious?

 

Think they look at that BEFORE they ever look at the shooting. And have already made up there mind.

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Was at the range today. Literally no one there but me and my new-to-me Marlin rifle for an hour. As I'm putting up new targets on the 25 yard range, another shooter shows up with his 9mm auto. Takes a look at my rifle and says "wow, that's a cool rifle." I tell him it's for cowboy action shooting. He made some remark about cas being easy compared to his modern 3 gun sport, which I politely ignored. He seemed to be interested in the gun, so I asked if he wanted to shoot a few rounds. He was, even after he saw it was "huge 45lc ammo" and expressing concern over the recoil. After 6 rounds (all I had put in the gun), and him using the table to steady the rifle, he says he was impressed with the gun, but he found it difficult to aim, and impossible to shoot fast, compared to his AR15. He missed every shot on a 12" target. He had a new appreciation for cowboys afterward.

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"What I am suggesting is that we may have gone too far in search of "fun" and forsaken accuracy and consistency."

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Dang It Dan

 

I think what Dan is saying is maybe many of our shooters are exposed to the game without learning how to make more challenging shots with the guns of our game.

 

I have had some experienced and competent cowboy shooters tell me that they had never had to hit small targets and simply didn't know what to do when faced with small knockdowns, flying clays, etc.

 

We don't need to remove the "big and close" fun but we may need to add in some more challenging targets to help our shooters learn a higher skill level.

 

I can assure anyone that our top shooters can blister a stage with 6" targets nearly as fast and accurately as they can on 24" plates. But, wouldn't all of our shooters benefit from a taste of small targets occasionally mixed in to the game?

 

Every now and then you have to be able to shoot the head off of a snake!

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I dont really care for a whole match to be a manipulation match, I dont really care for huge targets at 3.5yds,But also i dont really care what some folks might think until they try it,

 

That is why you need to stowaway with the Stan, Dan, and Glen show on their trip north to Range War. Deuce puts on a match that is fun yet challenging.

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It has already been determined that SASS/CAS is for Entertainment. And I don't care how big or how close those targets might be, it is trully entertaining to watch folks like Deuce, Dang it Dan, Santa Fe River Stan, Black Tom.....and young guns like Missouri Lefty, Two Gun Tuco, Campo Kid, Sage Chick and Vaquero Jake.

 

There's alot of things in this world that I don't care about.....and what 'they' think is one of them.

 

 

..........NimbleSOB

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Criticizing another person's sport, not helpful criticism but criticism mean to degrade the sport, is rude. Bad manners.

 

We should not criticize trapshooters for using adjustable stocks. We should not criticize the bottom feeding pistol competitors for using specialized holsters and optical sights, etc. Fly fishermen should not criticize those who use bait.

 

Those who are concerned about the comments of rude, bad mannered people have not yet realized that it is futile to try to please everyone.

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What I have learned in life is that whatever person A is doing , he /she thinks thats the way all people should do it . It does not matter if its Ford versus Chevy , Bow hunting versus Gun hunting etc. etc. etc. . We all choose our hobbys for fun . The last thing in this world I'm going to worry about is what respect I'm earning shooting any sport or any other hobby I take on . We all have the option and lots of us do shoot other disciplines . But not for respect , for fun . By the way Dan I have a ton of respect for you and so many others in this sport that has worked hard to make it look so easy .

 

I'm more in this camp than any... very respectful way of sayin'... who cares..

I've only shot CAS and hunting..

Folks will tell me about their shooting sport..

I listen.. respectfully.. and ask questions... respectfully..

They ask me if I want to try it.. I say... Nope...

Havin' all the fun I can stand (and afford) doin' what I'm doin'...

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' I probably shouldn't have put the words "who cares" in there.. but...

I don't really care... :blush:

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