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Celt

From a potential new SASS Member

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Ah then my 58 remmies might be legal in all categories if I got conversion cylinders for FC

 

Your 58 Remmies are legal in Frontier Cartridge category using them as cap and ball guns or with blackpowder cartridges in a conversion cylinder. In other words, as long as your shotgun and rifle are stoked with blackpowder cartridges, you have the option of shooting black powder cartridges or percussion revolvers in Frontier Cartridge. The conversion cylinder is not a requirement.

 

True, not many folks use percussion revolvers when competing with cartridge revolvers, but there is no rule against it. Look at the requirements for each category..."Any main match revolver"...and .36 caliber or larger percussion revolvers are defined as "Main Match Revolvers" on page 10 of the Handbook. Adjustable sights are allowed in some categories, but not required in any category. So a fixed sight percussion gun can be used in any category.

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It would seem to me that if cost were the issue and the OP already had a 357 Blackhawk, getting a second used Blackhawk would be cheaper than a pair of cap and ball guns. In all fairness, new shooters should be advised that only about 10% or so of shooters shoot black powder at most shoots.

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It would seem to me that if cost were the issue and the OP already had a 357 Blackhawk, getting a second used Blackhawk would be cheaper than a pair of cap and ball guns. In all fairness, new shooters should be advised that only about 10% or so of shooters shoot black powder at most shoots.

 

 

I agree. My intention was not to start an argument, but simply to point out that the statement, " No one set of pistols is legal in all categories. " is incorrect.

 

I think Celt will be able to figure out what kind of cowboy he is pretty quickly, but should not be handicapped with incorrect information.

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Howdy,

OK I'll bite what set of guns is legal in all catagories?

 

As for using match guns in other sports, Im not sure we are the experts in

other sports.

One thing I do know is that cowboy guns are a lot of fun and folks who

don't like the modern black guns can get reeel interested when checking out

our shooters.

Hunting depends on all sorts of state regs. And maybe county regs too.

Run Run while you can.

Best

CR

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Howdy,

OK I'll bite what set of guns is legal in all catagories?

 

CR

 

Cap 'n' ball guns can be shot in any category. For Classic Cowboy I think they have to be .40 cal. or larger, but I'm not sure!

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Cap 'n' ball guns can be shot in any category. For Classic Cowboy I think they have to be .40 cal. or larger, but I'm not sure!

Bottom of page 15 under Classic Cowboy:
Revolver and rifle calibers: .40 caliber or larger, rimmed cartridges. Examples include, but
are not limited to, .38-40, .44 Special, .44 Russian, .44 Mag., .44-40, .45 Schofield, .45 Colt
or .36 caliber or larger cap and ball.

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"OK I'll bite what set of guns is legal in all categories?"

 

The comments so far have been limited to revolvers. There is no combination of rifle, shotgun, and revolver that is legal in all categories. It's the rifle that trips you up.

 

B-Western requires a rifle designed after 1880, and Classic Cowboy requires a rifle designed in 1873 or earlier.

 

Bummer. :(

 

External hammered side by side doubles or single-shot shotguns are allowed in every category.

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Hi Celt,

 

The model '87 shotgun is legal in all categories too. I love mine; but, without p-p-practice, it is slow for me. I have used a '97 since I started shooting. I'm slow with it too; but not as slow as with the '87. I like that I can use the '97 in Wild Bunch too.

 

I only use the '87 in Plainsman Side Matches or that rare occasion when I shoot Frontier Cartridge.

 

Regards,

 

Allie Mo

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Welcome to the fire Celt;

 

The Wire ain't SASS. I'll leave it at that! The one thing, that ONE thing that sets SASS apart is the people. You won't find a better bunch but rather than extol the virtues of our fine sport, I'd invite you to go to a few matches and see for yourself.

 

You can go as cheap or as large as you want to; start with thrift store clothes, a cart you made from a hand truck and a box and the bare minimum of guns, most places you show up with just one pistol you'll have a few pards crawling over each other to lend you another! If you showed up at one of my matches and just wanted to shoot the one revolver either reloading on the clock or taking the misses, that's ok too.

 

I would steer you away from a MZ shotgun there's doubles out there, Stoeger and imports not to mention a plethora of used ones for 200-300. Like the pistols, show up without one...

 

I don't know about any decline in SASS I just finished shooting Winter Range which is the national champeenchips and we had the largest turnout yet, almost 800 shooters. Add in the side matches and mounted shooters there were almost 1000 shooters on the range not to mention the thousands of guests. Camp Perry, sporting clays, trap they draw even more. IDPA USPSA, benchrest, silhouette and the like are a lot smaller but...they shoot their game, we shoot ours. Who cares who/what's bigger. All I know is SASS ain't going ANYWHERE anytime soon!

I'll start by saying I am not a SASS member, or even a cowboy action shooter. I'm one of those folk who is considering taking it up. I plan to attend the nearest local shoot at the end of this month to check it out. I don't own any SASS type guns - the closest would be a .357 Blackhawk, and a muzzle loader side by side shotgun. So I would be looking at investing in two single action pistols, a leather double rig, a lever action rifle, a shotgun, a gun cart, and all the smaller things that would be needed.

 

Right now, despite all the problems with ammunition and reloading component supply, is a great time for the shooting sports overall. Sporting Clays, IDPA and the other action pistol variants, 3-gun events, the interest in long range rifle shooting, etc. are all growing. It does however create a lot of competition for attracting time and dollars from gun enthusiasts. There are three places to shoot sporting clays and three places to shoot IDPA all within aproximately 30 minutes of me (I live near Wichita, Kansas). There is also one Cowboy Action group. I lay this out to give you an idea of my perspective.

 

I may indeed try cowboy action, it sure seems like it could be fun. The things I'll consider will be the price to get started, the likelihood the sport is stable and growing to justify the expense, the overall value to me of the guns involved (i.e., what would I use them for beyond the sport involved), and how much I just plain like being involved in it. In finding out what I can about SASS cowboy action, here are the concerns I would have:

 

The battery of guns and accessories required is extensive. It is also specialized, so other than SASS events, it's not likely to be used for much in general. Contrast that with, for example, sporting clays (one gun required, that could also be used for skeet and hunting) or IDPA (one gun and can also be a good general carry gun). From what I have been able to glean, SASS shooting may have peaked in popularity. Articles often call it one of the "fastest growing shooting sports", though no actual numbers were given to back that claim. From what I have read now, SASS membership has either stagnated or declined significantly. If I'm wrong about that, please correct me.

 

From just one person's view, it might be worth considering making it easier to enter cowboy action. I'm sure I'm not the first person to suggest adding a new class which would involve a single gun and and holster rig. I like the historical aspect of cowboy action, and it's certainly more realistic in terms of what a 19th century shooter would typically have been using. Some people might enjoy sticking with that, but knowing gun people in general, many would probably add more hardware over time, if they like the experience.

 

I have no vested interest in the controversy SASS seems to be going through with the profit vs. non-profit issue, the degree of member input into SASS and financial transparency, the cost of leasing the "Founder's Ranch" facilities, and dropping mailing a newsletter to the membership. I can tell you that paying dues into an organization for me is about value. I don't mean just direct benefits to me, but also how effective the organization is in promoting it's goals such as growth of the sport, how "customer centered" it is, and how wisely they use the money I send them.

 

My thoughts on cowboy action in general and SASS might not be valued as I'm not active in it yet, but on the other hand, I figured I'd share them anyway, since potential member's views might be helpful in getting more people involved. I'm looking forward to going to the match this month, it should be interesting.

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I'm in about the same boat as Celt. I was always curious about SASS/CAS but the guns and gear cost too much. A couple of years ago, my father gave me an old side by side, external hammer shotgun he had (evidence in the first murder case he ever investigated, back in the 60's, when it was routine to give the guns to the police). While I was in Afghanistan, last year, a friend of ours died and his wife started selling off his gun collection, so my father got his .44 Magnum lever action that he used to take deer hunting and gave it to me as a birthday present when I got back. I was already half way to having the gear, so I used some travel pay from my deployment and bought a couple of Ruger Vaqueros. My wife and I plan to both share the same 2 revolvers to get started. So far, we are lacking leather, but I do leather work as a hobby, so I will probably make us some holsters and belts. The local club is having its first match of the year soon, so we are going to go watch.

 

We shoot IDPA and GSSF matches and I have shot some USPSA 3-gun matches, but I do have a question about the categories/divisions/classification in SASS: In IDPA and USSA and GSSF, the scores are all divided by division and classification - does SASS scoring work that way, so you are classed against others shooting the same guns, same style, etc.? I didn't really see it in the handbook, but I might have skipped over it.

 

For example, I see categories based on the type of fun you shoot, and based on the way you shoot, like duelist, gunfighter, etc. How does that play out in scoring?

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Brenn -

Cowboy matches are scored both overall and by category. EXAMPLE

 

The only major variation is if the match is using Rank Points, or Total Time to determine placements.

 

In short, Rank Points assigns points for each stage, the fastest gets 1 point, second fastest gets two and so on. Shooter with the fewest rank point total for the whole match wins. This is an ongoing point of contention for some as some love rank points, and others hate it.

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Brenn -

Cowboy matches are scored both overall and by category. EXAMPLE

 

The only major variation is if the match is using Rank Points, or Total Time to determine placements.

 

In short, Rank Points assigns points for each stage, the fastest gets 1 point, second fastest gets two and so on. Shooter with the fewest rank point total for the whole match wins. This is an ongoing point of contention for some as some love rank points, and others hate it.

Don't want to hijack the thread or start an argument if some folks hate rank points ;) but that was a good explanation and I wanted to clarify. Seems to me that the rank points are the equivalent of the ESC (equitable score) in golf, the idea being to prevent you ruining your card or hiking your handicap for the sake of one bad hole. So in CAS I might shoot a bunch of stages well, I.e. Low times with no misses, but then have a bear of a stage which hikes my overall time way up. When ranking on time only, I would be harshly penalized for one bad stage, whereas rank points would still give me a chance to be in contention overall. Does that about sum it up? In which case, what is the objection to rank points? Would seem fair to me....

 

(Ducks and runs for cover....)

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Two sides to that coin Bob, I'll not debate it here. :D

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It's fun. The people are the best you'll ever run across. Don't overthink it. ;)

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Don't want to hijack the thread or start an argument if some folks hate rank points ;) but that was a good explanation and I wanted to clarify. Seems to me that the rank points are the equivalent of the ESC (equitable score) in golf, the idea being to prevent you ruining your card or hiking your handicap for the sake of one bad hole. So in CAS I might shoot a bunch of stages well, I.e. Low times with no misses, but then have a bear of a stage which hikes my overall time way up. When ranking on time only, I would be harshly penalized for one bad stage, whereas rank points would still give me a chance to be in contention overall. Does that about sum it up? In which case, what is the objection to rank points? Would seem fair to me....

 

(Ducks and runs for cover....)

HI Bob,

 

To make a long story short, with Rank Point Scoring, one bad stage can send a shooter to "Rank Point He double l."

 

For example, if I remember correctly, at a Ft. Miller annual, Lead Dispenser won (ranked first on) every stage but one. On that stage he got so many rank points that he did not win the match. If Total Time Scoring had been used, he would have won as his time was fastest overall.

 

Folks, feel free to correct my recollection, as I only read about it on the Wire. :o;)

 

Regards,

 

Allie "in the pro Total Time camp" Mo :ph34r:

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It's fun. The people are the best you'll ever run across. Don't overthink it. ;)

 

Utah Bob speaks the truth, take it from one who often overthinks things. :D

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So far, we are lacking leather, but I do leather work as a hobby, so I will probably make us some holsters and belts. The local club is having its first match of the year soon, so we are going to go watch.

 

Since everyone else already commented on the "rank pts vs. time" stuff, I'll focus on this part: Don't wait 'til you make your leather (sounds really cool, BTW), bring whatever you have and go to shoot!!

 

Look up their POC on the website, and give 'em a ring before hand (check it out here). I'd bet dollars to donuts that someone lends you guys leather!

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HI Bob,

 

To make a long story short, with Rank Point Scoring, one bad stage can send a shooter to "Rank Point He double l."

 

For example, if I remember correctly, at a Ft. Miller annual, Lead Dispenser won (ranked first on) every stage but one. On that stage he got so many rank points that he did not win the match. If Total Time Scoring had been used, he would have won as his time was fastest overall.

 

Folks, feel free to correct my recollection, as I only read about it on the Wire. :o;)

 

Regards,

 

Allie "in the pro Total Time camp" Mo :ph34r:

Where's tha like button

 

 

RRR

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howdy pard, and welcome aboard

get to a shoot as fast as ya can

its fun, and loaded with great folks ;)

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Reckon all I can say is...

 

Yer burnin' daylight...

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' just go do it and have fun :)

Yer gonna' meet some mighty nice folks..

Lacey and I have talked many a time about the folks we have met..

all over the Midwest that we never would have known..

 

And now we call 'em good friends.. :)

 

 

Edit: Wow!!! the ol' wire is fast again.. :D

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All I can say is go to at least one match before buying everything. You will meet some great people and they will loan you what you need when your ready to shoot and also give plenty of information on the sport.

If you have more than one club in your area I would suggest going to more than one. The reason I say this is because the folks at the first one I attended were not as friendly as the second club. I did find out later the first club was having trouble at the place they were shooting so that may have been the reason. They were a bit friendlier after they moved to a different place.

But either way the folks will help you get started with a smile.

I may never be able to travel to any of the main matches and meet a lot of the people, but I will shoot locally as long as I can.

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Celt,

 

I'm in SASS for a little over a year, with no regrets on initial cost outlay. It's one great shooting sport. Jump in both feet, and don't look back.

 

Regards

CBO

Right on Bucky!!! While we all welcome you Celt, you seem to have many questions about this sport. I had NO QUESTIONS at all when I started. I jumped in and bought guns that I wound up selling over the years and getting new ones, different calibers, etc. No offense but you don't seem as excited as I was (and many others I know) when I started. Nothing was gonna stop me from playing cowboy! It's been a great hobby and I've met the most wonderful people in my life. Just buy what you can afford and come out and have some fun!!! ;) Rye

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Rye,

 

Some people jump in with both feet, some look before they leap. I tend to be one of the latter type - or try to be, sometimes I let my enthusiasm get me into impulsive decisions. Seems like the responses here reflect these two approaches - your jump in and buy guns - and others saying don't buy anything till after going to a couple shoots.

 

Speaking of my having lots of questions, I do have another one for you guys and gals!

 

It's in regard to calibers and cartridges. Most people appear to prefer .38 special for cowboy action shooting in both revolver and rifle, citing the lower recoil to shoot faster times, as well as the lower cost of ammunition or reloading. I do reload for anything I shoot, by the way. Others go .44 special, .45 colt, .44-40, etc. My first impulse is to like .45 colt - more for nostalgia than practical reasons, which may not be wise.

 

I note that many folk shoot guns that are actually chambered .357 with .38 special loads, and for .44 special, guns chambered in .44 magnum. My question is what people advise as being better - using .38 special brass in .357's, and .44 special brass in .44 magnums, or using light .38 special or .44 special equivalent hand loads in magnum brass. The issues seem to be carbon ring build up when using non-magnum brass, and possibly some chamber scarring for the rifles, as well as feeding reliability with shorter brass in magnum chambered rifles.

 

And what powders might be best for small charges in magnum brass. I know Trail Boss might be useful, but it seems like it is pretty hard to find around here.

 

Thanks in advance for the help.

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I started with 44s using magnum brass since I have a bunch of it. After a year I switched to 38s for the cost savings and bought 38 brass which is much cheaper than 357 brass if you buy once fired. I use titegroup for both.

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Welcome Celt. The cost to get started is high, and in a relative manner of speaking, has been since I started in 1985... But then, it is high for just about any leisure time endeavor, be it fishing, hunting, golf, sailing, water-skiing, snow-skiing, drag racing or any other sport you can mention. Try taking up swimming... where your local land-locked community doesn't have a pool. You'd probably puke if I told you how much I have invested in my horseshoe pit. But gosh-darned it, as the summer evenings begin too cool, a big glass of iced-tea and a game of horseshoes, remenberin' all the times my dad schooled me on the finer points is worth it!

 

As for your ammo query, most often its more a matter of what their particular rifle digests best. Same with bullet selection.

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I have guns chambered for 357 magnum and 44 Mag. I shoot 38's in the 357s because once-fired brass is so much cheaper than 357s. One Marlin rifle only digests 357 so that is what it gets. I mostly shoot 44 mags in the 44 mag firearms since once-fired 44 mag brass was easier to purchase than 44 Specials when I was stocking up. Unless you want to shoot Classic Cowboy or a black powder category I'd stick with 38 Specials for the reasons you mentioned.

 

Powder? Lots of fast and medium burning pistol and shotgun powders get burned in this sport. The supply situation is horrible right now. Check powder distributors online loading guides for cowboy loads or target loads using lead bullets. These powders will work for you. Shop and if you find any one of these powders, buy it! Marauder usually posts a good list of appropriate powders.

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Your desire to know everything before you show up for your first match reminds me of someone I know very well. That someone would be me. Ultimately there is way too much to put into written words and while you can learn much here, it is nothing compared to what you will learn from being at a match, seeing what is going on, and handling various guns. Only then will you know what you like. Until then, every answer will only bring another question and what you're going to get is a ton of opinions on what the "best" guns, calibers, categories, etc. are.

 

The fact is this game gives wide leeway to play it in many different ways. For some the most important thing (outside the social aspect which is huge beyond description) is how fast they are while others are caught up in shooting black powder, shooting clean (no misses), shooting potent loads or costuming may be their thing. For most, it is a combination of many things.

 

A bit over nine years ago, I started out shooting two handed, but changed quickly to gunfighter; started out with plow handle Ruger Vaqueros, then Ruger Single Sixes, then Ruger Bisley Vaqueros, then back to the plow handle Vaqueros. If someone asked me today what pistols to use, I'll say Rugers. Does that they're for everyone? Nope. Started with a Marlin 1894 and now am on my third 1873. I like 73's, but in the right hands a Marlin is deadly. Started with an 1897, then double barrel, now back to an 1897. Which is better, a 97 or a double? It depends. :) I've shot .38's from the beginning, smokeless, but love to dabble in black powder from time to time. If I was shooting big bore, I'd be 44-40 all the way. So, what's the best caliber? The caliber you choose.

 

Beyond getting to a match or two or three, the best advice I can give you is buy once, cry once...but reading what you've written, I'd bet you'll do just that. Make informed decisions (How's that for preaching to the choir? :))after you've handled guns. The bad news is no matter how much you study on what you should do, the best it will do is shorten the learning curve. FWIW, I've never lost a dollar on a gun (and I've owned a bunch) and consider the ones I own an investment.

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That's not possible.

 

FC

Whats not possible- my # or the GUESS ON THE YEAR?

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Great advice from everyone - even though it conflicts - which is usually a good thing, helps to see different experiences, perspectives, and reasons for folk's choices. Buck, kindred spirits sounds like, lol.

 

I will be getting to some shoots, as soon as I'm able - hopefully at the end of the month. I'm healing, albeit a bit more slowly than I'd like from three recent abdominal surgeries. So getting to a cowboy shoot gives me incentive and something to look forward to. In the mean time I'm boning up on things to the extent possible.

 

I've always had an interest in history, and living in Kansas, which has the old Sante Fe Trail going through it has made me think about something connected to that for a persona. I've been to Council Grove, Kansas which sits in the Flint Hills along the Neosho river. Lots of history there - getting it's name from being the oak grove where councils were held by indians, and the 1825 treaty with the Kaw and Osage allowing "safe passage" by Mexicans and Americans was negotiated there. Not that the 900 mile journey was safe as a result, but it helped some.

 

By 1860, Seth Hays recorded 5,405 Mexican and American traders, 1,532 wagons and 17,282 mules and horses passing through Council Grove. Hays was the first settler, starting a trading post there in 1847 - it was the last stop until you reached New Mexico. The old boy - a great-grandson of Daniel Boone - did well enough to build the 'Hays House' hotel and restaurant in 1848, and "The Last Chance Store" was built the same year, though it did not offically become a town until ten years later.

 

If anyone gets there, the "Hays House" still operates in the original building as a restaurant, and has excellent food, getting four stars from Trip Advisor and a certificate of excellence in 2013.

Here is a link if you want a good meal and real history at the same time: http://www.hayshouse.com/. It's the oldest continously operating restaurant West of the Mississippi.

 

Got a little off track there, but the point was a character who went along the trail and back - and whose clothing would reflect the mingled old mexico influence of the Vaqueros and the southwest tribes might be fun.

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If in Kansas. Check out Prince of the Pistoleers match just outside

KCK in mid June.

One of the best matches in that whole area.

Will be headed up there from Texas myself. Hope to see you there.

 

http://www.powdercreekcowboys.com/home.html

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Added the link to my bookmarks, thanks, Al.

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To make a long story short, with Rank Point Scoring, one bad stage can send a shooter to "Rank Point He double l."

Oh Miss Allie, please let's not go into the "RP" thing! :lol::wub:

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Deadwood Slim, Honey! He asked and I was the only person "man enough to answer" truthfully... :o;):lol::ph34r:

 

Dear Celt, although we may have strong feelings about Rank versus Total Time Scoring, most of us will not let that stop us from shooting a well-presented match with good people in attendance. At least, it won't stop me.

 

Regards,

 

Allie Mo

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Dear Allie,

 

I figure if a preference between Rank versus Total Time Scoring had gotten serious, I'd have seen something about some Cowboy Action folk deciding to have a real life showdown at the OK corral, and started blasting away! Short of that, it's just people lobbying for what they like :)

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The SASS Rule Book is kind of like religion. There is only one Bible, but there are a gazillion different denominations. All of them think they are right, and will vigorously defend their position. Just like the Bible, the rule book means different things to different people, and those people will vigorously defend their position. Especially here on the Wire. Nothing wrong with that, as long as they stay civil. Me, I think there only needs to be two rules for SASS. 1. Don't shoot nobody, and 2. Have fun.

 

Don't let the RP and TT scoring worry you none. At least it doesn't worry me. I go to have fun, and fun I have. Regardless of the scoring method I always manage to end up in the top 90% or so. The one End of Trail I went to I placed in the top 98%. If it came down to a vote, then I'd vote for total time, but either way I'm visiting with fine folks,shooting my favorite guns, and I'm having fun.

 

When I decided to get into this game I already had a '60 Colt and a 16 gauge SXS, so I only had to get two guns. I bought a '92 in .44-40 and a SAA clone in .44-40. 14 years later I'm still using the '60, the 16 gauge, and the '92. I've added a '60 Henry rifle, an '87 shotgun, and several more cap and ball revolvers. When I go to Pursuit I'm gonna shoot a Nagant revolver that I got in a lawn mower swap. I figgered out a way to reload the Nagant cartridges with BP and a round ball. Will I be competitive, no. But I'll most likely be the only one there with a Nagant, and I'll be having fun.

 

And I'm going to light up the sky at the night shoot!

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