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Bart Solo

What Is SASS Doing To Promote Our Game Among The Over 55 crowd?

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Well, first of all, I'm not a registered SASS member. I've never even attended a match. I've been lurking on this site, and particularly, the forums, for some time now. I registered to give an outsider's opinion on this particular topic.

 

I found out about Cowboy Action Shooting a little over two years ago and I've been itching to get into it since. I found out on my own when searching for a cowboy Halloween costume. I stumbled upon Wild West Mercantile or Texas Jack's or some similar site which happened to lead me to sassnet. I was intrigued and knew it was going to be for me. This is coming from someone who has only went out shooting a handful of times in his life.

 

I want to dress and play cowboy. I was raised on western movies and it is still my favorite genre. It looks like it could be so much fun, and after reading posts by those who do it, it is. I've already picked out what guns I would like to shoot, what clothes I want to wear, and what leather I want to hold my iron. The only hitch is finding a pair of boots since I wear a size 15 lol.

 

Now, why haven't I started yet? Well, I'm a 32-year-old single father with a mortgage, a car payment, child support I have to pay for my son who I have 80% of the time, etc. Right now the cost to buy onto this sport is prohibitive for me. Sure, I could muster up for the bare minimum in costume requirements but the actual hardware is expensive. I can't afford one pistol right now, yet alone two and a rifle and a shotgun. And, of course, there's the price of ammo. I reckon that's why the majority of shooters are retired and a bit older. And the younger shooters are generally their family members.

 

Then again, I can't be the only person who wants to be a part of CAS but simply can't afford it. There has to be more out there like me, but unfortunately I don't know how to market to them. Like I said, I'm an inexperienced shooter who discovered the sport on my own. By accident, no less. O don't read gun magazines, I don't watch hunting and fishing shows, etc. So, not much help with that one, I'm afraid.

 

Also, one of the big reasons I wanted to post was because the issue of costuming came up. The fact is the outfits are just as appealing as the guns for me. I'd feel awfully disappointed if I showed up to a match and everyone was sporting jeans.

 

Anyway, I hope to see some of you on the range by next summer and then I'll be an hombre WITH a nombre.

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Well, first of all, I'm not a registered SASS member. I've never even attended a match. I've been lurking on this site, and particularly, the forums, for some time now. I registered to give an outsider's opinion on this particular topic.

 

I found out about Cowboy Action Shooting a little over two years ago and I've been itching to get into it since. I found out on my own when searching for a cowboy Halloween costume. I stumbled upon Wild West Mercantile or Texas Jack's or some similar site which happened to lead me to sassnet. I was intrigued and knew it was going to be for me. This is coming from someone who has only went out shooting a handful of times in his life.

 

I want to dress and play cowboy. I was raised on western movies and it is still my favorite genre. It looks like it could be so much fun, and after reading posts by those who do it, it is. I've already picked out what guns I would like to shoot, what clothes I want to wear, and what leather I want to hold my iron. The only hitch is finding a pair of boots since I wear a size 15 lol.

 

Now, why haven't I started yet? Well, I'm a 32-year-old single father with a mortgage, a car payment, child support I have to pay for my son who I have 80% of the time, etc. Right now the cost to buy onto this sport is prohibitive for me. Sure, I could muster up for the bare minimum in costume requirements but the actual hardware is expensive. I can't afford one pistol right now, yet alone two and a rifle and a shotgun. And, of course, there's the price of ammo. I reckon that's why the majority of shooters are retired and a bit older. And the younger shooters are generally their family members.

 

Then again, I can't be the only person who wants to be a part of CAS but simply can't afford it. There has to be more out there like me, but unfortunately I don't know how to market to them. Like I said, I'm an inexperienced shooter who discovered the sport on my own. By accident, no less. O don't read gun magazines, I don't watch hunting and fishing shows, etc. So, not much help with that one, I'm afraid.

 

Also, one of the big reasons I wanted to post was because the issue of costuming came up. The fact is the outfits are just as appealing as the guns for me. I'd feel awfully disappointed if I showed up to a match and everyone was sporting jeans.

 

Anyway, I hope to see some of you on the range by next summer and then I'll be an hombre WITH a nombre.

Great post! Thank you for sharing your story. This sport is also a great place for father/children bonding! I've heard of the kids starting as young as age five.

 

Happy Trails!

 

Allie Mo

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Hombre, try calling a local club explain what you said here about interest but your strapped but would be willing to reimburse a shooter for ammo yo be able to borrow what you need in the firearm and leather areA. If you can buy your leather as the first item buy one holster then the second the next month or two down the line then get the belt then the SG belt. That way it will be easier to share handguns. No need to swap leather back and forth. I understand the single father and getting started in sass I was when I started in 2004-5. I did away with things to help pay for stuff. I was already a shooter and reloaded so I had the tools for reloading ammo and a SxS at the time. I did have to decide what caliber I was going to shoot at the time. I liked the 45 LC myself but my daughter used my 38/357 guns. I fell into a couple of great deals back then. I had the Rv already so that wasn't an issue. But if you keep putting off buying the first piece and showing up to your fist match you will probably never do it. There's always a reason not to. But, if you contactt the local club I'll be willing to bet they will get you shooting as I said in the beginning. Just don't take advantage of the situation and offer to supply or pay for the ammo deprnding on availability in your area, not every gun store carries CAS ammo. Shotgun shells are easy it's the lead ammo with the correct power level that's hard. You'll make friends find out about local sales of CAS items that not being in the local circle would you hear of these things. If you wear in my local area I would be more than happy to loan you the leather and firearms to shoot I don't have enough leather for three but I do have the firearms. I would have you but primers, powder and bullets for replenishing the components that you use. I'll expect the brass back and you to supply your box of shotgun shells that you'll go thru during a monthly match. I recommend buy two for the first match and the leftovers should last you for four or five monthlys with you adding a box every time as you might need extras for missed SG targets. Most monthlys I've seen plan on about a box of SG shells unless the writer loves shooting the sg. The formula that most use for ammo is 10 revolver, 10 rifle and 6 shotgun rounds per stage but if they have 6 stages a couple might be only 4sg rounds so that a box of SG is all that needed in my experience. So you buy a brick of primers that $30 give or take iirc, a pound of powder and thousand of bullets 38 is usually less than $50. That will cover your ammo for several matches. Powder price depends on the powder check with your reloaders on that. If you and a bunch get together and buy the primers and powder in bulk you can save even more money same with if you buy lead bullets in bulk at a match where the caster ir distribute is at no shipping, if you get lucky you'll be able to find primers and powder at a match and save on the shipping and part of the hazmat fees.

 

I'm not saying you not doing the responsible thing now but right now your not committed to shooting since your not invested in it. I drop the pay TV and went with off air, stopped rent DVDs and other things to have money for shooting. I went for months with out internet service and went to the local library for it and DVDs. I sold old interest items to help pay for the new hobby. This was a couple several years after ny divorce so I had recouped from it.

 

Good luck food for thought

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Sadly, not everyone can afford CAS. It DOES take Money to play, Gas to the Match, Fees, Ammo, Gear, all add up.

 

Start up Cost is the same reason I don't race Ferraris after all! ;)

 

I did start out with a single Borrowed Blackhawk between my Best Friend, Wife and I. But that was not because of lack of Cash but lack of Knowledge about equipment! The Sport Does cost more then most Shooting Sports and to hide that to newcomers is a disservice. Yes you can borrow Guns and Gear but that gets old quick.

 

One way is to start with Percussion Revolvers, a Used Marlin Rifle and a older Stevens 311 style Shotgun. The cost of all that gear should be under $1000.00. You can find a Cheap Buscadero style Gun Belt, Goodwill Band Collars Shirts, older Cowboy boots all can be had to cut costs down. Keep to 38 caliber to shoot, Gun Show Factory Reloads are pretty cost effective and WalMart Shotgun Shells help too...

 

CAS can be done on a budget, it just tends to limit what you can do...

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Yes the C&B revolvers are cheaper but shooting them usually isn't. Powder is a little more expensive, cap are a lot more expensive than primers about 3x more then the bullets will cost you a lot more unless you can find a bulk supplier which isn't that easy for round ball. Hornady round balls for my ROA usually go about $10 per hundred whereas regular 45 200 gr bullets are $40 for 500 last I checked. Prices are not exact but are close. So you save a hundred per gun for navies vs SAAs but spend about two to three times the price per round down range so you send ten rounds per stage so shortly it will eventually cost more in the long run to keep shooting them. Yes borrowing sucks but what sucks worst is making bad decisions along the way and having to sell and buy other guns just to find what you like. If you like the C&B guns, which if .40 caliber or larger meaning 44/45 are legal in every category. There was a great deal on the classifieds this past week two ros with conversion cylinders so you could shoot any category with those guns as iirc they were rated for our light cowboy smokeless loads. Those revolvers a cheap Marlin in 45lc so you can share ammo. And I would say a used Baikal SxS would do every category except classic cowboy that would require a different rifle but if your looking at shooting that there are costs involved just as In bwestern. Those require cost for leather and clothing that the others do not require. If you can find a Mexican made gun rig cheaply it should last until you need a better one but you need to know if you use it a lot it will need replacing as they are not well made and are normally single ply whereas a good CAS rig is double ply and the better ones are lined between the two pieces of leather with kydex or metal.

 

My recommendation is to show up at matches help out setting up tearing down make friends find a mentor friend that will help you learn and supply you with the gear you don't have as you learn and don't take advantage of them offer to pay for ammo or supplies to reload what you shoot plus bring your own SG shells at first any #8 shot target load will do as you learn you will learn where to get the lower power shells that we tend to shoot. The more you around the CAS shooter the more you will hear of deals on used equipment and clothes. I'm not sure why every annual match doesn't have a swap meet table where you can put up your old clothes and gear up for sale all it takes is a couple of tables the sellers are responsible to be there with their gear. Doesn't take any manpower from the event staff except putting the tables out and picking them up and if it not for the full time of the event then scheduling it on one of the event days. Myself I think it should be the whole event that way the sellers can pick and choose when they are going to sell their stuff and if it doesn't work for them their first time they can show up later. At events that have the rvs park in or just outside of town or the main non range area then the seller could put out their own table in front of their Rv so shooters walking to and from the event to their rig can stop and see what you have but if there are row and rows that doesn't work or your not setup close to the center of attention you likely to have few lookers as you reach the end of the row.

 

I don't mean for vendors to do this although it's done at almost every event where the vendor is small or a shooter they do business out of their rig be it truck, car, or Rv. But they don't put out a table and sign normally. I just think if the event doesn't have a table for shooters to sell used items they are no longer using then why not put your own out. Now back on track. Get to the range see what we do, just don't show up in athletic shoes, shorts and a tshirt. We're so leather shoes or boots, jeans or slacks, long sleeve shirt that's it. That's is all you have to wear for most categories. Someone is usually proud of their guns and will stick them in your hands for you to try out. Rember how they fill, take notes so you can keep everything straight. Write make, model caliber, barrel lenghts, and any work that was done to them. There only two guns that I know of that don't require work out of the box for this sport. They are just about any Ruger sa, and the pieta alchemista 2s. Most every other gun needs the insides polished to prevent them from eating themselves up. Above that SxSs usualy have the chambers polished and honed to allow faster loading, the timing adjusted to allow the barrels to open far enough that you can load them easily and still fire everytime, most like to have a larger brass bead install to make sighting easier, the Marlin once it is slicked up is good to go but there are so mods that prevent problems on some guns or shorten the action but those are usually gunsmith specific., 92 rifles are good once slicked up but if you eventually become fast it's possible you out run the 92 but its a great beginner gun. Win 94s are best left to hunters imo, the toggle link winchesters (1860, 1866 k& 1873) clones are the idea speed rifles with all the mods available for them. The colt pump lighting and clones are gunsmith specfic to weather the will work or not. They are not for the layman imo. Same with the 87 lever shotgun and the 97 shotgun. That covers the long guns. For revolvers there are so many options that I can't cover them all. You have Rugers, colt SAAs and clones, then you got C&Bs remingtons and other SA oddies. One thing you will need on most ranges is a way to carry every thing. The most preferred and used method is a gun cart. It can be wood or metal and fabric. I had several before I settled with the two I have now the main one I use attaches to my electric scooter and started life as a hooligan wagon you can find it advertised about every other month in the cc. My wooden one I was custom made for me several years ago by a friend who made them and sold them at several events and by phone. It is a nice but do to my mobility issues it doesn't see much use. I wish to modify both still. My first was given to me that fitted a hand truck, not the best idea here in the desert. My second was made from a range modle golf cart that was sold off, Ia friend and I bought four or five iirc and made two out of them. He still uses his, I sold it off to a new shooter some years ago. Next ai and a carpenter made a wagon and a large box cart but it sorta fell apart from the bouncing and all from the rough roads and walks. The box I still use for storing company's for reloading in. I saw an article in a leather workers trade magazine where someone was hired to make a scabbard for a rifle and one for a SxS and connected them with a strap so the could be carried over the shoulder, might not work at ranges that insist on muzzles up carry, the shooter used saddle bags for carring the ammo and other stuff. Might work at some ranges where there isn't alot walking but I doubt you would make it thru EOT with a setup like that with the distances walked there. Even pushing a cart from the parking lost to berm one hears most out.youll need to bring water at a minimum to every match although some provide it or sale it. Depending on how long a day the match is you might want to bring a snack or lunch although some ranges offer them for sale. Gatorade and energy bars are often helpful to keep your energy up and prevent loss of elytrolytes and minerals need to be alert.

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I shoot Percussion of all kinds, a pair each of Colt 1851s, 1860s, 1862s, Walkers, Dragoons, LeMats. I cast my own round ball. A used Lee Pot can be had for very little cost, Lead is very cheap to buy.

 

With NO Dealer transfer required you can Percussion guns online for under $200 each. No Sales tax, no dealer fees reduces cost way more then a Normal Firearm of any brand.

 

You can make your own caps with a Tap a Cap by Foster (out of production but still available) Waaay less cost and they work! I used to buy percussion caps anytime I found them on sale, $2.00 a hundred was my goal. Now have 4,000 of them! Again, way less cost then actually reloading centerfire Ammo.

 

Gun Show reloads are a good way to try out different calibers. I still advocate 38 Special due to lower brass cost (once fired Range brass for sale all time on forums including here) Lower Component too cost if you buy cast bullets.

 

The easiest Gun Cart IS a Converted Golf Cart. I have 4 Carts and currently use two for me and Vixen. You can build one very cheap.

 

All of this can make it possible to shoot CAS on a limited Budget. But again, it DOES take money to play. If on a very limited budget I personally think that WILL limit your enjoyment and I would steer someone to a cheaper Shooting Sport, Steel Challenge, Ruger Rimfire Challenge, etc. Rimfire classes are now common in most sports Other then CAS. And with 22 supplies starting to ease up that IS the most affordable way to go...

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Snake you forgot to add in the cost of the casting equipment and the cap maker. Sure in a long run it is probably cheaper that way but a shooter who's has nothing will not be able to cast their own balls to begin with or make their own cap out of match heads without traing and proper equipment. True you do save on transfer fees with C&B guns you might not save on taxes as if they buy from a retailer they will still pay taxes. Plus you still have to buy soft lead not wheel weights as they are to hard to use as is not to mention now days you have to sort the wheel weights between the lead, zinc and one other material that's been showing up. A casting pot, thermometer, spuce hammer, molds, handles etc are not free or cheap either. Then you do get all the materials on hand finding time as a single father as hombre is time is as much valuable as money. So unless you have someone to do the casting during the week make the caps during the week so you can shoot with your son one weekend day month between his other activities. Good luck. Btw I need to look in to the tap a cap thingy for emergency use.

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Hombre, if I knew in advance that someone couldn't afford all of the hardware I'd be happy to loan long guns to them. I think everyone else here would do the same. I have extra rifles and shotguns, so email the match director of your closest SASS group and have him/her ask around.

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Snake, Hombre is a brand new shooter.

 

Cap and Ball is what I call SASS 401. Even for experienced shooters it is not easy. I can't think of a better way to run an inexperienced shooter from the range screaming and pulling his hair out! Forget about costs, there's the complexity of loading the guns, what happens when a cap doesn't fire, much less if one gets stuck and you can't even cock the gun. Then there's the cleaning.

 

Please, let's not run off a potential SASS member! Stick to cartridge guns now, later, when you get more experience, try out cap and ball if you like.

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Snake, Hombre is a brand new shooter.Cap and Ball is what I call SASS 401. Even for experienced shooters it is not easy. I can't think of a better way to run an inexperienced shooter from the range screaming and pulling his hair out! Forget about costs, there's the complexity of loading the guns, what happens when a cap doesn't fire, much less if one gets stuck and you can't even cock the gun. Then there's the cleaning.Please, let's not run off a potential SASS member! Stick to cartridge guns now, later, when you get more experience, try out cap and ball if you like.

I agree 100%

Especially when they start with an entry level reproduction cap and ball pistol / pistols

Besides, all you are saving is the price if pistol brass, you still need lead, powder and caps for those pistols to go bang-clang

 

My second generation "real" Colt navy 51's can be a challenge to get through a 6 stage monthly shoot, and those were not cheap to purchase

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Started with a Pair of Pietta 1860s at $149 each 20 years ago. New NOTHING about Cap and Ball then. Bought a Lee pot at $20 at a gun show, Lee Mold for $10.00. Lead was about .20 a pound or so (maybe even less). Wonder wads, Flask, Percussion caps and a Pound of Goex all for under $50.00.

 

Loaded Black Powder on a Lee Load-all (very cheap used) then moved "up" to a Lee 12 Gauge hand loader ($10 at a gun show). Hulls were free off the ground.

 

And cleaning? Like that's complicated in a Gun with 5 Moving Parts? And with the non Toxic Citrus based sprays on the Market and non Corrosive Black Powder Substitutes it's EASY.

 

Learned as I went, Not Rocket Science and compared to learning reloading in general much easier and cheaper.

 

I have watched dozens of new shooters try Cap and Ball Safely, Cap Jams DO happen with Colts regardless of what Mods or nipples used. You only decrease the chance of it happening. And learning to clear safely isn't Brain Surgery since you follow the same rules we ALL follow for Muzzle direction and clearing Jams Right?

 

And you CAN buy expensive percussion guns, but other then Style Points they don't normally shoot any better. I have LOTS of fancy Percussion pistols but we are talking about Beginners right? And Mike, why mention Colt Black powder series in a discussion about costs to a beginner?

 

Again I DO recommend it a as a cheap alternative. C&B Helped me start, opened up Whole new worlds of Casting and Reloading and is a Hoot to Shoot!

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And BTW, two of these for $400 delivered and you are ready to shoot your revolvers by adding a pound of Powder...

 

 

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Bargain-Cave/Shooting-Gear/Black-Powder-Rifles-Revolvers%7C/pc/105591780/c/105670080/sc/238717980/Pietta-Model-1851-Confederate-Navy-44-Caliber-Revolver-with-Starter-Kit/740135.uts?destination=%2Fcategory%2FBlack-Powder-Rifles-Revolvers%2F238717980.uts&WTz_l=DirectLoad%3Bcat238717980

 

 

And the irony is that I DON"T feel everyone can afford CAS. I'm just pointing out it's possible to do it on a budget. The newcomer that posted listed enough issues I DON'T feel CAS is for him right now. IMHO, having to constantly borrow guns and gear, scrabble for Gas Money, will get old for both him and the Generous People in CAS...loans are generally short term and that Guy sounds like it will be LOOONG While before he can really afford to gear up...

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Started with a Pair of Pietta 1860s at $149 each 20 years ago.

 

And you CAN buy expensive percussion guns, but other then Style Points they don't normally shoot any better. I have LOTS of fancy Percussion pistols but we are talking about Beginners right? And Mike, why mention Colt Black powder series in a discussion about costs to a beginner?

!

Why, wow, "."..................why not,

what if

A new shooter like I was at the time of purchase

was sold a bill of goods,,,,,, that there is nothing better than real colts, money well spent :::: that fellow said and swore to

True story, I paid way to much for those colts under the guise, the colt factory backs them until you alter them, etc, so they will need nothing,,,,,

 

Buyer be ware is true, that is why I brighten up cols for a new shooter

 

as a new shooter to cap and ball, thinking that this guy was telling the truth I now have a great pair of wall hangers

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Hah! OK, as a Cautionary Tale...

 

The Jovino/Colt Black Powder Series ARE pretty, I have two Myself. But I got Factory Blems (no Box) at $300 each for the Fluted Cylinder Variant Third Model Dragoons, added Ebony grips and they ARE Pretty! But I got them because they are only made in that variant for the Colt Black Powder Series....

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I haven't read all 5 pages of this thread, so it might have taken a turn at Albuquerque from the first page (I picked a few posts on each page, but just briefed through)...

 

I'll share MY experiences in SASS/CAS, since I'm NOT in the 55+ club...

 

I started shooting CAS/SASS at the end of high school and continued to shoot regularly through college, and throughout that time I was the one young guy in a group of "old farts". There were a few 35-45yr old folks that had came and went occasionally, but by and large, it was me in my 20's, and a bunch of 50+ shooters, many of which were retired. I stopped shooting about 5yrs ago and have only briefly and sporadically been back to a few shoots here and there, seems like it's the same demographic.

 

Also during that ~5yr span from ~2000-2006, I was rotating regular shooting in F-class and benchrest, and the then-exploding 3gun sport, as well as a bit of CMP shooting and some NRA 3 position smallbore. The CMP and smallbore matches admittedly tended to be older crews, but less exclusively so than SASS/CAS, and the benchrest and 3gun matches definitely had a broader cross section of shooter ages.

 

Having purchased all of the gear and firearms for all of these respective shooting sports, I can attest that the 'start-up cost' and 'operational cost' to get into and play in SASS is NOT prohibitively greater than that for other sports. I know I had more money into my 3gun set up than SASS, and I know my two benchrest rigs cost considerably more than the total of my 2 sets of SASS guns. While the volume of fire is high for SASS, 3gun was far higher, and ammo cost for those 30-something age shooters was typically greater than that for SASS shooting.

 

So what I draw from that personal experience is that the age of SASS shooters has very little to do with the disposable income level or family commitments of shooters, but rather some other factor, whether it's general appeal or market exposure, or whatever it is. I suppose part of it may be a self-perpetuating trend - when a young guy like myself shows up and there isn't anyone else within 20yrs of him, he's not encouraged to return.

 

Frankly, a big turn off that I encountered at some clubs that I got frustrated with was that while everyone would pat you on the back at the firing line for a great run, back at the carts it wasn't too uncommon to hear one older shooter or another make some sort of comment that "well it's easy to shoot fast when you're that age" or "put me in a 20yr old body and see how fast I could shoot!" or "just imagine how good my scores would be if I were 20!" or something along those line. Now I don't mind a little ribbing, and I can appreciate fellas reminiscing about their glory days or wishing they had the speed back in their legs that they once knew, but I can say it got old to hear over and over these older shooters making "you're not good, you're just young" type of comments.

 

I don't pretend to have the answers for how to market shooting sports, but I can say that it logically makes sense, if a sport wants to grow, to build their marketing plan around a diverse market, and it makes a lot of sense to market towards a broader age of folks rather than a small demographic that already dominates their enlistment, and only has so many years of viable shooting age left (not meant as an insult, just a fact). Grab a 30yr old shooter, you have ~40yrs of potential participation, even if it's off and on as different life events draw them in and out. Grab a 55yr old shooter, that's limiting yourself to ~15yrs of potential participation, even if it's off and on due to health or life complications.

 

I'd go back to SASS shooting every weekend if there would be more than just myself in my age group (in my 30's now), but in what I've seen from local groups, I'd still be the only guy my age...

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Snake were you a bp shooter before you came to sass? That might be the reason you were so lucky with the C&B guns starting out. Like I said yes the guns can be cheaper but the cheaper the initial price doesn't mean that everything will be cheaper you seamed to be setup for casting your own balls and making your own caps. But if a new shooter is an experience shooter before sass they need something simpler than C&B.

 

Hombre contact the local club let them know your interested but not able to afford everything right now. Buy some #8 target shotshells at Wally world show up early in long pants and long sleeved shirt with any good footware besides combat boots , boots with lug soles that can be seen from the side or athletic shoes. Be willing to help setup the ranges stay late to help put everything away. I'll wiling to bet you the cost of the two boxes of shotshells you need to buy that they will have you shooting that day. Maybe not every stage but at least you'll get to try it out. Also help with picking brass and setting targets. If you do that and want me to pay for those shells I had you buy contact me here and I'll send you the money you spent for cheap target loads. At max it will run around twenty bucks give or take.

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No Blackey not a BP shooter when I came to CAS. Within the first year of shooting I was, had a Cabelas Catalog, saw them on sale with Ivory Micarta Grips for $149 each and thought I'd give them a shot...that was the extent of my planning!;)

 

How can you beat casting your own pistol ammo for pennies? Again I broke out what I spent and those prices hold true TODAY 20 years later!

 

I now have a Dillon SL900, A Dillon 650, Thousand of Dollars in Guns and Equipment for CAS and I STILL enjoy hand loading the 12 Gauge one at a time with fiber wads and Paper Hulls with my original $10 Gun Show Lee Hand Loader. Still like casting 200 Grain Conical for my Colts.

 

I HAVE recently decided to switch for the future to Frontier Cartridge, I have been shooting off and on for about 15 years, a Pair of 51 Navy Conversions, 60 Army Conversions and 72 Open tops. Still get the fun smoke and now can relax more between stages and even help spot and pick up brass, etc.

 

And again, Opinions are like Belly Buttons on the Wire. I don't care if someone thinks its too difficult to start with C&B. I don't get a recruiter fee for enticing newbies over to the Darkside!;) BUT my experience taught me the most difficult thing about using Percussion Pistols was ordering them and doing it!

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I'm a fan of the dark side also snake shot frontiersman for several years after winning a army Sherriff model at WR one year. I already had a navy that I shot for fun. It didn't take long for me to get hooked and I was able to buy one ROA locally and when some friends on the wire knew I was looking for a mate to it they let me know one of the big sporting good store in the Phoenix area had one for sale I called them gave them my credit card and a few days later I had it. I bought all the stuff to load it and shot them at all the big matches and some monthlies some didn't have enough shooter for me to load between shooters at the ult and not hold thing up so I shot FCD at those matches. Then at the EOT of 2011 I was talked into trying classic cowboy out. It took a while to get a TTN as my 87 had walked off. I had a mc accident i early 2012 that took me out of CAS and most things for a while. I'm just now getting everything I want for cc the chaps will be here Monday. I too have plenty of guns, a dillon 550, RCBS Rock chucker, and a MEC progressive SG reloader. Plus the old Lee sg hand loading Kit. I have shot brass shotshells in the bast as after several were lost plan on buying enough for a large event for my new 87. It is not easy or cheap to shot C&B during an event and learn everything one deeds to know and pick brass and spot on some small posses. I'm happy you are able to enjoy the tasks you take to save money. We're you a single father at the time you joined sass? I was money wasn't the free when I did it almost ten years ago. Thing we're not as exspensive as they are today but they were not cheap either. I managed to balance sass and my daughters needs so we both could enjoy it but she found boys shortly after and sass was a lost cause for her but I still enjoyed it and shot when she was at her mothers or out doing something she enjoyed. She's now married with two girls ,of her own. I still shoot and enjoy sass. I understand how money can be tight but so can time when your a single father. I've also done the cost calculations for shooting C&B vs bp cartridge vs smokeless cartridge. Usually if you frugal the smokeless will be cheaper to shoot a match or a series of matches with. As for the cost of the guns the C&B are cheaper but not buy that much especially on the used market. The long guns are the same. You can go cheap or you can buy once as in most things. I sold off a 92 sand traded away a cheap 99 SxS that I started with. I also already was set up to reload long before sass was popular. But not everyone is. I was already an RVer before finding sass not everyone is. The initial startup for sass isn't cheap no matter how you approach it. But it is possible to have fun while you do aquire everything you need by showing up helping out and learning. I've found that almost every club has some one who likes to see new members and will loan them what they can while the shooter gets his own trappings. One of best advices we can give a new shooter is to show up try different gear and find what works for you initially so you do not have to turn around and by that gear later and sell off you initial purchases because you rush out and bought the first stuff you found. Sometimes it is the right stuff but not normally.

 

Hombre hope you contact the local club and visit it this month. And if you do we will see what happens keep me updated please.

 

Snake I wish you well down the trail and hope to share one with you some day.

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I haven't read all 5 pages of this thread, so it might have taken a turn at Albuquerque from the first page (I picked a few posts on each page, but just briefed through)...

 

I'll share MY experiences in SASS/CAS, since I'm NOT in the 55+ club...

 

I started shooting CAS/SASS at the end of high school and continued to shoot regularly through college, and throughout that time I was the one young guy in a group of "old farts". There were a few 35-45yr old folks that had came and went occasionally, but by and large, it was me in my 20's, and a bunch of 50+ shooters, many of which were retired. I stopped shooting about 5yrs ago and have only briefly and sporadically been back to a few shoots here and there, seems like it's the same demographic.

 

 

 

Also during that ~5yr span from ~2000-2006, I was rotating regular shooting in F-class and benchrest, and the then-exploding 3gun sport, as well as a bit of CMP shooting and some NRA 3 position smallbore. The CMP and smallbore matches admittedly tended to be older crews, but less exclusively so than SASS/CAS, and the benchrest and 3gun matches definitely had a broader cross section of shooter ages.

 

Having purchased all of the gear and firearms for all of these respective shooting sports, I can attest that the 'start-up cost' and 'operational cost' to get into and play in SASS is NOT prohibitively greater than that for other sports. I know I had more money into my 3gun set up than SASS, and I know my two benchrest rigs cost considerably more than the total of my 2 sets of SASS guns. While the volume of fire is high for SASS, 3gun was far higher, and ammo cost for those 30-something age shooters was typically greater than that for SASS shooting.

 

So what I draw from that personal experience is that the age of SASS shooters has very little to do with the disposable income level or family commitments of shooters, but rather some other factor, whether it's general appeal or market exposure, or whatever it is. I suppose part of it may be a self-perpetuating trend - when a young guy like myself shows up and there isn't anyone else within 20yrs of him, he's not encouraged to return.

 

Frankly, a big turn off that I encountered at some clubs that I got frustrated with was that while everyone would pat you on the back at the firing line for a great run, back at the carts it wasn't too uncommon to hear one older shooter or another make some sort of comment that "well it's easy to shoot fast when you're that age" or "put me in a 20yr old body and see how fast I could shoot!" or "just imagine how good my scores would be if I were 20!" or something along those line. Now I don't mind a little ribbing, and I can appreciate fellas reminiscing about their glory days or wishing they had the speed back in their legs that they once knew, but I can say it got old to hear over and over these older shooters making "you're not good, you're just young" type of comments.

 

I don't pretend to have the answers for how to market shooting sports, but I can say that it logically makes sense, if a sport wants to grow, to build their marketing plan around a diverse market, and it makes a lot of sense to market towards a broader age of folks rather than a small demographic that already dominates their enlistment, and only has so many years of viable shooting age left (not meant as an insult, just a fact). Grab a 30yr old shooter, you have ~40yrs of potential participation, even if it's off and on as different life events draw them in and out. Grab a 55yr old shooter, that's limiting yourself to ~15yrs of potential participation, even if it's off and on due to health or life complications.

 

I'd go back to SASS shooting every weekend if there would be more than just myself in my age group (in my 30's now), but in what I've seen from local groups, I'd still be the only guy my age...

A solid and well thought out post. Ya hit the nail on the head.

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I believe that the reason that most SASS shooters are over 55 is that this is the age bracket that was brought up on TV westerns. I am 64 and when I was young in the 50’s & 60’s there were a lot of cowboy shows on the TV. By the time the 70’s rolled around they were pretty much out of cowboy TV shows. It may be that the 55+ crowd has more interest in cowboy’s than younger people just because of the early TV shows.

I am new to SASS and could be wrong, just my nickel’s worth.

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Yes, the 60+ age group can identify with the TV/Movie character of the 50's & 60's. Then a rather diminishing connect between TV characters with younger folk until it is rather non existant for the younger than 45 age group. Diminishing because Western shows went off the air waves.

 

 

What to do? Have to change the image from cowboy (or in addition to) to something more modern...Steampunk is one, Star Wars could be another. Probable have to modify the name of the sport tooo.

 

Change the image is my thought and don;t shoot the messanger.

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Blastmaster is it worth destroying the sport to attract someone for the sake of numbers?

 

If we change CAS to just "Generic Action Shooting" I'm done. We have PLENTY of those now, Modern 3 Gun, IPDA, IPSC, Steel Challenge, Bianchi, Paintball, Airsoft Wars, etc, etc.

 

CAS IS unique. I say, if we are no longer expanding at the rate we did in our heyday of Pre 9/11, then so be it.

 

SASS has already shown their desperation in allowing Wild Bunch, Now its Steampunk being pushed, what next? And the more we stray from our roots, the less reason to play for those of us who take the time to dress authentically.

 

 

So now I can add any weird stuff, put on Welding Goggles and claim I'm doing Steampunk...

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Blastmaster is it worth destroying the sport to attract someone for the sake of numbers?

 

If we change CAS to just "Generic Action Shooting" I'm done. We have PLENTY of those now, Modern 3 Gun, IPDA, IPSC, Steel Challenge, Bianchi, Paintball, Airsoft Wars, etc, etc.

 

CAS IS unique. I say, if we are no longer expanding at the rate we did in our heyday of Pre 9/11, then so be it.

 

SASS has already shown their desperation in allowing Wild Bunch, Now its Steampunk being pushed, what next? And the more we stray from our roots, the less reason to play for those of us who take the time to dress authentically.

 

 

So now I can add any weird stuff, put on Welding Goggles and claim I'm doing Steampunk...

SM,

 

No argument,

 

I basically agree with you.

 

There is more to CAS than dressing up kinda like a Cowboy, there was/is the romantic but fictional code of conduct of the west.

 

I was just attempting to say that CAS has to change their image (not necessarily to none Cowboy),, but change.

 

When you say 'COWBOY' to a person on the street or else where, what image do they see? Probably something similar to the old cigerette Marburo Man (who is passed because of cancer) Then if or when the newbie gets to the range, or sees a video, does reality reflect the 'image'?

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Good points. Well the image used to reflect the core ideals.

 

Then came those that compete first and dress second. Denim everything, minimum attire, Modern as much as possible in firearms which all have had Gunsmithing, short strokes, etc.

 

And by winning, those folks helped dilute the image of CAS. After all, it is a shooting competition and newcomers will note what the Winners are wearing.

 

Sure these are blanket statements with LOTS of exceptions but this is what I noted over the last 20 years.

 

There will always be a hard core of true Western Afficinados like myself, who shoot period firearms, dress in period and are there for the fun of shooting Historic Firearms and enjoying the Social Aspects and put Winning last.

 

I'm not sure if CAS will last long term. I do believe it is a Generational Sport with the Baby Boomers who grew up on Westerns as its Core Audience. And It's has already changed so much, and lot of it for the worse IMHO. Many of the aspects I enjoyed shooting at my local Club are long gone.

 

We shot stages with a end time planned at Lunch, then a Big Pot Luck and Side and Team Matches all afternoon. Now it's 5 stages minimum, two pistol, 10 Rifle, 4 Plus Shotgun, Shoot and Scoot home due to so many out of towners with their Motor Homes getting on the road. And after 5 hours of shooting Straight with no breaks I'm just too tired to shoot any side matches IF there was any!

 

Other then the Traffic Jam (State Championships) we host annually and our October Match, this is now the new Normal. And yes, I don't like it. But after years of putting everything into this Sport, I'm just burned out on thankless jobs, Age and other interests now dictate how I spend my time.

 

And I started at age 35 then, the new "target" for this Thread. And I can state that the People are what attracted me, the Social Aspects were Great and what kept me in the Sport back then. I could have dressed minimally, I CHOSE to dress in Period Clothes and use Period Firearms. And back then there were no cliques or issues over what you did or did not wear.

 

I now only shoot when the Weather Cooperates and my Time permits, All my other Hobbies, Dog Rescue, my Mopar Car Club, Other Shooting Disciplines, and just plain Housework and Life share my time.

 

Sorry to go on and on, but this has been a issue for me for some time...

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I believe that the reason that most SASS shooters are over 55 is that this is the age bracket that was brought up on TV westerns. I am 64 and when I was young in the 50’s & 60’s there were a lot of cowboy shows on the TV. By the time the 70’s rolled around they were pretty much out of cowboy TV shows. It may be that the 55+ crowd has more interest in cowboy’s than younger people just because of the early TV shows.

I am new to SASS and could be wrong, just my nickel’s worth.

 

Yep

You get the gold star

We watched the cowboys grow to the little box

We went outside then played cowboys and Indians

We are of the age for many to finance our childhood memories with a budget for real clothes, real guns, real ammo and real like mined new neighborhood friends (expanded neighborhood)

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I think Nickel City Dude and Madd Mike are on to something.

 

Being that I'm in the 55+, make that 55++++++, age group And grew up with TV and radio westerns. Played with my bud's outside with bows, arrows and "BB" guns, still got both eyes too. I wonder just how many Cowboy "games" there are for Xbox, PlayStation, and wherever other type of video game toy is out there.

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I'm 31...I played cowboys growing up...the idea that you have in your head about my generation is a bit off.

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I'm 31...I played cowboys growing up...the idea that you have in your head about my generation is a bit off.

The point just may be

The percentages of kidds playing cowboys and Indians lesson as the years go on

 

I do not see cowboy and indian video games on the hot list either

 

It no biggie really

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The point just may be

The percentages of kidds playing cowboys and Indians lesson as the years go on

 

I do not see cowboy and indian video games on the hot list either

 

It no biggie really

 

It is a big deal...Maybe you should stop trying to point out how different our generations are and find out what common ground we have.

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Tejano, as part of the mainstream of popular culture, Westerns aren't in it. It WAS when I was a kid. The numbers of Westerns in the 50s and 60s was staggering, the Top Rated Shows were shows like Bonanza. The Kids didn't play Video Games, we pretended we were Daniel Boone, Jim West or Little Joe.

 

So ask yourself,

 

How many current Western TV Shows are on now?

 

Name the last big Name Western Movie Picture you saw in the Theatre?

 

How many of the kids you grew up with or any of your current Peers are into Western History or Culture?

 

Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, The Fast and the Furious Series, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Lady GaGa , Twittering and Texting, those are the Cultural Influences now...

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Be right back with a full response. This phone ain't going to work for what I have to write.

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Tejano, as part of the mainstream of popular culture, Westerns aren't in it. It WAS when I was a kid. The numbers of Westerns in the 50s and 60s was staggering, the Top Rated Shows were shows like Bonanza. The Kids didn't play Video Games, we pretended we were Daniel Boone, Jim West or Little Joe.

 

So ask yourself,

 

How many current Western TV Shows are on now?

 

Name the last big Name Western Movie Picture you saw in the Theatre?

 

How many of the kids you grew up with or any of your current Peers are into Western History or Culture?

 

Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, The Fast and the Furious Series, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Lady GaGa , Twittering and Texting, those are the Cultural Influences now...

You keep talking about current kids...not 30 something's. You act like if you ain't 55 then you are a teenager. Truth is I didn't grow up with video games...my first computer use wasn't until Hugh school

 

Current shows? the number one favorite that my best friend and I are talking about is Hell on Wheels.

 

Last western I saw in theatres was True Grit, I average maybe three trips to the movie theatre a year.

 

How many of my peers are into western history about 50% geek we would watch tombstone and lonesome dove all the time in college.

 

I listen to Red Dirty Country music, can barely work Facebook, and I don't know how to tweet. Stop thinking you know everything about my generation.

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You keep talking about current kids...not 30 something's. You act like if you ain't 55 then you are a teenager. Truth is I didn't grow up with video games...my first computer use wasn't until Hugh school

 

Current shows? the number one favorite that my best friend and I are talking about is Hell on Wheels.

 

Last western I saw in theatres was True Grit, I average maybe three trips to the movie theatre a year.

 

How many of my peers are into western history about 50% geek we would watch tombstone and lonesome dove all the time in college.

 

I listen to Red Dirty Country music, can barely work Facebook, and I don't know how to tweet. Stop thinking you know everything about my generation.

I applaud you and your friends for your views and interest about the old west ways (fictional and otherwise).

 

I wish my 30 something daughter was the same, so we had more in common and I could pass down all or most of my firearms and associated hardware to her when I pass. She has told me no way, no interest, no thank you. Ok, if any firearms are left after selling for retirement funding or governmental confiscation, then they will end up in law enforcement disposal bin. Her friends have the same view. Been that way since she was small. She also prefers big/huge cities, nothing country where she was raised, all electronic gadgets and travel. Sorry, that is all I have to relate to when reading the last few post.

 

Again, your post is a breath of fresh air and I wish there were more of you.

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You keep talking about current kids...not 30 something's. You act like if you ain't 55 then you are a teenager. Truth is I didn't grow up with video games...my first computer use wasn't until Hugh school

 

Current shows? the number one favorite that my best friend and I are talking about is Hell on Wheels.

 

Last western I saw in theatres was True Grit, I average maybe three trips to the movie theatre a year.

 

How many of my peers are into western history about 50% geek we would watch tombstone and lonesome dove all the time in college.

 

I listen to Red Dirty Country music, can barely work Facebook, and I don't know how to tweet. Stop thinking you know everything about my generation.

 

You are unfortunetly not the norm for your generation. I can post survey after survey that show more People know who Lady GaGa is then Who was Wyatt Earp or some other Historical Figure.

 

True Grit was FOUR years ago, you don't get out much to the Movies I take it? So Name a Major CURRENT Western Movie, in fact name one that made the Top Ten Box Office in the last 5 years! I'll help you there... http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=western.htm Note the top of the list in Gross Receipts was 24 years ago. Now I can post the same list for All Movieshttp://www.filmsite.org/boxoffice.html and the Westerns will fall away not ONE in the top 50, proving my point.

 

And Hell on Wheels is a distant Second to AMCs Walking Dead in ratings, the Zombie Influence is the New Western as noted in the MANY Cultural References Including firearm products now catering to that particular fad. Look at all the Vampire TV shows, the Horror Shows, the Sexed up Fake Historical Shows where the main action is in the Bedroom. THATS the current fad the majority of People are into...

 

No need to get defensive but again, you ain't the Norm for your age. And I encounter LOTs of "young" people who don't have any interest in our Genre. The Shooting Ranges support that with the numbers of new shooters that DON"T get into CAS.

 

If you were the Norm we wouldn't be having this Discussion!

 

 

 

 

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