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Who Got You Started?

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I was shooting in BPCR, NRA bullseye, PPC, fast draw and handgun hunting, I visited my favourite gun shop near Delavan, Wisconsin, I saw a book about cowboy action shooting. It looked interesting. I asked the proprietor and his son about it.The son was active in it and gave me the addresses, times and dates of two ranges, one in Darien, and one in Beloit, Wisconsin. It didn't hurt that the hang out for Beloit was in the Marine Corps League's bar. :P That was that!!!! :)

 

I already had plenty of guns, bought lots more, taught lots, joined 8 posses, started one, have had lots of friends, shot lots of matches including state, provincial, regional, national championships in the US and Canada and world championships as a soot lord.

 

WOW, TALK ABOUT FUN!!!!!! :D

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I learned to shoot on a Winchester pump .22 made in 1902 and on a Single Six made in 1960, .22 also. I was probably 5 or 6 years of age. I only knew lever guns and single actions for a long time. My first big bore was a old .45 Colt SAA. One day I found myself driving down Carefree Highway north of Phoenix and looked to the north and saw lots of tents and folks in hats way off in the distance. It was Winter Range, I think it was 2002 or 2003. The rest shall I say is history.....It was WR that got me started, been broke since.

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Was down on our action range at our local gun club getting certified to use the range. Ended up doing it through the cowboy action program since I'd seen it on TV and all the other programs for cert were full for months.

 

Did the day, shot a couple of sass stages and went through the other classroom stuff not related to sass. Near the end of the day I wasn't really hooked yet. Loden B Kwik and Sgt. Poker Face wanted me to shoot one more stage. Loden said "Put on my gear, use my guns and shoot one more. Come on, just do it."

 

Been hooked since.

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Pre-SASS shooter by the alias of Hangfire Hank. Had read about EOT in G&A a couple of years earlier, but it didn't list any contact info... Hank told me where & when... Used my Colt 3rd Gen, Riverside Arms sxs, and a borrowed 1892... I believe it was Hipshot's. 31 years later still goin' for the shootin', and stickin' around 'cause of the people...

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Window shopping for guns one day, when I noticed some cowboy guns in the display, man behind the counter noticed the sparkle in my eye, and started to show me all the different ones they owned. Walked out with my first Ruger New Vaquero, on the way out, shop keep told me he was gonna put in an order for some new Rugers, and that he'll see me in a few months when I get my 2nd one. Few months later, went back an purchased a 2nd Ruger, and the same shop keep told me about SASS, and gave me info for a local club.....where I met Johnny Swan, and Tinker Joe, after a few matches, I ended up joining SASS in summer of '06.

 

Tinker Joe doesn't get out much if at all to shoot anymore.

 

Still working on bringing Johnny Swan to the darkside.....

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Read an add in the local paper of folks getting together to start a new club. We started a club, it has since folded, but I am still shooting, just at another club.

 

We were mostly all new and had to learn from reading and shooting.

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Midnite Desperado and Thorny Rose at Paradise Pass oringinal location.

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I read about SASS in Guns and Ammo. Easy Rider and Buck D. Law helped me get started. Despite that I never took up Gunfighter.

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English Andy of Las Vegas, NV was the guy. We met first due to common interest in Rock N Roll music/gigs. Then while I was at a Shootist Holiday at Whittington Center near Raton, NM, in 98 or 99, my late wife, Miss Ann, and I visited he and his late wife, Cactus Concha, there. They were attended an OWSA cowboy shoot. I asked Andy more about this CAS so he grabbed some guns and had me follow him to an unused bay. Sure was different from the 20+ years of IHMSA I had been shooting. In fact, after handing me a loaded single action revolver I was taking aim on what I thought to be a close target and he promptly told me that was a rifle target. Of course,with that, I thought this was going to be easy...I soon learned to be competitive in the game, it is not exactly all that easy.

 

For many years Cactus Concha was just about the finest CAS custom clothes maker all around the SASS and OWSA world. She and Miss Ann became best of friends. MA often helping her in her vendor's booth at EOT in CA and at WR..

 

Note: A coupe of weeks ago while on Sassy's birthday trip to Las Vegas, we had the pleasure of getting together with Andy on two occasions.. It had been many years and the visit was awesome. We talked guns, guitars, and the like. Sure glad I had that initiation to CAS by that famous guitar picker .

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I blame Phil Spangenberger and those articles he wrote for Guns and Ammo. I read the articles about the early EOT matches but had no clue where the heck Coto de Caza was.

 

Well, my friend Lee Fisher, AKA Ringo, not only knew where it was at but was more then happy to drag me along to my first match. Next thing you know, he has me shooting at numerous clubs all over Southern California. In the early days there was also the Old West Shootist Association who put on great events too. Wasn't long before I was traveling to out of state matches like Railhead, Cowtown, Bisquit Flats, and matches in Nevada and Colorado that I can't recall the names of at the moment. Those were some great road trips with my good friends Marshal Law, Ringo, Hermit, Flint Westwood and Poppa Joe! Sometimes Lady Hawk and Crazy Cora would go to those out of state matches too.

 

Hipshot sold me a life membership at my first shoot with the Coto Cowboys for a mere $200.00. I met some of my best friends that first day on the range. You join CAS for the shooting but stay for the friends that become family!

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A gent by the name of Walnut Wrangler.

 

I had showed up at the Powder Creek Cowboys just to watch and more especially, to find out where the range was. I had been planning on getting into Cowboy Action Shooting and had a pretty good idea of what I needed and the cost but before plopping down that kind of cash I wanted to meet some of the club members and see just exactly what I would be getting in to. WOW, what a cool place! I just walked back in time 150 years.

 

The first gentleman I met was Walnut. After visiting a bit, I think he knew he had ‘a fish on the line’ and he wasn’t about to let me get away. It wasn’t long and I had everything I needed to shoot the match, ammo and all. I made it through my first match without a safety violation, woohoo! I continued to borrow the items I needed from him and a couple other cowboys for the next few months and Walnut would always call to take inventory for the next match I would be attending. That was last April. With Walnut’s mentoring and friendship, I was able to get into this sport with relative ease.

 

Many, many thanks Walnut and God Bless.

Claude

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I've always loved everything, cowboy, old west, guns, and shooting. A pard of mine at work and I would talk about old west guns all the time and one day he mentioned having been involved in Cowboy Action Shooting (he has a 4 digit SASS number) and was thinking about getting active again. I got interested in it and went to see a local match with my wife. As soon as I saw it and met the people I was hooked. I couldn't believe there was something so fun where you dressed up as a cowboy and shot old west style guns. While I was there I was instantly approached by a couple pards named Shinbone Shooter, Cedar County Sheriff, and Driftin' Rattler. They gave us tons of information and Shinbone let me check out his guns and after the match Rattler let me shoot his and ran me through a quick stage. My wife even shot, and had never fired a gun in her life. I'd been shooting my entire life but I could never get her to shoot before. She has her own SASS number and is known as Ginger Belle Hammer. That's her in my avatar pic.

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Boyd Davis aka General Grant. RIP

 

Many, many moon ago.

Edited by Rawhide Rio

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My wife, Tillie Dyes , had a coworker that shot cas, and invited us to go watch. I stayed for all 6 stages thinking who would burn diesel, or load ammo for such a crude sport, as I come from modern benchrest, and long range shooting. Anyway, Charlie pollard asked me to put his stuff on and try it on the clock. I did it to satisfy him and leave. My first stage ever was 42 secs w 2 misses from one of his pistols. The targets were difficult to hit when shooting quickly. Especially with a clock running. 3 days later, I dropped 3500 dollars towards guns, and still needed a sg! One month later my wife started in. Anyway, i'm glad we did, and we've actually done really well at it! My real friends are from this sport, and I wouldn't change a thing!

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Guns and Ammo Mag. That was 22 years ago. The only cowboy gun I had was a old DB shotgun. But by the next mo. I had all the guns that I though I needed. But for something I am still buying more guns. You need a lots of guns when you shoot 5 or 6 matches a mo. WHAT A GAME Bama Kid

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Great to hear the stories of hos folks got started!

Thanks everyone for sharing stories.

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Sawdust Joe stumbled into SASS on the Internet. He showed me the website and we goaded each other for three months until we were equipped and ready to shoot. We showed up at Buck Creek to shoot with CVV in Oct 2004. It was 31 degrees and 114 shooters showed up as I remember. Sawdust has passed on but I am still around

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Abe E.S. Corpus gets full credit. I had bought a Taurus Judge revolver & mentioned to him that it would be nice to have a rifle in 45 Colt to match up with it. He said "ever thought about a lever action rifle?" & it was downhill from there.

 

Holler

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My husband had been shooting it for a while. After graduating from college, I said I'd like to try it. I was hooked at my first match.

 

Hubby used to shoot at a nearby indoor range. I think some fellows he met there introduced him to SASS.

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Phantom got me started with an assist to Joe darter as well! Both great people and have helped many others along the way!

 

WK

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Got me started with what? My love of guns would be my grandpa. We'd visit them 2 or 3 times a year and he had an end table chock full of old NRA magazines. My parents would let me pick a couple every visit to take home (the limiting factor was my parents, grandpa woulda let me take em all). I read them cover to cover over and over again. 2 of them even had articles about (what I think were) the first 2 end of trails.

 

Shooting would be my brother in law. I'd been shooting with my dad, but it was limited to sighting in and hunting. My brother in law had me plinking for fun.

 

SASS would be my wife's dad who I never met. He left her a bunch of guns when he passed, and once we were married and settled in the mother in law called us up and told us to come get the guns out of her house. Amongst the guns was a colt peacemaker made in 1877. It was in pieces when I found it and I actually thought it was a broken toy at first. Once I took a good look at it and decided to get it fixed, I was naturally lead into the tender arms of SASS.

 

Now, through the years I'd had some exposure to SASS. Aside from the old NRA magazines, in Austin a SASS club started showing up at the gun shows. I had lots a of questions and they confused me greatly at first. I also had a friend who did cowboy shooting before SASS was the big thing. So when I was researching the sixgun and being led to SASS, I already kinda knew who you guys were and was finally ready to join up.

Edited by Ramblin Gambler

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Heard about it. Called Bum Steer at Capitol City in Augusta and asked if I could come and watch. He told me NO. But I

could come and shoot. When I got there all sorts of people were handing me equipment to use.

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My cousin's 16 y/o grand daughter. She and her younger sister came down from Washington State to visit him in Arizona. He brought them over to meet us in San Diego. We loaded the girls into the back seat of my convertible and were going to take them to the beach for the day. The 16 y/o was sitting there with her arms crossed over her chest with a look on her face that said "you can't make me have fun". Finally, I asked her what she liked doing, she lit up and started telling me how her and her mom did Mounted Cowboy Action Shooting. I thought to myself, this kid is having way to much fun, I need to look into this. I checked and there was a CAS Club in town: the Dulzura Desperados. I contacted the Chilly Willy who was the TG then and visited the match. I met Hashknife Willie and Reuben J. Cogburn who took me under their wings and I have been having a ball for the past ten years. Hope to have another 10.

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I read an article in G&A Magazine about SASS back in 1984. My First Cowboy Shoot was the 1984 End of Trail at El Toro. After that My friend W.C. Fargo got me shooting with the West Shore Posse. He also got me shooting at several local clubs. I shot matches regularly until 2012 when my health turned bad and I couldn't shoot anymore.

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A co-worker. He dropped his SASS membership when they bought Founders' Ranch, and stopped shooting CAS when it started becoming "let's drop the extra stuff and just shoot real fast." I really miss shooting with him.

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I guess it was Tex, with photos of him in the SASS ads in the gun magazines in the 1990's. When Ruger started making its old model Vaquero, I had to have one, and playing cowboy like Tex was seemed like a good excuse to shoot it. I met members of the local club, the Greene County Cowboys, at a gunshow about 1998. Prairie Dog Dave and Frenchie took me under their wings for a couple of matches until I could get my gear together. I haven't seen either of them for 15 years or so; they quit CAS, health reasons as I recall, just after I got started.

 

So even though I have never formally met or shot with Tex, he played a big role. Thanks, Tex, for planting the seed.

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Cheyenne Ranger and I had been shooting USPSA for about 10 years. He started talking about something new, cowboy shooting, he was trying and said that I might be interested. He kept after me for two years and said I should bring my wife out just to watch. When I got there people handed me guns, ammo and leather. It was FUN. I thought that there was no way my wife would go for four new guns and everything else I needed. But she was talking to the other wives about the big shoots and the fancy dresses. By the next month I had all the guns and leather. Thank you Cheyenne.

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I bought a copy of GUNS magazine in 1986 that had a picture of a Winchester on the cover. (A model 71) Among other things there was an article in the magazine about a new sport called "End of the Trail Shooting," that intrigued me. In the early 2000's, I finally gave it a try after wanting to do so ever since reading the article.

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My baby sis.

She sent me a clipping from somewhere around Lancaster, I honestly forget which SASS club it was.

The article was well written and it looked like fun, and I always wanted to grow up to be a cowboy.

It worked.

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I shot Ipsc, bowling pin and steel challenge matches in the 1980s, along with my dad, Blue Boy and wanted to get back into some form of competition about 2002. I met Dutch Brandenberg( the feller Blackwater mentioned) at a gun show and went home with copy of the Cowboy Chronicle. I told my dad about CAS and he seemed to think we should take a look. I shot an IPSC match a couple of months later and everybody there was mad at somebody and itching for a fight. Blue Boy and I went to our first match the following weekend at Wartrace and had a ball. I met Blackwater early on and have had a ball over the years traveling with him, swapping stories and making noise. Blue Boy doesnt shoot much anymore so I have to keep up his legacy, they tell me I can keep coming back as long as I bring Blue Boy.

Imis

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Papa Bear. He was my mentor for Civil War Skirmishing. He and Walks Under Buffalo took me to watch a SASS match and then to shoot in one with their guns. WUB's SXS kept discharging both barrels at a time and right there I knew that I had to have one with two triggers! Traded my repo Smith Carbine to WUB for a pair of 58 Remingtons with .45 conversion cylinders and bought a Rossi 92 and TTK Mule Ear SXS and I was in business for under $1000 out of pocket including leather and WUB's used cart. Ended up buying the Smith back a year later because I could never get my original Maynard to shoot well in a Skirmish. They taught me that black powder was the only way to go. Miss them fellers.

 

Seamus

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Back in about 1989-90 I bought my first SAA from a friend. It was Hammerli Dakota in 45 colt. Reading the guns mags I noticed an ad for a Dakota revolver by EMF. I called to ask about the gun and spoke to non other than Boyd Davis. He told me his Dakota's were Italian imports and not the same as my Swiss made one. He then asked me where I lived and when told he invited me to come out to Coto de Caza on the fourth Sunday of any month and check out cowboy action shooting. Even though I didn't shoot that first time, I knew I was going to be hooked. There was a clothing vendor there and I bought my first pair of Wah-maker pants and bib front shirt.

 

In the ensuing days till the next match, I visited some gun stores looking at rifles and shotguns. I was talking to the owner of one particular store about cowboy shooting and he told me hold on, I want you to talk to this guy. He goes in the back and brings out a guy named Gary, who is an active cowboy shooter by the alias of Samuel Tripp. We talked and he invited me to come out to the next match at Coto. I told him I only had the one revolver, he said don't worry you can use my guns. He told to not worry too much about the clothing at first, but I told him I had already bought a shirt and pants. Shot the next month's match and joined SASS on the spot.

Edited by Wyatt Earp SASS#1628L

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ME !

Wanted ta do it for years before I bit da bullet and jumped in with both feet... a couple of decades ago... ...

I was a Cowboy before it and the song about being a Cowboy Before it was Cool, came out ....

I used to Work as a Cowboy and Rodeo in my younger days, Worked as a Hunting Guide ran my own outfitting service ...

Guess I don't really understand a non Cowboy life style...

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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