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Where has all of the "fun stuff" gone?


Mustang Gregg

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Hello, the Fire:

 

Why has the stuff like throwing a lasso, kicking open the saloon door, pouring a shot, tossing a stick of dynamite, etc., etc. gone away?

I used to write stuff like that into almost every stage.  And most of the local shooters said they liked it.

When we go to annual shoots and distant Saturday or Sunday shoots, I seldom see it anymore.

In fact I have heard some Pards seem butthurt and getting vocal that "they are there to shoot, and not to play games".

 

So anymore, I don't write stages with the "fun stuff" on the timer.  That stuff is still there, but not on the clock.

 

Merry Christmas,

Mustang

 

BTW:  When we get the new SASS outfit started, we will have some "fun stuff" written in it.

I guess we'll gauge our success by the number of shooters who show up.

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 ow ain’t that a good question!  Too bad you are so far distant - that stuff is FUN!  But really?  A ‘71?  Everyone knows a ‘68 GT fastback is the way to go!

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I like the fun stuff if it’s not on the clock and not dangerous. Fun stuff on the clock is okay if it’s fair for everyone. If you string a clothesline up and expect short shooters to have to deal with the laundry on the line and the tall shooters can shoot right over the top of the clothesline then no thanks. One stage made you step up on a rickety plastic milk crate to hang your hat on some deer antlers tall guys didn’t need to use the milk crate. When using a chair to start the stage seated make getting up off the clock because as we get older it takes a bit more time to get up.

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The Eldorado Cowboys asked the same question...

And locally, I have to shoulder some of the blame on myself.

I came into the game late 90's; while the gimmicks, bonuses and tricks were still common. 

And I HATED it.  

As many others have said; I came to shoot and to compete. 

Not to ride stick ponies and have chance dictate winners. 

So when I became a match writer; first with Desert Desperados for 10 years and then as VP and President of the Eldorado Cowboys for the last 8; I adamantly focused on making sure we were a serious competition shooting match.

But gradually over the years; I realized by just shooting cowboy - we slowly had stopped "playing" cowboy.  And a number of shooters that have begun in the last few years have never "played" cowboy.

This is why the Eldorado Cowboys have taken our spring annual event, "Dam Site" and created our Legacy Shoot.  We use our May event to bring back some of the silliness and fun stuff that you don't see as much of as you used to.

We still are aware that we are a competition and chance has no place in it; but silliness and on the clock actions can be included without hampering the score sheet.  Carrying the money bag or knocking down the door or retrieving your shotgun shells from a box is fair to all and adds back in some of the cowboy part of the game more than simply describing the era our guns hail from. 

We haven't forgotten our roots and as Eldorado Cowboys reputation attests; we are still big, fast and close; but Dam Site allows us to add the spice of old school style.

So to answer the OP, some of us are still doing old school stuff - just the 2017 version of old school.

 

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Its gone away because SASS Clubs are Catering to the Top Shooters .

This stuff all takes time , and the top shooters dont like that .

Just telling it The way it is .

Rooster 

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The 'FUN STUFF' is still here it's just now you only find it in the stories told by the old timers around the campfire. :rolleyes:

 

Seriously though, I would love for us to be doing some of those crazy things I've heard stories about.  I've heard a number of answers when I asked about it,  don't agree with any of them but I'm not in charge... yet!

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I once suggested adding a couple of "odd guns" to the string.   Maybe something like a .30-30 or an extra pistol that would be provided.   Gun would be fired at a giant dump target at middle distance.  No penatly for missing, no bonus for hitting, you just had to make the effort to fire the gun in the general direction of the target and then do the standard 10-10-4..   The general consensus was, "Sounds like fun, as long as it's off the clock."

 

Which to me seemed kind of defeated the purpose of adding it.  I think it's only a matter of time before SASS becomes a "game" where you just stand in one spot and fire all your guns at a single large target.

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Both ACSA & CCSA do a lot of old school stuff during our/their annual 2 day match. Both are a lot fun and a nice change a couple of times a year.

They both require a lot of prep which IMPO, make them impractical from a labor standpoint to do every month or twice a month as with CCSA.

 

Duel in the Desert down in Tombstone used to be another old school match but it has been going through some personnel change pains the last couple of years. Hopefully it will return as it's a great place to go for Memorial Day weekend.

 

Around here the rest of the year is primarily dedicated to our "Four Seasons".

Get ready for Winter Range Season.

Get ready for EoT Season.

Ride out the Summer Season. (2 stages on three bays and simple set-up/tear-down.)

Get ready for Bordertown Season.

 

There's still some old school matches going on but from what I've seen in the past 4 years is that it's almost exclusively happening at club annual matches.

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40 minutes ago, Mustang Gregg said:

:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

Hello, the Fire:

 

Why has the stuff like throwing a lasso, kicking open the saloon door, pouring a shot, tossing a stick of dynamite, etc., etc. gone away?

I used to write stuff like that into almost every stage.  And most of the local shooters said they liked it.

When we go to annual shoots and distant Saturday or Sunday shoots, I seldom see it anymore.

In fact I have heard some Pards seem butthurt and getting vocal that "they are there to shoot, and not to play games".

 

So anymore, I don't write stages with the "fun stuff" on the timer.  That stuff is still there, but not on the clock.

 

Merry Christmas,

Mustang

 

BTW:  When we get the new SASS outfit started, we will have some "fun stuff" written in it.

I guess we'll gauge our success by the number of shooters who show up.

 

It went away as speed became the only thing important.........

Remember back when a miss was a 10 second penalty. ;)

Now, the pistol targets are 'spit'n' close. :wacko:

OLG

 

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57 minutes ago, Too Tall Bob said:

 ow ain’t that a good question!  Too bad you are so far distant - that stuff is FUN!  But really?  A ‘71?  Everyone knows a ‘68 GT fastback is the way to go!

Yep, TT Bob.  I love the 68 Fastbacks.  I had a 67 GT Fastback with a 427 side oiler in it many moons ago .  The block was bad with a crack in one of the cylinders.  No machine shop would touch it, and have a guarantee, so I sold it and built a 289 HP with Weber IDA's. 

Sorry, off topic.  That's why I'm MUSTANG GREGG.

 

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There are still ways to do some of the fun stuff, just do it off the clock.  Want to throw a stick of dynamite?  Make that the starting action for the stage.  Want to pull a knife and throw it?  Same deal, make it the starting action of the stage.  Then, once that starting action is complete, then state the line and start the buzzer.  You can still have a prop that has to move with the shooter, but that is likely to require a whole lot of yelling "Take It With You"!

 

At a monthly match, it was Halloween weekend, and I held a "Zombie" match.  One stage had an optional clay bird head shot for a 5 second bonus, or you could just shoot the big target and move on if a clean match was your goal.  On another stage, we had to carry a blood stained (red paint) bat named Lucille of The Walking Dead fame from shooting position to shooting position after stating the line "I ain't going nowhere without Lucille!  It's all fun stuff to do, once and a while, at a MONTHLY match.  That kind of stuff does not work very well at a State or above match where shooting skill is the key focus.

 

Fun is where you find it.  If you want some of that in a match, offer to write a few stages for your local club.  Most Match Directors can use the extra help!

 

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39 minutes ago, CodyMaverick said:

The 'FUN STUFF' is still here it's just now you only find it in the stories told by the old timers around the campfire. :rolleyes:

 

Seriously though, I would love for us to be doing some of those crazy things I've heard stories about.  I've heard a number of answers when I asked about it,  don't agree with any of them but I'm not in charge... yet!

Some of the "fun" stuff was stupid and/ or dangerous.  Some of the "fun" stuff is colored thru the lense of failing memories and some stuff has fallen out of favor as the average age of our shooters has grown. 

 

Falling while getting in or out of bathtubs and seeing your fellow shooters break bones changes your perspective on certain scenarios.

 

Wobbly platforms and bedspring footing with loaded guns is inviting disaster.

 

Items of chance which alter results and standings because of a card flip or dice roll have no business in a competition.

 

And old school scenarios like shoot prone from under the fence then roll under the wagon and drag the weighted dummy to the next position sound like a hoot until you begin questioning how the 84 year old Cattle Baroness is going to do this safely.

 

And admittedly, other shooting disciplines do a lot more physical activities than cowboy.  But those disciplines are designed to exclude those not up to the physical requirements of the activity from the activity. 

Cowboy is and has always been about inclusion of everybody from buckarettes to grande dames; and our changed has evolved as our shooters have.

I always find it interesting when folks claim that the game has LESS activity because the top shooters ask for it - this just tells me these folks don't talk to too many top shooters. 

The top shooters only ask for the results to reflect the competition; but they will happily participate in all components of the game. 

As a matter of fact; I have found the top shooters often times more desiring and accepting of "more" to make their experience more interesting.

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It's at the Georgia Piedmont Regulators.  We almost always have "props" or kookie lines.

 

There was one stage from "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" where you had to carry a stuffed frog from Shooting position to shooting position.

DSCN4354.jpg

 

Or "TRAIN!" (Our version of "Airplane!" where the shooter had to start with his arm around the RO and say the line "Have you ever seen a grown man naked?"

PiedmontRegulatorsMay2014-TRAIN023.jpg

 

Or the "Rocky Western Picture Show" where you had to wear a cape and do "The Time Warp"
Howdoyoudo-TellicoTraveler.jpg.  Another stage on that match you had to start holding a newspaper over your head while other people use squirt guns, or threw rice.

 

Or my favorite, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail meets Bonanza".  You had to use a sword to defeat the Black Knight
th_Bea%20Itchin%20Stage%203.mp4

 

It just takes "THE WILL" to do it!

 

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A question I have asked before and now I am asking again.

 

How much Action should we have in a Cowboy Action Shooting Match ?

 

If a "stand and deliver" stage is 25 seconds (for a reasonably good shooter), how much action (time) should be added for a Cowboy Action stage ?

ie., Moving from one position to another, carrying a bag of something with you,  opening a jail cell door, throwing a knife, turning over a table, stabbing a "dummy", throwing a tomahawk, etc.:  5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds ?  What is your opinion ?  Do you want all stages to be "stand and deliver" ?  No Action at All ?

 

20 years ago, the Action often used as much time as the Shooting.

 

What do we want as a game/sport ?

 

Seems to me - as we acquired more Shooters, we reduced the Action to speed up the Match.  Not that we disliked the Action.

 

Perhaps we should down (a tad) and have just a little more silly fun.

 

There is no right answer.  How do you feel ?

 

 

 

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I try to ride my exercise bike every afternoon, and put in a tape or DVD to pass the time.  Today by coincidence it was an old VHS tape,, "The Top Shooter's Guide to Cowboy Action Shooting; Part II, Quicken the Pace", with Bounty Hunter (Hunter Scott Anderson), who sadly is no longer with us.  The tape was dated 1998, the year I first joined SASS.   I watched Bounty Hunter, China Camp, Island Girl, Rowdy Yates, Tutler, Tequila, San Juan, and others do all the old stuff.  They were top shooters,  and they were having fun doing the "old stuff" on the clock.

 

Perhaps the pendulum will swing back a bit.  (pun not intended but maybe appropriate! ;))

 

 

 

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Used to shoot starting seated in an outhouse with a pair of way oversized overalls around our knees. On the buzzer, stand up, pull up the overalls and hold with one hand.  Turn, facing downrange, draw one pistol from a holster hanging on the outside of the building, shoot five rounds.  Second pistol was staged in front of where the shooter was now standing, as was the rifle and shotgun (so the shooter didn't have to move).

 

Where has all the fun stuff gone? I think it died with the late, great Cathouse Bill Blattler! :(

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we just had our annual on Dec second, Grandma Got Run Over by a StageCoach, and had the shooter carry a present to the buckboard before shooting, throwing a lasso over a reindeer and having both hands on your nose cause it's cold.

 

Our shooters enjoyed it and we'll be doing it for our monthlies.  

 

send me a PM with your email and I'll send you a copy of the booklet (our booklet really isn't a booklet in that both the diagram and description is on the same page which doesn't work if you what to put it in booklet form but yea, we do the best we can)

cheyenne

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27 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Some of the "fun" stuff was stupid and/ or dangerous.

 

True enough and thanks for pointing out so many of them.  I don't know anyone that wants to do that kind of stuff.  Perhaps the word 'crazy' was poorly chosen.  The types of things Rolan mentioned were more in my line of thinking.  I have also heard about the unstable platforms and climbing in/out of things but those are not presented in a "I wish we still did that" sort of way but in more of the "What the hell were we thinking" kind.

 

The main reasons I have heard against doing more non-shooting activities have been:

1. Makes the match take too long.      Well I guess there are those that had other plans for the rest of the day, not me!

2. Interferes with the 'competition' aspect of the game.     It doesn't have to.

3. Some of the shooter's will complain about it.    Some of the shooter's are going to complain about something anyway.

 

There's more but that's enough.

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So long as the extra things are fairly simple, like pushing a door down or carrying a prop to the next stage, I have not heard anyone complain.  The complaints come when athletic bias come into play.  A stage that's a track meet carrying a prop is usually not appreciated by an older or weaker shooter.   You can keep the fun in, just don't do it on the clock.

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We just started in late 2013 and that club had an elaborate story line for each stage and usually a prop to carry or move or something.   The story line is dead as are the props.  Last match there wasn't even a line to say. Just answer, "shooter ready?".  

 

I watched some videos on YouTube this week where ever stage started with gun aimed down range. 

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I always love the line chance has no place in a shooting competition? Seriously? When was the last time anyone got paid at awards? This is all about fun.

 

  It might not be fair to people..  life isn't fair.  Short people deal with being short every day, I should know.. I'm short.  Tall people have their own struggles.  

  

   Being different from other shooting sports is what brought many of us to sass.  

   Shooting sub 13 second stages is cool. I did a jig the first time I did. But it gets old fast. The stages  we remember and talk about are very rarely the fast ones.  It's the times bubba missed the easy target with a rope  or when Sally was able to shoot under a prop and beat everyone tall on the stage who had to shoot over it.

   The day when all the fun/silly stuff leaves sass is the day the ideals that founded sass dies. And quite frankly I doubt the sport would survive it.

 

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Over the last fifteen or twenty years I think enuff shooters have voted with their feet to get the message across for anyone willing to listen.  In my opinion SASS fell in line behind the most vocal crowd and tried to ignore the very obvious shift that started to occur among those who were not willing to argue on the public formats, thus they voted with their feet and memberships.   

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1 hour ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

I once suggested adding a couple of "odd guns" to the string.   Maybe something like a .30-30 or an extra pistol that would be provided.   Gun would be fired at a giant dump target at middle distance.  No penatly for missing, no bonus for hitting, you just had to make the effort to fire the gun in the general direction of the target and then do the standard 10-10-4..   The general consensus was, "Sounds like fun, as long as it's off the clock."

 

Which to me seemed kind of defeated the purpose of adding it.  I think it's only a matter of time before SASS becomes a "game" where you just stand in one spot and fire all your guns at a single large target.

I shoot at a club that occasionally has a stage with a 4'x8' target with all shots fired on the one target and misses don't count. You'd be surprised how many rifle rounds are jacked out (unfired rounds are a 5 second penalty), how many slip a hammer and have to go around and how many shotgun loads are fumbled. Sometimes it's a shooters worst stage of the match because most try to exceed their speed limit.

 

I personally like from 2 to 4 shooting positions per stage, Stand and Deliver is a bit boring.

 

Randy

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I have recently got involved in this game and was a little upset to see that the emphasis is on speed and not really fun. I have know about SASS for many years but only recently started participating and for me it is more than just a competition and a speed match. I am a history buff, a western fan and a shooter. I enjoy the feeling of the history, getting dressed up and becoming a cowboy. I love shooting the single actions and levers, cocking the hammers on the double. I look forward to doing the goody things or silly scenarios. For me that is what this game is about. 

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9 minutes ago, Dark Horse Charlie said:

I have recently got involved in this game and was a little upset to see that the emphasis is on speed and not really fun. I have know about SASS for many years but only recently started participating and for me it is more than just a competition and a speed match. I am a history buff, a western fan and a shooter. I enjoy the feeling of the history, getting dressed up and becoming a cowboy. I love shooting the single actions and levers, cocking the hammers on the double. I look forward to doing the goody things or silly scenarios. For me that is what this game is about. 

+1

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Oh, lawd. Just when I was saying we have nothing to fight about any more. :)

 

If you build it, and it's truly fun for most people, they will come. 

 

If you build it and they don't come, it wasn't really fun for most people.

 

It really  is NOT aeronautical engineering. . .or rocket science either. :lol:

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We began doing the fun stuff before the beep because of similar complaints. "This is a shooting competition not an arcade game."  

 

And as we continue to evolve, the sequences have been minimized, the targets are so close you can spit on them, they are so big that Ray Charles could shoot a clean match and on and on. The fasted thumb is now the winner.

 

Lord help us if we make it a challenge that requires the shooter to aim.

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Around our neck of the woods, we stopped shooting from a saddle (mounted on a 55 gal drum), or a wagon mounted on springs, or crouched from behind hay bales years ago as the average age of shooters increased.  Lots of our shooter would have problems getting up or down;  definitely not fun -- or equal -- for everyone.

 

At our annual we still sometimes have the shooter throw a dynamite stick (if you get it in the bucket you win a chance at a prize) OFF THE CLOCK (before the timer), or shoot at a bonus target (after the stage).

 

We still pick a theme for the match (usually a movie), and will have starting lines that are quotes from the theme.  I like to have a short description of the scene from the movie that the line comes from.  Yes, it takes a little time (literally a minute), but it provides an opportunity for smart a$$es on the posse to come up with something funny to say, or maybe it will cause someone to watch a western movie they hadn't considered before.

 

One of my favorite themes from this year was "The Shakiest Gun in the West" starring Don Knotts.  Plenty of funny lines in that movie.

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Well there are still clubs doing stuff on and off the clock. They can be found. We have 1 or 2 here in NE Texas.  Don't do it every month but it does work its way in occasionally.

 

As for having to aim just go to an NCOWS match. ;)

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3 hours ago, Mustang Gregg said:

acr:FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm::FlagAm:

 

Hello, the Fire:

 

Why has the stuff like throwing a lasso, kicking open the saloon door, pouring a shot, tossing a stick of dynamite, etc., etc. gone away?

I used to write stuff like that into almost every stage.  And most of the local shooters said they liked it.

When we go to annual shoots and distant Saturday or Sunday shoots, I seldom see it anymore.

In fact I have heard some Pards seem butthurt and getting vocal that "they are there to shoot, and not to play games".

 

So anymore, I don't write stages with the "fun stuff" on the timer.  That stuff is still there, but not on the clock.

 

Merry Christmas,

Mustang

 

BTW:  When we get the new SASS outfit started, we will have some "fun stuff" written in it.

I guess we'll gauge our success by the number of shooters who show up.

Sacrificed on the alter of speed

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34 minutes ago, evil dogooder said:

I always love the line chance has no place in a shooting competition? Seriously? When was the last time anyone got paid at awards? This is all about fun.

It might not be fair to people..  life isn't fair.  Short people deal with being short every day, I should know.. I'm short.  Tall people have their own struggles. 

Yes, seriously. 

Does someone have to get paid to expect an equitable and fair situation?

 

Most people in a competition situation have FUN based on performing (or attempting to perform) their best.

And they especially have fun when they may compare their results at a given activity with those of their peers.

But comparing results that are not based on comparable activities mean nothing.

 

It is NOT fun to see a win or placement taken from a shooter by virtue of chance...

Rolling a die to see how many shotgun you have to shoot is not fair.

Flipping a card that calls for some shooters to shoot pistol targets with rifle and pistol and calls for others to shoot rifle targets with both is not fair.

Having other shooters stage your guns or ammo in the manner of their choosing is not fair.

And attempting to compare results from a competition that allows such disparities in activity is meaningless.

 

Fair is a much maligned word - because everyone seems to think the word means equal.

It does not - it simply means consistency - it means everyone has access to the same rules and settings.

Being short means playing in the NBA may be more difficult.  But it is a competition and we don't change the height of the rim.

Being tall may make being a professional jockey more difficult.  But it is a competition and we don't issue you a motorcycle.

Being 140 pounds make make playing football more difficult.  But is is a competition and we don't offer you a firearm and a bodyguard.

Being 340 pounds may make being gymnast more difficult.  But is it a competition and we don't offer you a crane and wire assists from Cirque Du Soleil.

 

Because those challenges are consistent to everyone that attempts the activity - and to alter the conditions by chance would alter the results.

 

A quality match director knows that everyone is not the same - some are better shots - some are more fleet of foot.

Some are tall and some are short.

Every variable possible should be taken into account to ensure everyone has access to the same opportunities.

If that is done - then it is a competition and those better skilled, better suited to the competition will likely prevail.

 

To deliberately introduce (or accept) factors that do otherwise is to cheapen the competition and compromise the awards.

And yes, ultimately diminish the fun.

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Well, there you have it.

 

The classic argument between those who's idea of fun is a shooting competition without distractions, and those who like to mix it up with unusual stuff.

 

Here is my pal Wild Bill Blackerby with his pet chicken Bertha. That's Saguaro Jack on the left.

 

Bertha still gets dragged out for stages every once in a while, you usually have to carry her from shooting position to shooting position.

 

saguaro_wildbill_zpscf9k1o6i.jpg

 

 

 

One of my favorite stages of all time was the one we called 'You said all you can eat!'

 

You had to carry a plate of food from one shooting position to the next.

 

We don't sit on play horses anymore, too many of us our too old and too fat.

 

But I used to really love the stage where you were in a jail cell and on the beep you had to pull a lever to get out of the cell before you could start shooting. It was really a pretty elaborate jail cell.

 

That was part of the problem with these stages, sometimes the equipment had to be pretty elaborate.

 

Another favorite was the one where we had to shoot 'snakes' past a line on the ground. The snakes were sections of garden hose. They would really jump when you blasted them with a shotgun.

 

Different strokes for different folks.

 

Some guys just want to shoot, others, like me, don't give a hoot about how fast we shoot and just like to fool around.

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1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Most people in a competition situation have FUN based on performing (or attempting to perform) their best.

 

 

I don't. I got started in cowboy action shooting because it's fun to shoot. Shooting lever guns, single-action revolvers, and a double just feels right. Ringing steel is fun. I never really got a thrill from shooting faster, though.

 

If I felt that SASS was nothing more than a competition between me and the other guy, I'd probably just sell my guns and move on. I'm not a fast shooter, and I don't care what my times are. Heck, if somebody holds the rope on the plate rack while I'm shooting, I'll outgrin 'em - it's funny!

 

I know a couple of guys who might get into cowboy shooting because of the competition. Most of my friends who have been interested, though, are interested because I talk about how much fun it is.  And honestly, I suspect that's where the greatest pool of potential shooters is.

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56 minutes ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

The classic argument between those who's idea of fun is a shooting competition without distractions, and those who like to mix it up with unusual stuff

 

"Moderation is best in all things"

 

I like a good competition and also like variety and unusual stuff.  I fail to see an incompatibility.

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