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Ideas to Grow SASS Membership and expand the Sport


Buckaroo Bubba

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"Boo" if you want.  One great help would be cost reduction.  The best cost reduction is ammo.  Priced a box of factory 45 Colt cowboy loads lately?  The fix is to allow 22LR for all shooters.  A new/casual shooter will be much more comfortable buying $10 or $15 worth of 22LR for the monthly match than $100 or more for enough factory center-fire ammo.  We already have folks using short 32's and poof  38's.  22LR recoil is closer to those 32's than the 32 is to factory 45 Colt.  Aside from loss of machismo, what's to lose?

 

This idea is poison, I know, but there should be room for "no costume" shooters.  Many's the time I've talked to USPSA competitors who would love to do some cowboy shooting but, the costume turns them away.  I believe that those who get into the competition will come around to the costuming.

 

These two ideas would help out a lot.  They allow people to get going without robbing the bank or adopting a whole new lifestyle.  Imagine a "30 something" family with mom, dad and two kids sharing a set of 22's and having a ball.  Costumes and heavy calibers will come.  Let 'em in the door.

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Many good ideas have been posted here. And those will have to be explored to see which ones allow more growth, but without identity loss.

 

Another marketing angle- celebrities. Surely somewhere in the SASS ranks are notable sports figures, actors, recording artists or other entertainers that could be asked to promote the sport. Most country recording artists like to hunt and shoot already.  Or SASS sponsors that have access to celebrities? What about NASCAR contacts? Perhaps they would become SASS ambassadors?

 

Just some thoughts while walking the dog.

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2 hours ago, Joke 'um said:

  The fix is to allow 22LR for all shooters.  

 

I practice with a pair of Ruger Single Sixes and a Henry .22.  I would love to be able to shoot them in a monthly match!  Don't care about ranking, just give me my time and I'm happy.  For matches other than a routine monthly match, limit the .22s to the kids.  I'm not interested in stealing a certificate or plaque.  But the variety would be cool. and I think your comment about cost for new shooters is spot on.

 

(If I could also use grandpa's .410 pump, it would be like Christmas!! :D)

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A 22 category might work out at the local club level. I feel it would work for folks on a budget or for those that just want to participate. A $300 rifle and a couple of those $200 Heritage single action pistols. Throw in a $300 shotgun and they would be in business. Local shoots only, no new categories in state or above matches.

As for clothing, a pair of pants and a button up shirt is all that is needed now. 

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On 4/11/2018 at 5:20 PM, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

And we ARE currently the Geezer shooting sport...

To be honest, one of the biggest reasons I started doing CAS is because I'm too old to play paintball anymore.  As a friend who shoots CAS and used to own a paintball store said "I used to shoot at real people with fake guns, now I shoot at fake people with real guns".

 

I DO remember watching CAS on TV in the 90's and thinking how much fun it looked.  I haven't shot in any big matches but part of the appeal at the time for me was the "scenario" aspect.  I like playing pretend, as stupid as that sounds.  That was a huge appeal for me playing paintball...attack the base, plant the explosives etc.  When paintball stopped becoming guys playing war in the woods in camo to really fast guns being shot on a football sized field (literally called "speedball") I lost interest.

 

A couple of people mentioned a cancelled show called Cowboys on the Outdoor Network.  The internet doesn't have the same problems as TV.  Ratings don't matter.  Practically everyone has a TV studio, and a TV, in their pockets today.  The technology available these days to broadcast and playback content just blows my mind.  Having a You Tube channel is something that would cost literally nothing but a little time and effort.

 

The cost of entering the sport has been brought up too.  I can say this; as a newbie to the sport having to buy 2 pistols sucked eggs (I'd love to shoot B-Movie cowboy sometime but I don't want to buy another rifle either).

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 10:21 AM, Buckaroo Bubba said:

Let's face it, our sport isn't for everyone but let's dig up those people who belong here with us.

Thanks, Bubba

This thread had good intentions but slowly became a P & M session about how CAS should change to allow more folks a chance to play. Just like any other monetary spending decisions, a person must weigh the costs prior to spending their money on a hobby. If I couldn't afford CAS/SASS I would have chosen something else. If you want a one gun non-cowboy dress shooting event try IDPA.  If you have an appreciation of the western era, cowboy movies or single action firearms and can afford to play the game, then join up and start shooting. It took me three months to gather up the needed equipment to shoot my first match. During those three months I went to setups & matches to learn the game and get to know the people without shooting a single round down range. Becoming a cowboy action shooter was one of the best decisions of my life. Believe the phrase, "you come for the shooting but stay for the people", it's the truth. Best pards I've ever had.

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Years ago at "the Hatbill Gang" monthly shoot, we had lots of folks show up early and just stand around waiting to get started.

So before the match started, we had the "Rimrire Rukus"...one 22 SA pistol, a 22 leveraction rifle and a single barrel or any shotgun.

We shot a regular scenario with 5 pistol, 10 rifle and 4 shotgun...shoot as many times as you want!! Best time got bragging rights.

We had folks show up just to shoot Rimfire Rukus, than go home. I asked why...they didn't have the guns for the main match.

We started a Rimfire Rukus category!! We even let folks stage pistol, so no leather was required.  a shot gun belt was always around as a loaner.

People who came to watch could be taken to a empty stage and shoot for 15 22s and a few shotgun shells!!

The smiles on their faces said I'm hooked!!! The club grew!!!!!!!!!

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I wanted to throw my opinion out there. I have read through the replies. I am a new shooter as I have not yet attended a match yet and I am on the young side. I attended a monthly meeting at my local club back in June of last year.  I am still highly interested in getting into CAS and Wild Bunch shooting as I grew up watching these types of movies and still try to watch them when I can.  The costuming for me isn’t really a deal breaker as it can be a very simple outfit.  Some boots, jeans, a shirt and a hat and you are all set to go.  You can always upgrade later. 

For me the biggest thing as many have suggested is the cost to start up and I have suggested to some friends about getting involved and once they see the startup costs they are immediately turned off.  Like others have said people were willing to loan me guns to shoot, however I did not feel comfortable doing so.  I still don’t have the equipment to go out and shoot a CAS match but I do have the equipment necessary to do a wild bunch match.  So that’s where I will be starting. 

Eventually I will make the jump to CAS but it will take awhile.  If there were a beginner category so that someone could start off slow I think this would encourage others who are younger to get involved.  I also like the idea of beginners being able to use .22 as this would have made the start costs a little easier. 

I came across SASS through YouTube and started watching some videos and was hooked.  There is some great information out there for SASS with YouTube videos.  I think if SASS had their own channel that was updated regularly with footage from the big matches that could encourage attendance.  Another thought is to produce a set of videos that explain what someone would need to get going.  Breaking down the guns and explaining the categories and different styles.  Basically, a one stop shop for newbies.

Attending gun shows is another great idea I know it would catch some eyes, possibly even attending local fairs or carnivals? Setting up raffles? 1st prize is a sponsored shoot.  You come out and we will teach you to shoot and everything is covered. 

As it has been stated this isn’t for everyone.  But I think more can be done to bring it more mainstream and expose it to a greater crowd. 

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On 4/14/2018 at 10:23 PM, Dutch Wheeler said:

 

I use to watch Cowboys on the Outdoor Channel every week, and would tell my family "WOW, that looks like fun!"  So, for Father's Day in 2010, my daughter and my son-in-law gave me a Stoeger Coach Gun, which sent me down the rabbit hole.  Shot my first match in 2011, and have been living the dream, every weekend, ever since!

 

Without seeing that show every week, I wouldn't have had any idea this game was even available.

This brings up an opportunity for SASS the COMPANY to jump in.

 

Wouldn't it be COOL to see some sass TV ad's during those westerns? I mean, they're willing to advertise the ShamWow, the "tactical" LED lantern and every brand of firearm known to man. Why not toss in a once-a-show 30 second SASS spot? Talk about hitting the right audience at the right time!!

 

I wonder what it would cost.... maybe someone at HQ should check into that. 

 

Furthermore, there are at least two cable channels that I know of that are 100% devoted to westerns. Perhaps those should be looked at too. What would it hurt to find out what an ad costs? - again, talk about a targeted market! It just doesn't get much better than that.

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18 hours ago, Assassin said:

A 22 category might work out at the local club level. I feel it would work for folks on a budget or for those that just want to participate. A $300 rifle and a couple of those $200 Heritage single action pistols. Throw in a $300 shotgun and they would be in business. Local shoots only, no new categories in state or above matches.

As for clothing, a pair of pants and a button up shirt is all that is needed now. 

Our club has been offering a 22 category at monthlies for about three years. No problems with it. 

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:ph34r:  Yep--  "I wish I were 22 again!"  IWIW22A as a category works for us.  It allows participation when main match guns are down for repairs, and it worked well for ME when I was down for repairs following shoulder rebuild.  Borrowed a LH Xdraw holster to go with a strong LH holster and shot LH duelist, and shotgun as Outlaw.  Rifle worked OK if elbow was kept against my side.  No recoil and less weight.  Kept me from getting (too) rusty.....

 

Allows newcomers to 'test the waters' more easily. 

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15 hours ago, lone_ranger674 said:

 

Breaking down the guns and explaining the categories and different styles.  Basically, a one stop shop for newbies.

 

 

OK, maybe it's not a YouTube video that everybody expects now, but this info is available already.......

It's called the "Shooters Handbook".

People just have to read it.

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1 hour ago, Sixgun Seamus said:

OK, maybe it's not a YouTube video that everybody expects now, but this info is available already.......

It's called the "Shooters Handbook".

People just have to read it.

 

I'm sad to say that folks just don't read anymore.  They want everything handed to them in a short, easy to consume video.  The dumbing down of society, but that's another topic.

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Not sure about the idea of adults using 22s or any real change as a way to prevent a baby boomer game from dying out. Flippant maybe, but I wonder at what point bullets and real guns don't matter, and SASS just becomes a video game one plays.

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14 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

I'm sad to say that folks just don't read anymore.  They want everything handed to them in a short, easy to consume video.  The dumbing down of society, but that's another topic.

Unfortunately this was my point.  Make it easier for a younger crowd to learn and get involved.  (but it is sad most people are reluctant to pick up a book)

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5 minutes ago, lone_ranger674 said:

Unfortunately this was my point.  Make it easier for a younger crowd to learn and get involved.  (but it is sad most people are reluctant to pick up a book)

It's hard to turn pages when you have a phone in your hand. It is also hard to concentrate when you have text messages to follow.

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2 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

Not sure about the idea of adults using 22s or any real change as a way to prevent a baby boomer game from dying out. Flippant maybe, but I wonder at what point bullets and real guns don't matter, and SASS just becomes a video game one plays.

I agree.  A hundred years ago the buggy whip makers probably brainstormed ways to keep the market viable.

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 6:02 AM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Here’s a novel idea that’s probably going to tweak some noses.

 

1) As Buffalo Beau James and Sarge2 mentioned. A category for beginners with one or two guns.

 

2) When possible new shooters come one the Wire and ask “what do I need?” Or “I want to buy a rifle and I am thinking about getting into this game but have no other guns” The first thing that happens, after the welcomes, is a bunch of folks pile on with “you need this, don’t buy that and then send it to so and so and have it slicked up and then you need this and you better have that...”

If you have ever read some of these threads from the perspective  of what a newcomer might be thinking you’d see WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY attracting newcomers.

The very best, not, is when two salty CAS shooters get into a peeing match over what the newcomer should have. Brilliant!

 

Look at these things as if you were 21 years old again on a serious budget when you respond to newcomers. I have no idea how many times I have seen and heard “Wow, I never realized how much work this was going to be. I’ll have to look at some things and get back to you” and they are never seen or heard from again. 

It’s not because they don’t want to play. It’s because WE ARE INTIMIDATING! We intimidate them with monetary and technical confusion.

 

KNOCK IT OFF!

 

Pat (yes, I’m yelling) Riot

 

On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 8:51 AM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

I would like to add something else.

 

Cowboy Action Shooting is Cowboy ACTION Shooting.

Not Cowboy SPEED Shooting.

Not Cowboy GAMER Shooting

Not Cowboy STAND IN ONE SPOT AND DUMP AMMO USING DIFFERENT SWEEPS FOR EACH STAGE BUT STILL USE THE SAME AMMO COUNT, THE SAME TARGETS, AND THE SAME SCENARIOS ALL TO KEEP THE GAMERS HAPPY Shooting. Yes, I said "GAMERS".

 

Also, when I started out in SASS there were Gamey Folks that shot light loads and there were Gamey folks that practiced and practiced to get faster and more efficient but there were also folks that, like me, that weren't necessarily there for a "Speed Competition", which is why IPSC, IDPA and Tactical Combat shooting lost it's allure with me. There was lots of good natured ribbing with "The Gamers" making fun of their "mouse-fart loads" and "wimp loads" but it was all in fun and most of us loved watching them shoot because "they might be a gamer but man, are they fast"...But something happened while I was away. Gaming, Mouse-fart loads and Wimp loads became the norm. Please don't get me wrong here. I am not looking down my nose at any of you. I am saying this to make a point.

 

Now I said all this to say that nearly every newcomer that comes on here hears something like this;

"That gun won't cut it. It's not fast enough."

"You'll never win a match shooting that thing, you need a Winmarlinchester 76.5"

"Those things are slow."

"You'll need to practice your "whatever" maneuver over and over until YOUR FAST ENOUGH"

 

When did this game become solely about SPEED?

If SASS was based on the premise of speed, like some of you revisionist SASS historians claim, SASS would not exist today.

SASS had an allure. That allure was "The Old West". The way things were. The way people were. It wasn't about speed shooting. It became about speed shooting.

 

"Well, see, if you take your time... you get a more harmonious outcome." - Joe Gill, Crossfire Trail

Okay--here's an opinion from a new shooter-just a year ago, I attended my first weekly shoot.  Didn't shoot, just observed and picked up brass, helped out, got to meet several shooters.  I shoot for the fun of it, looking to improve my skills and my time along the way.  Pat is right on a lot of points, especially the alienation of people.  Over the past year, I've gotten some helpful advice but I've also felt a little intimidated at times.  I will admit that it kinda sucks to show up to shoot with your new-to-you lever action rifle, only to be told "Oh, that's not slicked up--it's going to be slow as hell. You should send it to ol' so-and-so and spend another $500 dollars to get it slicked up before you use it.  Mind you, I'm not "well-off", but I do alright money-wise, (I bought four pistols, two rifles and two shotguns, plus leathers)but having that occur with every firearm you buy will put a serious crimp in your enthusiasm.  I try to get out at least twice a month, sometimes I get to the range every week, sometimes not.  I shoot against several people that post times in the 16-20 sec range, while I turn in 30-35 sec stages--I'm okay with that, speed will come in time.  But we really need to try to be a little less off-putting when it comes to equipment.  Just last week I had two squibs-not a normal occurrence for me- but someone immediately asked what loader I used and did it have a "charge check" on it.  I immediately bristled because I knew where they were headed.  I load on a Lee because I can afford it.  If someone wants to give me a Dillon, I'll take it, but I can't justify laying out another $650 just because you don't like the color of my press! (Especially when I have one that works perfectly fine mounted to my bench now!)  I understand that we all have our preferences, but how about this--Before you open your mouth to tell a new shooter what he needs, think back to when you first got into this game.  You remember, when you saved up for a whole year to buy your first six-shooters, were reloading with an Ideal "squeezer" , or a single stage press.  When you'd go without a beer just to buy a box of bullets to shoot the next weekend.  Back when the most important thing to you was to get out and shoot and have a good time(not the time on a stopwatch)! 

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2 hours ago, Nasty Newt # 7365 said:

I agree.  A hundred years ago the buggy whip makers probably brainstormed ways to keep the market viable.

So that's what started the Women's Suffrage Movement, eh? :P:D:lol:

image.thumb.jpeg.49ea39c43f53f1214b72ebc66f33fe76.jpeg

Sorry...couldn't help myself. :D

 

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22 minutes ago, Smoky Pistols said:

 

Okay--here's an opinion from a new shooter-just a year ago, I attended my first weekly shoot.  Didn't shoot, just observed and picked up brass, helped out, got to meet several shooters.  I shoot for the fun of it, looking to improve my skills and my time along the way.  Pat is right on a lot of points, especially the alienation of people.  Over the past year, I've gotten some helpful advice but I've also felt a little intimidated at times.  I will admit that it kinda sucks to show up to shoot with your new-to-you lever action rifle, only to be told "Oh, that's not slicked up--it's going to be slow as hell. You should send it to ol' so-and-so and spend another $500 dollars to get it slicked up before you use it.  Mind you, I'm not "well-off", but I do alright money-wise, (I bought four pistols, two rifles and two shotguns, plus leathers)but having that occur with every firearm you buy will put a serious crimp in your enthusiasm.  I try to get out at least twice a month, sometimes I get to the range every week, sometimes not.  I shoot against several people that post times in the 16-20 sec range, while I turn in 30-35 sec stages--I'm okay with that, speed will come in time.  But we really need to try to be a little less off-putting when it comes to equipment.  Just last week I had two squibs-not a normal occurrence for me- but someone immediately asked what loader I used and did it have a "charge check" on it.  I immediately bristled because I knew where they were headed.  I load on a Lee because I can afford it.  If someone wants to give me a Dillon, I'll take it, but I can't justify laying out another $650 just because you don't like the color of my press! (Especially when I have one that works perfectly fine mounted to my bench now!)  I understand that we all have our preferences, but how about this--Before you open your mouth to tell a new shooter what he needs, think back to when you first got into this game.  You remember, when you saved up for a whole year to buy your first six-shooters, were reloading with an Ideal "squeezer" , or a single stage press.  When you'd go without a beer just to buy a box of bullets to shoot the next weekend.  Back when the most important thing to you was to get out and shoot and have a good time(not the time on a stopwatch)! 

Try showin up at a match with a Lightning Rifle (any make) as a new shooter if you want to have your enthusiasm crimped.

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7 hours ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

I'm sad to say that folks just don't read anymore.  They want everything handed to them in a short, easy to consume video.  The dumbing down of society, but that's another topic.

Doc,  Having been a trainer for a long time, I can tell you from a scientific training standpoint, there are three different categories of learners.  Visual, Auditory annd Kinesthetic.  What works for you may not work for me.  Every good training program simultaneously appeals to all three learning styles.  I humbly disagree that there is s dumbing down of society.  I think people are drawn to the videos because they they engage people in the Auditory and VIsual Categories.  THe Kinethetic learners can take the video out to the range and practice the techiniques.  Just my .02.

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Smoky Pistols,

 

This will be only my 2nd year of cowboy action shooting and have only broken the 40 second barrier three times so if you are shooting 30 to 35 second stages then you are not being held up by your gear.  I loaded lots of ammo on my Lee turret press.

 

Regards

Chestnut Louie

 

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Getting new shooters

 

I shoot with my wife and all of the shoots that I go to are between 10 and 25% women.  Bring your lady and share guns; thats an easy increase.  I talk about my cool (new for me) hobby to friends and co-workers; maybe someone will get the bug.  I like the idea of going to gun shows and plan to volunteer for that in my area.

 

Chestnut Louie

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14 hours ago, chestnut louie said:

Smoky Pistols,

 

This will be only my 2nd year of cowboy action shooting and have only broken the 40 second barrier three times so if you are shooting 30 to 35 second stages then you are not being held up by your gear.  I loaded lots of ammo on my Lee turret press.

 

Regards

Chestnut Louie

 

Actually, I should clarify.  Most of my stages easily double their time, But I have managed to turn in a few 30-35 sec ones.  It's not a regular occurrence-but I'm finding out that there aren't many REGULAR occurrences in CAS anyway!  LOL

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21 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Try showin up at a match with a Lightning Rifle (any make) as a new shooter if you want to have your enthusiasm crimped.

 

Actually, I used my Pedersoli Lightning (thanks!) for the first time at the local match last month.  No one dumped on me for doing that, but I did hear of several people who were amazed my rifle went the whole match without choking :lol:

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I can tell you that the new people to CAS/SASS are very intimidated by all the rules and by all the categories, me being one of those people.  

 

Just reading all the WTC threads here in the wire makes my head spin - there seem to be experts among us who spend their time wondering how to assess penalties for any possible scenario.  And it is rare that they agree with one another.

 

If you want people to come out and enjoy the fellowship and shooting  the old style guns, that is great, but over-regulation is something that kills fun most of the time.

 

I agree with the gentleman (Assasin) in the opinion above, his last sentence says volumes- that getting rid of some of the categories and unnecessary rules is a start.  

 

These are just some thoughts from someone new to the sport.........

WW

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4 hours ago, Wicked Wayne said:

I can tell you that the new people to CAS/SASS are very intimidated by all the rules and by all the categories, me being one of those people.  

 

Just reading all the WTC threads here in the wire makes my head spin - there seem to be experts among us who spend their time wondering how to assess penalties for any possible scenario.  And it is rare that they agree with one another.

 

If you want people to come out and enjoy the fellowship and shooting  the old style guns, that is great, but over-regulation is something that kills fun most of the time.

 

I agree with the gentleman (Assasin) in the opinion above, his last sentence says volumes- that getting rid of some of the categories and unnecessary rules is a start.  

 

These are just some thoughts from someone new to the sport.........

WW

In my little circle the local matches don't get strict about anything except safety. Once you get to sanctioned matches, there are more cats to herd.

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35 minutes ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

In my little circle the local matches don't get strict about anything except safety. Once you get to sanctioned matches, there are more cats to herd.

This kind of lax rule enforcement is exactly what makes problems for these shooters at big matches. “Well it’s allowed at my club”

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5 hours ago, Wicked Wayne said:

I can tell you that the new people to CAS/SASS are very intimidated by all the rules and by all the categories, me being one of those people.  

 

Just reading all the WTC threads here in the wire makes my head spin - there seem to be experts among us who spend their time wondering how to assess penalties for any possible scenario.  And it is rare that they agree with one another.

 

If you want people to come out and enjoy the fellowship and shooting  the old style guns, that is great, but over-regulation is something that kills fun most of the time.

 

I agree with the gentleman (Assasin) in the opinion above, his last sentence says volumes- that getting rid of some of the categories and unnecessary rules is a start.  

 

These are just some thoughts from someone new to the sport.........

WW

IMHO, safety should never be under regulated, if it’s safety rules that you’re referring to. Either the safety rules are there for everybody to abide by or don’t apply them to anyone. If that kills the fun that’s to bad, people get hurt or worse when safety rules are not enforced. A club that I shoot with lost a large part of their traditional range because of an accidental death caused by lax safety practices of other users of the range. 

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Nothing was ever said about cutting corners in safety -  not something that I would ever support

WW

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1 hour ago, Wicked Wayne said:

Nothing was ever said about cutting corners in safety -  not something that I would ever support

WW

What rules then are you referring to?  Enlighten us.

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The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a .22LR category.  A pair of Heritage pistols, a Henry, and a single-shot Stevens...add in the leather, and you are still well under a grand.  Much easier for a new shooter to start with, and within reach for a club to pitch in for as loaner gear.

 

As added benefits, .22LR ammo is dirt cheap, so it becomes affordable to practice more often while you save up for larger calibers...and the low recoil and lower weight of the weapons can make it easier for folks with bad wrists.

 

Outside CAS, I used to raise my eyebrows at .22LR shooting, but after my wife picked one up, I realized it was actually pretty fun to plink around with.

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10 hours ago, Sgt. Saywut said:

 

Actually, I used my Pedersoli Lightning (thanks!) for the first time at the local match last month.  No one dumped on me for doing that, but I did hear of several people who were amazed my rifle went the whole match without choking :lol:

You know what to do now if it chokes, right?

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Not all rules are "safety" rules. I can give a few examples of rules that could go away an would not effect safety whatsoever. 

 

Empties left on a carrier with an open action. 

Adjustable sights in duelist categories, adjustable sights were determined to be no advantage.

Shotguns belts at or above the belly button.

Attaching gun belts to suspenders.

Men can't wear designer jeans.

Shady Grady hats. 

SDQ for a rifle with a hammer in the half cock position (it's actually the safety position).

The list could  go on and on. 

 

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