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Snakebite

Editorial (update)

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Snakebite: Thanks for starting this great post, and to all of you for the input that followed. 

 
In Snakebite’s last post he used the word “fun.” I don’t think any of us would be involved in this sport if it wasn’t fun. We sure wouldn’t dress cowboy if it wasn’t fun. And we wouldn’t drive down rickety roads to the range or shoot in the rain if it wasn’t fun. I think “fun” is core to what this is all about. We are all different, and we have different needs, and different stimuli that satisfy us. To this end, I don’t think there is any one stage or target-set that can satisfy everyone. Seems to me that the fast shooters have as much fun shooting the gimmicky stages as they do the stand-and-deliver ones. But I’m not sure sure the opposite can be said. By definition, the fast shooters - the Top 10 - are small percentage of the rest of us, and that speaks to not leaving behind the fun-seeking cowboys and cowgirls to the benefit of the fast shooters.
 
Those of you who don’t live in California, probably have not been to Fort Miller - the annual match at the Kings River Regulator’s range in Clovis, CA. So, many of you many know of Snakebite through SASS events, or this site, but you may not have experienced his scenarios - which are the heart and soul of Fort Miller. One thing I find at Fort Miller, that I see at only a few other events, is a smile on every face. Folks fast and slow are having fun. And I think it is the “fun” - not the awards list - that makes this event a stimulating and must-do match.
 
In addressing what we do at PRVC at Lazy Arrow, I’ve stolen the secret sauce from Snakebite (and I’ve told him this - and I’m forever indebted) and apply the essence of his creativity to our scenarios and stages. Our regular matches consist of an occassional stand-and-deliver stage, a few hold-the-chicken-and-face-the-shooters stages, and a few oddity stages thrown in for good measure. In the spirit of sharing, here are some of things we do to stiumulate interest at our range: we host several theme matches each year; a James Gang match in March, a Custer’s Last Stand match in July, and an O.K. Corral match in October. And we provide our shooters with a “Self-Evaluation Training Video” event in August. Our goal it to provide a rich cowboy experience for our members and guests, all geared to them having fun. We work hard at it. My fellow Deputies Bushy Blonco and Sidewinder Bill and I review and edit and rework each month’s scenarios, and we meet often to discuss whether we are fufilling out goal of delivering a rich experience to all of our attendees.
 
We have found that cultivating their Wild West experiences at PRVC at Lazy Arrow, and providing a fun and comfortable place to be a cowboy or cowgirl - even for a day - leads to them bringing out new people.
 
RR
 

 

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9 hours ago, Charlie T Waite said:

... if the only reason you go to a match is to win an award then you missed the whole point of the game.

 

^This^

 

 

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Ramrod, they would go nuts if they shot that Mother of all Plainsman stage that blew that can about 1000 ft into air, and took ave over two min to shoot!

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9 minutes ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

One more thing I like that was done at High Sierra and several other matches was to shoot a board, break it, and a door opened or the targets became visible.

We got that, we got that!

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I guess the match directors at my club are keeping the fun in mind. I missed many months of shooting but when I went back we shot from a buck board, through a barrel and have scenario stories. The targets are close but vary in size, number and location. It makes me want to go back. 

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3 hours ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

In addition to working at the local level, I asked the question a week or so ago....

 

Why don't we set up more 'old school' stages during side match day of the annual shoots?

 

Or incorporate some of the 'old school' things in the side matches.

 

Or perhaps try some of the old school disciplines, like throwing the knife, during side match day.

 

Does a couple of things.

 

It introduces the experience to people who may be newer to the sport who may not have done it previously.

 

It allows people who reminisce about doing these things 'back in the day' to see if it was as fun as what they remember, or even if they can still do it now. 

 

It give feedback to the match from the people who participate in the activities - both positive and negative.

 

It shows if there is even interest in certain things. For instance, if there is a line 10 deep at closing time (which I have seen at some 'different' side matches) you know you have a winner that you may want to try again.  Then again, if no one does 'it' all day, you will know that no one might be interested in 'it'.

 

I think going "old school" for a few stages on side match day is definitely an idea to explore. For me to do "speed" matches (which are a lot of side matches), I would do better throwing the rounds at the target. You would find out how attractive or unattractive an old school stage was and either elevate it to a main match stage for next year, or change it up and try another angle. A little variety could be a good thing.

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5 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

So what's the plan? How are you guys going to go about this? 

 

Morristown has two shoots a month one set like gunsmoke one old school. We are getting higher turn outs at the old school weekends. In Minnesota anyway the majority is speaking. More like the older style

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12 minutes ago, evil dogooder said:

Morristown has two shoots a month one set like gunsmoke one old school. We are getting higher turn outs at the old school weekends. In Minnesota anyway the majority is speaking. More like the older style

 

Any chance the Gunsmoke folks will give an "old school" stage (or two) a try during side matches next year?

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5 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

 

Any chance the Gunsmoke folks will give an "old school" stage (or two) a try during side matches next year?

Well your asking the right guy since I'm in charge of side matches... the short answer is yes if I get enough interest I'll gladly put one in

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3 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Allie MO, remember the mine at Plainfield Raid? THAT was fun!!!

Are you talking about the pitch dark tent? If so, that was a hoot!

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3 hours ago, Snakebite said:

Ramrod, they would go nuts if they shot that Mother of all Plainsman stage that blew that can about 1000 ft into air, and took ave over two min to shoot!

I remember that stage, and I remember that can going almost out of sight! And hard to hit!

Personally, I like a mix of big and close with old school...not that I ever was fast mind you, but the change was nice.

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9 minutes ago, evil dogooder said:

Well your asking the right guy since I'm in charge of side matches... the short answer is yes if I get enough interest I'll gladly put one in

Sounds good. Will there be a box to check or some other way to show interest on the 2019 Gunsmoke application? Or going by comments here? Or both?

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3 minutes ago, Mad Dog Jack, SASS #77862 said:

I remember that stage, and I remember that can going almost out of sight! And hard to hit!

Personally, I like a mix of big and close with old school...not that I ever was fast mind you, but the change was nice.

 

Stop it. Just Stop it.

No more talk about the "good old stages" unless you show the stage so we can at least get an idea what was so gosh darn fun!!

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10 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

Sounds good. Will there be a box to check or some other way to show interest on the 2019 Gunsmoke application? Or going by comments here? Or both?

   Both.   There I isn't a box but a spot for comments

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1 minute ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

 

Stop it. Just Stop it.

No more talk about the "good old stages" unless you show the stage so we can at least get an idea what was so gosh darn fun!!

Ramrod made this one. It was setup on a very large and wide bay. On that stage you shot a release target that was way down range. It allowed a Bowling ball to meander down a long track made out of PVC. It rolled here and there. while it was rolling, you would shoot a bunch of other tagets, then grab your shotgun and start shooting a bunch of shotgun targets..... keeping an eye on the meandering bowling ball. When the bowling ball hit the end of the track, it set off the Can Cannon that would launch the full can of pop upwards until the can was OUT OF SIGHT. The best chance that you had was seeing the can coming down, and shoot it. The launcher was pretty simple. It was a round pipe that a can just fit into. The bottom had a hole that would just hold a 12 ga shell that was cut off to just above the brass. The shotshell was loaded with 5 gn of BP, with a over shot card ONLY.  The pipe was elevated above a fixed firing pin. When it dropped, BOOM and away the can went. The fun was seeing just how much you could get done before the can went off. God..... what fun that was. People were lined up begging to shoot the stage. 

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7 minutes ago, evil dogooder said:

   Both.   There I isn't a box but a spot for comments

Ok. 2 "yes" votes right here.

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29 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

 

Stop it. Just Stop it.

No more talk about the "good old stages" unless you show the stage so we can at least get an idea what was so gosh darn fun!!

Shooting a bow and arrow, the beep went off when the arrow hit or missed the target. Stabbing the dummy. Sitting in a wagon and staging (safely!) your guns around you how you wanted them. Sitting at a card table with guns staged in front of you and cutting a deck of cards. Walking up to a bar with a bottle of whiskey, setting it down and the beep goes off.

The stage Snakebite referenced that Ramrod wrote was particularly fun for me.

Edit... the stages can have big and close targets too

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1 minute ago, Mad Dog Jack, SASS #77862 said:

 

Shooting a bow and arrow, the beep went off when the arrow hit or missed the target. Stabbing the dummy. Sitting in a wagon and staging (safely!) your guns around you how you wanted them. Sitting at a card table with guns staged in front of you and cutting a deck of cards. Walking up to a bar with a bottle of whiskey, setting it down and the beep goes off.

The stage Snakebite referenced that Ramrod wrote was particularly fun for me.

That's a riot! How did the Chinese Laundry/Restaurant stage go?

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4 hours ago, Snakebite said:

Ramrod, they would go nuts if they shot that Mother of all Plainsman stage that blew that can about 1000 ft into air, and took ave over two min to shoot!

I loved that stage.  It was the first time I used the ten gauge.  I shot the can on the way up and it really flew.  What a hoot.

 

I walked up to the bay with two crossed bandoleers full of ammo, a 1884 45/70 Springfield Trapdoor in one hand, a ten gauge double in the other, two '51 Navies in holsters and another one stuck in my belt.  Solvang Shootist might still have a photo.

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40 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

That's a riot! How did the Chinese Laundry/Restaurant stage go?

Boy, now that's a stage for people that REALLY like to play the game. It's certainly not for everyone, but EVERYONE at the match thought it was a riot.

It is Low Fat's Chinese Laundry Café. There was two rooms, with a breezeway in between the two room. All were open to the downrange side. Sitting a table in front of everything, holding a pair of chop stix. ATB, you pick large rubber cockroaches out of a bowl of rice. You get 3 sec bonus for each roach you get out.... up to 3 max. O-yeah, some of the many roaches were tied to the bottom of the bowl of rice with small monofilament line, so the would jump back in if you grabbed one of them. OK.. the shooter had the option to NOT try for the cockroaches. He could just drop the chop stix and head into room#1 to start shooting through a window at the pistol targets... no problem except that this is a Laundry too.. there were LOTS of cloths on the close lines in front of the targets. There was a big fan blowing the close around... so now you see it now you don't... then you moved into the breezeway for the same experience with the rifle targets..... at last, you move to the second room and did the same thing with the shotgun targets. All the targets were buried in the vast cloth lines, with all the cloths blowing around in the wind from the big fan. It was a hoot. The cloths all got blown to hell, and we had plenty of replacement cloths to hang up.

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54 minutes ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

That's a riot! How did the Chinese Laundry/Restaurant stage go?

It was a hoot, although I wasn't close enough to the laundry to set it on fire with the BP shotgun. :lol:

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20170415_100130_001.jpg

20170415_101004_001.jpg

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2 hours ago, evil dogooder said:

Morristown has two shoots a month one set like gunsmoke one old school. We are getting higher turn outs at the old school weekends. In Minnesota anyway the majority is speaking. More like the older style

Describe old school? Got any video?

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A target rarely seen is a round plate suspended in the bottom of a plastic barrel. Simply set the barrel at about shotgun target range with the open side toward you and shoot the target in the barrel.  For some reason it messes with your head and some folks (don't ask me how I know) cannot hit the open end of a barrel.

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Old school for me is a buckboard on springs with a large handle coming out the back with one of your posse members cranking it up and down while you shoot all guns while seated....while wearing coke bothle glasses they found at Goodwill.....called it the drunk stage. Putting your shotgun shells in a wishing well bucket and having to reel it up and retrieve your shells. Carrying a plate of dried beans to every shooting position and if you lost even bean you got a P. Lighting a fuse to a safe on the clock which ignited a 50gr BP charge sometime while you were shooting. Taking a Annie Oakley shot complete with mirror and a Red Ryder to pop a baloon for bonus . Roll dice to determine shooting sequence. Use a roulet wheel to do the same. Climb on a horse made out if a 55 gallon drum. Mandatory resting your rifle barrel acrossed a saddle seat. Draw your rifle from a scabbard and put it back in scabbard. Stage your shotgun or rifle against a rusty nail stuck in a prop wall. Shoot your pistols while sitting in an old claw foot tub. Throwing a knife was mild. Yup lets bring those days back. I’m totally game.

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Hummm, I like the Annie Oakley BB gun mirror and Balloon shot. I'm gonna steal that one. That's a easy off the clock one that would fun. We are working on a small motor driven bump, bump, bump for our home made Buckboard. We move bumps around on our Ore Cart which gives you a ride down the canyon shooting all the way. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

Describe old school? Got any video?

I'll have to check on the videos.    Bonus clay bird shot . Beer bottle plate rack. Use of props.  Open the jail cell.   Nothing extreme. Just easing it back to where speed was not the most important aspect.  

   

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7 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

Old school for me is a buckboard on springs with a large handle coming out the back with one of your posse members cranking it up and down while you shoot all guns while seated....while wearing coke bothle glasses they found at Goodwill.....called it the drunk stage. Putting your shitgun shells in a wishing well bucket and having to reel it up and retrieve your shells. Carrying a plate of dried beans to every shooting position and if you lost even bean you got a P. Lighting a fuse to a safe on the clock which ignited a 50gr BP charge sometime while you were shooting. Taking a Annie Oakley shot complete with mirror and a Red Ryder to pop a baloon for bonus . Roll dice to determine shooting sequence. Use a roulet wheel to do the same. Climb on a horse made out if a 55 gallon drum. Mandatory resting your rifle barrel acrossed a sasdls seat. Draw your rifle from a scabbard and put it back in scabbard. Stage your shitgun ir rifle against a rusty nail stick in a prop wall. Shoot your pistols while sitting in an old claw foot tub. Throwjng a knife was mild. Yup lets bring those days back. I’m totally game.

I would love to do those as you can bet in going to set up some of them.   I wasn't around in the olden days they everybody talks about. When I first heard of sass people were talking about those stages and that is why I first came to try. Unfortunately  i haven't seen much of it.  There is a club in Wisconsin that still does the lasso and hatchet/knife toss.  I really enjoyed it. I've got extra saddles and scabbords Reins. So that would be easy.   

   As long as straight arrow isn't the one on the handle the buck board would be cool.  

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ED... yes give it a try... take it easy and introduce folks to the game without asking them to swallow too much. You would not want a whole match of such things, but a couple of stages is always fun. Also... you can write the stage so that the shooter can opt out of doing what ever it is that is taking place, however, you need to make it to their advantage to do it.

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I really love this topic, and agree with most everyone. There is truth in the fact that the best way to represent change is to start at the lowest level. If anyone has ever been to RAMPAGE they know I mix it up with both close and fast as well as quirky stuff. Some factors that I consider are

1. Age (older shooters knees don't bend as well as younger ones)

2. Advantage ( I do my best to ensure there is no advantage from young to old, like the knee issue)

3. Simplistic but different. One stage everyone had to shoot the stage like a bandit, with a bandana over their face. It was fun, everyone thought it was hilarious and (no advantage).

4. I never make it so challenging that it turns away shooters. However, I do let shooters "vote with their feet" so far we have only gained numbers.

 

Example of how I break it up.

 

One stage you had to carry a drink tray to the bar (on the clock) but once you got to the bar it was a stand and deliver.

One stage was shot from a bathtub (the favorite). But you only had rifle and pistol targets.

 

Their is an easy way to make matches meet both standards. Just write it.

 

I said it once and  ill say it again "The fun isn't gone from Cowboy Action Shooting, people just forgot how to have it".

 

Moreover the fact is the fast people are still gonna win, and like Cody James said he likes to have options. One weekend you may feel like doing something crazy, while another you just wanna see how fast you can go. Match directors should know their audience and strive to make each shoot better than the last. If people leave the shoot smiling and laughing then you have done a good job and for me that's enough. Yes we you will always have one or two that complain about having do stuff as do we, but they always come back.

 

My 2 cents.

 

H.Wolf

Tub.jpg

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18 hours ago, Snakebite said:

Ramrod, they would go nuts if they shot that Mother of all Plainsman stage that blew that can about 1000 ft into air, and took ave over two min to shoot!

Ain't that the truth. I think the winning time on that one was 2 minutes 15 seconds. And it took the guy 20 minutes on the oxygen tank to be able to stand for the award.

Those "I Survived the Mother of All Plainsman" tags you handed out, meant a lot back then.

Miss those days. Too bad no one shoots Plainsman anymore.

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14 hours ago, Lawdog Dago Dom said:

 

Stop it. Just Stop it.

No more talk about the "good old stages" unless you show the stage so we can at least get an idea what was so gosh darn fun!!

I'll explain it. 20 pistol, 20 rifle, 16 shotgun.

Position 1 - Progressive sweep with revolvers on 4 targets.

Position 2 - Release the bowling ball (on a railroad track) at any time. With the remaining 9 rounds, triple tap the three targets.

Meanwhile, the bowling ball is rolling down this 100 foot track to a specialty target launcher (the bottom 1 inch of a shotgun hull with primer, light BP load with over powder wad. Sitting above this is a soda can, well shook.) Once the bowling ball hit the plunger, the shot went off and the can went flying, straight up, about 100 yards.

Position 3 - with shotgun, knock down the 15 knockdown targets while waiting to take your shot at the high flying soda can.

Position 2/4 with 10 rifle rounds, progressive sweep on 4 targets.

Position 1/5 Progressive sweep with revolvers on 4 targets.

You could stage ammo and spare cylinders or revolvers anywhere.

The stage was about 50 yards wide. You went over and back.

Oxygen and wheel chairs were available at the end.

Yes, rifle was single shot. Yes, Revolvers were Cap and Ball. Yes, everything was Black Powder. Yes it was Plainsman. Yes, we had 50 shooters. Yes, we had a great time.

 

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54 minutes ago, Flying W Ramrod said:

Ain't that the truth. I think the winning time on that one was 2 minutes 15 seconds. And it took the guy 20 minutes on the oxygen tank to be able to stand for the award.

Those "I Survived the Mother of All Plainsman" tags you handed out, meant a lot back then.

Miss those days. Too bad no one shoots Plainsman anymore.

I do.

 

However, I know what you mean as I am often First (and only) Lady Plainsman. That is despite my cylinders giving me fits to change (let alone load, which I can't do).

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