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El Hombre Sin Nombre

Winter Range or End of Trail?

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Howdy all. This whole EOT and target discussion got me thinking about the two biggest SASS matches out there. I would like to go to a big match next year, and seeing how I have never been to either, I would like some input on which folks would choose if you could only go to one, and why? Below are some of the things I would consider important for me to go to a big match, and none will revolve around winning the match because I would like to keep this discussion reality based rather than a fantasy. Thanks folks

 

Overall quality of the match

Black Powder fun

Quality and quantity of vendors

Food availability and quality

Booze

Camping locations RV or Tent

Nearby Hotel quality

Weather generally

Stuff to do when not shooting

And anything else I have probably missed, but makes for a fun match

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El Hombre,

Been going to both for the past 5 years or so,and I have to vote for Winter Range.All things considered I enjoy the weather at Phoenix in February (usually pleasantly mild after the cold winter) more than the conditions (hot,dry, windy and dusty) at Edgewood in June.There's lots to do besides shooting at both places, but WR, in my opinion,  has many more dining choices closer than does Edgewood and Albuquerque .Both are great matches to shoot ,but I think WR has the edge.Attendance numbers seem to show that also.

Just my opinion, YMMV

Chocktaw Jack 

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I have missed only one WR in 20 years and plan to attend in 2020 but EOT of which I have attended 20 is THE World Championship and I respect that as my first choice.  OK, EOT is usually very dry & sandy and at near 7000 ft but  WR can have any kind of weather.  I have seen rain plenty of times not to mention snow, hail, and sleet also. Stages are perhaps somewhat nicer at WR than EOT but not enough for me to pick over EOT.  If you are a shooter of "upper" age, EOT will try to give more age-based category choice.  If you shoot BP and you don't care then WR will be your ticket, because they do not age-base in BP, nor seem to care.

I like them both but EOT would be my choice if I had to pick one over other.  Yea, the fact that it is 12 hours versus 20 makes a difference too, but breaking trip to WR by weekend in Tombstone is a big plus for WR.  JMO

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2019 at 5:48 PM, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

Howdy all. This whole EOT and target discussion got me thinking about the two biggest SASS matches out there. I would like to go to a big match next year, and seeing how I have never been to either, I would like some input on which folks would choose if you could only go to one, and why? Below are some of the things I would consider important for me to go to a big match, and none will revolve around winning the match because I would like to keep this discussion reality based rather than a fantasy. Thanks folks

 

Overall quality of the match - both are fun and worthwhile matches.  WR has better props.  Both matches are attended by foreign SASS members.

Black Powder fun - both have plainsman matches.  WR has BP skeet and trap that EOT does not though both have sporting clays.  WR shoots its long range side matches at greater distances.  Like BB said, EOT has age-based BP categories.  I shot SSFC this year and did not compete against teenagers and shooters in their twenties.

Quality and quantity of vendors - more vendors at WR but EOT has enough and has the NRA museum too.

Food availability and quality - plenty of onsite food vendors at both matches.  Off range WR has more nearby dining options but EOT has enough.

Booze - like most of the US there is ample liquor available at both locations.  AZ has slightly lower taxes than NM.  EOT does have a nearby microbrewery.

Camping locations RV or Tent - EOT wins out here.   Onsite camping is never full and there are nearby campgrounds that are very inexpensive.   WR has a nearby campground but I understand one now must reserve a whole month.

Nearby Hotel quality - WR wins out with plenty of quality properties nearby.  EOT has one nearby motel with others about a half hours drive away.  EOT has enough motels to meet shooter's needs.  I was able to reserve a room in Moriarty for one night on short notice during EOT.

Weather generally - WR has fantastic weather when its not raining.  One year out of three I have shot in crappy weather.   I now have a pair of rubber boots so I can shoot without cold water squishing between my toes.  EOT normally has hot, very dry and dusty conditions but sometimes later afternoon thunderstorms.  Gun covers are essential.

Stuff to do when not shooting - both metro areas have museums and other attractions.  Phoenix with its larger population has more attractions than ABQ.  However, for your first trip ABQ has plenty of attractions.

And anything else I have probably missed, but makes for a fun match - WR is at an elevation you are used to.  EOT is not.  WR is a lost brass match.  EOT is not.  Both matches offer Wild Bunch before the main match.  Your can get to WR with one less day of driving than EOT.   That would make it my first choice.  I love shooting.  Long distance driving not so much.  Finally you can buy all the ammo you want in either AZ or NM without a background check.

I shoot and like both matches.  See my comments above in red.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
age info
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Winter Range held in Phoenix, AZ the weather is usually pretty good, exception of the last 2 years, (global warming??? yuk, yuk, yuk). The number of vendors, hotels, camping sites, restaurants, and extra activities outside of Winter Range beats EOT by a mile. You're  just outside one of the largest cities in AZ, lots of great places to eat and visit. Match stages are designed to challenge the shooter but not is such a way as to create "P" traps, targets are large and distances vary. The props are second to none, with at least 2-3 new stage fronts every year. It's the Best SASS Match on the Planet!

 

Oh, but then I live in AZ I guess I'm a little biased.

 

TB

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I haven’t shot either match but I’ve been to both. Chances for rain and snow at WR but much more dining and hotel choices near by and there are lots of entertainment choices when not shooting, the Grand Canyon, railroad, Sedona, etc.. At EOT there are day trips to Taos and Santa Fe and down to Lincoln County and there is a Breaking Bad tour in ABQ. I was less than enamored  with the Comfort Inn in Edgewood and will probably opt for an Air B&B next time or a motel in Moriarty. But like I always tell people “ You’ll never be a world champion if you don’t shoot the world championship.”

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Having done both I vote for both.

 

Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, (so to speak) are both excellent venues, and will each be fun and memorable.

 

I'm looking forward to going back to EoT very much since I've not been there since 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hombre -  One factor you didn't list was elevation, EOT is up there a bit in that department.  Don't know if that's an issue for you or not, it is for some folks.

 

 

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If we're planning on attending WR, someone mentioned that we need to reserve an entire month if we RV?  Is that for all RV locations in the area?

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Red Eye Jim said:

If we're planning on attending WR, someone mentioned that we need to reserve an entire month if we RV?  Is that for all RV locations in the area?

 

Lake Pleasant Regional Park is about 15 min away, a nice campground and by-the-day reservations.

Edited by Yusta B.

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15 minutes ago, Red Eye Jim said:

If we're planning on attending WR, someone mentioned that we need to reserve an entire month if we RV?  Is that for all RV locations in the area?

 

 

Here is the list of campgrounds and RV parks near Winter Range: http://winterrange.com/camping.html . Last year, only Pioneer RV Park required reservations by the month.  We had plenty of dry camping available both at the range and at the Ben Avery Shooter's Campground. Feel free to PM me for any additional help you need.

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I can't speak to EOT, but another factor in favor of WR if you have some extra time is the availability of other shoots in the Phoenix area. You can almost shoot both days of every weekend without driving more than 2 hours from just about any location in the Phoenix area. Brings lots of ammo!

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Not only is Phoenix largest in the state but one of the larger metro areas in the US, over 6 million people. The opportunities for adventure and exploring are limitless. Where else can you go to a shoot and have all four seasons happen, sometimes in one day.  Hopefully we are improving every year and making more desirable for shooter and spectator alike.

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11 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

Having done both I vote for both.

 

Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, (so to speak) are both excellent venues, and will each be fun and memorable.

 

I'm looking forward to going back to EoT very much since I've not been there since 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well put.

I have been to both for close to 20 years and enjoy Cowboy action shooting and Cowboy action people no matter where the match is.

There are positives and negatives to everything we do in life. Look to the positives and ignore the negatives.

J.M.

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There is a reason why Winter Range is the largest Cowboy Action Shooting Match in the world. ;)

 

And Winter Range is a non-profit. :)

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Turquoise Bill, SASS #39118 said:

Winter Range held in Phoenix, AZ the weather is usually pretty good, exception of the last 2 years, (global warming??? yuk, yuk, yuk). The number of vendors, hotels, camping sites, restaurants, and extra activities outside of Winter Range beats EOT by a mile. You're  just outside one of the largest cities in AZ, lots of great places to eat and visit. Match stages are designed to challenge the shooter but not is such a way as to create "P" traps, targets are large and distances vary. The props are second to none, with at least 2-3 new stage fronts every year. It's the Best SASS Match on the Planet!

 

Oh, but then I live in AZ I guess I'm a little biased.

 

TB

Ditto to what Turq Bill states. . Been to EOT in Norco, Calif.   Cannot attend EOT in NM due to Elevation. And also like Turq Bill states again Winter Range is only 20 miles from our home. And another yep is Winter Range is just plain Fantastic from every angle and will be even better in 2020 Rain, Snow, Shine, Sleet.    Yeeeeeh Haw pilgrims.

Have missed a few WR over the years.

 

JRJ 

Edited by Jackrabbit Joe #414

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When I decided to head south on the long haul I chose WR ....

And Talking to other Canadian's it seems that about 95% that have shot both will choose to go back to WR over EoT ...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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WR.  EOT is a fine match as well.  Depending on how much time you have to spend, WR is closer to you and the surrounding area has many more amenities. 

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If elevation gives you a problem then by all means the 6800 ft is a factor one should cobnsider.

 

I think many, including myself, favor one match over the other due to convenience in mileage, but as I mentioned above, I factor in several days in Tombstone to make extra pleasure on long drive to WR.  I even break up simple 12-13 hour trip to EOT with stay over in Amarillo at Big Texan (motel is actually very nice with room of western theme). Food is OK but eating at bar to Sassy and I is faster and chatting with folks at bar is most always interesting.  Some of the tourists are truely a hoot to watch, especially those who go for the 72 oz steak and all the trimmings.

 

I do want to touch on the EOT target issue if in your considerations.  The BS about EOT targets this year has been blown out of proportion (my opinion).  DO NOT LET THAT BE AN ISSUE. Yes, there was a tad more difficulty than in past but much was on the shooter's choice of where to engage targets...stand in center and engage bank at angle or take a step or two to right or left to engage more "square on".  Most everyone experienced greater total times than past but there was more reloads, more shotgun  knockdowns, much more movement, and more need to use front sights.  Targets further out there than WR, not in my opinion.  Do you dislike plate racks, WR has them....hard? no, but require the use of that front sight.    

 

Things to do.. Santa Fe is only 45 minutes from Edgewood and I have been there  many, many times  and still enjoy going back.  We have favorite eating places and bars. Want scenery, go on up to Chama, Cumpres Pass (you might even ride the train that has been in so many westerns).  Visit Indian duelings if your bag.  I suggest you experience the Turqouise Trail also seeing movie sites (Wild Hogs, Young Guns, & more) and turquoise mines.  Point is, there are plenty of things to do in a few hours of EOT.  I admit it a real shame that in the 19 WRs I have not gone to Grand Canyon yet (I'm really thinking it is more fun in Tombstone gathering in our cowboy outfits and hitting the bars & eateries at night then joining Sassy Dancer and the gang at Los Vaqueros Club for two days of pre-WR shooting). (For pre-match EOT shooting, there are two days of warm up stages and I should add that each warm up stage has "a taste of things to come" in main match...reload, swinger, moving target, etc).

 

More eating places in Phoenix metro, no doubt, a lot more, but we find plenty in 30 minutes of Edgewood also.  No Owl Cafe nor Sadie's in Phoenix.:D

 

Motels are more plentiful  for WR but I suggest not 10 minutes closer than ones near EOT.  I have stayed at Holiday Inn off Eubanks in ALBQ since giving up the RV thing a number of years ago.  It is approx 30 minutes to Founders.  Stayed at Studio 6 in Phoenix many times and bet it also about 30 minutes  to Ben Avery. There are at least four more motels near the mentioned HI off Eubanks and many more 5 miles further towards town off I40.  Did I mention Sadies and Owl Cafe, they are next door to HI.  I believe due to slow traffic, Moriarty is probably about same time to Founders as the HI (lots of shooters stay at both places).

 

Just laying out more things to consider.  God willing, Sassy and I will make both matches, be it dry/sand at Founders or rain, sleet, hail, snow at WR, but we are hoping 2020 brings back some nice weather to WR and EOT can have weather equal to this year's in 2020.  

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Choices, Choices, Choices................

For me WR is first choice mostly because EOT falls during or immediately before 4H fair. As a 4H leader I accepted an obligation to the kids to be there for them. Further as a CDL instructor and State certified tester June is without a doubt our busiest month of the year, making vacation plans difficult to say the least.

This year was my first EOT in 6 years. I found the targets much closer than I remembered 6 years ago, but I cannot comment on distance from any other year. While I personally shot very poorly it had nothing to do with target placement, size or distance, only my own lack of preparation. Stages were challenging but no more so than many monthly matches I have attended, longer range rifle targets were closer than most monthlies I go to, some pistol/SG were closer, others further away.

Camping... stayed at Hidden Valley, nice place. Go to WR stay at Ben Avery east, nice place

Food..... Both EOT and WR I go to town once or twice and potluck with pards the rest of the time. no difference

Travel.... WR 9 hours, EOT 8. no real difference

Fuel cost WR range bring my own discount fuel from the rewards points given by local grocery store only have to buy 30-35 gallons. EOT several places as cheap or cheaper, no real difference.

Road conditions WR sometimes gets weather so does EOT no difference

Match price about the same but a little perplexed/confused why "ala carte" prices for most everything that WR includes, not enough difference to sway one way or the other maybe a little edge to WR..

Door prizes about equal (I never win anyway:P)

 

So IMHO both matches are very enjoyable, different and fun all rolled up into one. Both EOT and WR are challenging and exciting. Time of year only real deciding factor for me. My suggestion try both and see what fits for you and yours.

Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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