Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Recommended Posts

I'm starting this thread because the target shape thread was becoming even more hijacked than normal and because I wanted to address something specific.

 

There was a comment made about whether the "top shooters" would accept a stage or two written to the so called  standards of CAS original style.

Insinuating that the big and close movement was driven by or put in place for the "Top Shooters".

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

There is a hiearchy in CAS skillsets and rankings. 

I'm spitballing numbers here; but bear with me.

There are about 10 - 20 shooters in our game that "could" and are expected win overall at any shoot they go to. 

Call them group one.

 

There are probably 200 - 500 shooters in our game that "could" pull an upset on any of these 20 shooters and beat them on any given day and while not expected - would not be a complete surprise. 

Call this group two.

 

Group one and two are well skilled, well equipped, disciplined and well practiced.

They may have preferences, but they mostly don't care where you place the targets or their shapes.  They are mostly unfazed by array, sequence or setup.

 

And then there is group three.

This is the group of shooters that are pretty good.  Can put together stages and sometimes matches but no one believes group three are running down group one or two. 

Group three is a large vocal group of several thousand shooters.

The Big and Close movement was championed by this group.

And here is why...

Big and close target placement is the BEST possible way for anyone from group three to ever run with anyone from group two or three.

When stages are fast and targets are close.

Misses and mistakes all have greater value.

 

I will use myself as an example - I consider myself a group three shooter.

I regularly shoot with a fantastic shooter, Quickly Downunder, whom I consider solidly in that group two placement.

 

I cannot beat Quickly straight up. 

He is better than me. 

Faster, more accurate.

So my goal is to try to stay within 3 seconds per stage of him - knowing that Quickly (just like every other shooter in groups one and two) is human and capable of making a mistake.

It doesn't happen often - but if the targets are close enough and the sequence fast enough and I do my job well enough - Quickly (or anyone from the top two groups) might just allow me for one stage to be competitive with him.

 

Push the targets out, increase the difficulty and I am well aware of my own limitations - I have zero chance of running with a group one or two shooter.

 

The top shooters are not one trick ponys; they are capable of handling any challenges thrown at them.

 

Big and close exists so the less than shooters might have a chance.

 

As for groups four and five, etc.

The groups clamoring that target distance and difficulty will bring them into the mix?

It won't.

A fact of our game is at any "Cowboy" acceptable distances - accuracy is infinitely easier to master than speed.

 

So the next time you want to blame top shooters for a big and close stage...

Or a stand and deliver...

Or a monster target dump...

 

It probably wasn't a top shooter that asked for it - but more likely a group three shooter looking for the chance that they could somehow get closer to those shooters.

 

I'm a group three shooter and I'll admit it.

 

  • Like 28
  • Thanks 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good post. Think you are on to something here.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good post.

 

And I have seen it.

 

Push the targets out. And the top shooters will win by even a bigger margin than before.

As for the bottom of the pack shooter. They will really be left in the dust. Leaving many frustrated

or butt hurt.

 

Anvil Al. Also a group 3 shooter.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree totally with this 

the greater the distance to the targets the more the times and misses go up.

the top shooters will be at the top  no mater the size of target or distance 

I really enjoy watching a world champion shoot a stage even more now that age has slowed me down

Group one shooters have put in the time to be there .

Some days I am happy to be alive and attending a shoot .

Shoot Safely and have a good time  and the Spotters will tell you how many targets you missed if the have enough fingers

Catlow

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Creeker, and I'm a Group 6 shooter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JEDI Creeker, I agree.

 

But I have also experienced frustration in the face of our young shooters and the occasional

'spouse' shooter when targets become set 'further out'.    And contrary, those same shooters

tend to enjoy those stages where they have a better chance of shooting CLEAN within their

proficiency levels..... which I often refer to as 'Optimum Performance' abilities.

 

Good post.

 

..........Widder

 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am probably a group 4 or 5 shooter because my goals don't really align with 1 through 3.  I do get an enormous amount of enjoyment from SASS.  From the laughter and friendships over 19 years, to the knowledge I've gained in all things "old west".  I often think of what I have today that I would not have had if we would not have discovered SASS - friends from all over the world, travel, and so many other things.  I won't hijack the thread by going on about those things.  However, they are all contributors to the post-match happiness that comes from much more that target size and placement.  I have a set of goals.  My goals are to shoot well.  As in well, I mean safe, smooth and just a little better than before.  I have done that over the years and want to continue along that line.  I have gone from someone with no experience with CAS guns to someone that enjoys and understands their workings.  I want to be a contributing member of the posse by working on the posse and being a positive influence to the other shooters and spectators that might stop by.  I want to be a good ambassador to the sport that has brought me so much enjoyment.  Even as a new shooter, finishing near the bottom of the score sheet, I have done that.  This is not a professional competition level sport.  Targets that are small and distant with confusing shooting sequences bring about frustration and even anger.  My goal is to go home from the shoot feeling good about myself.  Feeling that I have had a fun day.  Sometimes it's hard to do that though.  If I struggle throughout the day to get through 5 or 6 stages it will not happen.  If I am on a posse with just a few shooters that that are feeling the frustration, it's a safe bet that a cloud will begin to fall over more posse members.  I've seen shooters pack up and go home due to their frustration.  I've seen them all but throw their guns on the unloading table.  I've heard them grumble to others about the quality of a stage/match.  Granted, there are a very few shooters that exhibit this behavior too often.  We just don't want to bring about this behavior to the point that we see it at nearly every match.  Shooters at all skill levels work together and enjoy their time together much better if the match is not set up to divide them.
It costs nothing, to write good stages and to set up targets at a reasonable distance.  It costs us nothing to bring about laughter, friendship and fun.  However, push those targets out there, write stages that are the dreaded "P traps", leave shooters feeling disappointed and frustrated at their performance, make prospective new shooters feel as if they are not able to even begin to compete, etc.  These things can cost us everything. 

Edited by Black Hills Barb
  • Like 6
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good post Creeker, I have only been shooting SASS for 4 years but I really think you nailed it.   SCJ

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Catlow4697 said:

I agree totally with this 

the greater the distance to the targets the more the times and misses go up.

the top shooters will be at the top  no mater the size of target or distance 

I really enjoy watching a world champion shoot a stage even more now that age has slowed me down

Group one shooters have put in the time to be there .

Some days I am happy to be alive and attending a shoot .

Shoot Safely and have a good time  and the Spotters will tell you how many targets you missed if the have enough fingers

Catlow

Yo-Ho-De-O  Catlow, I'm with you on that my friend. My COPD is a real booger & has really slowed this ole cowboy.  I really do watch the fast shooters & enjoy it all. Still try to do the best I can & when I'm done shooting I got my oxygen right next to me with a big  Yeeeeh, Haaa  to go with it and as you stated glad to be alive and attending the shoots.

 

Jackrabbit Joe #414

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do NOT agree with Creeker! :angry:

 

 

( I really do but can't bring myself to admit it in public)

  • Like 1
  • Haha 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creeker,

An excellent summation!   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

I do NOT agree with Creeker! :angry:

 

 

( I really do but can't bring myself to admit it in public)

 

And he would probably prefer you didn't in public also.............:lol::lol:

(I couldn't resist)

 

..........Widder

 

 

  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:ph34r: 

2 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

I do NOT agree with Creeker! :angry:

 

 

( I really do but can't bring myself to admit it in public)

 

 

But WE can keep a secret.......^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creeker,

 

I don't agree with everything you've said. As there is also a certain number of shooters who think they might win by slowing down the faster shooters. To do so they place or lobby for smaller, farther out targets. They could be in any of the groups you've described.

 

Also, you didn't name a group for klutzy, slow, old shooters like me. ;)

 

Otherwise, your post matches reality.

 

Regards,

 

Allie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

Creeker,

 

I don't agree with everything you've said. As there is also a certain number of shooters who think they might win by slowing down the faster shooters. To do so they place or lobby for smaller, farther out targets. They could be in any of the groups you've described.

 

Also, you didn't name a group for klutzy, slow, old shooters like me. ;)

 

Otherwise, your post matches reality.

 

Regards,

 

Allie

Of course; there are infinite subgroups within every group of shooters.

 

There are some within every group that think "if the targets were just set this certain way; my stock would rise".

 

And there are some within every group that truly are willing to "shoot whatever is placed in front of me" without thought of impact upon themselves or any other shooter.

 

And lastly; folks forget that CAS was not always an entry level shooting sport.  CAS was began by skilled firearms competitors choosing to change their equipment; not their game.

 

As our game morphed into the family and age friendly "social event with a shooting match", it became more important to have events where newer and less experienced shooters were successful.  Where children and wives went home with smiles and a burning desire to return.  This easing of accuracy challenge created an environment where new shooters could be successful and experienced shooters could push the boundaries of what was previously considered impossible with "obsolete" firearms.

 

And as those boundaries were explored - shooters of lesser skillsets (who still think of the game as competition) realized that big and close allowed them to sometimes (if the top shooters stumble) run close to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please define close and verify the distance with a tape measure.

It has Been my experience that most people are unable to accurately eyeball distances. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking and practice are a big part of this sport. There are hundreds of little details to make you a better shooter which have nothing to do with target size or distance:

  1. Learning and practicing shotgun loading. This seems to eat up more time than everything else. Talk with the really good shotgun shooters and watch how they execute the stage. Belt placement, shell placement (left side, right side, or center), left hand, right hand, not waiting to see if target falls, learning a good chuck, checking size of shells, keeping chambers clean, etc. Unless you load using muscle memory you are going too slow. Gosh, there are a 100 other little things.
  2. How to draw and acquire target. There is so much hand movement, holster placement, eye focus, hammer cocking, trigger discipline, proper use of hands, and reholstering. The size of the target has next to nothing to do with getting the revolver out smoothly, quickly, and acquiring target.
  3. Minimum movement with the rifle while levering, focus on the front sight, clean rifle, proper length of pull, movement of hips, etc.

There are a million things to being a good shooter and I find target size to be one of the least important. I AM JUST AN AVERAGE SHOOTER.

Edited by Russ The Red
Few words for clarity
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only joined this sport this year so my perspective may be a little off.  All the matches that I've been to it seems that there is a small percentage that shoot a "clean" match (no "P's" no misses).  To me that says that even with close targets folks still miss or shoot out of sequence.  Now if the targets were moved further or made smaller more shooters would not get clean matches.  As far as time, it's relative, so with close targets if the stage is shot in 25 seconds and with far/small targets it's shot in 40 seconds, but everyone's time is slower than to me it's a perception issue.  But as I said there'd be less clean matches and folks would be saying they shoot better close up.  

 

But don't take my word for it, I'm new and they just about use a calendar to time me.  I have fun and try to better my time each match so one day I can be an average shooter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Please define close and verify the distance with a tape measure.

It has Been my experience that most people are unable to accurately eyeball distances. 

Big is 16x16 targets or larger.

Close is the above or larger targets placed at the following distances or closer.

Pistol 3-5 yards

Shotgun 6-8 yards

Rifle 9-12 yards

 

I have placed targets closer (using clay pigeons, paper, etc.) and used much larger targets - plates up to 4 ft x 4 ft.

Life size wolf targets.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago the Wild Bunch (or at least SASS) pushed the "bigger closer" concept. The stated idea was people wanted to hit targets, if it was too hard they wouldn't come back. Give the people what they want and they will buy more of what you are selling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Big is 16x16 targets or larger.

Close is the above or larger targets placed at the following distances or closer.

Pistol 3-5 yards

Shotgun 6-8 yards

Rifle 9-12 yards

 

I have placed targets closer (using clay pigeons, paper, etc.) and used much larger targets - plates up to 4 ft x 4 ft.

Life size wolf targets.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Around here some clubs have pistol targets less than 3 yards.  While they have a big turnout for their monthly matches; I know several shooters myself included that no longer shoot at those clubs because the targets are so close that they could be considered a safety hazard.

 

I really don't think big is the problem it is the super close that a lot of people object to. Personally 3 yards should be the absolute minimum.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently I was at a three day shoot with 60 or so shooters. Only one clean shooter. What does that tell you? 

 

A few months ago I was at a 3 day match that was sold out with 200 shooters. Super big and close......50 clean shooters and some amazing fast times.....What does that tell you?

Edited by Rancho Roy
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Thanks,

 

Around here some clubs have pistol targets less than 3 yards.  While they have a big turnout for their monthly matches; I know several shooters myself included that no longer shoot at those clubs because the targets are so close that they could be considered a safety hazard.

 

I really don't think big is the problem it is the super close that a lot of people object to. Personally 3 yards should be the absolute minimum.

 

 

Never mind

Edited by Anvil Al #59168
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   Being one of the best and most humble shooters to ever grace my back yard I have stumbled upon the Holy Grail of targets. I use a line of targets from the New Imaginary Target co. You can get them as small as match sticks and big as a bus. The best thing about them is the price. I can beat the bunkhouse boss 70 percent of the time and only occasionally earn a procedural. The bad thing about them is sometimes I forget to leave them at home and they end up at a match I'm shooting. 

 

Kidding of course, and I agree with Creeker. Unless I change my mind. Then I disagree vehemently.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh No...... looks like TN Williams is having Ice Cream withdrawal.

 

Somebody please, take him to DQ quickly and get him one of them Intravenous Nanner Splits.

 

..........Widder

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tennessee williams said:

   Unless I change my mind. Then I disagree vehemently.

Wouldn't hold it against you either way.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Wouldn't hold it against you either way.

That's what I like about you, Creeker.

 

 I told a pard the other day. I was glad he disagreed with me cause I'd have nobody to debate if we were both right.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I understand this Misunderstanding correctly, a group 3, 4, or 5 shooter will not improve their sklillset by shooting large/close targets. Perhaps they will only get better at large/close target arrays. And, in order to become proficient with all target scenarios, they'll need to practice with smaller targets or the same sized targets only further out to achieve better results. Let's see, 5 groups x's 43 categories =.......................................................................................................................................................................hmmmmmm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bordertown is about transitions, transitions, transition.  That more than anything else defines the match.  Positions come up on you quickly and you better have your firearm ready to go. Targets are big and close yet many shooters miss.  As far as Creeker's groups,  I once beat one of my kid:, rifle broke and left 9 so I must be in group two. lol yet reality!!!   Some times we forget that there are an incredible no. of shooters that love most every match.  In AZ you can find a match with many different size targets placed at different distances.  Some of my favorite matches place the targets according to big matches coming up.  We are seeing targets placed closer to get ready for Eldorado and Bordertown.  After Bordertown we will see them placed a different distances to get ready for Winter Range and it will be interesting to see how they will prepare us for EOT.  Going back to Creeker's thread, I think he did a good job.  Distance and target size will not slow down the top shooters.  Have fun!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Creeker’s hypothesis is supported by empirical evidence when we look at scores, at least in Georgia.  We’re lucky enough to have four shooters one of whom will win pretty much any GA match they shoot in. Then we have a larger group who can step in and occasionally beat one of them if they shoot well and the top shooter screws up enough.

 

When you look at local scores those four will group together at the top with very small differences in their scores. The next tier will also be grouped together, but with slightly higher differences in their scores and a gap between them and the first tier.

 

That gap between the first and second tier will increase or decrease as match difficulty increases or decreases.

 

I like a variety of distances and sizes, but when they’re big and close I can get much closer to the top dogs. 

 

As as a side observation note how spreads between the groups increase when you add more shotgun targets. If it’s a 10-10-2 big and close the gap will be much smaller than a 10-10-6 big and close.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

There was a comment made about whether the "top shooters" would accept a stage or two written to the so called  standards of CAS original style.

Actually, I was pretty clear that it was a question, not a comment.  Thanks for responding.   Lots to think about there.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A

10 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Actually, I was pretty clear that it was a question, not a comment.  Thanks for responding.   Lots to think about there.  

The term comment vs question was not intended as an insult. 

Did not mean anything negative by the choice of words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

A

The term comment vs question was not intended as an insult. 

Did not mean anything negative by the choice of words.

Me neither.  Just being clear.   

Thx. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

Creeker,

the faster shooters

I don't agree with everything you've said. As there is also a certain number of shooters who think they might win by slowing down. To do so they place or lobby for smaller, farther out targets. They could be in any of the groups you've described.

 

Also, you didn't name a group for klutzy, slow, old shooters like me. ;)

 

Otherwise, your post matches reality.

 

Regards,

 

Allie

"a certain number of shooters who think they might win by slowing down."

They may think this but their skill level is not up to beating the top shooters in any situation other than the top shooter crashes.

 

Another good point of big and close is that I have never heard a shooter comeing off the line stating,  "That was the fastest stage I've ever shot, let move the targets out further so 

that i can slow down."

Johnny Meadows

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that stage writers learn, very early on in their tenure, is that people will complain no matter what they do.

 

However, what Creeker outlines here is something that, when you really implement it, will currently appease the majority of folks and set a match up for long-term success.

 

Notice what he does not say, however.

 

He does not say that every stage should be set at the same distances, the same heights, or same anything else...

 

Even his recommended distances and sizes have a relatively large gap between the upper and lower bounds where you can find some variety.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.