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Grow the game: Reduce barriers to entry


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1 minute ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Young people don't want to dress up and play"cowboy". They want to play black ops. Every video game out there and 98.72% of new movies involve black guns and semi-auto pistols. And there's no "costuming" required.

Although I love cowboy shooting, unfortunately, you are 100% correct. In my state, we don't have a lot of SASS shooters, but of them, there are only 4 under 40 that I have seen at shoots (and 3 are in the same family)

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What are the odds of a brand new shooter actually winning overall? I'd say very slim even with only one revolver.   Match directors have the ability to allow a whole bunch of stuff at monthl

I want to race stock cars, but I don't have much money, so can I race my stock 2002 Chevy pick-up? I don't plan on winning so nobody would mind, right? Maybe if I really like it I will get a normal st

I started with a borrowed 44 special rifle, a used Ruger Vaquero in 44 sp, an old C&B pistol that I had owned for years, and a POS SXS shotgun I bought used because I didn't know any better. My se

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I think the other thing that happens is that we unintentionally scare people away by making them think it costs more than it actually does. I see new questions about a rifle or revolver someone is interested in purchasing and they are asking for advice. I see a lot of well intended answers about that gun needs “slicking up” by a gunsmith to be competitive. I wonder how many potential shooters are turned off by this additional perceived cost. I know the advice is offered in the best intentions but new shooters may miss the fact that they can “shoot “ a match with stock weapons as many of us do. Whether or not they can compete depends on them and other factors. Just a thought.

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1 minute ago, StirrupTrouble said:

Although I love cowboy shooting, unfortunately, you are 100% correct. In my state, we don't have a lot of SASS shooters, but of them, there are only 4 under 40 that I have seen at shoots (and 3 are in the same family)

The family thing is big too--of the shooters I regularly shoot with in my area that I'm sure are younger than I am, there's only one that I know of who is the "first generation" of SASS shooter in their household. No organization can expect to truly grow if that growth only comes from the offspring of its current members.

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I started with a borrowed 44 special rifle, a used Ruger Vaquero in 44 sp, an old C&B pistol that I had owned for years, and a POS SXS shotgun I bought used because I didn't know any better. My second match was the club's annual shoot, and I placed WAY down on the list. I eventually replaced all of those guns. I quickly replaced the shotgun and bought a second cartridge pistol, and I slowly bought my wife her own guns. And as soon as they were able both my kids shot Buckaroo, which required 2 more pistols for them to share and a used Henry rifle, and an old single shot .410 shotgun. And it wasn't easy to buy all these guns, as I have always been a blue collar worker. I bought most of these guns while I was an Armored Truck driver, which make way less than a UPS driver or even a mailman. And yet I did it, because I really love the game. I have introduced at least 15 people to this game, lending them my guns and ammo for FREE, to either just shoot a simulated practice match, and some of them actually shot a real match or two if they were an experienced shooter. But only 1 in 10 stayed with the game. They either had other hobbies they liked better, or just didn't enjoy it that much or just didn't have enough weekends free. None of them told me they didn't do it because it was too expensive. It just wasn't worth it to them. You can lower the starting price as much as you want, but most people are just not going to take to this sport as much as most of us here. So all this talk about using one handgun or letting guys use .22's forever is just a waste of time. More publicity might help, as well as all of us bringing just one friend to shoot. Sometimes you just have to do something to see what it is about, talking about it just isn't then same. And even then, you won't convince everybody. Lowering the standards to try and bring in a few more shooters is just going to ruin it for the rest of us who make the effort and pay the price for the game as it is. You have to pay to play, there is no free ride.

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  If we really want to grow the sport, we should consider helping new shooters get into the sport by offering them discounted items. What I propose is if there are generous hearts out there who are capable of discounting prices to "new" shooters, we live the Cowboy Way.   I am sure there are a lot out there who do this already but maybe it could be organized on a different level.  We can do this through our local clubs or even set up a thread or a forum of items for sale for "New Shooters Only"  Easy to determine by their SASS number and discounts could be applied for those items.  Just a thought.

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Married and between the house, cars, wife's new furniture, the Bass boat, vacation trip, eating out, children's sports and activities there ain't any disposable income left for this "expensive" sport?  You found a way for that boat or the vacation or whatever didn't you?  

 

I once worked with a guy who built and few remote airplanes.  Because it seemed to me he crashed faster then he could build I asked him if it wasn't expensive?  He answered by telling how he was into drag racing every weekend and would blow a engine every month.  Compared to drag racing RC flying was cheap.

 

 

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Allowing use of  28 Ga guns For the youngsters would Help ...

I have a 28 Ga. Already and don't see any need to buy a 410 .... For the Grand Kids ....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Red Dead Redemption is probably likely to draw some shooters to the sport, firefly and other space westerns probably too. 

 

I've recommended it before, Here it is again. 

 

Cheechako Category, for shooters who are new or want to try something new or want to conserve ammo.

General Rules

Not eligible for rankings (except maybe against others in the same category if desired) or prizes, sub-categories also not recognized. 

Stages to be shot on the normal course of fire, interspersed with the normal posse same as you would include frontiersman category shooters. 

 

Stage Design

3 strings of fire, strings can consist of any combination or multiples of the following, 5 rifle targets, 5 pistol targets, 4 shotgun targets.

Unless the Stage writer determines which targets are not engaged for shooters in this category then the default is as follows: 

Use guns in order specified for the stage, omitting guns not currently equipped.

Engage the targets specific to the gun you brought, rifles on rifle targets, pistols on pistol targets, shotguns on shotgun targets.

If only shooting one string in rifle or pistol, engage the 1st 5 targets called out for that firearm. (4 for shotgun)

If shooting all three strings with the same type of firearm, engage targets in order per stage instructions, then reengage 1st string targets for 3rd string. 

In case of knockdowns, shoot where the target is supposed to be.

if shooting 2 or more pistol strings with 1 pistol, reload and shoot the pistol when the stage calls for the second pistol.  

in case of needing more shotgun targets then present, reengage in order until string requirements are met, 

 

Equipment

The minimum equipment requirement is 1 gun with approved ammo.

All guns must be main match, side match, buckaroo or wild bunch approved guns (exceptions listed below).

All ammunition must be main match, side match, wild bunch, or buckaroo legal, no rifle calibers.

All rifles and pistols must be, limited to 5 rounds loaded. 

Tube mag shotguns allowed to load 4 in tube. (not permitted to move from one shotgun position to another with live ammunition in the shotgun.

1911 magazines limited to 5 shots per magazine.

Mare's Leg rifles and pistol grip 1887/1897 shotguns permitted (no twirling/breaking the 170* rule :D). I'm disinclined to allow pistol grip only or short barreled sawn off doubles due to safety concerns involved with manipulation.

the generic costume rules apply.

Speed loaders permitted for Scofield.

normal rules for sights stocks and modifications not enforced, but no optics are permitted.  IE a Henry Big Boy X (edgeglow sight, composite stock) could compete. but an RMR mounted on a 1911 is not permitted.

No limit on number of guns brought to the line as long as they meet the above requirements, if you want to run a 15 shot stage using 8 bond arms derringers and can safely stage them, go for it.

 

any ammunition permitted for Buckaroo also permitted for Cheechako, but the intent is that you play this category as you build your arsenal over time, or if you old timers want to have a go using guns not typically allowed in the main match, also acceptable to play with 22 if you are conserving your centerfire ammo, no judging here.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by El CupAJoe
adding some shotgun specific rules
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4 minutes ago, Jabez Cowboy,SASS # 50129 said:

Allowing use of  28 Ga guns For the youngsters would Help ...

I have a 28 Ga. Already and don't see any need to buy a 410 .... For the Grand Kids ....

 

Quote

Side-by-side, single shot, and lever action centerfire shotguns in .410 caliber and 28 or 32 gauge are allowed within the Buckaroo Category only.

SHB p.38

 

 

Edited by PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L
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2 hours ago, July Smith said:

Just my opinion, but I find it really hard to spot 22lr shots.

They are just a little smaller than a 32 or 38 splashy on the plate, so look closer Spotters 

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Everything I've read on this thread is a valid point, for or against any rule changes. I appreciate the discussion.

 

To me what it all boils down to is this: Every single individual is different. Some are price sensitive, some are time sensitive. Some may be adverse to recoil or the perceived difference to the volume/pressure at their ear. And probably dozens of other differences that I can't even think of. Because of this, anything which can extend participation to all those different people should be considered and probably has been--I'm sure these types of things were discussed by the Wild Bunch and are under discussion by the new SASS leadership. But there is also a difference between considering something and trying it out to see if it works. 

 

We're trying 22LR currently at the Tulsa clubs. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. As I mentioned earlier, it'll be difficult to draw valid conclusions this year. Even so, we're only a few clubs in one small part of the country, and I personally would be genuinely interested to see if allowing 22LR for adults as a SASS-endorsed policy would prove beneficial, negligible, or detrimental. I think the likely case is that such a policy on its own would only be negligible, but could be a fruitful part of a larger course of action to entice new shooters.

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I'm all for growing the game. It has been discussed here many, many, many times. The .22's are a good idea as a stop gap measure on temporary basis for the ammo/components shortage but I think a .22 category for adults as a permanent category is a bad idea.  Diluting the coffee never makes it stronger.

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The less westerns that are being made is going to affect the interest especially among young shooters. The young crowd is not where we need to focus we need to focus con shooters in their 40’s and 50’s and above. I talk to a lot of shooters in that age group that have interest in this sport. I think that’s where the future of SASS is,

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5 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

The less westerns that are being made is going to affect the interest especially among young shooters. The young crowd is not where we need to focus we need to focus con shooters in their 40’s and 50’s and above. I talk to a lot of shooters in that age group that have interest in this sport. I think that’s where the future of SASS is,

I get where you're coming from, but I completely disagree. The fact that fewer westerns are being made is exactly why we need to focus on outreach to younger shooters, because they don't have that external trigger to bring their interest to SASS. That may be fighting an uphill battle, but I think the alternative of just ceding them to other shooting sports would be a poor choice.

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I want to race stock cars, but I don't have much money, so can I race my stock 2002 Chevy pick-up? I don't plan on winning so nobody would mind, right? Maybe if I really like it I will get a normal stock car later, but for now I just want to check it out.

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33 minutes ago, OK Dirty Dan said:

I get where you're coming from, but I completely disagree. The fact that fewer westerns are being made is exactly why we need to focus on outreach to younger shooters, because they don't have that external trigger to bring their interest to SASS. That may be fighting an uphill battle, but I think the alternative of just ceding them to other shooting sports would be a poor choice.

So what do you suggest, tie the young’uns down and force them to watch old westerns? :lol:

There’s a wealth of shooters in their late 40’s and 50’s and beyond that love westerns and the guns. They have the money so they’re the ones we need to get to!

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Just now, Rye Miles #13621 said:

So what do you suggest?

With Indian Territory SASS we're making a particular effort to update our Facebook pages and website often. It's definitely paying dividends in views, and we've seen new shooters come out as a result. Hopefully that will continue.

 

As others have mentioned, SASS putting more resources into marketing would help. 

 

But I've mentioned my solution to one of the primary challenges facing an interested 20-something already: reduce the monetary cost of entry by allowing 22LR guns--which tend to be well less expensive than centerfire--to be used in official competition. Not merely allowed or tolerated on a local-only basis, but sanctioned as part of the game. I understand you (and others) may not like that suggestion, which is fine, but that's my belief.

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5 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

There is such a thing as an overall winner.  Many believe that shooting .22s instead of centerfire gives the shooter an advantage and therefore .22 shooters shouldn't be eligible for the overall. 

So if a buckaroo was good enough to win overall you won't honor it if they are shooting a .22?

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37 minutes ago, evil dogooder said:

So if a buckaroo was good enough to win overall you won't honor it if they are shooting a .22?

 

By rule [formerly known as the rattlesnake wrangler rule], no, they cannot shoot 22s and win overall

 

 

 

Specifically:

 

 

Edited by Branchwater Jack SASS #88854
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I have a box of leather I could donate to the club. I'm sure other folks have spares gathering dust. I also have some guns I could loan to someone wanting to start out. I wouldn't have an issue of someone using my guns and either my ammo or factory ammo. Concerns at the moment is the primer shortage and the other is finding someone who wants to give it a go. 

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1 hour ago, evil dogooder said:

So if a buckaroo was good enough to win overall you won't honor it if they are shooting a .22?

If I was the MD of a club that stated that we followed all SASS rules, then I would do exactly that, follow all SASS rules.  As BWJ pointed out, current SASS rules require that an overall winner 'shoot the same match.' 

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At almost every club that has had someone respond to the notion that you can start with less the "required" pair of six guns greater than .32 caliber, a lever action rifle greater than .32 caliber, and a shotgun of at least 20 gauge; has been a resounding "YES you CAN!"   I don't see a problem.  I don't see a rule change necessary if you can compete at the local level with a minimum of equipment... even such that you can shoot with only one revolver and a rifle, or shotgun... or some other combination.  But... to make an official SASS change to the current firearm requirements would also mean that you could shoot your State's Championship, a Regional, National or the International Championship.  Which means you would not be competing in the same match as everyone else.   It's been stated many, many times that you can come out and play with guns that don't necessarily comply with the written rule, but... only at the local level to the extent that local governing body (club) allows.   What's the problem?

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I don't know haw many times I have heard "oh, so you're a cowboy shooter. That's where they shoots guns that have less recoil than a .22. No thanks, I like to shoot real guns". And you guys want to make .22's main match legal?

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I really don't think the issue is cost.  I think that's the excuse that's used, but not the root  cause.  When I started, our income was really low.  Bought used, slowly, saved.  If there's a desire to play, folks will find a way.

 

Frankly, I think it's the stages.  I know this may not be popular.  But really think about it.  Why do so many go to IDPA or IPSC?  Movement, challenging stages, lots of reactive targets.  The shooting part is exciting and fun.  SASS rules just don't allow setting up matches like this.  As a result, the stages really are very similar.  Along the lines of shoot a gun, move to another position, shoot a gun or two, move to another position, shoot the last gun.  Adding variety often means making more complicated target sequences.  This increases the number of P's.  Where's the fun in that?  It's gotten boring.

 

These are the comments I hear from shooters in the other games, and from some friends I've brought out to watch.  As I said, probably an unpopular opinion.

 

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CONSIDER:  There are NO barriers to entry.  Anybody can play.  It's actually simple.  The glorification of the era(s) we portray is DEAD.  No Saturday Matinee of "B" westerns.  No real dearth of "Big Movies."  No Prime Time Wester themed programming.  No Saturday Morning TV serials for Kids.  The folks that grew up with that entertainment are now mostly "Old" folks and are not being replaced.

 

This is the age of instant gratification.  Electronic Games Rule.  First Person Shooter with a gaming console or a Big Screen and a controller.

 

It has nothing to do with the Stages.  Nothing to do with Cost.  Nothing to do with 10 10 4.  It's called a total lack of interest.  the game is slowly dying.  Kicking and Scratching and screaming, but . . . . dying.  Since we cannot set the entertainment clock and way of life back 60 - 70 years, we can't fix it.  Sad. 

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34 minutes ago, Griff said:

...What's the problem?

Again, the problem in my view is twofold:

  1. Because it isn't codified, anyone who might look up the rules before coming out is not going to know that it's an option to start out with guns outside of what is listed in the Shooter's Handbook.
  2. People like to attend different clubs. If any rule or allowance is local-only, it becomes highly difficult to keep track of what's allowed where.  
37 minutes ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

I don't know haw many times I have heard "oh, so you're a cowboy shooter. That's where they shoots guns that have less recoil than a .22. No thanks, I like to shoot real guns". And you guys want to make .22's main match legal?

If that's someone's view already, where's the harm in allowing actual .22s? We're going to start making decisions in our game based on what outside parties think?

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I know I voiced my opinion, but right now, we're all voicing opinions.  There are no facts to back any of the opinions up.

 

To @OK Dirty Dan: Go to some USPSA and IPDA matches and start talking to folks about why they aren't interested in Cowboy.  Do the same when gun shows happen again.  Gather some actual evidence.  Only then can some sort of plan be formulated to address it.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Doc Shapiro
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12 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

I really don't think the issue is cost.  I think that's the excuse that's used, but not the root  cause.  When I started, our income was really low.  Bought used, slowly, saved.  If there's a desire to play, folks will find a way.

 

Frankly, I think it's the stages.  I know this may not be popular.  But really think about it.  Why do so many go to IDPA or IPSC?  Movement, challenging stages, lots of reactive targets.  The shooting part is exciting and fun.  SASS rules just don't allow setting up matches like this.  As a result, the stages really are very similar.  Along the lines of shoot a gun, move to another position, shoot a gun or two, move to another position, shoot the last gun.  Adding variety often means making more complicated target sequences.  This increases the number of P's.  Where's the fun in that?  It's gotten boring.

 

These are the comments I hear from shooters in the other games, and from some friends I've brought out to watch.  As I said, probably an unpopular opinion.

 

Perhaps I'm new enough to SASS that I just haven't become bored yet, but around here I wouldn't say there's a lack of movement or different scenarios. Heck, Steel Challenge is by definition the same eight stages and from what I can tell it's doing alright.

 

7 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

CONSIDER:  There are NO barriers to entry.  Anybody can play.  It's actually simple.  The glorification of the era(s) we portray is DEAD.  No Saturday Matinee of "B" westerns.  No real dearth of "Big Movies."  No Prime Time Wester themed programming.  No Saturday Morning TV serials for Kids.  The folks that grew up with that entertainment are now mostly "Old" folks and are not being replaced.

 

This is the age of instant gratification.  Electronic Games Rule.  First Person Shooter with a gaming console or a Big Screen and a controller.

 

It has nothing to do with the Stages.  Nothing to do with Cost.  Nothing to do with 10 10 4.  It's called a total lack of interest.  the game is slowly dying.  Kicking and Scratching and screaming, but . . . . dying.  Since we cannot set the entertainment clock and way of life back 60 - 70 years, we can't fix it.  Sad. 

I can't blame anyone for being disappointed that the things they love are no longer in style. And of course you're not wrong that the heydays of western cinema are gone. But I don't think that has to be the death of our game, and if there are people dedicated to advancing it, growing it can be done.

Edited by OK Dirty Dan
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Just now, OK Dirty Dan said:

Perhaps I'm new enough to SASS that I just haven't become bored yet, but around here I wouldn't say there's a lack of movement or different scenarios. Heck, Steel Challenge is by definition the same eight stages and from what I can tell it's doing alright.

 

<snip>

 

The big Steel Challenge matches also offer up a significant prize table.  Even our local matches give out cash prizes.  Big difference right there.

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Many people who want to participate/compete in organized shooting matches do not want to spend much of their time and resources trying to increase their speed shooting at 20" steel plates set at 3 to 10 or 12 yards. That's just not the shooting challenge they're looking for. They want more variety in distances and target sizes, scoring areas on targets and moving targets, etc.

 

The best thing going for SASS, shooting wise, is that everyone's shooting revolvers, rifles and shotguns. 

The negative comments I hear when I talk to shooters about SASS are centered on costuming, the close big targets and low power factor. As far as costuming no matter how many times you tell people about the minimum requirements they seem to refuse to believe it and insist you must be historically correct and wear all the chaps, vests, etc. 

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First off, the Shooter's Handbook is NOT clear in that too many folks new to the sport don't realize that the Costuming Categories are NOT mandatory. As a new shooter I did not understand this and it needs to be clarified that they are not required. This confuses many folks when they are trying to get the guns to start.

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Need a good gunsmith to short stroke my Ruger Bearcats, Henry 22 and open up my Rossi 410.  I am in!!!!  Just kidding.  However there could be a 22 category if that is what it takes to grow the sport.  But you have to get rid of 10 old categories from the past.

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5 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

I want to race stock cars, but I don't have much money, so can I race my stock 2002 Chevy pick-up? I don't plan on winning so nobody would mind, right? Maybe if I really like it I will get a normal stock car later, but for now I just want to check it out.

Hmm, I think they do have track days just for people who want to show up with their daily commuter cars and burn a bunch of gas going around the track and just have a good time... I know of several people who got hooked on racing that way...

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