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How were you attracted to Cowboy Action Shooting?


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Posted (edited)

We keep having discussions about attracting new membership, attrition, and keeping Cowboy Action Shooting alive and expanding.  So I started wondering what are the things that actually have worked for attracting new players and members.  

 

Today there are a number of communication channels, ranging from friends' word-of-mouth to the Internent and social media. 

 

So WHEN and HOW were YOU attracted to our CAS game/sport?

Some choices might include:

 

> I saw a website or found it surfing the web,

> I saw it on the news,

> I saw a poster in a store,

> A friend talked me into trying it,

> I saw a match while at the range for other shooting,

> I attended an event where CAS people participated,

> I noticed the clothing and props and came over to ask,

> Many others.  

 

So what was it for YOU?

 

Perhaps this  could turn some useful info for focusing our local club  recruitment efforts. 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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"........> A friend talked me into trying it,,,"  

this happened when he came to our range to set up a new club , 

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Went to check out End Of Trail in Norco back in 93 0r 94. Enjoyed it every year until they packed up and moved to New Mexico. Joined SASS around 99.

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I always wanted a Winchester and a Colt! Came into a little extra cash and bought a Winchester and a Ruger (still couldn't afford the Colt). I was telling a buddy in my M/C group about the firearms. He was a SASS member and told me about CAS. I looked up SASS online and found a club locally that was going to have an "Introduction to Cowboy Shooting" match for anyone interested. My GF and I went and the rest is history! 

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Used to shoot PPC and Bullseye.  When the eyes started going, I gave up shooting for awhile.  Wanted to shoot steel, but didn't want anything to do with black plastic guns.  Voila.  Looked up one  of my local clubs.  Sent them an email.  They invited me out and here I am.

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Saw a guy at a gun show who sold gun leather and horse blankets. He was dressed Classic Cowboy and handing out Chronicles.

 

 I had a Blackhawk, a Norinco 99, and a Winchester 94 Trapper.  I bought a set of San Pedro holsters and a cartridge loop belt.  A few months later, when the opportunity arose, I went down to Wartrace with what I had and my dad’s Blackhawk and shot my first match.

 

Charlie Bowdrie and Wil Riley took me under their respective wings and the die was cast!!

 

The guy at the gun show was Judge John Lynchlaw, aka Dutch Brandenburg.  Thousands of miles, thousands of dollars, and thousands of bullets later, I’m glad I met ol’ Dutch that day!!

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Working in a gun shop in Anaheim and a couple of guys came in and invited us to visit a match at Coto de Casa.  Ghis was  before they named it SASS.  Tom Winters and I went down and watched a bunch of guys in Levis, pearl button shirts, and dime store cowboy hats.

 

On the way back toAnaheim we agreed that it might be fun but it wasn't going anywhere.

 

A few years later they had grown in many ways and I joined at Norco with a low (by today's standards) number.  That was in 1993 or 1994.

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Posted (edited)

I... don't... remember... it's been thirty years next month. Probably a magazine ad.

Edited by Three Foot Johnson
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Posted (edited)

For my wife and me, we ran into an old friend in a local hardware store in 2015.  He mentioned that he and his wife were actively shooting Cowboy Action matches.   I didn't know much about it, so he invited us to watch a match and directed me to the local club, Kings River Regulators, website.  My wife fell in love with the dress-up.  The following month, I shot my first match using guns that our friend loaned me.  Shortly afterwards, another friend-to-be began making us aware of guns available for purchase and on his good advice we both bought  '73s and BSSs. I bought .357 New Vaqueros and she bought Single Sixes in .32 H&R Mag.

The rest is history.  

 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Wikipedia :D 

Due to Western movies, I became interested in the mechanics of Winchester lever rifles and the article mentioned CAS. So, I checked if this is also a thing in Switzerland. It is! Very small community indeed, but it is :) 

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Always had a 92 and colts and holsters. Living on a farm, me and the wife always had horses and showed them. Then it was an ad in a magazine for SASS that spurred my interest. Joined and started looking at the list that showed all the local clubs and just showed up to watch and following month started shooting.

I have talked to many about joining, but many are intimidated by the videos that are available on YouTube, since 90%+ show fast shooters in the teens time. Then saying they couldn't ever be that fast. Its one reason I have many average shooters on my phones to show what fun it is. Many say its the costuming part that turns them away, its they have seen videos and are afraid they won't be able to meet the challenges.  Sometimes bragging will turn some off. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I was shooting Sporting Clays at Raahauge’s Shooting Range in Norco, CA. I was having a terrible time at this as it was my first time and my so-called friends were of no help. As we were shooting I could hear and see this big group of people in what appeared to be cowboy attire shooting and making a lot of noise and having a good time. 
I asked the range officer “What the heck is going on over there?”

He said “Awe, that’s those crazy cowboy shooters. They’re here every month.”

We we’re on station  6 of 10 stations. My truck was 50 yards away, so I looked at my so-called friends and wished them a nice day, walked away and put my shotgun in the truck then  walked back towards my friends on the way over to see what “those crazy cowboy shooters” were up to. One of my “friends” yelled over and told me they weren’t waiting for me. I seem to recall we were planning to shoot clays then go somewhere for beers and burgers. I told them to go without me. 
 

I went over, met some really nice folks and got some info on this new shooting sport that was all the rage. Those “crazy cowboy shooters” were the Coto Cowboys. 
That was in March of ‘97, I believe. That summer I went to EOT in Norco just to be a spectator, shot a Gatling Gun and was hooked, saw how cool the whole thing was. I joined SASS. 

 

 

EDIT: I really need to proof read more. Fixed my boo-boos

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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Back about 2000, I walked into the break/ready room after dispatch and found a "Cowboy Chronicle" laying on the table. 

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My husband was invited to shoot a "shorts and cowboy hat" match in the summer of 2005 with his brother at Riverbend Gun Club.  He was hooked after that one match.  He told stories of costumes, alias names and a hip shooting tall outlaw named Loose Cinch.  Peaking my interest I went to a match with him in the fall.  There was one lady shooter I will never forget (Hotshoe Hannah).  She laughed and smiled the WHOLE TIME it was her turn to shoot a stage.  She was not that fast but she clearly was having the time of her life!  That Christmas in 2005 I was gifted gun leather and a SASS membership!  

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My Dad pestered the hell out of me to go to a cowboy match. On July 6 1997, I finally went to one. The "range" was located northeast of Brooksville Fl in a defunct limestone pit that was also a skeet range AND a cow pasture. It was really nothing more that a big hole that was 40' deep and about 300' wide. It was the hottest and most humid place in Florida on that day, or at least it seemed. I thought that these 30 or 40 people, The Cigar City Shooters, were crazy to be out in this heat/humidity dressed like that...then we got to shooting. That was almost 25 years ago now...I guess I must have been crazy also...I'll be at a match tomorrow.

 

 

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A friend of mine introduced it to me back in 1996! I've been hooked ever since.

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Very interesting thread. Many things in common with the responses, and so far not one comment about joining for the stiff competition, is seems to be for the fun.

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A couple of other members of my woodworking club told me about it and talked me into going up to The Cowboys match in Norco in December of 2006. They have a new shooters school there and I attended and when it was over I wandered around the bays checking things out. The biggest draw for me was all of the different gun carts. I probably spent more time checking out gun carts than I did watching the shooting. I was hooked.

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And you certainly mastered the Gun Cart Category!

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Posted (edited)

Some friends introduced us.  We used to go camping with them, when they lived in the greater LA area.  They retired to the high desert and joined the local Lions Club, which had a gun range on their property.  They attended a cowboy match one weekend and were smitten.  They invited us up to watch and we were hooked.  The rest is history.

 

That gun range is the RRBar Regulators range, a replica ghost town.  A really wonderful place to shoot, if you ever get the chance.

Edited by Calamity Kris
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After I graduated College I bought my first gun, it was during the O'Bummer administration and ammo was hard to find, I picked up reloading and started trading around guns until I had everything in .357 magnum as the cartridge family was capable of doing 80% of everything I could see myself needing a gun for and I could feed a lot of stuff with 1 type of cartridge.  one of the things I wanted to do was get into shooting competition and when I was researching what kinds of competition I could do with .357, I came across CAS.  it's been 10 years since I graduated and started getting into this stuff and I finally have cobbled together enough stuff to get out to a few matches.  paying off student loans takes a while, otherwise I probably would have been more involved before now.  my next match is the Battle for Baldknobber's Ridge in Branson on June 4th.  hit me up if you are going!

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I saw it somewhere, thought that would be fun for us to do as a couple.
For years, we did ren-faire in costume, historical reenactment, etc.

Reality set in, with my bride being a true night owl, and unable to haul out of bed to make a far-away match at 08:30.
I accumulated 170+ days of CA waiting period days while obtaining our weapons in 2019.

I waited half a year for my Stoeger Coach SxS to come back into stock.
It broke the barrel hinge on the 12th shell at the range, and which destroyed the gun.
I shamed Stoeger into giving me a full refund for this lemon.
It will snow in Hell before I ever buy another Stoeger.

Eight months later (Feb of 2020) I bought Deuce's Charles Daly 500.
The serial appears to be a 70s era production.. magnificent fit, finish and metallurgy.

COVID hit shortly after that.

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Always wanted a "cowboy" gun but could not afford a real Colt SAA.  So I settled for Colt's "cheaper" version a "Colt Cowboy".  I know I'm gonna get slammed for this.  

In the box, along with the usual paraphenalia there was a small brochure about SASS.  When I asked the store manager (who at the time was very active in SASS) what was this about, he opened up and I was hooked.

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Once the paper chronical went away, I can't say I've seen our game promoted anywhere that the average person might see it. Glad someone left a chronicle for me to find!

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5 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

I went over, met some really nice folks and got some info on this new shooting sport that was all the rage. Those “crazy cowboy shooters” were the Coyotes Cowboys. 

 

Better retire quickly! Your memory is fading.

 

It was the Coto Cowboys!:D

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Posted (edited)

Read an article in a gun rag about it in '92 or 93. 

 

It was a West Coast thing still, so I had to wait 'til '98 or so before it worked its' way across the country and close enough for me to join.  There were a couple of one-of matches put on by a couple clubs in 93 and 94 (the 1st one I shot was put on by the Ft Benning Pistol and Rifle Club) locally but all attempts to start a CAS club in the area fizzled. until later in the '90's.

Edited by Smuteye John SASS#24774
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I bought a Cimarron 1851 Navy RM conversion because I "wanted one".   Went to the gun store to pick it up, the guy at the counter asked me if I had bought it for Cowboy Action Shooting.    "What's that" says I.

 

Many $1000's of dollars later, here I am!

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39 minutes ago, Injun Ryder, SASS #36201L said:

 

Better retire quickly! Your memory is fading.

 

It was the Coto Cowboys!:D

Son of a.... I swear to gawd, auto correct drives me nuts!

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I saw an ad for SASS that featured a Colt 45 and gave enough info that there were shooting matches with single actions. The thought of shooting big bore cowboy guns (not 22s) got me interested. Eventually came to love shooting the leverguns and shotgun too.

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I first saw it in an Add in a Gun/Shooting Magazine... 

I have been a Cowboy since before I could Walk, so it was a natural step into the Past ...

There were No SASS shoots in Western Canada at the time, but I found our own Cowboy Shooting Group and Joined "Western Frontier Shooters".

And when I started to hear rumors of SASS coming to my neck of the Prairies I joined ...

I joined SASS to shoot Guns and Loads that emulate those used by my Ancestors ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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I grew up with Roy, Gene and Hoppy, so I've always tilted towards the western stuff. Celebrated my 21st birthday by buying a used second generation SAA which I still have. In October of 2011 there was a ad in a local weekly paper about a club forming near me. I had seen cowboy shooting on Outdoor Channel but never though about joining. Well, my buddy and I went to that first organizational meeting and said that we would like to help and join. At that time I owned  that SAA, a Cimarron Thunder and a Henry Big Boy. Never shot a shotgun more.than 100 times in my life despite shooting rifle amd pistol all that time. That new club's first match was July of 2012 and the rest is history. Within a year I was writing all our stages and became Match Director. Drug my wife (kicking and screaming) to a match in 2013. Something clicked there and we now shoot an average 40 matches a year. We've shot at 36 clubs in 15 states. No plans on slowing down anytime soon. We are at Spring Roundup in Evansville, IN (great match by the way) as I write this.

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