On Cowboy Action Shooting

Last night, I was watching my TIVO’d copy of Shooting Gallery – the episode was all about the first ever Wild Bunch Cowboy Shooting National Championships.  Mrs. Ahab was watching it with me, and the conversation came up as to why I don’t shoot any kind of cowboy action – a conversation we’ve had before.  I said that even though Wild Bunch style shot 1911s, and you started with a full magazine in your shotgun, I still can’t shoot it.

“Why?”, asks Mrs. Ahab.

“It’s just…it’s just too much like cosplay or LARP with live ammo.”

I kid the CAS guys, though; they probably bring more new shooters into the sport than IDPA does, and it’s probably got a lot to do with the appeal of dressing in costume and burning up some bullets.  Maybe, just maybe I’ll roll out a lever gun and get my 16 gauge ’97 Winchester fixed up…


  1. I have to agree with you on this. I’d love to go out and shoot some matches with 19th century style guns, but I’m not really interested in the dress up. I know that the clothing and old west dialect are supposed to be part of the fun and I don’t hold anyone against it, but I would feel like a tool if I did that stuff myself.

  2. Yup. I’ve got enough geek strikes against me as it is to be adding more by making up a “Cowgirl Alias” for myself…

  3. And what, exactly do you have against us cosplayers and LARPers?

    One more negative comment like that, and I’ll leave in a huff.

    Or maybe a minute and a huff, if someone would please call me a cab.

  4. Can’t they at least have a Casual Friday event once in a while? One where they actually encourage people to wear little to none of the authentic cowboy garb?

    If nothing else, they’d get a whole lot of people out to have some fun with old [style] guns and they might even get a batch of new recruits in the process.

    Doing it as Cowboy Clothing Optional wouldn’t cut it, either. Even if it weren’t true, too many people would think they’d be out of place in modern clothing and that they just wouldn’t have the same kind of fun that they’d have if everyone were wearing current outfits.

    It’s at least worth a try.

  5. At the range I go to, most people don’t go beyond boots and a leather vest. They’re main pride is the old style leather holsters which are usually nothing less than works of art.

    One of the favorite events goes something like this.

    1. Approach the facade of an old western style bank.
    2. Breach the door (made out of balsa wood) with a shotgun.
    3. Switch to either a lever gun or six-shooter.
    4. Take out 3 bad guys without hitting the 4-5 good guys in the shortest time. All being steel silhouettes.

    Never done it myself but I’ve watched a few times. I get the impression that most people don’t really care about the score, they just can’t resist shooting a balsa wood door with a shotgun.

  6. Someone should make an event based on the “Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy”. The goal is to miss the target rather than hit it.

    (Except during Sandcrawler stages; then you can be precise.)

  7. ***they probably bring more new shooters into the sport than IDPA does***

    I don’t know squat about IDPA, but I’ve met more people than you can shake a stick at, who’ve become gun owners, and active shooters to CAS. I personally feel that once people find their niche’, that’s all it takes. And slowly more interest in shooting sports takes hold.

  8. I always thought it would hilarious to show up at a CAS shoot wearing ass-less chaps, thong, a leather vest and a hat…

    “Hi, my name is the San Francisco Rider”…

    Anyone need mental bleach?

  9. I’m really sorry… It’s almost like a “Jackass” theme or something…

    Poor, honest, upright folks would NEVER even know WTF hit ’em…

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