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The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) offers a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to experience the thrill of the Old West through Cowboy Action Shooting. This sport combines marksmanship with historical reenactment, allowing participants to dress up in period attire and compete using firearms typical of the 19th-century American frontier.

Competitions, known as matches, feature a variety of shooting stages and scenarios designed to test participants’ speed and accuracy with single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and old-style shotguns. Firearms commonly used in these matches include iconic models such as the Colt Single Action Army, Winchester lever rifles, and double-barreled shotguns. Here is a breakdown of the types of firearms commonly used: Single Action Revolvers – Colt SAA, Colt Peacemaker, Ruger Vaquero (also in Bisley models), Cimarron El Malo & Pistolero, Taylor’s 1875 Outlaw, and Uberti Cattleman. Lever Action Pistol Caliber Rifles – Winchester models 1866 Yellowboy, 1873, 1892, and 1894, Rossi R92, Henry Model 1860, and Henry Big Boy models. Shotguns – CZ and Stoeger Coach Guns, Charles Daly model 500 side x sides, Cimarron 1878 side x side, Winchester 1897 pump, and Winchester 1887 lever action. Black powder revolvers and rifles are also a common sight at matches, and are easy to spot from the plume of smoke.

In addition to firearms, proper attire is a key component of Cowboy Action Shooting. Competitors are required to wear period-correct clothing, adding to the authenticity of the experience. Safety gear, including eye and ear protection, is also mandatory to ensure a safe shooting environment.

While participants strive for victory, the spirit of camaraderie prevails within the SASS community. Shooters often lend equipment to one another, and assistance is readily available from fellow members. This supportive atmosphere reflects the ethos of the Old West, where cooperation and mutual respect were valued virtues. As the cliche as it may sound, “it’s the cowboy way”

Overall, Cowboy Action Shooting offers a unique blend of historical reenactment, marksmanship, and camaraderie, making it a popular pastime for enthusiasts of all ages around the world.

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