Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Target scenes strive for realism

By Michelle Day
Enquirer contributor

        Cowboy action shooting competition occurs on stages designed to look like scenes from the Old West and shooters use live ammunition. At each stage, the shooters must go through a prescribed routine, hitting targets in a predetermined order and with a specific number of shots from designated weapons.

        The Big Irons Rangers club uses steel targets in the shapes of squares or circles. Each target is color-coded for the appropriate firearm. Three spotters watch for accuracy and a time keeper with an electric clock records the number of seconds for each round.

        Shooters receive a 5-second penalty for each miss and a 10-second deduction for shooting targets out of order. Safety violations, such as dropping a pistol or gun, are cause for penalties or disqualification. Matches usually have an overall winner based on the fastesttime.

        Shooters also compete in categories based on the types of weapons they use and their style of shooting. For instance, shooters in the duelist division must use a traditional style, single action revolver, cocked and fired one-handed, unsupported. A gunfighter uses two traditional style single actions, both shot duelist style, one right handed and the other left handed. Age and gender divisions also apply.

        Local clubs sponsor monthly and regional matches. Top shooters go on to compete in End of Trail, a world championship sponsored by the Single Action Shooting Society.

       Several clubs active in Tristate The Single Action Shooting Society Web site, www.sassnet.com has computer links and contact information on member chapters around the country.

        The site lists nine ground-shooting chapters and one mounted shooting chapter in Ohio. (In mounted competitions, people dressed as cowboys shoot from the back of a horse.) For information on the Big Irons Rangers, call chapter President Stan Swanner at 513-894-3500. The 1st Ohio Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association is based in Morrow. Contact is Daniel P. App at 513-932-1021.

        Kentucky has six ground shooting chapters, including ones in Lexington and Louisville.

        Indiana lists 10 chapters, including a mounted group in Lawrenceburg. The contact in Lawrenceburg is Donald P. Burress at 812-438-4443.


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