|End of the Era Match -
a Proposal by Prof Fuller Bullspit.
Cowboy Action Shooting is fun. Or
at least it should be! Fun is why we put on the annual Brimstone Pistoleros
Thunder Valley black powder match. The basis for that match is a more retro
style all black powder match with some categories that hark back to an
earlier period in the cowboy era. But something I have noticed is that
the Monte Walsh category, which requires a
big bore lever rifle is always
popular. Part of the reason seems to be that the Monte Walsh category gives
folks a chance to shoot a gun that they don't get to use much in regular
That got me to thinking, which is
always dangerous. You see, I have a few cowboy era, or near cowboy era
guns that I just don't get to shoot enough! Since Thunder Valley is an
all black powder shoot that is set more towards the beginning of the Cowboy
era, what about a shoot that is more towards the end of the Cowboy era?
The purpose of this article is to
introduce an idea for this type of match to see if there is sufficient
interest to give it a try.
The spirit of this match is 1890-1900.
The cowboy era is passing and the Spanish American War (1898) is in the
news. There are still cowboys to be sure, but there are a lot more cowboys
than cowboy jobs to be had. These tough men of the Cowboy era are aging,
but still up for a fight or a hunt, joining Theodore Roosevelt in his Cuba
campaign or whatever else comes their
Here is what I have in mind: A fun
shoot that features the use of just one handgun and one rifle. I want to
keep it simple so let's have only a few categories:
Category 1: Rough Rider
Requires one single action handgun
and 1 pistol caliber lever action. This is the category for your regular
main match cowboy guns.
Category 2: Top Hand
Requires one single action handgun
and 1 big bore rifle caliber lever gun. This is the same as Monte Walsh
at Thunder Valley minus the shotgun. The lever gun needs to be in .38-55
or larger rifle caliber. Here is where you will shoot your straight wall
big bore caliber lever guns.
Category 3: Sharpshooter
Requires one revolver and 1 rifle.
This is the category for your 1894 Winchesters in rifle calibers like the
.30-30, the 1895 Winchesters, 1899 Savage lever guns, Krags, 03 Springfields,
Mausers or even your .351 Winchester self loader. Note that this category
doesn't require a single action revolver. To be sure you can use a single
action, but the idea here is to also allow some of the early double action
revolvers like the various top breaks, Merwin Hulberts, Colt Lightning
or Thunderer (if you can keep them working!), Webleys, or even Nagants
(only loaded with 5 rounds of course). And yes, you can shoot your double
action gun in the double action mode if you want.
. Lead bullets only.
. Gas checks allowed on rifle caliber
. Keep your rifle velocity below
1500 fps to be kind to the steel.
. Maximum of 40 of rifle shells.
. Maximum of 50 pistol rounds.
. Revolvers must be loaded with
5 rounds and the hammer must be down on an empty chamber.
. Revolvers may be holstered or
staged per the shooters preference.
. Rifles will staged with the magazine
loaded but the chamber will be empty until the stage begins.
. All rifles must use iron sights.
. An extra gun might be shot as
part of some stages. The gun and ammo would be provided.
Remember, the time frame is 1890-1900.
You can get by with a pair of jeans or even overalls and a cotton shirt
along with a pair of leather work boots and a wool stocking cap. A kilt
is always appropriate. Of course a full cowboy outfit would work too. Or
you could sport dress pants, black shoes, ascot and beret for a more artistic
look. Just leave the ball caps and tennis
shoes at home. Anyone daring to
wear a derby had better be darn good looking, charming and rich enough
to get away with it.
Course of fire
Stages will be set up similar to
a cowboy shoot, minus the shotgun. The emphasis won't be so much
on speed as most cowboy shoots, but this isn't really a true long range
accuracy event either. Rifle targets will be set from 30 to 100 yards with
any targets closer than 50 yards most likely being paper or a clay bird
or something similar, again, to preserve the steel. Pistol shots will range
from 5 yards out to 40 yards. Expect a range of sizes, heights and distances.
You aren't likely to find a stage with a single dump target! You can expect
some non-shooting action on the clock.
As with Thunder Valley this match
would allow you to shoot in two different categories if you want. I expect
we would be happy to provide a ladies category option in any of the categories
listed above. Black powder is certainly permitted, but not required, keeping
in mind the time-frame this match is aiming for.
Now you may be wondering why no
auto loading pistols and no shotguns? The reason for no auto loading pistols
is simple, just to make some room between the concept of this match and
the Wild Bunch matches that are already around. As for shotguns, you need
to save all your shotgun shells for the all shotgun match that Cliff Hanger
is going to run!
On another note, this would be a
great match to bring someone who has some shooting experience but isn't
equipped for a cowboy match or maybe aren't quite ready to put on cowboy
boots and a cowboy hat. Have them bring an old double action revolver and
an old iron sighted rifle they have in their gun safe along with lead ammo
and they are good to go. This match won't be one that requires a lot of
speedy transitions or even a holster. Plus the dress options are easy to
If you are interested in attending
a match like this, or have some suggestions let me know and if enough interest
exists I'll work on it.