What is Cowboy Action Shooting?

Cowboy Action Shooting, a sport created in California in 1982, is run under international rules set be 'The Single Action Shooting Society' of the USA.

Cowboy Action Shooting recreates life in the Wild West by shooting a course of fire designed to depict an old west historical shootout, a movie scene or just someone's idea of the wild west.

Various target set-ups are made to resemble a western scene and scores are made according to elapsed time and accuracy in hitting the targets. There is a penalty of five seconds added to your elapsed time for each missed shot, and failure to shoot and move through the stage in the specified order will also cause a time penalty. The winning shooter will have a combination of the lower elapsed time and the most hits in the correct order. There is no advantage to missing fast. A shot timer automatically records your total time at your last shot.

To add to this fantasy sport, all shooters are required to wear some form of period dress. Long pants (or dresses for the ladies), boots, cowboy hat and shirts with long sleeves will do. For firearms you will need two single action revolvers, a lever action or pump action rifle (in pistol cal) and a side-by-side shotgun (without ejectors) or a model 1897-pump action shotgun (with exposed hammer). Guns must be of pre 1900 design but modern versions like Ruger, Colt clones and Norinco 97's are acceptable. You will also need holsters and a carrier or belt for shot shells. All bullets are lead and have maximum velocity requirements.

When starting out you will find other shooters are happy to help you out by loaning gear and guns. This is a great way of finding out what type of guns and holsters suit you.

Cowboy Action Shooting Competitions are listed in the "Competitions" section under Coming Events.

This is a fun, exciting family sport that has a shooting category for you!

CAS Section Badges

If you want a pin-on CAS Badge with your CAS number engraved on it, here's how to go about it. Send a cheque to Pistol NZ for $20 made payable to Pistol NZ. Write on the back CAS SECTION BADGE, your name, address, alias and CAS number. The badge will be engraved and dispatched to you.

But most importantly you will need an alias. Pick a name that fits your personality, your job, chosen western character, movie hero or one that just sounds good. You can register your alias and get your CAS badge by downloading the form available on the 'downloads page' on the PNZ website.

The 'Wild Bunch' Side Match

At EOT 2008, SASS introduced the 'Wild Bunch' side match. Costuming and guns reflect the 1969 movie 'The Wild Bunch'.

SASS legal lever action rifles over .40 cal and pump action shotguns are used as well as 'mil-spec' .45 cal 1911 pistols (single stack) with a barrel at least 5" long (with no porting). The power factor for rifle/pistol is 150. Categories were Traditional, Ladies Traditional, Modern and Ladies Modern.

In traditional category the pistol is to be shot one handed. Being mil-spec the pistol has standard spur hammer, trigger, magazine release, thumb safety, slide release, grip safety, grips, sights, etc.

In Modern category the shooter may shoot any style, and pistols may have adjustable sights, coloured sight inserts, beavertail grip safety, extended magazine release, extended and ambidextrous thumb safety, extended slide release, lowered and flared ejection port and full checkering.

Holsters are to be made of leather or canvas and no shoulder holsters or cross-draws. Magazine pouches are to worn vertically on opposite side of the body. The mags are loaded with 5 rounds and two extra mags (over what is needed to shoot the stage) may be carried. Changing mags on the move is OK but the slide must be locked open until shooter is stationary. At the end of the stage the pistol is cleared on the line. Shotguns may be loaded up with the correct number of rounds for the stage.

Shooters who are interested and want to draw from the holster are reminded they will need a Pistol NZ Action Holster Qualification.

At the beginning and in the interests of attracting shooters to this side match, the rifle and shotgun requirement may be relaxed to 'any main match rifle and shotgun'. It is expected that after this 'grace period' and as more shooters get geared up, rules in the Wild Bunch Handbook will apply.

Thinking of joining SASS?

Is it time for you to join up now? With the New Zealand SASS Regional an annual event on the Pistol NZ calendar you can now compete in this internationally sanctioned event here in New Zealand. You can subscribe as an annual member or pay for life membership. You get a SASS badge with your membership number engraved on it, a certificate confirming your SASS alias, a SASS marshal lapel pin, a SASS decal and also get 'The Cowboy Chronicle', full of cowboy articles and merchants, emailed to you every month. Go to Your Pistol NZ CAS alias may already be in use but you can perform an alias search to check if it is available.


For the SASS Wild Bunch Handbook (2010 Edition), Click Here

For the SASS Shooters Handbook (2012 Edition), Click Here

cowboys and cowgirls having a great day