Guns / Ammo There are very specific rules about what firearms may be used. It is best to talk to us before buying any gun, but in general any firearm designed before 1899 (original or replica). Most common revolvers (must be a single action) are the Ruger Vaquero or Uberti 1873 Cattleman. Rifle, Uberti 1873 Winchester. There are others on the market, Henry, Cimarron, Pietta. Shotgun, any 12 or 20 ga side by side coach gun or an 1897 Winchester pump. Most common calibers 45 Colt sometimes referred to as 45 Long Colt (NOT 45 APC) .38 Special .357 Magnum
All rifles must shoot pistol caliber ammo. Be common to the cowboy period (1860 to 1899). Original or replica. Shooter’s Handbook lists acceptable firearms.
All ammo must be low powered, lead only cartridges known as “cowboy loads”. There are several commercial suppliers, many cowboys reload.
As you get into the sport you will notice we are an aging crowd and there are cowboys “leaving” the sport. Keep an ear out and ask about used guns.
What to wear Jeans, long sleeve shirt (women can wear short sleeves) . Cowboy hat suggested. In the summer some dress down and wear shorts and short sleeve shirts.
Safety Gear At all times, EYE & EAR protection. We are shooting metal targets at close range and even when off the firing line, lead splatters and can travel. Will be hit with hot flakes of lead at some point.
Leather While using our guns we will allow you to “bench” your revolvers. Meaning, revolvers will be placed on a table top and returned to the table top. However, at some point we will require you to have your own revolvers and holsters.
Full riggs (gun belt & holsters) can be expensive. Buying a cheaper gun belt and holsters separately can save you money. You need a gun belt that holds extra rifle round and also another belt to hold shotgun rounds. Best to talk to someone before buying. This was my biggest mistake getting started and I’m still paying for it 5 years later.
I’m a cowboy, cowgirl Soon you will have all your gear. When you walk up to the line that first day you will have a shotgun in one hand (unloaded), a loaded lever gun in the other (10 rounds). On your body you will have two revolvers (holstered, 5 rounds in each) and 4+ shotgun shells. Average Match You will Posse Up 6 times or 6 Stages. The cowboy running the stage will yell POSSE UP, this means to gather around and he/she will go over the stage you are about to shoot. All stages are shot in a set sequence. Your score is based on raw time, misses, penalties or safety violations. A CLEAN stage is completion with no misses, no penalties.
At no time are guns to be loaded and rifle & shotgun actions MUST be open.
Time to shoot. You carry your unloaded guns to the loading table, muzzles pointed up. At the same time your shotgun belt has 4+ shells and you have 20 rounds of ammo with you. There are many kinds of cartridge loading blocks cowboys use.
Your shotgun is on the table open and remains unloaded.
Lever gun, ensure the gun is unloaded. Now close the action and lower the hammer. Load 10 rounds.
Revolvers on the table and unloaded. Now load 5 rounds in each, cowboy style. Load 1, skip 1, load 4. Now you need to carefully, lower the hammer on an empty chamber. At some matches there may be a loading and unloading table Marshall to insure safety protocols are followed. At no time do you leave the loading table with a loaded gun, except to go to the firing line.
Once loaded all guns remain on the table until you are called to the firing line. Some cowboys put their loaded revolvers in their holsters while at the loading table (legal), but then walk away to get a drink. MAJOR SAFETY VIOLATION.
The Timer Operator will call you to the firing line. Tell them to are new and they will assist you through your time on the firing line. You tell the TO you are ready and they will say “standby” and you will hear a BEEP. Start shooting! Guns and targets are shot in a set sequence. Any variation of that sequence is a penalty (time added to your raw time).
Lever gun and shotgun must be empty, safe and tabled after being shot. Revolvers empty and returned to holsters after being shot. In some cases they will be shot from a table and returned to the table.
When finished, with lever gun & shotgun made safe (empty and actions open), move to the unloading table with muzzles pointed up. ANY OTHER LOCATION IS A MAJOR SAFETY VIOLATION.
At the unloading table make the shotgun and lever gun safe and actions open. Remove all brass from revolvers and check as empty. Some times there will be an unloading marshal who will request you show them your unloaded guns before going back to your gun cart.
While you have been shooting other cowboys have been collecting your brass and empty shot shells. They will be returned to the unloading table and you either throw them away or take them with you.
You are done! Well sort of, there are several positions that need to be fill at any match (spotters,brass pickers, etc.) More on that at a later date.