Cowboy action shooting is a unique shooting sport that is designed for all shooters and skill levels, and for those that love history. Shooters can find their own level of success, no matter if they are 8 or 80. Many shooters enjoy the historical aspect or the competition, but this is not an old west reenactment. We use replicas of the guns of the era, but our dress is based on our own vision of the old west, while staying within the requirements of the categories we choose to shoot in.
The first thing you will do is to select an alias. This is your cowboy name that you will be referred to by at competitions. The governing body of our sport is the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), and they set the rules for the game that we play. Although SASS membership is not required to shoot with us, by becoming a SASS member your alias is registered and no one besides you can use it. There are also other benefits to a SASS membership, such as the ability to shoot in more competitions (such as state championships or above), a magazine, and your own badge with your SASS membership number on it.
You will also hear mention of categories. Some of these are age based, and other are equipment or costume based. In the beginning, it is best to start off in an age based category until you get your feet wet. Although there are overall champions, you are actually only competing against other shooters in your category.
One things that I should mention is to clear up one major misconception about our sport. Although some people go all out in their costuming, despite what you have heard, elaborate costumes are not required unless you are shooting in either the Classic Cowboy or B Western categories. In order to be legal, all you need is a pair of jeans, long sleeve work shirt or Henley, and a pair of boots. The only things that are expressly forbidden are ball caps, t shirts, tennis shoes or sandals, short sleeve shirts (for men), and logo apparel.
Link to SASS Website
Current Shooter's Handbook
RO1 Course Materials
RO2 Course Materials