Welcome, New Shooters

Howdy podners! We're looking forward to seeing you at a shoot soon. Meantime, some handy things to know:

For shooters or spectators alike, you'll need ear and eye protection if you come down off the patio. This includes younguns of any age!

We plan on a New Shooters' class at the Rod and Gun Pistol Building in early May each year. We'll talk about what goes into our sport and you'll have a chance to shoot a stage with us. We can provide guns and ammunition and even leather for this session.

Nearly all of us had to come along a ways at a time -- costumes, guns, and other gear can get expensive. If you have just some pieces of costume, that's fine with us. If you need to shoot "Sodbuster" (one pistol and one long gun) a while or need to borrow guns, we can generally take care of you.

A match is a touchy place to learn the basics of marksmanship or of handling the period guns. You should have your basics in place -- and that's all a lot of us ever get. We can find you a coach if you need one.

Getting Started as a Sod Buster

The purpose of this shooting category is to give people who don't have all of the equipment or costume a chance to try Cowboy Action Shooting and discover the challenges and fun of shooting with the cowboys.

If you want to give this a try, contact us at mtpeacemakers@gmail.com and we will be happy to assign a mentor to answer questions and to help you prepare for your first match as a Sod Buster.  Even if you lack everything, we will loan you what you need.  All we ask is that you offer to reimburse your mentor for ammunition - odds are good he/she will decline to accept the offer - that's the Cowboy Way.

The basic concept of Sod Buster is to shoot at a local Cowboy Action shooting club with whatever firearms you own, with some exceptions, of course.

Because Sod Buster is not a sanctioned Single Action Shooting Society competition class and the intent is to allow non-CAS shooters to try the sport, the equipment allowed is more diverse.

Sod Buster is a two gun category using either a revolver and shotgun or a revolver and rifle.

1. Revolvers allowed are both single action and double action in SASS-accepted calibers.

            A.  All revolvers will be shot using iron sights.  Optical or laser sighting not allowed.

            B.  Double action revolvers must be fired single action - that is by manually cocking the hammer for each shot.

            C.  Revolver calibers must be center fire of at least .32 and no larger than .45 caliber. Percussion calibers must be at least .36 and no larger than .45.

            D.  Revolvers must be chambered for a commonly available cartridge.  Examples include but are not limited to:
 .32-20, .32 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .44 Magnum, .44-40, and .45 Colt. 

A complete listing of approved cartridges can be found in theSASS Shooter's Handbook available at www.sassnet.com.

            E.  .22 caliber revolvers may be used by adults if that is the only revolver owned.

Standard velocity ammunition is recommended.  No "hyper-velocity" or jacketed ammunition is allowed.

            F.  A .22 caliber revolver is required for youngsters under age 14 (Little Buckaroos).

2.  Pistol and rifle ammunition must be all lead.  It cannot be jacketed, semi-jacketed, gas checked or copper washed.  Molybdenum disulfide coated bullets or an equivalent are allowed.

            A.  Center fire ammunition velocity must be at least 400 fps and less than 1000 fps for when fired from the revolver and 400-1400 fps when fired from the rifle.

            B.  Standard velocity .22 rim fire ammunition is recommended.

3.  Shotguns can be single shot, side by side, over/under, lever action, and slide or pump action, or "autoloaders".  Internal or external hammers are permissible.

            A.  Gauges of no less than 20 gauge and no more than 10 gauge are allowed.  Little Buckaroos are required to use .410 shotguns.

            B.  Shotguns must have iron sights.  Optical and laser sights are not allowed.

            C.  Shotgun ammunition shall be #4 birdshot or smaller, (not steel or plated shot). Magnum or high velocity shot shell loads are not allowed.

            D.  Pump, lever action, and double barrel shotguns shall not be loaded with more than two live rounds at a time.  Autoloaders must be single loaded.

4.  Rifles are restricted to single shot, slide (pump), and lever action shooting pistol caliber ammunition as described for revolvers.

            A.  All rifles must be shot with iron sights.


5.  Holsters, belts, bandoleers

            A.  Any leather holster that can safely retain the revolver through a normal range of motion is acceptable.  Nylon or plastic holsters can be used in a pinch, but do not conform to Sod Buster costume requirements.

            B.  Holsters may not depart more than 30 degrees from vertical when worn.

6.  Clothing.  Part of the fun of Cowboy Action Shooting is getting dressed up like a person from the Old West.  Sod Busters can choose from the following items.  However, if you do not have all of the costume items, it is permissible to wear what you have until such time as a complete costume is assembled.

            A.  Men's Clothing

                        1.  Head gear: cowboy hats, straw hats or any head gear that looks like it came from the period 1860 to 1900 would be appropriate.  Train engineer hats, wool Scotch caps, bowlers, top hats, sombreros or scarves can serve as a head cover.  Baseball caps, fatigue caps, boonie hats are not appropriate.

                        2.  Shirts, vests, jackets: Shirts of the time were collarless, long sleeve, with button fronts. Henley style shirts are acceptable.  No short sleeves, sweat shirts, polo shirts or any shirt having a logo or other artwork.  Vests and jackets reflecting western styling; should be cotton or natural fiber.  The Levi denim jacket is permissible.

                        3.  Trousers: Cowboy trousers are high waist without belt loops using buttons instead of zippers and are usually worn with suspenders.  Sod Busters could wear these as well as farmer bibs, Levi button fly jeans or pants of that design.  It is recommended that belt loops be removed and suspenders used.  If all you have is a pair of zippered blue jeans, wear them.

                        4.  Footwear:  Pull on boots of cowboy, Wellington, harness or any boot that is all leather, with leather or rubber soles.  Grip enhancing soles, such as Vibrum lugs, are not allowed.  In a pinch, the following can be used: Lace up "packer" boots, leather shoes of any design such as Oxfords or penny loafers.

            B.  Ladies clothing

                        1.  Hats: Any hat style from the 1850 to 1900 period, bonnets, scarves, straw or cowboy hats are acceptable.

                        2.  Shirts, vests, jackets: Blouses are typically long-sleeved and high necked as are dresses and jackets.  Period looking shawls or capes can be worn.  Short-sleeve, round-necked blouses will work to get you started.

                        3.  Dresses and skirts: Clothes are natural fibers such as cotton, linen or wool.  Feminine fashions in coats, blouses, shirts, dresses, aprons, and shawls that look "period" are acceptable.

                        4.  Pants and "working clothes": Ladies dressed as working cowgirls, must follow the same guidelines as the men in relation to the construction and style of dress.

Questions?  Send an email to mtpeacemakers@gmail.com or visit us at www.montanaterritorypeacemakers.org.


Cowboy Action Shooting

Web Sites to Get You Started


SASS - the Single Action Shooting Society governs the sport - lots of information about the sport here:

Single Action Shooting Society home page  http://www.sassnet.com/


A couple web sites on getting started:

Cowboy Action Shooting:  Getting Started  http://www.gunblast.com/JimTaylor_CAS.htm

Cowboy Action Shooting - Relive the Old West http://www.cowboyactionshooting.com/

 Wild Bunch shooting: .45 semi-automatic pistols (1911s or similar), .40 caliber or larger rifles, pump shotguns.   http://www.curtrich.com/01wildbunchfordummies.html

Videos  (Note - if anyone is shooting in these videos, don't expect to be that fast right off)

Getting Started in Cowboy Action Shooting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbM_MZBSKng

Double Barrel Shotgun: Loading and Unloading a Side-by-Side - Cowboy Action Shooting   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGSHqDDlCL0

Cowboy Shotgunning Equipment and Loading - Cowboy Action Shooting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhyJlU82fPE

Mounting and Levering Your Rifle - Cowboy Action Shooting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY3dTX3aF7o

How to Grip a Single Action Revolver - Cowboy Action Shooting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtPnRRxuOuc

Practice Tips - Cowboy Action Shooting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vOB8QbE9Hs

Cowboy Action Crossdraw  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLWLpIskVx4

Clothing and other supplies

Wild West Mercantile http://www.wildwestmercantile.com

Cowboys and Indians Store http://www.cowboysandindianstore.com/