Open Letter to the Cactus League
(Actually an Email to the 4th Sunday Match Poobah)
As long as I'm designing summer-roundcount multi-gun stages, why not try to attract some Cowboy Action Shooters? A few bloggers I know [Mad Ogre 7-14-06 for one...scroll down] lament the fact that they'd like to try the sport but are put off by the Cowboy Fashion Nazis and would just like to concentrate on the guns. I'll bet even some hardened Cowboys would like to get in some practice wearing shorts and sneakers in the Valley of the Sun...NO DRESS CODE! HintHint: Rio Salado Cowboys shoot on 1st Saturdays. Cowtown shoots 1st Sundays. Ben Avery ACSA = 2nd Saturdays.
Gee, I hope they'll forgive the CFN crack.
Mixing cowboy gunners with Cactus range officers is going to involve some compromise, mostly upon the cowboys' part. Some rule modifications [I'm suggesting]:
Since we still don't have a 3-Gun Division, we can add to rifle and shotgun divisions, if the computer can handle it. I can't see somebody shooting all four stages pistol-only (even though sixgunners carry two pistols), but we can write the stage descriptions to accomodate it if you think we should...they can still register as Revolver. Even if we can't add a Cowboy Rifle and Cowboy Shotgun Division, if the shooters register with their SASS nicknames, it will be blatantly obvious on the [website] scoresheet.
All [Cowboy] guns must conform to Single-Action Shooting Society specifications, but there are no bullet [except for existing ban on steel-core or AP] or ammo power limitations! (Cowboys normally don't shoot cardboard, and our steel gets hit by .38 Super FMJ all day long.)
Starting position for shooters who show up with crossdraw holsters will be "loaded handgun on table, pointed downrange."
No reholstering during the stage; before switching to another gun, the empty gun must be grounded on the table, pointed downrange.
Cowboy guns require one hit to neutralize. [There were no Emergency Rooms in the 1880s.]
Six-guns can be loaded to the maximum safe level; transfer bar safety guns can hold six, while replica guns without modern safeties must be loaded with the hammer down on an empty chamber. We'll program in a maximum of 11 pistol targets (modern guns can handle one miss, replica gunners suck it in unless they can reload and shoot within 10 seconds, the penalty for a FTE and FTN). Revolvers must be shot dry before grounding, although a live round may be unloaded if the stage is finished with the sixgun in hand. RO must supervise shell ejection to ensure sixgun is empty and safe. [Hadn't mentioned this to Terry, but why stop at 11? Let's let the buckaroos reload on the clock!]
No rifle caliber restrictions! Most cowboy gunners have the requisite pistol-caliber long guns, but this gives them--and newbies--a chance to trot out the old .30-30 lever-action deer gun.)
*If we want to allow black-powder revolvers*, we can designate an RO to supervise the powder and ball loading in the Safe Area for the on-deck BPgunner; the uncapped sixguns are then holstered and stay holstered until it's time to shoot. Capping must done in the shooter's box under RO supervision.
Well, what do you think? I don't think we're gonna lose (m)any USPSA shooters to the Cowboys over this, but we just might bring in some sixgunners looking for a practice format, even on a non-member basis. Of course, we should change the web site to reflect this. [...] [If not] thank heavens for word of mouth. A little updating could get Google and other search engines working for us. Also we should publish the rules modifications, once y'all finalize them...and my blog does have a good size metro-PHX-area readership. [Okay...maybe a dozen readers...so far.]
If you give the okay, I'll even be the guinea pig next 4th Sunday. Hope to hear from you soon.
The Stage Slave
Okay, Readers, especially you Cowboys...any ideas?
Here's another view, though I don't think it'd work well with the Cactus League, but the IDPA guys might welcome it.
Update: At top is some draft promotional material. Bumped to the top for now.