Tips for beginners
Want to join us and enjoy the romance of the Wild West combined with fast action shooting?
Although at first glance our shooting may seem equipment intensive, it's actually not that difficult. Cowboy action shooting originally originated as a recreational activity and this principle is still followed today. The SASS (Single Action Shooting Society, our "parent" organization) shooting rules keep this in mind. It is understandable that if someone wants to take up the sport, they will have to invest in equipment. But there is no need to spend more money than is strictly necessary. Let's take a look at the different parts of the equipment.
In cowboy action shooting, the emphasis is on authentic clothing. It is not too difficult to find replicas of period clothing, with specialist companies in Europe and the USA producing them. But that doesn't mean that the clothing of the American West in the second half of the nineteenth century is that different from what you can buy today, and you may even have it in your wardrobe. For starters, just wear a long-sleeved shirt, preferably plaid, and plain pants made of natural material, such as corduroys, canvas pants, or even jeans. If braces will hold them up, it will be for the good of the cause, however a belt is fine.
Shoes cannot be modern sports or military "tactical". Taller boots made of leather or imitations thereof are ideal. So, for example, hiking boots or other ankle boots are quite sufficient.
This will all be complemented by a cowboy hat, which can also be acquired very easily. A scarf around the neck or a vest will only enhance the overall impression.
Ladies can replace the trousers with a longer skirt.
As you can see, it is not necessary to spend a lot on clothes, usually just going through the closets with the things you have put away is enough.
Four guns are needed for shooting, two single action revolvers, a repeating rifle and a shotgun. Alternatively, one revolver, a rifle and a shotgun, but this is only possible here in the Czech Republic where the appropriate category (Little Traditional) is shot.
Guns are clearly the biggest investment, but even here there are ways to get them cheaper.
Of course you can buy them new, for example from DAVE (www.zbrane-dave.cz).
But we also recommend to look at the offer of used guns, e.g. at BVS, Zbrane Brymová, etc. You can often find guns there at attractive prices. For example, a shotgun deuce can be bought this way for a fraction of the price of a new gun.
Another possibility where you can get a gun is the "Exchange" tab on our web stalls. There, various types of cowboy guns are offered for sale, but you can also place an inquiry ad. Many shooters have multiple guns that they no longer shoot, so there is an opportunity to get guns from them at a bargain price.
If you actively shoot, you will use quite a lot of ammunition. At a normal club event, each shooter will shoot a minimum of 120 slugs and 24 buckshot rounds. For buckshot (unless you start shooting black powder right away), it is easiest to buy bullets.
Bullet cartridges (rifle, revolver) can also be bought, but there are two disadvantages. Commonly available bullets are unnecessarily strong for our shooting, but mainly expensive. And so we all solve this by reloading.
Certainly no one expects you to get reloading equipment right off the bat. But we do have several members who are able and willing to reload ammo for other interested parties.
When selecting a gun, it is important to be clear what caliber you will be shooting. There are categories with specific caliber and gun type requirements. Period calibers are authentic and necessary for the Classic Cowboy category, for example. Ammunition for modern calibers, on the other hand, is cheaper, more readily available and less demanding to reload.
Holsters for revolvers and ammo belts
Again, this is essential equipment. Every shooter needs a belt with two revolver holsters and a cartridge belt for shot shells.
These can be obtained from similar sources as the guns, see above. At the same time, some of our members are skilled saddlers and can make these belts and holsters. The advantage of these products is that, unlike commercial products, they are made by active shooters and thus are not just decoration but are tailored to the specific requirements of our shooting discipline.
Of course, some items of equipment can be shared. For example, if two friends agree and each buy one revolver and one long gun (rifle, shotgun), they can lend them to each other at competitions. The same applies to cartridge belts. Likewise, multiple shooters can share the cost of travel to the event if they are driving the same car.
If you decide to join us, we recommend that you come to an event, see how the actual shooting is done, and most importantly, consult with us before buying equipment. For example, about what type of shotgun to go with (double hamerleska/lancaster, pump, lever action), whether lever action or pump, what type, from what manufacturer, what revolvers, what calibers of each gun, whether cross draw holsters, etc.
There's really a lot to consider. We've all gone through some sort of gear selection process, and there's no need to make the same mistakes we did. That's why we're happy to share our experiences with you, explain everything, show you and of course let you try it out so that shooting brings you nothing but joy right from the start.