Ever think of Cowboy Action Shooting? This is where it all started

NRA Senior Curator Philip Schreier at SASS Headquarters in Edgewood, New Mexico Although most episodes of Curator's Corner are shot right here at NRA Headquarters, there are times when we're whisked away to exotic locations for a look at an equally exotic firearm or two. Last week's show, for example, we got a look at Patrick Hernandez's War Surplus rifles while in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the National Police Shooting Championships. Well they didn't stop there.

For just down the road a piece (about thirty miles west to be exact) is the town of Edgewood, and in Edgewood is the World Headquarters for SASS — the Single Action Shooting Society. Which, for those of you wondering, explains the period garb worn by Senior Curator Phil Schreier there on the right.

More on Curator's Corner at Single Action Shooting Society's headquarters ...

 Rockcastle Shooting Center

Having just landed in Nashville, Tennessee, I'm taking the opportunity to check in before heading to the rolling hills of Park City, Kentucky. That's where the inaugural NRA Women's Outdoor Adventure takes place this week at the incredible Rockcastle Shooting Center.

Twenty women are preparing to receive personalized instruction from some of the country's top female shooters in the rifle, pistol, and shotgun world. They'll also receive some quality relaxation time with activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, exploring the area's natural caves and wine tasting.

There's a lot more in store for these ladies, so stay tuned for live coverage of the Women's Outdoor Adventure as the week progresses. I'm off to Rockcastle!

Participants enjoy shooting at an NRA Women's event Ladies, are you looking to get away after a long winter? The NRA has just vacation you're looking for - the new NRA Women's Outdoor Adventure. After being cooped up inside all winter long, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and learn how to shoot in the company of other women. Scheduled for April 30 - May 7, 2012, the NRA Women's Outdoor Adventure will be held at Park Mammoth Resort's Rockcastle Shooting Center, located in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky.

This event has everything you're looking for: fun, excitement, adventure, and relaxation. By day you'll enjoy heading to the range for pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting, complete with instruction from some of the country's best shooters and instructors. You'll have the chance to try your hand at different types of competitive shooting as well; from sporting clays, to Cowboy Action shooting, and even tactical style 3-gun competition. When you're not on the range, a host of outdoor activities are on the agenda including horseback riding, a zip-line, canoeing, golf, and the chance to tour historic caves in the area.

In the evening, you'll be spending time with new friends during a wine and cheese social, watching a fashion show of hunting and outdoor apparel, listen to music froml local performers, and even enjoying a cowboy-style cookout.

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Here's a report from the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky on their very first Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) event held last month, complete with ranges that look like the Wild, Wild West! Known as the Rockcastle Rangers, this is one group that could have walked straight out of a classic western film.  

Rockcastle Shooting Center hosted a Single Action Shooting Society event

Park Mammoth Resort’s Rockcastle Shooting Center hosted its first Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) event November 28, 2010. A permanent Cowboy Action shooting range was fabricated, complete with five Old Western facade stages spread out amongst the two thousand acres on the sprawling family resort. The titled match “Welcome to the Rock” attracted over 30 competitors from five states, all dedicated to preserving and promoting the history, spirit and sport of Cowboy Action shooting by dressing in authentic costumes. Single action revolvers, pistol caliber lever action rifles and old time shotguns from the 1800's period or replicas were shot by the competitors in a timed event.

T-Bone Dooley, from Texas, a six time Classic Cowboy World Champion won the Outlaw Division and was the Overall Champion. Iron Maiden, the current Ladies Duelist World Champion won the Ladies Division and Vaquero Jake, current Kentucky State Champion won the 1st Buckaroo Division.

Thanks to Nick Noble of the Rockcastle Shooting Center for the report and photo. If you're interested in joining the ranks of the Rockcastle Rangers or to learn more about the Rockcastle Shooting Center, visit their website.

Little Sacagewea takes a shotWhether you’re a firearms enthusiast or simply interested in Old West history and culture, END of TRAIL, The World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting and Wild West Jubilee, is for you.

Held by the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), which was founded by Judge Roy Bean in 1987 and is dedicated to preserving Cowboy Action Shooting, the Championship takes place June 21 to 27 in Founders Ranch, NM. Spectators are invited to attend this weekend's events

Cowboy Action Shooting is the fastest growing shooting sport in the world, combining old-style shooting techniques and costumes with modern firearms fun. Participants adopt a historical “alias” representing an Old West character—and dress accordingly—all while staying true to “the spirit of the game.” Deputy Executive Director of NRA General Operations Andrea Cerwinske, pictured at right, competes under the alias Little Sacajawea.

According to the Single Action Shooting Society’s Shooter’s Handbook, “Cowboy Action Shooting™ is a combination of historical reenactment and Saturday morning at the matinee.”

SASS believes that the costume and alias aspect of their competitions “adds so much to the uniqueness of our game and helps create a festive, informal atmosphere that supports the friendly, fraternal feeling we encourage in our competitors.”

END of TRAIL's Main Match takes place Thursday, June 24 through Saturday, June 26. It’s a four gun event, meaning competitors are required to use two six-guns, a shotgun, and a rifle in each match. This weekend, spectators are invited to attend.

Kayne Robinson with Harper Creigh, aka Judge Roy Bean

Judge Roy Bean, known to folks outside the world of Cowboy Action Shooting as Harper Creigh, took a minute to sit down with NRAblog during SHOT Show 2009. He is pictured above with NRA Executive Director Kayne Robinson. 

We asked him what it meant to him to be considered the father of Cowboy Action Shooting, commonly referred to as the fastest growing shooting sport in the world. "To me it's not the amount of people, it's the quality of people," he started. "Shooters are the best people in the world, and we have the best of the best."

"As for what it means, it’s the greatest feeling in the world – like winning the lottery and having your kid elected president all in the same day."

This year, we were pleased to meet up with the Judge at the Single Action Shooting Society booth on the floor of the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show.  

He has battled a severe illness this past year but said he wouldn't miss this show. 

"We have over 500 clubs in every state in the U.S., and in 17 foreign countries," he told NRAblog last year. 

The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) was founded by the Judge in 1987 as an international organization dedicated to the preservation of Cowboy Action Shooting. "We always hoped we could get at least 10,000 members, and here we are 20 years later with over 80,000 members worldwide."

Stop by the SASS booth, #15949, for your chance to talk with some of the men who invented the incredibly popular, fast-growing sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. You won't regret it!

8th Annual SASS Convention

Today marks the first day of the three-day SASS Convention at the Riviera Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Single Action Shooting Society means business – they're throwing a ball, hosting a classic cowboy dance, and presenting an aray of cowboy seminars to celebrate what they call "Wild West Christmas."

NRA President Ron Schmeits is even on hand to kick off the start of the event this morning.

Of course, NRA National Firearms Museum's resident cowboy, Phil Schreier, is also in the middle of the action. Schreier is in Vegas representing the Museum and showcasing Real Guns of Reel Heroes. "I'm setting up the Museum's booth now," Phil told us Wednesday afternoon. "And I'll be sure to send you some photos of Ron's speech."

Read more about the event here, and stay tuned for Phil's updates from the field!

Guns WestThanks to Senior Curator Phil Schreier of the NRA National Firearms Museum for the following:

NRA museum staff will participate in the Single Action Shooting Society “Convention and Wild West Christmas” in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
The Eighth annual SASS Convention and Wild West Christmas take place at the Riviera Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, December 3-6, 2009. The annual event is designed to bring together all that is Cowboy Action Shooting in a non-shooting arena presented to showcase everything imaginable pertaining to the fastest growing shooting sport in the world.
The National Firearms Museum will have a selection of items from the Guns West! exhibit featuring the firearms that made cinematic history in such films as Quigley Down Under, Stagecoach and the Outlaw Josey Wales. Find more info here.
Stay tuned! Correspondent Schreier will undoubtedly return with an exciting report from Vegas.

The Gene Pearcey family visited the National Firearms Museum on Friday and enjoyed a tour led by Phil Schreier. Pearcey, known in the cowboy action world as "Evil Roy," visited the Museum for the first time along with 12 family members. The group met with fellow cowboy action enthusiasts, General Operations' Executive Director Kayne Robinson and Deputy Executive Director Andrea Cerwinske.

Guestbook entry: Gene Pearcey, aka Evil Roy

Several of Pearcey's firearms and heirlooms are on display in the Ruger Gallery. The current Ruger exhibit – Guns West! the West the way it is, the way it was, and the way it could have been – is a popular one, echoing the growth of the cowboy action shooting community. "Over 100,000 new shooters came to this hobby in a matter of 15 years," Schreier said. Pearcey, a top cowboy competitor, runs Evil Roy Shooting School out of Durango, Colorado, with his wife Karen, also known as "Wicked Felina."

Pearcey took a few minutes to talk to NRAblog about his role in cowboy action shooting:

“I started shooting in 1993," Pearcey told NRAblog. After taking two of his grandchildren to a cowboy action match in Durango, Colorado, he was hooked. "We started (competing) the next year, and we're going into our 16th year of competition, traveling all over the United States and Finland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and a lot of different places."

What started out as  a simple trip to Washington DC to tour the White House bloomed into several additional tours, including the NRA Museum and Arlington National Cemetery. Pearcey said 10 of his 15 grandchildren made the trip. "It's been a nice chance for us to get together." One family homeschools their children, and Pearcey said the emphasis on American history fit nicely into their lesson plans.

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