SASS Cowboy Action Shooting

SASS Cowboy Action Shooting

At this time we are not holding any Cowboy Action Matches – If Anyone is Interested in Running a SASS Match Contact one of the Club Board Members


The Custer Rod and Gun Club’s Rifle range is home to the Custer County Stranglers, a SASS Cowboy Action Shooting club. The Stranglers hold a SASS style Cowboy Action Shoot at 10:00 AM, the third Saturday of each month at the rifle range.

While the Stranglers are a SASS affiliated club and the monthly shoots are SASS style, they are not SASS sanctioned matches, and SASS rules are not strictly enforced. The cost per shooter is $4.00 per match. It is a very friendly atmosphere with folks who are always willing to help out anyone new to the sport.

If you’ve ever been interested in Cowboy Action Shooting, please join us to see what it’s all about. Everyone’s welcome!

For more information please contact:
Randy Hart (406) 232-0727

As explained in The SASS Bulletin vol. 9, issue 1:

What is SASS Cowboy Action Shooting?

A western Cowboy Action Shooting fantasy – that’s what SASS is! Shoot with real blazin’ guns and bullets of the Old West era… Cowboy Action Shooting at its finest. It is the western of your imagination. It recreates the times, books, films, and television shows such as The Big Sky, Stagecoach, High Noon, Hondo, Gunsmoke, etc. planted in your min.

If you ever wished you could be on the Silver Screen with Roy Rogers, or Gene Autry, or John Wayne then Cowboy Action Shooting is for you! If you ever sat in a darkened theater on a Saturday afternoon imagining yourself, Colts in hand, standing with Gary Cooper in High Noon, or using your rifle to protect John Wayne’s life in The Cowboys or The Shootist, then SASS is for you. If you were certain you and a few friends armed with your trusty Winchester ’97’s could have saved Pike, Dutch, and the Gortch Brothers in The Wild Bunch, then Cowboy Action Shooting and being a member of SASS is for you.

Cowboy Action Shooting is wearing tall, high heeled boots with spurs and jingle bobs, leather chaps, a big Montana sombrero, a belt of shiny cartridges holding a pair of well oiled single action revolvers, and a bandoleer of shells over one shoulder. You can walk down the streets of Tombstone with the Earps and Doc Holiday or stop a stampede or maybe a bank robbery. You can be a marshal, an army scout, or a cavalry officer. Your imagination is your only limit.

Cowgirls can dress like Scarlet O’Hara in a flowing gown, or wear a pair of tight leather britches like Raquel QWelch in Hannie Calder… you can be Calamity Jane or Poker Alice or Belle Starr. For a short time you can return to yesteryear when men were polite, tipped their hats and said “ma’am” and thank you, and let me carry that package for you.

For the whole family it can be an afternoon or a weekend with the finest, most polite, and the most safety conscious people you’ll ever meet. You will be with people willing to go out of their way in order to help you… they will be truly glad you are participating with them.

Twenty percent of SASS members are women and ten percent are juniors under seventeen. It’s a true sport, but without the win-at-all-cost competition that many of our sports have become.

Cowboy Action Shooting is the fastest growing shooting sport in the world. The Wild Bunch and thousand of Single Action Shooting Society members would like you to try our sport. I believe you and your family will be glad you did!


Cowboy Action Shooters are divided into basic categories determined by age, the propellant used (gun powder), the shooting style, and even the costume worn.

The various shooting categories listed below have varying requirements for the style revolvers used and appropriate propellants.

    • Age-Based Categories
  • May use any shooting style except Gunfighter, any propellant, and any main-match revolver.
  • Juniors – 16 years of age and under (Buckaroos – less than 14 years of age, Young guns 14-16 years of age)
  • Cowboy – any age
  • Wrangler – 36 years of age or older
  • 49er – 49 years of age or older
  • Senior – 60 years of age or older
  • Silver Senior – 65 years of age or older
  • Elder Statesman/Grand Dame – 70 years of age or older
    • Duelist Category
  • Requires a SASS-legal traditional style single action revolver.
  • The revolver must be fired one-handed, unsupported.
  • Smokeless or black powder propellant may be used.
    • Gunfighter Category
  • Requires a SASS–legal traditional style single action revolver.
  • One revolver must be fired right handed, unsupported, and the other must be shot left-handed, unsupported.
  • Smokeless or black powder propellant may be used.
    • Frontier Cartridge Category
  • Requires a SASS–legal traditional style single action revolver.
  • Only black powder or black powder substitute propellants may be used.
  • Cartridge ammunition or cap and ball revolvers may be used.
    • Frontiersman Category
  • Only cap and ball revolver with traditional style sights may be used (no adjustable target style sights).
  • Only black powder or black powder substitute propellants may be used.
  • The revolver must be fired one handed, unsupported.
    • Classic Cowboy Category
  • A large-caliber Duelist Category.
  • Rifles must be 1873 or earlier vintage.
  • Period clothing requirements include chaps, scarves, cuffs, and the like.
  • Smokeless or blackpowder propellants may be used.B-Western Category
  • Any main–match revolver and SASS–legal 1884 or later vintage rifles may be used.
  • Any shooting style may be used.
  • Any SASS–legal propellant may be used.
  • B-Western costuming requirements include Buscadero–style holsters, fancy shirts, pants, and boots.
    • FIREARMS – Revolvers
  • Original single action revolvers manufactured prior to 1899, their approved replicas, and SASS-approved single action revolvers.
  • Must use a centerfire pistol cartridge, .32 to .45 caliber, or percussion .36 to .45 caliber.
    • Firearms – Rifles
  • Must be in a centerfire pistol caliber, .32 to .45 caliber, including the .25-20 and the .56-50 (not .30-30, .30-06, or .45-70).
  • Open, iron sights or original style tang mounted peep sights are required.
  • Barrel must be over 16” in length.
  • Rifles with box magazines cannot be used.
  • Rifle ammunition must be loaded to a muzzle velocity less than 1400 FPS.
  • Only lead bullets are allowed. No jacketed, semi-jacketed, plated, or copper washed ammo.
  • All rifle ammunition must be of single projectile design. No duplex, triplex, or other fragmenting loads are allowed.
    • Firearms – Shotguns
  • Any side–by–side shotgun typical of the era WITHOUT AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, with or without external hammer, with single or double triggers. Any lever action shotgun. Winchester Model ‘97 pump shotguns in 12 or 16 gauge.
  • No larger bore than 10 gauge and no smaller than 20 gauge.
  • All shotguns must have a barrel 18” or over in length.
  • Number 4 lead shot OR SMALLER must be used in all events.
  • Magnum loads are not allowed.
  • Pump and lever action shotguns are allowed to load no more than two rounds at a time in the main matches. In team events, shotguns may be loaded to their maximum magazine capacity. Long Range (or Precision Rifle)
  • Side matches using long range or precision rifles involve slightly different rules. The competitor may use any tubular feed, lever action or single shot rifle manufactured before 1896, or reproduction thereof. All rifles must have external hammers. Sights must be open iron or original-style optical and mounted as on the original rifle or must be original style tang mounted peep sights. Receiver mounted sights are not allowed. There are typically four categories of long range or precision rifle with options to also recognize blackpowder cartridges in each category:
    • Single shot, rifle caliber
    • Lever action, rifle caliber
    • Single shot, pistol caliber
    • Lever action, pistol caliber
    • Optical
    • Pocket Pistols and Derringers
  • A pocket pistol is defined as a small frame, single or double action revolver of a design prior to 1890 and having a barrel of less than four inches in length. It must be of at least .32 caliber. Model P Colts are not included in this definition.
  • A Derringer is defined as a breech loading, small frame firearm having one to four fixed, short barrels. The Remington style over/under and Sharps four-barrel pepperbox are typical. Derringers may be in caliber’s as small as .22 rimfire.

The complete set of SASS rules are contained in the SASS Shooters Handbook, available on the SASS website,