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Monday, May 11, 2015

Cowboy Action Shooting--A Very Safe Sport

Photo by Sports Photography & Design
Ozark Belle here. There’s something I need to get off my chest, so to speak, so please bear with me. (steps onto soapbox) Cowboy Action Shooters, of whom I am one, do not shoot AT people! Just because I know how to use a gun does not mean I am the next mass murder waiting to happen. I do not “shoot up” hotels. I have never, ever, pointed my gun at another person. The only time I would even consider doing so is in self-defense and I pray I’m never faced with making that choice. Thank you. (steps off soapbox)

I can’t tell you how many times in the last month I’ve had someone walk up and say “be careful who you shoot at” or “please don’t shoot up this hotel, I really like it here” or some other equally uninformed comment or attempt to be humorous. [Can you tell this is a hot button for me?] I’ll tell you the same thing I told each of them:  I don’t shoot at people. I shoot at steel targets. Cowboy Action Shooting means we shoot LIKE cowboys, not AT cowboys.

Safety is first, last and always in Cowboy Action Shooting. When our rules are followed the only time there is a round under the hammer is on the firing line. That means I have to work the trigger or lever to make the weapon ready to fire. And if I accidentally point a loaded weapon (even with an empty chamber) in the general direction of other shooters I AM DISQUALIFIED. For the whole match. Not just “careful now, don’t do that,” but “that’s it, put your guns away, you’re outta here.”

Ozark Shark, Ozark Captain & me
Cowboy Action Shooting is a sport. A very safe sport. I’ve fired more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition in the two years I’ve been doing this and the worst thing that happened is a bit of lead splatter—kind of like grease popping when you’re frying up your bacon in the morning. The Single Action Shooting Society has been in existence for thirty-four years, has more than 100,000 members world-wide, and while I can’t say there’s never been an accident, you’re far safer in this sport than in professional football.

We’re just a bunch of normal folks who enjoy gun sports and dressing up like cowboys and cowgirls…and saloon girls and schoolmarms and undertakers and preacher’s wives and… well, you get the picture, I’m sure.

If you’re still with me, here’s a link to a great introduction to Cowboy Action Shooting –
And to the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) –

Thank you for your kind attention.

Tracy, aka “Ozark Belle”


  1. Tracy, 100% behind you on this one. When people see stunts or shooting they just assume all they have to do is fall, or shoot. Nothing is further from the truth. When I direct a show, etc. my main concern is that the whole fight scene, the whole shooting scene be choreographed. SAFETY FIRST and ALWAYS. More folks are hurt because they don't follow the rules. They are there for a reason. (My soapbox.) Loved the post. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines.

    1. Thanks, Doris. I think what sticks in my craw most is the assumption that someone who enjoys gun sports automatically shoots people. I appreciate you dropping in!

    2. I have a black powder .38 that I treasure, and I don't have any plans to shoot anyone with it. I so agree with you.