July 6th, 2016

On Shooting USA Tonight: Cowboy Action World Championship

Cowboy Action Championship End of Trail SASS

This Wednesday, July 6th, Shooting USA features End of Trail, the Cowboy Action World Championship. Hosted annually at the SASS Founders Ranch in New Mexico, End of Trail attracts over 700 shooters, hailing from 50 states and many foreign countries. The event is part shooting competition, part family reunion, and part Wild West jubilee. SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society, is one of the most popular shooting organizations on the planet, having issued over 90,000 member badges. This special Shooting USA broadcast of the 2016 End of Trail airs at 8:00 PM, 11:30, and 2:00 am (Thursday) Central Time on the Outdoor Channel. This year’s End of Trail took place June 16-26, 2016.

Past Champions Randi Rogers (“Holy Terror”) and Spencer Hoglund (“Lead Dispencer”)
Cowboy Action Championship End of Trail SASS

If you like multi-gun competition, you’ll enjoy watching Cowboy Action Matches. The top male and female shooters are experts with three kinds of firearms: Lever Rifle, Single-Action Revolver, and Shotgun (which can be a double-barrel side-by-side, or a pump, or even an 1887 lever-action). Generally speaking the guns must be originals or reproductions of pre-1900 designs to be used in competition (however 1911-style pistols are allowed in “Wild Bunch” side matches). A typical stage will require 5 shots from each of two six guns, ten rounds from the rifle, chambered in a pistol caliber, and 6 to 8 shotgun rounds.

Cowboy Action Championship End of Trail SASS

24 Rounds from Four Guns in under 13 Seconds
To give you an idea of the action you can see on Shooting USA, here is a video of past world Champion Spencer Hogland, aka “Lead Dispencer”. In this video, Spencer fires 24 rounds, with four guns, in just 12.81 seconds (look at the timer in lower right corner). Spencer shows blazing speed with his lever gun and note how quickly he loads his shotgun. Fast loading is key to a successful stage run. Unlike modern multi-gun comps, normally Cowboy Action Shooters must start with empty shotguns.

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February 23rd, 2015

Winter Range Comes to Ben Avery

winter range ben avery phoenix

Earlier this month, the Ben Avery Range in Phoenix hosted America’s top long-range shooters at the Berger SW Nationals. This week cowboys and cowgirls take over Ben Avery during Winter Range, the SASS National Championship for Cowboy Action Shooting. Winter Range, which runs February 23 through March 1, is the second largest Cowboy Action event of the year, after End of Trail, the annual Single Action Shooting Society World Championship held each year in Edgewood, New Mexico.

winter range ben avery phoenix

winter range ben avery phoenix

Hundreds of cowboy action shooters, ages 12-80, will compete in multiple classifications based on age, and type/caliber of firearms. In addition, this year the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the SASS Mounted Shooters will run an exciting 3-day mounted shooting event. This is expected to draw more than 100 competitors mounted on horses. You’ll see this kind of action:

winter range ben avery phoenix

Cowboy Action Shooting requires that contestants compete with firearms typical of those used in the taming of the Old West: single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles, and period shotguns. Participants each have a registered cowboy shooting alias (such as “Deadeye Dave”), used in SASS events. Competitors, organized in “Posses”, shoot a series of multi-gun stages. This is a fun shooting sport that draws multiple generations of the same family. In addition to the primary competitions, Winter Range 2015 will feature displays of period militaria, exhibitions of western skills and crafts, a fast-draw contest, and nearly 100 vendors selling vintage-style clothing and “sundries”.

winter range ben avery phoenix

winter range ben avery phoenix

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October 18th, 2014

Fun Gun for the Family? Try a Repro 1866 or 1873 Lever Gun

While devotees of this site are hard-core accuracy addicts, who normally shoot tiny groups with sophisticated Benchrest and Varmint rifles, we should not overlook the pure fun of shooting a simple rifle at reactive targets.

Uberti 1866 1873 Winchester lever gun

Nailing a nice, tight 1/4-moa group is very satisfying. But for pure unadulterated shooting fun, it’s hard to beat a slicked-up “race-ready”, Winchester-clone lever gun. In fact, this editor’s favorite rifle for “fun shooting” is my 20″ Uberti Model 1866 “Yellowboy” Lever gun. Shooting light-loaded 38 SPL rounds at steel targets from a standing position offers old-fashioned shooting satisfaction. On the “fun meter” this tops the scale. My rifle features a slicked-up action and lightened trigger. After a “CodyMatic” action job by cowboy gunsmith Cody Conagher, my Yellowboy’s lever can be cycled with just one finger. Trigger pull is about a pound and a quarter. The high-gloss, blued octagonal barrel is very accurate and the mirror-finish bore cleans up easily.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

Based on the Model 1866 Winchester, Uberti’s Yellowboy, and its Model 1873 “older brother”, feature a toggle-link action that is extremely smooth. The toggle action design also keeps the linkages separate from the chamber so the gun runs extremely clean. After firing a hundred rounds or more, all you need to do is wipe off the bolt and breech-face with some solvent and run a bore-snake down the bore a few times. To be honest, the Yellowboy is more fun to shoot at steel than my AR Carbine. And maintenance-wise, for every five minutes I spend maintaining the 1866, I’ll spend an hour detail-stripping and cleaning the AR. The shooting-to-cleaning ratio favors the lever gun by orders of magnitude.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

These Italian-made Winchester clones are very handsome, with nicely figured wood under a durable clearcoat. You can polish the brass receiver to keep it shiny, or leave it alone to develop an authentic, dulled patina. Uberti’s Model 1873 features a steel receiver with gorgeous color case-hardening.

Uberti Winchester 1873

After the fun factor, what’s the best thing about Uberti lever guns? Resale value. I can sell my 1866 for quite a bit more than I paid for it. Over the past decade, the price of Italian-made Uberti lever guns has been steadily rising. This means that older rifles fetch a premium on the used market.

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July 21st, 2014

SASS End of Trail Featured on Shooting USA

This Wednesday, July 23rd, on the Outdoor Channel, Shooting USA features End of Trail, the Cowboy Action World Championship. Hosted annually at the SASS Founders Ranch in New Mexico, End of Trail attracts nearly 1,000 shooters, hailing from 50 states and many foreign countries. SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society, is one of the most popular shooting organizations on the planet, having issued over 90,000 member badges. For SASS members, End of Trail represents the Superbowl and World Series combined. This special Shooting USA broadcast of the 2013 End of Trail airs at 3:30 PM, 9:00 PM, 12:00 Midnight (Thursday) Eastern Time. This year’s End of Trail took place June 19-29, 2014.

End of Trail SASS

If you like multi-gun competition, you’ll enjoy watching Cowboy Action Matches. The top male and female shooters are experts with three kinds of firearms: Lever Rifle, Single-Action Revolver, and Shotgun (which can be a double-barrel side-by-side, or a pump, or even an 1887 lever-action). The guns must be originals or reproductions made prior to 1898 to be used in competition. A typical stage will require 5 shots from each of two six guns, ten rounds from the rifle, chambered in a pistol caliber, and 6 to 8 shotgun rounds.

End of Trail SASS

24 Rounds from Four Guns in under 13 Seconds
To give you an idea of the action you can see on Shooting USA, here is a video of past world Champion Spencer Hogland, aka “Lead Dispencer”. In this video, Spencer fires 24 rounds, with four guns, in just 12.81 seconds (look at the timer in lower right corner). Spencer shows blazing speed with his lever gun and note how quickly he loads his shotgun. Fast loading is key to a successful stage run. Unlike modern multi-gun comps, normally Cowboy Action Shooters must start with empty shotguns.

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December 12th, 2012

Legendary Exhibition Shooter Bob Munden Passes at Age 70

Bob Munden passes awayFamed exhibition shooter Bob Munden passed away December 10th, from a heart attack. Bob was 70 years old. Munden’s friends at Hodgdon Powder stated: “Bob was a legend, a showman and a gentleman above all else.” Born February 8, 1942 in Kansas City, MO, Bob began his professional shooting career at age 11 in California. While still in high school, Bob placed second in the noted LeatherSlap competition, and that launched his fabled career as a fast-draw specialist and trick shooter.

Over his long career, Munden traveled around the globe giving shooting exhibitions. Munden was famous both as a speed-draw specialist and a trick shooter with all types of firearms. He was recognized as “The Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived” in the Guinness Book of World Records. As a star of Shooting USA’s “Impossible Shots” TV show, Munden provided amazing demonstrations of shooting skills for a national television audience — such as splitting a playing card tossed in the air. Many of Munden’s famous trick shots were “first-ever” challenges, tricks that no other marksman had ever done before.

Bob Munden passes away

Over the years Bob, often with his wife Becky (who is also a skilled shooter), appeared on many television shows, most famously American Shooter, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Stan Lee’s Superhumans, Shooting USA, and Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots. Munden is featured in DVDs including Bob Munden: Outrageous Shooting and Bob Munden: The Collector’s Edition.

Bob Munden passes away

Registered as members #118 and #119 respectively, Bob and Becky entertained at the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) End of Trail World Championships of Cowboy Action Shooting 30 times with what Becky proudly said was the most complex presentation ever offered at an exhibition shooting show. She added that Bob was Cowboy Action Shooting’s first gunsmith. After her beloved Bob passed away this week, Becky said: “We had an incredible, memorable life together.”

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February 23rd, 2011

Cowboy Action World Championship Tonight on Shooting USA

End of Trail SASSTonight, Feb. 23, at 8:00 pm on the Outdoor Channel, Shooting USA features End of Trail, the Cowboy Action World Championship. Hosted annually at the SASS Founders Ranch in New Mexico, End of Trail attracts over 1,000 shooters, hailing from 50 states and many foreign countries. SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society, is one of the most popular shooting organizations on the planet, having issued over 90,000 member badges. For SASS members, End of Trail represents the Superbowl and World Series combined.

End of Trail SASS

If you like multi-gun competition, you’ll enjoy watching Cowboy Action Matches. The top male and female shooters are experts with three kinds of firearms: Lever Rifle, Single-Action Revolver, and Shotgun (which can be a double-barrel side-by-side, or a pump, or even an 1887 lever-action). The guns must be originals or reproductions made prior to 1898 to be used in competition. A typical stage will require 5 shots from each of two six guns, ten rounds from the rifle, chambered in a pistol caliber, and 6 to 8 shotgun rounds.

End of Trail SASS

24 Rounds from Four Guns in under 13 Seconds
To give you an idea of the action you can see tonight on Shooting USA, here is a video of past world Champion Spencer Hogland, aka “Lead Dispencer”. In this video, Spencer fires 24 rounds, with four guns, in just 12.81 seconds (look at the timer in lower right corner). Spencer shows blazing speed with his lever gun and note how quickly he loads his shotgun. Fast loading is key to a successful stage run. Unlike modern multi-gun comps, normally Cowboy Action Shooters must start with empty shotguns.

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March 24th, 2010

Cowboy Action Championship and Lady Shooters on Shooting USA

This week’s episode of Shooting USA covers END of TRAIL, the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. The episode was filmed last June at the 2009 Championship. Based on the number of shooters, End of Trail is the second largest rifle/pistol competition in North America, topped only by the NRA National Championships at Camp Perry, OH. End of Trail is held each year at Founders Ranch, located near Albuquerque, NM. The next End of Trail will be held June 21-27, 2010.

End of Trail Cowboy Action SASS

The first part of Shooting USA will cover the SASS Championship, while the second-half Sighting-In segment will feature The Women of SASS. While most shooting sports are dominated by men, none seems to be as female-friendly as Cowboy Action Shooting.

Shooting USA’s SASS Special airs today, Wednesday March 24, on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM

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September 2nd, 2009

ShootingUSA Covers Cowboy Action World Championship

This week’s episode of Shooting USA television covers END of TRAIL, the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting. Based on the number of shooters, End of Trail is the second largest rifle/pistol competition in North America, topped only by the NRA National Championships at Camp Perry, OH. In 2009, over 1000 shooters from a dozen countries competed at the 28th Annual END of TRAIL World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting and Wild West Jubilee produced by the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS). End of Trail is held at Founders Ranch, located near Albuquerque, NM.

End of Trail Cowboy Action SASS

Along with the 1000+ competitors, END of TRAIL attracts thousands of spectactors with Wild West-themed exhibits and entertainment, including mounted shooting from horseback. Visitors can sample wares from hundreds of vendors or enjoy “living history” Wild West encampments spread over 50 acres.

Cowboy Action World Championship coverage will air during the Wednesday, Shooting USA Hour on the Outdoor Channel:

Eastern Time 4:30 PM, 8:30 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time 1:30 PM, 5:30 PM, 9:00 PM

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June 27th, 2009

Cowboy Action World Championship Concludes Today

The World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting wraps up today at Founders Ranch in Edgewood, New Mexico. Today’s final matches will determine the winner of the week-long event, which commenced on June 22nd. Over 400 shooters from a dozen countries competed at the 28th Annual END of TRAIL World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting and Wild West Jubilee produced by the Single Action Shooting Society, better known as SASS.

UPDATE: Teenager Steve Rubert, aka Badlands Bud, was the Overall Champion at the 2009 END of Trail.

End of Trail SASS

Along with the 400+ competitors, END of TRAIL attracts thousands of spectactors with Wild West-themed exhibits and entertainment, including mounted shooting from horseback. Visitors can sample wares from hundreds of vendors or enjoy “living history” Wild West encampments spread over 50 acres.

But shooting (and lots of it) is what END of TRAIL is really all about. Competitors shoot multiple stages, employing single-action revolvers, rifles (mostly lever-guns), and shotguns (double-barrel, 1887 lever, or 1897 pump). On most of the stages, top competitors will fire 10 pistol rounds, 4-10 shotgun rounds, and 10 rifle rounds — all in well under one minute, and usually without a miss. Competition is fierce, and the action is fast and furious.

In the video below, multi-time SASS World Champion Spencer Hoglund aka “Lead Dispencer” sets a world-record time for a stage run. Spencer’s pistols and carbine are preloaded, but, per SASS rules, Spencer must handload each shotgun round. Spencer, the fastest shooter in the history of the sport, completed the stage in 12.81 seconds without a miss. He fired TEN (10) shots from his lever gun in about 4 seconds!

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More Speed Shooting with Lead Dispencer : Move and Shoot | Helmet Cam (Shooting USA).

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March 23rd, 2009

Outdoor Expo at Ben Avery in Phoenix this Weekend

On March 28-29, the Arizona Game and Fish Department hosts its Outdoor Expo 2009 at the largest public shooting complex in the nation — the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, located just west of Interstate 17 on Carefree Highway. At the event, which is FREE, you can try out many different shooting disciplines. Plus there will be archery classes, mounted (horseback) shooting demos, wildlife info sessions, and many other outdoor activities. This is a very popular event — the 2008 Outdoor Expo drew over 26,000 visitors.

Ben Avery Outdoor Expo

Outdoor Expo visitors will be able to test the latest firearms from companies like Glock, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger. Visitors can also try a variety of specialty shooting disciplines, such as cowboy action shooting, black powder, tactical pistol, and silhouette shooting. You’ll receive tips from top shooters, including past cowboy action Champion Evil Roy (Gene Pearcey).

Ben Avery Outdoor ExpoBen Avery Outdoor Expo

Gatling Gun Ben AveryShotgun fans can shoot skeet, trap or sporting clays at Ben Avery’s enhanced Clay Target Center. Kids can shoot .22s and air guns while learning more about firearm safety. Guests (of all ages) can take an archery class or try out “3D Archery” on a walking course through the desert. There will be many exciting demonstrations at the 2009 Outdoor Expo. Visitors can witness a mini-gun demonstration or even shoot a vintage Gatling Gun.

One of the crowd-pleasing highlights of the event will be live competition by cowboy mounted shooters at the brand new cowboy action riding ring. Skilled riders maneuver speedy quarterhorses while shooting black-powder blanks at balloons. Watch the video below to learn all about this exciting sport:

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When you’re not shooting or watching live shooting events, you can visit with more than 100 Outdoor Expo exhibitors, including sportsmen’s organizations, conservation groups, shooting clubs, government agencies, and commercial vendors of outdoor products and services.

For more information, visit the Outdoor Expo website, www.azgfd.gov/expo, or CLICK HERE to view the 2009 Outdoor Expo promo video.

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