Western style shooting also known as
Cowboy action shooting.
Harlow Practical Club has revived its Western Style
shooting discipline after several members were reminiscing and newer members wanted
to give this interesting shooting discipline a new look.
“Cowboy Action Shooting" is a multifaceted
amateur shooting sport in which contestants compete with firearms typical
of those used in the taming of the Old West: single action revolvers;
lever action rifles; and side by side double barrel shotguns, pre-1899 pump, or
lever action shotguns.
The purpose of this discipline is
to provide an avenue for HPC members to experience the Old West from the period of around 1860
- 1900 while instilling the concepts of gun
safety and personal responsibility.
The HPC Western Style shooting discipline combines
the opportunity to study and chat about the Old West with the fastest
growing shooting sports discipline in the world – western action
Andy Haines and Graham Baré
original HPC run Western Shooting Competition.
Andy & Graham, a little older and
wiser setting the example at a recent HPC western shoot
As a Practical Club we are extremely well versed with Shotguns
and the safety required. The western style we have adopted is with the use
of 'Coach Guns' which fulfil a typical firearm, historically used in the
old wild west, shot on IPSC short courses of fire which as a practical
club we are also well versed on.
A typical Coach Gun
Shotguns should be any side-by-side shotgun typical
of the era, such as a Coach Gun, HPC Course of fire allow Shotguns with or
without extractors, automatic ejectors, external hammers, and single or
double triggers may be used. Any lever action shotgun may also be used a
typical Coach gun would have barrels of 12 to 16 inch and an overall
length not less than 24 inch.
Competition involves a number of shooting scenarios
know as “stages”. Targets are steel plates located 5-20 yards from the
shooter. Typically a stage requires thought on the best way of shooting a
given course of fire.
Using our standard practical steel plates and some
unique targets such as the duelling tree and the Texas Star we aim to make
Western shooting fast
action and family orientated with BBQ and cheering which makes Cowboy Action Shooting one of the most interesting of all
shooting sports for both spectator and contestant.
Shooters compete one at a time,
against the clock. Matches are generally scored as “total time” adding
penalties with lowest time winning. Shooters are timed using electronic
timers which record the time for each stage.
Participation in the HPC Western Style
shooting discipline Include:
- Preserving and gaining an appreciation for the heritage of the Old West in
the time period of 1860-1900
- Instilling an investigative interest in history leading
to personal research and increased knowledge of the Old West and the
- Enhancing learning by participation in history through the use of
historically accurate, firearms and accessories
- Learning and applying the fundamentals of the safe handling of
- Skill development in competition
- Providing an enjoyable and action oriented shooting sports activity that
attracts and retains HPC members and their families
HPC Western shooting.....
Part of the Western Style shooting discipline
is 'Fast Draw' using a section 1 revolver drawn from a western holster.
Fast draw is the ability to quickly draw a handgun
and accurately fire it at a target in the process. This skill was made
popular by romanticized depictions of gunslingers in the Western genre,
which in turn were inspired by famous historical gunfights in the American
In modern times, fast draw can be seen both in
sports and in military practices. Fast draw is shot with special blanks or
wax bullets. While some competitions are strictly against the clock, with
the fastest time winning, many are set up as head-to-head single- or
As this part of western shooting is not using live
fire ammunition it makes for a very watchable and enjoyable family
participation in cheering their favourite wild west hero on.
Competitors are required to wear an Old West or Victorian era style outfit
and apparel. One exception to this is that safety glasses and hearing
protection must be worn when shooting.
Clothing may be historically accurate for the late
19th century or may just be suggestive of the Old West.
Costumes similar to that worn by characters in a Western B-movie, such as
Hopalong Cassidy or a television series like Gunsmoke.
Great Britain Practical Shooting Association
|The governing body for our style of
western action shooting is the GBPSA
Great Britain Practical Shooting Association
Participants should select an alias out of the Old West or have an "old
Many find it necessary to be creative in selecting an alias as virtually
all historical names such as Wyatt Earp and Butch Cassidy have long since
|Ms Rita Liate
|Hat - yes
Shirt - yes
Chaps - yes
Neckerchief - yes
Ms Rita Liate says:
Though the line between fact and
imagination is blurred and often difficult to separate, one thing is
clear: women of the Wild West were pioneers in their own way,
challenging the traditional roles of women in the 19th century.
Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane,
Belle Starr, Pearl Hart: Toting guns, these women of the Wild West
shot down the view that life as a female pioneer was about cooking,
sewing, cleaning and caring for children.
Born during a time when women
stood in the shadows of their rugged men, these trailblazers proved
that they were as good - if not better - than their male counterparts.
Some of them became legends as outlaws, shocking society with their
ruthless and unladylike behaviour.
1850 - 1908 Old West Lawman,
Bartender and Customs Agent.
Sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico.
|Derby in town or Cattleman cowboy
|checked shirt and Waistcoat
Leg wear - Jeans dark Blue or black
|US Cavalry boots black
|Bandana red, Leather Cowboy drop
leg revolver holster with colt .45 loops
|Period of interest
1860 Civil war to the 1900s turn of the
century. In keeping the Old West alive and maintaining the spirit off
the game “Cowboy action Shooting” is all about fellowship having fun
with like-minded folk, whilst still maintaining strict safety rules,
my personal interest is the transformation from Black powder cap and
ball to the brass centre fire cartridge, using the typical firearms of
that time, the single action revolver, under leaver rifle and the old
time shotgun, our unique competition stages created by my club, truly
characterize the OLD WEST.
So long partners.
Karl, Pat Garret
|“The Lone Ade”
My Attire includes-
* hat *jeans *Cowboy boots *Western long
I became interested in Western
Shooting having grown up in the 1970’s on Wild West shows and films
e.g. The Lone Ranger, Magnificent 7and the likes of John Wayne, Lee
Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood westerns. The 1860s and 1890s gave birth
to this period being known as the “Wild West” and laid a foundation to
its ensuing mythology. It was the era of cowboys, Indians, pioneers,
outlaws and gunslingers brought together by the growing frontiers,
greed and the rough terrain of the west. It made legends of many well
known figures like “Billy the kid”, “Buffalo Bill”, “Davy Crockett” ,
Wild Bill Hickok”, Jesse James and of course Wyatt Earp. For me the
suspense of the “High Noon” quick draw, good vs bad, the revolver
shooting and lever action rifles was a huge draw.
|The interest stemmed
from there and is now carried through in the western cowboy action
shooting with the range of different firearms to use and set up
scenarios on offer, many based on famous incidents or movie scenes
from “Bar room” type set ups with bad guys and bystanders to shooting
from “horseback” and of course the quick draw. This multi faceted
shooting sport where we compete with firearms typical of those used in
the taming of the Old West promotes and preserves cowboy action
shooting nationally and internationally and members share a common
interest in preserving the history of the Old West and competitive
shooting. It is, of course also great fun amongst other things.
By The Lone Ade
Happy days living a life in the wild west.
After a hard days shooting, herding, prevent
stampedes, keeping law & order, axe & knife throwing and deterring theft
there is always time had relaxing with the family.