Shooting USA - Winter Range
We’re in the Arizona desert for the largest cowboy action shooting match anywhere in America. More than 1,000 competitors, with single-action six-guns, shotguns, and lever action rifles, shoot-it-out in the National Championships of the Single Action Shooting Society. Plus, a 700 year-old firearm that was once the war-changing new technology. The Matchlock Musket is now one of History’s Guns.
Each year, SASS members of all ages head to Winter Range to compete for the national title. Competitors dress the part in their 19th century attire, while also taking an Old West name, and many compete on horseback, too.
“Competition is great! It’s always great at Winter Range,” said “Parson Swede.” “We’ve got people from 44 different states; we’ve got people from nine different countries. These are some of the best cowboy shooters in the world that are here, so competition is stiff.”
There are a dozen stages at Winter Range, and your score is your time, plus a five-second penalty each time you miss a target. It is one part Old West Festival, and one part Shooting Sport with the classic guns of the American Western Frontier.
Training for Modern Warfare on Horseback
It’s not often you see a couple of U.S. Marines on horseback, but during Winter Range, America’s favorite cowgirl and World Champion of Cowboy Mounted Shooting, Annie Bianco used her knowledge of the sport to train the active duty Marines for modern warfare. Marines, Army Special Ops, and Navy SEALs generally learn certain techniques, including de-sensitizing the horse with gunfire, through a specialized horsemanship program at the Mountain Warfare Training Center.
“Now obviously, we all know the historical aspects of horses in warfare,” says SSG Levi Stuart. “They’ve written some of our history, as far as military operations are concerned, but they’re using them currently in Afghanistan and in undisclosed places throughout the globe, as well.”
History’s Guns - The Matchlock
In the heat of battle, the 17th century musket always had something cooking. The Matchlock, which gets its name from its unique firing mechanism, was the first gun to ever employ a lock with ignition provided by a length of rope burning at both ends. It was first fired in the 15th century, but the Matchlock reached its peak 200 years later during Europe’s Thirty Years’ War and the Civil War of England.
“The Matchlock when it came out was a really innovative arm,” say Firearms Historian Garry James. “Finally, you had a firearm that they could give to infantrymen and they could almost be on parity with the cavalry. The Matchlocks kind of democratized the battlefield.”
Blackhawk’s Design Process For a New Holster
As successful as the Blackhawk SERPA lock holster is, a call from law enforcement put the design engineers at Blackhawk in Montana back to work. We’re taking you inside to see the process, from design, to the first high pressure shots of polymer into the mold that will begin production.
S&W 986 Pro Series
Smith & Wesson’s new Model 986 Pro Series chambers seven of the most common rounds on the market: the 9mm luger. The revolver can be quickly loaded and reloaded with moon clips dropped into the pre-cut titanium alloy cylinder. Because it’s a Pro Series, S&W Master Gunsmiths supervise the production and have specified Performance Center internal parts for a smooth trigger. Suggested Retail: $1,146.00
More Info from S&W - 986 Pro Series
Pro Tip - Taran Butler - 3 Gun Gear Tips
If you’re going to compete in multi-gun, you need the right equipment. Choosing the right guns is just the beginning. Grand Master Taran Butler has a Pro Tip that will make you a winner by investing in the little things that can make a big difference.
VIEW THE PRO TIP
NRA Membership Offer: Jim Pays $10 when you join the NRA through the Shooting USA website.