The Women of SASS


The Women of SASS


We’re Sighting In on a different reason for the success of Cowboy Action Shooting, the appeal for women, who call it the Single Action Shopping Society.




SI29-02-2We have seen the guns, met the competitors, and witnessed the competition. With all of that, plus dressing like your cowboy hero , it is no wonder the Single Action Shooting Society claims the title, The Fastest Growing Shooting Sport. 85,000 members wear the SASS badge, men and women, young and old, serious shooters, and folks out for fun. And while most shooting sports are dominated by men, none seems to be as female friendly as Cowboy Action Shooting. So, what is the appeal of this sport for women? We went looking for answers, and heard some things you definitely won’t hear in any other type of shooting.

D & B Metal Finishing Restores a Model ‘97

SI29-02-7These are some of the guns that have been refinished by D & B Metal Finishing from Clinton Township, Michigan. They do some really stunning artwork in air brush designs. But what’s really amazing is how they are able to add graphics to their plating and bluing work, like the flames in the Glock slide. They won’t tell us how they do this, but it’s their specialty, along with restoring and re-plating or bluing anything that needs work. 
(Click on photos for enlargements)


SI29-02-8That set up a challenge with a really awful example of a Winchester Model 97. Normally, you’d just say ick and walk right by, but I bought it for $200, and sent it off to D&B to see what they could do. 

It first went to Master Gunsmith, Rick Stover, who’s an expert on Model 97s and a SASS life member. And it got a long list of new parts and work, including cutting the barrel to the historically accurate 22 inch riot gun length. 


SI29-02-9Then came the refinishing, with D&B using their technique to blue the traditional Winchester logo on the barrel. They also laser cut the Shooting USA challenge coin logo in the new stock. Internally, it has a new chromed bolt, new rails welded in and hand lapped, it’s been re-chambered for today’s 2-3/4 inch shells. The barrel has been honed, and Rick installed a screw in choke along with the new brass bead. Without question, it is now better than anything Winchester sent out of the factory back in the production days of the Model 97. And it’s a shooter, with an action as smooth as the new finish. 

SI29-02-11So, what did all this cost? With all the gunsmith rebuilding, and with the truly atrocious original finish, the price was $1,300 to create a family heirloom from a former wreck of a model 97. 

The price to restore a model 97 in working shape would be about $800. So, if your model 97 is looking a little shabby, D & B are the folks to know.

D&B Metal Finishing Website

The Shooting USA Model 442 - Jim’s Personal Carry Gun

SI29-02-6Jim’s Comments: “After 16 years of carrying a Smith Model 442 as my personal choice in a full power carry gun, Smith & Wesson has released a Shooting USA edition to answer the question, ‘What would Jim do for concealed carry?’ The Shooting USA challenge coin logo is laser engraved in the aluminum side plate in a computer controlled process that’s quite amazing to watch. 

The model 442 is chambered for five rounds of 38 special +P and weighs just 15 ounces, which is why I like it as a carry piece. Not too heavy, not to bulky, to have it with you every day. And it’s accurate with the 1 7/8 inch barrel. Load it with Speer Gold Dot, and you’ve got plenty of stopping power for an emergency. The Model 442 is the centennial frame design, which means an internal hammer, every shot is double action, and there’s no hammer to catch on clothing during the draw. You’ll find the Shooting USA model 442 with our engraved seal of approval at gun shops for under $600. Or if they don’t have one in stock, they can order it for you.”

Smith & Wesson Tech Data on Model 442

History’s Guns: The M-3 Grease Gun

SI29-02-3Some firearms inspire a sense of nostalgia. Others earn our utmost respect. A few, like the M-1 Garand, command a full measure of both. Just talk to a veteran who carried a Garand into battle in World War II. On the other hand, there are military firearms that are like Rodney Dangerfield, they don’t get no respect. The top of that list would be the stamped metal replacement for the Thompson Sub-gun. It was cheap and fast to make in big numbers during war time. The M-3 Grease Gun is now one of History’s Guns. 


Top Ten Best Hollywood Gunfights – Number Five

SI29-02-5We asked for them and we got them, opinions that is. Then our designated panel of judges from the largest firearms web forum, voted, and the results determined the top ten all time best Movie Gunfights. We’ve already counted down from number ten to six in the voting. Number five on the list combines two of our passions, both full auto fire-power and high speed driving. So much so that it’s not unusual to see this movie on a list of the best movie car chases. 


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