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When I first started out in cowboy action shooting the only thing I had was a single action revolver and a lever action deer rifle and even though I knew that a double shotgun was required I figured I would go to one of the local matches and see if I compete with what I did have. As I found out at that first match I could have shown up with no cowboy guns at all as the people at that match were more than willing to lend their own firearms to me so that I could compete with them. That's the way most of the people involved in this sport that I have met seem to be, willing to help the newcomer who doesn't want to lay out several hundred dollars just to try something that they may not like.

Some of the helpful suggestion that I would have for the first time
shooter would be:

     1. Just because everyone at the matches beats your score, don't
        give up.  With enough time and practice you can become as good
        as the best if you work at it.

     2. If you are thinking of buying your own cowboy style guns make
        sure that what you buy is somthing you have another use for if
        in case you don't enjoy cowboy action shooting then at least
        it won't sit in your gun area just gathering dust and rust.

     3. As a general rule most matches I have been to require that
        both your pistol and rifle be loaded with ammo containing
        lead bullets so as to protect both you and any spectators
        from the danger of a jacketed round being deflected back
        from a steel target (lead ammo will deflect slivers back
        so eye protection is a requirement as well).

     4. It is also a good idea to bring some sort of ear protection
        whether it be muffs or plugs as after a day of shooting with
        nothing for protection I can say that your ears will ring for
        quite some time to come.

     5. Never under any circumstances should you load any of your guns
        until instructed to do so by the Range Officer or the person 
        in charge of running the match you are attending.

     6. As a rule of thumb most matches I have attended only allow 
        5 rounds to be chambered in a 6 shot revolver to avoid the 
        chance of a accidental firing of the 6th round in the cylinder
        which is under the hammer.

     7. When loading 5 rounds into a six shot revolver all you do is
        load one chamber, skip the next one, then load the other
        four.  If done this way the empty cylinder will always be
        the one to line up with the hammer and you will have an
        empty chamber which has no chance of firing.

Now that the safety and advice part has been gone through, you might want to see what a stage could be like (I will use an actual stage in which I did shoot as an example on the next page) or you can go Back Home and check out the rest of my site.

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