Western Action, also known as Cowboy Action or Single-Action Shooting, is very popular in the States and has gained in popularity around the world due to its use of multiple firearms- or maybe it’s the dressing up and having a ton of fun that’s increased their numbers?
Western Action has been in Australia since the 1990s, and is our fastest-growing outdoor sport. You start by strapping on your two single-action pistols– the ones where you have to pull back the hammer before you can fire, with the old iron sights.
Next, you get yourself a rifle, the most common being a lever action. Winchester 73s & 94s are rather hard to come by, so we mainly use the Marlin 1894 & Uberti 1873 (with a few pump actions in use). The most common caliber used in Australia is .38 special or .357 magnum, in both pistol and rifle, although you will see everything from the real cowboy caliber 44-40 to 45 long Colt, along with many others.
You will need one more firearm– your trusty shotgun! In Australia, this is either a side by side (with none of those fancy ejectors) or a lever action 1887, usually in 12 gauge. You will only be loading two shells at time (even if you have a lever action), which will be chucked from the side-by-side, or levered with the 87, after you’ve let loose on the targets.
Now- you wouldn’t be a cowboy without some real cowboy attire! Boots, hat and cowboy clothes- that’s right, we really do step back in time! If you’re feeling the Old West vibe, you can invest in a dual holster, with spots for pistol, rifle and shotgun ammunition. Not only does it look authentic, but it feels really cool.
But don’t be fooled by the fancy dress– this is a highly skilled sport relying on speed and accuracy, with also a degree of wit needed to maneuver you through the sometimes tricky scenarios.
What’s missing? Your name! Every cowboy has to have a cool name like “Wild Bill Hickok” or “Typhoid Mary” (just like when you played cowboys as a kid)! Here is your chance to live your Wild West dream- you get to pick & register an alias (see the SASS link here)! It can be a little bit hard to get used to at first, but after a while you will love it.
Now you’re ready to become a member of the family of single-action shooters, who will greet you and welcome you into our sport– a sport which is shot from the young age of 12 years old through to their grandparents.
Be prepared to be thrown into a whole world of fun and excitement!
More info on Cowboy Action Shooting – cowboyactionshooting.com
More info on SASS – sassnet.com
Single Action Shooting Society – Facebook Group