Cowboy Action Shooting™

We’ve Something For Everyone

(This year’s match information listed below for downloading)


Cowboy Action Shooting™ is a shooting sport created in 1982 by a few gentlemen now know as the Wild Bunch. In 1987 they officially formed the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS). Originally based in Yorba Linda, California, SASS eventually moved their operation to Founders Ranch in New Mexico. SASS is the largest and most widely accepted organization for western style shooting. The Thurmont Rangers are SASS affiliated and we use SASS rules. We are sponsored by the Thurmont Conservation and Sportsman’s Club.  All of our proceeds except for the charity matches are donated to the TCSC.

The sport recreates life in the old west through shooting courses of fire (called stages) designed to depict a movie scene, an old west historical shootout or just someone’s idea of how it may have been in the late 1800’s. For obvious safety reasons, it is highly recommended that shooters a have previous shooting experience and be familiar with the safe operation of single action revolvers, rifles and shotguns. A Cowboy Action Shooting competition is not the venue to receive your initial firearms training.

To add to the “fantasy” experience, all shooters are required to wear some form of period dress.  Typically, long pants (or dresses for the ladies), boots, cowboy hat and shirts with long sleeves. No shorts, ball caps or advertising is permitted on any clothing. For firearms, you will need two single action pistols, a lever action rifle (in a pistol caliber) and a side by side shotgun (without ejectors) or a Winchester model 1897 pump shotgun (or reproduction) with an exposed hammer.  Guns generally must be designed prior to 1900 but modern versions like the Ruger Blackhawk & Vaquero or Colt clones are acceptable. You will need holsters and a carrier for shotshells. All bullets are lead only and have feet per second requirements.

But, most importantly, you will need and Alias!  Pick a name that fits your personality, job, chosen western character or one that just sounds good.  If you join SASS (we highly recommend that you do), they will issue you a badge (with your personal SASS member number) and register your alias.  Your alias is unique to you and is never duplicated. Be prepared to change your original choice for an alias, it may have already been taken. Joining SASS or the Thurmont Rangers is not a requirement to shoot in our monthly matches. However, SASS membership is required for SASS sanctioned, state level and above, matches.

As you participate in the sport you will learn there is a rule called “The Spirit Of The Game.  This rule is the foundation of Cowboy Action Shooting.  “The Spirit Of The Game” signifies that we are participating for FUN. Because there are no prizes for winning a match, the incentive to play is FUN.  If you are willing to sacrifice FUN for a victory, then this is not the game for you.  The only prize is to have bragging rights over your pardners until the next match.

Complete SASS Rules are available in one of their SASS Handbooks. If you are interested in participating, the best way to learn more is by visiting the SASS web site and going to watch a Cowboy Action Shooting monthly match or two.  All clubs welcome visitors and are eager to explain what is involved. Bring eye and ear protection.

You will find that Cowboy Action Shooters are the friendliest folks on the planet.  Because we all share a fondness for the old west and the firearms of the time, we have an immediate bond that expands into long term friendships. For additional information contact the Single Action Shooting Society 1-877-411-7277 or Maryland Territorial Governor Chuck Crooks AKA Chuckaroo 301-831-9666.

All regular monthly Cowboy Action Matches are held on the 1st Sunday of the month, March thru November.

Wild Bunch Matches are the Second Saturday in March, April, May, July, September and August.

Mason Dixon Stampede 2020 Match information list below for downloading