I wasn’t much in the mood to mow, rake, move bricks or do anything in the yard one weekend this month. A friend suggested I watch and take pictures of a local Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) match, and I thought twice before I climbed into the truck at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. I wasn’t working on a story, and I’ve covered many competitions.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s always an honor when good shooters share their secrets and provide tips-and in 20 years in this industry, I can count on one hand the few times someone wasn’t friendly and talkative. The shooting sports attract a different, and I think better, breed of human.
But, SASS adds another-more casual-layer to the experience I’d totally forgotten. There were 30 shooters or so and talking with them was like a family reunion. Sure, there were range superstars who were frighteningly fast with lever actions and working their revolver’s hammer, but there were grandparents having a good time, husbands and wives who made it obvious how much they look forward to the monthly outing together and new shooters eagerly digesting the friendly tips. One of the competitors was still recovering from surgery. Everyone was excited to see another new face.
Whether fast, slow, novice, or expert, it seemed the same-they were just having fun. Times and scores were kept, but I never saw anyone checking what position they were in. Some were shooting blackpowder, so periodically a cloud of smoke added to the atmosphere, and the firearms were anything but expensive raceguns. Costumes aren’t required, but most looked like they just wandered out of Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and into the OK Corral, even though we were hundreds of miles away in Wagram, N.C.
If you want to break up the weekend routine this summer, visit the SASS website and find a club near you! The folks you meet won’t care if you don’t stay for the entire day (they didn’t in my case), but you’ll get to see some serious trigger work on guns that aren’t space-age raceguns that’ll break the bank. It goes without saying that you should bring your own hearing and eye protection, although I guarantee someone will offer you a set.