Tuesday, October 18, 2005

One of the cool things about shooting CAS is the comraderie with the other shooters. I've not been a participant in any of the other shooting sports, but I would find it hard to believe that the IPSC and IDPA shooters are as friendly and helpful as the CAS shooters. Case in point, our local bad-ass shooter Vaquero Hayes has offered to take his own time to teach a class to the local shooters for a very nominal fee. I mean he has to drive 2 - 2 1/2 hours to get to the range and he's teaching it on the off weekends (one time on his and his wife's anniversary). This level of dedication to SASS and his fellow shooters should be commended, but it is hardly a rareity in the SASS community. That makes an impression on me and makes me want to help other shooters out.

Another way this comraderie manifests is the post match BS session usually held at the range owner's garage (Redneck Rebel). We pull up a bunch of chairs in a circle and chew the fat and kill some beers (some like whiskey or other beverages). We can talk about the shooting, complain about stuff we don't like and pat others on the back for good work or shooting. I'm convinced Redneck Rebel could open a cantina and do a heck of a business on the night after a shoot. Sometimes we steer a little far off course and the discussions sometimes get heated when discussing rules or some of the less likeable characters in SASS, but we all leave as friends. This past weekend the discussion turned to the proposals put forth by the TG commitee and what we thought of the rules and what direction SASS is headed. I'm really glad to have an active TG that really really cares about SASS and more importantly, me and what I think.

Speaking of what I think, I thought I'd address the equipment race issue that seems to have been thrust to the forefront by Tex and some of the TG items (I'll let Judge continue an item by item account). I tend to agree with Tex in that the problem isn't with the manufacturers and I don't forsee it being with the gun manufactures because they have to build a gun that works and is safe and they're building them for general consumption and some people use these guns as collectables, hunting or just plain like having a cowboy gun. The problem arises when the aftermarket products come to the table, they provide us with drop-in parts or smith modifications that significantly modify how the gun operates. When you have a model 66 winchester clone that only requires a couple of inches of lever travel to cycle, that's pretty significant and probably the most wide-spread major modification in existence. That's not to say Ruger short-strokes, 93/97 shotguns and lightning rods aren't significant, just not as plentiful nor obvious when in use.

I feel that if a modification breaks my suspension of reality, then I've got a problem with it. That goes for the cowboys themselves, if I see a cowboy with something obviously not cowboy on him, then I have a problem with it. A couple of shooters a while back had used some sort of substance on their hands to help grip their pistols (dry day), the only way I noticed was that it made their palms white. No it wasn't chalk, I asked what it was and one of them said it was a tube of "stuff". I didn't really say any more, but you know, that kind of bothered me not because it gave them an extra advantage, but because it a) interrupted my suspension of reality and b) he wouldn't tell me what it was either because he didn't want his secret getting out or because it was illegal.

So with that in mind, I really don't mind the short stroked rifles and pistols, I do mind the thought of a lighning rod, because it'll look out of place. Coyote Cap's proposed 93/97 shotguns are a joke because they are simply a 97 with a larger ejection port. Sure the 93 was an actual gun, but manufacturing it with 97 internals is crossing the line. The 93 is not safe in original form and should be outlawed by SASS as well as this abomination. Similarly, the 1873 percusion pistol is a similar lark although it was never even made.

I really don't know where you draw the line on this stuff, its kind of like governing pornography in that I can't really tell you what I wouldn't allow beforehand, although I would certainly know it when I see it. I know, big help, but making a rule that anything that can be seen "during normal handling" would elliminate a lot of the guns that are used in SASS legally right now. That would do away with all short strokes, lightning rods, alloy 66/73 lifters, 1887 drop two mod and the like. Maybe that's a good thing though. We need something so that we don't have to vote on every single mod as to whether it is legal or not. What I don't want to see is a rule governing the internals that you don't see, that's just too draconian and nye impossible to govern when the officials are volunteers.

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