Cowboy Action Shooting is a multi-gun shooting sport in which contestants compete with firearms typical of the Old West: single action revolvers, lever action rifles, and double barreled, side-by-side, pre-1899 pump, or lever action shotguns. Contestants shoot in several one- to four-gun stages (courses of fire) where they engage steel targets. Scoring is based on speed with penalties assessed for misses or shooting targets out-of-sequence. Courses of fire have limited movement and no awkward positions and are suitable for older shooters and those with disabilities. Zia holds cowboy action matches or practice sessions the second Saturday of the month at the Zia range. This schedule allows single action shooters to participate in other local cowboy matches which are held every weekend in the Albuquerque Metro area. One can prepare for international competitions held in Edgewood, New Mexico by shooting at Zia. Zia’s focus is on safety and variety with frequent, entertaining side-matches.
SASS safety rules are followed at Zia. However, SASS equipment and costuming rules are not strictly followed. This allows new shooters to try the sport before they fully equip themselves. Any double action revolver can be shot single action. Any pump shotgun may be used. Double barrel shotguns with extractors are allowed. However, only pistol-caliber, lever action rifles are allowed. All center fire guns use pistol-caliber lead ammunition. (Not jacketed or plated bullets.) Shotguns use lead birdshot. Any shooter may use a .22 caliber gun. Twenty-two caliber handguns and rifles and a .410 shotgun are available for youth with free ammo supplied by the Zia Club. Wild Bunch category (semi-autos loaded with 5-rounds) is shot as part of the main match and is always allowed. To maintain a Western atmosphere, cowboy like clothing is worn. Please wear at least a long-sleeved, shirt, denim jeans and a hat. Established cowboy shooters should wear their normal costumes. During summer months shooters may dress as Hawaiian cowboys – that is a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and a straw hat. Match fee is $1 with no charge for youth shooters. Matches are open to those who do not belong to Zia. Youth are especially welcome. Shooters are requested to show up at Noon to assist in setting up the courses of fire with the match starting at 1 PM. A Zia member is at the entrance gate between 11:30 and Noon to let in non-members. Contact Ted Simmons at (505) 869-8315 for more information. For more on cowboy shooting see the Single Action Shooting Society’s website, http://www.sassnet.com/ . Handbooks available for downloading at that site describe the safety rules used by Zia’s cowboy shooting activity. The site has links to other New Mexico cowboy clubs where Zia cowboy shooters shoot such as the Rio Grande Renegades, the Rio Rancho Regulators, the Buffalo Range Riders, the High Desert Drifters, and the Magdalena Trail Drivers.