March 2014 Journal

February 2014 Journal

March 2, 2014, Sunday—Awards Presentation

As usual the awards presentation was well done and done in a timely manner. No photos. Really poor seat for photos. Got a clean match pin:

79 clean matches

Excellent match and overall experience. The committee will have a hard time topping this one.

March 1, 2014, Saturday—Main Match and Costume Contests

Shot Late Saturday. This was the weather report:

When I got there the parking lot looked like this.

The Working Costume Contest was in the main tent 10-2:

The instructions said "Best Working Costume" so I went as a 1885 Texas cowboy working in Wyoming. The hat was a Boss Of The Plains that was shapeless and stained from use. The vest and pants were faded and worn from wear and hand washing. The shirt was faded and worn out. The silk wild rag was coming apart from age. The chaps were 1880s style shotgun chaps. Spurs were OK Pattern by Buermann. Boots actually are new but in the rain they looked worn out. Since it was raining I was wearing a Fish raincoat—not one of the cheap Chinese ones that look right at 10 yards but are lacking a lot of details. This one was made in the US to the original pattern (but of modern, non-flammable material). It has all of the buttons and seams for buttoning one way to cover the saddle and another way to wear while walking. I was wearing worn leather gloves and leather cuffs. The costume finished second.

Marshal W. Hill was first

Bat Masterson was third dressed as Bat Masterson

Then the rains came. The first shift didn't get rained on.

Didn't find any generals in there

The rains hit hard while I was looking for lunch. Ran into Mernickle's to get out of it

But the rain chased me in there. Soon things were floating, no kidding

A shooter was injured on Stage 12 and needed to be medevaced. A police car and a big ambulance came through. The shooter needed surgery and is now recovering.

While waiting out the rain in Mernickle's I noticed this updated Paladin rig, appropriate for and well designed for CAS. Neat.

Rain stopped for a while. My old friend Mad Dog Jack

Lookin' good there sky.

Lot's of mud. I was glad we were going to shoot 1-4 which have a boardwalk.

Got through a couple of stages, then sprinkles...

The gun cart's raincoat was a lifesaver.

Rain came back and closed us down. Then it stopped and we shot our last stage.

Shot clean, but there are some really slow times there. If I'd shot the last 4 up to par I'd have buckled. 23 Frontiersmen!

Authentic 1863 gin and a hint of tonic.

Entertainment. They were good.

Singin' Sue made this outfit herself for Winter Range

The only winners I got photos of were B-Western. Lots of tall people standing up in front of me just before the shutter would have clicked.

My friends in the 9th Cavalry, 2nd Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper and his son Nico the Kid. Lost the sergeant's name. Sorry. I didn't wear my 10th cav uniform because (a) it won last year and (b) Col. Baylor's uniform has knee-high boots. It was muddy and raining off and on.

Photos of all of the costume winners


February 28, 2014, Friday—Main Match

Red Shirt Friday, as evident by all of the red shirts... wait a minute

Some got the memo

There's always an aerial target at WR, fortunately without a bowling ball this year. It's a soda can. The shooter is trying to shoot one to activate and load one while it's airborne. No...

Hugo Bear has a huge Stage Coach gun cart. Now you know how he gets it in and out of the truck. Yes, you need a one ton for a gun cart that size

Not sure what's going on here. Vendor/chief and captive for sale


D Bar J Hats did a booming business. Getting your head measured in one of their machines pretty much insures a really good fit, and their advice when selecting materials, color, etc. are invaluable

If you need a bullet feeder for your Dillon, this is the place

And people say I have a sick sense of humor. This is Big Dave's cart.

Ranger HQ

The crying wall

If you want one of Handlebar Hank's burgers, you have to stand in line

Handlebar Hank's without the photobombing cowboy

Taylor's and Co. Firearms, one of our best sponsors

Legendary Firearms, Phoenix, does the 4473s for the gun transfers at WR

Pietta Firearms, another sponsor who gives us a lot of guns

Mernickle Custom Holsters, always busy, and deservedly so

Evil Roy got the red shirt memo

Work-N-Ranch was always busy. I never got to talk to them

Jim Bowie had a crowd like this for 5 days

Work-N-Ranch has a trailer for ladies' goods as well as the tent

Coyote Cap has a trike and trailer for sale at the Lasergraphics trailer

Doc's Old West sells a lot of chaps to SASS Cowboys


Dixie Gun Works is always at WR

Ted Blocker Holsters, another long time vendor, excellent leather work

At the Outlaw Gang tent Colt Faro lost track of the number of Shotgun Boogie Ruger Short Stroke kits he put on. Here Slick McClade talks to Evil Roy and Wicked Felina about his sights and a tube that goes in the mag tube of .357 73s and 66 and eliminates a possible glitch. He sold out of them.

Cimarron Firearms, long time SASS Sponsor. I'm still waiting for their new single trigger hammerless double to test

Funnel Cakes, excellent, but you have to stand in line. It's worth it.

The Food Court

The one and only Singin' Sue. Yes, she shoots black powder, so she has purple hair.

School desk gun cart

I wonder where Deadwood Pete and Sierra Sage Sue parked

The forecast for Saturday was 100% rain. Of COURSE. It's Winter Range. So I put the rain coat on the gun cart and made other preparations to shoot in the rain.

February 27, 2014, Thursday—Main Match

The Winter Range Safety Video has been a tradition for several years.

Before showing it Brighton Belle said they had run out of ideas and were looking for new ones. Then they proved it by having a Duck Dynasty parody.

Started last year were flyovers for each flight of shooters. One was lead by Blackjack Zak, another by Lieutenant Colonel Scrath This is a B25

Photos by Major Photography


Stage 7 had the dreaded rifle knockdowns. Misses could be made up by shooting the shotgun at a make up target

Captain Dan Blodgett got all of the knockdowns. He's also a Winter Range Ranger, which means he worked his ass off a lot.

February 26, 2014, Wednesday

Warm Up and Side Matches Day

Plainsman Match

Gilley Boy is shooting his H&R Buffalo Classic. He finished third in a really tough field. Lefty Eastman was first, and Snakebite was second. I dropped from 5th to 7th on the last stage because of a miss.

Cascade's Annie shooting. Other ladies were Shot Z Lady and Penny Pepperbox

Winter Range does not break Plainsman into Modern and Traditional, but they still drew 37 entries. Great group. High overall skill level. The ability to make percussion pistols work has improved dramatically since I first shot Plainsman here 2002 or so, and several people can make the rifles fly. "The H & R Jam" wasn't evident at all when I was watching.

a wagon gun cart from Wendel's Wagons in Alvin, Texas. It has brakes. The owner said he could get it into his Jeep! These are probably the neatest wagons ever produced in large numbers for CAS. Wendel has made 129 of them.

February 24-25—Wild Bunch Match

J. T. Wild was match director.

General U. S. Grant

J. B. Corn from San Diego

Really neat wagon in front of stage 5. Major Photography used it as a backdrop for posse photos

Wild Bunch Posse 4 photo by Major Photography. Posse Marshal Lead Ringer hiding in the back. We've been on the same WB posse at WR for 3 years now. Note Major Photography is training their new dog so their old one can retire

A little back up at stage 5


Now I understand why stage 5 took so long

I wonder how he finds his gun cart

My old friend Raj at Eagle Grips working on More or Les's grips

February 23, 2014, Sunday

Went to pick up my packet after Fire and Ice

The way in was well marked

A welcome sign after months of preparation--on both ends. The Winter Range people did a fantastic job

Vendors are well taken care of at Winter Range


Registration, as usual, was friendly, informative, and efficient

The chapel, one of the portable sets, new last year.

New SASS Booth in a very good location



New Hotel set, possibly the brightest set in SASS history

The saloon is a permanent set

The bar in the saloon

Wild Bunch targets at the Saloon

The railroad bridge is a portable set!

Stage 7, with 10 rifle knockdowns, the only ones in the match. It's also the scene of the man-on-man and woman-on-woman shootoffs Sunday. As Stage 7 you shoot one side or the other, so it's ambidextrous