Back to June 2010 Journal

This is what you're missing at the Happy Jack Bar if you're not a VIP. For an hour Wednesday anyone claiming to be a SASS Wire maniac was considered a temporary VIP. They serve Rio Grande Outlaw lager on draft.

June 27, 2010, Sunday

Don't the buildings look great painted? We think of old west towns as weathered wood, but when they were new, they looked more like this.

Long Hunter's place was always busy, too. He tells me he's moved his shop to Amarillo, Texas. When I go through Amarillo, I'll have to go there.


Kona Coffee, Classic Old West Styles, Tonto Rim Trading Co.

This is... this is...ah, er, the place with no sign. Believe it or not, there were several shops without signs or with inadequate signs. Marketing 101. PUT UP A SIGN!

Chiappa Firearms and Legacy Sports. Either they were too busy, or I was, and I never got an interview.

We had Yankee re enactors. A Confederate captured several of them single handed.

This lady just rode around looking magnificent!

Awards Presentation:

As soon as the shoot offs were over, they gave out the awards. It took less than 2 hours and was much less boring than most. Take note event organizers. It wasn't a Dooley Gang awards show, the best in the business, but it went well.

I had been higher, but on Saturday I dropped to 6th. Results will be linked whenever they're online.

Results by Category

Wild Bunch Results by Category



But, with the 30th annual coming up next year, as Coyote Calhoun said, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"


June 26, 2010, Saturday

Larsen E. Pettifogger times Weaver Gal. Larsen was the best shooter on the posse, shooting Frontier Cartridge Duelist, and he was one of my trusted timer operators along with Dan Diamond and Creek Harding. All of them did a fantastic job of keeping people out of trouble and getting good times. Shooting is Weaver Gal. Weaver Gal, Sagebrush Molly, Shirley Shooter, and Jack Wilson did the scoring flawlessly.

Shirley Shooter being timed by Larsen E. Pettifogger

I handed my camera to Lorelei Longshot on Thursday, and she shot over 450 photos over the 3 days! This one catches me using reading glasses to read the scenario. Creek would read the movie scenario, and I would read the instructions so that they were always read by the same person.

Sagebrush Molly, Shirley Shooter, and Jack Wilson (and Shaky Shooter's hat) listen intently to the instructions.

Happy Jack, posse marshal of the posse ahead of us, warned me that one target only went down 45°, so I went out and demonstrated it, telling the timers and spotters to break the "rules" of the posse and yell "Down" for it to help the shooter.

Dan Diamond timing Deadeye Charlie. Charlie's name showed up on the posse list as a buckaroo (corrected to Junior) from South Carolina, and none of the adults were from South Carolina. At the posse meeting his grandparents explained that they weren't shooting (conventioneers) but brought him so he could shoot. He shot .45 Colts and a very stiff shotgun. He said he wanted .45s because men shot .45s. Later he learned that men who won CAS matches usually shot .38s. His grandfather is buying him .38s, and his shotgun is going to Goatneck Clem. He's only been doing this a year or so. He has a lot of natural talent, and, if he remains dedicated, he'll be a champion shooter someday.

I had one decent stage (not good, just decent) Saturday, and this one wasn't it, but it does show that, despite my losing performance Saturday, I can run and have the presence of mind to load the shotgun while running. Really good stage, though, lots of running downrange and shooting shotgun from 3 different positions.

Sundown and Dan Diamond load. In checking the 300 photos from Thursday and Friday I found there were none of Sundown shooting. He and Lorelei liked to shoot first, so she missed him. She also missed Deadeye Charlie. Both of these oversights were corrected.

Sundown shoots B-Western, with smokeless, but he's a friend who wanted to be on my posse. He works hard, too. He sang the national anthem at the opening ceremonies and brought tears to my eyes. He is a professional musician, and he's good.

The Man With No Name takes down the pistol knockdowns in rapid fashion shooting Frontier Cartridge Duelist.

Dawgtooth Dave and Sundown utilizing Dave's shade. His shade survived. I broke my umbrella's stand putting it in the trailer in the trailer, and Dan and Weaver Gal's blew away. They did retrieve it 2 stages down. Umbrellas at Founders Ranch usually don't survive.

Creek Harding was immensely helpful. He could have had his own posse. He has before. But we work together very well as a team. I hope we can do it again at future events.

The posse ran flawlessly. Most of the time I just stood around and looked for trouble. Trouble, of course, only occurred when I was at the loading table, all guns loaded, ready to shoot. But we got it all handled. I told them to work as a team, and they did, brilliantly. I left a hull in the shotgun once, and I heard a chorus of "HULL!" CD Tom shot a clean match, but on the last stage, after he shot the rifle and pistols clean, he was to grab an axe handle and, while running to the other side, knock down two popper targets. He ran to the other side, WITHOUT the axe handle, and picked up the shotgun before the chorus of "AXE HANDLE!" got through the fog of war, and he put the shotgun down, ran back, picked up the axe handle, knocked the poppers down, put the axe handle on the table, picked up the shotgun, and cleaned the stage--AND the match. Last year he had shot clean except for a procedural. In a lesser posse, he would have lost his white buffalo. Wear it proudly, Tom! You earned it!

Vendors and such:

The "Quad", Camp Baylor on the left, Larsen E. Pettifogger and Dan Diamond/Weaver Gal's Navion's, and Dawgtooth Dave/Sagebrush Molly's 5th wheel.

I took this picture after 3 pm. Before that the line was 20-40 people. They ran out of Green Chili Cheeseburgers, breaking Larsen's heart. Not liking to stand in line, I got a BBQ sandwich from Shorty's Barbeque. Good stuff.


Off-The-Wall Gun carts They were almost sold out by Saturday PM

Jim Bowie's new trailer. Cowboys and Indians and Wes Fargo worked about 30 hours a day fixing guns for desperate shooters. We would be in a lot of trouble if they didn't show up. Great guys! Great work!

Colorado Mountain HAt Company was always so busy I never managed to interview them. They were the only hat company there. I believe there was room for more.

I didn't interview the Old Frontier Clothing Company because there's always a frock coat calling me.

Prairie Mary ringing up sales at the SASS Mercantile. They finally got wise and made RED EOT T-Shirts and caps. I bought one of the black shirts and never wear it. Too hot. They kept making black ones. I didn't buy any more.

Taylor's and Co. Firearms booth. All Kerri has to do is smile, and I buy another gun. The Redhead made a deal with American Express. They consider all purchases made at Taylor's to be bogus and don't approve them.

Jim Downing was the only engraver there. He was BUSY!!

Cimarron Firearms sold a lot of guns, too.



Kiamichi Queen won best dressed B-Western Lady dressed as Maureen O'Hara in McClintock. I stopped taking pictures after that. Creek Harding was taking official pictures and promised to send them to me. I'll put some in later if he does.

June 25, 2010, Friday


Shot stages 5-8 in the early morning shift. Got the pistol bonus. Got all the knockdowns. The eastern early morning sun and no wind hurt the first 2 stages, but I shot the front sight. The posse is still running like a machine with little or no problems.

Went to the shooting costume contest as John King Fisher.


Weaver Gal encounters the early morning glare and calm

Manassas Jack shoots into the smoke. For black powder shooters, surviving the early morning stages is a rite of passage. You can usually tell when a shooter shot the morning stages by the fact that his times are longer than on other stages. I figure I lost at least 10 seconds on the morning stages, but, at least, I hit everything.


Jack Wilson, Frontier Cartridge

CD Tom, Frontier Cartridge Duelist

Dawgtooth Dave, Frontiersman

Capt. Baylor, Frontiersman

Shirley Shooter, Ladies Frontier Cartridge

Larsen E. Pettifogger, one of our excellent timer operators, showing the time to the scorer

Creek Harding, Frontier Cartridge Duelist

Lorelei Longshot, Ladies' Frontier Cartridge

The posse marshal, Captain Baylor, said that if 7 people or more ganged up on the loading table, he might have to start having people shoot in order, reverse order. I guess it's well he didn't look behind him and count people.

Sloan Easy, Ladies Senior

Hidden along the southwest line of vendors, with little fanfare is this booth, selling Dairy Queen bars. They told me that business was kind of slow. Pretty girls selling Dairy Queen bars and the business is SLOW? GET OVER THERE AND BUY SOMETHIING!


The lady said the caption should be "Nice Jugs!" referring, of course to the jugs of sasparilly we're holding... right...



June 24, 2010, Thursday

Shot stages 1-4 on the afternoon shift. We got to stage 1 early enough that I could give my entire "spiel" on what I wanted from workers and shooters. We got on the same page. It's a good group. No prima donnas. Not windy enough at first. Smoke was slowing me on the rifle on one. Hit the popup shotgun target, the only aerial target in the match. Stage 3 had a 5 second bonus for hitting a big cowboy target with a rubber knife. A rubber knife is a very difficult thing to throw. Most of us hit it, though.



Our ace, hard working scoring crew

Lazarus Longshot shoots at the swinger

Mr. Peabody, one of our few smokeless shooters who wasn't related to a smoky shooter, but he's a friend of mine

Sloan Easy throwing the knife like a pro.

Manassas Jack, Frontier Cartridge

Weaver Gal, Ladies Frontier Cartridge


Dawgtooth Dave, Frontiersman

The Man With No Name shooting Frontier Cartridge Duelist


June 23, 2010, Wednesday

Was walking George S. Patton, Jr. this morning and passed a square of RV's. A lady called out, "Hello, Captain Baylor." Another lady looked out and said, "That's not Captain Baylor." I was in T-shirt and jeans. The first one said, "Of course it is. That's his dog George S. Patton."

Plainsman Match

Large field. Several good shooters. I was doing semi-okay until the pistols started failing to fire. 2 or three failures to fire overall. All went bang when re struck. I'll be shooting the plain guns tomorrow. They're proven.

Lefty Eastman won going away. He's one of those guys who don't seem fast, but the timer shows them 10 seconds ahead of second place. Few misses, too. I shot clean until the last stage. 2 rifles (stars at the edge of the berm), one pistol (operator error.) But the pistols worked.

One stage:


Pick up rifle from horse




several times...

make rifle save on the horse, shoot 4 targets with shotgun...

move to table---

fire first revolver...

load shotgun...

knockdown 4 shotgun targets...


unload shotgun...


make shotgun save on horse while drawing second pistol...

transition gun to strong hand...


shoot some more...

holster and listen to bad news.

Posse Marshals Meeting 3-4 PM

Posse marshals meeting was well done with a video of each stage and discussion of same.

Then SASS Wire Gathering at Happy Jack Saloon.

Opening Ceremony

It started with the flags of all of the competing companies. Then Sundown sang the Star Spangled Banner. Impressive.

80 new regulators. Judge Roy Bean got the True Grit award.

After the ceremonies was a celebration of U. S. Grant's 80th birthday and Tex and Cat's 50th Anniversary.

Then worked on notes for posse briefing and had lunch.

June 22, 2010,Tuesday

Wild Bunch, Day 2

Despite her 4 shell shotgun jam Monday Holy Terror continued to dominate the ladies category. Evil Roy thought he had his rifle fixed. He didn't. He had another safety from a round hung up in the ejector. He finished with another rifle.

Chrono Session Disasters

I believe 5 people from our posses failed to pass the power factor testing. Some were drastically low. I don't believe any were "gamers" trying to just barely make it. They just failed to chrono their ammunition in similar climactic conditions. Most hadn't cnronoed their ammo at all. Diamond J Gunsmithing was selling ammo, and it hadn't been chronographed. As Evil Roy put it, "We sell a chrono for $105. There's no excuse for not having one..."

For the record, my ammo passed. Here are the loads and the power factors from Sunday and Tuesday's testing:

Pistol, .45 ACP—5.0 gr. Trail Boss, 200 gr. LRNFP. PF Sunday 163, Tuesday 162 (Note, to get consistent loads using the Dillon XL650, to prevent the high column of fluffy powder from shaking out, I lubricated the cases. Then the machine operated more smoothly, and powder didn't shake out.)

Rifle, .45 Colt—5.7 gr. Trail Boss, 200 gr. LRNFP PF Sunday 169, Tuesday 161

I'm pretty sure all of the "contenders" had chronoed their ammunition and had no problems. The felt recoil difference between a load with a power factor of 150 and one of 160-165 is negligible, so loading heavy makes sense. Most powders are temperature sensitive, so you're well-advised to chrono in colder weather than where you're going to be shooting the match.

Trail Boss doesn't seem to be particularly temperature or altitude sensitive.

February 2010 Chrono Results condensed

Cowtown, 75°, Dry, 1400 ft. Alt.

.45 ACP Colt 1911A1/80––PF (Average of 3 5 round strings: 162.67

.45 Colt Uberti '73 )19" barrel)—163

Compare those with the result at Founder's Ranch at 6000+ feet. Sunday was in the 90s, Tuesday in the 80s and overcast.

Trail Boss is not the only powder for this. Evil Roy uses VV320. Pecos Clyde uses Rex 2. Clays, WW231/HP38 are all popular.

Costume Contest, Wild Bunch

So far this has not "caught on" as a costume contest category. We had 4 men and 3 women. I believe I hog-tied, er, persuaded all 4 men to enter and encouraged the women. As usual, a woman who would have won hands down (and you know who you are) didn't show up.

We had another dilemma as Robber Baron showed up in one of the best researched, produced, and presented costumes I've ever seen as an Edwardian Robber Baron dressed for a night in the theater, etc. We convinced him to enter Saturday instead. More about his costume later.

In the men's division The Man With No Name came as Dutch and had every detail of the costume from the movie down perfect.

In the Ladies' Division, Shotglass came as General Mapache's "White Meat." She narrowly beat last year's winner Nellie Blue, who came as the colonel's daughter with a uniform. That was CLOSE. I believe 1 or 2 points separated them. Dixie Bell, as a hooker who was "kept in the back room" wasn't far behind. All three of these ladies had succinct, informative presentations. I don't think any of them was over 30 seconds.

Match results:

I'll put them in when they're posted. Fasthammer won Traditional, Holy Terror won Ladies Modern. Can't remember who won Men's Modern.

Then we solved all of the world's problems in the middle of the "square" over Margaritas, beer, and wine.

June 21, 2010, Monday

Wild Bunch, Day 1

Shot stages 1-6 of the Wild Bunch match. 2 misses, no spectacular times. Basically getting my ass whipped, as usual. But train wrecks were common. Evil Roy had 2 minor safeties because the weak ejector on his '73 left empties on the carrier. Holy Terror had a 4 round shotgun jam.

Warm Up match

Managed to shoot 4 stages. Tired.

Dan Diamond, Weaver Gal, and Larsen E. Pettifogger got here. When I got back to the bus they were parked. We have our square now.

Got my primary ROAs from Larsen. Feel very good! Look great.

June 20, 2010

Wild Bunch Warm up

In the afternoon shot the hastily formed warm up for Wild Bunch. The only announcement for it was on the SASS Wire a few days ago, and it wasn't pinned, so it was off the front page in a few minutes. We had one posse, and a lot of shooters came by and told us they would be shooting except they didn't know this was going on.


Wild Bunch has a power factor of 150. On stage 8 a CED chronograph was set up in a light box, and all of us shot 5 rounds of pistol and 5 rounds of rifle, and the chrono calculated the powder factor. A Few people failed, 3 rifles and 2 pistols. This would be a problem in the real WB match.

I had no problems. The pistol was 162, and the rifle 169.


11 people came in and out for Margaritas, the last leaving at 10:35. Then I had to return calls from Jack Houston and Master Guns Scott. Jack is trying to get here. Scott can't, having problems in Nevada and California. Bed about midnight.