Friday, October 17, 2008

Imaginary Wild West is .... SASS-y, in Europe as well as the US

Wild Western hobbyists in Europe bear many affinities to Wild West hobbyists in the United States. Here below is a link to an article from a local newspaper in High Springs, Florida, reporting on an annual meeting of the local chapter of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) -- a gun club created to "preserve and promote the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting.™" There are SASS chapters throughout the US -- and also in Europe and Australia! (Click HERE to see the Italian SASS site.)

Its members inhabit "real imaginary" wild western spaces -- the SASS slogan is "The closest you'll get to the old Wild West short of a time machine." Members must dress up in Wild West attire and choose a Wild West alias.

States the SASS web site: "Each participant is required to adopt a shooting alias appropriate to a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Hollywood western star, or an appropriate character from fiction. Their costume is then developed accordingly. Many event participants gain more enjoyment from the costuming aspect of our sport than from the shooting competition, itself. Regardless of a SASS member's individual area of interest, SASS events provide regular opportunities for fellowship and fun with like-minded folks and families."

Playing cowboy (with real guns)

Photo By Valerie Garman

The fire from the barrel of a rifle can be seen as this shooter is timed at the Single Action Shooting Society's annual shootout held this past Saturday at the Fort White Gun Club.
Oct. 17, 2008

FORT WHITE -- The Badland Drifter bends his knees deep. He prepares to draw his guns.

He pulls a rifle off a nearby table and fires six shots.

The order is rifle, shotgun, pistol, pistol. Six shots each.

He fires 24 shots in 14.53 seconds. The nearby saloon girls and the rest of the Wild West are amazed by his quickness and accuracy.

His real name is Derek Beirne, but this weekend he is the Badland Drifter. He is 15-years-old.

The Fort White Gun Club disguised itself as the American old west on Saturday for the Single Action Shooting Society’s big annual shootout, attracting more than 100 shooters and spectators.

Cowboys, outlaws, saloon girls and sheriffs roamed the premises, as each contestant dressed in their version of old western attire and came up with an alias for the weekend.

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