Guns of August 10-12 2017

By: Fletch SASS 14224

Well Pards, this year’s Guns of August (GOA) lived up to its billing as the premier Cowboy Action Shooting event of the year. I’ve been writing about the Guns of August for quite a while, but for our new members, GOA is the Mideast Regional Single Action Shooting Society competition. It  has been held the second weekend of August every year for the past 20 years. It draws contestants from all over the USA and even brought in a strong contingent of our Canadian neighbors to the north as well. 

Of note, this was the last year that Guns of August will be the SASS Mideast Regional competition location. SASS made that decision earlier this year. And although it is being relocated, I must compliment Deadwood Stan (Stan Swanner) , Lassiter (Tom Wildenauer) and the entire Big Irons team for all their hard work and dedication to  Cowboy Action Shooting for all these years. Yee Ha! Deadwood emphasized that although the regional designation will relocate that the Big Irons will continue to hold a three day shoot again next year.

Over 185 shooters amassed at the Middletown Sportsman Club in Middletown Ohio for this year’s event. In this group were a number of aged based  or specialized shooter interest categories such as Buckaroo/Buckerette (age 13 and under) or Forty-niner (age 49+), and Gunfighter and Classic Cowboy. I shot in the "B" Western category with specific costume clothing, weapons and accouterments to mimic those 1950s and 60s western TV and movies.

It kicked off on Wednesday 10 August with early registration spearheaded by Fancy Freespirit and both a SASS Range Officer I and II class were put on by Wilbur Green Rexroat. Your ORPA members are a group of close-knit shooters that travel to events to help as needed for fun, goodwill and putting on a shooting school specifically for Cowboy Action Shooting. 

This was the day for all the side matches which ranged from speed pistol, speed shotgun and speed rifle to some long range events like the Quigley Pail Event. To give you a feel for the speed and accuracy of some of the competitors, Deuce Stevens was able to shoot 10 shots from his lever action rifle in 3.06 seconds (no, that’s not a misprint), and Sage Chick was able to do it in 3.56 seconds. ORPA’s Buckaroo Big Ozz was first place in his category with a speed rifle time of 5.80 seconds!!! Deuce Stevens  was able to draw 2 pistols and fire ten rounds on target  in 2.88 seconds...........WOW!

I assume everyone has seen Sam Peckinpah's movie, The Wild Bunch, about the decline and fall of one outlaw gang at the end of the frontier era, 1913. The Wild Bunch shoot out scene has now been included as a 4 stage side match. It is shot with the trusty old slab side model 1911, a rifle in pistol caliber over .40 and either a Model 12 or a Model 97 Winchester shotgun. It’s great fun for those who like shooting the classics and we had a lot of competitors dress in old Rough Rider costumes too. Blastin Brad was in full military regalia of the period.  ORPA shooters included:

Blastin Brad 2nd Traditional

Rose Louise Reasoner 1st Ladies 59r

Fletch 7th Modern

Wilbur Greene Rexroat 6th Traditional

Rodent 6th 59r

Loco Leadslinger 1st Traditional

Smokin Iron 3rd 59r

Days 2 and 3 were the main competition days and they were action packed! Lassiter, the range officer, had 12 stages set up and we shot 6 stages each day. They were challenging, they were fun and they were quick! After the smoke had cleared and the last bullet went down range, the winners emerged.  Misouri Lefty was the top men's shooter and Sage Chick was the top ladies shooter.  The goal of every competitor is to shoot the match clean---no misses and I’m proud to announce that ORPA members C..J., Rodent and I all achieved this honor! ORPA main match finishers in no particular order.

Big Ozz (Ozzie Gregg) 1st Buckaroo

Loco Leadslinger (Gary Smith) 2nd Classic Cowboy

Blastin Brad (Brad Sabo) 7th 49r

Wild Wyatt Wolf (Chuck Wolf) 4th Senior

Clementine Valentine (Kimberly Harmeson) 1st Lady Gunfighter

Fletch (Bill Knall) 3rd B’ Western

Ruger Ray (Ray McCoy) 1st Pale Rider

Not So Quick Nick (Nick McGuire) 5th Pale Rider Gunfighter

Alabama (Ernie Chaffin) 7th Classic Cowboy

Fancy Free Spirit (Lynn McCoy) 2nd Ladies 49r

Wilbur Greene Rexroat (Robert Steiger)  4th Frontier Cartridge Gun Fighter

Rodent (David Volimer) 6th Cattle Barron

Slow Poke Smith (Lary Smith)5th Frontier Cartridge Duelist

Thomas Quigley (William Smith) 4th Young Gun Boys

Rose Louise Reasoner (Karen Steiger) 6th Ladies Gungighter

C.J. Jacqueline McGuire) 3rd Cowgirl

Smokin Iron (Steve Mowrey) 2nd Senior Duelist

The future of our shooting sport lies with the youngsters, and there are several categories for our younger shooters, Buckaroo and Buckarett for those ages 13 and under and Young Guns age 14-16. This year there were five Buckaroos, two Buckaretts and five Young Gun Boys. Big Ozz and Thomas Quigley did a super job. If these young cowpokes continue the way they are going I wouldn’t be surprised to see them as regional champions some day.


            The Guns of August also helps out in many other ways. During the banquets the auction rose over $300 dollars for the local Boy Scout Troop through the brass auction. And nearly the same amount for the SASS college scholarship foundation.

 The next major Cowboy Action Shooting event in Ohio this year will be the Second Annual Wild Bunch Match. It will be held at the Greene County Fish and wildlife facility in Xenia.

Greene County Cowboys are proud to announce that we are hosting the 2017 Ohio State Wild Bunch Championship on September 30, 2017

8 Stages
Mandatory Safety Meeting at 8:45AM 
Shooting Starts at 9:00AM 
All Shooters $50.00 (Includes Dinner) 
Guest Dinner Tickets are $8.00

More information and their registration form is at :

Happy trails, and please don’t shoot your foot as my dad used to tell me!