Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cowboy Fast Draw - Watch Out Here I Come!

Back to the basics

When KeeWee and I were down in Valencia, California last Summer for the Steel Challenge World Championships, one of the side events was a Cowboy Fast Draw setup. It was run by world cowboy fast draw multiple time world champion Quick Cal Eilrich. The layout was simple. For a few bucks they set you up with a holster a revolver, and fiver rounds of .45 Colt ammo with wax bullets and powered by shotgun primers. The revolver was a virtually stock 1873 SAA Colt replica. The holster was all leather, and looked a lot like the cowboys of yesteryear might have worn. No tricked out race guns, and no radically cut down steel lined holsters permitted at all. The target was two feet in diameter, and fifteen feet away. In the center of the target was a plexiglas window with a yellow light behind it. When the light comes on, you draw and fire at the target. A microphone on the back of the target records your time. That is, if you DID hit the target. Missing it, at that close range, is REALLY easy, since you shoot from the hip!

After trying it a few times Quick Cal could see that another one had been hooked, and he began giving me a few tips to improve my times and accuracy. After several visits to the Cowboy Fast Draw booth, I was starting to get some improvement, finally getting my time down to a .501 second from light on to the wax bullet hitting the target. That's not particularly fast, as in competition the fast guys shoot times from the upper .3's to the mid .4's. In cowboy fast draw one or two tenths of a second is a lot! It was, though ,enough to get me hooked on the sport.

Cowboy Fast Draw has a lot of things in it's favor, and although still small, is growing rapidly. Ammunition is inexpensive, and you can reload your own with your fingers, no reloading equipment needed at all. The pistols are inexpensive, at least as pistols go. In a world where a top end .38 Super race gun can set you back over $4,000 it's refreshing to be able to be competitive for under $400, and with several choices, to boot! You don't need a shooting range to practice, either. A few layers of carpet hanging from the ceiling in your garage or basement will stop the wax bullets just fine.

In a match, there are two targets side by side and you are competing directly with another shooter. The light comes on for both of you at the same time and whoever hits his target first wins the round.

DAMIPHINO probably getting his butt kicked!
(I'll be next time he won't let Mr. Completely caption the pictures, ya think?)

In CFDA, the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, you have the option of registering a handle, or nickname, and going by that name in the matches like the cowboy action shooting events. Most competitors seem to use their handles. "Mr. Completely" is now a registered handle in CFDA, so if you are at a match and you hear over the PA that a shooter "Mr. Completely" , it just might be me! Come on over and introduce yourself, as I will be selling giving out autographed pictures. Actually, you will be most welcome to have your picture taken with KeeWee and I, although I'd recommend having your picture taken with Quick Cal as he looks a lot more "Cowboy" than I do.......

If you want to know more about Cowboy Fast draw, check out the CFDA Website.



At Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:34:00 PM, Anonymous USCitizen said...

Apologies for the lack of a quick response, but did you find that six shooter you asked me about?

At Thursday, January 17, 2008 10:45:00 PM, Anonymous Damiphino said...

Man, make the mistake of giving Mr. C pictures one time and not putting a caption on it and you just keep paying.

Mr. C put the CFDA link in his post and if you follow it there are a bunch of pictures and videos on the website. The picture in the post is from World Championships in Deadwood, SD.

Cowboy Fast Draw is one of the key events for Wild Bill Hickock Days. They treat us pretty good and even invited all of us to wear our guns and stuff downtown in the evenings. Said it added flavor to the celebration. Try that just about anywhere else.

At the shoot we had a place set up where people like Mr. C could try it and get hooked. The bad part is that now Mr. C makes me have to work hard to beat him.



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