Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cowboy Fast Draw World Championships

Only place in the world where this sign can hang!

One of the elimination rounds, Quick Cal is in the middle with the dark blue shirt. Ron Martinez is sitting in the chair behind the number two shooter. The person in the chair is next up to shoot but while in the chair behind the shooter, they are the Hand Judge. Their job is to make sure there is no movement of the hand before the light comes on.

Ron Martinez on the line in an elimination round. He is in the light blue shirt, number one position. Note that Ron tends to bend his knees and lean back more than many of the other shooters. Works for him and nobody cares about the stance.

Quick Cal in the dark blue shirt , black hat with three others in one of the final rounds. They have just shot and Cal is removing the spent round to ensure that a high primer doesn't hang up the cocking. Ron is third from the near end and getting ready, you can just see his elbow but the difference in his stance is evident.

Ron from the back just before the light, you can see how he has his knees bent and hand lightly on the gun.

We get a pretty wide variety of outfits, here are the Teacher and the Saloon Girl in the process of shooting it out. These two have met up several times, in this case the Teacher gave the Saloon Girl her fourth X.

Deadwood, South Dakota hosted and even managed to survive 109 Cowboy Fast Draw types a couple of weekends ago. The World Championship contest is scheduled for the week of Deadwood's "Days of '76" celebration. The city puts on mock gunfights in the streets and reinactments of the chase after the man who shot Wild Bill Hickok. Makes for an interesting weekend, you never know what is going on on mainstreet.

The city including the police came down to the contest area and announced that all of the Fast Draw shooters were welcome to wear their outfits including guns when we went downtown in the evenings. They just asked us not to carry live ammo in the guns and not to go up to a bar and order drinks, sit at tables if we wished. Try that in San Francisco or just about anywhere else.

The 109 shooters were 72 men and 37 women and it was a 3 out of 5, 4X contest. What that means is for each round you are shooting against one other person and the first one to win 3 out of 5 draws wins the round. The loser gets an X or loss. Four losses or X's means elimination. Who you shoot against in each round is determined by luck of the draw. It isn't real helpful if you draw one of the fastest shooters right off the bat. However, even if you are slower but more accurate you can still beat them. Just as in a real gunfight, a slow hit trumps a fast miss.

The final round of the championship was something to see. Quick Cal and Ron Martinez (last years World Champ) worked their way through the last 5 place holders and it came down to a shootout between the two of them. Usually we try to clean the barrels at least every few rounds in contests and the Match officer said "If you want we will hold while you swab the guns".

Cal and Ron had stepped back from the line and were about 15 feet apart. At that point they turned and faced each other each other. One said "it's up to you" the other said "what ever you want, your decision".

This went on a couple of times and then silence and they stood there looking at each other. Looked just like the start of a gunfight in the streets, nobody blinking, and a couple of sideways steps with their hands at their sides. Then, "Let's do it".

It came down to two each and one final shot separated by .002 seconds!

Quick Cal was the new World Champion......

Story and photo credits to DAMIPHINO!


At Thursday, July 27, 2006 12:37:00 PM, Anonymous 6pence said...

Wild Bill Hickcock (another native Illinoisian)!

Thanks for the update. I'd love to see or (*ahem* compete) in this event!




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