Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Wrong Turn

I have just read Quick Cal's explanation of the change of target size and distance and believe that he has made a turn in the wrong direction.  I write this post not to criticize or to be an obstructionist. I will support Cal's decision, it is his business and he has done great things for the sport in the past.

I love cowboy fast draw because it is one of the few pure sports remaining in our society.  In an early era we had many sports, i.e. character building activities.  Most of these have been highjacked for their entertainment value.  I am sensitive to this because I was a youth coach for over 15 years.  If you take 10 kids and give them a ball they will play a game, sort out the rules, and learn some life skills. If you add in 20 parents trying to get their entertainment fix, you no longer have a learning environment of good character traits, but a environment where poor sportsmanship, bad manners, poor life skills are learned.

Yes, Cowboy Fast Draw teaches good character traits, even to old guys like me. It is a sport.  It is not an entertainment venue.  Nor should it be.  Do we really want our sport to become like all the rest of the entertainment industry where you find so many miscreants.

Our sport grows, not because it entertains, but because one can participate and be successful in a relative short time.  Where else can a brand new competitor go up against a World Champion and have not only a change to win but a good likelihood of winning.


Cal says he will make the change for showmanship.  He says that since the proportions are the same the balance between speed  and accuracy will remain the same. I can buy that but it will not be the same for accuracy unless you shoot from 39.5 inches muzzle height. For a muzzle height of 39.5 inches a target height should be 47 inches at 17 3/16 target at 15 feet.  But for a muzzle height of 44 inches target height should be about 46 inches.  An inch may not seem like much but how many thumb nail wins have you had.  Generally, higher muzzle height shooters will shoot low, lower muzzle height shooters will shoot high.  Guess we could all change to 39.5 inches, to keep the same accuracy between 15 feet and the championship distance of 21 feet.

As for showmanship missing at 15 feet seems to be more devastating.


While we transition I would expect accuracy to get a little worst for the reason set forth above, but not significantly.   However, going to the balloon targets will probably result in significantly worst accuracy for two reasons.

Cal says he is not going to grease the balloon targets. For me, being able to see my hits is critical. I walk my hits to the light. I think most top shooters use the location of their hits to stay on target whether they are aware of it or not. If we can no longer see the exact location of the hit, our accuracy will decrease.  That is the reason we hate shooting without a backstop or in poor light conditions.   To illustrate, just how important this is to me, at Texas, to start I could not see my misses and missed 27 of my first 30 shots. I finally found the target and hit better than 80% for the next four days.

If you are going to get a top shooter, you have to get him or her, early in the event or early in the match.  Ever notice how many times the first round or two nobody seems to be able to hit.  That is because shooters have not yet found the target and they have not gotten into their shooting rhythm.

All shooters get into a certain rhythm on the line.  I like to have the same announcer and like to learn his cadence. I have a certain pre-shot routine, physically and mentally.  Anything that disrupts that rhythm is harmful to quickness and accuracy.  Now we are going to change that all up for the World Magnificent Seven.  The cadence and the rhythm will be different from what you have shot all event.  Because of the target tendering for balloons each shot it will be like the first round of the day or for first shot of a match.

If you are serious about shooting in a Mag Seven at World in 2017, you probably should add a delay in your routine for the time it will take the target tenders to re-balloon.  I am thinking about stepping off the line for 45-60 second after each and every shot, during each and every match, during each and every event. Who knows, I might get there and if I do, I want to have shot my Mag 7 routine all year long.

My guess is accuracy will get worst with the balloon targets.  If Cal is going do this he should set up a practice range at 2016 World with 2 lanes at Championship distance, 2 lanes at 15 feet with 17 3/16 targets and 2 lanes at balloon targets.  Then he ought to hire a high school or college interns to run and score each shot and tabulate the accuracy rate on the targets.  Any one who wants to try these new targets should shoot down the line on all three target setups against an opponent from 21 to 15 to Balloon. That would simulate what is going to happen at World 2017.  Let us see what is likely.


Alleluia has taken a year off, but he will be back in 2017, a little quicker, a little more accurate, and with a new pre-shot routine because he is a competitor and an athlete not an entertainer who deals in illusions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Texas Gunny and the League of Extraordinary Gunfighters and Dangerous Women!

Last fall a fella from out of state came to one of our club shoots. We strapped a club holster on him, loaned him a New Vaquero and put him in the match.  It was his first attempt at cowboy fast draw. He was a former Marine from Texas and took the alias I believe of Texas Gunny.  In his third match of the day he drew World Champion, Miss Kitty.  Being a new point and shoot shooter with some Marine pride, he won the match on accuracy.  He was thrilled.  Ain't this sport great!

So far this year I have been able to make it to five titled events.  In all five of the events I would opine that there has been a majority of average shooters in the top seven shooters of each event. These shooters are not the quickest but they are mentally tough and accurate shooters. On any given day any of us can win and some of us do win even if we may not be the quickest.   Ain't this sport great!

This trend continued this past weekend.  Wild Onion Willie shot his way into the magnificent seven at Nevada.  He out shot three quicker shooters one of which was his black badge brother to get into the Magnificent Seven.  Rooster Cogburn crows with justifiable pride that he made the Magnificent Seven.  Enrico del Barrio joyfully expressed wonderment at his success finishing sixth.  Ain't this sport great!

They are some in our sport that want to make this sport into a speed contest.  It is not!  It is a gunfight.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  If you want to spread grailfever, that is fine by me, I will move you onto my "quick but wilts in a gunfight" list.  Ain't this sport great!

"Quick don't matter much, if you can't hit that which you are trying to be quick about."  Virgil Cole.

"Your quickest draw is your most accurate draw.  If it is not, change your draw!" Alleluia Ruah.