Sangamon County Rifle Association
Right Reason on Second Amendment Rights
Mounted Cowboy Shooting
SCRA meeting 10/2/06
November 2006 GunNews
Shafer said last Saturday and Sunday he took his two kids and his four neighbor kids to the mounted Cowboy Shooting Championships. It was free at the Coliseum at the Fairgrounds and he thought there were maybe at least seventy contestants, from Missouri, South Dakota, and rural Illinois both north and south.
Shafer described the action. It was a combination of horse barrel racing where you ride this mounted horse as fast as you can around these barrels which are set up several dozen yards apart. Each rider had two six guns, either mounted on their saddle or on themselves. They had the reins in one hand and they shot balloons with blank cartridges as they went by. It was a timed riding event but there were also ten balloons they had to shoot.
If a rider missed a balloon, it added five seconds to the riders score. Each race took about twenty-two seconds. The fastest times were twenty-one and the slowest times were about twenty-four or twenty-five. So if a rider missed a balloon and it added five seconds, it obviously moved the rider from the top to the very bottom of the scoring.
If a rider dropped a pistol it added five seconds if it was unloaded and ten seconds it was loaded. Shafer said he never saw a gun hit the ground in two full days worth of riding and shooting.
One member said for this type of shooting they use a specially prepared cartridge thats loaded with corncob type powder. The company they use also makes theatrical blanks and they are located in Chicago. The corncob they use comes from Mt. Pulaski.
Shafer said the cartridges put out a cone of lighted pellets, which he supposed was the corn cob media, that had a distance of about ten to twelve feet which formed a shotgun type pattern. Sometimes they missed, even from the extremely short range. Bang, and you could swear that balloon just ducked. There was fire all around that balloon and it's still just sitting there. Shafer thought that's got to be frustrating.
Almost every other rider was a woman. They were faster and as accurate as the men. Shafer talked to several of them because he considered doing an episode on them for his TV show. It was a style of shooting that he had never seen before and he wasn't familiar with it. They also shot some sections with rifles as well. Shafer said he encouraged the organizers to come back year after year to grow the event. They have every kind of horse show in the world at the Coliseum, every breed of horse, every type of horse except for thoroughbred, because they have all the facilities and stables there at the fairgrounds.
Shafer said it wasn't so bad seeing a woman ride a horse better than he does, as he's has never been on one, but it was kind of humbling to see a woman also shoot better than he does with one hand than he does with two.
The crowd was just roaring, the kids were roaring, they were a very friendly group, they encourage everybody to try it. Shafer said if they come back he encourages everyone to go see it.