And then the fun began. Off we went to visit the folks at Northern Nevada Cowboy Action Shooting at their Roop County range, some of the most amazing hosts in the West.
Free ammunition. 19th century firearms, provided for free - to shoot competitively and just for fun - and the opportunity to shoot things you rarely see outside of museums.
I shot a re-barreled .45-70 Remington Rolling Block rifle (after rebarreling with possibly the largest barrel I've seen on any thing not crew-served and weighing in somewhere north of 15lbs) - and proved to myself I could get away with .45-70 in a heavy enough gun.
NNCAS President Tim Galligan (aka "Jasper Agate) graciously let me fire his .50-70 Remington Rolling Block rifle (circa 1871) in a timed run. The .50-70 had a surprisingly gentle kick for such a light rifle.
While for some, coach guns (side-by-side double barreled shotguns) may be old hat, it's something I've never had the chance to shoot before - and having the Nevada State Champion introduce me, complete with coaching, was a heck of a thrill.
I honestly can't say when I've had a better day shooting that left me walking away feeling more confident in my skills.
Then, as our group began to fade around 4 p.m., Galligan came over and brought us to the meeting hall to be sure we were properly fed, watered and socialized before setting us loose on the modern world.
Darned nice folks and you couldn't ask for a more hospitable bunch. Well worth ringing up if you're in Reno and seeing if you can join one of there nearly weekly shoots.
Cowboy Action Shooting as we know it originated under the aegis of the Single Action Shooters Society, a group dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the sport. Today it is the fastest growing of the competitive shooting sports and a number of other groups and associations that are more or less tightly associated with SASS are a large part of that growth.
Depending on the group and organization, the firearms allowed may differ - but in general fall into the range "was