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The Outlaw Travis James
by on February 25, 2019

This week was a very busy and productive one in regards to CAS. 

My girlfriend, Chickie Winsome, has been talking about her interest in shooting CAS.  She comes to most of the shoots and has become our un-official photographer and my videographer.  We have somewhat half-heartedly been looking for some guns for her to buy.  But over the past few weeks she has really been shopping.  I showed her a few websites like,, and ye olde faithful (even if it is a dinosite) the SASSNet Classifieds.  So she has been sending me a few links a day of guns she liked.  It was pretty cool to be able to explain the things she needed to look for.  I learn a lot when I have to explain things because I have to make sure that I understand it before I tell someone else about a subject.

Being new to CAS, I just went through this when looking for my first set of guns.  I decided I wanted to shoot an Uberti 73, Ruger New Vaqueros, and an original Winchester 97 pump after months of reading, watching YouTube, talking to cowboys at shoots, and talking to them on the SASSnet and ASN.  During the first shoots I attended, the cowboys were literally shoving guns in my hands to try.  I got to shoot nearly every common SASS legal gun you could think of.  So my decision was based on advice, personal research, and most importantly my personal experience with shooting the guns.

A video at my first shoot using a '73 and an SKS SxS

Flashback to 2 weeks ago when we went to the OK Corral Gun Club and Chickie shot my guns a few times.  I wanted her to actually feel what it was like to shoot them.  20190209_100958_med.jpg

I was recommending that she use a SxS because typically they are less bulky and easier to move.  But she shoot the 97 and really liked it.  So she has decided to go with pretty much the same guns that I shoot. 

She didn't want to wear any leather so I staged all the guns and shotgun shells on tables.  She shot for accuracy and was very deliberate which was good.  We confirmed a suspicion I had that she is cross eye dominant.  She is right handed but left eye dominant.  She says she uses her left eye to take pictures as well.  Confirming this will be good so that we can make some minor adjustments to how she shoots.  

Chickie Winsome's very first live fire practice.

Uberti Stage 3.JPG

So this week, we really narrowed in on a rifle.  It was a really tricked out '73 deluxe pistol grip rifle.  It had an octagonal barrel which was the only thing I didn't like.  We were looking for a full round or at least half round so that it would be lighter.  But that was the only thing wrong with it.  It was practically brand new with a full Stage 3 Pioneer Guns Works race kit installed.  She doesn't necessarily need that at this point, but for the price it was too hard to pass up.  I started communicating with the seller and we came to an agreement.  Next week we should have another '73 in the cowboy arsenal.  She is going to have a nicer rifle than I do.  But who says that I can't use it when she isn't shooting, right? :cowboy:



0U7A1214_fix_med.jpgSaturday morning was the usual shoot morning.  Up at 5:45 to get in the shower and get ready to go.  I always pack the night before because I don't want to forget anything.  I am not the most clearheaded first thing in the morning.  Having an hour or more drive first thing has it's advantages.  We drove the 45 minutes northwest to Okeechobee where the OK Corral Gun Club is. 


This range is excellent and we have our very own permanent cowboy town there.  8 stages for us to use with tiki huts for shade, a restaurant, and cabins.   It feels like a country club for shooting.0U7A1255_fix_med.jpg








The morning started with the usual registration, chatting, safety briefing, pledge and we observed a moment of silence for a cowboy who past.  We then had a Rolling Thunder in his honor.  Chickie Winsome has become the unofficial club photographer.  She took a video of the Rolling Thunder and I made a commemoration from it.  ;

We had 3 visiting shooters join us on Saturday.  Two of them, Gun Em Down and Running Doe, where down from Virginia and another, Poncho, was down from Kentucky.  I always enjoy having different shooters to watch because I get to learn from them.  Polecat Joe and Seth Adams decided to spilt the group into 2 posses.  I was assigned to posse 1 and we started at stage 1.  I started off really solid with a clean stage.  I have a good habit of almost always having clean stages on the first and last each shoot.  Now if I could pull it together during those middle stages maybe I could have a decent run. :sunglasses:  

Playlist of my stages from Saturday:

At this point, my focus is on shooting accurately and smoothly.  I want to shoot fast and be competitive but I also want to shoot clean while doing that.  A fellow cowboy and very fast shooter always tells me that I am training myself to move slow.  But I look at it like when I learned to play drums.  You have to start out slow and get the technique perfect.  Once that happens, you start to speed everything up.  Maybe I am wrong but this is my strategy for now.  If it proves foolish then I will change my strategy.  

I had a really fun day at the range was was in a really good mood.  I had 1 procedural and 1 miss but had 3 stages under 24 seconds.  I ended the day with a total time of 167.13 seconds for 6 stages.  I placed 5th overall out of 20 shooters.  I normally don't worry about my overall placement but more my total time.  This was the fastest time for 6 stages I have had in my short 5 1/2 months of cowboy shooting and averages out to 27.86 seconds per stage.  This is how I have been tracking my improvement and I am really happy with this because it is a  personal best to this point.

The overall winner was our visitor, Gun Em Down, with a total time of 139.51 seconds and his companion, Running Doe was the top woman at 156.88.  There were a lot of stages that required us to really pay attention and they were challenging but not bad.  I like when the stages require a little more attention to detail.

After the shoot we went and ate like we normally do at the restaurant at the Gun Club.  While we where eating I checked my emails really quickly.  I had sent a few the night before inquiring about a few different guns and wanted to see if anyone had replied.

I was in luck!  A cowboy had responded about a really nice '97 and his response was even better than I could have hoped for in regards to the amount of work that had been done to it.  It was an original Winchester made in 1931 and had completely reworked the entire shotgun.  Re-blued it, refinished the stock and fore grip, etc.  The price was a steal so I made him an offer and we came to an agreement.  When we left from the gun club and went back to the post office to get another money order to send off for the '97!  

So this week we added 2 new guns and I had my fastest average stage times.  All in all a really great week for CAS,.  Next weekend I have the Gold Coast Gunslingers Main Match on Saturday.  And then a bunch of weapons maintenance.  The second weekend of the month is typically my off weekend.  And then is the Ides of March.  This will be my very first multi-day shoot and it should be really fun! 

Until next weekend...

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