Monday, September 13, 2010

Break out the Thompson and Fedora!

There is a new action shooting sport on the scene, Zoot Shooting! Zoot for the type of baggy ostentatious and flamboyant suits associated with gangsters, and Shooting, for 1920s-1930s flavored action shooting. I have long been interested in the Prohibition and Depression eras that lasted from 1920 to World War II. I love the clothes, the history, and the classic guns of the period. This shooting sport may be the best one yet. First of all it means that the Thompson 1927A1, semi auto is a main match gun. I can’t wait to break mine out! Second, of all the M1911, Luger, Webley, Mauser broom handle, numerous Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers, a bunch of .32 ACP semi automatics, as well as single actions and lever guns all have a place. The rules specify the gun must be pre 1939 configuration. One alibi, pistol cartridges for rifles, except the (351 win SL in the model 1907 Winchester rifle). Third, it’s a great excuse to wear the coolest hat ever, the Fedora.
One of the best things about Zoot shooting is the emphasis on fun and costume. The ladies can be gangsters, gangster molls, flappers, or anything else. The ladies have a great excuse to get great outfits and have as much fun as the men. Men can have gangster or police personas, or private investigators, adventurers (think 1930s pulp magazine heroes) or anything that fits in the era. This promises to be fun and exciting, a logical extension of Cowboy Action Shooting. However, according to the Zoot shooters website, , fun is the main ingredient and the point of this sport. In my opinion, the gamesmen, who try to shave a 1/100th of a second off their time, need to go somewhere else. Ditto, with all the expensive gun modifications and other trick gear nonsense that has crept into every other shooting sport. My prediction is that Zoot Shooting will be very successful, IF, AND ONLY IF it does not become another gear race. Another thing that will help is a rule change that would let the ladies shoot .22 LR weapons. Many gals just trying out the sport will be happier with lighter smaller rifles and pistols. The .22LR fills the bill and the cost of guns and ammo is minimal. I hope the leadership of the American Zoot Shooters Association (AZSA) are listening!
This sport has the ability to bring in the lady shooters in a big way. The fashions of the 1920s and 1930s were dazzling, I can see the matches held in conjunction with dances, antique car shows, dinners, or other events. The idea of Zoot Shooting, has the potential to be something really different in the shooting sports. I have wanted a less competition intensive and more fun oriented sport for a long time. This is a great way to shoot classic firearms and have fun. Go to the Zoot Shooter’s website for the rules, matches and how to join. I’m going to try to start a group in my area, we’ll see what happens……

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