I’ve been investigating SASS Wild Bunch (WB) shooting as a possible participant. I’ll have to take a pass. I hate writing negatively, but these guys deserve it. I just reviewed the rules on SASS’s Wild bunch shooting and I just can’t do it. Too restrictive, too cliquish, too illogical. Here is some of the WB’s twisted thinking. The category was inspired by the movie “The Wild Bunch” which premiered in 1970, except it isn’’t. The category reflect the frontier period until about 1917, except it doesn’t. The category is supposed to be fun, except it isn’t.
Do these guys look like they want to follow rules????
My major problem with the Wild Bunch is the rule book. Bureaucrats that seem to be determined to take the fun out of shooting crafted this set of rules. They’ve created a traditional and modern category for pistols, as long as it is a M1911. Somehow modern 1911s and cowboy clothes just don’t fit any logic I can think of. “Well, they want more people to compete, so modern 1911s are allowed” This would make sense if they didn’t restrict rifles to over .40 caliber, patterned from 1866 to 1899. This means 38-40, 44-40, and 45 Colt lever guns only. What is the 1917 date about again????
But then, a competitor can use a Model 1897 trench gun shotgun (introduced in 1918) but not a Model 1912 (introduced in 1912) riot or trench gun (as used by actor Bo Hopkins in the movie). There is also a problem with gage. Only 12 Gage Winchester 1897s are allowed, 16 gage guns need not apply (female shooters would appreciate inclusion of the sweet 16).
The real problem is attitude. If the aim of a shooting sport is participation, broaden the rules so that other equipment can be used!! Scrap the caliber restrictions, gage restrictions, and most of all open it up to guns made until 1920 or 1925. Lugers, Mauser C-96,and other interesting pistols and revolvers from the period would add color and interest. Shoulder arms could be expanded to the Winchester Model 1907 and others. How cool would a reproduction Pedersen device for a M1903 Springfield MK I be!!!! And dare I say even a semi-auto Thompson? Look at the poster!!!
There is a SASS club in Colorado, the Sand Creek Raiders, that do this and they seem very successful. They were smart enough to throw away the SASS WB rulebook and use common sense to have fun.