Annual competition brings western gunslingers to Moffat County |

Annual competition brings western gunslingers to Moffat County

CRAIG — Rapscallions and scalawags didn't stand a chance against cowboy action shooters at the Northwest Colorado Rangers "Where the Old West Stayed Young" 2018 Annual Match.

Cowboy Action Shooting is a sport that pays homage to America's Wild West heritage. Participants use firearms typical of those used to tame the Old West — single action revolvers, pistol-caliber lever-action rifles and old time shotguns.

Rules require participants to adopt aliases and wear costumes appropriate to a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Hollywood western star or from western fiction.

About 40 cowboys, miners, sodbusters, townies, gamblers, saloon girls, soldiers and characters representing all strata of old west society attended the weekend match. Held May 25 through May 27, the competition offered two full days of shooting — the main match with 12 stages and a full slate of side matches.

The main match consisted of 12 stages where each tasked competitors with completing a series of shots based on a scenario. For example, in stage seven, shooters were told, "A band of pernicious pickpockets has you cornered against the wall. You have to rely upon dauntless daring-do to get out of this one."

They were then instructed to start "standing with your back against the wall, hands at low surrender, both pistols loaded with five and holstered, rifle loaded with 10 and open-empty shotgun staged on either bale. On signal: move to rifle and double tap targets R1 through R5, any order. Make rifle safe, retrieve a shotgun and engage shotgun targets in front of you. Move to other bale, and engage remaining shotgun targets. Make shotgun safe, and with pistols, double tap targets P1 through P5 in any order."

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The overall winner of the main matches was Beefcake, who completed all stages with a time of 386.91, followed by Sam Balin, who took second with a time of 410.87, and I.B. One Eye, who placed third place with a time of 447.20.

Side matches offered shooters the opportunity to test their skills using derringers and pocket pistols in addition to sidearms, shotguns and rifles.

Northwest Colorado Rangers hold monthly four-stage matches on the fourth Saturday of April through September at the Bears Ears Sportsman Club's Cedar Mountain Range. The public is welcome to watch.

"We have a good time while being mindful of safety, one of the most important aspects of cowboy action shooting," said Black Mountain Cat.

Main match final results

To view the results by categories visit:

Side match results
(Event — shooter, hits and/or score)

  • Shotgun double — Sam Balin, 13.49
  • Shotgun pump — Soda Creek Jack, 4.50
  • Shotgun lever — Colorado Hank, 10.33
  • Derringer — Beefcake, 7.86
  • Pocket pistol — J.B., 1.14
  • Big bore lever rifle — J.B., 5-hits
  • Quigley — Doc Murdock, 2 hits
  • Pistol caliber rifle — Beefcake, 10 hits, 21.09
  • LR pistol — Trigger Mortise, 5 hits, 11.25
  • Rimfire — Beefcake, 15 hits, 16.01
  • Gunfighter — I.B.Oneeye, 10 hits, 5.29
  • Single shot rifle — Colorado Hank won shoot off

For more information about joining the cowboy shooting action, call Captain Sagebrush Burns at 970-824-8407 or Black Mountain Cat at 970-201-4773.


Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or