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Tibby Levinson, aka Sanora Blaze, a member of the San Creek Raiders, shows off her rig at the Siege at the Bird Cage Single Action Shooting Society event at the San Juan Range on Saturday.

Deadly Downunder, Corkscrew Sam, Burgandy Balou and Kodiak Kid.

These are just a few of the folks’ names who are getting their six-shooters ready in anticipation of this weekend’s Cowboy Action Colorado State Championship.

Competition is slated to take place Friday through Sunday at the San Juan Shooting Range in Montrose.

Ron Bunch, who operates the shooting range, said the event will have men, women, boys and girls. The list of competitors is more than 100 people long.

The Colorado State Championship is an event organized by the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), a group of more than 100,000 members from all around the world. They all have one thing in common — a fascination with the shooting styles of the Wild West.

Competitions like the one taking place Saturday are just as much of a social event as they are a shooting competition. People take on old West names, dress in 1800s cowboy and cowgirl garb and shoot old-style guns.

The guns —single-action revolvers, pistol-caliber lever-action rifles and old-time shotguns — are loaded down to below-velocity, meaning they’re not as powerful or as noisy as other guns.

The competition is based not just on accuracy, like in many shooting competitions, but on speed as well.

“They’ll be shooting still targets,” Bunch said. “They’re time-based events. Say you have 24 targets, your score is based on how fast you shoot those targets; and each one you miss give a time penalty.”

The fastest times at the end win. And winners of the overall competition have the chance to advance to regional competitions, or even the world championship for SASS, which is coming up later this month in Founders Ranch, New Mexico.

“Two or three of them that are coming here are world-class shooters,” Bunch said, adding there will even be a world champion or two.

There will be 28 different competitions, every one a little bit different from the others, Bunch said.

A tentative schedule can be found online at sanjuanrange.com. The Top Gun Shoot Off takes place Sunday.

San Juan Shooting Range is at 19878 Dave Wood Road in Montrose. The shooting event is free to the public.

Justin Tubbs is the managing editor for the Montrose Daily Press.


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