CategoriesRule of the Week

Unsafe firearm handling and the 170° rule.

I have noticed while shooting stages such as the Mine at the Oklahoma Territorial Marshals, the Fort at Indian Territory SASS, and the Ghetto Mine at Lincoln County Cowboys, that it is quite common for shooters to return back uprange once having finished the stage in such a way as to no longer have the barrels of their long gun(s) pointed in alignment with the 170° rule.

This confused me. As written in the Shooter’s Handbook the 170° rule is always to be observed at any particular time while on the range. But again, I’ve observed seasoned cowboys and cowgirls with years of Range Officer experience under their belts return uprange on one of these stages with their barrels pointed in a safe direction, but not within the 170°. So I did what I thought would be the most sensible thing in this situation: I called Roy’s Creek Dan.

Among other skills and accomplishments, Roy’s Creek Dan is an excellent cowboy gunsmith, a SASS End of Trail World Champion, and a Range Officer Instructor. From years of SASS experience and communication with the Range Officer Committee, Roy’s Creek Dan is virtually a walking SASS Shooter’s Handbook encyclopedia.

As soon as I brought this up with Roy’s Creek Dan, and before I could even finish describing my question, he knew where I was going. And his answer certainly did simplify things. According to Roy’s Creek Dan, the 170° rule only applies from the time the buzzer goes off until the last shot of the stage is fired. At all other times, the applicable rule would be Unsafe Firearm Handling.

Unsafe Firearm Handling is a bit of a catch-all, and is not exactly defined in the Shooter’s Handbook, other than as a reason for a Stage Disqualification Penalty. The spirit of the rule is contained within the Safety & Handling Conventions — All Firearms (page 15 of version 25.1 of the Shooter’s Handbook). With regards to the handling of your firearms other than during the shooting of the stage, this largely means pointing the barrels in a safe direction at all times while carrying them. From the Shooter’s Handbook:

The muzzles of all long guns must be maintained in a safe direction at all time (generally “up” and slightly downrange)

Rather than the 170° rule, it is Unsafe Firearm Handling which covers the shooter returning uprange, and this explains why I’ve never seen anyone penalized for breaking the 170° while doing so. This seems like common sense, but I’m glad to have this clarified for myself and I hope you find value in it as well.

CategoriesRule of the Week

Rule of the Week: Malfunctioning Firearms

As defined in the Shooter’s Handbook, a malfunction is the “failure of a gun or ammunition to function as designed or fire satisfactorily.”

It’s important to point out that in regards to the rules, a firearm is considered as malfunctioning only if the shooter audibly declares it so. That is, if the shooter’s firearm malfunctions, they cannot simply lay the gun down and proceed with the stage. The shooter must declare the firearm as malfunctioning before engaging in the next string of fire. If the shooter fails to declare the firearm as malfunctioning, but grounds the firearm nonetheless, the shooter will then be subject to any penalties resulting from this action such as those for live rounds left in the chamber, magazine, or carrier.

The applicable rule from page 27 of version 25.1 of the Shooter’s Handbook:

Malfunctioning firearms still containing rounds will not warrant penalties so long as the malfunction is declared and the firearm is made safe.

Once the firearm has been declared as malfunctioning and made safe–laid on a horizontal surface, pointing in a safe direction–the shooter may continue the stage. At the conclusion of the final string of fire, the shooter should return to the malfunctioning firearm and make an effort to clear the malfunction while still on the stage before heading to the unloading table. Clearing the malfunction while still on the stage minimizes safety risks and should the firearm discharge while being cleared, will not result in a Match Disqualification as long as it is pointed in a safe direction.

If the firearm cannot be expediently cleared while still on the stage, it can then be taken to the unloading table to be cleared. A shooter may only leave the firing line with an un-cleared, malfunctioning firearm if doing so under the direct supervision of a Match Official. Failure to follow this protocol will result in a Match Disqualification.

CategoriesClub RulesNews

2021 Membership and Match Fees

I updated our 2021: A new year for Indian Territory SASS blog post with this information, but I’m sure it’s easily overlooked.

As of this year, Indian Territory SASS will no longer maintain a membership separate from Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club. If you have registered for membership in 2021, your payment will either be refunded (if it’s already been deposited), or torn up (if it hasn’t been deposited). As mentioned previously, if you’re a cowboy shooter who regularly shoots at Buzzard Gulch and aren’t already a member of Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club, but would like to become one, contact our Mayor, Bad Crooked Aimes.

Additionally, we previously communicated that match fees for non-Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club members had gone up. I’m happy to announce that is no longer the case, and match fees for all shooters remains at $8.

CategoriesClub Rules

22LR Guidelines

Courtesy of Josey Kidd

As previously announced, with the shortage of reloading components currently available for purchase, Indian Territory SASS will be allowing adult competitors to participate in our matches using 22LR chambered firearms. While 22LR itself is also in short supply on store shelves, the intent here is that anyone who may have stockpiled it can now use their 22LR firearms to compete and perhaps save the centerfire ammunition for larger annual matches and championships.

Josey Kidd wrote up a set of rules for Tulsey Town Cattlemen’s Association to guide their use of 22LR. With the idea that it would be beneficial for both clubs to operate from the same set of rules, Josey was kind enough to allow Indian Territory SASS to use his guidelines as well. Below are the standards to which Indian Territory SASS will adhere for as long as we have this category. All portions, including allowing this category, are subject to change at any point, although such changes would be communicated.

22LR Guidelines: Indian Territory SASS

This club only category is being developed to help ease the burden of the primer and ammo shortage currently being experienced. The club has the right to abandon this category at any time if shortages recover, or if logistical reasons develop.

  • Ammunition: .22 Long Rifle standard-velocity ammunition only.
  • Revolvers: .22LR single-action pistols chambered for six rounds; e.g., Heritage Rough Rider, Ruger Wrangler, Ruger Single Six, Colt Frontier Scout, Uberti Cattleman, Uberti Stallion, Hawes and Jager .22LR single-actions. Only models that are chambered for six rounds so we can adhere to SASS safety measures of loading five rounds and have the hammer rest on an empty chamber.
  • Rifles: Rifles would include the Henry .22LR lever action models, of which there are many. As well as Rossi or Winchester pump-action gallery style rifles, Browning lever 22 rifle, Uberti Scout, Yellow Boys, and 1873’s are acceptable. Rifles must be lever or pump action.
  • Shotguns: Shotguns will remain the same as current SASS conventions for adult competitors.

Please feel free to contact one of the Indian Territory SASS officers with questions about firearms not listed or in question.

Safety Topics

  • While this is a .22LR cartridge, it is still a firearm and shall be treated with the same safety measures as all other firearms.
    • Pistols:
      • Many .22LR revolver cylinders are recessed, making it more difficult to determine if the hammer is over the empty cylinder. More care will have to be given while loading.
      • Additionally, due to the generally smaller frame size of most .22LR revolvers, they will fit somewhat loose in our normal holsters. Paying attention while holstering, drawing, and reholstering will be needed.
      • Movement on a stage will require shooter’s attention also, so a pistol doesn’t fly out of a holster.
    • Rifles:
      • Many .22LR rifles are loaded from a slot at the forward end of the magazine tube after unlatching and taking the follower most of the way out of the magazine. Because of the awkwardness of this maneuver, reloading on the clock will be discouraged. Stages will be written to prevent on the clock reloads during this time.

When signing up for the match, if shooting .22LR’s, you will be in one of two categories: .22LR Men’s, or .22LR Women’s. All shooting styles and costumes are accepted in these categories, with respect that your clothing should meet at least the bare minimum SASS requirements.

To keep it fair across the board, if you decide to shoot .22LR category, both pistols and rifle must be of .22LR caliber. Shotgun will be anything SASS legal for adults.

CategoriesRule of the Week

Rule of the Week: A Revolver’s Hammer

Another rule I’ve seen surface in quite a few of my recent matches regards the physical state of the hammer on a revolver when it leaves the shooter’s hand.

Page 22 of the Shooter’s Handbook states that “returning a revolver to leather with the hammer not fully down on a spent round or empty chamber” or “[a] cocked revolver leaving the shooter’s hand” are both Stage Disqualification Penalties.

Basically, if the hammer is anything but fully down on an empty chamber or spent round–half-cock is the same as full-cock in regards to this rule–and the revolver leaves your hand, it’s a Stage DQ. This also seems like a good moment to remind everyone that de-cocking any firearm without positive direction/approval to do so from the Chief Range Officer/Timer Operator is also a Stage DQ.


2021 Shooter’s Handbook Update: Make your own Pocket RO Card

SASS HQ just updated their Shooter’s Handbook v25.1 for 2021. I’m not seeing a changelog for it yet–although in the SASS Wire Palewolf Brunelle has said one is coming.

What I have noticed, however, is there is an updated Pocket RO Card (page 41).

I like to make my own laminated version of the Pocket RO Card to keep with me on the range. I’ve found that Scott Self-Sealing Laminating Pouches, 43/8″ x 63/8″ are the perfect size with which to laminate the Pocket RO Card…but some care has to be taken with the method of printing.

On my PC, I download the PDF version of the Handbook and open it using Adobe Acrobat. I then print only the page containing the Pocket RO Card, and choose to Fit the text to the standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Using the Fit option in the Print dialog box produces the appropriate size card–once cutout–to nearly perfectly fit the laminating pouches. See my screenshot below of the options I select in the Print dialog box.

I hope you find this tip helpful! In just a few matches’ worth of having my laminated Pocket RO Card it’s already come in handy a few times. I highly suggest keeping one with you for those occasions where there is confusion regarding a particular rule.


2021: A new year for Indian Territory SASS

As with the entire world, 2020 was a challenging year for Indian Territory SASS. Despite the hardships, thanks to the help of numerous dedicated members, volunteers, and shooters, 2020 was a good year at Buzzard Gulch. We put on as many matches as we could, and nearly every one of our stages saw major upkeep or renovation. We hope that you’ve been out to shoot with us recently, but if you haven’t, come see what all the fuss is about!

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation did prevent us from having our annual Christmas party this year. As a new member, I’m particularly disappointed this wasn’t able to happen as I’ve heard how enjoyable these get-togethers are. Alas. We’ll have to make up for it for Christmas 2021.
A new year brings even more changes at Indian Territory SASS, and there are a few changes to which we want to bring attention (in no particular order other than how they come to mind):

Match Fees

Match fees are changing slightly. For members of Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club, match fees are still $8, whereas non-members are now $10. Update January 11, 2021: All shooters still only $8 per match! If you’re a regular shooter at Indian Territory SASS and not already a member of Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club but are interested in joining, contact our Mayor, Bad Crooked Aimes, and he can help you to become a member.

Scheduling Change

It only happened a few times a year, but with our “Saturday following 2nd Sunday” schedule, our matches would sometimes overlap those of Tulsey Town Cattlemen’s Association. To avoid this, we’ve updated our Saturday match to simply be the 3rd Saturday of each month.     

Leadership Changes

As anyone on our email list will know, in 2020, Little Fat Buddy retired as the Town Clerk and was replaced by OK Dirty Dan. As of the end of last year, Tuckered Outlaw has hung up his spurs as Sheriff, and Marmelade has laid down her pencil as Banker. Therefore, Lucky Dollar has signed-on as Co-Sheriff and due to some further structural changes in relation to Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club, we no longer have a dedicated ITSASS Banker. Thank you Tuckered Outlaw and Marmelade for your distinguished service, and we hope to continue seeing you just as often or more so in 2021!

New Website

Just launched, you’re looking at it now! As mentioned above, we have remodeled our website and changed our domain name to avoid some unfortunate confusion. Going forward, our website address is–though please note that if you have any bookmarks to the old website, they should still work.

Pursuit into the Osage Nation

COVID-19 caused the cancelation of the 2020 version of this match, but we are planning to continue it in 2021. The continuing COVID-19 situation means we don’t yet know when it will be, but we are working with Woolaroc to keep the tradition alive.

Wednesday Matches…I mean practices

We will no longer be keeping or emailing “official” scores at our Wednesday matches. We will however publish the results to our website so those interested can see their times. Just practices.

Grumpy Buckaroos

Bring out your 22LRs. With the scarcity of ammo right now, we will allow shooters of any age to participate in matches using 22LR firearms. This will be its own category and you can shoot in any style you’d like, but the shooter would still need to be dressed in SASS eligible attire of some sort. Since it’s not an official SASS category a shooter from this category cannot be declared a match winner, but we hope it will encourage people to come on out and shoot. 

2021 Membership

Indian Territory SASS will no longer maintain a membership separate from Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club. If you have registered for membership in 2021, your payment will either be refunded (if it’s already deposited), or torn up (if it hasn’t been deposited). As mentioned above, if you’re a cowboy shooter who regularly shoots at Buzzard Gulch and aren’t already a member of Tulsa Red Castle Gun Club, but would like to become one, contact our Mayor, Bad Crooked Aimes.

CategoriesRule of the Week

Rule of the Week: Discarding of Long Guns

As I’ve seen this particular rule come to the fore in a few different matches lately, I’ll be highlighting it as my first Rule of the Week post.

From pages 17-18 of version 24.2 of the SASS Shooter’s Handbook (emphasis mine):

Long guns will be emptied and discarded with their barrels pointed safely downrange. This condition may be corrected on the clock, prior to the next round being fired. If the long gun is not discarded empty prior to the next firearm being fired, only the shooter may return to open and/or clear the firearm at the end of the stage under the observation of the CRO/TO. Should an empty casing/hull be ejected or found in the action or chamber, or a live round on the carrier of an open action, a Minor Safety Violation (MSV) will be assessed. However, if the action is opened, and a live/unfired round is ejected, a Stage DQ (SDQ) will be assessed for a long gun with a “live round under a cocked hammer having left the shooter’s hands”. In this case, there is no opportunity to correct this condition before firing the next firearm, as the penalty takes effect upon leaving the shooter’s hands.

–If the long gun is the last firearm used, it must be cleared prior to it leaving the shooters hand(s) at the unloading area.

–This does not apply to firearms shot out of sequence, made safe, and then restaged.

Shooters Handbook Vers 24_2 MASTER (

A recent example: A shooter fires nine shots from their rifle and sets the firearm down, barrels pointing down range, action open, but with a live round on the carrier. In this case, the shooter may return to the rifle before the next round is fired, engage the final target, then proceed with the stage and this would be a No Call. If, however, the shooter proceeded to fire their next gun (or were to place the rifle on the reloading table prior to clearing it if it were their last firearm used), then the shooter would be assessed a Minor Safety Violation.

A quick reference to this rule can also be found on the RO Pocket Card as the first item listed. The RO Pocket Card can be found as Section 8 of the Shooter’s Handbook.

CategoriesIndian Territory SASS TalesScores

ITSASS Match Recap – December 26, 2019

Howdy folks, Little fat Buddy with all the news fit to print from the 2019 Post Christmas Thursday shoot.
What a time we had.
Eighteen, yes, eighteen happy Christmas Elves came out for a fun winter shoot on the day after Christmas.    In keeping with the Christmas Spirit even the weather cooperated with beautiful weather, cool temperatures and light winds.
Our New Mayor, Bad Crooked Aims and his cadre of helpers, Tuckered Outlaw and Tom Slick, wrote up some fine stages for us to shoot:
There were two Merry Christmas Stages, two corral stages, one bordello stage and even a SPELLING CONTEST at the jail.  Yes a spelling contest for “HAPPY NEW YEAR, except the letters were mixed up and the correct spelling had to be shot in order.  One problem showed up however.  There were four letters on the shot gun targets which lasted exactly one shot before they were erased. So all we got to shoot was “HAPPY NEW YE”.
Well, I guess “Happy New Ye” got the message across ok.
Top shooters were:
# 1, Josey Kidd
#2, Lil Lump (A 12 year old sixth grade Buckaroo beat out all these guys)
#3 Tuckered Outlaw
#4 Brazos Valley Kid
Clean shooter was:
Josey Kidd
Our Next Shoot is the 5th Sunday shoot on 29 Dec 19, so come on out and don’t give up because maybe a 12 year old sixth grader won’t come out.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Keep on shootin Little fat Buddy
CategoriesIndian Territory SASS TalesScores

December 14, 2019 – ITSASS Match Recap

Hello friends!
We had a good, albeit cold time at our shoot yesterday and had 18 cowboys and cowgirls join us at the range!
Stages were written by Bearded Wonder who made them close and fast! So luckily, we got to enjoy our annual Christmas party around 1PM!
Big congrats goes to High Plains Hud, Angus Red, Irish Kid, Bearded Wonder, and Bad Crooked Aimes for taking the top 5 spots!

ALSO Big Round of Applause for our CLEAN Shooters: Bearded Wonder, Brazos Valley Kid, Gunny 00, High Plains Hud, and Irish Kid!

Thanks to everyone that came along to enjoy our shoot and the ITSASS Member Christmas Party!
Your Scores are on the website and I’ll share our party pictures on Facebook!

Purdy Good

Indian Territory SASS