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The SASS Wild Bunch Forum

Trends in action shooting

Abe E.S. Corpus

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I started cowboy action seven years ago.  Atbthat time it seemed that most stage instructions were specific as to shooting positions, target designations and even target order.  Over time, though, I noticed some changes: sweeps could begin on either side of a target array.  The shooter begins at Position A but can move to either Position B or Position C.  I have seen this general trend in Wild Bunch.


My local club lost its Wild Bunch match day to Three Gun.  There was a growing demand among club members and numbers matter.  I tried it a couple of times.  One of the features that I found interesting was how shooters were sometimes given the option of which firearms to use when engaging targets.  For example, on a particular stage the shooter could engage KDs with pistol or shotgun.  Very interesting.


I shot a Wild Bunch match yesterday.  On one stage there was a line of poppers.  Stage instructions said to engage three KDs with the rifle, then shoot the shotgun, and with the pistol alternate between a static target and KDs.  From the written instructions it appeared that the rifle targets were the ones on the right end of the array but in the walkthrough the MD said that the shooter could engage any three KDs with the rifle.  Because the static target was above the right side of the target array, I decided to engage the poppers on the left side of the array, so that less movement was needed to alternate pistol shots between the static target and the remaining KDs.


I thought the flexibility in that stage was interesting.  It made me think.


Has anyone seen this in Wild Bunch matches?  Think it's a good idea?

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It's getting more and more common.  Most WB shooters I know REALLY want and enjoy the flexibility and "puzzle-solving" aspects that this introduces into the game.


Some folks, however, dislike having to figure out "the best way" - they'll say, just tell me how to shoot it and I will.  or "don't make this match a memory quiz"


A flexible stage is certainly harder on the spotters.  One way to reduce the load on spotters is to use more knockdowns (reactive targets) on those stages.  If the stage is "all knockdowns" - spotting is easy.  Just watch for any Ps or Safetys, and the misses "count themselves"


The happy spot right now - mix "static path" and "several flexible ways thru stage" until the grumbling dies down.    ;D


Good luck, GJ

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IMHO, the stage conventions have really freed up the writer to be more flexible.  Not having to say, stage this, re-stage that, move safely, open and empty, etc. makes for more streamlined stage writing.  The Grail is to make a stage with shooting challenges and movement that flows using as few words as possible.  It's a fun "game" to play when writing stages to try to be simple, using as few words as possible. 


For example, assuming a set of six target plates, something like this might emerge.  Stage gunz anywhere.  Use as many gunz as you wish.  At buzzer, place six shots on each target.  The end.


It seems confusion (and subsequent complaint) is largely the result of match directors who continue to specify staging and safety matters that have been completely cleared up by the stage conventions.  In other words, if all matches were SASS compliant, and all match directors understood the spirit of the conventions, questions for clarification about stage directions would largely disappear and shooters would assume responsibility for movement, safety, staging, order of engagement, and most other procedures during a course of fire.  Flexibility and choice would become the norm.


As my colleague, Blaze, always reminds me: "It's supposed to be a gunfight."  Little is specified in such situations other than the number of bad guys, shoot straight, be smooth, and go fast.



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