Straight Shooting

We’ve all seen the shootouts in old westerns … a pair of cowboys meet on Main Street, pace off a distance, turn and … “BANG!” Maybe it’s the scene with the bad guys chasing the good guys on horseback with pistols and rifles blasting away at each other. Hollywood certainly makes it look easy, but single action shooting is an artform and I have neighbors who have mastered it. Roberta and Blaine have spent years on the competitive single action shooting circuit. I didn’t even know there was such a thing until I met them!

Last week, Roberta sent me a text with the dates and times she and Blaine would be competing nearby. I put the times on the calendar and we made plans to check it out. We got lucky. The skies turned blue; the weather heated up a bit. We donned our favorite western wear to blend in and made our way to the shooting facility.

Cowboy hats to keep the sun off our faces … we were wearing boots, too.

The competition involves hundreds of shooters, but it’s well organized and the information desk quickly pointed us in the right direction. We wandered past the food trucks spewing mouth-watering aromas as they heated up ahead of the lunch rush. We strolled past the scenes constructed for the various shooting contests. It was fairly easy to find Roberta and Blaine. She was sporting red and black western wear with sparkles and fringe and he was right there by her side.

We spotted Roberta getting her weapons ready.

The process was amazing. There is clearly a roster for each group and it appears the shooting order is set in advance. Each shooter, as his or her turn approaches, takes their weapons to a table and loads the necessary ammo into shotguns, rifles and pistols.

Blaine loads his pistol as he prepares to compete.

As Roberta’s turn approached, it was thrilling to watch her concentration. Her hands moved as she mentally went through the scenario. When she was “on deck” her focus was clear. She bowed her head, steadied her breathing and finely tuned her thoughts. 

Roberta takes a moment to focus on the task ahead.

We watched two separate scenarios and her method was the same each time. It’s a testament to why she is a current national title holder. The contests are scored on time and accuracy. Her skills were obvious.

Roberta makes knocking the targets over look easy.

I didn’t know anything about the single action shooting world until we met these two friends. While my knowledge is still minimal, I feel like I have a clearer understanding of what it takes to hit the bullseye of a target – the practice and dedication to a craft. It’s exciting to know people who have that sense of commitment and have turned it into tremendous success.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Celebrate your friends’ successes along the way.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2023 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.

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