As published in Cowboy Chronicle, March 1998
Four years ago in a motel room in Southern Indiana, I turned on the TV set and flipped through the channels 'till I found something real good. I had always been a fan of old westerns, but this time I found something quite different. I watched a program where a bunch of cowboys were shooting bad guys with real bullets, and not going to jail! Then out came a shotgun, and down went something called "poppers". The more the cowboys shot, the more excited I became. The program couldn't have lasted long enough for me. I was really interested in what the cowboys were doing, because it looked like so much fun. I had never seen shooting in this manner before...just so much fun. Who were these people? How do I join their groups so I can have some of this fun?
Hooked at first sight, I told myself I was going to join the cowboys so I too, could play the game. I really wanted to dress-up and shoot cowboy action style. I have shot targets before as a paper puncher with a 1911 and M1 Grand but I didn't own a single action, lever action, or old double or '97 shotgun. That didn't stop me. I called E.M.F. Corp., obtained SASS® phone number, and called to receive my first Cowboy Chronicle.
I discovered a club in Detroit shooting cowboy action style. I called this club, and they said, "Come on up." They helped me with what gear I didn't have, setting the hook deeper while I had a great time shooting that first, wonderful match.
Next I went after my own gear, and couldn't find exactly what I wanted to buy in a rifle. I wanted an 1894 Winchester lever action rifle in a cowboy caliber. So, I proceeded to convert my first 1894 Winchester to a .44-40 caliber. I have continued to do these conversions in many caliber's for other cowboys who wanted a special rifle not obtainable elsewhere at a reasonable price.
With rifle handled, I tackled pistols and shotguns, and obtained what I wanted - Colts and a Winchester '97. Then I turned to leather goods to hold that gear. Eventually, I became a distributor for leather products to help other cowboys and cowgirls get their own gear. That's one thing I like about this sport - it's for cowgirls and cowpokes alike, and we can't have enough of them.
I enjoy instructing and guiding new people and helping them out. I am constantly promoting and encouraging others to join SASS® and to enjoy Cowboy Action Shooting. I now shoot several times a month all year round, and go to different matches to meet new people and learn about others and their styles of shooting
Diamond Jim with his mother and brothers
at a real Ghost Town in Bodie California.