The Oklahoma City Gun Club resembled the Old West this weekend as its gun range north of Arcadia is the site for the annual “Land Run” cowboy action shoot.
Sunday is the final day of the three-day competition, which features contestants dressed in attire fitting for the time period and shooting the guns of the Old West. The design of the guns used in cowboy action shoots must have been available in 1899.
The Land Run is one of the largest cowboy action shoots in the country. This year’s competition attracted 350 shooters from 25 states and Australia.
The shooting contest is based on speed and accuracy. From prop to prop, shooters move in groups with other shooters called posses, where they must fire two pistols, a shotgun and a lever- action rifle of pistol caliber at a series of steel plates.
They must follow the instructions for each shooting scenario (order of the shoot, how many times, etc.) and complete each shoot as quickly as possible. A 5-second penalty is imposed for each miss or target shot out of order.
Brian Tosen loves playing cowboy so much that he moved from Australia to Edmond earlier this month just to compete in cowboy action matches.
He and his fiancée picked Oklahoma because of the friendship they developed while attending cowboy action shoots at the OKC Gun Club in the past.
Oklahoma City also is centrally located, so they can travel more easily to other cowboy shoots in the country, Tosen said.
“It’s just a fantastic game and we enjoy it,” said Tosen, 65, who is retired. “It costs us a lot of money but we don’t care. We have an absolute ball. It’s what I wanted to do. She is just as keen as I am. We just love it.”
Tosen, whose cowboy alias is “Jackaroo” (a requirement of competitors in cowboy action shoots is they must have an alias), has been shooting at cowboy action events since 1997. Two of his comrades from Australia even traveled to Oklahoma City to compete in this weekend’s shoot.
The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) is the national governing body for the sport, which holds its world championships in June at the Founders Ranch in Edgewood, N.M.