Frequently Asked Questions

What is Single Action Shooting?

Single Action Shooting is a recognized international discipline which uses firearms either original, replica or a modern equivalent of firearms used in the American wild west of pre 1899

Tell Me More About the Guns Used

Hanguns must be single action manufactures pre-1899, or approved replicas.  Calibres may not be less than .32, and not more than .45. 

Rifles must be originals or replicas of of lever or slide action rifles manufactured during the period 1860 to 1899, incorporating a tubular magazine and exposed hammer.  Permitted rifle calibres are .32 to .45. Rifle calibres (e.g. 30-30) are not allowed in Single Action Main Match, but are used in Long Range Rifle Side Events.

Shotguns must be typical of the period 1860-1899, side-by-side with or without external hammers and with single or double triggers allowed. Side-by-side shotguns may not use automatic ejectors.  Lever action, tubular feed, exposed hammer shotguns of the period are allowed.

Why Do I have To Have An Alias?

We are a re-enactment sport.  We re-enact the are of the Old West as depicted in the western movies of the 1930’s – 1960’s.  As part of the theatre, we each create  a persona and adopt an alias which may be drawn from from the pages of history (e.g. Wyatt Earp), or may come from a favorite move or TV show (e.g. Rowdy), or could arise from your own fertile imagination (e.g. Still Waters).

Do I Really Have To Dress Up as a Cowboy/Cowgirl?

Yes you do.  Again, this is a key element of our re-enactment status and it is because we are a re-enactment sport that we are permitted to use handguns over .38 up to .45 – one of only a very few handgun shooting disciplines allowed to do so.  Our rules on the matter of dress are very strict – you must be dressed “cowboy” for any Single Action function or activity.  But cowboy clothing can be as basic as a pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt, elastic sided boots, and a stetson hat.  Or, as many do, you can embrace the costumery side of things and suit up from the excellent on-line US stores which cater for the huge market over there.  You quickly come to appreciate that dressing for the role is an important (and fun) part of the sport.  

We do not permit clothing such as cargo pants, cammo wear, T shirts, baseball caps or sneakers.

What is ”Spirit of the Game”?

“Spirit of the Game” is a Rule of the discipline which, if infringed in competition will result in penalty.     “Spirit of the Game” means you fully participate in what the competition asks. You do not look for ways to create an advantage out of what is or is not stated as a rule or shooting procedure.  Perhaps more importantly, it is the ethic which defines Single Action shooting.

Single Action Shooting holds to traditions of fair play and honor among competitors. These qualities stand before competitive superiority, and it is this which attracts many. It sets a good example for kids to see people at all levels of a sport interacting on an equal footing and showing respect to all and to the rules of the sport.

Some folks would call ”The Spirit of the Game” nothing more than good sportsmanship; respect and courtesy for others; playing the game; pitching in and helping.  Whatever you call it if you don’t have it, Cowboy Action Shooting is not your game.

How do I get Licenses for Handguns and Long Guns?

Your Long Gun (Category A+B) Licence is applied for after you attend a safety course and test conducted by Victoria Police. You do not need to be a member of a a shooting club to get this licence. If you contact your local police station they will able to tell you when and where these courses are conducted in your local area.  Or check out

To obtain a handgun (General Category Handgun) licence you first need to be a members of an approved handgun shooting club such as Little River Raiders.  You may then take out a provisional handgun licence  for a period of 6 or 12 months (your choice).  Whilst under that provisional licence you must:

  • complete a Handgun Safety Course arranged by the Club;
  • compete in a minimum 5 club matches in the first six months of your provisional licence;

After six months on a Provisional Licence, and completing the above steps, you may apply for a full General Category Handgun (Target) Licence.

The club is there to assist you in the process but bear in mind it does take a minimum of six months to get to the application stage for your full Handgun Licence

Can I become a world champion?

Yes you can.  Just as in any sport, apply yourself and you can rise to the top.

Australia can already claim  a recent Junior World Champion in Savage Sam, a young man from off a farm in western NSW.

What if I’m in it Just to Have Fun?

No problem!  After all, that’s what we’re all there for.  We’ll all welcome success if it comes along, but our our personal enjoyment of the sport is our main motivator.  “If’n yer ain’t gittin’ any fun outa it, yer won’t stick around for long”.

Even if you’re only in it for fun, you are still eligible to  compete at any of the State, National and International championships matches.  That’s the great thing about Single Action, it’ll give you the same welcome no matter whether you’re a champ or a chump.  And you’ll meet some other real nice folks.

Where will I fit in?

SASS offers you a wide range of shooting categories  based upon age, gender, shooting style, costuming, equipment and propellant. There is no problem for you to find a category which suits you. From the traditional style of ”The Dark Side” using black powder in your firearms and costumes to match, or to the ”Gunfighter” using the one handed shooting style, or ”B Western” which embodies the movie style cowboy heroes and villains of the silver screen, there is sure to be a place for you in Single Action Shooting.

Sporting Shooting Club