Sixguns Flame At The Cowboy Fast Draw Northwest Territorial Championship 2009

Posted By on June 21, 2009

By: Andy FinkZane shows his moves
Photo Note: Photos taken from the front are from behind safety lexan.

The young cowboy had a smile on his face as he looked at the older gunfighter. You’re going down, he said. The other’s smile just got bigger as he tipped his broad rimmed cowboy hat back. Your times aren’t good enough to beat me. They waited until the range officer had cleared the line and gave the command, load and make ready. They slowly drew their sixguns from their 1880s era holsters and opening the loading gate spun the cylinders of their New Ruger Vaqueros in .45 Colt. Accepting one round at a time from their hand judges, they loaded the five cases one at a time checking each as they were pushed into the chambers. Each case was loaded with a 15-grain wax bullet and about .35 grains of Hodgen?s Tripple 777 powder.

 4 kids shooting it out 2

Spinning the cylinder, they checked to make sure that when they closed the loading gate locking the cylinder in place that the hammer would be resting on an empty chamber. They showed their hand judge the gun was ready. The sixgun was slowly put back in the holster and they were set to go. The hand judges took their places on the stools behind the young men indicating to the range officer that their shooter was ready and the sixgun was holstered.

Spud getting ready to draw 4The tension mounted, eyes were fixed on the 24 diameter steel targets with an amber go light set in the middle. The targets were set at 21-feet from the firing line the distance of the Master Gunfighter!

The range officer’s voice was loud as he told the timer, The line is ready. The timer spoke, Gunfighters are ready. Shooters on the line, .set. There was a slight pause between the words line and set. The timer released the start button at the word set and the random generator picked the time to light up the LED lights in the middle of the target.

The right hand of both the young men was wrapped around the grip of their sixgun. Their off-hand was held out straight in front of them, but off to the side so it wasn’t in front of their bodies. Their eyes squinted and they tried not to tense as they realized their time was coming. Flash! The light came on. Their sixguns flew out of their holsters and as they came up their off-hand came over, met their gun hand and the thumb of their off-hand caught the hammer pulling the hammer back as they thrust their sixgun toward the target.

Zane against the adults as a junior               

             Zane, as a junior, had to shoot against the adults in the main match.

Kaboom! A flash and black powder smoke poured out of the barrels as the wax bullet went splat against the steel target. Each of their hits on the targets was evident by the round spot showing up against the white lithium grease that had been placed on the target.

Boy at benchLane one, a .689 and lane two a .725, that is sixth tenths and seven tens of a second! Spud one has one and Cactus Kid has zero.

Both young men got ready for their second shot as they knew it was the best three hits out of five that won the round; that is if all of their shots hit the target. Spud was up by one and new he had a slight advantage. Cactus Kid would have to dig down and see if he couldn?t speed up his time by a few hundredths of a second. Kaboom! Another flash and smoke and the twang as the bullets hit.

Cowboy fast draw is one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the country. Replica Old West single-action sixguns chambered in .45 Colt are used. It is a sport that can be set up and shot most anywhere, has a fairly low cost to get into, celebrates the traditions of the Old West, and is just down right fun! Imagine playing a cowboy. Now you can do it whether you are eight or 84!

Sweet Pea and targetJuniors are a big part of cowboy fast draw as there is an emphasis on both getting new shooters started in the game and on safety. Safety is always the first consideration. This means young shooters must go through safety classes and be approved prior to participating at events. The instruction is very thorough and covers all of the standard gun safety rules as well as the function of the six-gun, the draw, gun handling, and how to conduct oneself on the firing line. Learning life skills such as respect, concern for others, patience, confidence, focus, and how to take care of your gear are all a part of the program.

Annie B Goode 2      Boy in cleaning tent

Of course, once this is accomplished you have the dress up. Yep, you get to get dressed as a cowboy or and cowgirl and show off your favorite duds. Each person also has an alias such as Spud, Cactus Kid, Sweet Pea, or Greased Lightning. There are new friends to make and old friends to see and lots, and lots of fun.

Pactice RangeThe 2009 Cowboy Fast Draw (CFDA) Northwest Territorial Championship took place just outside of Caldwell, Idaho at the ranch of Annette and Shelley Arnold (Oops, I mean Miss B Haven and Calamity.) It was put on by the Treasure Valley Gunslingers and the Snake River Gunslingers and boy did they do a good job! There were two ranges one with 10 targets and the other with six. There was a huge cleaning area, a dry fire area to accommodate three people at a time, vendors row, and there were even coat racks and hat racks by the out houses. There was a scoring shed (the school) and each range had their own covered timing and control area as well as a raised platform for the range officer. There were even lockers over by the practice area. Boot Shop and two targetsOne of the nicest items from my point of view was that each range had small, clear, round, camera holes protected by safety lexan that I could place my camera behind and take front-on photos while being completely safe. There was even a hat rack next to the window and the window had a black cloth you could put over your head and keep the light out. Check out the round black hole in the window on the photo to the left. All of this was built in the Old West style. This is one of the very best ranges I have seen! A big hand goes to the Treasure Valley Gunslingers and Snake River Gunslingers.

Range 2 - 1

Not only were the facilities great but the match was run quickly and efficiently. It was a fun match and I had a blast seeing so many old friends. The people were just fantastic and very helpful. There were really nice prizes and the shooting competition was super.

Vendor 2

This was a three day event with a celebrity shoot the morning of Friday May 22nd, category shoot-offs in the afternoon, and the main match was conducted on Saturday and Sunday. This was a four X match; so if you got your four Xs on Saturday you could still shoot in the Second Chance Shoot Off on Sunday.

Main range

If you want to really have fun and get your kids started in shooting at a reasonable price, action shooting such as cowboy fast draw is a great way to go. Check out for the latest information, events, and rules.

Sweet Pea and Sign 1Click on any photo in this article and it will take you to Junior Shooters sets on flickr or go to and click on any photo in the GALLERY. There are two associated sets to the event. They are marked: CFDA Northwest Territorial 2009 Juniors and CFDA Northwest Territorial 2009 Adults.

Men?s Junior (16-17)

Zane West – Isaac Nowak (Zane came in 38th out of 71 men  nice shooting!)

Flag and schoolYouth Division

  • Cactus Kid – Oliver Johnson
  • Spud – Coby Coffman
  • Annie B. Goode – Anna Davis
  • Rebel Kid – Hunter Randolph
  • Sweet Pea – Elyssa Long
  • Greased Lightning – Stran Soward

4 kids shooting it out 3Annie Oakley Category

  • Annie B. Goode – Anna Davis
  • Sweet Pea – Elyssa Long

Billy The Kid Category

  • Cactus Kid – Oliver Johnson
  • Spud – Coby Coffman
  • Rebel Kid – Hunter Randolph
  • Greased Lightning – Stran Soward

Logo New 12-29-08

Copyright & Published By: Junior Shooters & Junior Sports Magazines Inc. June 2009

About The Author


3 Responses to “Sixguns Flame At The Cowboy Fast Draw Northwest Territorial Championship 2009”

  1. Good article dude Thank you

  2. Thx ! good article

  3. Hi ? very good web site you’ve produced. I enjoyed reading this posting. I did need to write a remark to tell you that the style of this internet site is extremely aesthetically pleasing. I utilized to be a graphic designer, now I’m a copy editor. I’ve always loved functioning with personal computers and am attempting to learn code in my spare time.