Cowboy Action Shooting

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Cowboy Action Shooting at Hernando Sportsman's Club is taking local gun handlers back to the ole’ west complete with leather gun harness, spurs on them there boot heels and wide brimmed cowboy hats.

“I love the old west; I should have been born in 1860,” Shady Brady laughed.

Shady Brady (using his Wild West alias) has been involved with Cowboy Action Shooting since 1996, and with that passion and love for the Wild West, he keeps this event going for many to participate as well to watch.
Shady Brady overlooking the shooting areas during the Cowboy Action Shooting at Hernando Sportsman Club on Sunday

Cowboy Action Shooting started in the 1980’s with using guns from the old west. “You can’t use a gun that was available before 1900,” Shady Brady said.

Single action revolvers, double barrel shotguns, Winchester 97 and 1886 Winchester lever action are just some of the guns used during this event. Having experience, knowledge as well as safety training is extremely important, but before you put those pistols in your leather holster and acknowledge your posse by a tip of your cowboy hat, you must choose your Wild West name, because these folks don’t call you by your first name, your real name that is.

The shooting areas are set up as if you were in an old western town, that even includes a graveyard.

Lake City Kid aka Leslie Clapp has been involved with Cowboy Action shooting for around 6 years. “I am native Texan so I always been a cowboy, it brings back the period, the old idea of your word was your bond, the handshake was strong. That’s very much the way it is with any Cowboy club I have gone to.”

Clapp and his wife reside in Citrus County and have been participating in this event since 2012. "It’s just a group of men and women that enjoy each other and have a whole bunch of fun.”

Single Action Shooting Society has a huge following, with over 120,000 members as well as Annual State Matches. Here in Hernando County, fourteen men and one awesome lady, with ages ranging from the thirties to the nineties, shared the morning in competition, all geared and not to be reckoned with.

The day starts out in three stages that correspond with the shotgun, a rifle and pistols. The object is to shoot the targets in a variation in the fastest time.

Shotgun setup, Rifle Set up, pistols in the holsters and the showdown begins.
Tomahawk Tom during the Cowboy rifle match at Hernando Sportsman Club.

Tomahawk Tom aka Thomas Parrinello, from Hernando County is visiting family while on leave. He serves in the US Navy, and is stationed in Georgia on the USS West Virginia. “Since I was a little kid I always loved old west and western movies. It’s my second time here shooting with these guys. Everyone is so friendly and open to helping you out with techniques and shooting styles. It’s a great sport.”

“I enjoyed the western," Bob Plutch said. Plutch, from Spring Hill, who recently got involved with the sportsman's club, was spectating during the event. He came out to see what the Cowboy was all about. “I decided to do a little more on the weekends and that is why I am here today. I think it’s fantastic, it’s an enjoyable sport, you get to hone your skills a little bit and have fun at it, that’s the idea.”

The Cowboy era maybe a thing of the past, but every first Sunday of the month Hernando Sportsman's Club wants you to keep the authenticity of the Wild West alive.

"It’s the most fun you can have with your boots on!" Shady Brady said.

For more information about the Cowboy Action Shooting visit:

Hernando Sportsman’s Club | 16121 Commercial Way (US-19) Brooksville, Fl. 34614 | 352-597-9931 |


Tomahawk Tom during the Cowboy rifle match at Hernando Sportsman Club.
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