Author Topic: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory  (Read 8878 times)

Offline Major Attitude

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GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« on: March 08, 2006, 05:02:20 pm »
It would appear that our Army needs us, and it also needs to grow. I believe that one way to increase membership and to create more involvement in the GAF is to have a “class” in which we can shoot. I see the increase in participants in Classic Cowboy, and B-Western and I will bet you if there was a class for “Military” or the GAF that we would have an increase in members as well. The majority of shooters do so for pure fun. Most shooters realize they will never be top competitors so they do this for enjoyment only.
Military uniforms are already a big item at formal dinners and lets face it the GAF medal looks great on them, so why not try to have our own category as well.
We need as much support as we can get to undertake this endeavor, but I believe that if done that it will not only increase our numbers but also increase overall involvement in the GAF.

Offline El Confederado

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 05:37:33 pm »
I agree with ya 100%, however, I think we also need to find a "home" inside one of the major bodies and run with it and I am not sure SASS will want to pony up and help out.
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Offline Bull Schmitt

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 10:42:36 pm »
I think this is an excellent concept. We need to flesh it out to define what we are actually after. For example - Uniform requirements (if any) and acceptable firearms. SASS seems to have a category/classification for just about everything I don't see why this concept wouldn't be appropriate. If we can get some clubs to try it out and work out the details we would be in a better position to approach SASS. I am not familiar with NCOWS but there might be interest there as well.

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Offline Frenchie

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 01:29:37 am »
Col. Schmitt, NCOWS and GAF fit together perfectly for me. I will wear the same uniform and use the same firearms for both. The specific NCOWS class I would shoot in is called "Working Cowboy". I know its name doesn't make sense for a Navy officer or an Army NCO, but I don't care as long as I can use a rifle and one handgun. I haven't looked into the specifics of the "Originals" class, but I suspect I could swing that too. I chose this way because I'm lazy and cheap ;D I already have or am getting everything I need.
Yours, &c.,

Guy 'Frenchie' LaFrance
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2006, 05:19:36 am »
First off, we already have our own "shoot" called the GAF Muster.  It is a two-gun shoot and all the stages are based on historical military actions.  I invite you to attend.  I would like to see each Department put on their own Muster each year.  We also have our own postal match requiring military-style firearms.

As for a "separate" shooting category, in SASS, NCOWS, WASA, or other organization, it is something we can pursue through the SASS TGs and NCOWS Senators.   As noted, there are more and more uniforms appearing at various matches.  The GAF is also beginning to be the basis for most color guards at the major regional and national matches. 

We are also working on creating a GAF posse within NCOWS.  One major reason is that we need insurance coverage for the GAF Muster.  The GAF posse (membership will be strictly voluntary) will enable the GAF to be a co-host for the Muster, instead of having to find an NCOWS posse or SASS club to host it on their own. 

March is a busy time for me - I'm out of the country more than I'm home, but as soon as I return from my next trip, we will find some new leadership to take us forward in this direction.

What YOU can do for us is promote the GAF at your local shoots by wearing a uniform while shooting, and especially at the dinner/banquet.   In addition, you can sponsor a Muster-like side-match at a local match (if you haven't been to the Muster, we can provide you with guidance), seek out those shooters who like wearing a uniform to shoot and invite them to join the GAF, and you can also consider putting on a local mini-Muster, which would be a great way for local GAF members to enjoy themselves, but also an excellent venue to attract new members.

Lastly, let us not forget that we have members who are not W/CAS shooters.  We have reenactors, living historians, and military history enthusiasts.  They can put on programs on to promote the GAF - and you should support them.

I'm heartened to hear all these suggestions, but remember these can't be put into effect overnight.

Bull- GAF does not have a uniform requirement, though we do encourage members to wear a uniform while shooting or engaged in other pro-GAF activities.  We also have a firearms list, however the rifle continues to be a major limitation as few lever-actions were officially adapted by the Victorian-era military.  The NCOWS "Originals" category is a two-gun category where single-shots can be used though, however the shooter must thoroughly document his clothing, equipment, and firearms to shoot as an "Original."  You might want to check out the NCOWS forum for more information into the Originals.

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Offline Mustang Gregg

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2006, 05:42:39 am »
I don't reckon SASS or NCOWS would make such a category.
Many of us who like to dress & play GAF shoot in our uniforms anyhow.

There has been some talk of a GAF POSSE at the Hell On Wheels Regional in Cheyenne this year.
Ponder on that.  I'd like to see that happen.
We will be having the regular GAF Muster at Little America before the match, as usual!

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Offline Drydock

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2006, 06:01:37 am »
A catagory based purely on a specific costume requirement would probably not fly in either SASS or NCOWs.  What we need to do is establish communications on attendance at major matchs, and request a common shooting Posse, thus creating a GAF/military company on the line, highly visible and fun for others to watch.  Thus creating interest in our own musters.
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Offline Books OToole

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2006, 10:08:19 am »
Main problem with an authenticity based military shooting catagory is the fact that the issured long arms of the late 19th century are not approved to be main match rifles, as they are of too heavy a caliber.  (.50-70, .45-70 & .30-40 Krag)

The second problem is; only an enlisted cavalryman would be carrying a rifle (carbine) and a pistol.

These observations are from the perspective of a military historian who is a member of NCOWS.

One possible approach to the Military Shooting Catagory is to design a side match and see how many participant that it attracts.  Then grow the concept from there.

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Offline Books OToole

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2006, 10:53:52 am »
The Spencer carbins have been accepted as main match rifles.  However only the Cavalry were issued them and only until 1873.

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« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 11:38:00 am by Books OToole »
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2006, 11:54:46 am »
Books,

I agree with what you're saying, but note that officers (of all branches) tended to carry non-regulation pistols and rifles.

I have references to a lieutenant chief of scouts who carried an 1866 Winchester, and a Marine lieutenant who carried a Henry.  We are all aware of Custer's affinity for a variety of rifles and non-regulation pistols.

On the other hand, should be try to create a military category in SASS and/or NCOWS, I would expect it to require "regulation" arms, would would severely limit nearly every uniformed person to the Henry and Spencer for their choice of long-arm (we won't go into whether that particular regiment and/or branch carried it), which is one reason why I think such a category is unlikely to be approved.

That is not to say that we couldn't have GAF members participate in the NCOWS Originals category should they chose to do so.  I don't believe there is a comparable SASS category, though the Classic Cowboy is sufficiently "broad" that a trooper could qualify by wearing spurs, vest and other items.

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Offline Major Matt Lewis

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2006, 02:48:24 pm »
Speaking as an NCOWS Senator, the main issue to consider when proposing an official GAF catagory in NCOWS is reconciling the GAF Mission Statement clause that welcomes Hollywood-inspired impressions at a time when the philosophical pendulum within NCOWS is swinging back towards adhering to historical authenticity.
                 

John,

I don't really see this as an issue.  As Scout has stated, we would not require all GAF Members to be NCOWS Members.  BUT, if you wished to join the GAF Posse, you would still have the standard year to comply with level one authenticity.  Let's face it, you should join an organization because you believe in the rules, and not to flaunt them.  I would also point out, if you look at the appearence of the GAF folks that I have seen, being it at the EOT Color Guard, (I was a member of it), The NCOWS Convention, or anywhere....I believe we really do go through the effort to "Get it right."   I have long advocated that GAF & NCOWS have a natural fit.  I still believe it and an am very happy that others see it to.
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2006, 04:11:06 pm »
I think what is meant is a "military category" in NCOWS or SASS, not a "GAF category." GAF is a separate organization and that would imply one had to be a member of the GAF to shoot in that particular category.

As has been pointed out, creating a "military category" would be difficult (though not impossible) if for no other reason than the firearms used by the military differ significantly from those typically allowed in CAS/WAS.  THis is one reason why we decided to have our own qualification via the postal match so that we could use those military longarms that aren't allowed in CAS/WAS.

As for the GAF becoming a part of NCOWS, that isn't going to happen.  What will happen is that we will form a NCOWS posse composed of GAF members who are willing to abide by the NCOWS by-laws so that we can host our Muster.  However, as it has been pointed out, most of the GAF is seriously interested in portraying the Victorian-era military as historically authentic as possible with regard to uniforms, equipment, and firearms (taking into consideration that exceptions must be made with regard to both the rifle and shotgun).

I personally would much rather see more Muster-style shoots held at the Department level, Muster-style side matches, and have GAF members shoot with their local clubs dressed in period-correct uniforms whenever possible - perhaps as an entire posse, than I would a separate military shooters category.  That said, I would like to see the present categories, such as Classic Cowboy in SASS, written to encorporate a broader range of Western occupations.

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Offline Ol Gabe

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2006, 05:14:32 pm »
Sirs, Staff, & Etc.,
As US Scout's suggestions have merit and much forethought, it is to our benefit as an up and coming historical and shooting organization, to adhere to them.
By presenting oneself as a historian in costume of the Victorian Military Era, one can educate and encourage others through participation in any number of shooting venues, SASS, WAS, NCOWS, etc., this is a given. If the chance to form an NCOWS Posse made up exclusively of present and active GAF members happens, then all the better, it will give us the chance to put on a series of Musters and further expand the numbers herein. US Scout, Sir, a PM regarding the potential of an NCOWS Posse is on the way.
Further discussion is encouraged but I would personally suggest that all GAF Staff, Officers & Etc., follow US Scout's lead as his concept is solid and doable.
I remain, etc.,
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2006, 07:37:26 pm »
I appreciate Ol' Gabe's compliments, but I want it known that the GAF is not "MY" organization, but OURS.  My comments should not be construed as a ruling - only my own observations and opinions.  Before I make any decision that impacts on the GAF, I will seek a conscensus among the GAF leadership, namely the Department Commanders. 

Major Attitude is to be commended for his suggestion, and I appreciate all the discussion.  We have proven in the past that we can discuss even contentious issues courteously, and I encourage that we continue to do so.  No one of us has all the right answers or even the right ideas.  We grow as an organization by listening to others and in helping each other perfect our ideas for the betterment of the GAF. 

At present I don't see how a military category is feasible, but I'm more than willing to listen to suggestions and if someone can come up with a good way to make it happen, then I'm all for it.  However, for the moment, I think the closest we're going to see this happening will be at the GAF Musters.  Over the last two years we managed to shoot an 1873 Springfield and a Krag (not to mention Rattlesnake Jack's Martini-Henry), and next year we may even have some Springfield or Enfield muskets that need to be shot. 

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Offline Frenchie

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2006, 01:00:35 am »
US Army small arms of the Civil War are far better documented than those used by the Navy, but I have a book by John D. McAulay, Civil War Small Arms of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, that fills the need very well. Basically, you name a CW era firearm, edged weapon, etc., and the chances are at least good that something or other that floated had at least one on board. Then add the ones bought privately by officers and senior NCOs and you have a plethora (cool! I got to use "plethora") of possible firearms that can be used by a shooter wearing the uniform of the finest armed service in the world.

To reiterate, for me, it's all seamless. My NCOWS persona and GAF persona are one and the same. Personae, actually, as I am a Seaman, Petty Officer or Acting Lieutenant Commander, USN and a Private, Corporal or Sergeant, USA.

Life is good.  :D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 01:09:25 am by Frenchie »
Yours, &c.,

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Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2006, 02:35:35 pm »
General Scout, Sir:

Reading through this thread has reminded me of the proposed GAF Posse within NCOWS, of which I have heard little of late. 

As a GAF member who has recently also enrolled in NCOWS, I would be both pleased and honoured to formally join such a Posse, and offer such assistance with its organization and operation as I am able to provide from this distant Dominion.
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Offline El Confederado

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2006, 04:10:13 pm »
Troopers,
I found much this same problem when I was shooting SASS. At the time I was shooting, I packed 2 1860 armys as my sidearms and a remmington revolving carbine as my rifle and I shot this way for many years then one day, I get told, nope not anymore. What? give me a break, I jumped up and down, wrote letters and even talked to several SASS big wigs and guess what, they realy couldnt care less.We need to look out for ourselves and find someone that is willing to back us for us and not as some weird oddity that builds for them and their pockets.I realy hope NCOWS listens much better than SASS and maybe this insurance nightmare will go away.
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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2006, 11:45:39 pm »
Quote
That is not to say that we couldn't have GAF members participate in the NCOWS Originals category should they chose to do so.
US Scout, I would just like to point out that to shoot in the originals category you have to be an NCOWS member.

Quote
As has been pointed out, creating a "military category" would be difficult (though not impossible) if for no other reason than the firearms used by the military differ significantly from those typically allowed in CAS/WAS.  THis is one reason why we decided to have our own qualification via the postal match so that we could use those military longarms that aren't allowed in CAS/WAS.
Its interesting that you mention a "Military Category" as I have recently been talking to Norma Coates the national secretary of the N&S Skirmish Association in getting their members interested in joining NCOWS and shooting the originals class. They are going to post the NCOWS membership information in their publication "The Skirmish Line" as well as our National Shoot info, and Norma will be handing out our literature at their events. She seemed very positive and interested, and felt that the members of her orginization would be interested in NCOWS, and the originals class. This could be an area where GAF could gain some new members.

Bill
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2006, 03:19:44 am »
OCB,

That was my implication with regard to the Originals category within NCOWS.  I should have been more clear.

Could be that the GAF, NCOWS and the NSSA may end up providing mutual support (and recruiting bases) for each other.  No objections there.

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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2006, 03:30:33 pm »
Quote
Could be that the GAF, NCOWS and the NSSA may end up providing mutual support (and recruiting bases) for each other.  No objections there.
Us Scout,
The members of N&SSA are reenactors first, and shooters second. It could be a real good place to recruit enough civil war types to have a very large GAF Posse ;D I talked to French Jack (Bob Chenault) a couple of weeks back about submitting a proposal (I already have) and have it put on the agenda of the next Congress. This proposal would reduce the time span of NCOWS from 1865-1899, to 1860-1899. I did this through the NCOWS web site so I hope someone got it.

The reason for the proposal is two fold; some of the civil war units are time specific and reenact a definitive time frame (such as 1861-1862), This would enable those units that do this to form an NCOWS posse that represents the time frame of their unt/brigade. It would also open up NCOWS for those of us that reenact the period right after 1860 such as the expansion west, antebellum period, etc;

Bill
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2006, 04:23:25 pm »
Bill,

I've been following the discussion and agree that the NSSA is a potential source of recruits for both the GAF and NCOWS.  I also concur with expanding the NCOWS timeline to allow these CW enthusiasts an easier entry into CAS/WAS.  We don't have that problem with the GAF since we are already established for 1860-1900 (and easily accomodate those who extend a few years on either side).  In fact, after watching a program on Pershing's Punitive Expedition into Mexico, I think we have grounds to expand the GAF time limit to 1914, if there is sufficient interest in doing so.

Actually, most of the NSSA people I know and have met are competative shooters first and foremost (they call themselves skirmishers) and do not consider themselves reenactors, though some do reenact outside of the NSSA.  Reenactors are the ones who just shoot blanks as far as most of them are concerned.  In the NSSA, they shoot bullets at targets for score - not unlike SASS and NCOWS.

While not a member of NSSA, I do visit their semi-annual National Skirmishes at Ft Shenandoah in Winchester, VA.  I find it a great place to pick up BP items, as well as the odd bit of military equipment and clothing (since my persona is of the decade immediately following the War).  I particularly like watching them shoot their cannons for both time and accuracy.  Very impressive!

US Scout
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Offline Ottawa Creek Bill

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2006, 06:54:08 pm »
Quote
Actually, most of the NSSA people I know and have met are competative shooters first and foremost (they call themselves skirmishers) and do not consider themselves reenactors, though some do reenact outside of the NSSA.  Reenactors are the ones who just shoot blanks as far as most of them are concerned.  In the NSSA, they shoot bullets at targets for score - not unlike SASS and NCOWS.

US Scout,
Could be that some feel that way, but that is the information that I got from Norma Coates, and it is also stated in their by-laws and literature that they hand out.
Quote
I find it a great place to pick up BP items, as well as the odd bit of military equipment and clothing (since my persona is of the decade immediately following the War).
I agree, I plan on attending their shoot in may as they ask me to attend in my Apache clothing, but I think I am going to suprise them when I show up in my 1st. Mounted Cherokee Volunteer persona. Stone Watie's Cherokee Indian regiment that fought on the side of the confederacy at the start of the war, but changed sides when it looked like it was going down hill.

So, I have both a Southern persona & a Northern persona and I don't even have to change clothes.... ;D ;D

Bill
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Offline US Scout

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2006, 11:04:53 pm »

...I plan on attending their shoot in may as they ask me to attend in my Apache clothing, but I think I am going to suprise them when I show up in my 1st. Mounted Cherokee Volunteer persona. Stone Watie's Cherokee Indian regiment that fought on the side of the confederacy at the start of the war, but changed sides when it looked like it was going down hill.

Bill


Let me know if you do and we'll link up sometime over that weekend.  Besides, I'd like to see the outfit you come up with!  I have an interest in Indians fighting in the CW. 

This is what I found on the NSSA website, which pretty much sums up how the NSSA people I've met think.  Perhaps the literature says something different, but I've generally found that calling most NSSA shooters a reenactor is "fighting words."

Competition is intense in the N-SSA. Unlike Civil War re-enactments, skirmish shooting is done with live ammunition in original or dimensionally certified reproduction military firearms of the period. The core of N-SSA shooting is the 8-man musket team match. Uniformed Union and Confederate teams compete in timed, rapid-fire events, shooting at breakable targets such as clay pigeons, ceramic tiles, and clay flower pots at ranges of 50 and 100 yards. The team with the lowest time wins.

I remember when they used to dress up in just blue or gray shirts and pants, but they've come a long way in the last few years and now attire themselves in the proper uniform of their chosen regiments. 

For that matter, most reenactors, at least here in VA don't like being called skirmishers because they "recreat" historical battles and a fair number don't even shoot (other than blanks).  Hard to believe isn't it?  I'm almost always surprised at the number of reenactors I meet who have never shot live ammunition from their muskets.  Found the same to be true with Rev War reenactors (which is one reason why I prefer organizations like COHT).  When I belonged to a company of the US Sharpshooters, I found I was the only one who had actually shot a muzzle loader, not to mention being the only one in my comany who had actually met the original qualification standards of the Sharpshooters.  I once met a reenactor who swore to me that our muskets could not be safely used with live ammunition, only blanks.

US Scout
GAF Commander
« Last Edit: March 11, 2006, 11:22:34 pm by US Scout »

Offline Dr. Bob

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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2006, 12:35:37 am »
Ottawa Creek Bill,

Help me out here!  Is that Cherokee feller, Stand Watie, gonna let an Ottawa who is dressed like an Apache ride with his unit? ??? ::) ??? :o ???  And, iffen yer Bill who is riding with Stand Watie's Cherokee Brigade, then wouldn't that make you Cherokee Bill?? ???

Now, I'm going to go hide in the rifle range in the basement where ya can't shoot me through this here gizmo! :o ;D
Regards, Doc
Dr. Bob Butcher,
NCOWS 2420, Senator
HR 4
GAF 405,
NRA Life,
KGC 8.
Warthog
Motto: Clean mind  -  Clean body,   Take your pick

Offline Frenchie

  • "We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Pogo
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Re: GAF/Military Shooting Catagory
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2006, 01:37:46 am »
I once met a reenactor who swore to me that our muskets could not be safely used with live ammunition, only blanks.

Heh. Maybe his musket couldn't be safely fired with a Minié ball on top of 65 grains of powder because the only times he'd ever bothered to clean it were when it refused to fire at all, and then all he did was pick the cone and run hot water down the bore. I've seen muskets so fouled with residue and rust that I doubted a .575 ball could be rammed to the bottom.

For those who might not know why that reenactor was wrong, the company lawyers made the designers build the guns so they could survive most of the stupid things people were likely to do. That's why a repro '61 Springfield usually weighs 2 or 3 pounds more than an original, the steel parts are thicker (and the original stock might be a lot drier, but that's not the major reason for the weight difference). Even if the dimensions were identical, modern steels are so much better than those of 150 years ago that there would still be a big difference in strength.

There is an abyss of ignorance about our firearms out there. I've learned not to be surprised when reenactors, who very much should know better, say things like that. ::)
Yours, &c.,

Guy 'Frenchie' LaFrance
Vous pouvez voir par mes vêtements que je ne suis pas un cowboy.