Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet
We hold an Annual Meeting & Banquet each year in January. We all meet at a restaurant in Springfield, Illinois. No reservations are necessary.
We encourage you to wear cowboy/cowgirl garb. Each person is responsible for his/her meal and the club usually treats participants to dessert and beverages. Awards for the previous year are presented. We also have a gift exchange. Anyone who wishes to participate in the gift exchange simply brings a wrapped gift to share. Numbers are drawn to determine the order of gifts, at which time you choose a gift from the pile.
We recognize SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) shooting categories as described in the SASS Handbook. When you register for a match, you’ll be asked which category you would like to shoot during that particular match. You can switch categories from match to match.
We shoot our cowboy action matches at the Lefthanders Gun Club in Loami, Illinois, southwest of Springfield. Drive into the range on the gravel road and park near the Club House. Please keep your speed at 10 MPH.
Enter the Club House to register for the match, then proceed down the hill to the parking areas.
Ear and Eye Protection
We require every shooter and every spectator to have ear and eye protection while on the range. If you have non-shooting guests with you, they MUST have ear protection and eye protection. No exceptions. If you are not shooting, but only spectating on any particular day, you must have ear and eye protection as well.
Elections & Board Members
Each year, we elect five or more officers & board members and a Territorial Governor [TG) who need not be a board member. Nominations for board members usually start in November. Elections occur during the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. We encourage members to serve on the board. If you have interest, please let a board member know.
Cold soft drinks and bottled water are available in the refrigerator at the Club House during outdoor matches for $1, paid on the honor system to the coffee can in the refrigerator.
Each match has a Match Director or Co-Match Directors who is/are in charge of overseeing that day’s stages and procedures. The Match Director is announced at the Shooter’s Meeting before each match. If you are unsure of who this is, please ask someone.
Match Fees & Drawings
We charge $15 per for monthly matches. If you are a first-time shooter with us, your first match is FREE! You may also opt to donate $1 extra at the time of registration for our 50/50 drawing. The winner of the drawing receives 50% of the amount collected for the drawing. You do not need to belong to SASS to shoot with our club.
We keep track of each shooter’s Match Points and tally them after each shoot. These determine the year’s Top 5 shooters of the club who are awarded plaques at the Awards Banquet in early spring.
Membership & Dues
We have no membership fees.
Rules of parking are “first-come, first served” for all matches. We shoot at the Lefthanders Gun Club in Loami, Illinois, southwest of Springfield. When you first arrive, park at the top of the hill by the Club House and register for the match inside the Club House. After registering, proceed down the hill to either the “upper” or “lower” parking lots. Due to tornado and flood damage in the summer and fall of 2009, the parking lots can get quite muddy. The “upper” parking lot is your best bet in soggy weather, but you’ll have to walk farther to the stages. The “lower” parking spots allow you to park right next to the stages but make sure that you can get out of the mud, grass, or dirt before you park there.
Prizes & Awards
We award prizes for previous monthly matches in the form of “coins” which are wooden nickels with the shooter’s name, category and place (1st, 2nd or 3rd) on it. These are presented at the Shooter’s Meeting before the match. Annual Awards for category placement, Top 5 Shooters, and other special awards are presented at the Awards Banquet in January.
Posses & Duties
For outdoor matches, we shoot with 1, 2 or 3 posse groups, depending on attendance. We expect EVERYONE who shoots with us to participate in posse duties, according to their physical ability, training, and expertise. These include timing, spotting [counting misses & noting procedural and safety pentalties], scoring, picking up brass cases and spent shells, monitoring the loading or unloading tables, re-setting targets, assisting special needs shooters, and running scores to the registration area.
The default of the Long Nine Cowboys is to allow shooters within a posse to shoot in any order. In other words, they are not limited to shooting in the order in which they are listed on the score sheet. This may be over-ruled by the preferences of individual posses in a democratic voting process on any particular day. When you are ready to shoot, make sure you hand off your current posse duty to another posse member and allow yourself plenty of time to assemble your firearms and ammunition at the loading table. The loading table monitor should call for more shooters if he/she sees a gap in the loading table line-up.
There are women’s and men’s flush toilets and running water at the Club House.
Rules of the Game
We follow SASS guidelines and rules in our monthly matches. See the SASS Handbook for more information. Any disputes that cannot be worked out within the posse should be referred to the Match Director. We reserve the right to ask any shooter to leave the match and the shooting range in the event that they are rude or abusive, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or repeatedly practice unsafe gun handling procedures.
Our motto is “Have fun, be safe, shoot your best.” With that in mind, the primary focus of our matches is safety! All shooters are expected to act as safety officers for themselves and to be observant for everyone else in their posse. If you see a potential safety issue or have a question about a safety procedure, please approach the posse leader or Match Director and ask! If you see a shooter doing something that is unsafe, please approach him/her privately and address the issue or alert your posse leader or the Match Director. Please be polite and considerate and avoid being confrontational. If you are approached about a safety issue regarding your own gun handling, please be gracious and realize that we’re all trying to have the most fun in the safest way possible. Firearms can be lethal. You CANNOT be too careful around firearms and you WILL BE CALLED ON to correct a safety issue if your posse-mates see a problem with your gun handling or behavior on the range or feel unsafe around you.
Scoring is done by people within your own posse. Since we shoot in no particular order within our posses, the person logging the scores must be vigilant to make sure that he/she knows which shooter is being scored. Shooters should check their scores after shooting a stage to make sure that the correct score is recorded for them. During outdoor shoots with larger posses, you may be asked to initial your score after you unload your guns at the loading table. Scores are usually available as a print-out directly following the match. They are available on the website within a day or two after the match.
Set-up and Take-down
Set-up for matches normally occurs on the Saturday prior to our Sunday matches, usually starting at 8:30 a.m. but sometimes earlier during the summer if the weather is predicted to be especially warm. Check the website for set-up times. Your help is GREATLY appreciated. We ask that everyone assist with take-down following the matches. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work” which is especially true when hauling metal targets, stands and other equipment that makes up our game. If you’re unable to carry heavy loads, there are light duties as well such as collecting blankets & carpets used on tables and staging areas.
We shoot “side matches” during a few outdoor matches. Check the website for information on the day’s particular side matches. These run from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. and usually involve long-range rifle and/or shooting clay targets with shotguns. There is no additional fee for side matches. You do need to register for the Main Match, however, to shoot the side matches.
If you are a shooter with special needs due to a physical disability or other issue or need to be on a posse with particular people, please let the person know who is handling registration. If you require special consideration [such as wheel-chair access or special staging of guns], let your posse leader know before the stage begins. We do our best to accommodate the special temporary or permanent needs of shooters to enhance their cowboy shooting experience while keeping within safe shooting guidelines at our matches.
The webmaster for the Long Nine Cowboys website is Lady Viper with contributions by club members. It is the sole intent of this website to enhance the Long Nine cowboy action shooting experience and publicize material germane to our membership. It is not intended as a platform for political discourse or debate, which, while may be of interest to some shooters, is addressed on other online forums.
Matches may be canceled due to weather conditions. Please check the website for the latest updates. In the last several years, matches have been canceled due to lightning, excessive rain, flooding, tornado damage and events out of our immediate control.