The Bristol Plains Pistoleros is a Cowboy Action Shooting club operating under the auspices of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) and is sponsored by the Conservation club of Kenosha County (CCKC). Our range is located in southeastern Wisconsin just south of Milwaukee and west of Kenosha in the Town of Bristol on the Wisconsin/Illinois border. The Bristol Plains Pistoleros have been associated with SASS since 1996.
What is new about the Bristol Plains Pistoleros is our new baffle system. In September of 2011 during an afternoon practice session a shooter (from a shooting discipline other than Cowboy Action Shooting) put a 9mm round over our berm. The round traveled 850 yards and landed on a neighbor’s back porch. As a result of this incident the cowboy range was shut down until a suitable baffle system could be installed. The parent organization (CKCC) furnished the materials and the Bristol Plains Pistoleros along with some members of the parent club furnished the labor. This NRA approved baffle system consists of three baffles over 200 feet long placed along the firing line. The baffles essentially are containers six feet high and six inches thick inside. They are constructed of 2” x 6” pressure treated lumber boards and are filled with Surlite which is a light weight pea gravel substitute. The baffles are supported by 6” x 6” posts spaced every 12 feet. Construction commenced around the middle of September and a final match of the season was held in November. There was concern that the uprights would make it seem like one was shooting in a forest. This was not the case. Shooters have expressed that the uprights are not an issue at all. When you are on the firing line all you see are the targets.
We did receive a benefit that we did not plan for. The baffle system has allowed us to hang signs, build props and begin to decorate the baffles similar to an old west town. We added a permanent Sheriff’s office to serve as a sign-in area and for storage of equipment, records etc. A fine gravel path was added along the firing line. So far we have received nothing but positive comments and the attendance at our monthly matches has increased. An adverse event helped to revitalize our cowboy range.
We have three people who serve as Match Co-Directors. One of our Match Directors, Larry Brooks (Huckleberry), is a SASS Regulator (Badge #43860). Since 1999 Huckleberry has been helping to put on SASS matches and helping new shooters. He is our “go to” guy. Another of our Match Directors, George Broecker (Rusty Brec, SASS #74729) has many years of shooting and re-enacting under his belt. Rusty is a board member of the parent club and our ram-rod. The other Match Director (Johnny McCrae, SASS #70670) writes our stages and is the public relations man. This setup works out great and does not put all of the burden on one person.
We hold our monthly matches on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month. Weather permitting, matches are held April through November. On Saturdays we have a special posse just for new shooters. This allows us to give a new shooter closer and more individualized attention. It also takes some of the pressure off of a new shooter. It is very rewarding to see a new shooter complete their first match or shoot a clean stage.
The past two seasons we held a Wild Bunch matches in June and in September. A safe and fun time was had by everyone. Prior to the June match Huckleberry held a seminar on Wild Bunch rules. This really helped to move the matches along safely and smoothly. We plan on having at least two Wild Bunch matches during the 2015 season.
When writing our stages we always try to include a brief story centering on a historical event, western movies or situation a cowboy might encounter. Our May 2013 matches were based on familiar scenes from western movies. We try to add props wherever possible such as a surly bartender. To start that stage you push him down with a wooden Walker Colt prop. This season one of our stages is an “all shotgun” stage and it has been well received. All of our stages are posted on our website for shooters to download.
We have a great cadre of experienced and dedicated RO’s who are safety conscious and help make our matches go smooth. One person cannot do it alone. Having a safe and successful club is a team effort. If you ever wanted to see an example of teamwork, watch our RO’s in action. We have one of the best teams around!
When you are in southeastern Wisconsin, we invite you to come out and shoot with us. Please take a look at our website for the latest information www.bristolcowboys.com