On a winter day in December 1997, a group of shooters gathered at the Pala range and commenced to shooting the first Frontier Days match. They all had one thing in mind to do; it was to shoot a Cowboy match, but with black powder only. Not only were there Traditionalists amongst them, a large contingent of single shot rifle shooters gathered to savor an opportunity to use large caliber long guns at distances beyond typical pistol caliber rifle targets. These were the first “Plainsman” on record. There were 6 stages shot on that day along with the traditional Costco “death” Dog BBQ for lunch. We gave out some awards and a few donated door prizes and the shooters left threatening that this was not a test but a new beginning. They were coming back for more.
Frontier Days was never intended to be typical of what you would find in a SASS match. The shooting categories were unlike Traditional or Frontier Cartridge. They started as only these: Cowboy/Cowgirl, The Outlaws, and The Plainsman. It was intended to separate cartridge and percussion handguns along with the single shot rifles. The Plainsman category was the most popular and regardless of the target distances (some were out 200 yards!), we all just kept on shooting. As time passed and the matches numbered, the only change was to rename the Plainsman category to Buffalo Hunter. Since we shot out so damn far, it must have been for Buffalo and not Prairie Dogs! Nonetheless, we never skipped a beat on the primary objective, have as much fun as you could possibly stand.
To this writing, Loco Lobos, a label that was given to me by the late Bill Hahn, AKA Mossy Horn (my hat is on the table now), has promoted 11 of these silly things and they’re just as much a hoot as the first one. In fact, with the expansion of using rifle caliber lever guns in the Monte Walsh category, it just keeps getting better. I have to thank Weedy and Ivory Jack McCloud for their input on this.
As we approach Frontier Days No12, a whole slew of categories are available to sample. The Brimstone Pistoleros are not holding back on trying to provide a venue for all those interested. So sit back and look at the list. Pick a category or 2 if you’d like and we’ll see you on the range.
Remember, Black Powder was the way it was done first so why change now.