In the spirit of the soldier and cowboy, a group called the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association was created in the 1990s so that horse people and cowboy action shooters may enjoy the competitive nature of shooting sports.
The targets are engaged with specially made 45 caliber blanks containing black powder. There is lots of smoke and sparks will fly, but the blanks are harmless passed 15 feet or so.
We do NOT use bullets or cartridges with any form of projectile. Blanks vary in cost depending on supplier and whether or not they are re-loadable practice rounds. Rifle blanks are almost double in price and they cannot be reloaded once fired.
If you are going to participate in cowboy mounted shooting, you have to look the part as well. Details about apparel can be found in the OCMSA rules. Authentic clothing from the 1800′s is acceptable. You can wear your usual jeans with a long sleeved western shirt (cuffs not rolled up) if you’re sporting a cowboy hat and chaps when you compete.
Ontario Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association is the recognized association for the equestrian sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting in Ontario that sets the official rules and guidelines of the sport for the province of Ontario. The OCMSA has gained affiliation with the Global Organization CMSA and the National Organization Mounted Shooters of Canada. Please check Http://cmsaevents.com for sanctioned CMSA shoots.
Run what you brung! The sport of cowboy mounted shooting does not require a specific breed of horse. Almost any fit, trained saddle horse can become a “shootin’ horse”. It’s often surprising how quickly and painlessly a horse can be desensitized to mounted shooting. Please contact our club executive and members for assistance getting your horse acclimated to gun fire.
Arenas hosting mounted shooting demonstrations, practices or competitions must be certified by the OCMSA. Naturally, the safety of the horses, members and spectators is of primary importance.
To make it easier to find a place to shoot, there is a growing list of OCMSA approved venues all over Ontario.
Mounted Shooters use .45 caliber single action revolvers like those used in the late 1800′s. And yes, they are “real” fully functional firearms. Single action revolvers must be cocked each time before firing by drawing the hammer back. A double action revolver can be fired by simply pulling the trigger, without cocking the hammer. Despite the use of double action revolvers in the Old West, our competitions are limited to single action revolvers.
Approx. $1000 a piece
Mounted Shooters also (separate class) use lever action rifles like those used in the late 1800′s. These rifles are often chambered in .45 Colt to match the pistols, but they require a special blank round (5 in 1) that used brass that is a 1/4″ longer than the pistol blanks. A .44 caliber rifle will work as well and some would argue it doesn't jam due to split cases as much as the .45 version. The Model 1873 with a 'short stroke' kit seems most popular due to it's reliable action. However, the model 1892 is also seen out there as it is lighter and doesn't require a short stroke kit.
Optional lever action or pump action rifles (Approx $900 each)
There is also a popular shotgun class at some mounted shooting events. Mostly because the old side by side coach guns from the late 1800′s are extremely cool and fun to shoot. These guns are often chambered in .410 because they can use the same .45 Colt blanks as the pistols. You can get adapters tubes (GunAdapters.com) to lower a 12 gauge to .45 if you want to keep the look and feel of a big, nasty scatter gun. VERY fun class and gaining popularity with the male and female shooters.
Optional side by side shotguns (Approx $500 each)
Shooters usually have custom-made gun belts and holsters built specifically for mounted shooting. High quality holsters are necessary if you are going to make those very fast gun changes required in this sport. There are lots of styles, but keep an eye on what the top level shooters are using.
is a multi-faceted timed equestrian sporting event in which mounted contestants compete using two single action revolvers, double barrel shotgun, and lever action rifle loaded with blank ammunition to shoot 10 reactionary targets while negotiating a specified course of fire on horseback.
Cowboy Mounted Shooting is a worldwide competitive equestrian sport regulated by several organizations such as the CSA, CMSA, SASS, MSA, etc. that requires the riding of a horse to negotiate a shooting pattern where targets are engaged with black powder blank ammunition that is certified to break a target balloon within twenty feet and not beyond twenty feet. (No bullets are used.)
Mounted Shooting requires skill in both horsemanship and shooting that is measured in the form of competitive events. The typical event requires two single action revolvers loaded with five blank-cartridges. Ten targets are arranged in a horseback riding arena. When the competitor is given a go-signal, indicating the arena is clear of people and hazards; the rider guides his horse across a timer-line and engages the ten targets. When all ten targets are engaged, the rider returns across the timer line and his score is determined and recorded. The raw time of the rider is computed and penalties are added for missed targets or failure to follow the specified course or procedure or knocking over barrels or target stands.
Mounted Shooting also includes events such as Mounted Rifle and Mounted Shotgun.