What do you need?
A sense of FUN, a love of the Old West, common sense, and a desire to use that single action hog-leg for something besides a paper weight.
The internet is a rich source of information.
There are several good starting places on our LINKS page(s). Begin by taking a look at the Single Action Shooting Society or SASS website. It has the SHOOTER'S HANDBOOK (This is a must have), The Shortgrass Rangers are SASS affiliated and we follow their rules.
Consider joining SASS. They register your alias, provide the "Cowboy Chronicle", a bimonthly newsletter and advertising wagon. More importantly, they provide the framework, on a national basis, for competition. The SHORTGRASS RANGERS have elected to affiliate with SASS and SASS rules will apply. This structure allows you to shoot at any other club using SASS rules (the vast majority) and feel right at home from the start. There are other groups of sanctioning bodies such as NCOWS and WASA. They all have their niche.
What do you need for a match?
You need a single action revolver in a caliber from .32 to .45. You should be familiar with how to use it safely. You should have a western-style holster as well. Now, it is true that stages (the individual courses of fire - a match may have 3 to 7) may require a second pistol. Cowboy shooters are generous and borrowing a second SAA revolver is seldom an issue.
You will need a lever action rifle, in a pistol caliber. If you have a question, just ask. It does not have to match your revolver. No, a 30/30 is not legal for matches, but with lead bullets may be used if there is a side match for long range lever action. The Handbook can make this more clear.
You will need a shotgun. Basically Side-by-side 20ga to 10ga without ejectors (the thing that makes the shells rocket over your shoulder / Extractors (the thing that makes the shell just leave the chamber) are ok and desirable, or an exposed hammer pump (Winchester Model 97).
All ammo must be lead bullets and shot only. No jacketed or copper clad bullets! No magnum loads.
You will need eye and ear protection for you and any spectators you have with you.
What about Dress?
Cowboy shooters often expend more effort on their character and their dress than on practicing their marksmanship. That all comes with time. When you first go to a match, denims, a long-sleeved cotton shirt, cowboy boots and and inexpensive cowboy hat are just fine. This is one area that grows (and grows) as you become familiar with our sport.
Keep in mind that the main purpose of cowboy shooting is FUN. Some cowboys take more interest in the shooting competition, some in creating an authentic western character, some in looking good., but we all enjoy the comraderie. If you need help, have questions, feel free to contact us.