New Mexico has a rich Old West history … the Lincoln County War, the Colfax County War, the Santa Fe Ring, train robbers like Black Jack Ketchum, frontier lawyers like Albert Fountain and Albert Fall, famous cattle ranchers like John Chisum and Susan McSween, outlaws like Billy the Kid, and lawmen like Pat Garrett, great Apache Chiefs like Victorio and Geronimo, and even the old New Mexico Rangers. In many ways, New Mexico has been among the last to shed the vestiges of this history … and there is still evidence of it today if one simply looks for it.
The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) is a three decades old membership organization dedicated to reliving the fantasy of this Old West history. Our members wear costumes reminiscent of what would have been found in New Mexico in the 1880s, or on the Silver Screen of yesteryear when western films reigned supreme. They strap on their six guns, grab their Winchester rifles, and retrieve their old-time shotguns … and depending upon their bent, either go looking for ill-gained riches or chasing down outlaws to make New Mexico safe for God-fearin’ families.
Every year cowboys from all over the world congregate at Founders Ranch just south of Edgewood for END of TRAIL, the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting™. This shooting championship features men and women, young and old, as well as youngsters competing with real firearms and live ammo. The top competitors are after fame, fortune, and glory on the field on honor while the rest of the visitors are simply living their fantasy of how the Old West could have been. It’s meant to be fun, and it is. 2018 is the 37th annual END of TRAIL.
END of TRAIL features food, entertainment, and shopping as well as Mounted Shooting, period camps, stage coach rides, rideable longhorns, and photo-ops galore. There are even opportunities for END of TRAIL visitors to shoot at an old time shooting gallery and even crank off .45-70 blackpowder rounds on an authentic Gatling Gun!
SASS, END of TRAIL, and Cowboy Action Shooting™ are all New Mexico True. Come and see for yourself June 22 and 23!
A map to the Ranch is available on the SASS web site, www.SASSnet.com.
By Tex Ormand, SASS #4