About Us

Click Picture Above for the By-Laws of the Johnson County Rangers

Before we talk about the Johnson County Rangers we need to begin with our parent organization . . .

NCOWS ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

THE National Congress of Old West Shootists was established  in 1994 to promote the sport of Western Action Shooting and to preserve the heritage of the great American Frontier or as we call it the Wild, Wild West between 1865 to 1899. To this end, our organizational goals are:

To conduct and/or sponsor family-oriented Western Action Shoots and other activities appropriate to the Old West on national, regional, and local levels.

To encourage a high level of historical authenticity in weapons, clothing, and accouterments while participating in NCOWS-sponsored activities.

To engage in historical investigation to enhance our overall level of authenticity and increase our knowledge of the Old West.

To actively promote a positive public image of Western Action Shooting in particular, and of the safe and responsible use of firearms in general.

To establish a membership of like-minded individuals and Charter Clubs (Posses) to help the sport of Western Action Shooting grow and prosper.

NCOWS COMPETITION OVERVIEW

NCOWS History:  The National Congress of Old West Shootists (NCOWS) was founded in Iowa in 1994 by a group of dedicated western action shooters who had a background in muzzleloading, buckskinning, historical reenacting, and many other of the modern shooting sports.  NCOWS was different from other existing organizations by insisting on historical authenticity, a democratically-structured organization run by the members of NCOWS, and not requirement for members to assume an “alias.”

You might ask what makes NCOWS different from other cowboy actions sports?  One of main differences is NCOWS adheres to a high level of historical authenticity for participation in our events.  We believe that the enjoyment of everyone involved — participants and spectators is increased by maintaining an authentic visual appearance at our events, and we pride ourselves as much on our “look” as on our skills with historic weapons.  this participation requires some basic minimums in terms of weapons and clothing, which must all be authentic (or reproduction) and preferably documentable to the period of 1866 to 1899.  This importance on documentation culminates with NCOWS’s most unique shooting class, the “Originals.”  The “Originals” class is a non-traditional shooting class combining the elements of shooting competition, re-enacting a historically accurate and documented impression or persona,  and undergoing a peer review. Each entrant must submit a documented impression, be subject to peer review, and compete in shooting competition under specific limitations.

The second difference between NCOWS and other organizations is NCOWS offers a lower cost alternative for first time participants.  The shooters in the Two Gun Men’s and Women’s Working Cowboy class require only one rifle and one revolver (both can be authentic or reproduction) to participate.   This gives the first time shooter the ability to learn and grow into the sport without the pains of purchasing four guns outright as other cowboy action shooting organizations require.  NCOWS does offer several options in two weapons divisions: Black Powder and Smokeless, with further sub-divisions such as “Duelist” (must shoot revolver one-handed), “Shootist” (may shoot revolver two-handed), “Ladies,” “Youth” and”Senior.” For example, a shooter may compete in “Smokeless Shootist,” or “Black Powder Duelist.” “Ladies,” “Youth” and “Senior” have no restrictions on propellant or whether the revolver is shot one- or two-handed. Another sub-divisions NCOWS offers is the “Pistoleer” class, where weapons and clothing are restricted to the period prior to 1872 and mandates the use of percussion revolvers shot one-handed.  The other class which makes NCOWS unique is the “Originals” class, which is a non-traditional shooting class combining the elements of shooting competition, re-enacting a historically accurate and documented impression or persona,  and undergoing a peer review. Each entrant must submit a documented impression, be subject to peer review, and compete in shooting competition under specific limitations.

The last main difference is best explained by a quote attributed to Wyatt Earp, “fast is fine, but accuracy is final.”  A NCOWS competition emphasizes the importance for a shooter to be accurate on any given stage.  The targets are smaller in size and set at a further distance compared to other cowboy shooting organizations and the shooter can receive a 10-second penalty for each missed shot and 20-second penalty for shooting targets out of the specified order. . A stage typically involves shooting 5-10 pistol targets at approximately 15-20 yards, 10 rifle targets at approximately 30-50 yards, and 2-4 shotgun targets at approximately 10-15 yards (if you are shooting in a class requiring a shotgun). Complete details on approved weapons, calibers, clothing, and accouterments will be found in the NCOWS Tally Book, free to all members.

What is similar with all shooting organizations is SAFETY.  All participants must attend a safety meeting before a match. All guns are unloaded except when the shooter is on the firing line shooting a stage. Eye and ear protection are required. Several other safety measures are employed and will be covered in the safety meeting before a match. All participants watch out for each other to ensure safety measures are enforced. We only shoot SOFT LEAD pistol caliber ammunition to reduce any chance of ricochet or “splash back” from the ammunition hitting the steel targets.