FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Several people competed in the Cowboy Action Shooting Match at the Old Fort Gun Club this weekend.
Everyone dressed up from head to toe in Western wear, although that was not a requirement to shoot in the match.
“We have two rules -- that's have fun, and be safe,” Mike Sherman said Sunday (Dec. 20).
Sherman is a competitor from Tahlequah, Okla., who came to Fort Smith for the weekend. He said he's been competing in matches for years, adding everyone calls him “Gunny."
“Everybody has to have an alias. I was a firearms instructor for the highway patrol, and I took a couple of rounds of buckshot through the arm during the training deal,” he said. “I pulled them out, and just went right on. They started calling me, ‘Gunny Buckshot’ there, and it just stuck."
The nicknames are just part of the fun. The Old Fort Gun Club has designed a whole Western town for the competitors, complete with a replica of the gallows in downtown Fort Smith, a hotel, and a church.
“It’s kind of based on the history of Fort Smith,” Bob Gleason, Assistant Director of the Cowboy Action Shooting Match, said.
And while they are surrounded by the historic props, “Gunny” said they just can't help but play the part of true Western cowboys.
“We watch those movies so much that we talk to each other in lines," he said. "You know, 'Are you the one that killed our friend?' and then Bob will come back and say, 'Ya, and I liked it too.'"
The cowboys competed at six different stages, and Gleason said the club hopes to expand the Western town to have ten stages for the competitors.
"It's a challenge -- every stage is a challenge,” Gunny said.
The Old Fort Gun Club hosts a Cowboy Shooting Match once a month.