"Beyond The Wild Bunch": Required Reading for Cowboy Action Shooters


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

November 3rd, 2002




For the past few evenings, I have been reading a great book by Gary Kieft that deals thoroughly with the subject of the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. Cowboy Action Shooting is the fastest growing shooting sport in the USA, and for good reason. It is just plain fun!

Gary delves into every aspect of the Sport, from the equipment used to the various shooting styles and scenarios which may be encountered at a match. Within the 160 pages of the book are, in addition to the very informative text, several dozen beautiful photographs of the guns, accoutrements, and people of Cowboy Action Shooting.  The photos are absolutely top quality, with most of them shot from the lens of the camera of renowned shooting photographer Nyle Leatham.

In addition to the excellent photos,  a special treat enclosed within this book are pictures of many vintage western movie posters.  Cowboy Action Shooting is all about the Old West, and the characters that lived it. This includes the heroes and villains of the silver screen, such as Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, and John Wayne, in addition to those who rode into our lives through the TV Western.  Gary once again brings these characters to life with his nostalgic look into the "B" Westerns and TV legends  that portrayed the Old West, whether real or not, as it should have been.

"Beyond The Wild Bunch" contains thirteen chapters of interesting text starting with the origin of the sport and the spirit of the game. Cowboy Action Shooting is as much about the spirit and character of the sport as it is about winning. Gary explains the process of the shooter acquiring an alias; that is, adopting a character, whether real or imagined, from the Old West. Gary goes on to detail the choices available in equipment and accessories needed to compete in Cowboy Action Shooting.  There is a chapter in the book explaining  the rules of etiquette and  safety of the sport, in addition to the chapters covering the guns, equipment, and clothing required.

Every aspect of the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting is covered in "Beyond The Wild Bunch", and is the best book which I have read to date on the subject.

In addition to the wealth of information contained, "Beyond The Wild Bunch" is printed on top quality slick paper and hard bound for durability. The photos are suitable for framing, and the digital images posted along with this article do them no justice.  The pictures posted here are pictures of pictures, that have to be of a resolution that will download easily over the internet. The quality of the photos contained in the book are outstanding. The book measures  11-3/8 by 8- inches, and is of the quality often referred to as a "coffee table book".  Books of comparable quality cost anywhere from 45 to 70 bucks in a book store, but "Beyond The Wild Bunch" is available from Dillon Precision Products for only $15.95!  This is not a misprint, the book costs only $15.95. You can order the book by going to the Dillon website at:   www.dillonprecision.com  or over the telephone by calling toll free at:

I have no idea how they can sell a book of this quality for under 16 bucks. It is worth twice the price for the photos alone!

For anyone interested in Cowboy Action Shooting, or just the guns and heroes of the Old West, I highly recommend "Beyond The Wild Bunch".  Thumbing through the pages, one can almost smell the gun smoke and leather, and hear the jingling of spurs on a wooden sidewalk. Call Dillon and order the book. They will put it on the next stagecoach headed your way.

Jeff Quinn

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"Beyond The Wild Bunch" by Gary Kieft, available from Dillon Precision, is required reading for anyone interested in Cowboy Action Shooting.