Q. / Please introduce yourself.
A. / My name is Ginger Kelley of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Also known by my shooting alias as Ginger Lee.
Q./ How did you choose Ginger Lee for an alias?
A./ Not only is Ginger Lee a part of my real name I was looking for something simple and memorable with an old west sound.
Q./ How did you get started in cowboy action shooting?
A./ About 2 years ago I was fortunate to meet a special man who along with his friends took me under their wings and began teaching me about shooting sports. They had all been involved in CAS for up to 20 years in the Prince Albert and Candle Lake areas of Saskatchewan. My introduction to CAS began with a small group of us going to the Candle Lake range to learn the basics of firearm safety and handling. The men gave me lots of patient and interesting instruction and allowed me to use a variety of firearms. After becoming proficient in the safe use and handling of firearms I began attending CAS events and have become very passionate about the sport. As I started attending the events on a regular basis other women started to join in the fun as well. Many of them were also new shooters. By the end of the first season, our CAS club was almost a 50/50 split between men and women shooters.
Q./ Does it cost a lot to get involved in CAS?
A./ No. When I first began competing in CAS I was encouraged to use loaner firearms in many calibres and styles that were supplied by other members until I decided what would suit me best.
Q./ What is a “Loaner Firearm?”
A./ Many of our regular shooters bring spare firearms which they keep perfectly tuned and maintained and are generous enough to allow new shooters to use until the new shooters decide what works best for them.
Q./ What firearms do you use now?
A./ Last season I shot a loaner Ruger Blackhawk 4 5/8 bbl. In .357 cal. And I am now the proud owner of a pair of stainless steel Ruger Vaquero birdsheads 4 5/8 bbl. in .357cal. I shoot a Stoeger IGA 20 g. coach gun that has been modified to fit me better. I was using a Marlin 1894CL. In .357cal but I found it a bit on the heavy side. This year I purchased a Winchester 1894 trapper in .357 cal. that is now being fitted and tuned for me.
Q./ What type of ammunition do you need for CAS?
A./ CAS requires that you only use lead bullets at low velocities between 600 to 1000 fps for handgun and 600 to 1400 fps velocity for rifle. This is for safety reasons because most targets are at fairly close range and we don’t want any shooters, bystanders or targets to get damaged. Many of the shooters who attend a lot of events through the year reload their own ammo to save expenses
Q./ Where do you get your costumes and accessories?
A./ A lot of the fun involved in CAS is being able to get dressed up in a variety of period correct costumes. Most of my costumes and accessories are found through visits to thrift shops and second hand stores. I spend very little to put together my costumes.
Q./ Are the women treated any differently from the male shooters?
A./ Once the more experienced shooters were sure that the new shooters both male and female were well versed and following all the safety rules we were not treated any differently than those who had been attending shoots for years. All the various jobs necessary to run a good event are shared equally between men and women to the extent that our match director tends to spend most of his time in the kitchen. He did such a great job as cook last season preparing hot and free lunches for shooters and bystanders that one fellow stated that “Cowboy Action Eating” should be listed as an event. In our association all shooters, male and female, compete together and shoot and score the same targets.
Q./ What is your home range?
A./ I consider my home range and the one I enjoy going to the most to be the Candle Lake Sportsmans League range at Candle Lake Saskatchewan. The scenery is beautiful and in my opinion the range itself has the best developed permanent CAS facility in Saskatchewan. It boasts a nicely furnished and heated clubhouse, it has a 500 m. range and is the only range I know of in Saskatchewan that has been approved for .50 cal rifle.
It has paved access right to the range gate from hwy 120 and is near the Candle Lake resort village.
Q./ What other ranges do you shoot at?
A./ I frequently shoot at the Prince Albert West range where I am a member also and have shot at the Torch River range near Nipawin Sk. This year I plan to travel to many of the ranges throughout Saskatchewan to help put on CAS introductions and to compete in CAS events. I intend to travel to Manitoba and hope to travel back to Alberta to compete in CAS events there.
Q./ What else do you do that is associated with CAS?
A./ Lots of the fun involved in CAS is the social aspect which continues all year round. In the fall I attended a large year-end shoot and social with a great supper and many prize giveaways. During the winter we all stay in touch with monthly brunches and get together. I have attended two gun shows in Saskatoon in full CAS costume where our CAS association put on a display of information and firearms promoting CAS in Saskatchewan. I have also attended a range officer course and have been working with Canadian Firearms to get approval for a recognised CAS range officer course for our members. We have our website (www.sawws.com) up and operational and have been meeting with associate shooting clubs to plan events throughout Saskatchewan for the upcoming year.
Q./ How does your association award event prizes?
A./ The emphasis at all events is on having a safe and enjoyable time. Although some people are more competitive than others, all prizes are awarded by a draw amongst all the competitors. Every competitor, no matter their skill level, has the same chance of taking home a prize.
Q./ So, in conclusion, What is you opinion of CAS?.
A./ CAS is a great sport that combines shooting and socializing that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their skill level or experience. The people are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience and everyone is there to enjoy themselves.
Ginger Lee Kelley Prince