April 2020 Newsletter


All scheduled events have been canceled due to the Executive Order issued by Governor Kate Brown (Executive Order No .20-12). The range itself will remain open for individual membership attendance.


Due to the virus problem, there was no work party in March. When we have a work party, one of the main things we do is to empty the trash barrels. Since we did not have an opportunity to empty the trash, I am asking the members that notice when a trash barrel is full to pull out the black plastic bag and to deposit it in the black trash trailer. Replacement plastic bags are in the rear room of the old training center trailer. If we do not empty the trash barrels when full, the trash will just blow all around the range and it will cause more work in the future. If any member notices a problem with anything on the range during this crisis time, please contact Bill Lewis, lewis.w.l@hotmail.com or 541-480-4695, and it will be taken care of.

The next work party is scheduled for April 15 but that will most likely be canceled. Watch the COSSA calendar on the web site for changes.


By Dastardly Don

Some of the rest of us in COSSA might not know how the Cowboy Shooters got a hankerin’ for those colorful names they use. It’s an Old West thing.

Not every lawman, bad guy, cowboy or buffalo hunter got tagged with a merry moniker, but here’s some oldies I gleaned from the pages of Dodge City, Wickedest Town In The American West, by Tom Clavin, published 2017:

Dirty Sock Jack, Cold Chuck Johnny, Black Jack Bill, Dynamite Sam, Rowdy Joe, Shotgun Collins, Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickock, Hoodoo Kid, Shoot’em Up Mike, Pairie Dog Dave, Dirty Face Charlie, Bull Whack Bill, Hurricane Bill, Light-Fingered Jack, Stuttering Kid, Dutch Henry, Happy Jack, Dirty Dave, Billy the Kid, Big Nose Kate, Mysterious Dave, Dog Kelley, Kid Colton, Deadwood Dick, and Curley Bill.

Seems like if your name was Bill, you were more likely than anyone else to gain a prefix. About a hundred years ago, there was a man who raised horses in the valley where the COSSA range is. Many of the horses went to the US Army for duty in WWI. The man was known kicakkt as Peculiar Bill.

The book mentioned deals mainly with Wyatt Earp’s and Bat Masterson’s years as lawmen and other professions in the 1872-1882 period. Earp died in California in 1929. Masterson made the transformation from respected lawman to well regarded newspaper columnist in New York City.

It’s not quite the same, but if you were in the US military, you know that many of your buddies got nicknames. A few I remember are Skin, Lovely, Kaput, Squat and Tennessee.


Due to some problems on the range, it seems that some explanations are in order.

1. TARGETS-The only targets that are allowed are paper, purchased targets and gong targets. No breakable, exploding or appliances are allowed. Always pick up after yourself.

2. BARRELS-The barrels located at the range are for trash and barrier training. They are not to be used as target holders. Barrels with bullet holes in them make the range look bad and shows a lack of respect for the range itself.

3. SIGNS-Signs are to convey information and are put there for a purpose. They should not be used as targets. Read the signs and abide by them.

4. TARGET STANDS-COSSA supplies target stands and sticks in order to properly put up targets. This is a very important feature of your membership. The target stands are built by members and are costly. Many of the target stands are damaged, either by members that are very poor shots or are deliberately using the stands as targets. Please watch where you are shooting and keep them in good condition. If you accidently damage a target stand, remove that stand from the shooting bay and deposit over by the storage Conex so that it can be repaired.

5. WOODEN SPOOLS-The wooden spools are at the range to provide barriers or tables for equipment. Do not use the spools for target holders.

All the items mentioned above cost COSSA money to replace or to repair. If costs become too high because of negligence of the members, the membership dues will have to be raised to cover the costs. This is your range, be proud of it and keep it looking like the best range in the Pacific Northwest.


COSSA makes available at almost all the bays and ranges tripod target stanchions and often the 1x2 wood posts. Commercially these stanchions cost between $40 and $50. FOR SOME STRANGE REASON, some members seem obligated to shoot the feet of the stanchions to test the ability of their cartridges to penetrate metal OR they are simply bad shots. This destroys the tripod for other users and consumes valuable and specialized volunteer time to repair. The picture shows the damage and highlights the extra remedy at extra cost that COSSA must incur to keep the tripods serviceable. WHAT a waste of our dues! DO NOT SHOOT the tripods. They are not intended nor designed to be the focus of your shot placement.


From the NRA: Cleaning

Regular cleaning is important for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.

A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.

Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun's action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.


And keep your distance!

By Gary Lewis

They call it social distancing and while you may have just heard of it, social distance has a long history.

A Mrs. Elphinstone paid a social call to Lady Almeria Braddock's home in London of 1792 and their tea party devolved into a duel in Hyde Park. Mrs. Elphinstone fired first, knocking Lady Braddock's hat off her noggin.

In 1806, Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson couldn't agree on the character of Jackson's wife, but the two managed to agree to a duel, wherein they stood 24 feet apart, the approved social distance for such events. Dickinson fired first, striking Jackson, who stood his ground and gave better than he got.

The John Randolph/Henry Clay duel that had its Genesis on the Senate floor ended with five shots fired and a handshake at midfield. These days the handshake, of course, would have been a fist bump.

If your idea of social distance includes spending a few hours in the home workshop, crafting a gun that will be uniquely your own, think about building a caplock pistol.

There are several ways to come by a caplock pistol kit. One way is to buy the components on E-bay or pick them up at a gun show.

I bought a kit from www.muzzle-loaders.com based in La Grande, Oregon, and the ingredients arrived right before the governor's stay home order went into effect.

The Traditions Trapper Pistol kit provides a 90-percent inletted stock and 50-caliber barrel with your choice of either a percussion lock or a flintlock. I ended up with a percussion lock kit.

The first task was to do a dry assembly of the unfinished parts. That gave a good indication of the work there was to do. The assembled parts indicated some more inletting as well as removal of metal around the trigger guard.

It was a matter of two hours to sand and file and grind the parts into a smooth fitment.

The next step will be to finish the fine sanding and apply the finish. I'm waiting for the parts to arrive from MidwayUSA.

I've decided to take this gun to a dark, rusty walnut with blackened brass furniture and a plum brown barrel to match the Kentucky rifle I'm going to build next.


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