NCOWS, 6820 University Ave, Suite 234, Cedar Falls, IA. 50613, Phone 319-277-6839

Western Action Shooting, Re-enactment, and promotion of the historical Old West heritage of the United States.


THE Shootist is the official quarterly publication of The National Congress of Old West Shootists, Inc. The magazine is supplemented with timely information sent via an electronic newsletter as needed. It is included free with NCOWS membership, although we do accept straight subscriptions. Contact us at NCOWS, 6820 University Ave, Suite 234, Cedar Falls, IA. 50613, Phone 319-277-6839, E-Mail:


The Shootist was the first magazine devoted exclusively to Western Action Shooting. The Shootist has been in publication since 1994. The Shootist is where members of The National Congress of Old West Shootists get up-to-date news and information about NCOWS' shoots and activities in its "Congressional Report" feature. But more than that, The Shootist prints Old West fiction; articles on Old West guns and gunsmithing; features on reloading; articles on Old West gunleather and how to make your own holster; reviews on new guns and new products for the Western Action shooter; book reviews, and more. Virtually all of our authors are members of NCOWS, and write from their love of our brand of Western Action Shooting.


We are always interested in receiving original contributions of all types for future issues of The Shootist from NCOWS members or non-members. Remember, it is your contributions that determine whether The Shootist is the kind of magazine you want it to be. We'll welcome any original contributions but are especially interested in articles or continuing columns on such areas as: History of the Old West, Product Reviews, Gun Tests and Evaluations, Reloading for Western Action Shooting, Original Art, Photographs, both Old-Time and Modern, Guides to Authenticity of Clothing, Guns and Gear, Original Fiction and Poetry, Book Reviews, Gunsmithing Tips, NCOWS Posse Shoots and Activities, Correspondence on Other Western Action Shooting Events, and so on. Send us the kind of stuff you'd like to read. Let us know if you have an idea for a continuing column of your own.

The deadline for all submissions is currently the first of the month preceding the month of publication; for example, 1 June for the July/August issue. Submissions must be computer generated, using a standard type-face. Submissions on computer disk (PC) or e-mailed are especially gratifying. We prefer Microsoft Word for text. Photographs should be high quality color or black-and-white with full identification included. Frankly, the better the camera and lens, the better the final result. Photographs should be sized to at least 5X7 and 300 dpi resolution. Scanned photos and digital images should be in separate files (.jpg format) and not embedded in text or Word files. Ads or other “camera-ready” documents should be submitted as PDF files. All submissions become the property of The Shootist. Regrettably, at the present we can only pay in glory, not cash.
For more particulars on submissions see the Editorial Guidelines, and to get the latest on advertising in The Shootist see Advertising.


The Shootist is available through a straight non-member subscription at the rate of $50.00 a year ($63.00 outside the USA). If you're not interested in joining NCOWS at this time, but think you might like The Shootist, just fill out the following subscription form and we'll be happy to bill you for your year's subscription.


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Further guidelines for authors (sorry if some of this is elemental): Copy should be thoroughly proofread for errors in grammar and spelling as well as typographical errors. This may sound elementary, but watch out for such common errors as incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, inconsistent tenses, the substitution of "it's" (the contraction for "it is") for "its" (the possessive), and "to" for "too," etc., even if you're writing informally and/or assuming a dialect style. ("That's to say, pard, that even iffen it's a western dialect yer assumin', ya still cain't be too keerful 'bout how it's all gittin' down on the page.")
Citation of Sources: For articles that have any kind of a historical basis, or rely on sources other than your own knowledge, it is very important to list those sources. Obviously direct quotations need to be cited, but so does any information taken from an outside source if its information is not generally known. That is, you don't need to cite a reference for the statement: "The Winchester Model 1873 was first issued in .44-40 caliber." The idea behind citations is not to impress readers with your erudition and extensive research, but to enable the reader to follow your argument and the evidence you've assembled.

The Shootist uses parenthetical citation as the easiest way to reference sources. That is, sources are listed at the end of the article, and are referred to parenthetically in the body of the text. For example, if I referred in an article to The Real American Cowboy, and Firearms of the American West, the complete references at the end of the article would be:
Works Cited
Garavaglia, Louis A. and Charles G. Worman. Firearms of the American West: 1866-1894. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1985.
Weston, Jack. The Real American Cowboy. New York: New Amsterdam Books, 1988.
Notice that each reference has at a minimum of following information: author(s), title, place of publication, publisher, and date of publication. The list is alphabetical by author. Now, how do you use this? Let's assume I want to quote Weston. The line might be:
"Farm boys, mainly from Texas but many from other Confederate states, became cowboys not only in pursuit of the colorful, macho life-style but in flight from the poverty and degradation of their landless farm families in perpetual thrall to furnishing merchants under the crop lien system" (Weston 72).
The quotation marks indicate a direct quotation, and the information in the parentheses tells us that the quotation is from page 72 of Weston's book. Notice how the punctuation works in this example.
I can use this information indirectly in two other ways. I could say:
Many cowboys were originally farm boys from the south who were fleeing poverty (Weston 72).
Weston claims that many cowboys were farm boys fleeing poverty (72), but I don't believe it.
In either case, the information is identified as originally being Weston's, and is found on page 72 of his book, listed at the end of the article.
Sometimes, particularly if you have a one-source article (not always a good idea), you can get by with an initial blanket reference, as I did in the article "The Transparent Cowboys" in The Shootist, II, 1 (Jan/Feb 1995), 7, where I informed the reader that: "Much of the information presented here is taken from Philip Durham and Everett L. Jones, The Negro Cowboys (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1965)."
Note that the titles of complete works are always given in italics or are underlined, while articles or sections of complete works are enclosed in inverted commas.
Finally, if you're not sure about anything, drop us a line: NCOWS, 6820 University Ave, Suite 234, Cedar Falls, IA. 50613, Phone 319-277-6839, E-Mail is The important thing is to share your information and your thoughts with the other members of The National Congress of Old West Shootists and the readers of The Shootist. So write it down and send it in.

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