Old West

Cannon Old West Society is currently accepting new members.  However, you must have a current COWS member recommend you for membership.  Please print the application  for further instruction. 

Our membership year is from November 1 - October 31.  The membership fee per year is $25.00 and covers one household (single, or two adults and all children under age 18.)  The membership fee entitles you to participate and have fun in all of Cannon Old West Society activities for one year, attend monthly meetings, a subscription to our newsletter, and our standard reenactor's liability insurance.  You need to acquire an authentic costume, establish an alias, and develop a character persona within the first membership year.  Also, you must agree to abide by all guidelines and policies set forth by Cannon Old West Society and our insurance company.  
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© 2003 Cannon Old West Society. All rights reserved.

Cannon Old West Society provides all current members with Reenactors Liability Insurance coverage. This coverage does not include personal injury. Liability Insurance only covers mishaps that involve damage or injury to property or spectators. For more details, contact a COWS posse member.

The following is a list of SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. In order to maintain policy eligibility our insurance provider requires that we maintain rigid safety rules. These requirements must be abided by whenever you are within the realm of your living history mission. It is paramount to the continued success of our sport/hobby/business that we think...SAFETY FIRST, foremost and always! 

1) You must abide by all local, state and federal laws or ordinances that concern firearms or weapons.

2) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will live ammunition be permitted on your person or on location during a living history event where we fire at each other. Only Blank ammunition may be used in the performance area. No lead projectile may be discharged from a firearm in the performance area. The type of blanks used by the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, and the World Fast Draw Assoc., are specific to their purpose & should not be used in reenactments where we discharge in the directions of another re-enactor. Our insurance will not cover any claim resulting in an injury caused by a live round or lead bullet projectile. Keep live rounds on the range. Do not carry live rounds & blanks in the same ammunition box. 

3) Consumption of Alcoholic beverages or controlled substances before or during a living history function or while wearing firearms is forbidden. Our insurance will not cover you if you’re under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or illegal substance. 

4) Cannon Old West Society has an appointed Safety Officer and an Assistant Safety Officer to insure all procedures are adhered to prior to any living history function. The two Safety Officers are responsible for the exact observance of all SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. The position of the Officer is considered a safety ambassador not a police officer. It is the responsibility of each member to abide by the SAFETY REQUIREMENTS whether or not a Safety Officer is present.

5) The Safety Officer or Group Leader will contact the Police Dept., Sheriff’s Dept., Parks Dept. or any and all municipality that is in jurisdiction where we will be discharging our firearms. The Safety Officer or Officer in charge should be advised as to the who, what, when, where and the why's of our Living History function. They will inform you if there are any restrictive ordinances or permits required.

6) Upon arrival at an event, every individual wearing a firearm must check-in with the Safety Officer. All firearms must be empty and remain tied down in holsters at all times except during the performance. The Safety Officer is responsible for any test firing of blank ammunition. 

7) All ammunition, loaded black powder cylinders, and gunpowder must be controlled and under the supervision of the Safety Officer at all times. Firearms should only be loaded just prior to performance. A physical dowel rod & visual inspection should be performed or used to guarantee that there are no barrel obstructions on all firearms used in the shows. Any unused ammunition should be unloaded or safely and courteously discharged after each performance.

8) Dummy bullets must have the powder removed and the primers discharged or removed prior to an event.

9) Any and all pyrotechnics will be subject to the law and can only be discharged by a licensed pyrotechnic. All pyrotechnics are subject to approval by the host organization. Small poof charges are acceptable if approved by the host organization.

10) Minors (15 years and under) are not permitted to discharge a firearm.
Note: There is an exception, if these conditions are met.
  a) If a parent or guardian is on site and signs a waiver.
  b) If the waiver is signed by an official representative of the host organization and the team leader.
  c) If it is legal, under the local, state or federal laws.
  d) If the child has been signed up for the Comprehensive re-enactors liability insurance.
  e) There are no peer objections.

11) A safety perimeter must be defined both in front and behind your sets or where you will be performing. A device (rope, fence etc.) must be in place to separate the show area from the spectators.
Note: When possible, safety officers should be in strategic locations to protect the safety perimeter from being crossed by unaware spectators or small children.

12) Domestic animals may be used in a show. Written approval must be obtained from the host organization prior to event check-in. Assurances for the care and maintenance of the animals must be demonstrated. The animals must be constrained or under control at all times. Animals must not be allowed to run into the spectators' area. Stallions, bulls, boars, smelly billy goats, barking dogs, buffalo and any other animal that may be recognized or deemed hard to manage or objectionable, must be pre-approved if being used in performances or demonstrations.

13) Special effects, blood charges, gags, or extreme stunts are forbidden at sanctioned competitions. These include, but are not limited to body burns, belly blasts, explosive or smoking charges, point blank shots, blood charges, mutilating or where bodily fluids are demonstrated.
Note: A special effect may be allowed if the following conditions are met: 
  a) A proposal is submitted in writing.
  b) Prior written approval is given by the host organization.
  c) There are no peer objections. 

14) When firing blanks from a shotgun, carbine or handgun a safe firing distance should be maintained from the audience & your fellow re-enactor. It is recommended that when you are firing a shotgun you maintain a safety distance of 30-feet. When firing a handgun or carbine it is recommended you maintain a 10-foot safe firing distance. To test blank ammo for a safe firing distance, a white paper plate distance & splatter test should be performed by the Safety Officer. If the blank ammo tested fails, don’t use it. MRA blanks are recommended. 

Note: These safety rules are evaluated & updated periodically by our Safety Officers. If you have comments or opinions about these issues please let us know.