Shooting Sports events
Western Heritage and Cowboy Shooting

Have Fun Today & Step into the Past!

The Old West
When: 1860-1900            
Where: West of the Mississippi
Who: Cowboys, outlaws, pioneers, bankers, ranchers, sod busters, schoolmarms, buffalo hunters, undertakers, lawmen, railroaders, scouts, miners, native Americans, former soldiers, gamblers, entertainers, etc.

The 4-H Western Heritage Project combines a study of the Old West with a different type of 4-H shooting – western action shooting.  The purpose of this project is to provide an avenue for 4-H members and adult leaders to experience the lifestyles and cultures of the American frontier during the period of  1860- 1900 through a living history approach to learning while instilling the concepts of gun safety and personal responsibility.

Project Goals and Purpose

  • The learning and application of safe firearm handling.
  • Preserving and gaining an appreciation for the heritage of the Old West within the time period of 1860-1900.
  • Living history education through the use of historically accurate firearms, clothing, and accessories 
  • Encourage interest in American history that will lead to personal research and increased knowledge of the Old West.


Missouri 4-H Age Guidelines 

9-10 yrs.
Rimfire rifle only
Previously completed 1 year of 4-H Rifle (air or smallbore)

11-13 yrs.
3 guns - Rimfire rifle, Rimfire pistol/revolver, & Shotgun (.410 – 20 – 16 - 12)

14 yrs. & older 
3 guns – Rifle, revolver & shotgun 
Rimfire OR Central-fire (.38 - .45 – etc.)


Western Heritage Workshop

Due to a lack of inquiries/interest about a workshop, the Western Heritage Advisory Committee decided to cancel a workshop for this year. Instead the committee will be focusing their efforts on promoting the program to gain interest for a workshop in 2018. 


Western Heritage and Cowboy Shooting Contest

Dysart Memorial Shooting Complex in Marshall, Mo

September 8-9, 2018

Contest Results 2017


  • Deadline is August 31, 2018 through 4HOnline.
  • $50 registration fee - Fee includes all noon and evening meals. Ammo provided for .22, .38, .45 & shotgun (12, 20, .410)
  • $10 – Per Meal cost (noon and evening) for parents, siblings, other guests. (When youth participant registers, there will be option to indicate guests – and pay for everyone…at time of youth registration. No adult or guest registration required.)

4-H Western Heritage project competition will consist of 3 areas.  A 4-H member is expected to keep with “The Spirit of the Game” must compete in all 3 areas.

  • Cowboy Action Shooting - 50%
    • Timed event (quickest wins)
    • Steel targets (hit or miss)
    • Penalties given for misses, safety violations and procedural mistakes – which adds to the time.
    • Two divisions in Senior competition:  Rimfire and Central-fire
  • Period Clothing/character development - 25%
  • Western Knowledge quiz/test - 25%



2015 national 4-H Western Heritage Conference and Invitational Cowboy Shoot; hosted by Missouri 4-H.

Resources for all project levels

Related websites

These websites have been chosen by 4-H faculty for their educational content. No endorsement of products is given or implied. Please contact us if you find a broken link or other problem.