Ambush at the Caverns 1998

November 23, 2020

With the excitement that the inaugural Ambush at the Caverns created, and the continuing growth of cowboy action shooting nationwide, it only made sense for the North Alabama Regulators to posse up for another go. Scheduled for October 3 & 4, Montana Ray and the rest of the North Alabama Regulators put together another eight stage shootin' match - with all the fixins!

While the categories and event schedule were a bit simpler back then, the match itself continued the pattern laid out the year prior.

The 1998 Ambush at the Caverns Shooter's Book, is available in its entirety. A bit of caution, however, as the Shooter's Book does include negative depictions of people or cultures. Reader discretion is advised.

Flipping through the shooter's book, my attention was immediately drawn to the side matches. Today, we typically think of the side matches taking place the day before the main match. Back then however, they were held after the completion of the first day of shooting. And the side matches that were offered were a bit different as well. There was a long range shoot, gunfighter stage, outhouse funnel shoot (still trying to figure out what that was), a 5 round man-on-man shootout, 22 shoot, and a pocket pistol and derringer side match. Glaringly missing from the offerings are the speed side matches that so many of us are accustomed to seeing today.

While the entry form called for 100 rifle, 100 pistol, and 50 shotgun rounds for the main match, the actual round count ended up being 70 pistol, 56 rifle, 26 shotgun, and 1 bandana. The shoot supplied you with the required loin cloth, knife, bow and arrow, and tomahawk. It looks like you were on your own for the bandana. Who knows, maybe they had a free one in your shooter's packet.

While reading through some of the stage instructions, and thinking how I might approach the stage, I wondered if I would have been allowed to carry the shooter's book with me from place to place as I am unsure if I could remember it all! Don't believe me, try setting up some of these stages at your next monthly match and let me know how it goes.

I also found it interesting reading that one stage required you to shoot pistols and shotgun from the hip - with the gun under a counter. Thankfully, that stage did not include a rifle. Another stage had you shooting where you could leave your shotgun on your cart. We also shot two stages that required only one pistol. Still missing from the stage offerings were any stages calling out for 10, 10, 4+.

Last post, I made a call to see if you could help me find a shooter's book that we were missing from our archives. Fortunately, someone was able to find a copy of the 2001 Ambush Shooter's book, so we now have a complete set! With that being said, be sure to check back here as we continue to turn back the pages of time and retell the history that is Alabama's Ambush, and we'll see you on The Firing Line.

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