The History of Cowtown
Cowtown was built in 1977 by Ron Nix, a Hollywood stuntman and legend in the motion picture and television industry. He moved to Arizona with his wife and a dream to create a real old west atmosphere. He brought a lot with him – teaching stuntmen, rodeo’s, students performing in the public eye, encouraging Civil War reenactments and completing a town which served as the basic set for many movies, over 200 to be exact. Included in these productions are "Night Rider 2010", "Dead Man" starring Johnny Depp, and most recently a Cowboy Zombie movie. Ron has also appeared in many foreign productions released in Mexico and the Philippines. The reenactments opened the door for the Cowtown Cowboy Action Shooters which still exists today. In 1982 they became the first organized Cowboy Action Club and established and incorporated safety guidelines which SASS (Single Action Shooting Society), who came into being somewhat later, has put into place for worldwide expansion of the sport.
Through the efforts of Jim Martin and Bill Waller, a couple of the members, who were friends with Ron Nix, the Cowboy Shooters were invited to become part of the town and added greatly to its ambiance strolling around in their period clothing, shooting irons and general camaraderie. In 1981 the Club held the First Annual Arizona State Championship of Cowboy Shooting. Cowtown prospered for a while, but Nix’s dream never reached full fruition and the town changed hands many times and is currently owned by Richard Shaw.
Cowtown Range and Training Facility
Today, the Ghost Town remains and the surrounding 88 acres serves as a training ground for 2 sniper and weapon training schools as well as being a training site for many Private Contractors, DOD, Law Enforcement and Military training groups. Cowtown Range is the "Most Famous Range Nobody Has Heard of". This training is all performed on the West Range utilizing the Afghan Village and long range target lanes as well as washes and hills and valleys. The unique terrain on the West Range provides challenging target acquisition as each step is an elevation change. The East Range is a flat, open area and consists of 6 Bays, (2) 100 yard ranges, a large Shoot house and 2 rifle ranges.
Cowtown Studios caters to a wide range of events and venues from specialized training to corporate events as well as filming opportunities. Cowtown Studios consists of several old movie sets including an old Ghost Town and Mexican or Afghan style village. The natural patina and textures of the materials and structures found on site make Cowtown Studios highly desirable for Casting Location Scouts and photographers. The Cowtown Management Group is currently seeking additional Clubs and User Groups to set up at Cowtown. Additional space is available near the Cowtown Cowboy Action Shooters or on the East Range which is a much flatter elevation and ideally suited for Clubs and User Groups. Additional bays have been developed as well as a long range shooting lane capable of facilitating shooters out to 250 yards.
Cowtown is pleased to be the home for to 2 Arizona based non-profit entities. Get Them Hooked which was developed and run by Tony Fowler teaches foster children, underprivileged and their caretakers how to fly fish on our 1 acre private pond stocked with several species of fish as well as trout. The pond has been developed and enhanced into a very attractive and relaxing environment home to large Koi, Turtles, Blue Cranes and Bull Frogs as well as a favorite watering hole for local cattle, burros, mountain lion, Great Horned Owls and Coyotes.
The second non-profit organization is Promote Hope which is run by Paul Mueller and Steve Simon. This organization focuses on the unique needs of all First Responders; Fire, Law Enforcement, Military and Trauma Room Personnel. We provide a relaxing weekend retreat for all participants including fly fishing on the pond, a guided desert tour via TomCars, trigger time on some unique weapons platforms including the DillonAero M134D Mini Gun, McMillan Tac50/Tac308 and catered food. This simple concept has proven to be quite successful in helping our Wounded Warriors and other First Responders find peace again through peer interaction.
Cowtown Specialized Training
Cowtown Range is uniquely qualiﬁed to assist and support Tier 1 & Tier 2 Special Operations groups with their training needs. We support from a logistics level if the group wishes to merely “rent dirt” to complete turnkey operations with instructors and speciﬁc weapons platforms and related equipment. Our instructors are all former military with a passion for excellence.
- Precision Rifle
- Pistol Training
- Reconnaissance & Surveillance
- Tracking and Locating Weapons/Personnel
- Explosives Training and Testing
- Helicopter Operations
- Convoy and Off-Road Driving
- Vehicular and Building Interdictions
- Aerial Platform Shooting
Hazard Zone Medical
This course allows opportunity for the operator without formal medical training to be able to provide immediate care to patients during any phase of tactical situations. Our curriculum consists of basic medical & trauma training in hazardous conditions and teaches all participants how to effectively treat the wounded with minimal medical equipment as well as basic self-care and basic buddy aid. The basic training is geared to give valuable basic lifesaving skills and provides an experience of combat medicine, basic techniques in providing rapid medical stabilization and evacuation of patients in critical conditions while in authentic combat based scenarios. The course is dynamic and has all field work without formal classroom lectures.