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Old May 26, 2012, 08:56 PM   #1
KevK.
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Rookie Question about Cowboy Action Shooting

I'm planning on joining a local outdoor range that has a 'Cowboy Action Shooting' town mock up built. So I plan on going to spectate an event or two this summer.

I understand that there are limitations on what firearms that can be used. I think looking at the site it's 1 rifle, 1 shotgun (mostly coach guns), and 2 pistols. I think the only restriction on calibers was that they had to be 'historic'.

Does anyone have some recommendations on firearms? I know that they single action pistols can get pretty pricy, so maybe something low-cost that I can look into for starting out.

Here is a link to the range. http://www.highlandgunclub.com/


Thanks guys with your patience and what will probably end up being plenty more questions to come.
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Old May 26, 2012, 09:18 PM   #2
B.L.E.
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Quote:
I think the only restriction on calibers was that they had to be 'historic'.
A minimum of .32 caliber centerfire for revolvers. 1000 fps maximum velocity and 400 fps minimum.
SASS does not require calibers to be "historic" as far as I know. Lots of folks shoot .38 special or .357 magnum and .44 magnum downloaded to SASS maximum or lower.
Bullets have to be lead, no copper jackets or gas checks allowed.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:56 AM   #3
Shotgun693
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Take about 100 rounds of low velocity lead revolver rounds, .38 Spl or .45 Colt and a box of 12 or 20 ga shotgun shells, Dove loads. The Shooters will let you try all kinds of guns, including different makes, shapes, grips and actions. Then you can make an educated guess as to what you want. I suggest you go to 3 matches before you decide. Several people will likely have guns they want to trade or sale. If you're a club member you'll likely get a better deal. Also take an old felt Cowboy Hat and a thick wide belt to hang a holster on. Yep, you can pickup leather gear too.
I'm betting that you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by not buying before you try.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:41 AM   #4
SundownRider
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Best you can do for starting out is a couple of Uberti Hombres ($300 each), a Stoeger Coach gun ($350 or so) and a Rossi lever action($400) Try to get both pistols and rifle in same caliber.
Prices may vary a bit but expect to spend about $1000 on guns.
If you can find used, go for it. As you shoot more you can always trade up.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:29 PM   #5
Hawg
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Hombres NIB on gunbroker for 250
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Old May 27, 2012, 04:19 PM   #6
Shotgun693
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You might join here:

http://www.cascity.com


go to the forum and ask.
I've been shooting CAS since 1997 and helped found 2 clubs. Cowboy Shooters will help you get started.
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Old May 27, 2012, 04:22 PM   #7
Throckmorton
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how much gun money ya got ?

the posts are correct,u can get in for about a thousand bucks buying used,but..
if u start with a rossi,you'll want a marlin..
if u start with a Marlin,you'll want a '73 winchester clone...
300.00 vs 700.00 vs 1100.00..roughly.

be SURE to try both double barrrel shotguns,AND model 97 pump shotguns.the pumps rule in our game.I still use and like my coach guns,both Stoegers,both hold up real well.

the afore mentioned Hombres,with aftermarket springs,can for sure get u biy. Ruger Vaquero's are the std by which all others are judged..except those who can afford real Colts,lol...My Italian Colt clones have served me welll for many years.

clothing,go simple. Jeans,boots,hat,plain no-collar shirt.

all of your questions can be answered in the on-line handbooks at www.sassnet.com

but do ask here of course.

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Old May 27, 2012, 04:42 PM   #8
Hawg
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IMHO the 97 is difficult to master over the top loading. Not a big deal unless you really want to be a competitor.

http://youtu.be/F1BwUJ4--Qw
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Old May 27, 2012, 05:51 PM   #9
Crunchy Frog
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You can also find tons on information on the SASS Wire forum; follow the link you were given to the SASS main page and click on SASS Wire.

Assuming your club follows SASS rules, the rifle must be pistol caliber. Looks like you knew that already and I agree with the suggestion to get the revolvers and the rifle in the same chambering.

There are lots of different ways to play the game so buy and use what is the most fun for you. I would second the recommendation to go to matches before buying ANYTHING. Contact the match director and let them know you are interested in getting started.

The most popular caliber now seems to be .38 Special. It is a lot less expensive to shoot than the other calibers. I scrounge a good portion of the brass that I reload; try THAT with .44-40. The bullets are less expensive, too. On the other hand, if you prefer a larger caliber (.45 Colt is pretty popular), go for it.

A friend of mine who started shooting about a year ago bought a pair of the $250 Hombre revolvers off GunBroker. They are a bargain at that price. The Colt "clone" revolvers are a little less rugged than the Rugers but if you break a spring, replace it and keep shooting.

As for rifles, lots of new shooters gravitate to the Rossi 1892s because they are relatively inexpensive but you won't see many top shooters using '92s. They just won't run as quickly and smoothly as the top guns. I saved up for a year to buy a '73. I would not buy a '92; I would save a little more money and look for a good Marlin rifle.

I would try different shotguns. I bought a used 1897 pump; I had a little more experience with pumps than with side-by-sides. If you want a double, you might want to look at a Baikal (imported by EAA). It's actually a little less expensive than a Stoeger coach gun but many cowboys think it's a better gun.

The shotguns need a little action work to run right. Many of the rifles need TLC as well. Most of the revolvers are OK out of the box but some can benefit from a little slicking up.

I've been shooting cowboy for a little over two years. It's a good group of folks to shoot with, very friendly and helpful. I am having a blast.
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Old May 27, 2012, 06:02 PM   #10
Crunchy Frog
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B.L.E. is right; you will often find that other cowboy shooters have guns for sale. My club's monthly match was today; people set out guns they had for sale during the match; I counted six revolvers and a shotgun.

I looked at your local club photos, a pretty nice setup. In our club we share the action shooting bays with other "disciplines" so our storefronts are on skids so that we can move them to the side after the match. I have attended matches at two "dedicated" cowboy clubs that had very elaborate Western town setups.

I liked seeing the picture of the lady shooting "gunfighter".
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:07 PM   #11
KevK.
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Thanks!

Hey guys, thanks for the information.

I'll be looking more into it. It might be a year before I can gather the firearms together..

I was already thinking .38/.357 for the pistol/rifle calibers, and using a sidexside shotgun. I've already been looking at a Stoeger.

I was at a live auction recently and saw a used Ruger Vaq. in 44 mag. (maybe 8") go for $580 before the Auction commission and transfer. After it was all said and done, he ended up paying almost $650 for it.

-KevK.
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Old May 28, 2012, 12:50 PM   #12
Jbar4Ranch
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Pay attention - this is a short read, but confusing!

Some categories require certain revolvers, rifles or shotguns, some require fixed sights on your revolvers, some have caliber restrictions, such as .40 cal or larger, some require a gunfighter style holster rig (one on each side) rather than a crossdraw style. Classic Cowboy requires a double rig and holsters that position at least part of the revolver's grip above the belt, while B Western requires a Buscadero style rig that carries the revolvers completely below the top of the belt line.
A 12g or 20g SxS hammer shotgun is legal in all main match categories, as is an 1887 lever action shotgun.
Fixed sight cartridge revolvers of .40 cal or larger are legal in all categories.
Approved percussion revolvers of .36 cal or larger are legal in all categories.
There are NO smokeless powder categories... meaning there are no categories which REQUIRE smokeless powder. Black powder is legal in ALL categories.
There are NO categories which require adjustable sights on your revolvers, but there are some which require fixed sights. The old Modern category, which has gone by the wayside, DID require adjustable sights on at least one of the revolvers.
If you shoot percussion revolvers, add a '73 of .40 cal or larger, and you're good for all categories except B Western. Frontiersman requires percussion revolvers and B Western requires a rifle design of 1880 or later, so cartridge revolvers would exclude you from Frontiersman. Under .40 cal would additionally exclude you from Classic Cowboy.
Your choice of guns will be influenced by what category or shooting style you are interested in.

Calibers do NOT have to be "historic". From the book -

• Must be centerfire calibers of at least .32 caliber and no larger than .45 caliber or percussion calibers of at least .36 caliber and no larger than .45 caliber.
Must be in a caliber commonly available in revolvers. Examples include, but are not limited to, .32-20, .32 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .44 Magnum, .44-40, and .45 Colt.

Although it's not common to see someone doing it, convertible cylinders in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 acp are perfectly within the rules, and I've done it myself on occasion. The big thing is NO JACKETED OR PLATED BULLETS - lead bullets only!

Check out the SASS wire, as recommended above, and read through the Shooters Handbook.

http://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/SAS...ighlighted.pdf

Calibers, rifle types, and shotgun types required for certain categories can be quite confusing at first.

Like a lot of folks, I started with a '92, then went to toggle links (1860, 1866, 1873), then started B Western three years ago and now shoot Marlins a lot. I know a couple of top shooters in our LOCAL clubs who shoot '92's, but the 1873 and Marlin 1894 are the guns of choice for most. Just starting out, a pair of used Blackhawks, an 1894 Marlin, and a SxS would be hard to beat. New Marlin 1894's are going to be tough to find, as Remington temporarily, but indefinitely, discontinued them August 12, 2011, but used ones are out there. In August of '09, I needed a B Western rifle, and found a used 1894C .357 at a pawn shop for $249.
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Old May 29, 2012, 09:13 PM   #13
Crunchy Frog
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If you are watching for a used Ruger Vaquero (a good idea) keep in mind that there are two different guns. The original Vaquero had the large sized cylinder, main frame and grip frame. This is why they were offered in .44 Magnum; it's pretty much a Super Blackhawk in different dress. That gun in .357 is plenty hefty.

Later Ruger replaced it with the New Vaquero which is built on a smaller frame. It's designed to be similar in size to a Colt SAA and it's a much handier gun (in my opinion) than the older Vaquero. Some shooters with large hands seek out the Vaquero for its longer grip frame.
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Old May 30, 2012, 12:30 PM   #14
Tanker6
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Lots of good info in this thread, either stated or linked.

The best advice is always to go to your local club, talk with the other shooters, shoot their stuff (we always let new shooters try out stuff! ), and then decide upon what works for YOU! The only issue, as far as I can tell, is the "abundant" amount of information you'll get. Try to hear each shooter's reasons for what they shoot. You'll get some good stuff, and some "other" stuff. The best information is what YOU think of a particular firearm. There will be lots of opinions. Sort through them, after shooting the various firearms, and find what works for you.

This is the best way, IMHO, to find something that YOU will be happy with. And maybe (just maybe ), you'll only buy once to get what you want. But then again, if you're like most of us SASS shooters, you'll buy more just because you "need" it.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride! SASS is all about fun and you can shoot it a number of different ways -- shoot two handed, one handed, smokeless, BP, cap and ball, large caliber, smaller caliber, Winchesters, Marlins, Rossi's, double barrels, '97 pumps, Rugers, Uberti's, Pietta's, open tops, peacemakers, B-Western, Classic Cowboys, and the list is seemingly endless. Find what floats your boat, and go for it.

I shoot with my two kiddos, and it is definitely the most fun I've ever had.

T6 a/k/a Chickahominy Charlie
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Old May 30, 2012, 07:28 PM   #15
Shotgun693
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Quote:
I've already been looking at a Stoeger.
Stoeger has NOT been honoring their warranties as of late. They refused to even respond when my '75 Rem failed. In fact they failed to honor warranties on at least 7, '75s of folks who post on this site.
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Old June 2, 2012, 02:10 PM   #16
rodent.22
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I have one of each

I have the ''old'' Vaquero and the ''new'' Vaquero. I have fitted the grips to feel exactly the same. Yes the old version is a little chunkier, but they feel and handle the same with the grip mods, other than hammer height. I also have a Stoeger Coach gun, which has been trouble free in 4 yrs. Mine are in .45 Colt. I also have a '94 in .45 Colt. Very trouble-free. These aren't the fastest guns, but I wanted to shoot for fun, not to win at all costs.
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