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Old May 6, 2013, 01:13 PM   #1
manta49
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Cowboy Action Shooting.

I had the opportunity to try some cowboy action shooting the other day. It was good fun the only problem now it I will have to save for two revolvers and a underlever rifle. Has anyone on the forum tried it and have they any advice on makes of revolvers and rifles at a reasonable prices.
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:26 PM   #2
Frank Ettin
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I used to do it. It was great fun.

I started out with a couple of Ruger Vaqueros and a Marlin rifle (and a Stoeger Coach gun). The four guns actually cost about the same as the one pistol I was using for IPSC (Limited Division).
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:32 PM   #3
Andrewh
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the lever action will set you back the most right now on a per gun basis.
winchester being the most popular, but marlin probably next.


ruger vaquaro was the most durable of the ones I saw.

but there were mixes of guns. Colt SAA's were used, uberti which I think is now beretta.

Taurus made a small run of them as well.

double barrels. EAA I felt was on par with stoger for running, but a hundred or so cheaper.

you might find some of the older double barrels and have them cut down to coach gun size, as those can be had really cheap.
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Old May 6, 2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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I'm moving this to the appropriate forum -- lots of experts over there to chime in.
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Old May 6, 2013, 04:39 PM   #5
Rigmarol
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I started off shooting a Ruger Blackhawk and a Ruger Vaquero. Both in .45colt. I wasn't in the habit of buying two of any kind of gun so that's what I happened to have when I started.

I also had a Winchester lever rifle in .357/.38 and I borrowed a Stoeger 12ga coach gun for the first few matches. Folks are friendly and eager to help a new guy get the taste so borrowing was a matter of picking from the group of guns being offered!

I started with no holsters either. I carried my guns in a wooden box to the stages, and NOBODY laughed or criticized.

I got my holsters and started putting together a cowboy costume and bought a cheap comfy hat and new Stoeger coach gun of my own and I was having fun!

I found a very nice Marlin "Cowboy" rifle in .45colt and now only had to load one caliber for rifle and handguns. Made life a bit easier at the reloading bench.

Then the wife got the notion to tag along. She saw the costumes and signed right up! I've never bought 4 guns in one day before but she dragged me to the local gun store and ordered up two matched Vaqueros, a 20ga coach gun and her own Lever gun, all in .357/.38 (good thing I still had the dillon set up for that round!)

I've now moved on to two Colt's Dragoon handguns converted to .45colt. Having a blast! Will be working with BP cartridges within a few weeks and will be having fun with that as well I'm sure.

I'm not the young buck I once was and with Cowboy shooting, you can shoot in your advanced age along side the 20 year holds and have just as much fun.

I hope you have fun too.
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Old May 6, 2013, 04:43 PM   #6
Hawg
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The cheapest out is Uberti revolvers a Rossi rifle and a Stoeger shotgun.
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Old May 6, 2013, 04:52 PM   #7
manta49
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Thanks for the advice the guy doing the demo was using Uberti revolvers seem nice enough.
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Old May 6, 2013, 05:40 PM   #8
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seen a lotta Rossi rifles and Stoger coach guns out there in a lotta fellas hands. That must mean somethin, lol!
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Old May 6, 2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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Uberti makes a Cattleman Hombre with a matte black finishj (not blued) as a copy of the Colt Single Action Army (SAA). They came with 4 1/2" barrels in 357 and 45LC for $250. It was such a deal I bought TWO. I put a $25 spring kit in each of them and they are "like butter".
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:40 AM   #10
Doc Hoy
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I have been able to compare..

A Rossi M92 (.45 LC) to a Henry Big Boy in .357.

The Henry is smoother and a good bit bigger. I find the Rossi is a little to small for me to be comfortable. The Henry is 250.00 more money and I suppose it is worth it.

I also have a Vaquero as well as a Cattleman and a Smokewagon all in 5.5. The Vaquero is a little smoother than the Ubertis but not by much. If some one handed me both revolvers and told me the Uberti's cost as much as the Ruger's I would believe them.

The Ruger is a transfer bar revolver. It also does not have a half cock position. The cylinder rotates when the loading gate is open.
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Old May 7, 2013, 07:18 AM   #11
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Manta49: what are the gun laws in Northern Ireland/UK regarding breechloading single action revolvers?
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:12 AM   #12
thickice
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Here's a couple of CAS websites:

http://www.cascity.com/

http://sassnet.com/forums/
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:37 AM   #13
brazosdave
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@Hellgate, yup I got two of the Uberti Hombre Cattlemen's (one's my wifes, one's mine) in .357/.38spl. Outstanding pistols. I didn't even change the springs out, they action great and are outstanding shooters.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:31 AM   #14
Noz
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SASS rifles in order of preference: All copies in your choice of caliber 38/357 being the most prevalent
1873 Winchester
1866 Winchester
1894 Marlin
1892 Winchester
1860 Winchester
1894 Winchester
Henry Big Boy.

Most common pistols are the Ruger Vaqueros. Too many other possibilities to list.

Shotguns: Doubles In no particular order
Baikal
Stoeger
TTN
SKB
Browning

Pump:
Several makers of Model 97 including original Winchesters.
Same for the Model 87

Look around for used equipment at cowboy shots and post on the SASS Wire Classifieds.

Not a cheap game to get into but all of the items hold their value quite well.
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Old May 7, 2013, 01:28 PM   #15
manta49
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Quote:
Manta49: what are the gun laws in Northern Ireland/UK regarding breechloading single action revolvers?
Bootsie aka Long Johns Wolf
You can get any handgun if you show need. EG I have A CZ 75 SPO1 for police pistol comps and a .45 for large calibre target and .22 for small bore target. I have being thinking what i would like next something historic a pair of single single action army would be nice. The need would be for cowboy action shooting. A link to one of the clubs here that do cowboy action shooting bellow.

www.kellsrpc.com/ca/reports.php?a=0609‎

Last edited by manta49; May 7, 2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old May 7, 2013, 09:52 PM   #16
Jbar4Ranch
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I got bit hard by the CAS bug about 15 years ago and seldom shoot any other discipline anymore.

The 1873 is probably the most used rifle, with the 1866's and Marlins next. A Rossi 1892 is likely to be the most affordable. Like a lot of folks, I started with a '92 in .45 Colt, then went to toggle link '73's and '66's for a few years, then started shooting B Western a lot and have been using Marlins almost exclusively the past few years.
Pass on the Winchester 1894 - it was made for a longer cartridge and usually doesn't work well with revolver cartridges. I've seen a few Henry Big Boys at the matches, but most folks would suggest passing on it too. Likewise, also pass on the Lightning pattern pump guns, ESPECIALLY the Taurus.
Ruger Blackhawks and Vaqueros are a great choice for main match revolvers, but there's certainly nothing wrong with Uberti's either - I have 31 of 'em. The cheapest revolvers would undoubtedly be either brass framed percussion guns or single action 1895 Nagants. Black powder revolvers are probably not the best choice to start out with, and I've NEVER seen anybody shoot a Nagant at a match.
Most any SxS shotgun w/o ejectors will work fine and are likely the most cost effective, other than a single shot. Single shots with or without ejectors are legal, and I use one every once in awhile just to be different.

Some categories call for different guns: Fixed sights or .40 cal or larger or specific types of shotgun actions, etc. For shotguns, a hammered double, single shot, or 1887 lever action is legal in all categories. Fixed sight revolvers of .36 cal and larger are legal in all categories. Fixed sight cartridge revolvers of .40 cal or larger are legal in all categories except Frontiersman, which calls for percussion revolvers. Classic Cowboy calls for a rifle from the time frame of 1873 or earlier, while B Western specifies 1880 or later.

The online shooter's manual can be found HERE.

Noz, you have the '87 under your heading of Pump shotguns. (It's a lever action shotgun, and I know he's aware of that. )

Now... I have a match Saturday, and two to choose from Sunday...
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:25 AM   #17
Doc Hoy
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I don't have a dog in this fight....

I don't shoot CAS and don't ever intend to. I know nothing about what makes a good CAS firearm.

But I see that the Henry is at the bottom of the list.

I like mine but since I don't do the CAS thing I am in the dark as to why it scores low with CAS shooters.

Too heavy maybe?
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Old May 8, 2013, 09:27 AM   #18
Noz
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The internals of the Big Boy are not suited to the very fast action that the CAS folks run. There are emotional problems as well that we don't need to get into here.

JBar 4. I just got lazy and assumed everyone would know what I was talking about.
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Old May 8, 2013, 12:18 PM   #19
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I agree that cap-n-ball revolvers may not be the absolute best to start with. But they are cheap, easy to buy (online or private party by mail), and easy to sell later when you can spring for a pair of Vaqueros. They can even be converted to cartridge guns for a couple hundred bucks each.

No, you won't be very fast, but starting out should be more about learning to play the game safely and having fun. And cap-n-ball guns are certainly FUN!
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:51 PM   #20
Andy Griffith
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It also depends upon whether you want to shoot it fast, or have more style.

You could start with a Colt Navy or Army, a Remington 1858 or similar percussion revolver, which would likely be one of the more affordable pieces. I do not know if they are regulated in N. Ireland, but in the US, they (the originals and reproductions) are exempt from all licesnsing requriements except in the most draconian and evil places in our fair land.

I second the Rossi as an affordable and good quality rifle- they can be had in rifle and carbine versions in 16,20 and 24" barrel lengths. I would recommend trying each to see which one you have a preference for- I like the 24" to 30" rifles myself, as the extra weight makes the rifle swing a bit more smoothly when running through a range of targets. Although I didn't get one, I did want to get one of the 3-band Spencer military rifles- I think I will one day, and I know it would put me slower than all other competitors, but I would look good.

As for shotguns, you can use a single shot or double, or even one of the 1897 Winchesters or reproductions. Perhaps there are some reasonable priced Husqvarna doubles coming into N. Ireland like are being brought into the US. I l know my cowboy action freinds won't like it, because I'll be even slower, but I'm thinking of bringing a rolling block shotgun to the next match!
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Old May 8, 2013, 07:07 PM   #21
Jbar4Ranch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Hoy
I don't shoot CAS and don't ever intend to. I know nothing about what makes a good CAS firearm.

But I see that the Henry is at the bottom of the list.

I like mine but since I don't do the CAS thing I am in the dark as to why it scores low with CAS shooters.

Too heavy maybe?
It's a rifle that never existed in the "old west". Maybe from a hundred feet away, it might be mistaken for an 1866 at a quick glance, but the thing just plain didn't exist back then. It's heavy, expecially in .357. There are no aftermarket parts available. The lever stroke is long and awkward. It doesn't hold up well to the rigors of Cowboy Action Shooting.
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Old May 8, 2013, 07:23 PM   #22
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Around here the Ruger New Vaquero is the most commonly used revolver; the Uberti and Pietta "clones" also have a strong following. Any will serve well.

The number one rifle is the Uberti reproduction of the 1873 Winchester. The 1866 Winchester reproductions are mechanically very similar. I'm wondering if the Uberti firearms are more readily obtained in the UK than are American guns like the Ruger and Marlin.

The Marlin 1894 is a good rifle and historically more affordable than the Ubertis but due to recent QC problems with these rifles (following Remington's acquisition of Marlin), the price of used Marlins has increased here in the States.

The alternatives are the reproductions of the Winchester 1892 and the Henry Big Boy. You will see these rifles in use but you will almost never see them used by top shooters at the major matches. They just won't run as fast as the Marlins or the "toggle link" rifles (the '73 and '66).
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Old May 9, 2013, 02:12 PM   #23
Noz
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Doc Hoy,

A good CAS firearm is one that operates accurately, correctly and smoothly at the highest speed you are capable of running them. The sights should be highly visible and easy to acquire.

Once he can achieve this state with his guns then all mistakes and errors will be on the cowboys part.

The best set of guns in the world will not make a world champion.

That requires dexterity vision and hours and hours of training-and a good set of guns.
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Old May 9, 2013, 03:09 PM   #24
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Noz said: "A good CAS firearm is one that operates accurately, correctly and smoothly at the highest speed you are capable of running them. The sights should be highly visible and easy to acquire.

Once he can achieve this state with his guns then all mistakes and errors will be on the cowboys part."

I got the guns to do that. I've been doing this stuff (CAS since about 1992 or 3) and I've often wondered why I ain't the world's champion yet. You'da thunk all that practice woulda put me on top by now. Well, now I know. Still waitin' for a sponsor too.
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Old May 9, 2013, 03:14 PM   #25
Noz
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My guns are pretty smooth too.

I don't seem to be rising up from the bottom very fast.

Maybe because I'm getting older faster than I'm getting better?
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