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Old August 31, 2013, 06:56 PM   #1
TennJed
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Want to get into cowboy action one day. Teach me

I hope to get into cowboy action shooting one day but don't know the basics. My understanding is 2 SA revolvers and 1 lever action rifle. Currently have a new model vaquero in 357 (stainless) and plan on adding another one just like it.

I have an opportunity to get a Rossi 357 lever action (24" hexagon barrel). Would that be a decent start up set up? Are the barrel lengths ok? Would the 24" lever action be too long?

Any help in what you need and how it works would be appreciated
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Old August 31, 2013, 07:14 PM   #2
Hawg Haggen
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http://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/RO/...ndbook(15).pdf
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Old August 31, 2013, 08:15 PM   #3
TennJed
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Want to get into cowboy action one day. Teach me

Thanks got the link
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:08 PM   #4
Rigmarol
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I got into CAS about 2 years or so ago and can't get enough!

The group I first shot with was a small group that let me borrow guns and shoot in my street clothes and baseball cap.

The revolvers you mention are just fine to shoot with. Beginning or veteran they will do just fine.

If you want to build a character around a specific time you can alter your choice to match. That's a lot of fun too.

Any gun (or repro) that was seen in the 1800's is perfect.

The only time you may run into issues is if you shoot with a group that takes the period correct think to the extreme. I've heard of such groups but I've never shot with any yet.

Read the handbook, it's full of info that will be good to know. Or keep asking questions and learn from as many as possible.

Welcome to the sport and I hope you find a good group to shoot with.
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:12 PM   #5
tomrkba
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1) Find a match near you.
2) Dress up in any cowboy clothes you have when you go.
3) Buy 38 Special and 45 Colt in lead round nose. Ammo may be available there, but contact the match coordinator first.
4) Attend the match with what you have. People will help you out from there.
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Old August 31, 2013, 10:54 PM   #6
TennJed
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Want to get into cowboy action one day. Teach me

I have done some basic forum reseating on it. How common are groups that do not dress period correct. Right now I don't think I would be into that (maybe one day)
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Old August 31, 2013, 11:04 PM   #7
Rigmarol
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Cowboy Action Shooting is all about "playing cowboy" and that includes dressing in period accurate costumes. It's called "The Spirit of the Game".

All organized CAS clubs will require dress up eventually but most understand this is expensive and it takes time to get outfitted.

Put on some cowboy boots, get some button fly jeans, cut off the belt loops and get some suspenders. Put on a flannel shirt a large bandana and a non-straw cowyboy hat!! and yur set to go for quite some time. Add or change as you go.

If you just want to shoot the cool period guns then you be hart pressed to find another group doing matches without the costuming.
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Old August 31, 2013, 11:23 PM   #8
TennJed
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Want to get into cowboy action one day. Teach me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigmarol View Post
Cowboy Action Shooting is all about "playing cowboy" and that includes dressing in period accurate costumes. It's called "The Spirit of the Game".

All organized CAS clubs will require dress up eventually but most understand this is expensive and it takes time to get outfitted.

Put on some cowboy boots, get some button fly jeans, cut off the belt loops and get some suspenders. Put on a flannel shirt a large bandana and a non-straw cowyboy hat!! and yur set to go for quite some time. Add or change as you go.

If you just want to shoot the cool period guns then you be hart pressed to find another group doing matches without the costuming.
That is unfortunate, I have nothing against the period dress, I just rather spend the extra money on guns and reloading components. I would like to funnel that money into practice time at the range. I just love that period firearms.
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Old September 1, 2013, 07:40 AM   #9
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A pair of work boots without lugs on the sole, a pair of jeans and a long sleeve work shirt will get you by. You can go without the hat but you'll wish you had one. As for the hat it does have to be pretty close to period. No Richard Petty style Shady Brady's and they can be straw.
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Old September 1, 2013, 08:15 AM   #10
Doc Hoy
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Tenn

Your approach is very similar to mine.

But if you decide to get into costume, you might try a trip to the local thrift shops.

Be surprised what you might find.
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Old September 1, 2013, 10:55 AM   #11
g.willikers
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The clothes are not a big deal.
They can cost less than two boxes of ammo.
Or more than a good rifle.
Your choice.
Nobody will care which.
Even if you're not sure that you will pursue it, no harm in getting one six gun and a pistol caliber lever action rifle.
And learn how to use them really well.
They will do you no matter what.
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Last edited by g.willikers; September 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM.
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Old September 1, 2013, 02:37 PM   #12
SG29736
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You absolutely are not required to dress in period correct clothing. No ball caps, t shirts, shorts tennis shoes. Jeans, long sleeved work shirt, boots without big visible lugs on the soles is all you need. Now, SASS wouldn't be the same experience if there weren't people dressed in more authentic clothing and after a while a new person may slowly enjoy dressing a little more, but not required. There are a lot of people out there who "think" they know about things and make a lot of assumptions without actually being involved with whatever they are talking about. The same is true for Cowboy shooting or USPSA. Smokin Gator
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Old September 1, 2013, 02:48 PM   #13
TennJed
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Want to get into cowboy action one day. Teach me

Wow thanks for all the info. Great responses
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:02 PM   #14
Quadpod88
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now you're kinda peeking my interest, what exactly is involved in these cowboy shoots...besides costumes(i think i got that close to covered with my church clothes).
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:34 PM   #15
Hellgate
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Quadpod,
Go here: http://www.sassnet.com/ for everything you ever wanted to know about CAS/SASS.
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:38 PM   #16
Quadpod88
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thx, and just call me quad, every1 else does
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Old September 1, 2013, 03:46 PM   #17
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"SG" is giving you the straight scoop. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about SASS cowboy action shooting. I am a SASS shooter so that's what I will speak to; there are some other western shooting organizations out there but SASS is the largest.

First, there is no need to spend a bunch of money on costuming before you can show up to a match. Most clubs are interested in encouraging and welcoming new shooters, not slamming doors in your face. I contacted the match director at my local club and told him I might be interested in giving cowboy shooting a try. He said "come as you are" and specifically told me NOT to buy ANYTHING, not guns, nor leather, nor clothing, until I had come out to a match to see what was what. I did bring my own ammunition but I think the other cowboys would have "spotted" me some if I did not.

I showed up that January morning wearing a baseball cap (prohibited headwear under the rules), and tennis shoes (prohibited footware). I'm pretty sure that my polar fleece pullover was not exactly "period correct". Nobody cared how I was dressed; everyone was very friendly and helpful. One fellow lent me a spare gunbelt. Another cowboy (who didn't know me from Adam's housecat) handed me a pair of three screw Ruger Blackhawks to shoot. All day long people were practically standing in line to let me try this shotgun or that rifle. I was able to sample three or four different types of revolvers and at least a dozen shotguns and rifles. I was hooked.

When I got started, I really liked the shooting but didn't care as much about costuming. Good news is that the minimum clothing requirements are pretty easy to meet. Jeans are fine. I found a long sleeved shirt that looked kind of Western in a thrift store. I found a pair of cowboy boots on sale at a local workware store for $50 (I have since switched to lace up work boots which are more comfortable). I found a hat for $15 in another store.

Some cowboy shooters don't know the rules. I've seen on a couple of websites that a shooter needs cowboy boots (wrong) and a cowboy hat (also wrong).

We had a new shooter in our club who was adamant that he didn't like to wear hats and did not want to wear one. I said, "So don't wear a hat". Unless you are shooting in the "costume based" categories (Classic Cowboy or B-Western), a hat is NOT required. If you wear a hat, it has to be within the rules. Now, I will say that a Western hat is very practical. It protects your head from the sun and also helps prevent ejected rifle brass from falling into your shirt collar.

After I was shooting for a while I became more interested in costuming. Now it's part of the fun. Some folks go all out with costuming because it's fun for them. I know other shooters that pretty much cover the minimums. That's OK too. Just like some folks gravitate to black powder or other "specialties".

I like shooting and would have fun with just about any shooting sport. With that said I've had more fun and made more friends in cowboy action than in any other shooting activity.
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Old September 1, 2013, 05:12 PM   #18
Hellgate
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Quad,
If you like baseball hats, get a longer billed Civil/Indian Wars kepi.
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Old September 2, 2013, 07:26 AM   #19
JKilbreth
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Want to get into cowboy action one day. Teach me

The first chapter I shot with was the Single Action Shootists of Hawaii (SASH). They were extremely friendly and were not picky about period correct dress. They did say, however, that once I became a member of SASS and got my number, the expectation would be that I make a "concerted effort" to look the part. Even then, I still wore jeans with my boots, shirt, hat, rig, and other period correct clothes.

As for weaponry, you can get a pair of SASS-ready Cattleman revolvers for around $500, a Stoeger Coach Gun (SXS double barrel shotgun) for $300-$400, and a Rossi 92 lever gun for about $380-$450. Most groups have no problem with you coming without all four firearms, but many ask that you pay for or supply your own ammo after the first time to reduce the cost of sponsoring you.

Some personal beginner advice: when shooting, take your time and focus on safety and having fun. If you don't have fun, there's really no point. And if you're not safe, some people might not want to compete with you.

CAS is one of the easiest sports to pick up, but somewhat difficult to master. It's definitely more of a hobby for me than a real competition, but I have so much fun and enjoy the people I compete with.
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Old September 2, 2013, 10:15 AM   #20
Rigmarol
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Great information being given out here!
I'm hoping you give it a try!

I've missed my last 4 matches due to real life getting in the way and the heat of August! I'm getting real antzy to get out and play Cowboy!!! This topic is just making me want to get back out even more!

I bought a cheap old $35 felt cowboy hat a few years ago meaning for it to just get me by until I got all my other stuff together. I'm still using it. Nobody is complaining, and I'm having just as much fun as everyone else.

Give it a try, you'll sure to have fun.
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Old September 2, 2013, 11:16 AM   #21
salvadore
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I was interested in cowboy shooting but was put off by the use of squibs by the folks that want an advantage. I was also not happy that most of the categories allowed smokeless powder. Anyway, I think the game could use some sort of power factor, but that's just me.
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Old September 2, 2013, 11:47 AM   #22
Rigmarol
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The "gamers" are the guys that shoot the very light loads and wear the absolute bare requirements for costuming on purpose because they are more about speed than fun. Only other gamers seem to approve of them, but they are part of the game.

There is a power factor but I think it's to avoid loads from being too powerful for the targets but I'm not absolutely certain on that.

I shoot black powder loads and I know there is a "cloud" factor. It is expected that you put out smoke that obscures the targets.

Smokeless is allowed I'm assuming because ammo is hard or expensive to buy with BP loads and BP is hard to get in some areas.

Don't be put off by smokeless, you'll have fun.
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Old September 2, 2013, 11:49 AM   #23
royal barnes
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There is a power factor as well as a minimum and maximum velocity. Some still shoot light loads but a certain amount of recoil is necessary to roll the gun back in your hand to reach the hammer. Even the gamers figured that out. I shoot full case BP loads out of an original lever rifle and lever shotgun but it is not necessary. Smokeless powder was developed during the cowboy era. People who complain about power factors and smokeless powder are looking for an excuse not to play. To the OP, read the SASS handbooks, go to a couple of matches, look, ask questions, and listen. I have shot a number of different disciplines over the years and gave them up once I found CAS. I've been doing it for 18 years. Costuming can be a big part of your game but it is not required to meet more than the minimum. CAS is the only shooting sport where the women talk about their guns and the men talk about their clothes.

Last edited by royal barnes; September 2, 2013 at 11:57 AM.
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Old September 2, 2013, 11:54 AM   #24
g.willikers
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What Cowboy shooting really needs is a two gun class.
One sixgun and a lever action rifle.
For those of us who just hate cleaning all those guns.
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Old September 2, 2013, 12:14 PM   #25
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You're supposed to clean them?

I understand that in the early days of SASS, only one revolver was required. Since only five rounds are loaded in the wheelgun, that was not a lot of shooting for your money. Some matches featured "on the clock" reloads of the revolver but that is really SLOW. The game evolved to require two revolvers; as a result we shoot 60 rounds out of the wheelguns in a six stage monthly match.

I don't shoot NCOWS but I understand they have a "working cowboy" category that uses two guns.

One of the great things about cowboy action shooting is that there is lots of shooting involved!

If a new shooter comes to one of our matches with a single revolver, he can use one of mine when his turn comes up. That's just the way it works.
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