View Full Version : Starting out with Cowboy action shooting

Andrew Wyatt
October 13, 2002, 06:03 PM
I'm looking to start doing some cowboy action shooting, and I'm unsure of how to start, equipment wise.

I've already got a remington new model army cap and ball revolver,
and a H&R topper 20 gauge that i think would be legal for use, as well as a remington rolling block carbine in 45-70 (which owuld be good for the long range rifle side matches)

I don't have a lever gun in a pistol caliber, and I have no leather equipment or other things. What else do I need?

Bill Mitchell
October 13, 2002, 06:58 PM
Hi Andrew,

CAS matches usually require participants to have two pistols, a pistol caliber rifle, and shotgun (usually a side x side or Winchester '97 pump, but your Topper would be ok). As far as gun leather, at the minimum you would need a holster for each pistol. You could carry shotgun shells in a vest pocket, but slides that hold 6 or 8 rounds are pretty cheap.

A standard setup for for a new shooter shooting cartridges would be 2 Ruger Vaqueros, a Stoeger SxS, and a Winchester or Marlin rifle, plus leather. That outfit, depending on rifle selection, is about $1300 to $1600. Used guns, which are pretty plentiful, would cut that quite a bit. Pretty steep start up costs, but you're talking about a four gun sport.

All that said, at just about any match you go to you'll find that folks are more than willing to loan you any guns and gun leather that you're lacking. Show up with a box of shotgun shells and some .45 or .38 cowboy ammo, and you'll be shooting, I can almost guarantee it. Most CAS participants will fall over backwards to help a new shooter.

If your going to shoot your C&B pistol, make sure your pretty proficient at loading it. Generally, your cylinders can be charged with powder and ball ahead of time, but C&B pistols are only capped at the loading table just before you shoot.

Decent gun leather can be had from Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop for pretty cheap ($30-40 a holster).

Hope that helps! Post any more questions you have.

Andrew Wyatt
October 14, 2002, 02:50 PM
is it necessary to have two revolvers or can i get away with just one?

I've found some historically correct leather for my cap and ball from fall creek sutlery, and i'm planning on using just one pistol, one rifle and one shotgun if i can get away with it.

Jim Watson
October 14, 2002, 04:52 PM
Some places run a Traditional Cowboy class which only requires one sixgun. I don't know what they do about the other five targets - skip them or reload on the clock. But don't worry about it. Go, show interest, and you will have spare guns to pick from.

October 14, 2002, 05:57 PM
I just went to a shoot yesterday, and they discussed just that. There will be a vote on it next month I think, and the people at the club I was at wanted it to be a one gun reload on the clock catagory.
I think it would be more interesting to have reloading on the clock, but I guess the saftey issue prevents a lot of that.
No you don't need to own two guns, I am sure they would loan you one if you went with one, and if you call ahead, someone will show with an extra holster for you too.

Bill Mitchell
October 14, 2002, 06:55 PM
A reload on the clock for a C&B shooter involves staging a second charged pistol and then capping it on the clock. So Andrew Wyatt would need two pistols anyway.

Allowing a class that reloads a pistol on every stage just isn't feasible at a large match. It just takes too much time to reload a pistol. You'd be amazed at how long it takes some people to reload one round.

Andrew Wyatt
October 14, 2002, 08:18 PM
I thought it was staging a cylinder and then capping it on the clock.

anyway, I've got a line on a colt SAA in .357 that my uncle might let me use.

Brian D.
October 14, 2002, 09:03 PM
These guys are right, go to a match with what you have for now, people will be glad to loan you a spare pistol, esp. if you can bring some appropriate fact. ammo to shoot in it. Of course, if you want to shoot 2 cap and ball pistols you could bring spare loading supplies for the loaner. But by all means,GO to a match and see for yourself, don't hang out in front of the keyboard and wonder about it, cause you'll find Cowboy action shooters some of the most helpful and unselfish folks you'll EVER encounter.Good luck, good shooting! "Hans M. Stranger", SASS Life #5360.

Bill Mitchell
October 15, 2002, 06:24 AM
Hi Andrew,

Since you have a Remington New Army, you could stage a charged cylinder and swap them out on the clock. I have a Remington and two cylinders, and a cylinder pouch that I think I got from Cabela's.

Anyhow, do like ol' Hans M. said and get to a SASS match-you won't regret it!

October 15, 2002, 09:47 AM
What they said. :D

Jack Whitesides, Scout
SASS #44650
SBSS #890