View Full Version : New to this action

September 7, 2004, 10:39 AM
I am fascinated of the idea of Cowboy Action shooting and all the events, but I need some help...I am looking to purchase a 1873 carbine, a couple of 1873 single action cattlemen in .44-40 from A. Uberti and a SxS scatter gun from a yet to be determined source help here too please). The question I pose is regarding pistol barrel length...I am leaning towards a 7 ½” barrel...any thoughts? Also, since I am intrigued at the thought of participating in SASS Gunfighter Action what leather would be best suited for this endeavor? Thanks in advance for your help.

Lucky Cuss
September 7, 2004, 11:42 AM
The Uberti guns you mention are all fine, but I would recommend your rifle and sixguns be the same caliber. 44.40 is a good choice especially if you are going to shoot with black powder, keep in mind though that they are a little trickier to load than a straight cartridge case like a .45 Colt. For Gunfighter class you will need two stright draw holsters, get type where the front of the holster is cut down a tad to aid in a smoother draw. If you've never tried Gunfighter, it might be a good idea to start shooting double duelist for a while till you get a feel for shooting with your weak hand.

Jim Watson
September 7, 2004, 11:50 AM
Suggest visiting a CAS match before buying a lot of guns and gear. You will get a lot of advice in person and can read more on the Wire:
Home site with other information and links at

That said, the shorter sixgun barrels seem to be more popular now. I shoot 7 1/2" .44s in Duelist (on my hind legs with gun in one hand like a man) and am relatively slow at it so I have to go for accuracy rather than speed.

.44-40 is a good black powder cartridge, are you experienced in loading black? I have been shooting BPCR in a single shot for about a year and a half and it is a whole new world.

The hotshots use mostly 4 3/4" or 5 1/2" and in smallbores like .38 Special.

Do you mean actual SASS Gunfighter, a sixgun in EACH hand? That takes a LOT of skill and practice. Many ranges will require you to pass a safety test before letting you enter Gunfighter. You are better off starting in Traditional (two handed, cocking with the left thumb) or maybe Duelist (one handed like John Wayne.)

Eyetalian copies of Winchester 73 are good rifles, and some of the Cowboy specialist gunsmiths can make them amazingly smooth and easy. They are more expensive than Marlin and most others.

Scatterguns are mostly either Stoeger IGAs from Brazil or Baikals from Russia. They are pretty rough, but there is a lot of knowhow and several gunsmiths who can smooth them up a lot. There are a lot of Chinese Communist unlicensed ripoff copies of Winchester 97 pumps, too, but I would never send gun money to the Reds.

Uncle Jim
SASS Badge #3879

September 7, 2004, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the advise...after posting the question, I was thinking of chambering for .45LC instead as my shooting partner shoots the same. I would reload anyway to make sure all things are equal...

Yes, I would like to aspire to Gunfighter...both hands are rock steady, my eyesight (one good one left) still good and my eye/hand coordination still tip top...I realize that the skills won't come to me in my sleep, but I have time. Our gun club (Winchester Canyon GC) here in Santa Barbara has a great bunch of people that, I'm sure, will lend a helping hand.

I think that buying a pair of revolvers at the same time would insure that they match finish wise. I would shortly thereafter purchase a carbine, probably the 1866 Yellow Boy, and then the scatter gun to round out the kit. I am finding little information about S by S guns...any leads?

So, I think, with a little help, I have the hardware down pat...now for the name and getup...and I thought this would be easy...but I'm havin' fun...

I think the toughest part of this is picking an alias...

thanks again, wyman

September 7, 2004, 10:56 PM
I'm not a seasoned CAS pro as I've only shot in four matches so far, but I know guns & shooting and here are my thoughts.

The Baikal Bounty Hunter II is a good solid SxS, and doesn't cost much; Less than the Stoeger and half that of the KBI Liberty, but benefits from a little tuning up. I paid $229 for a new one only a couple months ago. I reshaped the cocking levers so that it comes to full-cock when the action is almost completely open, rather than half open. In its original form, the springs are "over-cocked" and the action tends to want to return to the half open position if you're not careful. Others have taken a small grinding wheel or cut-off wheel on a Dremel and made a small detent in the cocking levers at the full open position to accomplish the same end. Another thing with mine was the top snap lever (the lever that you push to the side to break the action) was very stiff, so I took the action apart and cut one coil off the top snap return spring. The chambers were already very nicely polished, but I touched them up with some oiled 1200 grit on a split dowel in a drill anyway. My Rossi hammer coach gun actually needed a little work with a fine brake hone before going to 600 grit and on to 1200 grit. Using Winchester AA's or Remington STS's, the fired hulls drop right out of either one now by just tipping the barrels up a little and giving a little jerk to the rear.

Both my lever guns are M92's, and have worked fine with the exception of the time I ran up to my .45 Rossi, picked it up, levered it open, and the first round decided to skip the chambering protocol and went flying out the top of the action, leaving me with nine rounds and ten targets. I've heard it's a fairly common problem with 92's.

The .44-40 is a good cartridge, but a little extra care is required when reloading it. Bullet seating and crimping must be done in seperate operations due to the very thin case wall, and it's very easy to crush the case mouth if it hits the mouth of a die. It buckles and crushes almost before you can feel it.

At the close ranges used in CAS, my revolvers have 4 5/8" barrels which clear the leather a tad faster and are easier to point and aquire a sight picture.

That alias thing is tough alright... my brand is Jbar4 and one of my daughters came up with J. Bar Binks after the character Ja-Ja Binks in "Star Wars - The Phantom Menace". It sounded good to me, so I became J. Bar Binks. :)

Lucky Cuss
September 8, 2004, 07:50 AM
There are lots of options when it comes to picking an alias. The well known western characters are long gone as are most of the western movie names. Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Rooster Cogburn, Matt Dillon, etc. You might try cleaver adaptations of words that sound like names, ie: Shy Ann or perhaps a place like Georgia Lake. Sometimes even folks real names sound like an alias, Bill Porter or Spike Sprague. Lucky Cuss is the name of the first silver mine claim discovered in Tombstone, Arizona in 1878.