View Full Version : How rough is it on the guns

January 8, 2000, 06:15 AM
I've seen a couple of comments about the rough treatment the guns get in CAS. Just how rough is it? I expect a lot of holster wear for the SA, and plan on a bright stainless Ruger for that reason. My concern is the SxS and the lever action(s). I expect them to be shot, and expect the normal everyday(if there is such a thing) wear that goes with a working tool of any kind. I did notice that on a few occasions, comments were made about CAS being pretty tough on the guns. Since I still at the starting point, should I start looking for a shooter now, or shoot what I have and accept the wear?

Ned Roundtree
January 8, 2000, 11:23 AM
Shoot what you want and accept the wear. It is honest wear. My Marlin is only eighteen months old. But it has that "I've been in a gunfight look". A few minor scratches, the wood turning a dark red, wear on muzzle from having been drawn from rifle scabbard. Same with revolvers and shotgun. You stage them to be on a wooden table or placed back down on a wooden table or prop in a hurry, but careful. Drawn from leather and shot. Pushed back down into the leather dirty. The top strap of my Vaquero is more a light case hardened blue now. My stag handles, exposed to 99 degree shoots and such have darkened and aged beautiful. Cowboys always comment about "Where did you get those stag grips?". Its not so much that as the amount of time outdoors they spend. Even now, I'm getting ready for a January shoot in Eastern Kentucky. Gotta go.

Bill Mitchell
January 8, 2000, 07:14 PM
Howdy RAE,

Ned covers the cosmetic abuse that your guns will take. They will also get a workout function-wise,as we shoot our guns as they were never really designed to be shot. Racking levers back and forth on rifles at high speed,popping open double barrels and putting stress on the locking lug,slamming hammers back on six-shooters. I make it sound rougher than it may be,but shooting guns in CAS does put them under a lot of stress-enough to keep cowboy gunsmiths hip deep in repairs. I've had good luck,just having a couple of hand springs break,but I see guns break in almost every match I shoot.

Bellicose Bill

January 9, 2000, 05:23 AM
Thanks fellas. Guess I have to decide which guns are to get the nod.

Joe West
January 10, 2000, 12:55 AM
the wear on your guns will be minimized if the parts are properly set up and fitted by a gunsmith. The first five years I shot CAS matches I shot only "out-of-the box" guns. I had a lot of mechanical wear showing up and many broken parts. There weren't as many matches then so I wasn't even shooting as much as I do now.
For the last 6 years I've been using guns that have been slicked up to one degree or another. It's been a long time since I've had a malfunction of any kind except mental. I have plenty of those. I measure my trigger pulls and even they are unchanged for over 2 years.
Every piece of machinery has weak points but if the strain is minimized the wear will be also. Rugers are very tough. Shotguns and rifles are very durable unless they are beat up by overly heavy springs or galled by ill- fitting parts. Colts, Remingtons, and clones have leaf springs that break pretty regular, keep spares on hand. If you're using stock springs, keep some firing pin retaining pins around too. The cosmetics are covered well already.
There is always some division in every aspect of any human endeavor. Many hours of discussion have been wasted over the "ethical" ramifications of internal action work and if that denotes a "gamesman" or "cheater" because not everyone can afford action work. SASS rules allow internal work.
You can learn to do your own action work, I did. Be careful, be patient, go slow, and pay attention. You can save money in the long run by having it done right even if you have to pay a gunsmith.
Joe West


Ned Roundtree
January 10, 2000, 04:17 PM
Thanks Bill and Joe, so true. My wife has broken "hands" on her Colts and she doesn't even shoot that much. This past summer we had Oglesby and Oglesby action tune her guns. They had to replace several small parts for wear. Several matches ago, we watched as someones ejector housing and rod went flying through the air. More a matter of not being tightened properly. After so many rounds you need to check the screws on your SA to be sure nothing has shaken loose. The most mechanical failure I see, is folks trying to get their old shotguns to shoot.

[This message has been edited by Ned Roundtree (edited January 10, 2000).]