View Full Version : C.A.S. equipment questions for newbie

Jack O Spades
November 27, 2008, 06:21 PM
I am not yet in cowboy action shooting but I would like to as soon as I get some equipment around. Right now Im looking at a Ruger Vaquero and a Winchester 94 lever rifle. Both in .45 colt which brings me to my first question.... are .45 colt and .45 long colt the same cartridge? How is the recoil? Are target aquisitions fast? How does it compare to a .44 s&w? As far as a scatter gun, my dad has an 1897 Winchester I think I can sweet talk him out of, hes not using it, I dont think its been shot for as long as I have been alive...Im 26. Anyway I really like double barrels too but Im not sure what models are acceptable, all I know is that it cant have a shell ejector. Any tips on equipment and practice drills would be greatly appreciated. Before I go spend a couple grand on some new steel I kinda want to get my homework done so I get the ones I want.

November 27, 2008, 07:18 PM
I can't offer much useful information, but the only things I can say is that ther actually is no such thing as a .45 Long Colt: it's just .45 Colt. The only thing I can figure it that they got to calling the the .45 Colt "Long" die to it being longer than the .45 Schofield.
IIRC someone told me that .45 Colt can be loaded more often due to it having thicker brass, but I'm not sure on that.
I'll let someone else answer the rest.

November 27, 2008, 07:22 PM
.45 Colt and "Long Colt" are referring to the same thing. Some people call it "long" Colt so readers don't mistake it for the other .45 rounds. Technically, the correct name is ".45 Colt." .45 Colt has what I would call moderate recoil. It's less than the .44 Magnum but more than some others. Of course, the CAS guys load some really mild stuff that has ridiculously low recoil.

Some guys are switching from .45 Colt to .357 magnum and loading .38 specials. The .38 special ammunition is less expensive. I am not a Cowboy Action Shooter, so others will probably have additional information.

This webpage (http://www.curtrich.com/GettingStarted01.html) has good information for people looking to get into CAS.

November 28, 2008, 06:20 AM
The Ruger pistols are a good choice ...I`d suggest you take a look at a winchester model 1892 in 45 LC instead of the 94 ...it`s a good natural pointer .
In shot guns I have a Stoger uplander SXS ..makes a good hunting gun too with the 24 inch barrels.

November 28, 2008, 06:26 PM
First off you need two pistols, a shotgun and a rifle. The 94 being designed for rifle cartridges from the get go doesn't accept pistol cartridges well . The Winchester 97 is legal but the 93 isn't. The 1887 is legal also. Any double is legal as long as it doesn't have ejectors. Unless you reload the .38's are the cheapest way to go as you'll be shooting 20 rounds per stage with at least five stages to a match. Don't skimp on leather. Get the best you can possibly afford. Cheap holsters are too soft and will bind. Good holster are a loose fit and stiff. The best ones are lined. Go here and read. You'll pick up a lot of info. There's also rule books linked at the top of the page.http://sassnet.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

Hoss Fly
November 28, 2008, 06:38 PM
Wat Hawg said + go to at least one match before you spend money!!!!!!!
Folks there will loan you guns, give you advice & you mite even find sum deals on guns & equipment :D
See wat you gettin into before spendin cash less ya got more than me (most do anywho) :confused::D

Jack O Spades
November 28, 2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the info. Today I found a used Dakota single action for $225 at my local gun shop in .44/40. Its a well taken care of gun with the case hardened finish that I love so well and a little bit of brass here and there. Im not much of a brass fan but this one doesnt look bad. I dont know much about the manufacturer other than its Italian and imported by EMF. I think Ill get it. The price is right, and even if I dont use it in competition at least Ill have something to go through the motions with untill I get a competition gun. Im a gun lover first and a competitor second. If I buy a gun its because I want it or need it for hunting or plinking not for competition. Cowboy action would just give me a reason to shoot more often.
BTW...the local C.A.S. club doesnt require you to have 2 revolvers, they recommend it, but not required. I still need to find a lever gun though.....in .44/40!

November 28, 2008, 08:10 PM
Get a Rossi. Little rough out of the box but slicks up nice.

Loaded rounds are about 35.00 per box. Reloading takes some getting used to with the thin brass but worth it. The 44-40 is a great round and unlike the .45 Colt it's historically accurate for lever guns.

Hoss Fly
November 28, 2008, 08:44 PM
That Rossi shore looks fermiler :confused::D

November 28, 2008, 10:45 PM
It ought to but it's a lot smoother now and no you can't have it back.:p:D

Hoss Fly
November 29, 2008, 09:13 AM

November 29, 2008, 01:05 PM
The 44-40 is a great round and unlike the .45 Colt it's historically accurate for lever guns.
I have rifle and revolver in .357 Mag and wish I'd gone the 44-40 route. It was a case of impatience and availability -- purchase in haste and repent in leisure.
If you're going for a matched rifle/revolver, and aren't concerned about historical accuracy, you might considered .44 Rem Mag over .45 Colt.

Jack O Spades
November 29, 2008, 01:37 PM
I would think the .44 mag would have alot more recoil than the .45 Colt. My dad has a double action S&W 629 .44mag which shoots really well but I couldnt imagine trying to squeeze off all 6 rounds with very much speed and still be accurate. The target aquisition is slow with that big of a cartridge, although...If I end up with that .44/40 it might surprise me as to how potent it really is. Ive never shot one but it looks like a pretty ****** off little shell. If it is too much for speed shooting I think it'll make a nice sidearm for deer hunting.

November 29, 2008, 01:46 PM
A 44-40 or .45 Colt especially loaded full up with bp is pretty potent but nowhere close to a .44 mag. You can load them to .44 mag pressure in a strong action like a 92 Winchester but the brass won't last long. Why should target acquisition be slow? Recoil helps with faster cocking of a SA because when it rolls up in your hand it makes it easier to get to the hammer spur. There's some pretty fast CAS shooters that use 44-40 and .45 Colt.

long rider
November 29, 2008, 02:03 PM
The 44 mag has i up on the 45, you can allways load up
44 spl, thats what i do in my 44 mag saa, + i load my owen
and use 44-40 lead, so i think the 44 mag is a good all round
gun, buts thats just my op.:D

November 29, 2008, 02:16 PM
and use 44-40 lead

How's that workin out? Modern 44-40 lead is .429. .44 mag is .430.

long rider
November 29, 2008, 02:21 PM
MY old west german saa shoots really well with 44-40
lead, i have loaded and shot countless round with good
results, never had any probs:confused::D

Jack O Spades
December 4, 2008, 06:00 AM
What models of shotguns is everyone shooting? Like I said before, I think I can get an 1897 winchester for nothing if I can sweet talk my dad out of it, but Id also like to find a sxs without the shell ejectors. I dont have a clue what models to look for. All the guns I have found have shell ejectors or 30" barrels or both. Im going to populate my gun safe after Christmas and I need some info. BTW Im a real big fan of the case hardended finish so if there is a shotgun out there with it that would be the one I want (for under $500).

December 4, 2008, 07:03 AM
Gun and leather selection is a very critical and costly, aspect of this sport. There are a variety of different SxS shotguns used. The TTN 1878 hammered double coach gun is very popular, as they generally run well right out of the box. That is what I shoot. The Stoeger's are also popular SxS. The 97's are also popular, if you can get one that runs well and is reliable. I'd say it was about a 70% SxS, 30% 97 mix, at least around here it is. As stated earlier the 1894 rifle is not a particularly well liked rifle. Most folks shoot 1866's, 1873's (Uberti's) or 1892's (Rossi's) which can be problematic without some work. The Ruger Vaquero is a popular revolver as are the Cimarron Model P's and EMF Great Western II,s. The Vaquero is alleged to be more robust, but as you know is not of Colt design.

You should consider your choice of caliber carefully. If you really want to be competitive then .38 Spl would be your best and least expensive choice, particularly for reloading. If you are striving for authenticity then the .45LC or .44-40 or .38-40,shooting black powder would be a consideration. Likewise you should give some consideration to the category that you will want to shoot in as some categories only allow certain calibers. Also as pointed out you will need two revolvers. If your club does not require it then they may not be SASS affiliated. However all the SASS clubs that I am aware of require two revolvers. Here is a link to the SASS Shooter's Handbook and you should read it before making any equipment selections.


I strongly recommend you go here with further detailed questions. It is a very active forum solely dedicated to CAS and you will get much more in-depth, detailed responses. Likewise you can find some very good used guns there.

I am Whiskey Creek Adams there and I think Hawg is Hawg there (our SASS alias') which you will have to get sometime as well as a SASS membership.


December 4, 2008, 08:07 PM
I am Whiskey Creek Adams there and I think Hawg is Hawg there

Yep, same there as here.

Hoss Fly
December 6, 2008, 08:09 AM
Whiskey Creek Adams - That was a well thought out, precise, clear & purdy much rite on explanation of the basics of bein well equiped for CAS shootin :D
Ya mite know me as Boss Hoss Fly :D:D

Hey Hawg :cool: