View Full Version : Getting started...

Matt Wallis
February 6, 2001, 08:39 AM

I am new to gun owning and shooting, having only bought my first gun (a Rem M597 .22) a little over a year ago. Since then my collection has grown to 5 guns. The last I bought was a Winchester 94 in .30-30. Why? Well, because in truth I didn't yet have a decent hunting rifle, but _also_ because I love the cowboy look and feel of the gun. That's why I didn't scope it (even though I could sure use one!). I don't have a single six yet, but that will definitely be my next purchase.

So now what? I have limited funds and time, but still would like to try this whole CAS thing. Unfortunately, I don't really know anything about it. I practice medieval swordsmanship as a martial art, and used to be in a type of re-enactment group. Is it something like that? Can I start with only my Winchester or do I need a single six? I live around Orlando FL, is there any CAS there? What kind of money outlay am I looking at to get started?

I would greatly appreciate any advice you'd all like to give.

Matt Wallis

Bill Mitchell
February 6, 2001, 09:22 AM
Howdy Matt,

CAS isn't really like re-enacting, though folks dress up like cowboys and shoot cowboys guns. It's really a shooting competition with certain costuming and firearm requirements.

SASS Main Match rifles and pistols are all required to be in a pistol caliber above .32 (.32-20, .38, 44-40, .45 Colt, for example). Thus, your Winchester can't be shot on Main Match stages, though it can be used in a Long Range side match if loaded with all lead ammo. Genarally, CAS matches require that a competitor have two pistols, a rifle and a double barrel or external hammer pump shotgun (Winchester '97). That said, CAS shooters will fall over themselves to loan you guns you may need to shoot a match. I borrowed guns when I started, and I've loaned guns to new shooters. It's best if you provide your own ammo or pay for some if it's offered. Initial cash outlay depends on what guns you want. Two Ruger Vaqueros, a Winchester '94, and a double barrel shotgun will be in the $1200 to $1500 range, depending on whether you buy new or used. Again, you don't have to have all of the guns at once-you can borrow what you don't have. If you get a Single Six, get one of the new .32 mini-Vaquero Single Six's, as these are SASS legal. A better choice would be a Vaquero in .38/.357, as ammo for this would be much cheaper. A basic outfit of jeans, cowboy boots, a long-sleeve button-front shirt, and cowboy hat is perfectly acceptable. Gun leather is another expense, though a decent rig can be had from Cabela's for $100 or so.

There are numerous CAS clubs in FL. Go to http://www.sassnet.com and click on the link for Affiliated Clubs. You should also check out the Shooter's Handbook, as it will give you an idea of what is needed to shoot CAS.

Hope that helps! If you have anymore questions, fire away.

Bellicose Bill

Matt Wallis
February 7, 2001, 08:22 AM
Hey thanks. That was a cool website. And you're right, my .30-30 I think is usable, but only in the longrange rifle caliber section. And of course, I'd have to find standard velocity, all lead ammo.

I have another question, though. I noticed this was the SASS society. What is the difference between SASS and CAS (which was also trademarked)? Is SASS a club that does CAS? Is there actually a CAS organization different from SASS?

At any rate, I'm glad I found out about the requirements. I was thiking about getting a ruger single six in .22/.22 mag for my next gun. Wouldn't have been usable though, so I'm glad I didn't.

What would you recomend for an affordable first six shooter? The percussion revolvers are atractive because of the price (many are sub $200). However I've heard they are a bear to clean, and wouldn't really be practicle for anything other than recreational and CAS shooting (I'd like to be able to use my single six as a camping gun too). The Rugers are very nice and that's what I would get if I could, but right now a new Ruger is cost prohibitive (for me) at around $350 or more for a decent sized caliber. Of course, I can always just wait and be patient until I can afford that, but where's the fun in that?!?

Thanks for the info,
Matt Wallis

Ned Roundtree
February 7, 2001, 09:10 AM
I wouldn't want to discourage you from bp. As some cowboys do shoot. And you would be in a class with other bp shooters and so stage reloads and such, would put you all on an equal footing. About 8% of our group is shooting black powder and frontier cartridge. It seems to be a fast growing class. An 1860 Army or 1851 Navy are great cowboy guns. Lots of smoke and fun. I'm a smokeless cartridge man myself. Ruger Vaquero or Uberti 1873 Colt clone are nice.

Bill Mitchell
February 7, 2001, 09:29 AM
Howdy Matt,

The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) is the main governing organization for Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS). SASS has trademarked the term "Cowboy Action Shooting", but that's not a separate organization, just a term that describes what we do. One other CAS organization, The National Congress of Old West Shootists (NCOWS), is much smaller and based mainly in the Mid-West. SASS is approaching 40,000 members, and it has clubs in every state.

As far as affordable cartridge guns, you can look for a used Blackhawk, which can be shot in the Modern catagory. Another option is the Uberti Millenium revolver sold by Cabela's. These go for $200 bucks and are actually a pretty good deal. Check these two threads for more info on this pistol- http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=54856 - and - http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=54462 . I bought a used Vaquero for $275. Also, look for used Hawes Western Marshal or Bounty Hunter single action revolvers. These are good guns that can usually be had for around $225.

Bellicose Bill

April 15, 2002, 04:30 PM
Try the Cap-n-Ball revolvers from Uberti if you want something affordable. The "Slim Jim" holsters do not cost much, and one should get the bullet moulds from Lee.

Uberti USA (http://www2.uberti.com/)

LEE (http://www.leeprecision.com/)