View Full Version : Newbie: Need Advice

May 29, 2001, 09:22 PM
I recently joined SASS and need advice about equipment selection.

1. Should the barrel lengths of the revolvers be the same or does it not matter? I'm a new to shooting revolvers and I'm planning on getting one with 4 5/8" and one with 5 1/2". Is there a barrel length ideal for beginners?

2. In what order should I purchase firearms? First I'll get my Vaquero then...

rifle, shotgun, and 2nd revolver?
shotgun, rifle, 2nd revolver?
2nd revolver, rifle, shotgun?

And which rifle lever action or Sharp's single shot?

3. Anyone know a good source for getting inexpensive cowboy outfits in So. California or on the Net?

I haven't been this excited since I bought my first gun when I turned 21! It'll take me awhile (maybe early next year) until I get a complete outfit together but this looks like something I can REALLY get into!

I know this is a really LOADED thread but man I am really green to this thing!

Thanks Everyone.

Joe West
May 29, 2001, 10:38 PM
MHO time.
Long answer for me.
It's easier to borrow long guns so I'd suggest buy pistols and leather first. 5 1/2" bbls seem to be the best compromise for most shooters. They will serve you for close or far targets. I prefer both pistols be exactly the same down to the trigger pull weight.
The best all around bargain shotgun is a Stoeger in 12 ga. That's what I often use. Have the stock fitted to your length of pull.
The most trouble free rifles seem to be 1866 or 1873 clones. The 1860 is the coolest, but harder to use. All of those are made by Uberti so pick your importer by fit and finish. Of course a good 1873 Winchester can sometimes be had for a reasonable price. The fastest out of the box rifles are Marlin Cowboys and some 1892 Winchesters and clones. The '66 or '73 can become as fast as any model.
Select your rifle by your comfort with it's handling. All lever rifles have their quirks.
Wait if you have to, to get good stuff that you are comfortable with! If you cut corners you'll end up with poor equipment, guns or leather, that you're stuck with.
Professional, expert gunsmithing is cheaper than learning by trial and error. But knowledge can be it's own reward. Your choice.
You'll likely be doing this for a long time, so use what you want,not just what I or someone else suggests. Borrow stuff and try it.
Most important: have fun and play by the rules safely. Those last two things are definitely connected. Without them, you won't last.
Joe West

Steve Veltrie
May 30, 2001, 10:06 PM
My wife and I have been doing cowboy shooting for the last 6 years. What a blast!!
Handgun barrel lenght. Get what feels right for you. By that I mean balance. It is muzzle heavy, or does it just seem to "feel" right. My Ruger with 7" barrel is muzzle heavy, my 5" just seem to balance just right.
We used a Marlin lever action rifle and never had a problem with it.We have the carbine model, but again it's a try as many as you can before you buy.
Shotgun is a either or thing. My wife preferred a pump so we ended up with a Model 97 Winchester. Try both pump and double barrel. One is not really any faster than the other.
Doing clothing on the cheap.. check out a Goodwill store. You can usually find a long sleeve shirt, vest, etc.

June 6, 2001, 03:25 PM
Here is my opinion.
First post this same question on the Sass wire at http://www.sassnet.com you'll get plenty of opinions.

Barrel length matters not at all for CAS, and both revolvers can be completely different. I am shooting a 44/40 with a 4 3/4 inch barrel and a '58 army cap-n-ball with a 7 1/2 inch barrel, until I can afford to get my second cartridge revolver.

Order of guns. My perfernce would be revolver, lever gun, shotgun, revolver. Don't have a good reason, it just seems like the right order to me.

For BPCR I haven't got mine yet but when asking around the 45/70 in a '74 Sharps seems to come out the #1 choice.

Can't help you with the outfit - I'm still piecing together my outfit.

Also you can checkout my site http://www.angelfire.com/home/oldguns I've got a few articles that may be of interest to you.

Good luck

June 7, 2001, 08:32 AM
A couple of suggestions; get the lever action rifle in the same caliber as your handguns. If and/or until you start loading different loads specifically for the rifle and handguns it's much easier to carry one caliber.
Eventually you will need both a lever action rifle (in a pistol caliber) and a long range rifle (usually single shot such as the Sharps', Rolling Blocks, Ballards etc).
If you or someone you know sews you can save quite a bit of money by making your own clothes. They can be expensive.
I second the suggestion about buying good leather. It will get a workout depending upon how many matches a month you shoot.
Welcome to CAS!

April 15, 2002, 05:11 PM
Guns: Uberti USA (http://www2.uberti.com/)

Clothes:Cowboy Corral (http://www.cowboycorral.com/)

Mike Weber
April 24, 2002, 03:22 PM
you mentioned the Ruger Vaquero that would be a good choice for a cartridge gun. There are also several good quality Colt replicas, such as the one by American Western Arms. I would suggest two cartridge revolvers of the same caliber and barrel length. 43/4 or 51/2 barrel lengths are quick handling and good choices. also go with the same brand and model for your revolvers. There are several good quality lever action rifles and carbines. The Marlin cowboys are excellant, if you want historical accuracy the replica Winchesters are good. these are the first three firearms that I would recommend. Get your rifle or carbine in the same caliber as your revolvers. I would probably get a shotgun next. A double or a pump is up to you,there are several that are representative of the old west era. I would wait until later before I picked out a long range rifle as not all SASS courses have long range rifle ranges. I've been thinking about a 1874 Sharps Replica in 45/110 lately. As for gunleather I would check with your local SASS members. A lot of them are into Leather crafting and make some pretty good rigs. I would'nt scrimp on quality here. you can usually get a rig made for less than you would invest in the tools and materials to build it yourself. I make my own gunleather but I learned the craft from saddlemakers in my area. As for Cowboy outfits I would check with my local SASS members they wo'nt steer you wrong. Welcome to the sport and enjoy.