View Full Version : SASS/CAS rules question re: shotgun...

Jim March
November 7, 2001, 03:05 AM
Actually, it's in two parts:

1) Typically, how many rounds of 12ga are involved in a SASS match? In particular, will 4 well-placed rounds generally do it?

2) If 4 is adequate, are you allowed to pack a pair of percussion SxS beasties that are SERIOUSLY chopped? As in, below NFA specs? Because it appears that a pistol gripped 12ga with 12inch barrels is just fine as long as it's a percussion (or flintlock) muzzleloader...otherwise, how in hell could they sell LeMats?

There are sources for percussion SxS kits that are pretty cheap, and could be easily configured this way...and the "cool factor" would be WAY up there :D.

November 7, 2001, 10:34 AM
I'm the sucker...err...Match Director for the local cowboy matchs. I've set up 12 round shotgun stages, but between four and six are typical.

SASS rules say that you have to follow NFA guidelines (I found this out when I was setting up a nice replica of Doc Holliday's "Street Howitzer")...which means following the silly minimum barrel and overall length rules.

I had picked up a coupe of LeMats when I first started playing this game, but discovered that I could load no more than five rounds...period. From Our Hero, Judge Roy Bean, one of SASS's stated goals is to completely avoid the "equipment race" involved in other shooting sports. It was set up for SAA, lever guns, and side by side shotguns (with the '97 tolorated). No double action revolvers (even though there were plenty of them prior to the 1899 "cut off" date), no semi-autos (I have a collection of Mauser Broomhandles, which came out in 1896...no no no bad evil :), no non-exposed-hammer shotguns (sigh)...

Some good things about SASS: Spirit of the Game" rule. Wish it was legally enforcible, and even more, that it was enforcible in other shooting sports. IPSC could REALLY use something like that. Then again, IPSC is all about creative tactical problem solving, not playing dress-up and selling memberships.

The bad things: hidebound rules following, just to keep the "flavor" (and the politically correct nature of the money-making juggernaut that is SASS). Continued support of California by refusing to hold EOT anywhere but the SASS leadership's home stompin' grounds, even though such common long guns as the 13-round Winchester 1873 are technically illegal in CA as "assault weapons"...but gee, the CA DA has said they will decline to prosecute if you are going to End of Trail! Oh, that makes me feel safe. Then again, I guess if I lived (AND founded and ran the sport) in CA I'd hate to have to drive anywhere for my match, too.

Sorry, started rambling there...back on topic: 18" barrels minumum, four rounds won't be enough, but a damn good idea :)


November 7, 2001, 02:31 PM
Just curious, but wouldn't you be following NFA guidelines if you were had a percussion muzzleloaded shotgun with 12-14" bbls? Since it does not used fixed ammunition and is a replica of a weapon made before 1899, it is not covered by the NFA and is technically not a firearm for ownership purposes. The same exception allows you to own LeMat (which would be an AOW under NFA rules) as well as a Colt-type revolver fitted with a buttstock (a Short Barreled Rifle).

Is there a rule that specifically states that all shotguns, of any legal type or action, muzzleloading or conventional, must have a minimum of 18"bbls? Or an overall length of 26"?

November 7, 2001, 07:36 PM
With the addition of a "comma" in this line:

All shotguns must have a BATF legal barrel, over 18" in length.
(found here: http://www.sassnet.com/pages/shootershandbook.html )

...they force 18" barrels. Personally, I think it would be really fun to have a couple of 10" side by side black powder shotguns. I'm working on the paperwork to get a 10" pistol gripped side by side 12 gauge, even though I can't compete with it, just for fun.

I think I might need one of those "Mako" wrist braces like in Few Dollars More after shooting it, though :p


Jim March
November 8, 2001, 11:48 AM
Part of what I'm thinking here is that it doesn't seem "gamey" to use such a pair o' beasties, especially shot alternating from each hand and cocked before every shot as would be safest with such.

For safety, you'd probably have to put the firing caps on right at the line which again would cut out the "gamey" factor...

Carried in a pair of calf holsters (in other words, barrel down by the boot, grips at about knee level) they'd do wonders for a costume :D.

November 8, 2001, 12:58 PM
Jim, as near as I can figure, those would not be legal for SASS. Plus the number of shots per stage can vary wildly. I have shot stages that called for 14 shotgun rounds! Also, the shotgun has to be staged open and empty. It can only be ready to go if the stage calls for you to start out with it in you hands. So you would not be allowed to have them loaded and holstered.

To clatify what Wakal said " no non-exposed-hammer shotguns (sigh)..." that aplied only to pumps. Boxlock SXS's are fine.

But I agree with you, it would be realy cool.

Jim March
November 8, 2001, 08:53 PM
I was wondering about that "exposed hammers only" rule on SxS because Stoeger has a boxlock 20" barrel SxS they call a "SASS legal cowboy model". It has no ejectors, which is apparantly a requirement?

That particular SxS has some appeal, because the chokes are in the last inch and a half. You can take it down to 18 and 1/8ths inch legally and end up with a chokeless pure smoothbore. Then polish the bores some until the shells drop totally free...ya got yurself a gun :).

Are you allowed to put a leather shellholder on the shotgun's stock?

November 8, 2001, 10:50 PM
As Marauder clarified (since I can't seem to type in a logical manner), the no-exposed-hammer rule is for the slide-action shotguns...the only "pump" allowed is the 1897, with its exterior hammer.

As far as side-by-sides, anything (without an automatic ejector) goes. "Mule ear" exposed hammer shotguns are popular with the renactor crowd, if not with the "I wanna win" crowd. Stoeger Coach Guns are popular (I shoot one, for what that is worth). The gamey folks like the '97.

Winchester '87 and 1901 (lever action) shotguns are legal, if rare. I'd like to have one just for the cool factor :)

You cannot put a shellholder on the shotgun. All loading must be done from the person. My shop's standard "Cowboy Package" on side by sides includes highly polishing the chambers so you can "flip" the shotgun up and back to pop the hulls free while the off hand is bringing two new rounds up from the belt. Most new shotguns have rough chambers, and the hulls won't fall free. Same trick with the revolver...you should be able to hold the muzzle up with the loading gate open and have the cases just fall out.

"Lone Iguana"
SASS 21509

November 9, 2001, 12:18 PM
Right. The Aussies are making a copy pf the 1887/1901 Lever Action Winchester, if they ever get them here they would be sweet.

As far as pumps, Marlin's model of 1898 technically qualifies as legal, though ask anyone and they will tell you they are unsafe to shoot. I concur. So it does leave the 97 Winchester as ‘the' gun. Personally, I don't think of any pump shotgun as ‘cowboy'.

As for SXS's I stared with a Stoeger, and still use it as a backup. They are a fine choice. Remember you can pick up a used gun like a Stevens 311 or something too. If it has ejectors, as opposed to extractors, they can usually be disabled to make the gun legal. I like mule-eared guns myself. They are a little trickier to be fast with, but the look great.