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Old July 14, 2005, 09:05 PM   #1
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 54
getting started in cowboy shooting...

This is looking expensive....
I am going to my first cowboy shoot this saturday, as a spectator only. I would like to shoot, I just want to get a feel for these event before I do. What should I expect? This looks like it is geared more for fun than compatition, am I right?

Secondly, What do I need? The only info I have is a date from the website. It is a local range/association but I figure they must be like sass shoots. So I need a couple revolvers, a rifle, a SxS Shotgun, and some duds. What am I forgeting?
So far I have a Vaquero and that's it. I guess I will just see what these guys have and go from there.

Thanks for any info.
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Old July 15, 2005, 10:00 AM   #2
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: October 12, 1998
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,986
If it's like our club and several others I've been to, getting hardware to shoot with is no problem. Many folks will lend you a gun or let you shoot with them using their guns. My first match I didn't have a proper shotgun and had about a dozen volunteers offering to loan me one.
At our club we're not to worried about the clothing, especially with a new shooter. We have between 1 and 5 new shooters most months and we'll let them wear their street shoes and whatever for the first match. We do ask that they at least wear jeans and no t-shirts, tennis shoes or ball caps after that though. We tell them that a cheap western style shirt from one of the X-Marts is fine along with a pair of work boots and jeans until they figure out if they want to stick with CAS and can acquire the correct duds. We realize that it can get expensive to outfit oneself for CAS matches, therefore we make accomodations and let everyone build up gradually. after all, as you said, it's all for fun.
Hope you enjoy your match.
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Old July 17, 2005, 09:05 AM   #3
News Shooter
Senior Member
Join Date: May 29, 2005
Posts: 332
Here's a site you should visit

Lot's of helpful folks there.

It's really smart to go to a couple of shoots first and try the various guns out before you invest heavily. Like many hobbies, you can wind up spending a lot of money on CAS. Can't go wrong with a Vaquero as a start. Do the best you can with the clothing at first. You really want to avoid ballcaps, tennis shoes and dress like that if possible.

If you decide to continue, yes you'll need two pistols, a rifle and a shotgun. There's so much gear invoved most people either build or buy a guncart.

Yes, you are right most of the SASS competition is friendly and fun, but there are serious competitors as well. They are called gamers. They are the ones who always have to be in front of you on the highway. Most just sit back and enjoy the shoot and the friendships.

CAS folks are the best. Have fun!
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Old July 17, 2005, 11:20 PM   #4
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 54
A good time

It was a lot of fun, This is a pretty cool group of guys. It was much smaller than I expected it to be though, only about 6-8 shooters. This did make it easier to talk to the crew though.
The thing I really liked was the shooting setup. Three shooting stages, lots of targets.
Some of these guys are awesome to watch unloading their leverguns!

I am going to have to take my time to build-up the gear though. I hope to be ready by the time they start-up next spring.
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Old July 18, 2005, 03:47 PM   #5
Join Date: July 7, 2004
Posts: 30
My wife and I are also just getting into it, so we are looking at guns for both of us. She has pretty good taste in armament, which means expensive. We are using an original 73 Winchester (she loves it), and I just got her a custom matched pair of American Western peacekeepers. I have an array of cap & ball revolvers. Fortunately, we have most of our clothing from reenacting. Though she is an authenticity fanatic, That which she does not sew by hand she does on an 1868 dated sewing machine. So she will be sewing period proper clothing. I am still looking for a Shotgun, but the coffers are pretty empty , I wonder why?? We are looking forward to the next shoot in September.

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Old July 22, 2005, 05:06 PM   #6
John Krzos
Junior Member
Join Date: July 5, 2005
Location: Matteson, Illinois
Posts: 8

I have been involved with CAS for about 5 years. I agree with everything news hooter said. Go to the SASS There are bunch of forums there to ask questions and are basically a good bunch of people. It is a great shooting venue and it is not for everyone. Before you buy all the gear, go to a match and watch, listen, and take heed in what the old timers say. Go to the gun shop and try out the fit and then shoot them if you can. I started out with Ruger Blackhawks and eventually ended up with 4 Ruger Bisleys(because of the size of my hands.) I have an Older Rossi model '92(I also have an original'92 winchester chambered in .38WCF-that is awsome) and a '97 Winchester and SXS double barrel. Most important-GET A GUN CART!!!! Even if you have to steal the kid's wagon-GET A GUN CART. You won't regret it. It carries everything that you need. I'll try to attach a picture of mine to this. It's great fun and you will enjoy it if you like to be a Cowboy for a day.
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Old July 22, 2005, 06:54 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: July 22, 2005
Posts: 3
Welcome to CAS

I attended my first shoot in March as a spectator and started shooting in April.

Handguns are two Cimarron Open Top clones in 44 Russian/Colt. Really like that cartridge because it has a shorter case than the 44 Special or 44 Magnum so has reduced case capacity for light loads.

My rifle is a Cimarron 1873 in 32-20. I love the 32-20, have a Ruger #1 chambered for it with a 30" heavy barrel which I use to shoot ground squirrels here in Montana at long range. Also have a 32-20 barrel for my Shiloh Sharps which is my "walk around" gun.

Shotgun is an original '97 with 30" bbl and full choke. Many like a short barrel but I prefer the longer one.

I haven't done much with clothes yet. Already had a cowboy hat so that got me in. Bought a long sleeve striped shirt and a pair of suspenders at the local thrift shop. Cut the belt loops off a pair of plain pants and wear my pull-on work boots. Nobody has complained yet. Hope to get the clothes more "period" this winter. Made all my own holsters and cartridge belts. They look homemade but I bet that's what a lot of the real holsters were in the old days.

I really like some of the clothing people come up with. One shooter has the same shape nose and beard as Lee Van Cleef. He has all the clothes and looks just like him from the spaghetti westerns.

I've attended about ten shoots so far this year including the CAS state championship in Simms, MT where I shot 47th out of 80 compeditors.

As others mentioned, a gun cart is really a help. You can buy one or make one. I made mine but have seen shooters using nothing more than a wooden box strapped to a two wheeled dolly which works ok.

This is a great shooting sport. I like it because the competition is so low key for most the compeditors. We're all there mainly to have fun.
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