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Old December 3, 2016, 06:51 PM   #1
Beagle333
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How do you know which one?

Pulling up the search page at Taylors and putting in "gunfighter" gets me three pages of cowboy guns. All look nearly identical. How would I know if I wanted the "Runnin Iron" or the "Smoke Wagon" or the "Short Stroke" or the combination of "Short Stroked Smoke Wagon" or the other options, and you can also add in the checkered, Navy or Army grips in that mixup. Wow. It's a headspinning choice.
http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/catal...1&q=gunfighter

And just put in "cattleman" and see how many more choices you get.
http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/catal...t/?q=cattleman

I'm glad they offer so many, but I guess you'd have to visit the store to line a few of em up on the counter to be able to pick one and know that was the best choice for you.
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Old December 3, 2016, 07:22 PM   #2
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WOW, Time to make a phone call

I can understand your confusion, frustration or whatever one feels when faced with this many choices. As for me, I'd list my requirements and call customer service and let them walk you though it. The differences seem so slight when you can see what they are ........

Be Safe !!!!
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Old December 3, 2016, 09:20 PM   #3
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First of all, select a caliber. Typically, there will be 4 choices, .22, .38, .357, and .45. Sometimes a .44 magnum is offered. Once you select your preferred caliber, that will narrow down your choices considerably.

Then, secondly, select your barrel length, be it 7 1/2 inch for hunting or target shooting, 5 1/2" perhaps for home protection or general use, or shorter for CAS or whatever.

Thirdly, just pick out of the remaining choices whatever it is that suits your fancy, such as nickled-plated vs blued, brass trigger guard, case-hardened, etc. Price may be a factor, but I'd spend that extra $100-150 if you really like the more expensive one, especially if it will be your only single-action revolver.
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Old December 3, 2016, 09:40 PM   #4
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Churchwald's System Approach.

What purpose? Remember for quick draw a shorter barrel is faster.
What purpose? If CAS, what will consistently knock down the plate and is within your budget?
What resources? Besides $$$, reloading dies, bullet moulds, holsters, belt, etc. Do you have an existing stock of ammo? How much to reload?


There's more to it, but you get the picture.
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Old December 3, 2016, 09:41 PM   #5
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I know I want .45 caliber. I'd also like 5.5" barrel. I do prefer the larger Army grips. That still leaves plain or checkered grips, lowered hammer or regular, short stroke or regular, widened sights or regular, and do I want it tuned or just stock, and if tuned - do I want 2.5# or 3# pull, Wolff or Taylor wire/coil springs......
And only searching Taylors completely leaves out any of the El Patron lineup. That practically doubles the choices.

It'll be exclusively for CAS. I have Blackhawks for hunting.

But it's fun to learn about them and narrow the selection.
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Old December 3, 2016, 11:48 PM   #6
45 Dragoon
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Two things none of them have is an action stop and a bolt block. Those two "add-ons" are a must for a "race gun" to maintain any degree of tuning, especially a close tolerance tune.
The "tuning " from the factory is basically the installation of a lighter set of springs. A true tuning actually "fits" the parts and wear surfaces together, corrects the amount of tension each spring exerts and sets appropriate timing from perfect to "as needed" depending on the intended use of the revolver.
If you've ever had a revolver truly tuned, it wouldnt be a decision.

That said, any of those mentioned and/or the El Patron series are amazing performers after tuning. Even the "run of the mill" Cattleman . . .


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Last edited by 45 Dragoon; December 3, 2016 at 11:54 PM.
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Old December 4, 2016, 01:32 AM   #7
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Having shot a single action army with smooth grips, get the checkered. For fast draw and the like I understand the 4 3/4 is pretty standard. They make the 3" smoke wagon but I don't know if it'd necessarily be allowed in competitions, and I don't know how you're supposed to eject the shells with a rod that short.

For the rest of it, I'd say look at what common CAS requirements are, and what most people use for the categories of shooting you're most interested in. If at all possible, try to see if you can handle some of the various options on spring weight, short-stroke, etc.

Oh, and "case hardened" finishes usually aren't. I would highly recommend a stainless gun if you want looks that last.
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Old December 4, 2016, 02:05 AM   #8
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Of course a .357 and .38 are the same caliber....It's always nice to be talked down to when making a statement and not asking a question.
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Old December 4, 2016, 08:55 AM   #9
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The .357= .38 seem to be the most common CASS rounds. For black powder loads a .38 is usually not loaded with any filler.
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Old December 4, 2016, 10:10 AM   #10
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Yes Mike, I do see that their tuning package doesn't include a bolt block or an action stop. It looks like it bumps the price from the base model to the deluxe models up by about 130 bucks. And includes:
•Custom tuning, hammer, & base pin springs •3 lb. trigger-spring •Jig-cut, positive angles on triggers & sears •Reliable action •Coil-loaded hand •Wire bolt spring •

Thanks for all the input guys! I'll keep on thumbing through them, but more informed now.
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Old December 4, 2016, 10:30 AM   #11
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.357 = .38

The .38-40 is also offered, which is not the same, but I suspect a rare choice.
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Old December 5, 2016, 10:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
It'll be exclusively for CAS. I have Blackhawks for hunting.
Howdy

Now that we've got that out of the way, despite the name of this forum, this is not the best place to come to ask these questions. Not very many actual Cowboy Action Shooters visit this page.

This is the place to ask these questions, the Single Action Shooting Society forums. Click on the top choice, that is labelled SASS Wire.

http://www.sassnet.com/forums/index.php?showforum=22

The next bit of advice I will give you is do not even consider spending a dime on Cowboy Action Stuff until you have actually attended a match or two. To see how things are done, and to get a chance to handle the firearms, and maybe even shoot some. You don't want to run out and spend your hard earned cash on equipment only to find out it is not really what you needed, or worse yet to find out you have bought stuff that is not legal to use in a CAS match.

Attend a couple of matches. Use the SASS links to find a couple near you. Call up the match director and introduce yourself and express your interest. Show up and express interest. You will find that CAS shooters are only too happy to let you handle their guns and you will likely get a chance to shoot some. Much better than spending money on something you have not actually held in your hands.

What is your budget? You are aware that you need TWO pistols, a shotgun and a rifle to compete in a CAS match, right? On top of that you will need a gun belt and a pair of holsters to carry your pistols in. You cannot show up on the line holding them in your hands.

Do not despair. You do not need to be completely equipped for your first match. That is why you call up the Match Director, to see if he can pair you up with somebody who will loan you what you need until you are completely equipped yourself.

Quote:
I know I want .45 caliber. I'd also like 5.5" barrel. I do prefer the larger Army grips. That still leaves plain or checkered grips, lowered hammer or regular, short stroke or regular, widened sights or regular, and do I want it tuned or just stock, and if tuned - do I want 2.5# or 3# pull, Wolff or Taylor wire/coil springs......
And only searching Taylors completely leaves out any of the El Patron lineup. That practically doubles the choices.
You are getting way ahead of yourself.

Everybody and their brother wants a 45 for CAS. Until they find out how expensive the ammo is. Are you going to be reloading or buying factory ammo? Buying factory 45 Colt ammo will quickly put you in the poor house, unless you have an unlimited budget. 38 Special is by far the most popular caliber in CAS. Guys who buy 45s, then find out how light most CAS loads are, are forever trying to load the 45 down to light 38 Special power. That big 45 Colt case does not take kindly to mousefart loads and problems happen. That is why 38 Special is the most common round in the game. Consider what cartridge you want your rifle chambered for. Most CAS shooters choose the same cartridge for both rifle and pistols, to keep things simple. A rifle and two revolvers chambered for 357 Magnum will solve the problem. (Do be aware that some rifles are Cartridge Overall Length sensitive, and you may need to customize your 38s to feed properly in your rifle.)

5 1/2" barrel? That's easy. That was the most common barrel length the Colt Single Action Army, and is probably the most common barrel length in CAS.

Army grips? The standard grip for the SAA was the Navy grip. I do not know anybody who shoots pistols with the Army grip on them. The only reason to buy the larger Army grip is to try to cram your entire hand onto the grip. The 'best' (in my not so humble opinion) way to hold a SAA or clone is to curl your pinky under the grip and allow the gun to roll slightly in your hand in recoil. Trying to cram your entire hand onto the grip of a SAA or clone may result in the trigger guard slapping the knuckle of your middle finger in recoil. Trust me on this. Curl your pinky under the grip and you open up about 1/4" of space between the trigger guard and your knuckle, eliminating the 'knuckle whack'.

After attending a couple of matches, and only after attending matches, give some thought to how you intend to play the game. Do you just want to go out and shoot cowboy and have fun, or do you want to compete with the big boys to end up in the winner's circle at End of Trail. Or something in between? This will answer your questions about what kind of options, lowered hammers, short stroked hammers, etc, you will need. You don't need any of that stuff if you are going to just go out and shoot without trying to be the top shooter of the day.

Widened sights? Most Italian replicas of the SAA come with the traditional narrow V groove for the rear sight. This can be a little bit tough to see. Second Generation Colts came with a squared off rear sight that was easier to see. Some of the models you are looking at may feature that.

I like a 2 1/2 pound trigger on all my pistols. You will not much notice the difference with 3 pounds. A coil hand spring is nice because it is less likely to break than the traditional leaf type hand spring. Same with a wire trigger/bolt spring, although I have revolvers that are over 100 years old and still have their old fashioned leaf springs.

With all due respect, I have been playing cowboy for over ten years, and this is the first time I ever heard of an action stop or a bolt block. How necessary can they be?

Check out the SASS Wire. Read up on the rules. Attend a couple of matches before you spend any money.

P.S. Don't sweat the clothes, spend your money on your guns and leather. Jeans and a workshirt are fine. No ball caps and no sneakers.

P.P.S. Consider Ruger Vaqueros. Very popular in CAS.

Last edited by Driftwood Johnson; December 5, 2016 at 10:19 AM.
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Old December 7, 2016, 12:20 AM   #13
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Drifty, the .38 spec. was very popular in the old west? I thought the modern cowpokes preferred the 32 short loaded down. Couldn't resist.
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Old December 7, 2016, 07:57 AM   #14
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DJ,
As part of my service, I always install an action stop and this is why. Even with "normal" use, the action is halted by the action locking up at the end of the cycle which means the hammer can't rotate any further because it's trying to force the hand to turn a locked cylinder. This puts added stress/wear on action parts and eventually will spread the clearances and tollerances of the parts. This will eventually lead to parts replacement because of wear or breakage.
The action stop halts the action when the full cock notch is reached. This means that no additional pressure is placed on the hand and thus the cyl. ratchet and bolt. Since the full sequence of events is final at full cock (or should be if all is correct), there is no need for further movement of the hammer.

The bolt block allows the action of the bolt to be more precise and removes unwanted side movement of the bolt. It allows a more secure lockup of the cylinder as well as correcting any out of spec bolt window width problems. You can actually hear and feel the difference a bolt block makes when cycling an action "aggressively". Another benefit of a bolt block is less wear of the locking notches. Since the bolt can't deflect sideways and allow throw-by, it will maintain lockup and not deform the lock notches.

These two add on parts have so many benefits, I think it's crazy not to install them. I was "enlightened" about these additions from my many conversations with Mr. Jim Martin . Jim learned about them, as a young man, when setting up fast draw guns in the 1950's/60s as the craze swept across the nation. He also coached "gun handling" to some of the stars you would know for movies and shows.

As a matter of fact, Colts design for the Mod. P included an action stop , as talked about and illustrated in the Jerry Kuhnhausen book "The Colt S.A. Revolvers A Shop Manual Vols.1&2", (pg. 193). Even the engineers back then saw the benefit of an action stop and I happen to agree.

These additions definitely add life to the actions of the S.A. and especially the open top revolvers and Remies with their single fingered hands. They are a must for setting up revolvers as fanners also.

I go one step further and add what I call a " Munden step" which allows the bolt to enter the lock notch earlier than normal. Mr. Munden had these other "add ons" as well.


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Last edited by 45 Dragoon; December 7, 2016 at 08:30 AM.
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Old December 7, 2016, 08:31 AM   #15
44 Dave
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Mike has coached me on my "projects". The only one that did not get the action stop is my 2nd Colt it's hammer comes to stop against the back strap right where an action stop would come in to use. All of the other guns I have messed with have gone past and put pressure on the hand etc.
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Old December 7, 2016, 12:21 PM   #16
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
Drifty, the .38 spec. was very popular in the old west? I thought the modern cowpokes preferred the 32 short loaded down. Couldn't resist.
If you read the SASS rules, you will see that legal cartridges that can be used in SASS are not always cartridges that existed in the Old West. 38 Special is the prime example. Even though 38 Special was developed in 1899, it was not chambered in the SAA until 1930.

And please don't call me Drifty.


45 Dragoon - thanks for the explanation, learn something every day.
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Old December 7, 2016, 01:35 PM   #17
45 Dragoon
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Thanks Driftwood,
I enjoy your posts on these forums and learn a lot from them as well. Not to mention the great pictures usually illustrating them!!

BTW, I'll never call ya "Drifty" lol!!

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Old December 7, 2016, 05:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Mike has coached me on my "projects". The only one that did not get the action stop is my 2nd Colt it's hammer comes to stop against the back strap right where an action stop would come in to use. All of the other guns I have messed with have gone past and put pressure on the hand etc.
Have you tried it with the cylinder out to see if it actually does stop when it gets to full cock?
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