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Old July 6, 2004, 06:47 AM   #1
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 69
SASS Rifle Recommendations

I want to get into SASS events so I thought I'd start out buying an appropriate rifle. It would be nice to have one that can be used for more than one purpose like small game and plinking - or even self defense.

My "research" here and elsewhere so far says that a Marlin lever 1894 is a good choice because it is reasonably priced and feeds pistol ammo reliably. I like the option of 38/.357 too; my preference in the handguns is .357 so this rifle would be nice. Who is EMF? Prices are good but I wonder about quality, etc.

If you want to recommend a revolver and even a shotgun for SASS please chime in. I know squat about Cowboy Action shotguns and not much more about the revolvers. Someone said Uberti makes a decent, reasonably priced revolver. The Ruger Vaquero looks kinda cool too. Just to confuse me further, Beretta has the Stampede now!

Here's a pic of the Marlin Model 1894 Lever Action Carbine, 357 Magnum/38 Special with 18 1/2" round barrel, blue steel, checkered walnut stock and forend, new in box. $375. Waddya think?

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Old July 6, 2004, 10:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 22, 2004
Location: Washougal,Wa
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The Marlins are a great carbine and many many cas shooters use 'em.they are finicky about having their screws tight though.If I see a Pard with a jammed one it's usually a loose screw problem.
The shorter barreled ones may/may not hold ten rounds....a lot of stages are 10 round stages.Youi are allowed to load one,but it'll slow ya up some.
Some carbines,all brands,are ammo particular..may or may not feed .38's,.44 specials reliably.If you handload the problems can be worked out.
Rugers are almost indestructible...almost.very good guns but a bit chunky.
The ubertis are more correct,and much slimmer/trimmer.Of all the Colt clones I prefer the Ubertis,but many are good.EMF is owned by a SASS member so I'm thinking they would be good to deal with.
shotguns: most shoot model '97 Winchesers(hammerd pump gun),but I and some others prefer double barrels for the nostalgia.hammered or hammerless are acceptablej on doubles.Pumps MUST have extermal hammers.
Do you have shoots near you?Most Pards will let you look at their guns...heck,we love showing 'em off.
Our BB is the Wire,reached from the home page at
we have live cas chat at too.
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Old July 6, 2004, 10:34 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,341
With exception of the 30-30, all the lever guns in my house are Marlins. If that Marlin is a pre-safety model, I'd buy it too.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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Old July 9, 2004, 11:39 PM   #4
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Location: Near Helena, Montana
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I shoot a Rossi/Puma M92 in .45 Colt and a Browning M92 carbine in .357. Both have been good lever guns, but the Browning won't feed .38's unless the bullet is seated way out to approximate the length of a .357.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced...

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Old July 10, 2004, 06:58 AM   #5
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 69

Great info for a newbie. From April through October there's a Cowboy event every weekend within a 1 1/2 hour drive from my home so it's really getting more popular.

Funny, but while I live an hour from Boston, there are some great shooting things going on. Mas Ayoob is an hour away and I can shoot IDPA with him once a month or more; and get great free instruction, etc.

I claim legal residency in Maine so I'm in good shape. In this area of the country, one can drive through 9 states in about as many hours. The laws change DRASTICALLY, so transporting firearms is a major pain. In Mass I can be arrested just for one of my AK 30 rounders and in NJ, I can be arrested JUST FOR HAVING A HOLLOWPOINT BULLET (no gun or mag). I try to stay away from places like Mao-tse-chusetts whenever possible...

Looks like a Marlin or Uberti rifle and probably Ruger pistols for me. The Winchester '97 pump looks good too. Now I have to get into reloading, clothes, etc.

Thanks again,
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Old July 11, 2004, 05:09 PM   #6
Mike Weber
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Join Date: April 24, 2002
Location: Northern California
Posts: 238
Howdy and welcome:
Ditto's on that Rossi Puma. These are a reproduction of the 1892 Winchester I have one in rifle length 241/4 octagon barrel mine is in .45 Colt. So far its been a good reliable and accurate rifle. I also have a Uberti reproduction of the brass framed Henry Rifle in .45 Colt I've had that rifle for over 20 years and its never failed me. The EMF's are allright I have a pair of the EMF 1875 Remington Outlaw revolvers in .45 Colt They are made for EMF by Uberti. The Rossi rifles and EMF revolvers are a decent entry level choice for new CAS shooters and priced reasonably. Uberti revolvers and rifles are also very good quality if you prefer a more period authentic look for your shootin irons. For a CAS shotgun those 1897 Winchester reproductions are great shooters and they are definatly popular. I bought a Norinco coach gun with exposed hammers last fall and I have been very pleased with it so far. I'm more of a blackpowder shooter so I lean toward the more period correct type of guns. I currently shoot a pair of 1858 Remington revolvers with R&D cartridge conversion cylinders along with either the Henry of the Model 92 Clone and my double barreled scattergun.
M. Weber
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Old August 18, 2004, 07:38 AM   #7
Tom C.
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Join Date: October 18, 2002
Location: Southern Maryland
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Rifles are fairly easy for CAS. The Marlin is a very good choice. The 18" barrel requires .38 Special loads to be able to get 10 rds. in the mag. Marlin also makes the 1894 Cowboy series with 20 and 24" barrels which hold 10 rds.
Of the Winchester rifles and clones, the '66, '73 and '92 are all fine, but I would pass on the '94. I have seen too many that are unreliable with pistol length ammo. It was originally designed for longer rifle ammo and can be finicky.
For shotguns, there are really two choices: the '97 Win and clones, and any good double. I prefer a double myself, but many favor the '97. There are now several pretty good clones of the '97 available for those who want them.
For revolvers, there are Rugers and then all the rest. All the rest consist of original Colts, Colt clones from several makers, Smith and Wesson top breaks and Remington clones. There are partisans for each, but I prefer the Rugers. Ruger makes the Vaquero specifically for CAS, but I prefer the Blackhawk. I shoot in the Modern category, but I could shoot in the '49 category as well. I like the feel of the Ruger and the sights of the Blackhawk.
If you are considering the the Marlin in 38/357, by all means get your revolvers in the same caliber. Makes ammo simpler. The .38 is also cheaper to feed, and recoil is a little less, so it makes recoil recovery quicker.
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Old August 18, 2004, 10:58 AM   #8
Join Date: May 21, 2004
Location: North of Boston
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Thanks Tom & Mike,

There's a lot to think about!

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