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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  Shooter's Meeting (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: If you're new at this I heard you shouldn't buy stuff 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: If you're new at this I heard you shouldn't buy stuff  (Read 3785 times)
Firstorm Chris
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« on: August 11, 2015, 02:14:15 am »


I've heard from various sources such as internet forums and some youtube videos that if you're new to cowboy action shooting to not buy anything until after you've been to your first event, if you do than you might be wasting money because what you buy might not be stuff that you would use at a cowboy action shooting event and then you would have to buy the stuff you would use. Well, when I first heard that I had already bought some guns. I had done my research so I knew what guns could be used at such events and I knew what the good guns to buy are and what the good gun companies are. I've also bought some clothes, the SASS website gives links to good cowboy merchandise shops so I bought some clothes after deciding how I wanted to dress, this of course I did after doing some research on how to dress at such events although I've yet to buy boots. For boots, I would want to try them on before buying them so I obviously would biy them at a walk in store not over the internet. I haven't looked much into pants but I believe ordinary jeans would do as those were clothes that cowboys during the golden age often wore. So, although I haven't yet been to an event I've done much research so I hope I bought the right stuff.
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Fingers McGee
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 11:04:18 am »

Welcome to Cowboy Action Shooting.  Hopefully you will have a great and rewarding time at your first shoot and that all your research was not in vain. 
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Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee;
SASS Regulator 28654 - LTG; NCOWS 3638
AKA Man of many Colts; Diabolical Ken's alter ego; stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer; Rangemaster
Founding Member - Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Member - Southern Missouri Rangers; Moniteau Creek River Raiders, The Ozarks Posse, Butterfield Trail Cowboys
NRA Endowment Life: GOA; CCRKBA; SAF; SV-114 (CWO4 ret); STORM 327

"Cynic:  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are, not as they should be"  Ambrose Bierce
Red Cent
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 11:07:51 am »

It all depends on the way you want to approach SASS. NCOWS shooters approach cowboy shooting quite differently.

As you know, SASS worships at the altar of speed. We call it a game and it is a game. Most of us simply need to ring steel. As fast as we can and as accurately as we can. Light loads and tricked out firearms allow us to this.

If you are OK with simply enjoying the camaraderie, dressing like a cowboy, shooting some steel, and remembering the Saturday matinee, go for it.

However, that person standing behind you with a timer goads the shooters to GO!!

You will find, if you are a competitor, that there is a lot more to it than simply buying leather and guns. For instance, SASS is the only discipline that I know that you reholster on the move normally and during a stage. Then the leather really comes to the forefront.

I agree with you statement of attending a match or five. Especially if you want to compete.  And unfortunately, the pocketbook will determine how much you feed your competitive spirit. SASS ain't a cheap game.
May I ask what firearms were purchased.
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Life is too short to argue with stupid people and drink cheap booze
McLeansville, NC by way of WV
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LostVaquero
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 12:05:36 pm »

Well I am using whatever I found in the safe and the closet.  The fact that I like to do Victorian Era to Edwardian Era dress up made clothing easy for the most part.

My pistols are same caliber but mismatched - vaquero, bisley vaquero and 50th anni blackhawk.

The only thing I have invested in so far is new leather.  I am borrowing a belt that has a crossdraw on the left and strong right hand side and I am a left hand shooter.   Seems real backward to me.

Well I take that back, I bought a new shirt - retro Western style.  The reason is that the rifle that was in the safe was one of the Colt Lightning clones and thus in B Western only have the Marlins and 92s to run with not slicked up 73s. 

I have been now to a total of six matches!  WEW!  I know green still as heck but times are getting better and I got to see and watch everyone else and pretty much cemented the area I wanted to go.  Hey, I will admit I like different and bling so B-Western it is. 
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Firstorm Chris
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 01:50:44 pm »

The guns were one of the first things I bought for cowboy action shooting. Before I would buy guns for that purpose I would make sure the gun I was buying was SASS approved. Usually I would ask at the gun shop and they would know since they're very helpful and knowledgeable on all things about guns including cowboy action shooting. BTW the gun shop I usually go to is a well known place, Cabela's, they've got locations all throughout the USA and in Canada too and I would definitely recommend them. The guns I've got are a Ruger Vaquero six shooter handgun, a Henry Big Boy lever action rifle, and a Pietta six shooter handgun. All of those guns are in .45 Long Colt. I also got a Stoeger shotgun double barrel break open in 12 gauge. From what I know in SASS you need two handguns, a lever action rifle, and a break open shotgun. I know that in SASS people often dress up as a certain role or occupation, the role I chose is that of bounty hunter. So I bought clothes and guns to fit that role.
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Matthew Duncan
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 07:36:15 pm »

Son and I drove in a snow storm to watch our first match.
On the way home Son decided the caliber when he shouted, "45 Colt".
Ruger weren't considered because they weren't cowboy.  Real Colts weren't in the budget so that left Urberti.
We're using the same leather and guns that we started with, 15 years ago.
Leather soles on the boots wore thru and soles were replaced with rubber.  Leather soles can be slippery.
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Major General J.E.B. Stuart's Division
Captain 1st Maryland Artillery, C.S.A.
SASS# 23189

Disclaimer:  I have not slept in any hotel recently, not a certified CAS rule web lawyer.  Have not attended any RO II or RO VI classes.  Opinions expressed are by a cowpoke who believes the year is 1868.
Red Cent
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 01:54:00 pm »

Firstorm Chris, may I ask how the Henry is working out?
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Life is too short to argue with stupid people and drink cheap booze
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Sagebrush Burns
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 10:59:08 pm »

The caveat about buying stuff for CAS/SASS shooting is that there is a good chance you will change your preferences as you gain experience in the game.  A lot can depend on personal finances.  If you're blessed with deep pockets expenses are no big thing, but most of aren't and need to proceed carefully.  You really don't want to spend big money on things like "race ready" guns until you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish as a competitor.  You may not need them at all...  I know a guy who spent 2K on a pair of tuned up revolvers before he ever shot a match, then changed his mind, never went any farther and took a bath when he had to sell them.  Over the past 15 years I've had five different pistol rigs as I changed my style of shooting and where to take it.  It's all good as long as you don't get in over your head and lose your way (and as long as your wife doesn't realize just how much you've actually invested!)










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LostVaquero
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2015, 04:42:27 pm »

I basically started out with more or less what I had in the safe that would work.  That meant a blackhawk, a bisley vaquero, a stoger double and yes a Henry Big Boy (more on that in a moment).

That got me started but over the last six months I got a feel for what category I liked (B Western).  That meant a particular style rig.
Second even though the blackhawk is legal I thought it fit more for a fixed sight revolver and not another bisley.  The stoger I had some light gunsmithing on to have open easier and toss shells a bit better.  The vaqueros are still bone stock.

Now I am still using the Henry.  Mine is a a steel version which has had manufacturers improvements on it, weighs in at a nice 7lbs which makes it much lighter than the brass framed job.  I had Marlin unitech springs installed and a Marlin Wild West ejector put in (Henry's is still a bit weak and a round can hang up in the port).   I have had more than a few shooters think it is a slicked up Marlin the way it runs. 

Now if I had to start from the beginning without anything and still not sure what category or how much to spend, I would go with the stoger still - they are cheap and plentiful and plenty of people still run them.  The only category I think there not allowed is Classic Cowboy (no external hammers).  Blackhawks are cheap slightly used and plentiful as well, Classic they are not allowed.  Vaqueros would be a good but slightly more expensive second choice.

As for rifle just to get started a Rossi 92 is as above generally inexpensive and fairly plentiful.  One could look for a used Marlin (I am not sure the Remington made ones are up to snuff and the last one I looked at reeked cheap and was gritty as heck).  A bit more expensive by a couple of hundred is the Big Boy, then step up to the 66s and 73s depending on how you like things.

The worse is if you end up not getting into CAS or if you get really fast a Rossi or Henry make a great truck gun as well.
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Fredcdobbs
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2016, 02:47:51 pm »

When I started I bought two 5.5 inch Vaqueros and a 24 inch .45 Colt 1894 Marlin Cowboy rifle. Also a Stoeger sxs. All of them slicked up by the late great gunsmith Bob Shaw. As a gun addict, I purchased many more guns over the years and I was amazed to discover that my first set of Rugers and that Marlin were my favorites. The Marlin in particular was about as sweet handling rifle as I've ever had and super accurate at longer ranges. Never felt comfortable with shorter gun barrels in pistol or rifle. The Stoeger was quickly replaced by a Winchester 97 made in 1900. I should have stopped there but then I'm a gun nut and bought many guns after.
I lucked out. I didn't know I would like these guns. I'd recommend you go to a match or two and I'm sure the good fellas and gals wouldn't mind if you cranked off a couple shots with various kinds of guns. At least that's how I found them to be, very friendly.
I have a friend who loved his 1875 Remingtons in .45 which are heavy guns with small hammer spurs and it's a large caliber. Not for everyone but then he found his favorite. I think you do need to experimeint.
If you think you have the stuff to be a top competitor, you better watch what they shoot and do something similar. They have put lots of thought into it and most of the time it's short barreled .38s and light maybe 96 grain bullets.
Don't forget the diameter of the hole in the barrel determines how much steel is in the gun. A smaller bore .357 4 5.8 inch barrel might not feel that different to you than a 5.5 inch barrel gun with a .45 caliber bore. So it then comes down to wha sighting radius you are comfortable with and how much recoil you want.
One more thing. Ruger handguns and Marlin rifles for me have been totally trouble free. Everything else I've owned made in Italy has been fussy. Occasional maintenance issues. No big deal if you maintain the guns well, are able to do some minor gunsmithing, spring replacement and such. The replicas actually look like a real old time gun and the Rugers are a modern gun and a unique design.
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Bunk Stagnerg
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2016, 10:49:40 am »


Being a sort of an accumulator of guns I started out with a pair of  Gen One 4 ¾” .45 Colt single actions, a Winchester 1892 carbine in .45 Colt (not a misprint, long story),  and a 12 gauge Colt outside hammer double barrel shotgun. Since my business is stockman, the hat and boots were no problem. I had a pair of holsters made years ago by Joe Bowman. All I needed was a pair of easily found pants and a shirt.

After my first match I realized that the pounding guns take in SASS shooting required firearms and leather less valuable that these originals so I started on the long expensive trail of replacing the originals with replicas.

Now with two safes full of guns, a drawer full of leathers and a complete reloading setup it would seem I am close to having all the guns and equipment I need. That and having an active SASS club in my back pasture I am “Close but no cigar” to being completely equipped.

Your obt svt
Bunk
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