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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  CAS FAQ (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Will Ketchum)  |  Topic: Out of the box CAS guns - not good enough? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Out of the box CAS guns - not good enough?  (Read 45947 times)
Marshal Halloway
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« on: December 27, 2005, 12:12:17 pm »



Many newcomers to our sport or wannabe shooters have doubts when looking for guns and the total price tag to get started.

Through marketing, advertising and articles the potential new shooters can get the impression that having a set of guns out of the box is the same as being halfway through to get started. Many are in fact believing they are not ready to start in CAS unless the guns have gone through some gunsmithing, have some parts changed and otherwise done what may be considered a mandatory internal modification.

A set of CAS firearms (2 revolvers, 1 rifle and 1 shotgun) will cost a lot more than the price tags on the guns itself.

This has for many become a hesitating factor to join.

What is your advise to those on the doorstep to CAS and being afraid of the total cost?

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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2005, 01:44:22 pm »

Marshal,

The only work I have had done on my CAS firearms (2 Uberti 1873 Cattleman revolvers, 1894 Marlin lever rifle, 1930's vintage Ithaca double shotgun) was to have the shotgun checked for safety and the barrels shortened to 24 inches from 30.

That's it.  No action jobs, no refinishing, nothing.  I just take them out and shoot them, bring them home and clean them.

The only spring that was replaced was the bolt/trigger spring in one of the revolvers.  The original spring broke and I replaced it with another flat spring.

For me this game is more about authenticity and fun then competition.

Sincerely,

Prof. A. Wickwire
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2005, 02:05:59 pm »

I detail-strip any new or new-to-me gun that I get - regardless of whence it came.

I look for any burring or high point that needs relieving and thoroughly clean the weapon.

I'll then use 'Pro-Gold' for a grease on any bearing surface and 'Break-Free' for a general lube, since I like both products and am familiar with their properties.

That's it.

Those articles are written to sell spring kits and action jobs.

Better to spend that money on ammunition and develop a feel for the weapon and its accuracy, as most guns will easily out-shoot their owners.

Fantasies aside - most shooters will never rise to the upper levels due largely in part to the fact that they won't devote the ammunition/range time, so a tricked-out piece is wasted until their skills improve to the point to where they can actually gain from the work done on the weapon.

Spend the initial money on a shooting battery that feels natural - the rest on ammunition - and practice, practice, practice...

Good Luck.


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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2005, 05:03:19 pm »

There are some "out of the box" guns that are pretty close to being "smithed" guns. The Great Westerns and Charles Daly's come to mind first. Most of my revolvers have only had a spring change to make them easier to cock Duelist and not much more than that.
 Rifles and shotguns can be more of a problem, IE: shotguns that don't stay completely open to reload. Or rifles that stove pipe or won't feed smoothly......Buck Cool Roll Eyes Wink
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2005, 10:23:22 pm »

I agree with St George.  Though I haven't shot CAS yet I have certainly shot my share of Police and IPSC.  Spend the money first on ammo.  If or when you get good enough, you will know what smithing you want.  I must have put 50,000 rounds through 1911's before I started messing with them, and then it was sights and a trigger job.  Could I shoot IPSC with a stock 1911? Yes and did.  That was before the sport went to hell in a hand basket with trick leather, comp guns, optics and so on.
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2005, 10:35:03 pm »

Good advice to not jump too much into action work at the beginning. There are a lot of things you can have done that really aren't much benefit unless you're one of the top shooters. Here's my $.02:

My Cimarron Evil Roys are ready for action right out of the box. Of course, they cost more than your standard pistol, but they're really ready to go.

Everything else I have has had lighter springs and little else needed. Springs are easy to work down if you don't want to buy them already done.

The amount spend on action work isn't too much if you go to the right 'smith. Usually ±$100 per gun. Just consider that part of the initial purchase price and it doesn't hurt any. If you can do it yourself, figure a couple hours of your time to do the work.
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2005, 10:45:12 pm »

Well when I first started getting interested in CAS.  I started pricing guns.  Yes they are expensive even stock.  But I am also an avid hunter and shooter.  So guns to me are multipurpose.  I dont wanna be out deer hunting with one of my .45's and have it go off too soon because I have to light of a trigger pull.  I havent shot my first match yet.  I highly doubt I will do anything to the actions of any of my guns.  Atleast for the time being.  My advice to all new comers like me is shoot the guns in practice and matches till your used to them before you go changing things.  And for pete's sake have fun aint that what this sport is all about.
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2005, 03:34:52 am »

Depending on the quality of arm you buy, they might just be good enough "out of the box".  When I starting cowboy action shooting, I used the guns I had.  At that time, you only needed three, revolver, rifle/carbine, & shotgun.  I showed up with my Colt SAA .45, Winch. .30-30, and 1919 Riverside SxS shotgun.  They were all "box stock", well except that old side-by-side, it'd been repaired so many times, I don't think anything on the gun was original except the frame and barrels.  My only disappointment was that I couldn't use my .30-30.  Borrowed a friends '92 until I found and bought one of my own.
My new friends in CAS (now known as the "Wild Bunch") regularly advised everyone that practicing and competition would hone your skills more than action jobs.  If you ain't got the muscle memory, no amount of "race gun" is going to make up for it.  I still think that spending the money on practice ammo will be of more immediate benefit to your shooting prowess than action jobs, or whiz-bang go-fast parts.  When I shot all the time, (2-3 times a month) I generally finished in the top 10% of any match I entered.  All the top shooters will tell you, practice, practice, and then practice some more.  They may have different opinions on what constitutes "practice", but any practice is better than none.
However, all that said, the foremost reason most new shooters are attracted to this "game" is that it looks like fun!  That it appears so is so deceptively simple that few folks actually understand how it came to appear to be so much fun.  1st, and foremost; it appears "fun", 'cause it IS.  Each and every contestant determines the level of expectation on any number of levels within the framework of the competition for him/herself.  Simply taking time to learn the different aspects of the game in order to determine where you wish to place your competitive emphasis will enable you to better define the goals you set for yourself and make a plan of action to fulfill those goals.
For example:  I know a new shooter, who doesn't own any guns to play this game.  When asked for my advise on what to buy, here's how I advised him.  Meet me at the next match, I'll bring some extra guns so you can get a feel for what several different models feel like.  These won't be my "race guns", as they're a little finicky (read touchy).  I'll introduce you to some friends that compete in different classes so you can get a grasp of what they're about.  Don't worry about buying anything until you've been to a couple of matches, narrowed down the areas that feed your fantasies, then shop away.
That usually snags a lifelong convert to the cowboy way.
Some of these friends have gone on to win major matches while others just plug away at targets, trying for that "clean match" self-award.  Some have spent far more time and money on their costumes than their guns.
This is still why I dislike the concept of 2 sixguns for the main matches.  It is a deterrent to increasing the ranks of cowboy action shooters.  And why I just love the "Working Cowboy" class.  Heck, I'd still rather shoot my 10 handgun shots outta the same gun, reloading under the clock.  Yea, it's tricky, but...  heck even Gene and Hoppy had to do it sometime... even if was "off camera!" Grin Grin Grin Grin
But, I deviate from the original question.  Simple answer?  Yes, "out of the box" CAS guns are good enough.  Some are better than others.  You pays yer money and takes yer chances.
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2005, 05:42:06 am »

When I started CAS I bit the bullet and got a complete action job after my first season of shooting my new guns.  The result, two slick guns that will outlast me and probably my daughters too.  I eventually put in Wolfe main springs for reliability in ignition.  My shot gun and my rifle have all benefitted from stoning and the rifle has The Smith Shop springs.

My advice to new shooters.  Shoot your guns first.  Have someone teach you how to dissasemble your firearms.  Learn EXACTLY how they operate internally.  Learn what is available for action jobs.  Shoot other peoples guns to see what an action job will accomplish.  Then decide what you want to do.  Only modifiy if you want and to the extent you want.

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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2005, 07:06:14 am »

When I started . i bought used guns that  I could afford. I traded a french tulle that i had built for a 1866 yellowboy, the guy also had a uBerti millinuem that I bought for 200.00 I bought another one one for 225.00 and a friend sold me a 12 ga. double for 200.00. I tore the uberti's a part and honed every thing and put a leather spaacer in the main springs. The double you had to break open over you knee to get it open.  I took it apart and shorten the spring and polished all the places the were rubbing, and polished the cylinders. My point being that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get into CAS shooting if you are handy with your hands and look around before buying a gun.  Just my thoughts on this
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 05:01:50 pm »

Most traditional (flat main spring) SAAs will benefit from a "reduced power" main spring by being easier to cock.
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 07:01:25 pm »

My NA Schofield are out of the box and work fine for me, shotgun and rifle are stock also and I'm happy with them.  Wink  Could they be smoother, sure but I get along fine as is.  Grin  I'm the slowest part in the equation.

SR
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 07:47:30 pm »

Frankly, if you're afraid of the cost, then shop around and get some used guns.  CAS is a pretty inexpensive hobby.  I've had others that are more mainstream and a LOT more expensive.   

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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2005, 07:57:48 pm »

Tell them not to worry..most of the spring work is simple and can be easily demonstrated even to the novice, any short stroke work comes with excellent installation instructions and with a little club member support is also not rocket science. So if they want to spend 200$ extra and receive club mentoring it`s not that expensive to have a slicked up trio of weapons. I gleaned as much info off the wire as I could and then slowly and cautiously did the work myself. For anything of an advanced nature I would send to a smith.   Doc
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2005, 09:21:01 pm »

Look, the most common theme in Cowboy Action Shooting is "HAVE FUN".  Many who have posted before me had bottom lined this simple fact.

The best advise given over and over again is buy the guns that suit you, use them Out of Box for awhile and see how they handle for you.  The most common work done on many of the pistols is a lighter hammer spring for ease of cocking.  Unless you are entering CAS as a competition foremost there is nothing you need to do to new guns.  My favorite statement for many months after becoming active in my local SASS group was "I'm still at the bottom of the list" with a big smile because I had more fun that day than an old man should have...LOL

Now I watch the list and each month I gradually climb up from the bottom, so my real competition is with myself, I am getting better than me and the only thing I have done is have the springs changed out in my pistols and clean the devil out of every gun after every match. 

Have fun,,,that is the Primary Goal for all of us.

Coop
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2006, 09:43:16 pm »

Well I have to say that I am so glad I read this post, because I was, as I suppose every new commer, is under the impression that you HAVE to get action work done on all your firearms... "Whew" What a relief, now I can make a better choice on the guns I want. I was bassing the future purchase on having to spend more money on action work. I as most, want to get into it for the fun of it not the competition. The only question that I have now is all the SxS's I have looked at have a tight break open action. What as a newbie, can I do to remedy this when I do buy a SxS.
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2006, 09:35:28 am »

I carry my Cattleman when I hunt on my friends ranch near Jacksboro, TX. I use it and my other rifles/shotguns as tools so I want them dependable. I sure don't want that Cattleman to go off usless I have cocked it and pointing down range. If I can afford it I may set a pistol up for just CAS and nothing else.

LazyK Pejay
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2006, 04:49:02 pm »

Well, here I am, on the doorstep, and I want to shoot!  When I bought my SASS gun set I didn't realize it was 2-6-guns.  Heck, The Duke only had 1-one six shooter.  But know I know, and it's okay.  I have the second one on order.  So, I've spent about $1,700.00 on the three so far.  Now, about $350.00 for leather and, yes, I guess a cart to carry it all in.  So, when I'm done I guess I'll be "in" about 3 grand, or close to it.  I want to shoot.  I haven't shot a stage yet, but I'm getting close.  The local club meets on 1-21 and you bet I'll be there!  I want to shoot.

The draw, for me, to SASS or CAS, is to have fun.  In the past I was a very accomplished shooter.  I plan to be the same now.  I have owned and shot many different weapons, both for fun and competition.  I've never slicked them up, just kept them clean.  I don't plan to slick these guns up either.  So, I guess I'll be in the 90% bracket of the people just looking for fun, fun and more fun.  So, for me, Out of The Box will be good enough.  I don't want to be in the top 1% of the pack.  It's to much work for me.
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2006, 02:26:27 pm »

Don't even buy a gun that you do not shoot well. That alone should save you lots of grief. Buy a good gun, one that already functions well. By used, but not abused, guns.

My shotguns were bought for hunting. That means that if they do not handle and shoot well for me, I don't buy them. My favorite ones have had almost nothing done to them, other than carefull cleaning and some refurbishing of old ones.

My Rugers have been extensively slicked by me and the stocks and sights fitted to me. Cost in dollars was zilch. Be especially careful in choosing revolver -- they are the most difficult of the CAS guns to shoot well.

My Rossi 92 was extensively slicked by me and years later sent to Steve Young for his treatment, which was done while he was putting new sights on it. The sights were a real improvement. He did make it slicker than I had. Buy a rifle that you shoot well, NOT one of the popular ones that you will "learn to shoot well".

In addition, now that the Rugers and Rossi 92 are nice and smooth, I only use powdered grafite as lube. Much slicker than the usual oils.

Lars
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2006, 03:02:44 pm »

Well I have to say that I am so glad I read this post, because I was, as I suppose every new commer, is under the impression that you HAVE to get action work done on all your firearms... "Whew" What a relief, now I can make a better choice on the guns I want. I was bassing the future purchase on having to spend more money on action work. I as most, want to get into it for the fun of it not the competition. The only question that I have now is all the SxS's I have looked at have a tight break open action. What as a newbie, can I do to remedy this when I do buy a SxS.



go to the gunsmith forum here at CasCity....lots of good stuff on shotguns there....Has helped me tremendously and I cant even spell Gun Smith Grin
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2006, 09:34:55 pm »

Well I have to say that I am so glad I read this post, because I was, as I suppose every new commer, is under the impression that you HAVE to get action work done on all your firearms... "Whew" What a relief, now I can make a better choice on the guns I want. I was bassing the future purchase on having to spend more money on action work. I as most, want to get into it for the fun of it not the competition. The only question that I have now is all the SxS's I have looked at have a tight break open action. What as a newbie, can I do to remedy this when I do buy a SxS.
The shotgun that is CAS legal and opens fully right out of the box is the IGA/Stoeger Coachgun.  You don't have to do anything to it.

I carry my Cattleman when I hunt on my friends ranch near Jacksboro, TX. I use it and my other rifles/shotguns as tools so I want them dependable. I sure don't want that Cattleman man to go off usless I have cocked it and pointing down range. If I can afford it I may set a pistol up for just CAS and nothing else.
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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2006, 10:51:42 am »

I do not know squat about SASS / CAS shooting but I have been thinking about it for some time  I own several single action revolvers mostly 44 magnums but no rifle or shotgun  I am also timid about going to an event to watch because thats my nature.  Its easy to reply to a group of faceless people but just showing up at a match and not knowing anyone is hard for me.
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2006, 11:28:16 am »

I do not know squat about SASS / CAS shooting but I have been thinking about it for some time  I own several single action revolvers mostly 44 magnums but no rifle or shotgun  I am also timid about going to an event to watch because thats my nature.  Its easy to reply to a group of faceless people but just showing up at a match and not knowing anyone is hard for me.


As soon as you show up you will know someone 'cause they will come over and introduce themself and welcome you.  Grin
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2006, 12:03:47 pm »

That's how I started in it, called the closest range that had Cowboy shooting, called the person in charge, said I was interesed and asked what did I need.  He said I needed to show up, and have fun!   Figuring out what firearms and clothing I needed could come later, that there would be plenty of people glad to help me get started.
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2006, 05:16:09 pm »

I agree with LG.  I called a range and went over, had to borrow a holster, and my shotgun belt was a bit small and didn't reallly work too well, but there were plenty of folks to help out and fun was had by all.
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