CAS TOPICS > CAS FAQ

Out of the box CAS guns - not good enough?

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Marshal Will Wingam:
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.

Bristow Kid:
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.

Griff:
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!" ;D ;D ;D ;D
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.

Stoney Pete:
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.

Bitterwheat:
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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