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Newbie- Bunch of Questions!


apache bill

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Hello!!!

I just got interested in CAS and went down to watch the March match at Hooten Old Town in McKee, Ky. I'm hooked and I'm beginning to acquire some gear now!!! I'm going by the alias of Apache Bill (unless the SASS turns me down) and plan on joining the SASS shortly!!! I'm going to try and shoot at the next Hooten match in April if I can buy, beg or borrow enough gear (LOL!!). I don't know about the people anywhere else BUT the people at Hooten were about as friendly, helpful and likeable a bunch as I've ever come across!! I've been surfing around the 'net (always a dangerous thing to do!) trying to learn as much as I can and i have a few questions. Any help will be much appreciated!!!

Anyway, here goes---

1. I noticed some match results on on website that listed categories I didn't see in the Shooter's Handbook (Outlaw, 49'er, etc.) Did I just overlook them or are there categories in local matches that aren't listed in the handbook?

2. There is a group listed in Morehead, Ky. called the Ky. Longrifles Cowboys. It seems like they meet on the 2nd Saturday of the month but I couldn't find a website with updated info. Are they still around and meeting on the 2nd Saturday?

3. When you're first starting out is it better to go with a strongside holster and a crossdraw holster or two holsters worn "gunfighter style- or does it matter beyond personal preference?

 

I guess that's about all I can think of. If anyone can give me any info please accept my thanks in advance!!!

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Go to matches, watch and ask a LOT of questions before you buy anything. Ask people to try out their rigs and guns if possible. Too easy to buy and then regret it...

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I can't speak to the local club questions but as to holsters, I think most would recommend a cross-draw because that way you aren't having to "hand off" a pistol from your weak hand to your strong and back. However, you do have to think about the 170 rule with a crossdraw so it's not foolproof. The most important thing is to make sure you spend the time to practice drawing and reholstering, especially with the two strongside holsters since you are passing the pistol from hand to hand. With a little practice, you'll be confident with either style.

 

The next thing to think about is whether or not you want to shoot gunfighter. If that is the case, you'd probably be better served starting with two strongside holsters since you'll have to go there eventually.

 

Doc Crumley

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Welcome Pard,

 

1. You can find 49er under age-based categories. It is age 49 and up. Most age-based categories have a lower floor. Anyone older may shoot. Cowboy is the only category that is open to any age. Outlaw (shooting from the hip) is not a SASS official category. One way new SASS categories come into being is by testing participation at the local level.

 

2. Someone from that area should be along to answer your question. Or, contact Slipnoose at the SASS office. She is the clubs' liaison.

 

3. Personal preference. However, double strong side allows you to shoot more styles. Some, one-hand (strong side only versus double strong side) duelists prefer a cross draw as it saves time from transferring the gun. If you want to shoot Double Duelist (not an official category, is a style that can be used in duelist, BW, and GF), B-Western or Gunfighter you must use a double strong side.

 

Happy Shooting!

 

Allie Mo

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Recommend two strong side draw holsters, and not cross draw. A lot of folks thought cross draw was quicker but it isn't. Many started that way but got tired of twisting and turning. Here is a lot of info for new shooters from our club web site, including recommendations on leather, guns and gear for new shooters: http://www.riosaladocowboys.com/newShooter.php

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Contact for Kentucky Longrifles is:

Bullfork Shotgun Red

Phone: 606-784-0067

 

Give him a call.

 

If you can't reach him, I'd advise contacting Cherokee Big Dawg (You probably met him at Hooten). I'd bet he can answer any questions you might have about places close to you to shoot. Click here for his information.

 

Go to matches and handle the guns and gear. IMO, the cross draw is just one more thing for a newbie to attempt to conquer. Now, while watching this video, it might not be apparent to everyone that Duece is a little off pace, but I can assure you that it's not because of his double strong side holsters. My theory is he's off balance because his hatband is missing. Off pace? Yes, that is a joke. :D

 

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It sounds like you've taken the first big step by going out to a match.Before you start buying ANYTHING,go to another and let it be known you want to get into this very fun activity.I'd be willing to bet you'll have people falling over themselves offering you guns and leather to try out.Try as many different types and makes of weapons as possible,as well as leather set-ups.That way you'll know what will work and feel best to YOU.Different styles and brands of pistols especially; feel different in each person's hands.So before you buy...try as many as you can.And WELCOME to the fray.

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Apache Bill,

 

Don't rush getting gear together to make the next match. Almost every cowboy has extra firearms and leather. If you have contact info for any one you talked to at the match you observed, let them know you want to participate next time but have little or no gear. If they don't have extra they probably know someone who does. Get a box or two of factory 12 ga. field/game loads and a couple of boxes of factory lead bullet ammo in 38 sp. or 45 LC. If you cannot find proper ammo bring some money to offer to whoever supplies the ammo.

 

After shooting a couple of matches with borrowed gear you will have a much better idea of what you want or need. My travel pardner works at a state college and often invites students or workers to matches and I am always happy to supply any needed guns or gear. I even made a gun belt that has 10 to 12" of waist adjustment just for such occasions.

 

As to your questions:

 

1) Some clubs offer "unofficial" categories. Outlaw is shot from the hip with pistols and shotgun, usually the pistols are shot gunfighter style.

 

2) On the SASS home page there should be a link for affiliated clubs you may be able to find some info there.

 

3) Straight hang or cross draw holster is a matter of personal preference. If possible borrow one of each and try before you buy.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Smoke

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Welcome to the SASS Wire!

Good questions and some good advice.

When you're at a match start thinking which caliber(s) you want to shoot. There is a lot more thought that goes into that than a person might think. I thought I would go the .38/.357 route but I've ended up going with 45LC. But, I also decided to start reloading to cut the cost of the 45 habit and to go black powder eventually.

There are speed shooters. (I'm never going to be in this category so it is one of the reasons I went with 45LC.)

Historical shooters.

Movie/book characters. ( I bought Last Stand at Saber River and got hooked on the cross-draw style rig. Plus, I have a permanently injured weak side arm.)

Black Powder shooters.

Smokeless powder shooters.

Cap & Ball shooters.

 

WOW, and it just keeps going.

 

So, as a a fellow newbie I'd advise that we think about what is drawing us to SASS/CAS and play to those strengths so that we enjoy it as much as possible.

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Welcome to the fun Pard.

Good advice so far. I can only add a link to Capt Baylor's website. Lots of good stuff for new Cowboy Action shooters

Capt Baylor's Ranger Camp

 

I started with a crossdraw holster but got rid of it after about 6 months.

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Howdy and welcome!

 

I agree with the two strong side holster recommendation.

 

Here's a couple of resources for you...

 

Cap'n Baylor's Ranger Camp

 

Marauder's Cowboy Page

 

Doc Shapiro's book Breaking the Shot

 

Realize that in this as in any game, each has their own opinion on what is best, and some info you might find online might be out of date. Try before you buy and decide what works best for you.

 

Have fun, hang on and enjoy the ride!

 

Grizz

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Welcome, lots of good advice given before me.

 

One thing I would stress is the cross draw vs. strong side question.

 

I hated cross draw and the worry about the 170 rule that came with it. So, I started with double strong side holsters. Soon after starting I decided to go duelist and decided to learn double duelist which eliminated transferring the gun/switching hands. I now shoot gunfighter and the double duelist shooting made the learning process much easier. So, give the question on holster set up a lot of thought.

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Just remember the folks that give advise on the Wire do not represent any consensus on recommendations for guns and gear. The majority of shooters in our sport shoot 38/357 caliber, the majority shoot straight hang holsters and not cross draws, the majority by far shoot smokeless powder, the majority shoot with commercial made holsters made by larger leather companies that deliver in a couple of weeks not months or years. Most popular revolvers are Rugers, most popular rifles are Uberti 73/66s and Marlin 1894s, most popular shotguns are 97s and double barrels with internal hammers. Most popular double is likely a Stoeger. Probably 95% or more of shooters shoot 12 ga for least recoil and cost. I would bet that the majority of shooters reload using progressive presses or have a family member doing so. Moat popular presses are Dillon SDB, 550 and 650.

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I agree that two strong side holsters are best for new shooters. When I went up for my first shoot there was a LOT to think about, and I could barely remember the sequence without having to worry about breaking the 170.

 

I also recommend getting 357/38s. I bought .45 LCs because that was what my local store had. I enjoy my guns, but I wish I had bought .38s to start with.

 

-Solo Sam

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Do NOT start with a crossdraw. 15 years ago, I started with one because everyone else but the buscadero boys had one. Here's the thing: as a newb you will not be thinking about breaking the 170 when the buzzer goes off. Your mind will be a million other places so you will break the 170 and get DQed. Unless you enjoy DQs, start out with 2 straight hangs.

 

Go in to your profile and edit/modify it to show your location. That way folks nearby can contact and help you.

 

If you take ammo to the match do NOT take those cheap field load 12 gauge loads. Most of us do not use those crappy shells. They recoil way too much and don't shuck outta 2 rows wurth a durn. Take a box of Winchester AA either light target or low noise, low recoil and a box of Remington STS light target loads. With a box of each one of those, you will make friends.

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I've been shooting a cross draw for almost 15 yrs, haven't been called on a 170 yet. The cheap field loads are fine if you shoot a '97, the recoil isn't that bad.

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Yes, BH but you are super-human. Then there are those alien visitor world champs Bud and Spence. Ordinary human beings just starting out WILL break the 170 because they will NOT be thinking about that aspect of the game when the buzzer turns their brains to hash.

 

Field loads are ONLY good for 97s. They totally stink for double barrels.

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I would agree about starting with two strong side holsters. I bought a cross draw rig only because I got a great deal on a used Kirkpatrick and I like the look of the crossdraw better. When we bought my wife's rig, we went with the two strong side: http://knightsleatherproducts.com/StarterRig.html

This is a great rig since it has everything that you need and nothing you don't at a great price. Everybody that has seen it has been impressed with it.

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I started with a cross draw.

Didn't take long to get to straight drops.

 

 

Caliber is your choice. There are some cost advantages with the 38s but that's the only real difference until you reach stardom. At that point you will be shooting 38s.

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I would agree about starting with two strong side holsters. I bought a cross draw rig only because I got a great deal on a used Kirkpatrick and I like the look of the crossdraw better. When we bought my wife's rig, we went with the two strong side: http://knightsleatherproducts.com/StarterRig.html

This is a great rig since it has everything that you need and nothing you don't at a great price. Everybody that has seen it has been impressed with it.

Totally impressed!

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Thanx!!!! That was more help than I ever expected! Great Info!!!! Especially the part about cross-draw and the 170 rule! Sounds like excellent advice to go back to another match before investing in a lot of gear! The only guns I have at this point that I could use are a Winchester 94 Trapper in .45 Colt and an Uberti 1873 in .38/.357. I like the Uberti better but it has a 24" barrel and the Trapper might be faster (like I'll be fast to start with--LOL!!). I already re-load but all I have is a Rockchucker press- so I'm kinda slow but better than nothing. I'd already thought about the Dillon 550 as a future purchase.

THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO REPLIED!!!! GREAT INFO!!!

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Just a quick hint.When you do start shooting on a regular basis,don't worry about being fast.That'll come with experience.Get used to the scenario idea and course of fire.Being fast is ok,but remember each miss is a 5 second penalty.It takes maybe an extra 1 or 2 seconds to make sure you're on target.That's saved you 3-4 seconds.I'm so slow they use a sundial to time me,but it's all about having fun.Get used to your equipment,the safety rules and what you have to do and speed will find itself with more shooting.One question....does that Trapper hold 10 rounds?If not you'll have to do an "on the clock" reload....there goes the shorter barrel advantage.

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I can absotively posilutely guarantee that there is no way in the world a Win 94 is ever gonna be faster than a 357 Uberti 73. Owning the very best rifle for CAS in the best caliber puts you way ahead of the game. If you are not emotionally attached to the trapper, sell it and get you a pair of Ruger New Vaqueros in 357 or USFA Rodeos in 38 special and you will be 3/4 of the way there, lacking only a suitable shotgun. I highly recommend the 12 ga TTN/Cimarron hammer double to start out with and maybe stay with, legal in ALL categories.

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Nothing wrong with a Rock chucker, that's what I load on, and while I often wish I had a progressive when I'm in the middle of a big reloading session, any time I have the cash, a new gun of one sort or another is more attractive to me.

 

As to your 94 / 73 issue, I'd keep them both, shoot them both. Unless speed is your only objective, no reason not to.

 

Grizz

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Thanx!!!! That was more help than I ever expected! Great Info!!!! Especially the part about cross-draw and the 170 rule! Sounds like excellent advice to go back to another match before investing in a lot of gear! The only guns I have at this point that I could use are a Winchester 94 Trapper in .45 Colt and an Uberti 1873 in .38/.357. I like the Uberti better but it has a 24" barrel and the Trapper might be faster (like I'll be fast to start with--LOL!!). I already re-load but all I have is a Rockchucker press- so I'm kinda slow but better than nothing. I'd already thought about the Dillon 550 as a future purchase.

THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO REPLIED!!!! GREAT INFO!!!

 

Unless you plan to do a lot of shooting each month I'm not convinced a shooter needs a progressive loader. My first year I shot a match each week end and I did all my reloading using a Lee hand press. I loaded about 50 rifle and 50 pistol rounds each week at a card table in front of the tv. I only turned it off when I was charging the powder. I'd charge in a loading block and visually inspect each one before seating and crimping the bullets.

 

It only took a couple of hours a week. I still shoot the same amount but now use a home made outfit which has two manual presses run by an electric motor powering a single cycle gearbox from an old bowling alley pin spotter. I figure it will load about 100 rounds an hour.

 

SCG

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Thanx again for more great info!! Actually selling the 94 Trapper is out of the question. It's my wife's gun! She'd get rid of me before she'd let it go!! But that's a good question about the magazine capacity. Now that I think about it I honestly believe it only holds eight rounds-- so it WOULD require a reload on the clock!! Guess it wouldn't be as fast as the 1873! I was only thinking in terms of it being faster because it's so much shorter and quick-handling... BUT a re-load would more than negate that advantage! I know that the 1873 has a much smoother lever!!

I am thinking seriously, however, about trading a .308 bolt action (and some cash) for a pair of Vaqueros in .38/.357. As far as shotguns go, I thought a Stoeger Coach Gun might be a cheap way to get started!

Course, I'll probably change my mind several more times about everything after going to more matches!!!

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Thanx!!!! That was more help than I ever expected! Great Info!!!! Especially the part about cross-draw and the 170 rule! Sounds like excellent advice to go back to another match before investing in a lot of gear! The only guns I have at this point that I could use are a Winchester 94 Trapper in .45 Colt and an Uberti 1873 in .38/.357. I like the Uberti better but it has a 24" barrel and the Trapper might be faster (like I'll be fast to start with--LOL!!). I already re-load but all I have is a Rockchucker press- so I'm kinda slow but better than nothing. I'd already thought about the Dillon 550 as a future purchase.

THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO REPLIED!!!! GREAT INFO!!!

The 94 would be about the absolute worst choice you could make for a CAS main match rifle. It was designed for rifle length cartridges and does not lend itself well to shorter pistol calibers. It might make a good long range side match rifle in the right caliber.

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Shoot fast...don't worry about misses. With time the misses are pretty much gone. It's easier to slow up a bit at a big match...or annual, and be competitive then it is to try and speed up to be competitive.

 

If you don't have a belly, you can learn the Crossdraw quickly. If you have a belly...get two strong sides.

 

Cheers!!

Phantom

:FlagAm:

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I can't speak to the local club questions but as to holsters, I think most would recommend a cross-draw because that way you aren't having to "hand off" a pistol from your weak hand to your strong and back. However, you do have to think about the 170 rule with a crossdraw so it's not foolproof. The most important thing is to make sure you spend the time to practice drawing and reholstering, especially with the two strongside holsters since you are passing the pistol from hand to hand. With a little practice, you'll be confident with either style.

 

The next thing to think about is whether or not you want to shoot gunfighter. If that is the case, you'd probably be better served starting with two strongside holsters since you'll have to go there eventually.

 

Doc Crumley

I started out with Triple K leather (read, cheap) in a cross draw configuration. It turned out that I could not do the "dance" to avoid breaking the 170 degree rule very well and was continually reminded of my lack thereof each and every time I went to draw from my cross draw holster. Not a problem, since the Triple K gear was cheap enough I simply sold the cross draw holster and bought another strong side to try that configuration. It turned out that I did OK with that and I later ordered a better rig from Kirkpatrick Leather with a double strong side holster arrangement. I have been with that one ever since and just love it. Borrow gear if you can, but Triple K may be a way to test the waters if all else fails. My waist size was 50" and it was all but impossible to try to borrow gear that size. Smithy.

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Welcome Bill

We would like to invite you

to visit us in Pikeville

we shoot the 4th Sunday each month

at 1:00pm. give me a call at

606 432-3702 and i will give you

directions to the range

we will loan you guns to

shoot with if needed

again welcome

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You know, Gold Canyon Kid, that's the second time I've heard exactly the same thing about the 94- that it's much better for rifle rounds than pistol calibers! When I've shot it in the past I've noticed that occasionally I'll have to "double-clutch" when a round doesn't feed smoothly- so that explains that!!

I may have to use it for a short time because I just sent the 1873 off to have some work done on it. I'm gonna be on that steep learning curve for a while anyway, so it's not like it'll slow me down much (LOL!!). I figure that if I shoot a match soon I'll go with the "slow is smooth and smooth is fast", school of thought. Especially since I have no problem with being naturally slow anyway (LOL!!).

I figure I'll go down to a couple of the local gun stores and fondle a couple of Vaqueros and some of the Uberti and EMF and Taylor's guns (which, I think, all start out being made by Uberti- is that correct?) to see if anything just 'feels" better and continue to talk to people at matches, etc. before I do anything. Is there any big advantage to going with a blued finish over nickel or vice-versa or is it just personal preference?

And thanks again for all of the replies!! It's been a lot of help already!!

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You know, Gold Canyon Kid, that's the second time I've heard exactly the same thing about the 94- that it's much better for rifle rounds than pistol calibers! When I've shot it in the past I've noticed that occasionally I'll have to "double-clutch" when a round doesn't feed smoothly- so that explains that!!

I may have to use it for a short time because I just sent the 1873 off to have some work done on it. I'm gonna be on that steep learning curve for a while anyway, so it's not like it'll slow me down much (LOL!!). I figure that if I shoot a match soon I'll go with the "slow is smooth and smooth is fast", school of thought. Especially since I have no problem with being naturally slow anyway (LOL!!).

I figure I'll go down to a couple of the local gun stores and fondle a couple of Vaqueros and some of the Uberti and EMF and Taylor's guns (which, I think, all start out being made by Uberti- is that correct?) to see if anything just 'feels" better and continue to talk to people at matches, etc. before I do anything. Is there any big advantage to going with a blued finish over nickel or vice-versa or is it just personal preference?

And thanks again for all of the replies!! It's been a lot of help already!!

I like stainless revolvers. We use our guns hard. Blueing will wear due to holster use. Minor scratches in stainless can be polished out. To me stainless cleaning is easier. I do not see many shooting nickle plated revolvers.

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Apache Bill,

 

EMF, Taylor's, and Cimmaron hand guns are mostly made by Uberti. EMF's Great Western II are made by Pietta. I think one or both of the other importers have comparable models. All are good quality serviceable hand guns. Personally, I prefer Rugers.

 

The best analogy I have read I must credit to Nate Kiowa Jones. Using a Colt clone for our game is like taking the family sedan to the drag strip. It can be done, but eventually it will take a toll. Using a Ruger is like drag racing a muscle car. It has been beefed up and modernized for heavy duty use.

 

Finish is a personal preference some like the traditional looks of a blued gun and the lack of glare on the sights. Some feel stainless is easier to clean, and others argue that point. While it may not be easier to clean stainless does give you more options. Some solvents that can attack bluing or nickel plating leave stainless bright and shiny.

 

In the big picture it really comes down to what you like.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Smoke

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