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Titus A. Gnatsass, SASS #71705

Plainsman rifle questions

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Want to get a single shot rifle for Plainsman side matches. Probably gonna go the inexpensive route to start out, may consider something else later. Obviously the H&R Handi Rifle is a choice. Wondering if the current production standard Handi Rifle in 45-70 with the 22" barrel has an ejector or just an extractor? Also wondering what are y'alls thoughts on the current production Buffalo Classic (45-70, 32" barrel, peep sights, crescent butt) vs. the standard model. I'm assuming the Buffalo Classic would serve as a Long Range side match as well as for Plainsman? Never shot any Long Range Side Matches. Might give it a try as well, IF the Buffalo Classic is what I end up with.

 

Also intrigued by the latest addition to the Plainsman rules in the Shooters Handbook, specifically the addition of the line .38special is legal.

 

THE PLAINSMAN
This event requires two .36 caliber or larger Frontiersman Category style percussion revolvers, shot Duelist style.
• Must use a SASS–legal single-shot rifle firing a traditional blackpowder rifle or revolver caliber cartridge (e.g., not a .30-30). The rifle may have spring actuated ejectors if they are standard for that rifle. .38 Special is legal
• Must use a side by side or single shot shotgun, with or without exposed hammers; or a lever action shotgun.
• Must use blackpowder in all loads (rifle, revolver, and shotgun).

 

I believe H&R made a special run (TALO) of these in .357 which had open sights vs. the scope rail version they currently offer. Not sure if it was synthetic or wood. Wondering if anyone knew of their legality in these side matches. Also wondering if anyone knows of any other .38 Special chambered single shot rifles that would work.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions. :)

 

Titus

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The H&Rs haven't had ejectors for several years. The Buffalo Classic isn't a bad gun for the money. For SASS use you have to change the rear sight and/or rear sight blade as the stock sight is not SASS legal. If you want to get serious about Plainsman, your best best is to scour the gun shows and find an old H&R with an ejector.

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A couple years ago, I traded a guy I worked with a *like new* .45-70 Buffalo Classic for an older .45-70 Handi (and a 5 gal bucket of wheel weights) because it had an ejector.

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The addition of the .38 special clarification was in answer to an oft-asked inquiry regarding the legality of that cartridge as a "traditional blackpowder rifle or revolver caliber cartridge...".

As It was introduced in 1898 as a BP cartridge, it complies with the regs.

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They use to make a Baby Rolling Block that was offered in .357 and 44-40. Alway thought that would be a fun toy.

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My Plainsman rifle.

 

C45Srollerdone.jpg

 

#5 Rolling Block circa about 1912, started life as a 7MM.

 

Custom 22" Bull barrel 1 in 16 twist, chambered in Cowboy .45 Special (custom reamer)

 

Barrel chambered, crowned, and threaded, action tuned, trigger down to 2.5#, by Dave Higginbotham.

 

Walnut stock from Tree Bone. Fitted and finished by a pard in VT.

 

Metal finishing done by me.

 

I run the original shape 265 gr HB .455 Webley bullets, sized to .452, in C45S cases through it at around 800 fps. Big "thump" and splash on the steel with very little recoil.

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I remember reading about this build when you were doing it. Good thing you got it finished when you did because of Dave's passing. Nice job! I have a bunch of Rem rolling blocks. MY favorite is the #1 Sporter in 40-50 Sharps Bottle Neck.

 

Jake

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They use to make a Baby Rolling Block that was offered in .357 and 44-40. Alway thought that would be a fun toy.

I own one of these and have shot it in Plainsman using 38 specials (with abuse heaped on me for doing so). They are fun. However, stubby pistol cartridges are hard to handle and you will have better times with a rifle cartridge. Handi-rifles with ejectors are really fast and you can sometimes bounce your spent cartridges off the timer operator.

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I remember reading about this build when you were doing it. Good thing you got it finished when you did because of Dave's passing. Nice job! I have a bunch of Rem rolling blocks. MY favorite is the #1 Sporter in 40-50 Sharps Bottle Neck.

 

Jake

Among other reasons, knowing it will be the last rifle I'll ever have that Dave worked on means it won't be for sale :) Dave was a class act. I consulted on barrel choices, sought his advice on a reamer maker, and he took all the stuff I had sent to him and made magic.

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I use a rolling block 22" in 45-70 loaded with the big lube Old Army bullets 200 grains. Reduced powder charge of BP. Soft lead as-cast/unsized. The long case lends to easy reloads. Shoot one handed while pulling a round.

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I Shoot one handed while pulling a round.

 

Gamer! :lol::lol::lol:

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Thanks again for the info/advice/tips. Don't know if I'll like it or not, but I found one of the TALO Edition .357 Handi-Rifles and I'm gonna give it a try. No, it ain't a big bore, so It'll limit it's use to strictly Plainsman matches. I'll keep my eyes open for an older big bore ejector model in the mean time. AHHH, ain't this game fun! :D

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H&R also made the Classic Carbine in 45 Colt which would be a good Plainsman rifle. Production ended in 2008 but they are still around. I have two of them, one I reamed to 454 Casull and the other is original. They have extractors, not ejectors.

 

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=338616873

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OK Titus,

You know me so don't take anything that I say wrong.

I have shot the Plainsmen event for the last 8 years or so. I am the Texas State Champion in Plainsman Traditional for 20012 & 20013. This isn't a brag just want to be able to state my feelings.

This is not a Gamer side match. We do it to have fun and you can bet the rest of the shooters don't have a clue what we do or care. We do have fun doing it.

So you ask about a rifle. GEEE It is called Plainsmen because we want to shoot big stuff. Yea not the fastest BUT fun. Remember it is a side match

Yes at most major matches we have two categories. Modern and Traditional. All the rifles with ejectors go into Modern, H&Rs and such. All the rest like Trapdoors, Sharps, and Highwall Brownings without ejectors go into Traditional. Most of us shoot a big bullet with a lot of powder. Why because it is FUN.

So if you want to get a piece of wood and miss out on the fun we have. Get a 357 H&R with ejectors.

SOOOOOOOOO What do you want to be a Gamer or a Plainsman??? Come join the fun. Yes the Buffalo Rifle would be a good choice and the rear sight can be made legal

 

Oh by the way I shoot a Trapdoor H&R Officers Model in 45-70 with a full case of 3F Goex and a 405 bollet

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I shoot 45/70 1/2 powder & 1/2 filler under 457 round ball just for sake of tgts. Were they out at 100+ yds fullhouse loads would be my choice.

Having worn out 3 hourglasses and a sundail last year not tring to be a gamer

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OK Titus,

You know me so don't take anything that I say wrong.

I have shot the Plainsmen event for the last 8 years or so. I am the Texas State Champion in Plainsman Traditional for 20012 & 20013. This isn't a brag just want to be able to state my feelings.

This is not a Gamer side match. We do it to have fun and you can bet the rest of the shooters don't have a clue what we do or care. We do have fun doing it.

So you ask about a rifle. GEEE It is called Plainsmen because we want to shoot big stuff. Yea not the fastest BUT fun. Remember it is a side match

Yes at most major matches we have two categories. Modern and Traditional. All the rifles with extractors go into Modern, H&Rs and such. All the rest like Trapdoors, Sharps, and Highwall Brownings without extractors go into Traditional. Most of us shoot a big bullet with a lot of powder. Why because it is FUN.

So if you want to get a piece of wood and miss out on the fun we have. Get a 357 H&R with extractors.

SOOOOOOOOO What do you want to be a Gamer or a Plainsman??? Come join the fun. Yes the Buffalo Rifle would be a good choice and the rear sight can be made legal

 

Oh by the way I shoot a Trapdoor H&R Officers Model in 45-70 with a full case of 3F Goex and a 405 bollet

 

Hey Jim, good to hear from ya! And, no, no problems here. I asked for advise, opinions, and that's just what ya gave me. :) I'm just getting started in Plainsman. Shot the Plainsman match at CAC last year. Wasn't planning on it at all. Bent Barrel Betty and Kow Katcher asked Fannie Kicker if she'd be interested in shooting it (they provided the guns and ammo) and she said sure, why not! Well, I wandered down that way and before ya know it, they've got me shootin it as well! Had fun. Had T-Bone order me a pair of '62 Navies. Just getting them up and running. So look out Frontiersman Category, here I come! :P Plainsman it just a natural extension of the Frontiersman Category to me. So I'm just givin it a try. The .357 Handi Rifle with an extractor(not an ejector) is a quick, inexpensive way for me to start and see if I enjoy it. Easy to load .38 BP loads for now. Not set up to load any big bore calibers right now. As I said, if I like it, I'll more than likely step up to a big bore rifle. And a Trapdoor is definitely on my list! And truthfully, I'm not tryin to be a gamer. Just lookin for an easy route to give it a try.

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Hey Titus,

I see your point and makes good sense. Also at a later date you could get a different barrel. A 38-55 is also a good one. Doesn't cost as much to load as a 45-70 and is easier shooting. I really like my trapdoor but they are slow to load. This event is more about the speed of loading the rifle rather than the shooting of it. I find with a single shoot the recoil doesn't really affect speed that much.

No matter what you get just come on out and shoot. It is a lot of fun as you found out. I just wish more matches had it to shoot. A lot of folks just don't know what it is. We had 18 signed up for it at this years Texas State.

Now about that Frontiersman Category. You really don't want to do it. Way to hard and nasty. Ya have to worry if it is going to rain and get your powder wet and stuff like that. The NUMBER ONE reason not to do it is you would just move me down a notch in the scores :-(

Take care,

WJ

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Dear Titus,

 

I think you made a good choice. I was much faster with a handi-rifle. However, I got rid of mine when I saw a Browning Low Wall, which is so Purdy! ;)

 

Regards,

 

Allie Mo

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I've been around the Plainsman game for while myself, and have been somewhat successful at it. I've used both a Roller and a Springfield (Trapdoor), but now use a Handi-rifle. I have one in 45/70 and one in 38-55. One has ejectors and one does not. The ejectors can be added to the new guns if that is what you want. Most places have categories for each. Don't let anyone give you any crap about being a Gamer for what you choose to shoot. It's either legal or not legal. I've seen it all, and dealt with it all. The game is of course about fun and it does not take a huge and powerful round to have fun. Most (not all) Plainsman events utilize existing stages and targets for the event. The use of a powerful round on these targets is totally unnecessary and undesirable. I've come across the guys who think it is fun to destroy or damage or knock over targets using such ammunition. I remember one match that some such guy thought he was a REAL MAN because he knocked over every rifle target on the stage using his 530 gn, full case Long Range load. All he accomplished was to piss off all the other shooters who had to wait while the targets were set back up and to round up another target because he broke one of the mounts. I tried a Handi Rifle in 45 Colt, but found that I could load the longer rifle cartridges faster than the short cartridges. I load the 45/70 with a light bullet and a light charge. It works just fine.

 

Snakebite

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WJ,

Again, the .357 is just a starting point. I've already got my eye on a 38-55 barrel. ;) And as for me moving you down a notch in the Frontiersman standings, don't sell yourself short. I've seen ya shoot, and you can hold yer own! :)

 

Allie Mo,

A Purdy gun for a Purdy lady! :wub: As for my choice bein a good one, time will tell. As you well know, choosing and trying new things is what keeps this game interesting for some of us.

 

Snakebite,

I'm with ya. As long as it's legal for the category, I don't have any issue shooting it. As far as folks givin me(or others for that matter) crap for bein a gamer, I realize MOST of it is good natured. Wyandot Jim and I have shot together a few times and I know he's just givin me some 'good natured cowboy ribbin' and I take no offense at his "advice." For those few who choose the not so good natured variety, I just let that roll off my back. Life's too short to let those few get under yer skin. :)

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Titus,

Thanks so much for the compliments and letting the Pards know that I was just pushing your leg. I did come in second at Frontiersman at Texas State last weekend. Just can't seem to get Number One, Oh Well maybe next year

What I did notice about one of the Plainsman that was shooting 38s. Our rifle targets were from 60-80 yards and good size so easy to hit. The problem I saw was the small bullet was hard to count at that distance. He was shooting a H&R with ejectors and did very well.

Thanks again Pard,

WJ

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WJ,

Congrats on your accomplishments at Texas State in Frontiersman as well as Plainsman!

 

I can see where it could present some issues for the spotters with the lighter bullets. Somethin to think about.

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