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The Simple Process of Choosing Cowboy Action Guns

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I have been trying to figure out the tangle of commonly used cowboy action pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Who actually makes what, and which are better quality. Sounds simple enough, but to me it's been like going down the rabbit hole in "Alice in Wonderland". From what I've been gleaned so far, the major manufacturers (I'm sure I have missed some, particularly the Chinese made shotguns) are:

Uberti (Beretta)
Pedersoli
Pietta
Stoeger Silah Sanayi AS (owned by Stoeger Industries, owned by Benelli, owned by Beretta)
Chiappa Firearms (Armi Sport)
CZ
Armi San Marco
IAB Marcheno

From there the confusion really starts setting in. Enter the importers, distributors, and re-sellers - who "re-brand" the stuff. Three notables are Cimarron Firearms Co. Inc., Taylor’s & Co., Inc., and EMF Company, Inc. - each of whom use a mix of guns from the same manufacturers. Then comes wholesalers and retailers who often seem to give incomplete information on exactly what they are selling, adding to the fun.

Let's take the case of the "Runnin’ Iron" by Taylor's & Co., which they describe as "features a low and wide hammer spur; checkered, one-piece, gunfighter-style grips in walnut or black polymer; a wide trigger; second-generation transverse cylinder pin latch; crescent-style ejector rod; and extra clearance at the front and rear of the cylinder.The Runnin’ Iron comes ready to shoot, out of the box, with no additional modifications needed. The deluxe edition model also includes custom tuning; custom hammer and base pin springs; trigger pull set at three pounds; jig-cut, positive angles on all triggers and sears for crisp, reliable action; a coil-loaded hand; and wire bolt."

Presumably this is actually what Uberti calls the "1873 Cattleman El Patrón CMS Revolver" and the "El Patrón Competition". Though looking at Cimmaron, they have the "Thunderstorm" which looks just like the other two, though oddly seems only to be sold in .45 caliber. Want more complex? The Thunderstorm is also offered in one version made by Uberti, and another made by Pietta. From the pictures, the low hammers look exactly alike, the case hardening looks better on the Pietta flavor, the checkering patterns are different, the front sight profiles look a little different, but nothing is said about internal differences.

 

Looking at the E.M.F. website we find the "Alchemista II" which seems to be the same as the Cimmaron "Thunderstorm", only it is also available in .357. Looking at the Pietta website is no help at all. Most of it has not been updated since 2008, when it was presumably written by the same folks who compose Chinese assembly instructions.

 

LongHunter offers the Runnin' Iron as well in a “LH Deluxe - Taylor's Runnin' Iron” which includes their custom work, which essentially sounds like the same work that the deluxe edition comes with in the first place. Maybe they do the work for Taylors? They also offer the El Patron with the same work, so what in the world would be the difference between the two guns other than the Runnin' Iron costing $30.00 more – perhaps the difference between a gun going through middle layer of Taylors and the other not?

 

Finally, it's somewhat academic anyway when you try to find them in stock somewhere from a bricks and mortar gun shop or online “direct” seller.. Sure makes things seem crazy. It's not like single action clones are selling in the many thousands like a Smith & Wesson Shield or other popular main stream gun. I won't even go through the similar scenarios for rifle and shotgun choices!

 

It seems like the cowboy action gun market is an interlocking “cooperative” of Italian, Turkish, Czech, and “American” and whatever else corporate entities that all combine to cross market the same or similar product. It sure would be nice to see a thorough, objective side by side comparative review / rating of these guns.

 

Rant finished. Now I feel a bit better :) .

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You forgot Ruger

 

If yer talkin pistolas.

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Just go to a few shoots BEFORE you buy anydangthing and handle all the guns you can and take notes.

You just may find a killer deal on used stuff.

My wife and I run Rugers.

LG

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Step 1 find yerself a good gunsmith

cuz he's the one who's gonna be workin on them

 

Step 2 buy what he sez

cuz he's the one who's gonna be workin on them

 

hookin up with Roughneck Rod is one off the best things I ever did. He gives good advice, and does a great job on my guns

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You can make this all very complicated, but most folks find it pretty easy. You go to matches, you shoot all the guns that folks offer you, you ask if there are others you should look at, and you find what you want. For now. Next year, you may want something different. It helps to know yourself first.

 

Not going to matches and depending on just the advertising you find on the Internet - a recipe for disgust.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I have been trying to figure out the tangle of commonly used cowboy action pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Who actually makes what, and which are better quality.

Buy originals - makes it simple

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You forgot Ruger

 

If yer talkin pistolas.

 

 

Yep.

Just go Ruger and be done with it.

made in USA. Tuff as nails.

can change out hammers to different ones to your liking.

Can be short stroked.

What is not to like.

 

 

But don't buy anything to you hit a match or two or three.

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Ruger all the way

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I buy what I can actually find and can afford.

 

I know what I would like to have, but finding it may be something else and actually having the money at that time may not happen.

 

I find that this sport is not brain surgery. Go, shoot, have fun.

 

By the way, I shoot Vaqueroes and if I don't do well, it wasn't the firearm.

 

LR

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I chose the guns I like and familiar with and none of them have had a gunsmith work them over.

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First, go to several matches, talk to several shooters, maybe even try several guns.

 

It will soon be obvious that Rugers totally dominate pistols, although some guys love other options. Rugers are ready.

 

It will soon be obvious that Ubertis totally dominate rifles, although some guys love other options; and there are several well-regarded cowboy gunsmiths who can bring your rifle up to speed. This makes a huge difference. Perhaps a regional favorite will be convenient, perhaps the UPS driver will be your friend. Expect to invest a few hundred extra dollars here.

 

It's easier to learn SxS shotguns before those new-fangled infernal trombone machines, try several, look for something that is easy to fully open (even if it has external hammers instead of safety gizmo). Try several. Sample many. Do some test shooting. Borrow and learn.

 

Don't buy anything, just go learn first. Repeat.

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Lots of hand me downs for sale. Good way to save money but could end up with someone else's problems. There seems to be a lot of folks that have backups and alternative and extras or guns left over when they went to something different. Then there are people who have lost interest or can no longer shoot because of a variety of reasons.

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In the late 50's, the Baltimore Colts had a defensive lineman named Big Daddy Lipscombe. When asked, in an interview, what his approach was for rushing the QB, he said "I just spread out my arms and run forward. After I have gathered them all up, I just peel them off one at a time until I find the QB, and I keep him."

 

I find that most of us select our SASS match guns very much the same way.

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You can make this all very complicated, but most folks find it pretty easy. You go to matches, you shoot all the guns that folks offer you, you ask if there are others you should look at, and you find what you want. For now. Next year, you may want something different. It helps to know yourself first.

 

Not going to matches and depending on just the advertising you find on the Internet - a recipe for disgust.

 

Good luck, GJ

Good advice,

I went through a lot of guns through the years, to finally end up with the pistols that "fit" me, Rugers and Colts.

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Rugers pistols, uberti rifle '73 and winchester shotgun cant go wrong

 

AO

In my neck of the woods it'd be Rugers, Marlin and SKB double.

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Y'all are funny. Who says you only need one pair of revolvers? Or just one rifle or shotgun? The more gear the better, that's what I say. I've got a trio of revolvers, three rifles and two shotguns. I'm looking to pick up a few more revolvers. A pair of Bisleys and probably a couple of C&Bs. I'm sure it'll be heavy carrying them all, but I'm pretty much a gear hound anyway. Two battle belts and a vest, 10 non-CAS holsters, lots of WW I rifles and a few miscellaneous guns. I need another safe now.

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In my neck of the woods it'd be Rugers, Marlin and SKB double.

 

In your neck of the woods it snows.....and for some reason you still live there. ;0.

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Ruger pistols ...73 Winchester...SKB double hands down ;)

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Why bother? He has it all figured out!!

 

Lafitte

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Colt Patersons, Spencer carbine, Husky under lever hammered SxS.

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If HAVING to pick out the guns you want to shoot is the biggest problem right now......life is good! Make it fun and take yer' time.

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Ruger pistols ...73 Winchester...SKB double hands down ;)

That's the combination I finally settled on. Not cheap but a pleasure to shoot.

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Colt Patersons, Spencer carbine, Husky under lever hammered SxS.

 

:lol: Yup! :lol:

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Ha Deuce! The first colt revolver I ever saw was a Colt Patterson! An original one too. I was maybe 8 years old at the time and thought it was the coolest thing i had ever seen. A friend of my Dad owned it, and brought it out to show people when were at their lake cabin. Obviously it made a big impression on me to remember it so well after all these years. I had no idea at the time that it was valuable or any of that, I just loved how it looked. Sure are a lot of Ruger lover votes, I have to take that seriously, I had been leaning toward Colt clones.....

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Deuce, step those Patersons up to Colt Walkers and I'd really be impressed! :P

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Ruger NV's w/ SBH Hammers, Uberti/Cimarron '73 Saddle Ring Carbine, TTN 1878 SxS.

 

For L/R an Uberti/Cimarron 1860 Henry.

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