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Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580

Catching the 87 bug...best value in an 87?

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So a bit of explanation might be in order here. Many moons ago, I shot CAS using a 1860 Henry and a 87 shotgun, and had more fun than it should be legal to have. I was shooting black powder at the time, the Henry got too hot to hang onto in the summer sun and I never could get the proper hang of working the lever on the 87, so I ended up trading them both off for other firearms. Fast forward to 2016...

 

I shoot in the Classic Cowboy category, and have for quite a while now because it's just plain the best category :D. I won that category at the Idaho State Championship in 2012 using a 73 and hammered double. Since then, for some unknown reason and for the past couple of years, I've been pushing hard to try to win, pushing too hard, and as a result both my shooting and the amount of fun I've been having have for all intents and purposes gone down the tube. Things kind of came to a head at this year's Winter Range, where I had train wreck after train wreck, all while trying to go too fast and not being able to hit the skids and slow down. It was like somebody threw the hyperdrive switch and I couldn't find the dang thing to shut it off. Consequently (I love that word!), I have decided to back off, regroup and start over, as it were. I want to get back to the fun again and hit targets while looking amazing doing that :D. So I was thinking today, what could be more fun than going back to an 87? Mind you, I can't at the moment afford a Chiappa at over a thousand bucks a pop, but what if I could find something less expensive and build on that?

 

So here's my dilemma: I have no clue which brand would, out of the box, be the most usable for the fun factor and still not make me wish I'd never heard of Cowboy Action Shooting and which could be, down the road, race-tuned. Is there one out there that is the best combination of economy and useability straight out of the box? Or am I going to be forced to buy a high-dollar gun right off the bat just to have it function properly?

 

What's a poor cowboy to do?

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Watch the classifieds there have been some IAC's with Lassiter 2 drop once in a while also put a wanted to buy post on the forum . They all need work out of the box .

Woodfox :)

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Boulder Canyon. Just for historical accuracy. It was two guys before cap who reinvented the 1887 Most notably Fireball who designed the very first drop two mod on an original 1887 and his sidekick Texas John Critter. At the time Fireball was doing the drop two on originals because there were no clones This was back in the late 90s before anyone else had even thought about it. Cap did a great job from there and worked on getting the Chinese clones built and brought to market as well as his own variation of the drop two modification. But if not for the two guys from west Michigan there may not be any drop two modifications at all

 

As to the original question I would spend my money on a Chiappa , yes they are a few dollars more but they are well built and smoother then any of the others I have ever handled (except for my original)

 

Best regards

 

Chili

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Contact Lassiter in Ohio. He is the '87 guru.

+100

 

I have one IAC with the Lassiter drop 2 mod and 1 IAC Coyote Cap special with his drop 2 mod. Hands down the Lassiter drop 2 mod is the way to go.

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Contact Lassiter in Ohio. He is the '87 guru.

A true wizard with the 87 and the Lightning!

 

And, he is willing to share his knowledge and experience. Only downside is that he is usually slammed but I guess that says something too.

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I would see what Lassiter can get you one that he's gone over for or not get one. I've seen an X played with 87s from the other smith that works on 87s I ended up giving it to labs sitter to fix which he did then at one of the smaller event that use too be held at founders ranch I loaned it out while I was shooting fcd. It never returned home. So I had a chance to buy another 87 that Lassiter had worked on I shoot it now in cc because the gun runs itself.

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So a bit of explanation might be in order here. Many moons ago, I shot CAS using a 1860 Henry and a 87 shotgun, and had more fun than it should be legal to have. I was shooting black powder at the time, the Henry got too hot to hang onto in the summer sun and I never could get the proper hang of working the lever on the 87, so I ended up trading them both off for other firearms. Fast forward to 2016...

 

I shoot in the Classic Cowboy category, and have for quite a while now because it's just plain the best category :D. I won that category at the Idaho State Championship in 2012 using a 73 and hammered double. Since then, for some unknown reason and for the past couple of years, I've been pushing hard to try to win, pushing too hard, and as a result both my shooting and the amount of fun I've been having have for all intents and purposes gone down the tube. Things kind of came to a head at this year's Winter Range, where I had train wreck after train wreck, all while trying to go too fast and not being able to hit the skids and slow down. It was like somebody threw the hyperdrive switch and I couldn't find the dang thing to shut it off. Consequently (I love that word!), I have decided to back off, regroup and start over, as it were. I want to get back to the fun again and hit targets while looking amazing doing that :D. So I was thinking today, what could be more fun than going back to an 87? Mind you, I can't at the moment afford a Chiappa at over a thousand bucks a pop, but what if I could find something less expensive and build on that?

 

So here's my dilemma: I have no clue which brand would, out of the box, be the most usable for the fun factor and still not make me wish I'd never heard of Cowboy Action Shooting and which could be, down the road, race-tuned. Is there one out there that is the best combination of economy and useability straight out of the box? Or am I going to be forced to buy a high-dollar gun right off the bat just to have it function properly?

 

What's a poor cowboy to do?

 

I recommend a book titled "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Timothy Gallwey. I am not suggesting you change sports :D. It is a good book on the mental game and it may be of some help to you.

 

While you're digesting that, keep searching for a used, I mean 'Pre-Owned' Lassiter tuned '87. As you already know from personal experience, folks buy these guns and figure out that it requires more dedication and practice than they are wanting to invest and will sell or trade them for something else.

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Best "value?" A real Winchester. :)

 

I was able to obtain one a few years ago. It would not reliably feed from the magazine, so I sent it to Coyote Cap who got it back into proper working order for a very reasonable price. (No drop 2, just an as Mr. Browning designed it to work repair job.) He even lengthened the forcing cone to 2-3/4".

 

Sure, you have to use black powder or a sub with this one, but, it sure is a lot of fun. And, it's a WINCHESTER! :)

 

You may have to do some hunting, but they can be found for a reasonable price. Mine was, uhm, it's been a while... I think around $400 or so.

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Thanks for the info, folks. I think for starters I'll post a "WTB" on the classifieds and see what, if anything, surfaces...

 

Anybody else want to chime in?

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Changed my tiny little mind, folks. Wishy washy, I know... :D

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Lassiter is the man for '87s with mods. I only have my 87 back from him a week, and it's performing better than I can

 

If you want it to run, give Lassiter a Chiappa, a CAI PW 87, a IAC 87, or a Winchester 87. It'll run.

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Love the way my cheapo IAC works after Lassiter did his magic.

If only I would practice enough to load it quickly.

 

On the plus side, I did hit the flyer at WR. The gun works great when I work it.

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I think I'll table the 87 idea for now, until such time as I get my mindset and attitude back where they should be. But when it is time for an 87 it looks like Lassiter is the man I'll be talking to. Thanks again, all!

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