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Gray Drifter

Your 3 Tips

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I have been reading about and watching Youtube videos on CAS for quite some time. That said, being an Army vet I know the value in speaking with folks who are in the trenches.  My entire family is new to CAS and very excited about it. We plan on attending some shoots to observe and pick brains (being shy is something I will never be accused of).  If you were to give three short tips for newcomers what would they be? Think back to when you were new to the sport. What would have been helpful?

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1) Don't take the game too seriously. IJAFG. (It's just a *Fun* Game)

 

2) Cherish every Friendship you make in our sport. You never know when the last time you see someone will be.

 

3) Ask questions, a lot of them. Firearms, Reloading, Shooting Style Questions.

 

Bonus #4) Don't be afraid to try different things, I wish I would have jumped to Gunfighter long before I did.

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Be safe

Have fun

Drink lots of water

:)

 

Try before you buy

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Don't get too hung up on attire or accoutrements the first match or three.

 

Don't listen to those pards who say an 1873 is the way to go - everyone knows a Marlin is the better rifle. :ph34r:

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1) Determine what your competition goal is.  Fun is obviously why we're all playing this game.  But fun means different things to different people.  This is a sport after all.  You need to decided if you're playing just for the sake of playing or if you want to win.  The answer to that will go a very long way in determining how much $$$ you should spend on equipment.

 

2) Once you've answered #1, don't spend a single penny on equipment until you go to as many matches as possible and try as many different configurations as possible. 

 

3) If you absolutely HAVE to start shooting right now you can go ahead and buy the most inexpensive equipment you can find.  But that approach tends to cost more in the long run.  "Pay one, cry once" is an old cliché that has its merits.

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1 get quality leather, it doesn't. Have to be expensive,  just quality. 

 

2. Don't let others dictate how you have fun.  Shoot what makes you smile.  If shooting clean is important don't let people push you for the hottest fastest mod.  The buy once thing is bogus.   If your into this sport you will buy a lot of guns over time. So buy what makes you happy

 

 

3. If your family is involved now,  keep them that way.   My wife is normally shooting with me. The kids come too. It's a family event we all enjoy

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WELCOME!

Great advice from Buckaroo Bubba.  I will add a few things.

Read over the Shooter Handbook.  Ask questions.

There are a few nice clubs not far from you.  Visit as many as you can.  You might already be aware that you can look them up under SASS affiliated clubs.

There's a great gun shop in Myerstown run by a cowboy shooter.  Visit Enck's Gun Barn.  You'll be glad you did.

The Pennsylvania State Championship match is over Memorial Day weekend.  If you are up for a road trip, check it out.  The bigger matches have vendors and many more competitors.  Lots to do and see.  I am MD.  Feel free to contact me if you need more info.

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Again.. Like folks have said..

YOU.. have to decide what you want out of this game of fun..

 

Ya want to go for fun and speed??  :huh:

1) practice, practice, practice transitions..

2) Practice, practice, practice loading, shouldering, aiming, firing, and shucking yer empties with your shotgun..

3) Don't develope bad habits in your shooting routine.. 

     They are hard to break..

4) (Bonus) Always play safely

 

Ya want to go for fun?? :huh:

Ferget # 1, 2 & 3 :D but remember # 4 :)

 

Rance ;)

Just my thinkin of course  :rolleyes:

 

 

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1. Rush out and buy:

  • the first .357/.38 rifle you can lay your hands on. (Even better if that happens to be a Henry Big Boy).
  • the first pair of .357/.38 revolvers you can lay your hands on(If you can find a pair of the new Uberti Cattleman II revolvers w/ retractable safeties they're awesome).
  • the first 12 ga shotgun you can lay your hands on(I'd highly recommend a single trigger Stoeger)

2. Browse one of the online retailers(River Junction, Wild West Mercantile, etc...) and make sure you get a complete period correct outfit.

3. Go to the nearest match, show up as close to the end of the safety brief as you can and then leave as soon as the last shot is fired by your posse; do your best not to make eye contact with anyone.

 

Skip the handbook( it's too long and will bore you). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Wait, that's stuff you don't want to do :P :D :lol:

 

1. Like others have said, get to a match and ask LOTS of question.

2. Nothing wrong with buying guns, but ask and figure out what NOT to buy; I left a few clues above ;)

3. Don't take it too serious starting out. Unless you are superhuman you aren't going to start out shooting sub 20 second stages, or sub 30 seconds, and probably not sub 40 seconds. 

 

Be safe, have fun.

 

https://sassnet.com/Shooters-Handbook-001A.php

 

We have several excellent vendors that shoot with us, so when it comes time to buy stuff please consider them first.

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Got to agree with Tyrel. Go to a match and say.

"Hi, I'm interested in getting into CAS." 

Don't buy anything until you find out the pros and cons of each gun.

With your family shooting, you'll want to look into reloading.

 

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Go to a match or two.  Maybe three.  Call the match director ahead of time and let him know you're coming.  That will give you a contact person,  He will likely hand you off to another person you can talk to and ask questions.  If you think you have questions now.  Wait until you get to a match.  We're a real friendly bunch.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  We generally love to talk about our firearms, the game and just about everything else related.

Don't buy anything until you've been to a match.  A lot of folks buy a large loop lever, 'cause that's what John Wayne used in a few movies.  I love the look but they are not as fast as the regular loop on most levers.  'Sides, you can't spin them in the game.

You'll need to bring a sense of humor and a thick skin when you start playing with us.  If you don't have both of those now, you won't have fun with us.

 

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Kiss your savings account BYE-BYE.....:lol:

Guns and gear-try BEFORE you buy.

You will need to reload your ammo, to really play this or any gun-game 'rite'.

You won't save a penny go'n the cheap route.

OLG

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Welcome to the best game and folks goin Gray drifter. Thank you for your service.

 

1. Get out to a match or few. Have fun!

2. Try out some guns and gear, Pards usually want to loan you some. Have fun!

3. Did I mention, Have fun! And--start thinkin' about reloading, if you don't already.

Come for the shootin', stay for the people. It's a wonderful family game. Have fun!

 

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1. Cowboy Action is not like playing darts.  You will spend a minimum of $1000, then more to play the Sport

2. Go to a match and ASK ... SASS members are very helpful, even using their firearms if yours haven't been purchased yet

3. Save your money doing 'race jobs' on your firearms thinking your speed will increase to be more competitive ... unless you practice - practice and God gave you great reflexes to operate firearms speedily  

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  • Have fun and learn to laugh at yourself
  • It's justa game
  • Rarely does anyone ever makes any money at CAS, you start in the red and stay there.
  • Reload
  • Make friends, ask for advice, try their guns and try some blackpowder loads. 

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1. Ensure that you and each family member learn how to handle all the firearms in compliance with SASS safety rules.  Carrying a shotgun over your shoulder like the trap shooters do will get you disqualified.  Make sure that muzzle control is practiced at all times.  Make sure everyone knows how to draw and re-holster without sweeping another shooter or breaking the 170 degree rule, etc.   Nothing will spoil your day (or your wife's or your kid's) faster than getting called for a safety violation.

 

2. No matter how competitive you are, or aren't, nobody enjoys fighting equipment problems: jams in the rifle, shotguns that will not break open easily, revolvers that will not shoot to point of aim, ammo that your guns don't like.    Get reliable trouble-free guns so you can enjoy shooting them.  Practice with them enough that you can trust them at a match.  The match is not the place to learn how to shoot, or what the safety rules are, or do gunsmithing on your guns.

 

3.  If you enjoy the competition and want to improve your times, ask the best shooters in your club for advice.  Invest in a set of Evil Roy training DVDs, and buy a timer for practice.

 

you asked for 3 tips so here is 3(A):

 

3(A).  Plan to reload.  Especially if shooting black powder appeals to you.

 

(a couple of pards beat me with a few comments while I was typing, so I guess they were good ideas!! :D)

 

 

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Definitely go to several matches before you buy ANYTHING!  Wish I would have. I don't have any of the guns I started with...except one original 97 shotgun.                         At most shoots...people will be offering to try different guns. Try as many as you can. Try different barrel lengths. Try different brands. There is no one size fits all in this sport. Check out the different shooting categories.Some smaller clubs may not have people that shoot B western or Frontiersman categories. Some categories cut down on your choices of weapons. And if you don't reload now...if you get started in this game you will. And above all...have fun. Some of the best people I know I have met in this sport.

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46 minutes ago, Hashknife Cowboy said:
  • Have fun and learn to laugh at yourself
  • It's justa game
  • Rarely does anyone ever makes any money at CAS, you start in the red and stay there.
  • Reload
  • Make friends, ask for advice, try their guns and try some blackpowder loads. 

I've made tens of thousands of dollars over the years... for the gun stores and mercantiles that sold me all that stuff.

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Howdy, Gray Drifter,

 

     Welcome to Cowboy Action and SASS!

 

Three things:  Buy good stuff from the start, hats, holsters, and rifles etc.   You can buy cheap stuff but you'll end up buying the good stuff eventually anyway.  :lol:

 

Learn to reload your own ammunition as soon as possible.  You have to or you'll go broke.  38 special is a good place to start.

 

Read the handbooks and ask questions.  There is a ton of stuff in the handbooks that will always come up at a match when you least expect it.

 

I hope this helps.  

 

All the best, 

Mo

 

 

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1.  Go to a match and let them know you wanna join.  Observe the match if they will let you (someone might just put guns in your hand so you can shoot) and ask if you can try some guns before you buy. 

2.  Use the same caliber in your rifle and pistol.  it's not a requirement, but it sure does remove a stressor when you're first starting out. 

3.  Unlike most here, I don't think it's so bad to buy cheap leather to start.  Just realize you'll need to replace it quickly and prepare for that expense.  Hopefully by then you'll actually know what you want in a holster. 

 

 

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1. There are many. many friends at cowboy shoots that you haven't met yet.

 

2. You can make a million dollars in CAS - but you have to have 2 million to start with.

 

3. Don't take "the Wire" too seriously.

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Welcome to you and Your's....

Get out and meet Folks ,,,, Some bite ,,, but most don't  ;)

If you buy .38 spl. caliber Guns do it because you want to ,,,, Not because it's "What Everyone Shoots "and it's cheaper....

But if you see your self shooting BIG Bore guns ,,,, that's what to buy ....

Buying .38s because it's the thing to do, when you are wanting to be the leader of your own Pack and not a follower in the main pack is expensive ....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Shoot as many different guns as you can before you decide what you like.

Try to find a mentor to practice with and help you.

Good transitions will gain you a lot more time than trying to shoot faster.

Make sure the long guns fit, women and children with struggle and possibly lose interest if their guns don't fit them.

 

Welcome to the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

 

Randy

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Being new to the game myself, I humbly offer these tips. 

 

1. Read the rule book. It’s not a complicated game, but you can make silly mistakes if you’re not aware of the rules. 

 

2. Meet everyone you can at matches. The people in this sport are very friendly and generally very willing to teach you a thing or two. If you shoot ‘n scoot, you rob yourself of that experience. Help set up and tear down. You’ll meet the nicest people. 

 

3. Have a loading block or some type of sack to take your prescribed amount and type of ammo to the loading table. Once loaded, you cannot leave to put away ammo boxes. You can stuff the empty sack in a pocket. In my first two matches I had to impose on others to put away my stuff. They’re all willing to do it, but we all have better things to do when at the loading table and awaiting our turn. I bought some leather drawstring sack kits from Tandy Leather and made them myself (any leather craft store should have them). 

 

 

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I have been shooting for a little over a year and am in the game of coarse for having fun and enjoying all the good people.  But for me I also want to to be competitive and the best I can be.

my advice as being new try out all the equipment at a local match before you buy I have wasted so much money buying a deal then realizing I needed something different. Most cowboys are happy to help you out.

 

watch all the shooters fast slow alike and ask them for there wisdom as to how to shoot a stage where to position yourself and guns and how to be most efficient. Where should your eyes be. Everyone no matter where in the pack they shoot have pearls of wisdom.

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1 hour ago, Cactus Mike said:

Being new to the game myself, I humbly offer these tips. 

 

1. Read the rule book. It’s not a complicated game, but you can make silly mistakes if you’re not aware of the rules. 

 

2. Meet everyone you can at matches. The people in this sport are very friendly and generally very willing to teach you a thing or two. If you shoot ‘n scoot, you rob yourself of that experience. Help set up and tear down. You’ll meet the nicest people. 

 

3. Have a loading block or some type of sack to take your prescribed amount and type of ammo to the loading table. Once loaded, you cannot leave to put away ammo boxes. You can stuff the empty sack in a pocket. In my first two matches I had to impose on others to put away my stuff. They’re all willing to do it, but we all have better things to do when at the loading table and awaiting our turn. I bought some leather drawstring sack kits from Tandy Leather and made them myself (any leather craft store should have them). 

 

 

You can leave the loading table after you load your guns.  Your rifle is loaded on the loading table,  your shotgun in on the table not loaded,  just unholster your pistols and lay them on the table and you can walk to your cart or get something you forgot.  Just make sure your pistols are pointed in a safe direction.   Bullett 19707

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I have just one piece of advice,  get each member of the family a good set of shooting glasses and ear plugs.  As for as ear plugs you can use foam ones at first.   This is so you can stand among the shooters and talk to them in a safe manner.   Without these items you can not be near the shooting.   Bullett 19707

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Howdy GD, I shoot in Jackson NJ.  You’re not to far from us.  Check the Jackson Hole Gang web site.  Our territorial governor is Jesemy Kid and he holds a shooters clinic on certain Saturdays.  We average 60 or so shooters at the monthly matches and always have a blast.  Look us up. 

 

Gringo

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3 minutes ago, Bullett Sass 19707 said:

I have just one piece of advice,  get each member of the family a good set of shooting glasses and ear plugs.  As for as ear plugs you can use foam ones at first.   This is so you can stand among the shooters and talk to them in a safe manner.   Without these items you can not be near the shooting.   Bullett 19707

Yep;)

1 - Don't buy anything until you have been to several matches and handle all the different firearms you can.

2 - Don't buy anything until you have been to several matches and handle all the different firearms you can.

3 - Don't buy anything until you have been to several matches and handle all the different firearms you can.

 

Get ahold of the Match Directors, they can often arrange several different firearms for you to try, and maybe some one on one time to help you get started. I used to carry enough guns and leather for several shooters in case someone new showed up, I no longer do that unless someone gets ahold of me first. If you plan on sharing guns at first try to outfit each shooter with good leather. Take your time, good deals pop up all the time;)...….Good Luck:)

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I learned the game by standing with the spotters & asking questions.  I do not throw money at costuming.  I make an effort to get into the century but it does not have to cost a fortune.  I don't shoot (I am a designated scorekeeper) so I can't address the gun issues, but I agree you need to try before you buy -- the guns need to fit yr hands. Consider range etiquette and the Cowboy Way.  As I used to tell the grandchildren when they shot with us: don't be a problem to anybody.  I love it that you're considering this a family activity -- you can turn the children loose and leave your car unlocked.  You're in PA?  Go to Appalachian Showdown (WV).

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Everyone is telling you what to do before you begin...

I'll go a slightly different direction and give you my three (four) for when you are actually shooting.

 

1.  ACTIVELY WATCH.

Be a GOOD spotter - and you will learn a lot from watching the variations in shooters, their styles and techniques.

2. ACTIVELY INQUIRE.

Ask EVERYONE about ANYTHING.

People love to talk about themselves and their reasons why.  So ask away.

Why did you stage your guns that way?

How are you going to shoot this?

Is there a better choice than...

3. ACTIVELY LISTEN.

When the shooters you admire or wish to emulate offer advice - heed it.

Pay proper attention to stage instructions - you cannot make a plan if you aren't prepared.

4. ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE

Have goals (no matter what those goals are; go faster, be more accurate, laugh more) - and then implement methods to achieve those goals.

Make full use of the resources you have available to you (fellow shooters, etc )

You can only get out of this game what you put into it. 

If you are not having fun - look into the mirror first.

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Some great stuff here. Thank you to everyone who has offered advice and tips thus far!

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Read the Shooters Handbook. Ask questions here.

 

Everyone gets there own leather as soon as you can. Share guns -not leather. 

 

Buy a 92, a Stoeger, whatever it takes. Just get in and play. Upgrade later. Buy good pistols the first time though. Vaqueros get my vote.

 

Just three? Dang, that's a toughy.

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19 hours ago, Gray Drifter said:

My entire family is new to CAS and very excited about it.

 

What age and shooting experience are the members of your family?  Kids are welcome and even encouraged but small ones can pose a problem getting adequate ear and eye protection.  If they are not ready to participate,  they become bored and become a distraction.   They need to have some familiarity with gun handling, shooting and safety before trying to shoot in a match.  

 

 

Here is one of our smallest shooting his first stage.   His dad is wearing the derby.  He and his brother had been coming to matches for a couple of years. He had been shooting for a while and was familiar with how to handle the guns safely.  The Marlin 39 had a shortened buttstock and he was shooting 38 open top pistols.   He didn't shoot the shotgun.  

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