Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum
Krijger

BRAND NEW 45 or 357

Recommended Posts

Hello Everybody my name is Ryan and pardon me for being brand new... I have wanted to get into SASS shooting for a while and I have nothing to start with. I would really like to not get the wrong thing since I have a limited budget. I am sure this topic is controversial and been asked a ton but I can't find a good answer. 


First... 45 or 357? I am looking at getting a matching pair of Vaqueros to start out with and then a lever action after and would prefer them to have the same ammo caliber to cut on costs? Opinions? Recoil isn't as much as a worry as cost of ammo and at some point I would like to reload one day and keep it all the same.

Second... I live in Amador County CA and I see there are some clubs near but its iffy if they are SASS clubs or not? I have messaged them and would like to join and help out till I can shoot. Any recommendations? Events in the Northern CA area coming up? 

 

Anyways I appreciate any input.

 

Thanks Ryan


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on your stated usage and purpose, I would seriously consider the .38/.357 and never look back.

 

Good luck.

 

..........Widder

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New ammo or reloads.....the .357 mag/.38 special are way cheaper than .45LC.   Also, the .38 special will be cheaper than the .357 mag.

 

Why? 

 

Generally.....you're using less powder In the .38 special.   And, finding cheap .38 special brass to reload is generally cheaper and more available.  Lead bullets......you could use the same bullets .358" sized for both.  The weights will determine costs.  Or you could also get into casting your own.  

 

Aloha, Mark

Edited by moab mark #50732
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Krijger said:

Recoil isn't as much as a worry as cost of ammo and at some point I would like to reload one day and keep it all the same.

 

That right there says 357/38 all day everyday.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the best game in town Krijger! I agree with Widder, start with .38/.357, but before you spend your money head out to a local club or two and see what folks are shooting. You'll get a chance to try various brands I'm sure. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for what Widder said about .38/.357.  I had lots of .38 brass before I started and dies; that's why started with .38/.357.  After 15 + years, I have many other calibers, but I still shoot .38 more than anything else.

 

Everything is cheaper in .38 and if you want to eventually be very competitive, it's the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the end of the day, shoot what you like.  I shoot .38s but a single action revolver in a big bore chambering has a certain charm.

 

You pay for the guns once but ammunition or reloading components are an ongoing expense.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Krijger,

Love my .45s,but for someone just starting out, I strongly suggest .38s.The .45 at Cowboy velocities has it's own idiosyncrasies. Unless you're an experienced handloader,

.38s might be the way to go.

jmho,

Choctaw Jack 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree that in my opinion 38/357 would be the way to go.

 

The only draw back is that they aren't allowed in the Classic Cowboy category, but there are lots of other categories where they are.

 

Have fun!

 

Grizz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be pretty hard to go wrong with a new pair of Rugers and either a new Winchester 73 or Marlin 94 all in 38/357.  Even if you opt for something different later on they will make a great backup set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, July Smith said:

It would be pretty hard to go wrong with a new pair of Rugers and either a new Winchester 73 or Marlin 94 all in 38/357.  Even if you opt for something different later on they will make a great backup set.

+1, I went with 45 colt just because I like the big hole in the end of the barrel.:) Reloading is almost a must to save costs.  45's in the rifle will be dirtier also. The wife shoots 38's and her guns are always cleaner than mine. As stated above, get out to a match or 2 and try different guns and see what you like. Pards are quite willing to share.

Welcome aboard, hang on for the fun & people. It gets addicting.:D

 

5a2a989e95497_SASSWelcome.JPG.ed5045d9abb98d8837093843c187d2e5.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.38/.357 LOAD .38,much cheaper reloading

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on what you wrote - 357/38 shooting .38 specials. You can't go wrong with a Ruger but don't rule out the Colt clones from Uberti. I love my Taylor's Cattlemen and the price is great. To each his own - try them all and shoot what you like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out with .38s, then went to .45's then went to .44-40 black powder, I'm now back to .38's. I should have stayed there when I started 20 years ago!

Go with .38/.357!!!;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out californiagunslingers.com for info on all of the Northern California clubs. There's a match at Diamond Dick's Cowboy Town in Sloughhouse almost every week of the month. They are all great people, makes me sad that I only get up there maybe once a year.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with a pair of Vaqueros and Uberti '73 in .45 LC and am really happy with them. Also opens the door to other categories that require larger caliber such as Classic Cowboy. I have a friend who also shoots .45 LC, so we get together to load ammo regularly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out with .38/.357 and then realized I wanted to compete in Classic Cowboy which requires all firearms to be .40 or larger, a rifle designed before 1880, and an external hammer shotgun. If you just plan on shooting in your age class and not a costumed category .38/.357 is the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

38/357

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WELCOME :excl:

Don't buy anydangthing, till you get to a SASS shoot and do a hands on..........

Rugers are 'tanks' and what my wife and I use.

.38 Special is the best all around choice(IMHO)depending on what category you'll be shoot'n

OLG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to a great game and way of life. Being on a limited budget and all I’d suggest the .38/.357 it’s a bit cheaper on the reloading side but if you get hooked, and there’s a good chance you will 44-40 holds all of the charm, IMNSHO, of course. There’s just something about the 44WCF and Cowboy Action Shooting. Later on when you’re considering Classic Cowboy you might give it a try. If you’re like most of us the first set of guns you buy won’t be the last and unprotected gun safe fornication will result in unexpected offspring. You’ve been warned.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just throw out if you are considering playing Wild Bunch, consider either 44-40 or .45 as WB requires .40 or larger rifle.

Edited by Sarge
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Rattlesnake Slim said:

Check out californiagunslingers.com for info on all of the Northern California clubs. There's a match at Diamond Dick's Cowboy Town in Sloughhouse almost every week of the month. They are all great people, makes me sad that I only get up there maybe once a year.

 

That web site is way out of date now.  The current one is http://cagunslingers.com

 

Doc

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Sarge said:

I would just throw out if you are considering playing Wild Bunch, consider either 44-40 or .45 as WB requires .40 or larger rifle.

Yes indeed.  Try a bunch of stuff out.  Take a look at categories as well since leather style is dictated in some.  Try some more andbthen go have fun.  I have 32s 38s 45s ended up with.  32 Rugers, 38 Rifle for cowboy. Pt1911 45acp, marlin 45 colt for WB is current.  Of course had to get a BAMM rifle k31, a Marlin in 45-70, a Sharps in 45-70, a Merwwin Hulbert 32 for all the fun side matches.  See it is addictive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My family uses both. I prefer the 45 just for the theme and romanticism of the Old West. Yes, it's more expensive but you only go around once. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1st get to  a couple matches and get hands on experience with as much as you can before buying anything. After that determine what category you think you will enjoy the most and go from there. There's only 2 categories that 38/357 wont work for, classic cowboy and wild bunch(wild bunch being an entirely different subject that I dont have much info on). So if you know those categories are not your starting point then i'd strongly suggest going with 38/357. I shoot 45's because that's what I had before starting and I enjoy them. As mentioned the cost of new ammo or the components to reload the 38/357 rounds are much cheaper than the 45 colts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.357 or .45? I can’t answer that for you. All I know is ain’t no real cowboy ever used .357. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2019 at 4:48 PM, Krijger said:

I live in Amador County CA and I see there are some clubs near but its iffy if they are SASS clubs or not?


We live in the same neck of the woods.
Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (Ione-ish) is the parent site for Diamond Dick's Cowboy Town.
I pay a yearly family fee to SVSC and another yearly fee to DDCT, which makes you a "member" of all the posses that shoot here.

http://californiagunslingers.com/


The above URL will give you a list of clubs and the calendar of shoots at DDCT.
We attend the Outlaws and Shady Ladies matches, each on a Saturday.

The posses are very friendly and make you feel welcome.
We are also noobs, so we come out to keep score and pick up brass to help out, while we are ramping up to shoot.
You learn a LOT about the game just by doing this.

Your choice of guns can determine which classes you shoot.
I have zero interest in 45 Colt, black powder nor antique replicas.
Ours are Ruger Vaqueros in 357, Marlin 1894CB in 357, and Stoeger Coach 12-gauge, double trigger (more reliable).
These choices keep us out of a few classes.

Guns and California waiting periods for those guns, will be your largest up-front expense, and waste of your time.
I have accumulated 170 days of CA waiting periods since January (5 revolvers, 2 rifles, 1 shotgun) and a couple months of shipping time.
My FFL expense is $50 per gun, and $25 per background check.

Leather is another consideration, as certain holster types will limit you from a few classes.
Get your leather from a maker who is fully knowledgeable about the game.  Buy once, cry once.

Reloading is another big up-front expense.
It will save you a huge amount of $$ in the long run, compared to store-bought ammo.
Cowboy loads are low pressure, low velocity types.
Most factory loads are near the SAAMI maximum pressures.
Revolvers are limited to a max of 1,000 feet per second.
All-lead bullets are mandatory.
38 Special is much less costly to reload than 45 Colt.
 

Edited by bgavin
edited for clarity
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, bgavin said:


We live in the same neck of the woods.
Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (Ione-ish) is the parent site for Diamond Dick's Cowboy Town.
I pay a yearly family fee to SVSC and another yearly fee to DDCT, which makes you a "member" of all the posses that shoot here.

http://californiagunslingers.com/


The above URL will give you a list of clubs and the calendar of shoots at DDCT.
We attend the Outlaws and Shady Ladies matches, each on a Saturday.

The posses are very friendly and make you feel welcome.
We are also noobs, so we come out to keep score and pick up brass to help out, while we are ramping up to shoot.
You learn a LOT about the game just by doing this.

Your choice of guns can determine which classes you shoot.
I have zero interest in 45 Colt, black powder nor antique replicas.
Ours are Ruger Vaqueros in 357, Marlin 1894CB in 357, and Stoeger Coach 12-gauge, double trigger (more reliable).
These choices keep us out of a few classes.

Guns and California waiting periods for those guns, will be your largest up-front expense, and waste of your time.
I have accumulated 170 days of CA waiting periods since January (5 revolvers, 2 rifles, 1 shotgun) and a couple months of shipping time.
My FFL expense is $50 per gun, and $25 per background check.

Leather is another consideration, as certain holster types will limit you from a few classes.
Get your leather from a maker who is fully knowledgeable about the game.  Buy once, cry once.

Reloading is another big up-front expense.
It will save you a huge amount of $$ in the long run, compared to store-bought ammo.
Cowboy loads are low pressure, low velocity types.
Most factory loads are near the SAAMI maximum pressures.
Revolvers are limited to a max of 1,000 feet per second.
All-lead bullets are mandatory.
38 Special is much less costly to reload than 45 Colt.
 

Thank you so much! Hope to see you at one of the matches. I will definitely be at them in three weeks! I am saving up now for a pair of Vaqueros and then the others. Its going to be a long while till I can participate but I will come clean up brass for sure! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Krijer, I recommend you start shooting now.  Ask a match director for help borrowing guns and leather and shoot anything offered to you.  Dress as cowboy as you can, bring a stiff leather belt, 150 rounds of lead (not jacketed) 38 Specials and a box of 12 gauge, target grade (bird shot, less that 1200 fps) shotgun shells.  (Only bring factory ammo, not reloads.)  That way you be ready matches next year.  Start shopping for used reloading equipment too.  Reloading equipment is very durable and there are plenty of good deals to be had for those who are patient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me put this in perspective, I've been shooting in this game since 1985, started with a 45 Colt pistol (only 1 needed then), a .30-30 carbine (now not legal for main match use), and a 65 year old side by side.  (The side x side is still going strong), so age isn't an issue, but condition certainly is.

 

I then went to .38/.357 carbine, but the difference between report (bang), seemed silly, so I got a 45 rifle.  Still using 45s.  

 

Since my first response to a query like yours, I've suggested that you get out to your local club(s) and indicate your interest in both helping & competing.  The first will ensure your welcome, and the second will take care of itself.  If you don't find yourself inundated with suggestions and offers to try out various arms I'd be surprised. 

 

Ask questions, especially of what modifications folks have done, for most will be invisible without a tear down.   Believe me a box stock rifle or handgun is far different than a modified & tuned one.  A difference that reveals itself in both speed & if done right, reliability.  Reliability is far more important to me than pure speed.  Smoothness of operation is a true joy.

 

Welcome to the 2nd most fun you can have with clothes on...  (mounted shooting is still several levels more so)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Krijger said:

Thank you so much! Hope to see you at one of the matches. I will definitely be at them in three weeks! I am saving up now for a pair of Vaqueros and then the others. Its going to be a long while till I can participate but I will come clean up brass for sure! 


IMO, you should get your hands around both Bisley and standard Plowhandle grips on the Vaqueros before you buy.
You cannot order a SASS pair in Bisley, but for the same price you can buy two Bisley separately.

Cliff Hanger #3720LR

This topic comes up rather frequently.

 

There is a way to check which might be better for you.

1. find a 1/2" dowel  or some other item, I used a long wooden cooking spoon.
2. Hold it in your strong hand with half the item above and half the item below your fingers.
3. Take your standard shooting stance.
4. Now close your eyes and raise your gun hand up as if you were aiming at a target.
5. Without moving your hands, open your eyes and look to see if the item is vertical or leaning forward at the top.
6. The more vertical the item is, the more a Bisley will point naturally.
7. the more the item leans forward, the more naturally the P frame grip will point.
8. Standing next to a mirror so you can see your hand will help to see what angle your hand naturally has.

Depending on the angle of your hand has naturally will tell you which grip will work best.

If you have to move your wrist forward or back to get a straight sight alignment, you should try the other grip.


Here in CA, we have 30 day waiting periods between handgun purchases, even if a matched set.
I got my wife's SASS pair from Tombstone Tactical in AZ, and the price went up $100 a day later.
These are "new model" with the smaller frame size.

My Bisleys are both "old model" which is pre-2005 production with 2-digit serial prefixes.
These are the larger frame models, which is irrelevant for 357, but more suited for magnum loads.
CAS does not shoot, or allow, magnum loads, so this is a non-issue.

Should you decide to simplify and shoot all 45 Colt, either Vaquero model will do great.
Ask around, do your research so you Buy Once, Cry Once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out fifteen years ago with 36 caliber C&B with a 97 12 gauge and a 92 rifle in 45 colt. Still shoot C&B but in 44 caliber now, 12 gauge side by side and a 73 rifle in 44/40. I shoot black powder is the main reason for the 44/40 and the 97 was a real pain shooting black powder. I have tried 38 special with black powder in a 73 as well and it was fun. I agree 38's are a bit cheaper to reload but the fun factor will help you decide what you like the most. Shooting black is a little more money to shoot but it is worth it to me. I think going  to a match and shooting different calibers is the best advise offered. You will know what fits you after you shoot different calibers. Welcome to the game and get out there and enjoy yourself. DC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/18/2019 at 11:37 AM, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

.357 or .45? I can’t answer that for you. All I know is ain’t no real cowboy ever used .357. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

 

Yep, but if you buy some 38 Long Colt brass and load them up, you'll use less powder and real cowboys sure as Hades did shoot 38 Colt. 

 

In the end it comes down to what you want to shoot.

 

I like my Rugers in 357, one New Vaquero and a New Model Blackhawk because real cowboys seldom had matching guns. And for a rifle, I have a '66 in 38 SPL only and a '73 in 38/357. I have 1 load for the rifles, and am still fiddling with pistol ammo. 

 

I love the 44-40 and sometimes regret not getting a '73 in that caliber.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BB, I don't recommend 38 Colt cartridges firearms chambered  38 Special.  The 38 Colt cartridge is a few thousands of a inch larger diameter than a 38 Special.  That could case chambering problems in some firearms.  (It does in a rolling block I own.)  Further, once-fired 38 Special brass is much cheaper the 38 Long Colt brass.  Plenty of CAS shooters are using small charges of fast burning smokeless powder with great results.  The 38 Long Colt cartridge is not popular in CAS with reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.