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Cowboy Action Holster/Belt Rig Recommendationations Needed

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Anybody know of a good source for the "best value," but reasonably priced, belt/holster rig out there for Cowboy Action Shooting?

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Find a club or clubs in your area and let them know you're looking for a used rig.  Lots of folks buy new starting out and then buy another rig after they've been at it a while and know better what they want in a 'custom' rig.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

Anybody know of a good source for the "best value," but reasonably priced, belt/holster rig out there for Cowboy Action Shooting?

 

My idea of "best value" and "reasonably priced" (I am also paying for shipping to Australia and a poor exchange rate) may be different to yours but I buy Mernickle and am very happy with the products quality.

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59 minutes ago, Grizzly Dave said:

Find a club or clubs in your area and let them know you're looking for a used rig.  Lots of folks buy new starting out and then buy another rig after they've been at it a while and know better what they want in a 'custom' rig.

 

 

 

This ^^^^^

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Check out Cochise Leather Company, located in Cochise, Arizona. I have a gun belt/holster rig made by them and I was very pleased with their work and quality. Very reasonable prices for a new custom made rig.

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On 10/9/2019 at 8:44 PM, Quizcat said:

 "best value," 

 

You may already know this but I’ll say it anyway. Best “value” rarely has anything to do with price. 

 

The best way I ever heard it explained was, “you’ve got close to $2K wrapped up in those pistols. Don’t skimp on leather to keep them in.” 

 

Now to answer your question about “best”

 

Ford is better than Chevy

45ACP is better than 9mm

Ginger and Mary Ann are equal so get both.;)

Edited by Shooting Bull
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Ford is half as Good as Chevy...

.45 ACP is half as good as .45 Colt and twice as good as 9mm.

And Mary Ann is clearly better than Ginger ....

Mernickle is very good .....

A that smokieless stuff is just a Passing Fad ....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Get to some shoots first.

Try before you buy-May even find a good deal on used.

What part of Missouri? We are in the process of moving to Springfield.

OLG

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Listen to the others and get yourself to some matches first.

 

 

4 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Get to some shoots first.

Try before you buy-May even find a good deal on used.

What part of Missouri? We are in the process of moving to Springfield.

OLG

Congrats on your upcoming escape.

 

Warden be forewarned, OLG is coming to your area :P

 

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J. M. Ross in Bulls Gap Tennessee is my guy. 713-703-1915. Fine quality and prompt service.

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13 hours ago, Quizcat said:

Anybody know of a good source for the "best value," but reasonably priced, belt/holster rig out there for Cowboy Action Shooting?

I definitely agree that you should go to a few shoots and see what folks are wearing, their style, how they wear their guns, do they use cartridge loops sewn on the belt or cartridge slides.  How do they carry their shotshells?   Once you have decided on the configuration, then ask about the makers of the rigs worn by various shooters.  One thing I always recommend is to buy the best quality you can afford.  In the longrun it will save you money.  I am NOT trying to solicit business, but I must state that I have made rigs that have lasted their owners for over four decades of hard use, and my own personal rigs have also.

Welcome to the campfire, Pard!

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there ya go - i agree with shopping at shoots first , im still using my galco commercial rigs today but ive been thinking on a custom rig , i think lots of us have our older stuff up for sale when we decide to go custom , you can get in cheap but most progress to the custom somewhere down the road when they KNOW what they want , 

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22 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Get to some shoots first.

Try before you buy-May even find a good deal on used.

What part of Missouri? We are in the process of moving to Springfield.

OLG

I'm about 45 minutes from St. Louis...there aren't many clubs here, just one close by, and it's probably 40 miles away from me.  You'll find several in the Springfiled, Missouri area.  I attended a shoot at the Outlaw Range in Marshfield, Missouri, about 30 minutes North of Springfield, and they seemed to have a nice setup.  The problem that day was that it was raining like cats and dogs.  

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22 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

We are in the process of moving to Springfield.

OLG

 

Cool!

 

Welcome!

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Before deciding on holsters, you should decide on which revolvers and barrel lengths you will be using, and the categories that interest you.  B Western category requires drop loops or  Buscadero rigs, but those are not allowed in Classic Cowboy category, for example.  Crossdraw or double strong side rigs is another decision to make.  

 

I struggled with cheap holsters;  glad I finally bought Kirkpatrick’s.  

 

Hope you can visit us again soon!

Edited by J-BAR #18287

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The new Galco strong side rigs run around $360.00.  Some of the custom rig manufacturers aren't too far off of that cost.  I believe what I want is shotgun shell keeper on the belt where I can gain quick access, maybe a few loops in back for cartridges, probably mostly for looks rather than utlility. 

 

I thought I read somewhere in the SASS rule book that the leather should be "tooled."  Does that mean you can't just get a rig that is just plain tanned and untooled? Is it true that everybody in the hobby has to have rigs that are tooled leather?  I don't dislike tooled leather rigs, they can be pretty cool, but I'm just wondering. 

 

I am also struggling with neurpathy (numbness/nerve damage) in my fingers, which is something I suspect I should consider before choosing a category to shoot in.  If anyone has advice as to which category is likely to be the best category to complete in with respect to the numbness in my fingers, please advise.  I'm told the numbness may be going away within the next year or so.  I was wondering if perhaps there's a category I should start out in, and go from there with respect to entering other categories once I ascertain there has been an improvement in the numbness in my fingers.  Your advise might help me make a decision with respect to which rig I select based on the category I should focus on at first.

 

I plan on traveling around the country a bit, and competing at clubs that might be quite a distance from where I live (just ocassionally).  So, knowing the most popular categories I'm likely to encounter at the average club would also be helpful.

Edited by Quizcat

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As has been said above...."look before you leap".  Nice guns need nice leather.  Learn the style you desire and especially pay close attention to drop and cant you like best. I suggest the  investment to include holsters with solid liners.  When these things are settled in your mind then choose your leather craftsman.  My choice would be Doc Noper and you should easily find someone wearing a pair at a club shoot.  That said, there are lots of fine holster makers out there.  John B shows an example of Tombstone rid, fine holster makers, as is others mentioned.  In no particular order of preference, beside my Doc Nopers and a well used pair of  Aint Dunnit's  , I have, or have had,numerous pairs of  Kirkpatrick, couple of JMs, and a few others.  My preference to styles, cant, and/or drop changed through the years so keep that in mind.

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B Western is the only category that requires fancy leather, plain rigs are fine in other categories.

 

 I have no experience with your neuropathy condition; sorry you are affected.  I suspect shooting revolvers two- handed rather than Duelist style will provide more control and therefore more safety  until the condition goes away.

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16 minutes ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

B Western is the only category that requires fancy leather, plain rigs are fine in other categories.

 

 I have no experience with your neuropathy condition; sorry you are affected.  I suspect shooting revolvers two- handed rather than Duelist style will provide more control and therefore more safety  until the condition goes away.

I'll probably need to draw and shoot one gun at a time and support the revolver two handed, at least until the neuropathy condition goes away, if it ever goes away? Don't misunderstand, I can still shoot ok,  but at one time I was designated as a tactical police sharpshooter, and my shooting performance was exceptional.  But, those days may be over, we'll see.  I just need to pay more attention to supporting the firearm than I would have needed to in the past, and of course, SAO shooting is a different kind of shooting than tactical shooting, so that will take some practice and experience.  Fortunately for me, I have a pretty good shooting range on my property with reactive targets, steel, etc...and plan to practice quite a bit before competing in a match.  One thing I've already determined is that the shortened hammer spurs hinder me more than help me.  I seem to need the leverage of the standard length hammer spur.

Edited by Quizcat

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I got my rig at Reddog Leather and am very happy with the quality of rig I got for the price I paid.  Got a shotgun belt to match and am very happy with that as well.  But I agree with what others have said about checking out the club.  My original plan was to go with a cross draw rig and I almost bought before I tried (I was excited!).  Glad I didn't.  Tried both and wound up preferring strong side.  Glad I waited.  Even more glad now that I'm moving into the Gunfighter category :D

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On 10/11/2019 at 8:55 AM, J-BAR #18287 said:

Before deciding on holsters, you should decide on which revolvers and barrel lengths you will be using, and the categories that interest you.  B Western category requires drop loops or  Buscadero rigs, but those are not allowed in Classic Cowboy category, for example.  Crossdraw or double strong side rigs is another decision to make.  

 

I struggled with cheap holsters;  glad I finally bought Kirkpatrick’s.  

 

Hope you can visit us again soon!

I've sort of settled on starting out with Ruger New Vaquero, 5.5" barrel, Stainless, 45 Colt, shooting 45 Cowboy Special lite loads made on the reloading bench, probably .160-.180 gr. bullet, Red Dot powder, maybe experimenting with Unique first, since I already have some. 

 

I've decided on probably starting out with a double strong side rig, since the rig, without fancy embellishments, would be less expensive, since I'm just getting started in the sport, and because it sounds like there is a wider offering of categories to shoot at most clubs, rather than going with drop loop with all the leather embellishments, just to shoot B-Western only. 

 

I'm still undecided on barrel length, and trying to weigh whether to get the 4.62" barrel length instead.  I already have one 5.5" though, so I'm thinking I would only have to buy one more revolver if I stick with 5.5" barrel.  I have concluded that with the nerve damage in my fingers, that the short spur hammers don't offer me enough leverage to easily cock the hammers.  So, I believe that the standard hammer spur on the New Vaquero would be preferable.  I believe the balance of the 4.62" barrel in the Ruger New Vaquero might be better with respect to balance, but if I decided to change over later to 4.62" barrel revolvers, or move to .357/.38Spl., I can always do that, if I become more active in the sport.

 

I assume Classic Cowboy is the most common event at most clubs, and that most newbies start out there, then probably move to competing in B-Western if they really get into the sport.  For B-Western, if you have to switch to a different rig to compete in only B-Western, it would get kind of pricey to have to invest in an altogether different rig (drop loop, with embellishments, etc...) just to compete in the B-Western category.  

 

So, did it every stop raining at the event I attended at the Outlaw Range?  I decided not to hang around due to it was coming down like cats and dogs when I arrived that day, and I waited quite a while, and it never let up.  I suppose I'm going to be a fair weather fan of the sport, LOL!

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By the way, I want to thank everyone that has commented...your advice and experience has been very helpful to me with some of the various considerations I have to make.  I will be attending some club events to gain first hand experience. 

 

I want to handle the 4.62" New Vaquero to compare balance with the 5.5" barrel I already have. 

 

I do want to load some lite recoil rounds on the bench for the 45 Colt Revolvers, do some practicing with lite loads at the range before competing at an SASS event, etc...

 

I do have a hammerless double barrel 12 gauge shotgun, a Winchester 1892 lever action rifle in .357/.38spl. (and I even have a Rossi M92 .357/38 back up lever action rifle, which I have to slick-up over the coming winter months using the DVD from Steve's Gunz).  

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1 hour ago, Quizcat said:

I've sort of settled on starting out with Ruger New Vaquero, 5.5" barrel, Stainless, 45 Colt, shooting 45 Cowboy Special lite loads made on the reloading bench, probably .160-.180 gr. bullet, Red Dot powder, maybe experimenting with Unique first, since I already have some. 

 

I've decided on probably starting out with a double strong side rig, since the rig, without fancy embellishments, would be less expensive, since I'm just getting started in the sport, and because it sounds like there is a wider offering of categories to shoot at most clubs, rather than going with drop loop with all the leather embellishments, just to shoot B-Western only. 

 

I'm still undecided on barrel length, and trying to weigh whether to get the 4.62" barrel length instead.  I already have one 5.5" though, so I'm thinking I would only have to buy one more revolver if I stick with 5.5" barrel.  I have concluded that with the nerve damage in my fingers, that the short spur hammers don't offer me enough leverage to easily cock the hammers.  So, I believe that the standard hammer spur on the New Vaquero would be preferable.  I believe the balance of the 4.62" barrel in the Ruger New Vaquero might be better with respect to balance, but if I decided to change over later to 4.62" barrel revolvers, or move to .357/.38Spl., I can always do that, if I become more active in the sport.

 

I assume Classic Cowboy is the most common event at most clubs, and that most newbies start out there, then probably move to competing in B-Western if they really get into the sport.  For B-Western, if you have to switch to a different rig to compete in only B-Western, it would get kind of pricey to have to invest in an altogether different rig (drop loop, with embellishments, etc...) just to compete in the B-Western category.  

 

So, did it every stop raining at the event I attended at the Outlaw Range?  I decided not to hang around due to it was coming down like cats and dogs when I arrived that day, and I waited quite a while, and it never let up.  I suppose I'm going to be a fair weather fan of the sport, LOL!

Classic Cowboy is not the most common category.  Aged-based, two-handed shooting is more common.  Go to the Winter Range website and look at the match results by category.  You will get a good understanding of the popularity of various categories.  BTW, if you have trouble shooting with one hand you can still dress as a classic cowboy and shoot your 45s.  Just enter in the appropriate category.  

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I have a New Ruger Vaquero in .357/.38 with a 4.62 barrel, I like it's size and it shoots very well. I have not tuned it to run fast yet as I am still new to the game. Since your rifles are .357/.38 you probably would be better of shooting your pistols in the same caliber, otherwise you will be buying or reloading 2 different calibers of cartridges if you shoot .45 Colt pistols. Of course you will make the final decision as to what you like the best. Anyway, welcome to the game.

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39 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

 

I assume Classic Cowboy is the most common event at most clubs, and that most newbies start out there.

 

 

 

So, did it every stop raining at the event I attended at the Outlaw Range?  

 

Edward R S Canby is right, few start in Classic Cowboy because of the costume and caliber requirements.  Most new shooters start in their age based category; see page 5 in the Shooter’s Handbook:

 

https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/Shooters Handbook Vers 23.2 MASTER COPY.pdf

 

You must have been there on the second day of our recent Show-Me Shootout.  The rain quit and we were able to finish the match and had a great lunch and awards ceremony.  Sorry you couldn’t stay.  In case you missed it, here is a link to a video  made immediately after the rain stopped.  You can see water splash below some of the targets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quizcat, this might help sort out category requirements. You are not the first person to ask questions revealing the confusing nature of the handbook. 

 

 

SASS Category Matrix v2.3.pdf

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19 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

 

Edward R S Canby is right, few start in Classic Cowboy because of the costume and caliber requirements.  Most new shooters start in their age based category; see page 5 in the Shooter’s Handbook:

 

https://www.sassnet.com/Downloads/Shooters Handbook Vers 23.2 MASTER COPY.pdf

 

You must have been there on the second day of our recent Show-Me Shootout.  The rain quit and we were able to finish the match and had a great lunch and awards ceremony.  Sorry you couldn’t stay.  In case you missed it, here is a link to a video  made immediately after the rain stopped.  You can see water splash below some of the targets.

 

Hey, thanks for the video.  Yes, it was the second day of the event at the Outlaw Range.  But, when we arrived, it was raining so hard, and didn't look like it was going to let up, that we decided to try to get ahead of any rain that might be tracking along I44 heading East.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ripsaw said:

Quizcat, this might help sort out category requirements. You are not the first person to ask questions revealing the confusing nature of the handbook. 

 

 

SASS Category Matrix v2.3.pdf 90.92 kB · 3 downloads

I'll take a look at the Matrix...thanks very much!  I do find the shooter's handbook confusing.  I think when I assumed Classic Cowboy was the most popular, I was confusing "Classic Cowboy" with what I saw in the age categories described as "Cowboy/Cowgirl."  

Edited by Quizcat

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19 hours ago, Arizona Gunfighter said:

I have a New Ruger Vaquero in .357/.38 with a 4.62 barrel, I like it's size and it shoots very well. I have not tuned it to run fast yet as I am still new to the game. Since your rifles are .357/.38 you probably would be better of shooting your pistols in the same caliber, otherwise you will be buying or reloading 2 different calibers of cartridges if you shoot .45 Colt pistols. Of course you will make the final decision as to what you like the best. Anyway, welcome to the game.

 

Do many competitors shoot 45 Colt in their revolvers, and .357/.38spl in their rifles? 

Is there adequate room on gun belts to accommodate carrying 45 Colt and .357/.38spl?  

 

I got a chance over the weekend to compare the weight and balance and found that 4.62" barrel in 45 Colt was the most comfortable, most balanced, and lighter weight.  So, it has me thinking that the 45 Colt in 4.62" barrel is the better choice for me, especially with respect to the nerve damage in my fingers. 

 

I already do have a large assortment of loading dies, crimp dies, powder, etc...to load 45 Colt and/or .357/.38spl, so switching between calibers wouldn't be too difficult with respect to loading two different calibers.  45 Colt would be more expensive, but it may accommodate my abilities more easily in the revolvers. 

 

But, if mixing calibers is likely to cause me issues at staging, or with respect to my having adequate room on my gun belt for both calibers, then I need to reconsider the 45 colt chambering selection before I make a purchase.  

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36 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

I'll take a look at the Matrix...thanks very much!  I do find the manual confusing.  I think when I assumed Classic Cowboy was the most popular, I was confusing "Classic Cowboy" with what I saw in the age categories described as "Cowboy/Cowgirl."  

 

I struggled with the category requirements at first, so I feel your pain.  Age-based categories are different than Cowboy/Cowgirl.  As you see in the matrix, cowboy/cowgirl can be any age.  

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11 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

 

Do many competitors shoot 45 Colt in their revolvers, and .357/.38spl in their rifles? 

Is there adequate room on gun belts to accommodate carrying 45 Colt and .357/.38spl?  

 

I got a chance over the weekend to compare the weight and balance and found that 4.62" barrel in 45 Colt was the most comfortable, most balanced, and lighter weight.  So, it has me thinking that the 45 Colt in 4.62" barrel is the better choice for me, especially with respect to the nerve damage in my fingers. 

 

I already do have a large assortment of loading dies, crimp dies, powder, etc...to load 45 Colt and/or .357/.38spl, so switching between calibers wouldn't be too difficult with respect to loading two different calibers.  45 Colt would be more expensive, but it may accommodate my abilities more easily in the revolvers. 

 

But, if mixing calibers is likely to cause me issues at staging, or with respect to my having adequate room on my gun belt for both calibers, then I need to reconsider the 45 colt chambering selection before I make a purchase.  

 

Mixing calibers only becomes an issue when you have very similar cartridges. 45 Colt and 44 WCF are close enough alike that they can be mixed up.

45 Colt will load into a 44 WCF rifle but will not chamber.

44WCF will chamber and fire in a 45 Colt but it is very hard on the brass and is not very accurate.

 

Did you actually shoot the 45 colt pistols? If not you should BEFORE buying a pair. Their felt recoil will be greater than 38 specials in the same size revolver.

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I went with JM Leather and love his work! Not cheap but worth what you get!

John Ross

  J M Leather

Bulls Gap, TN

   (423) 754-1285

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