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Chicago kidd

New shooter has a question

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Hello , I want to shoot sass but still need a rifle. I have a pair of vaqueros and coach gun supreme. I’m on a budget but wanted an opinion on what rifle to get in 38/357 cal. I thought of Rossi but heard they are very unreliable for sass. It’s more for fun with me I’m retired and have wanted to do this. I can’t afford a 2000.00 dollar race gun  but please let me know what you think on this. Thank you. Chicago Kidd

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A lot of people knock on Rossi, but the truth is they are a pretty decent rifle for the money.  A Rossi with an at home action job would serve most SASS shooters just fine.  If I was in your boots I'd go with a Rossi in 357 as a starter gun.  The $2000 race gun can always be bought later. 

 

 

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Nothing wrong with Rossi's. There's at least one for sale here in the classifieds, just search Rossi. They do tend to be bullet length sensitive though. You can get Nate Kiowa Jones tune up kit and make it a lot better than stock.

 

The best advice I can give is go to a match. Let the folks there know you're coming and don't have a rifle; there's a decent chance someone might have one you can borrow and/or buy at a reasnable price.

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The Rossi 92 isn't so bad.  It is a little clunky out of the box, but it is still usable.   The Chiappa 92 is a bit smoother, but I've been told that once you load them, they get clunkier.

Consider the following; you don't HAVE to shoot the same caliber in your rifle and pistols.    That opens you up to a lot more possibilities.   You can find a real Winchester 92, sometimes, for a very reasonable price.   Or a used Uberti 73.  You just won't be able to be as picky as to caliber.  

 

It's not for everyone, but if you can find a decent Lightning, pretty much anything other than the Taurus version, it just might grow on you.

 

Your options are almost limitless.

 

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Nothing unreliable about a Rossi as long as ammo is not too long or too short.  They are generally rough/stiff out of the box, but it is pretty cheap and easy to smooth them out and make them pleasant to shoot.

They are not as competitive as a 66/73 or Marlin due to limitations on how much the action can be modified.

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One thing I'll add about the 92 on the reliability.  All lever guns need to be run all the way out and all the way back in for reliable function, but if you short the lever on a 92 they can jam up hard.  For this game the simpler 66/73 action is much easier to clear malfunctions.  As others have said the 92 will run best with ammo that is 357 mag length, either use long nosed 38s or simply load 357mag brass.

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Now I use a '73 for SASS, but I started with a Rossi. Other than having to replace the extractor once (after 4 years and thousands of rounds), the things is built like a tank. Never gave me any troubles

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9 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

The best advice I can give is go to a match. Let the folks there know you're coming and don't have a rifle; there's a decent chance someone might have one you can borrow and/or buy at a reasonable price.

Yep, start going to some matches, tell MD you are coming, someone will let you borrow one and/or may have one you can try to buy. FWIH the new Marlins are ok now, get a spring kit including SS mag spring and follower. Have a gunsmith fix Marlin jamb and install new springs. Check out the folks at Paradise Pass, not to far from you. Good Luck:)

http://www.paradisepassregulators.com/

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Lots of ways you can go. My Rossi is an older model and works great (in .45 Colt).

I'd save my pennies and move the heck out of Illinois! Born and raised there and I can hardly think of a more firearm-unfriendly state!

Love to visit but not movin back. Best of luck to ya.

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For around $1,300 - $1,400 You should be able to pick up a new Winchester 1873. It will be competitive with out any action work.

It's all about your competitive spirit. Most people I know started with out competition in mind but it starts to take over once you start shooting better.

A Uberti could be found for around $1,100. I picked up a new 44-40 for $900. You just have to keep an eye out for them.

As many say "buy once cry once". 

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10 minutes ago, Jefro, SASS#69420 said:

Yep, start going to some matches, tell MD you are coming, someone will let you borrow one and/or may have one you can try to buy. FWIH the new Marlins are ok now, get a spring kit including SS mag spring and follower. Have a gunsmith fix Marlin jamb and install new springs. Check out the folks at Paradise Pass, not to far from you. Good Luck:)

http://www.paradisepassregulators.com/

 

What Jefro said. Come down for a visit. 1st Saturday of the month. We shoot year round. 

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KID,

Ain't nuttin wrong with a Rossi lever rifle.   Like most other rifles, the gracious touch of a knowledgeable 

gunsmith will make you a proud owner of ANY of our lever rifles used in SASS competition.

 

As mentioned above, you could probably find a nice 66 or 73 for way under $2xxx.

 

And, don't rule out a good Marlin.   Some fine 'JM' Marlin's are out there on the market.

Some under 1xxx.  But if you find a good, nicely set up Marlin 'Cowboy', it could cost you

a few bucks over 1xxx.

 

Just remember, in most cases, you get what you pay for.   And the performance you get out

of it usually coincides with the performance you put into it.

 

Safe shooting.

 

..........Widder

 

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Also remember, What ever you buy you have to clean. 1873's are easy to clean. Never owned a Rossi so I can't speak for them.

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The Rossi is still a good rifle. Is it a race 73’? You know the answer to that already. You absolutely can get started AND enjoy the game with one. If it were not for a Rossi 92 I would not have afforded to start the game. I can get you a brand new Rossi 92 blued carbine in .357 mag, tuned and with lever wrap for $750 delivered to your FFL. If interested drop me a line at deucestevensllc@ gmail.com . (Note to the wire vigilantes I’m a SASS Affiliated Merchant) 

 

PS, just checked and I also have 24” octagon available in blued or stainless but the price goes up a bit. 

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2 minutes ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

The Rossi is still a good rifle. Is it a race 73’? You know the answer to that already. You absolutely can get started AND enjoy the game with one. If it were not for a Rossi 92 I would not have afforded to start the game. I can get you a brand new Rossi 92 blued carbine in .357 mag, tuned and with lever wrap for $750 delivered to your FFL. If interested drop me a line at deucestevensllc@ gmail.com . (Note to the wire vigilantes I’m a SASS Affiliated Merchant) 

 

KID,

you should serious consider this offer (deal).

 

..........Widder

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Widder,

 

We can do him one better.  Deuce also has a nice JM Marlin .38 competition listed for just a little more money.

 

I started with a 92 and it was a reliable gun.  It got me in the game for a reasonable price.  Later when I became totally "addicted" I moved up Marlins and 73s.

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One of the first things you need to do is pick a catigory you plan to shoot, the gun requirements differ catigory to catigory. B-western and classic cowboy have different rifles, gun fighter etc. So shoot a few different rifles and see what works. I use a Rossi and it has been fast enough if the oal of the bullet is correct, but 73' and 66' can be faster.

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46 minutes ago, Ya Big Tree said:

Also remember, What ever you buy you have to clean. 1873's are easy to clean. Never owned a Rossi so I can't speak for them.

I own both.  I prefer to clean black powder fouling out of a '73 or a Marlin to my Rossi.

 

A stainless steel Rossi  is a good gun for shooting in rainy weather.  Even if the OP eventually buys a '73, a stainless steel gun is a good backup.

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I shoot a '73 in 45 Colt for this game (have 2), but... after my wife passed away a little over a year ago, I dug out her 1892 Rossi (.357) and used it in a monthly match...  It was as slick and quick as I remember it.  It was my first CAS rifle, purchased in Jan 1986;  I shot it bone stock for about a year, when I ran across the deal on my 1873.  The Uberti 1873 is not short-stroked... but is smooth as glass.  It's no faster than my wife's 1892 Rossi.    I reworked the Rossi for my wife to use and it's also smooth as glass, shoots .38 Specials just fine, as well as .357s.  It's all about gap between the guide rails & how smooth the carrier is... I would have NO hesitation to pull the trigger on a Rossi if just starting out in this game.  

 

Back then, (late 1980s- very early 1990s), there were no short-stroked 1873s... the "go to" rifles for quick action were the Marlin 1894 and the Winchester (or Rossi) 1892.  They both have a shorter stroke than a stock 1873.   The Marlin is a tad shorter than the 1892, but if not timed correctly has a tendency to develop the "Marlin Jam".  It is rare for a 1892 to jam, but will occasionally pop a live one out.  Tuning and smoothing the action (replace the ejector spring,make the guide rail gap correct & smoothing the carrier detent will diminish this to the point of near extinction. Thru the mid-90s, my son used a Rossi 1892 I'd slicked up and won against short stroked 1873s with maddening regularity.   The speed portion of this game is more about how smoothly you shoot and transitions between guns and shooting stations.

 

When I shoot a short-stroked '73, I'm probably more like to double stroke the lever, and jack a live one out than I ever was in danger of doing with a Rossi 1892,  I'm just not used to that short stroke.  I'm sure that if I installed a short stroke kit in my '73s, I develop the muscle memory to run a little faster... but hey, if I take longer on a stage, I'm getting more my entry fee... right?

 

Plus one, to getting out to a match, even if you don't have all the equipment, As previously mentioned, contacting the match director ahead of time, might just line you up with a loaner...   you'll never know if you don't ask.

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Man, now I’m tempted to get a 92 from Deuce!  

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Chicago kid, get a hold of Deuce. Best recommendation I could give you.

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"I thought of Rossi but heard they are very unreliable for sass."

 

Unreliable? No, not true. I started with one and now my wife uses it. As stated, they are OAL sensitive and you must fully work the action. NO WADCUTTERS! I use a truncated cone bullet in a .38 special case with a OAL of 1.52"

 

Deuce's word is as good as gold. He would not sell an unreliable gun. And that is a great deal. 

 

 

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Anything to get you in the game! I had an EMF Hartford SAA in 38-40 for Years waiting to save up for the rest of the required guns. I finally made a sweet deal on a 44-40 SAA and Taylors 92 the next week bought a cheapo Lever shotgun and I was in business shooting 49'er! My leather was a Tandy leather belt and holster that I made 25 years before and a cheapo mexican loop, both right hand so I cross drawed from the tandy leather holster!

Then I decided I wanted to shoot Classic Cowboy, bought a used pair of 44-40 7 1/2" Cimarrons and borrowed a 24" 73. Still shoot the Cimarrons but have acquired 2 66's and a 73 along with a CZ Hammered Coach, lots of reloading equipment then many other cowboy guns all to suite my needs! My point is start out cheap till yer sure what you really want to do, then build up. The main thing is Shoot!

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3 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

The Rossi is still a good rifle. Is it a race 73’? You know the answer to that already. You absolutely can get started AND enjoy the game with one. If it were not for a Rossi 92 I would not have afforded to start the game. I can get you a brand new Rossi 92 blued carbine in .357 mag, tuned and with lever wrap for $750 delivered to your FFL. If interested drop me a line at deucestevensllc@ gmail.com . (Note to the wire vigilantes I’m a SASS Affiliated Merchant) 

 

PS, just checked and I also have 24” octagon available in blued or stainless but the price goes up a bit. 

Ta Daaa!! there you go:D

 

3 hours ago, TN Mongo, SASS #61450 said:

Widder,

 

We can do him one better.  Deuce also has a nice JM Marlin .38 competition listed for just a little more money.

Ta Daaa!! and he has a MarlinB) Good Luck:)

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Chicago Kidd, Welcome to the best game and folks goin. I love my Marlin, but you can't beat the offer from Deuce.

 

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If you really want a '73, take a look at this one from Hashknife Cowboy:

 

 

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OP,

The Deuce offer is a good one.
I bought a similar deal from Deuce today... Charles Daly 500 SxS, with Doc Noper action work already done.
There is a whole lot to be said from buying an already prepped gun from a known good source.

I own a new Marlin 1894CB (Remlin).
As noted above, I strongly encourage you to find the JM (authentic) Marlins made before Remington bought them out and trashed the brand.
Marlin quality after 11+ years is still very much hit-or-miss.  I got lucky with mine, but I won't ever buy another Remlin.
I should have bought the Winchester 73 instead of the Marlin, or the Uberti 73 as a second choice.

Give some consideration to a rifle chambered in 38 Special.
Most shooters will use these and not 357 mags.
Lever guns can be finicky about the cartridge length, so finding one chambered specifically for 38 Special is a plus.

As a fellow newbie, I can tell you with certainty the above comments and info are absolutely worthwhile.
 

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There is a great deal of good advice in this thread.
I thought I would chime in as a newbie on a limited budget.

I shoot .45 colt and bought 2 older Rossi '92's for $400 each (one for my son) and the slick-up kits from Steve's Gunz.

I think it will be years before I NEED a different rifle, unless it is driven by category requirements.

 

I agree Deuce has a good deal there.  it is new AND tuned... Good to Go

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8 hours ago, Griff said:

The speed portion of this game is more about how smoothly you shoot and transitions between guns and shooting stations.

 

^^^^THIS^^^^

 

Take Deuce up on his offer 

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Look for a JM Marlin though the new ones are getting better.  A new Remlin as they are called or JM not far from Rossi price.  Plenty of slick em up parts.

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I started CAS with a Navy Arms replica M1860 Henry (the Italian-made one) in .44-40. Neat rifle, but as I got older the weight of the 24" barrel with the magazine got too much for my lower back.  I switched to a pair of Rossi's, one in .44-40 and the other in .44 Magnum, depending on what ammo I had loaded at the time of a match.  The older Rossi M92's (Old Model Puma and M65) needed a bit of smoothing and reducing the force of the ejector spring, but otherwise they are great rifles.  Both have 20" barrels, which are easier on my back...you can almost shoot them one-handed!  Yes,  they can be a bit sensitive to cartridge overall length, but once you get that set, no problems! 

Welcome to the campfire, Pard!  Just stay out of the south end of your city (except around the Museum of Science and Industry.  Haunted that place as a kid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Academy sports has marlin 94 cowboys in 44 for about $700.  Yes, it’s a remlin, but a spring kit, firing pin, and some cleanup resulted in a good shooting gun.  Lots of information out there how to slick up a marlin.   To cure the possibility of the marlin jam, I soldered in a pc of tool steel to the lifter.   Not a turn key setup, but I went into it knowing what would need to be done. 

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