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razorseal

Went to my first match to "observe"

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Hey guys,

 

so I went to my first gun to see what this CAS is all about. Many friendly folk. I'll certainly be the youngest at age 35 followed by someone in late 30s?

 

Most were shooting Rugers in the age group with 32 or 38s... Nobody in my posse that I followed shot anything larger than 38 (except one cowboy shooting ball and cap).

 

I know I've been lurking here and asking around what caliber I should get, what gun I should get etc. They all recommended Rugers (either vaquero or blackhawk) and to stick with 38... I did see some guns and ammo malfunction compared to modern gun competitions. Some stages were so confusing, I have no idea how some of you guys follow them lol. 

 

There was one lady shooting a blackhawk (I had asked about shooting them in matches in previous posts) so that was nice to see. I didn't see anyone shooting italian made revolvers when I was looking.

 

I can definitely see this getting to be an expensive hobby... Between ammo, guns, fixing what breaks and all the leather... phew :)

 

One of the guys let me shoot his guns after the match was over and explained to me how to reload pistol etc. I was shooting way high with his vaquero, I will def need to learn how to aim them compared to modern guns, also I was using same hand to cock hammer, I was told to use support hand to cock revolver. the pump action is little different to load as a lefty. Might look into side by side style maybe.

 

I had alot of fun, and plan on going to another one in March 7th. Maybe by then I'll have a holster and a pistol and hopefully someone can lend me guns to shoot lol. 

 

Looking forward to it. Once the hump of buying all the equipment is done, I think I can fund the hobby... Key will be to get the wife involved as well. lol

 

Anyways, I had most of my questions answered at the match that I have been asking here. I've decided I will get 38 revolvers (either blackhawk or cimarron at 5.5 inches) and keep my 44-40 as my rifle gun (I might try to trade it out for a 38 rifle at a shop or trade locally). I'm not sure about the shotgun yet... Someone said they'll lend me their norinco side by side until I decide. 

 

oh, and we talked about my name... Someone suggested "Sheriff John Stone". I like it... we'll see though! lol

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Great! It sure can be fun. 

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Congratulations, you're on your way.   I started with 45s, now I have those and a bunch of 44-40s.  Same with the rifles and a couple of shotguns.   Most folks would agree that 38s are the cheapest way to start, with Rugers the best bang for the buck.  If your wife gets involved don't be surprised if you end with two sets of guns and gear.

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I started with cap n ball pistols, 45 colt rifle, and a hammered double that was made in 1886. I now have full sets in 45, 44/40, and 38 and a couple shotguns. It's addictive lol. 

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8 minutes ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Congratulations, you're on your way.   I started with 45s, now I have those and a bunch of 44-40s.  Same with the rifles and a couple of shotguns.   Most folks would agree that 38s are the cheapest way to start, with Rugers the best bang for the buck.  If your wife gets involved don't be surprised if you end with two sets of guns and gear.

 

I would have absolutely 0 complaints if she says "hey, let's get me a set too"

 

She does have some wrist issues, so she'll probably be happy with 32 though.

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If you are following the consensus examples, note that most Ruger 38s are 4 5/8" barrels, I believe making it a bit easier to clear a holster.

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Hi Razorseal... You were observing our monthly O.K. Corral Outlaws match in Okeechobee Florida. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience. Definitely come to the Gold Coast Gunslingers match at Markham park on the 7th of March near Fort Lauderdale and it won't be long before you're a regular.

Polecat Joe

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1 minute ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

If you are following the consensus examples, note that most Ruger 38s are 4 5/8" barrels, I believe making it a bit easier to clear a holster.

 

One of the faster guys shooting (very active in SASS) told me he likes his 4 5/8 but he wishes he had little more sight radius which would help him. Was mentally taking notes when he said that.

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Just now, polecat joe said:

Hi Razorseal... You were observing our monthly O.K. Corral Outlaws match in Okeechobee Florida. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience. Definitely come to the Gold Coast Gunslingers match at Markham park on the 7th of March near Fort Lauderdale and it won't be long before you're a regular.

Polecat Joe

 

Yup! sure did! Already saw few of you on here!

 

I will be at the one in Markham park most likely. Falls on a day off for me. Hopefully I'll have a pistol or two, so I can maybe shoot with you guys!

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4 minutes ago, razorseal said:

 

I would have absolutely 0 complaints if she says "hey, let's get me a set too"

 

She does have some wrist issues, so she'll probably be happy with 32 though.

Cowboy 38 loads have little recoil. The size of the grip or weight of the gun will perhaps be what she would notice. You can load 38 Long Colt, working up to 38 Special. The 32s are hard to find and not available new in an approved gun, as far as I know. Staying with 38 Long Colt or Special, she could look at the Taylor's Stallion, a Model P Jr. copy, navy or birdhead grip. I also have the Cimmaron Lightning brother but prefer the Taylor's. The smaller bird head type grip though is the Cimmaron.

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10 minutes ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

Cowboy 38 loads have little recoil. The size of the grip or weight of the gun will perhaps be what she would notice. You can load 38 Long Colt, working up to 38 Special. The 32s are hard to find and not available new in an approved gun, as far as I know. Staying with 38 Long Colt or Special, she could look at the Taylor's Stallion, a Model P Jr. copy, navy or birdhead grip. I also have the Cimmaron Lightning brother but prefer the Taylor's. The smaller bird head type grip though is the Cimmaron.

 

Got it... Thanks!

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Rugers don't break often.  You won't need to repair them often.  SxS shotguns are pretty reliable too - even the inexpensive Stoegers.   You might find a great deal on used leather if you shop at swap meets.  Regarding ammo: you probably now understand why we recommend reloading as soon you can get equipment.  While little can be saved reloading shotgun shells (black powder excluded) you can cut the cost of metallic cartridges by ~2/3rds by reloading.  A used single stage press and dies can get you started inexpensively.

 

Regarding stage complexity, I prefer simple stages because many of my shooters are elderly with declining short term memory.  Younger shooters don't complain about simplicity.

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13 minutes ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

Rugers don't break often.  You won't need to repair them often.  SxS shotguns are pretty reliable too - even the inexpensive Stoegers.   You might find a great deal on used leather if you shop at swap meets.  Regarding ammo: you probably now understand why we recommend reloading as soon you can get equipment.  While little can be saved reloading shotgun shells (black powder excluded) you can cut the cost of metallic cartridges by ~2/3rds by reloading.  A used single stage press and dies can get you started inexpensively.

 

Regarding stage complexity, I prefer simple stages because many of my shooters are elderly with declining short term memory.  Younger shooters don't complain about simplicity.

 

I'm going to try my best to get one or two things at a time. Hopefully the friendly cowboys can lend me stuff as I acquire them. I think I need to get the leather first followed by the pistols and lastly my shotgun. 

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Buy leather to fit your handguns just like you buy shoes to fit your feet.  Soft leather holsters that fit most guns are unsuitable for competition.  Yes, borrow guns as long as you need!

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Boy howdy.  You got a better eye than me if you can tell the difference between a colt and italian clone just by lookin. 

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Just now, Ramblin Gambler said:

Boy howdy.  You got a better eye than me if you can tell the difference between a colt and italian clone just by lookin. 

Colts have a little horsey on them. ;)

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Go to some more matches before you make any decisions. Rugers and Colt/Colt clones feel different to my hands. Try to sample as many as you can before plunking down you money. 
 

Welcome to the game!

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Welcome!!  Glad to hear you had fun.  The Italian guns are ok, if you want to start a fight just say either a Ruger or a SAA is better than the other.  One other thing, have fun, don't worry about speed, making mistakes, or not knowing the difference between a Nevada Sweep and Sweep.  Just have fun, and make friends everything else will follow.

 

Warning If you shoot black you won't go back!

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Wait before you buy a side by side shotgun, being a lefty, you have an advantage if you use a '97.

 

Using the '97 as a left-hander, you grab at least 2 shells (guys with larger hands can grab 4) with your right hand, throw one in, keeping the rest in your palm, shoulder the gun, close the slide, pull trigger, slam the slide back, throw the next shell in, close, fire, repeat as necessary.

 

Shooting them left-handed allows you to watch the shell go into the chamber, and you don't have to move the gun from your shoulder, or twist it, try and load over the top, or anything else that right-handed shooters have to do.  Fewer chances for things to go wrong, and believe me, they will go wrong.

 

I'm right handed, but left eye dominant, learned a long time ago that I can shoot the '97 quite a bit faster left-handed than right-handed.

 

Side by sides are a little harder to shoot left-handed because to open the gun you must push the lever to the right with your thumb which usually requires you to change your grip, while right-handers generally don't have to break their grip to open the gun.

 

Shotgun work is very important if you seek to be competitive.  You may not win anything purely on good shotgun work, but you can definitely lose lose a match because of poor shotgun work.

 

If you don't have a really strong competitive drive, you can ignore what I just wrote and shoot whatever you like best.

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3 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

Boy howdy.  You got a better eye than me if you can tell the difference between a colt and italian clone just by lookin. 

 

You can see the ruger logo on the grip 

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1 hour ago, Howlin Mad Murdock SASS #4037 said:

Wait before you buy a side by side shotgun, being a lefty, you have an advantage if you use a '97.

 

Using the '97 as a left-hander, you grab at least 2 shells (guys with larger hands can grab 4) with your right hand, throw one in, keeping the rest in your palm, shoulder the gun, close the slide, pull trigger, slam the slide back, throw the next shell in, close, fire, repeat as necessary.

 

Shooting them left-handed allows you to watch the shell go into the chamber, and you don't have to move the gun from your shoulder, or twist it, try and load over the top, or anything else that right-handed shooters have to do.  Fewer chances for things to go wrong, and believe me, they will go wrong.

 

I'm right handed, but left eye dominant, learned a long time ago that I can shoot the '97 quite a bit faster left-handed than right-handed.

 

Side by sides are a little harder to shoot left-handed because to open the gun you must push the lever to the right with your thumb which usually requires you to change your grip, while right-handers generally don't have to break their grip to open the gun.

 

Shotgun work is very important if you seek to be competitive.  You may not win anything purely on good shotgun work, but you can definitely lose lose a match because of poor shotgun work.

 

If you don't have a really strong competitive drive, you can ignore what I just wrote and shoot whatever you like best.

 

Interesting. And I thought I'd be at a disadvantage being lefty. I certainly have a competitive side! 

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Welcome to the game, and I agree with Howlin Mad Murdock, I'm a lefty and shoot a 97 left handed and it works great, so don't go buy a sxs until you give the 97 it's due.  The most important aspect is to have fun,  my first match was a train wreck,  I thought I was gonna show them boys how it's done. Well I guess you know how that went,  good thing it was my wife's first shoot also or I would be dead last. But I had a blast and so did she, 4 years later and it is more fun every march.  I like to shoot  SASS Ruger NV 45's it's the cowboy caliber,  yes it cost more , has a bit more recoil than the wife's 38's but I like it. One note the New Vaqureo in 38 is heaver than the 45 buy a few onces. Helps with the recoil but heaver. So far we have put over 4000 round through these guns and not a failure.  So shoot what you like at first then later when you are good shoot what's fast .

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FIRST, I don’t know what you know or don’t know, so please just bear with me.  You don’t need to explain, I’m just throwing information out to consider.  Ask questions here.

 

LISTEN:

         REVOLVERS

I hope that you understand that there is some considerable difference between

RUGER Revolvers

      —  Blackhawk (NO...it you don’t already own Blackhawks, DON’T buy them)

      —  Old Model Vaquero

      —  New Model Vaquero

and
COLT Revolvers

—  Genuine Colt Single Action Army (SAA)

—  Colt type CLONE Single Action Army (SAA)

Further, consider that, among the Colt type clones, there’s the issue of

—  4-click action

versus

—  3-click action


BARREL LENGTH - ask questions, get opinions here.

 

CALIBER

—  MOST Cowboys will recommend .38 Special for several compelling reasons, including reloading costs, recoil, resale value of guns, etc.  (The caliber of the gun will be stamped on each gun’s barrel.  Understand all that.)

— NOTE:  .357 Magnum is a longer version of .38 Special; .38 Special will interchange in the longer .357Mag cylinder, but NOT vice-versa.

 

Whew!  Get those differences understood and decide what you like.  

 

If you buy off the Internet, including GunBroker, the SASS Wire Classifieds, etc., be careful....:mellow:...really

 

Cat Brules

Edited by Cat Brules

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Welcome to the best game ever!  You will get ALL kinds of recommendations from all kinds of folks (including this from myself).  You are going to be deluged with folks biases on what Brand is better than another. The absolute best activity to do at this point is to try everything you can. You will find that one style is better in hand than another. I personally like Colt style revolvers over Ruger but many folks are the reverse. Shotguns - try Double barrels vs ‘97’s.  Each have their handling advantages. Rifles - the same. Try the ‘73, the ‘66 and the Marlins. Each are completely different in how they handle and balance in “YOUR HANDS”.  Try before you buy - it’s worth it. Good Leather (as stated previously) is well worth the investment. A rig that goes soft will cause you a lot of frustration down the road. When you buy - buy what feels right for you - Good luck, have fun and enjoy being a Cowboy - it’s a hoot!

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I remember 5 years ago when I walked up on a cas stage and shot my first scenario with borrowed guns, that was several thousand dollars ago! I still have the first set of match guns, a Marlin cowboy rifle in 44-40, a set of Uberti pistols in .357 and a Stoeger sxs shotgun, and a set of DADs holsters I bought of of eBay. I have since bought a pair of Ruger NM Vaqueros in .357 a slick short stroked Uberti 73 in .357 and another Stoeger sxs for back up. Went from a single stage Lee press to a Dillion sq.deal B And bought many bags of brass,primers, and containers of powder.Then got to buying up cowboy clothes, pants, shirts  boots, hats and all the accouterments that goes along with that part of the game. I won’t go into the 4 different Sharps rifles for long range side matches( an addiction all it’s own), a marlin .357 mag lever action rifle for the pistol/rifle cal.match, lead, molds, melting pots etc. and a new 20x 30 shop to put all this stuff in! Sure you don’t have to jump in as deep as I did but be warned t might happen to you!! Welcome to the greatest sport ever!    SCJ

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Read the rules for equipment, some classes are gun or caliber specific.

Buy good leather, expensive new, reasonable or inexpensive used. I am still using a used rig I paid $150 17 years ago for example (probably $400+ today).

Guns are spendy new, but again, you can run across them with action work (rifles & shotguns) already done at reasonable prices. The '73 replicas are probably the most popular rifle type in SASS. The '66's and Marlin '94's are also good, but you will need to try all three to see what you like and fits you.

Reloading cartridges will save you the most money, shotgun, not so much. The biggest benefit for shotgun is being able to tailor your loads.

Research potential gear as much as you can before you buy and be patient. Being impatient has cost me money.

Best of luck and good shooting.

 

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Thanks guys! 

 

I appreciate all the responses here! 

 

I love reading everyone's opinions and 2 cents. 

 

I will certainly look at the 97 winchester if it works well for a lefty. 

 

As far as ruger VS colt clone... We'll see. I just noticed most shooters in my area shoot 38 special and rugers. Couple shoot Blackhawks. Seemed most were in age group.

 

Theres a evil Roy Ted blocker holster for sale here, but it's slightly out of my budget for the holster. Otherwise I would have gotten it. There is a gentleman named old slapout (sass shooter) that does holsters, bit more affordable so I might go that route. 

 

Absolutely not a cheap hobby. I'll be reloading to save cost. 

 

I think one reason this hobby isn't big as it could be is the cost. It's hard to get in as a new shooter. Luckily it's a friendly sport and people are willing to lend their stuff. 

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Ask at the local clubs, theres probably a local maker that can make something a lot more budget friendly. Might be someone selling a used rig as well.

 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Ask at the local clubs, theres probably a local maker that can make something a lot more budget friendly. Might be someone selling a used rig as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, I've been asking. One local that sells stuff. 

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I was 35 when I started this game also.  There were 2 cowboy clubs within 100 miles of where I lived, and I attended each for about a year before my wife showed any interest... Once she did, it was "Katie bar the door!"  Later this year, it will be 35 years ago...   Welcome!

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It's only expensive to get started. I was in my 30's when I started. I sold some of the guns that sat in my safe and collected dust to get the guns I have now shot more in a year than every other gun I have owned since age 10 combined. 

 

So IMO it saved me money...…...I bought the right stuff and haven't needed to buy anything new for a decade. So if you take the total amount and divide by how long it will last you and how much you will use it it's a DEAL.

 

I spent more for a used old ATV that it cost me to get into SASS...….but you never hear people say it cost to much to buy a used ATV? And even though I do like my 2007 Yamaha Grizzly I have MUCH more fun at the range than I do riding it. 

Edited by Cowboy Junky

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Before you buy anything, go to some more matches. Ask to try out different guns, most everyone will be happy to let you try them out. Offer a few bucks to pay for ammo, although they probably won't accept it. Read the rule books to get an idea of the rules before going. I don't remember who sells a smaller printed version of the book, but you can buy that or just print it out yourself.

 

Most everyone has a rifle, shotgun or pistols they'll sell to you but you need to find out what suits you. The only way to find out is to try before you buy. 

 

The Florida State Championship/Ides of March at the Eustis Gun Club is March 20th and 21st for the main match and the 19th for side matches. I suggest that you come up for one day of the main match to observe and possibly buy some of the guns you are looking for. There will be plenty of guns for purchase.

 

Below is a link to all of the Florida Clubs on Action Shooting Network. There is also plenty of other interesting clubs, blogs, profiles, etc on this website.

 

Good luck and welcome to the best shooting sport around.

 

https://actionshootingnetwork.com/sassfl/

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On 2/22/2020 at 2:27 PM, Roscoe Regulator said:

If you are following the consensus examples, note that most Ruger 38s are 4 5/8" barrels, I believe making it a bit easier to clear a holster.

But....but.....on the eighth day God and Sam Colt said "Let the barrels have a length of at least 7.5 inches.":P

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