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Fire N Iron

Guns for Buckaroos!

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Hello Everyone, Fire N Iron here. One of my greatest excitements about getting into CAS is the fact that my 11 yr old boy is very excited to do it with me. He loved Winter Range this year and got to shoot a Ruger Wrangler.

As we consider guns for him, I have some questions for y’all. He has been shooting .22s since he was 5 yrs old. He is currently comfortable shooting a Sig SP2022 9mm (my wife’s) and does not mind the recoil. While I know he can shoot .22 as a Buckaroo, I think he would do fine with something a bit bigger. Does it make sense to go for a .38 right off the bat since he can handle it (especially with light loads)?  I understand he will only be able to shoot .22s until he is 13.
I’m also curious about the size of the pistol. He really liked the Taylor Stallion he held at the Taylor tent at WR.  He also likes my vaquero. Any reason not to have a younger shooter use a little bit larger gun if they are comfortable handling and shooting it? I’m a little concerned about how it would go over a longer day shooting multiple stages.

For those of you with experience with kiddos and CAS, what are your thoughts? Anyone have recommendations on guns to consider?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Hope you are having an excellent Friday!

-Fire N Iron

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If he's comfortable shooting factory 9mm ammo I couldn't imagine he'd have any trouble shooting cowboy loads in a 38. If he's capable may as well get him the guns he can use for a life time rather than having to buy new ones in 2 years. That's my take on it. My kids never had an interest in sass though.

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My two younger boys have shot off and on for quite a while. More off than on lately.

 

I think you’re probably correct. 38’s shouldn’t be a problem for your son. We’ve gone two ways, both with equal success. We’ve used a set of Uberti Lightnings, which I believe are the same size as the Stallion but with birds head grips. We’ve also used Ruger Single Sixes in 32 H&R Magnum.

 

If I was going to shoot either pair I would choose the Rugers, but that’s me. The kids like them both.

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Our son started at age 4 with cap-guns, by 6 he was shooting ..22's /38's and light 12 gauge shotshells, un-assisted,  by 8 he was all .38's and by 14 he wanted 45's but we held him off a few more years. I would not hesitate to get your boy going on .38's if he likes them. .22's to get them hooked on the fun, after that it depends on the individual. We always waited a good while after he showed interest and ability before we upgraded his guns. In other words, we kind of made him work for it, we felt he appreciated it more that way. 

 

Doc Nelson

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My daughters shot with me for several years.  For a few years I had two daughters shooting.   From a different point of view it was sure nice to come home and only reload for one person instead of three.   For 5 or 6 years it did save some money because I did already have the guns.   I added a 410 stoeger,  that was a big mistake,  Introduced the 97 and a stock that fit and they really took off and enjoyed the shotgun.   Bullett 19707 

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Probably Uberti Colt style revolvers.  .357mag/.38Special, with short barrels.  Longer barrels will be easier to aim (likely, fewer misses).  And, 45’s will have a slightly lighter weight barrel.  Point being, the Colt design is smaller, and will be a lot easier for a kid to handle.....that’s the way I would go.

 

For a rifle, I would get him the shortest barreled .38 caliber, ‘73 I could get (magazine tube must be able to take 10 rounds), with a lighter weight round barrel (not octagon).  I’d have the stock cut down and the butt plate altered to fit.  

 

For a shotgun, I’d just get a cut down 20” Win97 12gauge have the stock cut down an a plastic butt plate fitted.  I would handload the 12gauge shells with a very light load.  Anything bigger than a .410 (in my opinion) isn’t likely to offer a recoil much different than a 12 gauge.  BUT, a downloaded 12 gauge shell is something any kid can handle.
 

Besides, the pistols, the ’73 short-barreled, shortened-stock rifle, and the cut-down 20”, shotgun are the same weapons everyone else is using, which is (mentally) a significant thing for a kid.

 

Thats what I would do, anyway.  When I was 10 years old, I was shooting the M1 .30-06 US Military rifle (and the smaller M1 carbine) quite a bit on Army ranges, firing Military ammo.  The significant factor for me was to seat the rifle properly to my shoulder.  Consider that when you decide (yes/no) on the kid’s shotgun.  He can handle the cut-down shotgun with full load shells, BUT, if you handload lighter loaded shells, as long as the kid shoulders the weapon properly, he will be okay.  
Think about it that way.

 

Cat Brules

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6 hours ago, Fire N Iron said:

... Hope you are having an excellent Friday!

-Fire N Iron

 

I have no kids, but I had an excellent Friday.  Thanks!

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I have 2 Young Guns now, but they have been shooting for several years.  My question on him shooting the 9, is it just a few rounds or a mag,  or is it shooting until you are out of ammo.  A little recoil is fun for a few rounds, but 60 or so may make a very long day.  A slicked up 73 is a great rifle, but weighs a lot more than a Henry .22.  I had Widder Slick up our Henrys,  they can be Very fast.   My personal experience with the Stoger 410 is not so great.  Good gun, but hard to load 2 smoothly and hard to shuck, an empty 410 doesn't  have much mass to shuck with.  Tried loading brass hull for it with only limited success.  Then the kid tried a cut down 97 and has never looked back.

If I can help with anything, please let me know.  Having my 2 boys shooting with me is something that I cherish.  For the most part, they run better guns than I do, but if they are shooting with me, what else matters.

VV

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Grandson #1 shot .45 pistols from the get-go; I think the rifle was .38 (just like Granddad's).  Grandson #2 had .22's.

I may have reported this before but it's too good to let go:  Actual conversation I overheard - G#1 well, I shoot .45's.  G#2:  yeah, but mine are Colts.

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Good info above.

 

A plus for getting him a nice Henry lever .22 is that its a fun gun to shoot and practice with

even as an adult....... and cheap to shoot with plenty of ammo available at this time.

 

They also come in youth models with slightly shorter stocks and barrel lengths.

I think their website is:  Henryusa.com

 

Because I have modified many of them, more adults are having their Henry's set up with the

'Soft Stroke' (and Slater's trigger mod) mod than those for Buckaroos.  But they also enhance

the shootability of our younger shooters and those small in size. 

If you want more info on those, feel free to email me at:  widder1894@icloud.com

 

Have a good day.

 

..........Widder

 

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Plus 1 to Widder and the Henry for buckaroos. I just got mine back from Widder and now I’m thinking of switching to buckaroo category. That rifle is really sweet. I can’t recommend it enough. It comes already pretty smooth, or so I thought, but it was a bit tough for my 7 year old to lever, both in force needed and length of stroke. He just tried the Widder mods yesterday and it’s a big difference for him. He can easily lever it and not move off target. 

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I shot my first match in March 1999 just before my 12th birthday.  My uncle Mal Pais Mike set me up with a Rossi 92 in 357, one ruger 3 screw black hawk, one ruger new model Black Hawk (both in 357) and a stoeger 20 gauge double.  At that point I had been shooting since age four. I had a scrawny 6th grader  frame.  

 

To the best of my recollection I had no problem with 357 125 grain cowboy loads. Double was a bit of a pain point, 20 gauge federal shucked fine bu kicked harder than double As.  I switched to a 98 in 12 gauge and sg shooting became better/more enjoyable/I shot faster stages.

 

Unless their is younger shooter following to justify a set of .22s, go for the .38 and light 12 gauge loads.

 

I have a 6 year old I will get started in two years or so, she has a brother 2 years the jr. I might get into some 22s but if they were older and demonstrated competencies like your boy, I’d go .38.

 

Just my mileage.

 

Brim

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On 3/6/2020 at 5:50 PM, Fire N Iron said:

I understand he will only be able to shoot .22s until he is 13.

SASS rules allow Buckaroo shooters to use .22s and small bore shotguns but don't mandate it.

Is there a contrary local club rule or state law in play?

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1 hour ago, Abe E.S. Corpus SASS #87667 said:

SASS rules allow Buckaroo shooters to use .22s and small bore shotguns but don't mandate it.

Is there a contrary local club rule or state law in play?

I think he means 22’s are allowed until kid turns 14. Not that it’s mandated to use 22’s before then. 

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Light loaded 12 gauge shotgun has less recoil than a .410. Unless you absolutely WANT a .410, go with a 12.

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I learned from a pard that had his son shoot hot 45's starting when he was smaller.  By the time he was in his mid-teens, he began having wrist and hand troubles.  Such trouble is normally permanent.

 

Youngsters' bones are still forming and they should not be over stressed if you wish to avoid long-term damage.

So if he can shoot 38's, great - but make certain they are light 38's  With a reasonable weight gun and light loads it will be only slightly less stress than 22s.  One advantage of the 38's is they can be tuned to be lighter actions than a 22 since the rim-fire guns cannot be tuned a lightly as a good 32/38 center-fire.

 

As Lorelei and others have said, the light 410 shotguns can kick as much or more than a slightly heavier 12 gauge with light loads.  If you buy commercial, you will want the low noise-low recoil.  If you reloads, you can go even lighter and work well.  Sometimes the worst case is a single-barrel gun is so much lighter and has more felt recoil.

 

So before you buy (if you have not), as others have said, let him try a whole match with the 38's and see how well he can handle an entire match.

 

And finally, some kids are ready and safe at a young age while others need a little more time to mature - especially for the length of an entire match.  Great kids can still need a little more time.  So discuss with them and watch them. If they get tired, etc,  don't force or encourage them to finish.  Let them stop when it is not as much fun or safety is compromised.

 

Glad you and yours are eager to start!  :D

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On 3/6/2020 at 3:50 PM, Fire N Iron said:

Hello Everyone, Fire N Iron here. One of my greatest excitements about getting into CAS is the fact that my 11 yr old boy is very excited to do it with me. He loved Winter Range this year and got to shoot a Ruger Wrangler.

As we consider guns for him, I have some questions for y’all. He has been shooting .22s since he was 5 yrs old. He is currently comfortable shooting a Sig SP2022 9mm (my wife’s) and does not mind the recoil. While I know he can shoot .22 as a Buckaroo, I think he would do fine with something a bit bigger. Does it make sense to go for a .38 right off the bat since he can handle it (especially with light loads)?  I understand he will only be able to shoot .22s until he is 13.
I’m also curious about the size of the pistol. He really liked the Taylor Stallion he held at the Taylor tent at WR.  He also likes my vaquero. Any reason not to have a younger shooter use a little bit larger gun if they are comfortable handling and shooting it? I’m a little concerned about how it would go over a longer day shooting multiple stages.

For those of you with experience with kiddos and CAS, what are your thoughts? Anyone have recommendations on guns to consider?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Hope you are having an excellent Friday!

-Fire N Iron

Those Taylor Stallions are fantastic. I have four of them with action jobs and the one pair I use has SBH hammers and all are 4 5/8" barrel's. I shoot .38 special  in these & very accurate & feel great. Can't go wrong with them pilgrim.

 

Jackrabbit Joe #414

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If you possibly can, discuss this with Missouri Traveler, who is Missouri Lefty’s dad, and Colt Faro, who is Matt Black’s dad, and Kirk James who is Cody James’s dad. These young men have been beating up on the rest of us from an early age so those fathers obviously did a good job of getting their sons into SASS competition. 

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Her first year, my daughter shot Colt Frontier Scouts, a Henry youth .22, and a Stevens 311 .410. Next year, it was a pair of 3 1/2" .38 Model P Jr.s, a very slick Rossi '92 .357 carbine, and a 20g 311. The short sight radius of the little Model P Jr's was a problem, so I replaced them with another set with 5 1/2" bbls. I could never get her away from that 20g 311. :lol:

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I was so proud of my Widder soft-stroke Henry, I ordered another one from Slater for my daughter Rowdy Riley. It's slickern snot on a door knob. I'm getting her a set of them Wranglers to see how they work out too.

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this is eye opening - ive been trying to get my grandkids to shoot with me - i bought 22s and 410 before they were born , id like to start them with 45s and 38s as well as 12s depending on what they like , they grow up too quick to hold them back when they have already shown a preference , 

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Cody James started at 10 years old.  It took a few matches for him to know what he wanted to shoot thanks to many Yavapai Rangers letting him try their firearms.  Started with two 5 1/2 . 357 Ruger Vaquero's  (thanks to Santa), a Uberti 73 cut to 19 inches in same caliber and a 12 gauge SKB.  Cody was average size for a ten year old and enjoyed shooting the higher calibers.   SASS Kicker started at 13 and had no problems with the weight of the firearms and calibers.  All kids are different and you want to make sure they feel comfortable with the firearms before you start purchasing.  Have fun and enjoy this incredible sport together as a family.

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On 3/6/2020 at 10:19 PM, Volga Vigilante said:

I have 2 Young Guns now, but they have been shooting for several years.  My question on him shooting the 9, is it just a few rounds or a mag,  or is it shooting until you are out of ammo.  A little recoil is fun for a few rounds, but 60 or so may make a very long day.  A slicked up 73 is a great rifle, but weighs a lot more than a Henry .22.  I had Widder Slick up our Henrys,  they can be Very fast.   My personal experience with the Stoger 410 is not so great.  Good gun, but hard to load 2 smoothly and hard to shuck, an empty 410 doesn't  have much mass to shuck with.  Tried loading brass hull for it with only limited success.  Then the kid tried a cut down 97 and has never looked back.

If I can help with anything, please let me know.  Having my 2 boys shooting with me is something that I cherish.  For the most part, they run better guns than I do, but if they are shooting with me, what else matters.

VV


Get the kid(s) used to loading their own magazines.  Make them count the rounds going in a weapon or magazine.....you double check that, then reload for them.

 

Then, when they shoot, teach them to mentally count the rounds fired...every time.  Interrupt their shooting and check how many is left.  They’ll learn to get it right.  That’s very important.  It’s all about firearms safety.

 

Cat Brules

 

 

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I totally agree with a youngster starting out with lightly loaded 38s if they can handle revolvers comfortably. The open top and conversion pattern revolvers are lighter than the piece maker and vaquero pistols and may be appealing. A 66 or 73 Trapper in 38 with a shortened stock is incredibly handy and easy to maneuver. A 12gauge double with a correct length of pull and light loads is very hard to beat. They seem to eject empty’s much better than 410s. 

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31 minutes ago, Lead Monger said:

I totally agree with a youngster starting out with lightly loaded 38s if they can handle revolvers comfortably. The open top and conversion pattern revolvers are lighter than the piece maker and vaquero pistols and may be appealing. A 66 or 73 Trapper in 38 with a shortened stock is incredibly handy and easy to maneuver. A 12gauge double with a correct length of pull and light loads is very hard to beat. They seem to eject empty’s much better than 410s. 

“Piece maker”? I don’t know why, but that made me laugh. It’s probably a more accurate description than the correct version now that I think about it. 

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I always thought “strap pistol” was good for a raised eyebrow. Peacemaker, if my auto correct will allow it.

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I was not yet 12 years old when my Dad decided to give me a shooting lesson.   We were at the old family farm where my Grandmother grew up, and he took me and my brother off to a field somewhere to teach us to shoot.   His pistol of choice: a third generation Colt SAA with a 4-3/4" barrel in .45 Colt, loaded with factory ammo.

 

He had me grip the gun with both hands, then he wrapped his hands around mine.   I fired the first shot and said words to the effect, "I can handle the recoil.  Can you put your fingers in my ears?"  (It was the 70's)  

That's how I learned the importance of earplugs.

 

Then he repeated the process with my 2 years younger brother.  I can't remember clearly, but I think he held his hands through the entire 5 shots.   He then fired off 5 himself, one handed, "outlaw" style.   It was fun.

 

And it's why I will always cherish this...

 

163575841_454-34DadsColt.thumb.JPG.75ae8df79616bfc2eb8f5342fc831478.JPG

 

Moral of the story; if I can handle full power .45's at such a young age, your son should be able to handle .38's with no problem.   Let him try something bigger too, just to see if he likes it.  

 

Good luck.

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Hey everyone! Great info. I really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. I’ll let y’all know what he ends up going with. I think we’ll shoot a few more different options before we “pull the trigger”.... sorry, terrible pun.:rolleyes:

This is such a great forum! 

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