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Creeker, SASS #43022

Better Equipment Makes You Better

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I read a lot of posts on the wire - even some that I really don't have a lot of interest in specifically; but I enjoy seeing folks interactions.

 

One thing I often see is, shooters telling others that their choice of equipment is not nearly as important as some others claim.

 

An example: 

X model gun is just as good as Y model gun for most shooters in our game because "somebody" shot the X model gun really fast in a youtube video and "somebody else" won a world championship with it 25 years ago.

 

And if "those somebodies" can do that  with the X gun faster than the average shooter can shoot the Y gun - then obviously the average shooter doesn't need a Y gun because they can't even use the full potential of the so called slower gun.

 

Please stop doing this.

It is a disservice to anyone who might actually take this bad advice to heart.

 

In any activity; certain "some bodies" may be able to take lesser equipment and still out perform you - but so what? 

 

A professional bike racer might be able to trade you his carbon fiber race bike for your Schwinn Beachcomber with fat tires, white wicker basket and shiny chrome bell and then still beat you in a race.

 

So obviously even the Schwinn is faster than you were capable of using it.  And it's true; you may never get the full potential out of a race bike - But the very simple question remains, "On which bike, are YOU faster?"

 

Better equipment makes you better.

 

Use lesser equipment if you want to.

For appearance, for historical significance, for economics - for any reason you choose.

 

But stop telling people better equipment won't improve them because they can't yet make full use of what they already have or because "somebody" is faster than them with lesser equipment.

 

That is simply untrue.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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Well said!

 

And even if you absolutely don't mind about your stage times and don't want to get better: It's just a LOT MORE FUN to shoot well functioning guns, smooth cycling rifles, non-sticking SG hulls etc. :)

 

Equanimous

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Thank you. This was going on a while back regarding out of the box Mirokus 73’s. ‘Some people’ would cite one of our sports best shooters and his times with a Miroku as support.  Yeah, he could run that thing faster than I can run my Harland Wolff Uberti, BUT, the real question should be can I run a stock rifle faster than I can run my slicked up one, and the answer is no.

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4 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

That is simply untrue.

 

Your opinion. 

 

My opinion.  People play this game with different expectations.  I enjoy the old guns. That's what drew me to cowboy action shooting in the first place.  I'm sure I could put less money in bleeding edge modified guns but I wouldn't have the satisfaction of shooting my guns that may well have been used on the frontier. Guns that I have taken from broken derilics to functional guns.

 

1853397404_ColtFssMarlin1889Colt1878.jpg.58611c85f8752ee0d658f5e3a5e09bdb.jpg

 

Colt 1878 10 gauge. Marlin 1889 44WCF,  Colt Frontier Six Shooter in 44WCF made in 1881. I've shot them all in matches.  Did I win?  Not in time but in satisfaction.  

 

People have to play the game within their means.  Not everyone can justify building an ultimate set of competition equipment.   Sometimes they have to start with what they have.  I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from playing the game because their equipment is not up to top competition level. 

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8 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Your opinion. 

 

My opinion.  People play this game with different expectations.  I enjoy the old guns. That's what drew me to cowboy action shooting in the first place.  I'm sure I could put less money in bleeding edge modified guns but I wouldn't have the satisfaction of shooting my guns that may well have been used on the frontier. Guns that I have taken from broken derilics to functional guns.

 

1853397404_ColtFssMarlin1889Colt1878.jpg.58611c85f8752ee0d658f5e3a5e09bdb.jpg

 

Colt 1878 10 gauge. Marlin 1889 44WCF,  Colt Frontier Six Shooter in 44WCF made in 1881. I've shot them all in matches.  Did I win?  Not in time but in satisfaction.  

 

People have to play the game within their means.  Not everyone can justify building an ultimate set of competition equipment.   Sometimes they have to start with what they have.  I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from playing the game because their equipment is not up to top competition level. 

While I have no qualms with what you write, you're really talking apples and oranges here. When someone comes on the wire and asks about a specific piece of equipment, they are 99% of the time looking to improve their times. In these instances the scenario that Creeker puts forth is correct. The better the equipment the better the opportunity to improve ones game. To suggest to that person that the equipment they inquired about was unnecessary to play the game and would not help them is wrong.

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Equipment matters period, no matter if you are a mechanic or a racer get the best you can afford.

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Practice makes you better.   All the slicked up equipment in the world won't make you a top shooter if you don't practice with it.

 

If you just want to shoot the weekend and have fun, better equipment will make the match more fun because you won't struggle with either hard to manipulate or unreliable firearms.  Better equipment, by itself,  won't improve your times much unless you were shooting very poor firearms to start with.

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Your opinion. 

 

My opinion.  People play this game with different expectations.  I enjoy the old guns. That's what drew me to cowboy action shooting in the first place.  I'm sure I could put less money in bleeding edge modified guns but I wouldn't have the satisfaction of shooting my guns that may well have been used on the frontier. Guns that I have taken from broken derilics to functional guns.

 

1853397404_ColtFssMarlin1889Colt1878.jpg.58611c85f8752ee0d658f5e3a5e09bdb.jpg

 

Colt 1878 10 gauge. Marlin 1889 44WCF,  Colt Frontier Six Shooter in 44WCF made in 1881. I've shot them all in matches.  Did I win?  Not in time but in satisfaction.  

 

People have to play the game within their means.  Not everyone can justify building an ultimate set of competition equipment.   Sometimes they have to start with what they have.  I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from playing the game because their equipment is not up to top competition level. 

 

56 minutes ago, Goody, SASS #26190 said:

While I have no qualms with what you write, you're really talking apples and oranges here. When someone comes on the wire and asks about a specific piece of equipment, they are 99% of the time looking to improve their times. In these instances the scenario that Creeker puts forth is correct. The better the equipment the better the opportunity to improve ones game. To suggest to that person that the equipment they inquired about was unnecessary to play the game and would not help them is wrong.

As Goody points out, your statement does not in any way refute what Creeker said.  He's saying that better equipment makes a difference in times.  You're saying you don't care about times.  How does your statement render his a matter of opinion?

 

If he were saying that everyone should buy the best equipment for speed available, then yeah, that would be his opinion.  That's not what he's saying. 

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Better equipment will probably make you faster in terms of your match times.  In that sense better equipment makes you a better competitor.  Equipment won’t make you a “better shooter though.  Only proper training and practice will do that.

 

If you’ve only ever had fully tuned and modified “race guns”, it would be difficult to pick up stock guns and shoot comfortably.  But someone who has become proficient with stock guns and transitioned to “race guns” would likely feel quite comfortable, and faster.

 

Who would be the better shooter?  Depends on quality and quantity of practice and training.  It would also depend on your definition of “better shooter”.

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Buying top notch equipment will not make you a champion. But champions use top notch equipment. 

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Your opinion. 

 

My opinion.  People play this game with different expectations.  I enjoy the old guns. That's what drew me to cowboy action shooting in the first place.  I'm sure I could put less money in bleeding edge modified guns but I wouldn't have the satisfaction of shooting my guns that may well have been used on the frontier. Guns that I have taken from broken derilics to functional guns.

 

1853397404_ColtFssMarlin1889Colt1878.jpg.58611c85f8752ee0d658f5e3a5e09bdb.jpg

 

Colt 1878 10 gauge. Marlin 1889 44WCF,  Colt Frontier Six Shooter in 44WCF made in 1881. I've shot them all in matches.  Did I win?  Not in time but in satisfaction.  

 

 

 

Gorgeous guns!  I'd shoot them!

 

But again, to the original point, as a newbee I'm sure my times would be much better if I had some improvements on my equipment.  Box stock Uberti 1873 rifle, Stoeger Coach with no champhering around the chambers and not even turned off the auto safety.  Jammed rifle rounds and stuck shotgun shells just add to the frustration.

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As far as the speed runs with different rifles. I've always thought that you might be able on a perfect run to shoot equally fast times with a great tuned rifle vs a lesser rifle. For one run. But if you tried 10 times with both rifles the average time would be lower with the better rifle. 

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Sometimes taking the equipment you have and making your own simple "slickingup" will move you to the next level. Learn how to take apart and really clean your guns, look for wear spots that cause drag and friction and smooth those out. Change out springs. Smooth out the shot gun chamber. All simple things with little or no cost

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If someone gets on the wire, especially a newbie, I suggest asking them what their wishes/goals (and limitations for that matter, such as cost) are for CAS and not just assume they have come to it to win "First place" and need speed. Are they drawn to it from a historical perspective?  Or maybe a "Hollywood" angle?  What about just something to do that is less competitive than a shooting sport they came from?  Looking to get a fun thing for the whole family perhaps? Do they have a Mountain man background and want to burn black powder in different guns now?  The list can go on; there can be a number of differing reasons to come to this game and it will change the type of gear one might be interested in obtaining.

I've seen a number of players in my neck of the woods 'run off' over the years by the perception that trying to win is the main reason to play and everything else is secondary/inconsequential...

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1 hour ago, Null N. Void said:

Practice makes you better.   All the slicked up equipment in the world won't make you a top shooter if you don't practice with it.

 

If you just want to shoot the weekend and have fun, better equipment will make the match more fun because you won't struggle with either hard to manipulate or unreliable firearms.  Better equipment, by itself,  won't improve your times much unless you were shooting very poor firearms to start with.

Heres another one.

NO ONE has ever claimed equipment will make you a top shooter.

 

Skill, dedication, technique and practice are all required to become "tops" at anything.

 

But somehow insinuating that top level equipment is NOT a component in top level performance is simply inaccurate.

 

In my bicycle racing example -

The professional doesn't use a Schwinn Beachcomber for a reason. 

The proper equipment is needed as well.

The equipment makes him a better/ faster/ more competitive rider.

 

If YOU wish to ride a Schwinn in the Tour de France - knock yourself out.

But stop telling others that race bikes are over rated and un needed because you saw a really fast guy on a Schwinn once and a long time ago; a Schwinn won the race.

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Sacramento Johnson #6873 said:

If someone gets on the wire, especially a newbie, I suggest asking them what their wishes/goals (and limitations for that matter, such as cost) are for CAS and not just assume they have come to it to win "First place" and need speed. Are they drawn to it from a historical perspective?  Or maybe a "Hollywood" angle?  What about just something to do that is less competitive than a shooting sport they came from?  Looking to get a fun thing for the whole family perhaps? Do they have a Mountain man background and want to burn black powder in different guns now?  The list can go on; there can be a number of differing reasons to come to this game and it will change the type of gear one might be interested in obtaining.

I've seen a number of players in my neck of the woods 'run off' over the years by the perception that trying to win is the main reason to play and everything else is secondary/inconsequential...

All the respect in the world for Sacramento; but yet another red herring.

 

Folks keep throwing out terms, "Champion", "Top Shooter", "First place".

 

Those terms have ZERO to do with my post. 

My post says improved equipment improves performance.

We shoot a timed, scored event.

I know of very few that participate in a timed, scored event and wish to do poorly (even the self proclaimed, "I dont care about the score sheet" shooters want to shoot well).

 

Cost can indeed be a factor; along with desiring to shoot a specific firearm type or model because it has a certain significance to the shooter.

 

But we are a timed, scored competitive shooting event FIRST - not a historical reenactment or social gathering. 

So suggestions about "best" will always trend towards fastest - shooters "run off" by this fact simply failed to understand the game they signed up for.

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Warden, the guns you should could be very, very good.

 

Back when I started, we didn't have what we do you.  I was one of those guys who just had fun during the stage, including singing, yelling at the targets, etc.  A few of us were part of the "entertainment."

 

One of the major concerns of all of us was to finish the match.  We had to continually figure out how to get around "gun glitches."  How we going to get those shells our of SxS.  How were we going to deal with that rifle jam.  Pistols generally worked "fine" but were also subject to early wear.  So we really could not concentrate on doing our best - but doing whatever we could.

Gradually gunsmiths helped us out by figuring ways to make our equipment reliable.  That is a large part of why I started my website to include hints many folks provided.

The top shooters then were good but also had guns that actually worked for the entire match! - Truly amazing!  :D

 

So you do not necessarily have to have the best, but the better you have the more you can concentrate on having fun.  Be that clowning around as I did or  shooting as well as you can.

 

Edited by Marauder SASS #13056
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41 minutes ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

also had guns that actually worked for the entire match! - Truly amazing!  :D

 

 

 

 

Here's the key to a good match!

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I agree with the OP and want to emphasize that smooth guns definitely adds to the fun. Case in point. When my wife started shooting with me seven years ago, I made sure she had the best guns we could afford. She shot better guns than me for a while. If she would have had glitches and problems from the start, she probably wouldn't have continued. She currently shoots a Lassiter prepped 87, a Codymatic 73 and Vaqueros by Boomstick Jay. These guns have given her the confidence that helps her shoot faster. She is definitely not the fastest shooter at the match but she does get to take home more awards than I do. Better equipment does make you better.

Edited by Sixgun Seamus
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I do think that the guns you use can make a difference.  But, is that because some guns are better than others, or is it because I am better with some guns than I am with others?

 

I think it's a mixture of both, with slightly more weight going to the "what works for me" side.

For example, I am noticeably slower with my Buntline, Walker, Dragoon, or what have you than I am with my SAAs.  I am slightly quicker with a 4-3/4" barrel than I am with the 7.5" one.   But if I use my Sheriff's models, I have to actually slow down and aim more carefully to avoid missing.  5.5" seems to work just as well for 4-3/4" for me, but I like the shorter barrels more for personal preference reason.   So there is an example of specific guns doing better than other guns.

For the rifle, there is no doubt about it.   I have and use a Henry, 66, 72, 92, Spencer and Lightning rifles.   I am slowest with the Spencer.   I am slightly better with a 73/66 than I am with a 92.   With the Henry, I'm about the same as a 92, if I have to do the hop.   If I have a spacer, it's still a little slower than 73 due to it's greater weight.   But hands down no doubt about it, I am faster with a Lightning than I am with any lever gun.  I just am.  Is that because the Lightning is a better gun than the 73?  I don't think so.   I just think that I am personally better with it than I am with anything else.

For a shotgun, I am about the same with a 97 as I am with a SxS, and I prefer a 97 for personal reasons.   However, while my use of it is still limited, I feel that I could actually be quicker with an 87 if I were to start using one on a regular basis.  But again, I think that's just because they work better for ME than it being superior to other shotgun options.

I really think it comes down to what works best for you, not what someone else uses.

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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Years back the best guns and gear made little difference. As stated by Maurader, the shooters that had guns and ammo that worked, and hit all their targets won the match. Today it's the fastest shooter that has the least trouble, he/she doesn't always have to be clean.. Target distance, size,  and multiple hit targets have made it into an arms race. Yes, today one must have top notch gear in order to prevail. However, many that have the best equipment will never be capable of attaining top gun status. They have the desire but not the ambition to take advantage of the short stroke, lowered hammers, or lighter loads. Running the guns without a top mental plan and good stage management is no better than having lousy equipment. 

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5 hours ago, Null N. Void said:

Practice makes you better.   All the slicked up equipment in the world won't make you a top shooter if you don't practice with it.

 

If you just want to shoot the weekend and have fun, better equipment will make the match more fun because you won't struggle with either hard to manipulate or unreliable firearms.  Better equipment, by itself,  won't improve your times much unless you were shooting very poor firearms to start with.

 

If you use a variety of that statement it 100% supports Creeker's point.  Practice doesn't make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect.    If you practice with average equipment you'll be able to reach a certain level of proficiency.  As has already been pointed out, that varies from shooter to shooter.  But no matter what level your natural abilities allow you to achieve, at some point you'll plateau due to your equipment.  At that point the only way to improve is to upgrade your equipment. 

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The saying is; an expensive guitar isn't going to make a bad guitar player sound good, but a great guitar player can make a cheap guitar sound great, and a great guitar player can use a great guitar to make angels sing.

Edited by Cholla
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This is an interesting thread, reading this I find myself agreeing with more posts then not agreeing with.  As a fairly new player in the game and on a limited budget I’ve found truth in what @Navy Davey said.  I work on my own guns to keep them running smooth and reliably, but the modifications I’ve made have not only cut down a little on my time, but let me have fun.  Before I chamfered the barrels on my SG it was painful to watch me struggle getting shells in, before I changed to brass hulls shucking was a challenge.  These small improvements make a difference, so I’d agree bigger improvements would probably help, to a certain extent after that it’s practice and consistency.  My one venture into a truly slicked up gun is my Remmington’s, I had them professionally tuned and worked on and it was worth the money.  I shot 6 stages this past weekend and both pistols worked flawlessly and they are a pleasure to shoot which let me enjoy the match.  So better equipment is better all around.

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I absolutely cringe when I see posts like this.

 

When I was just starting, and that has been a while ago based on my practically prehistoric badge number, a "noted" shooter, who is still around, looked at my guns and leather and told me I was never going to win anything with gear like that.  If I wasn't going to buy a '73 in 38 special, get rid of my 45 vaqueros and get some 4 click Colts in 38 special and trade in my stoeger for a 97, and get some quality leather I might as well go home because I would just lose every match and slow down the progress of the match.  I'm NOT kidding you.  I was young and knew nobody there.  It was more than disheartening to meet somebody whom I had heard of before meeting him, and having him tell me to spend a lot of money on new equipment or just give up now.  Lucky I am stubborn.  I simply never went back to that club and have (despite opportunities) never dealt with that cowboy in any manner since.

 

Of course better equipment is better.  I would prefer driving a Ferrari too.  Reliability is more important, in my humble opinion, than a lever so smooth and short thrown that you can cycle it with a hard breath.  It is not necessary to mortgage your house to have firearms that will allow you be in the top 10% of the game... but you may need to mortgage your house to afford the ammo for the practice to get into the top.

 

Just my opinion, I have never won End Of Trail, and you wont see my picture in any ads for guns or ammo.  I am just the much older version of a young shooter who was subjected to the "buy the best or go home" mentality that always seems to remain prevalent. YMMV

 

 

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Good for you @Crazy Gun Barney, SASS #2428 for sticking with it.  People like you described are terrible ambassadors for any sport.  A new shooter should never be discouraged to do the best they can with the equipment they have.  If they stick with it they’ll upgrade as they can, in the meantime we should all help, advise and support new folks.

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The best equipment, the worst equipment, the fastest most nimble shooter, all that means nothing. It is the scorekeeper that controls who wins the match. :P

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46 minutes ago, Crazy Gun Barney, SASS #2428 said:

When I was just starting, and that has been a while ago based on my practically prehistoric badge number, a "noted" shooter, who is still around, looked at my guns and leather and told me I was never going to win anything with gear like that.  If I wasn't going to buy a '73 in 38 special, get rid of my 45 vaqueros and get some 4 click Colts in 38 special and trade in my stoeger for a 97, and get some quality leather I might as well go home because I would just lose every match and slow down the progress of the match.  I'm NOT kidding you. 

 

I had nearly the same experience.   One of the best and experienced shooters gave me a list of guns, caliber,  who to slick them up. Leather maker and style. Grips on pistols.  On and on. "Or you won't have fun.". Added to the end of the shopping list - everything she was shooting.  I listened and acknowledged and thanked her.  

 

The next match I showed up with what I had from the safe.  An antique Marlin 1894 25-20WCF,  a tired second generation Colt SAA in 45Colt,  a very early Cattleman 45Colt with adjustable sights, a Stevens 5100 12 gauge that I inherited from my dad.  I used 2 Tom Threepersons style right hand holsters - 1 strong side, one crossdraw.  I got a few giggles because I strung the cowboy belt through the loops in my blue jeans with the holsters. 

 

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A dedicated competitor will benefit much more from top notch equipment than a marginal competitor who shows up only once a month to compete in a local club match.  Money spent on practice will take you much further than money spent on equipment.  This sport becomes seriously expensive.  Spend money wisely.  Buy equipment that can grow as you skill level grows.

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1 hour ago, Crazy Gun Barney, SASS #2428 said:

I absolutely cringe when I see posts like this.

 

When I was just starting, and that has been a while ago based on my practically prehistoric badge number, a "noted" shooter, who is still around, looked at my guns and leather and told me I was never going to win anything with gear like that.  If I wasn't going to buy a '73 in 38 special, get rid of my 45 vaqueros and get some 4 click Colts in 38 special and trade in my stoeger for a 97, and get some quality leather I might as well go home because I would just lose every match and slow down the progress of the match.  I'm NOT kidding you.  I was young and knew nobody there.  It was more than disheartening to meet somebody whom I had heard of before meeting him, and having him tell me to spend a lot of money on new equipment or just give up now.  Lucky I am stubborn.  I simply never went back to that club and have (despite opportunities) never dealt with that cowboy in any manner since.

 

Of course better equipment is better.  I would prefer driving a Ferrari too.  Reliability is more important, in my humble opinion, than a lever so smooth and short thrown that you can cycle it with a hard breath.  It is not necessary to mortgage your house to have firearms that will allow you be in the top 10% of the game... but you may need to mortgage your house to afford the ammo for the practice to get into the top.

 

Just my opinion, I have never won End Of Trail, and you wont see my picture in any ads for guns or ammo.  I am just the much older version of a young shooter who was subjected to the "buy the best or go home" mentality that always seems to remain prevalent. YMMV

 

 

That is so sad.  I'm sure the shooter was trying to help, but evidently trying too hard!

 

And to leave the impression of get "better equipment" or go home is never what we ever want to say.  It is so much better to let folks have fun and encourage them.  That sometimes means having them considered getting their equipment tuned a bit better, but only reduce any frustration and increase their fun. 

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I agree with some of the post on this thread..... :D

 

Good topic, Jedi Creeker.

 

..........Widder

 

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"...; but I enjoy seeing folks interactions...." 

 

thats what it is all about , some of us can afford the very best , some choose to go with what we love , no need to TELL anyone what to post , we give what we believe or live , let the reader choose what to follow of the info provided , this was never meant to be a forum to make the best shooters as much as to share what we love about this great venue , YOU dont know the newbys intent in joining let them sort it out as all of us do - just tell what you think is best and let them decide , too much telling others how to think , act , live going on as it is , 

 

contribute your thoughts , ill never argue with what you believe is best , i dont know you/your ability/your talent/ intent , but i respect it ,  i suspect it exceeds mine in winning the game , but you cant tell me that i cant play it my own way or say it as i see it , OR share my views of it , 

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<rant>

This is not a cheap sport to get into. There is not really even a clear path from other sports.

 

I went from Steel Challenge to Bug Gun/IDPA to 3 Gun in logical steps. The equipment all carries forward. The skills all carry forward. The rules generally carry forward.

 

SASS? Pony up some serious bucks out of the gate. Sure you can borrow a few guns in the beginning but at some point you have to pony up.

 

I'm in about 5 large at this point, with more to come. And 5 large was my budget. I did buy a few items beyond what I would consider the minimum, and that is because I wanted them.

 

Still not bought reloading equipment. I can't afford this sport if I don't load my own.

 

I can't help but wonder if I am one of the people referenced in the OP, one of those who is seen as not in support of "the best."

 

If I am, maybe I was mis-read or maybe I am mis-reading the post. But here we are.

 

So to hopefully clear the air if I am one of the referenced individuals... Yes, better equipment will make you (and me) faster. But if the best is required just to get started, I will never get started. The budget would have to be at least 10 large in that case.

 

So let's make a close look at some of my prior choices...

 

Shotgun. I found a Stoeger already slicked for about $500. It replaced my lady's SxS which I had to break over my knee to open up. I could have slicked up the original gun, but the effort was not worth it. And clearly, breaking the gun open over the knee is not competitive and not enjoyable. I have shot a wonderful SKB, with gifted ammo. Yes, that is a bit faster than the Stoeger. The Stoeger is a lot faster than the original SxS. But not ready to leave the topic of the shotgun....

 

Ammo... 3 Gun requires quite a bit of energy to knock down targets. Fiochi fits the bill for that sport. That is slow in SASS, simply way too much recoil. Winchester AA featherweights do better. But hand loads are even better.

 

So for shotgun, I am better off spending $500 on the gun and putting some money into loading ammo than spending $1,200 on an SKB... And not loading my own ammo. I would be faster adding another $700 to the budget and getting the SKB and loading my own ammo but dang I want to have some fun shooting instead of saving for getting into the sport someday. So, maybe someday I will get an SKB and I will do so when I hit the limit on speed I can get out of my Stoeger. The original SxS? It was frustrating to run.

 

Revolvers. I bought a used set of Uberti Cattlemen slicked by Taylor. They are not short stroked, but they work well. Again, faster than I am at this time. I could easily spend double what these cost to get the ultimate in performance. I can't afford it. What I can say is they do not frustrate me. I don't doubt I would run faster with pair that cost double, but I would not run twice as fast. Revolvers require leather, so let's consider my history with that.

 

I got an inexpensive rig. Holstering required two hands, one to pinch the mouth open and the other to insert the revolver. A Mernickle starter rig at $300 cost about 3 times the initial rig. That saves seconds on each stage! Yes, quality equates to speed. My new rig does not have aluminum rimmed mouths but I can insert revolvers with the shooting hand. If I spend twice as much, I can pick up a few more tenths per stage. Pinching the holster was frustrating! I'll give it a year or so to decide what I really want in leather before I pony up twice as much for the smaller gain (aluminum reinforced mouths). And this is me taking the advice of some excellent local holster makers; great pards who rather than making a quick buck off me actually want to see me succeed. The conchos are cool too but they add no speed.

 

Rifle. Yes, I went for the Miroku 1873. Oil finish instead of poly so more repairable. And upgraded walnut and color case hardened finish. It's purty. I could have got a slicked Uberti for what I paid, and except for the lever safety spring it is faster than I am. I can fix the spring. I can smooth it a bit. Yes, I can hear the angels sing when cycling a professionally slicked Uberti; but I like my Winchester and I'm going to shoot the snot out of it.

 

There is another reason I picked this rifle. It was a Shot Show special and CoViD prevented me from going to see it in person. And I found one on GunBroker. And one more reason... My SASS Alias. John Kloehr had a 24" Winchester 1873. Not an Uberti. Want faster? a short rifle/carbine is more maneuverable, I gave that up for the romance of this sport.

 

This choice means I do not have a lot of aftermarket support, not a lot of 'smiths who can bring out the angel song buried in it. But I think I can make it as fast as I can run it.

 

One more thing if you really want to go fast. .38 Special. You have to run .38 Special. All the fast shooters do. I'm running .44 Russian in my revolvers and .44-40 in my rifle (John Kloehr's rifle was .44-40). And I will reload with BP (sub) when I have collected enough brass to do so. Because I am doing all of this for fun. And the romance of the Old West (as portrayed in movies).

 

I'm never going to be a world-class shooter, I'm not going to win EOT. I'm just not going to ever be that good. But I am going to have fun. Lots of fun.

 

The amount of fun I expect is worth about the 5 large I'm putting into it, making it 10 large would not double my fun. It would increase it some but not double it.


For new shooters reading this thread, consider your skill level. If you are going to run a minute plus per stage, you will probably run a minute plus no matter what equipment you buy. Like others on this forum have said, borrow at first to find out the basics. Then start getting gear.

 

If you can afford the best, go for it. If you find you shoot just fine at a lower price point, do that. If some item of your equipment is frustrating, upgrade that item as soon as you can.

 

And don't focus on speed alone. If you want just speed, go to Steel Challenge and game the hell out of it with race guns and custom ammo and red dots and competition holsters. You will spend about the same amount of money. I shoot my daily carry gun in Steel Challenge, and run middle of the pack; other than ammo, and entry fees, it really cost nothing for me to participate.

 

Get into SASS for fun, the cost of entry is too high to do so for any other reason. And you will end up frustrated. I have found this sport to be mostly a social gathering interrupted by periodic gunfire.

 

Yes, I would run (a little) faster with an SKB. Ruger Vaqueros with Bisley hammers and stroke kits would also make me (a little) faster.  And a fully tuned Uberti 1873 would do the same. And leather with aluminum reinforced mouths could pick me up a few more tenths too.

 

For those getting started, learning what minimum equipment is worth buying if we can not afford the best is crucial information! More important than what is the best equipment for the absolute best times possible is to know the minimum for an individual skill level to run reliably, safely, consistently, and enjoyably.

 

Equipment that frustrates reduces fun. Equipment that removes seconds from total time reduces frustration and reduces time. Equipment that reduces total time by a few more tenths of seconds is expensive and many (including me) can not afford it. Well, not until that is the limit I am running in to. Then I'll pony up for the best.

 

Until then, if someone thinks I'm holding up the posse, they should get there and register before me so they can shoot before I do. And after I shoot, I'll be grinning in their face. Because I'm here to have fun.

</rant>

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12 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

So to hopefully clear the air if I am one of the referenced individuals... Yes, better equipment will make you (and me) faster. But if the best is required just to get started, I will never get started.

A Stoeger is about $500 give or take.

 

An SKB is about $1,200 give or take.

 

I have a hard time finding the SKB to be $700 better. It is better, no argument, but not that much better; not at the speeds I shoot.

 

CD? CZ? BSS? No experience so no opinion, but I would look at the price of each compared to a Stoeger or SKB. 'Cuz the Stoeger (with basic slicking) does hold up and it is as fast as I am and I'm not made of gold.

 

John, first I don't think Creeker is telling anyone they have to buy the latest and greatest to get into this sport. In my opinion he is making reference to quotes such as yours, from a post underlined above, where a shooter asked about a worthy replacement for an SKB. He is asking if there is anything that would be as good as an SKB, not why he shouldn't pay $700 more for one gun over another. 

 

I, like many people started with what I could afford and took many years before I could upgrade much and I think everyone should start with what they can afford. But if they ask questions about what is better I'll give them my opinion and not tell them they aren't fast enough to move up.

 

Maybe I'm totally miss-reading your point and if so I apologize.

 

Randy

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