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For the first 18 years that I shot Cowboy Action, I used a 100 year old Winchester M97. Towards the end I had 3, 1 to shoot, 1 for a backup and 1 was always in the shop of my '97 smith! About 5 years ago my wife (Burnt Bacon, SASS 93689) casually asked me how much I had spent in the previous 24 months on gunsmith bills. I sheepishly looked her in the eye and said "Yes". Next season I started with a SXS. Anyone who has only spent between $450-$650 on their shotgun, has never competed with an original Winchester M1897!

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I got a 'few' 97, ALL of them are IAC brand.

 

I've had 4 of them PROPERLY tuned by a good smith here in TN and in my 13 years of using

them (Mostly the same 2 all the time), I've yet to have an issue except worn out right side

extractor.

 

The 97 can be a great SG..... but some of them need properly tuned and properly handled..... in other

words, ya gotta run em with some authority.

 

..........Widder

 

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22 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

 ...I'm surprised you don't think that everybody needs to spend at least 30,000.00 on a new truck or they won't be able to get the the shoots properly...

  

 

Where are the new trucks for only $30,000? :D

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New to me! :)Newer than my 2002.

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4 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I got a 'few' 97, ALL of them are IAC brand.

 

I've had 4 of them PROPERLY tuned by a good smith here in TN and in my 13 years of using

them (Mostly the same 2 all the time), I've yet to have an issue except worn out right side

extractor.

 

The 97 can be a great SG..... but some of them need properly tuned and properly handled..... in other

words, ya gotta run em with some authority.

 

..........Widder

 

Authority, or like you hate it. Love my Win. 97's

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

 

Where are the new trucks for only $30,000? :D

They are at the same location where the New Guns are so cheap. Why would you buy a new truck anyway..... are you a Plutocrat? :P  

Edited by Snakebite
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1 hour ago, Snakebite said:

They are at the same location where the New Guns are so cheap. Why would you buy a new truck anyway..... are you a Plutocrat? :P  

New sports car yes.  New truck no.

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Posted (edited)

It would seem to me that the “quality “ of the guns one uses to be competitive is directly related to the level of competition one is competing in.  If a person is proud and happy to win local club match with a $400 shotgun, why spend more? If the person can assess his skill level and commitment to improve, and decide that a “better” shotgun is worth it, then it is justified.

Edited by Dusty Boots
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I see this as much as the desire to own quality in all your equipment. I admit to being a S&W snob in revolvers and Sigs in autos. Lots of great guns from other makers out there, but those are my preferences. When I started in CAS I went in knowing I would probably find out what guns I like and don't like, so I have tried and traded as I have gone. Turns out I love Schofields, so I now have two of those. Got to try out a Uberti 73, fell in love with it, so my faithful old Rossi 92 was traded to help fund the 73. Worked my way through holsters, etc as I have learned. I am lusting after one of the CZ side by sides now, as it is beautiful even though my Stoeger has been reliable. Do I need a different SG at this point? No, but I do enjoy quality, so I will probably wind up with a CZ in the next year or so. What is any person's goal in this sport? Only that person can say what they like and what they can afford. Human nature being what it is, the SG goes to the bottom of the priority list as they aren't as much fun to shoot. I have already had 2 different SGs go through my hands since starting as I didn't like them as well as my current Stoeger.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dusty Boots said:

It would seem to me that the “quality “ of the guns one uses to be competitive is directly related to the level of competition one is competing in.  If a person is proud and happy to win local club match with a $400 shotgun, why spend more? If the person can assess his skill level and commitment to improve, and decide that a “better” shotgun is worth it, then it is justified.

 

Some champions have achieved Top Gun Championship level shooting with a $400 (or less) 97.

Then decided to achieve the same goals with a SxS.   Yes, some of those SxS are much more expensive.

 

Some Championship shooters still use a $400 97 and have decided that there isn't a "better" shotgun.

 

The one thing considered 'common' in both situations is the SxS or the 97 has been 'properly tuned' and

'properly operated'.   One of those is achieved thru skilled craftsmanship.

The other is achieved thru much practice..... A Lot of proper Practice.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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Quality is not necessarily based upon the price paid. Most old SXS shotguns from the 40s, 50s, 60s are a much higher quality gun than most of the cheap imports. I broke the lugs off of two Stoeger coach guns, then tried one of their single trigger upland guns before I finally gave up on them. I've heard people say how good those Upland guns are if tuned up by So and So... well, you can't make a Silk Purse out of a Sous Ear. IMO they are not a quality gun at any price. Sure.. some folks use them for ever and are happy with them. Well good for them... I had my first WR Win using one, the next year a lug broke off in the middle of stage one.  I don't think that there has been a gun made that is better than the Winchester 97 at any price... they have taken the huge amount of abuse that CAS can deliver, and with a little care just keep going. When I started in this game they were available often for $50.... the "Outside" world no longer wanted them. The problem is this... those guns have long since dried up... they are not easily to be found by a new shooter that just wants to get things moving, and is anxious to get his guns and leather and join in the fun. It use to cost less than half of what it does now days to just run out and buy everything, and everything was available at many locations. Flipping Burgers paid $5, now it pay's $15-$20, guns cost 2-3 time as much, and are hard to find. Anyone that refuses to admit that is just not opening their eyes. Telling new folks the truth and then guiding them is the best course of action. Encouraging them to go buy "Cheap" guns will just kill their enthusiasm. How many women have given up because their husbands have bought them some hard to shoot pistol or hard to use rifle that constantly jambs, or a shotgun that won't open. It's so hard for them to shoot that they just don't want to continue. I remember time and again people buying their son or daughter a Cheap Guitar, and then wondering why they never learned to play it... well it was because they are hard to play. Pick up a quality guitar, and it is much easier to play, and you are more likely to play it. Junk is junk.. it's better to drag your feet and buy one quality gun at a time than to go out and buy a whole car load of junk. you will never be happy with it. 

 

Snakebite

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This turned into a real "I hate Stoegers"' discussion. Both my kids have Stoegers, as they are the most available shotgun. In 3 years of shooting shooting as adults they have had no problems with them, so for now, they are good.

   As for myself and my wife, we shoot L.C. Smiths. Nice ole well worn field grade, but they all still lock up like a bank vault, as they say. I did have to re-configure the firing pins so they wouldn't drag on the back of the shells and inhibit opening, and I lengthened the chamber for use with plastic shells, and flared the chamber opening a bit. I am still using the original one I bought in 1999 when I started, but swap out one of the others some of the time just for a change of barrel length. There are a couple of Stevens made SxS's in my safe also, my wife's first shotguns, but they are difficult to get to open completely, so I switched her to an LC. I also have a pair of Husqvarna hammer guns I use when needed. Plus an early Coyote Cap '87, a real Winchester '97 and a used Chinese '97 I haven't shot yet.

   Maybe when I/we get better than the guns I will upgrade. My son is catching up with me, and sometimes beats me on a stage but never on a complete match. I did have to adjust the timing/springs a bit on his Uberti revolvers as he as likes to shoot fast 2-handed and he sometimes over-rotated his cylinder. I may end up buying him Rugers, but they don't come in 44-40. But then, neither did my '72 Opentops, but I remedied that myself.

   Just like there are a multitude of categories in SASS to fit most any shooting style, there are many choices of guns to do the same. We don't all have to have top-end guns, as least not at first, and some, like me , maybe never.

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Posted (edited)

Just never mind, I'm done. 

Edited by Snakebite
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Just now, Snakebite said:

Just never mind, I'm done. 

I don't blame ya... Turned into a "well I've been doing so-n-so for a long time so you're wrong" thread.

 

To me, if you're putting in top dollar into your pistols and rifles, do the same for your shotgun and you'll benefit greatly.

 

Phantom

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32 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

To me, if you're putting in top dollar into your pistols and rifles, do the same for your shotgun and you'll benefit greatly.

 

Phantom

I have to agree with you on this one. 

 

I do believe if you don't have the funds for high end equipment, buy equipment with a good track record for reliability and have fun.

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I think we are to tell people exactly how it is.

 

Firearms are not cheap (inexpensive).  What I mean to say is that, good firearms are not cheap..

 

Cat Brules

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2021 at 9:10 AM, Snakebite said:

Quality is not necessarily based upon the price paid. Most old SXS shotguns from the 40s, 50s, 60s are a much higher quality gun than most of the cheap imports.

 

I will agree with that.   In 2018, I picked up a Parker Trojan for $400.00  (30" F/F, naturally)   Even though the Trojan was the "affordable" Parker, I don't believe you can can get anything better.

Well, except for a higher grade of Parker.  :)

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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I just want to beat my little girl. My friends were getting embarrassed by me getting a whooping every month. 

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3 minutes ago, Michigan Slim said:

I just want to beat my little girl. My friends were getting embarrassed by me getting a whooping every month. 

You know it's not legal, and you'll lose your ability to own guns, to beat anyone...particularly little girls.

 

:mellow:

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Just now, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

You know it's not legal, and you'll lose your ability to own guns, to beat anyone...particularly little girls.

 

:mellow:

What if they need it? 

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Snakebite's OP turned into a discussion of different peoples' CAS expectations.   I recall when I began CAS five years ago, Snakebite mentored me.  Early on he told me, " You need to decide whether you are going to be a COMPETITOR, or just relax and enjoy the shooting as more of a PARTICIPANT.   The CAS tent is a big one -- big enough for both"  Today, especially in reading the posts here, I understand what he meant.   

 

The sport itself is defined in the Shooter's Handbook, and it clearly describes competition.  To play the "Sport", by definition, you are a competitor.   But at the same time, none of the CAS events are invitational contests.  Top competitors work from the same stages and rules as beginners, and in the mix are a lot of folks who are just there for the camaraderie, or to play cowboy and enjoy the fun of shooting with family and friends.  To many it is a mix.  Some try for clean matches, others hone their skills and equipment to the max; fully intending to achieve "the Podium".  All of it really is OK, because "OUR TENT IS BIG".

 

Regarding equipment quality and cost, these are individual choices.  And I've never heard anyone belittled over their choices.  What I have seen is a lot of equipment malfunctions, and many, many offers of use of friends' guns, tools, or help in repairs at the ULT.  But I've also seen the rankings at the end of the day.  There are exceptions, but most often the ranks are topped by experienced folks with quality equipment that is properly smithed, which had no malfunctions during the match.  

 

 So I will reemphasize Snakebite's original point (paraphrased).   

If you desire to be a keen "competitor" in our sport, as it is defined, then you ought to consider making the expenditures for quality equipment, early on,  that will enable you to learn efficiently, compete effectively and suffer fewer train-wrecks and expensive gun problems or replacements.   That includes pistols, rifles, shotguns, leather, ammo, and everything else that affects performance. 

 

On the other hand, if you are satisfied to be a less competitive "participant", just use what you have or can afford and come out to the matches for enjoyment! 

But be aware that many "participants" turn into serious "competitors" as they gain skill and experience.  So do make careful early choices.  Sometimes the cheapest isn't the least expensive choice in the long run.  

  

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i dont slight the cost of a shotgun , i just started with what i had - i spent a bunch on the rifle and revolvers so i thought id conserve a bit till i got more free cash starting up , since ive acquired more , i dont enjoy them less nor think them less significant , i spent time shooting before i invested a lot more into the shotgun tho 

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3 minutes ago, watab kid said:

i dont slight the cost of a shotgun , i just started with what i had - i spent a bunch on the rifle and revolvers so i thought id conserve a bit till i got more free cash starting up , since ive acquired more , i dont enjoy them less nor think them less significant , i spent time shooting before i invested a lot more into the shotgun tho 

Money availability surely is a reality for most of us, and most peoples' initial CAS equipment choices do absolutely have to reflect the family budget.   

 

 I think the OP's purpose here was to provide service and solid experience-based advice to folks starting out, who are faced with making those individual decisions.  It would be a disservice to them not to make them aware of the importance of a reliably functional SG, just as much (if not more so) as the other guns, and to caution them that there are products out on the market that do not have a history of holding up under CAS use/abuse. 

 

Whether or not folks are inclined to make their or family member purchases accordingly is their decision -- and their own business.  Nobody should criticize.   Same for later decisions of whether or not they might benefit by an upgrade.  Some here have not had issues and are very pleased with their equipment, thus they see no need.   Again, it's their informed decision.  

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