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Which Caliber would you Shoot?


Rip Snorter

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A number of years ago,  figured I wouldn't be shooting SASS anymore so got rid of a few SASS guns.  Just got a CZ Coach Gun in 12, which will be fine once I slick it up a bit.  I used to shoot 45, but no longer have the Rossi '92 used then.  Thinking of an 1860 or 1873 which would, I think, also let me shoot Classic. So far I haven't found one, and anyway having just bought the shotgun, a stretch.  Other possibilities given a purchase or two or three in the future when funds permit, would be .38 /357 or 38-40  Not into gaming, though my pistols have been slicked up a bit. recoil not a problem.  I haven't even factored in "going to the dark side" probably not a real possibility.  I also haven't thought a lot about costumes, all of which are still in the closet.  I went back and forth between Hollywood and something more traditional.  Pretty sure what I wear everyday would qualify for something.  Hints? Suggestions?

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If classic cowboy is your destination you'll have to have a 40cal or larger for that category. But if you're not going that direction I'd go with 38/357 for the cost. Much cheaper to shoot. I personally shoot 44/40 because I shoot black powder. 

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A lot depends on what Category/Categories you might want to shoot?  As mentioned for Classic Cowboy you’ll have to have .40 cal. or larger, an 1873 or earlier rifle, a hammered or lever shotgun and holsters where part of the revolver grips are above the top of the belt and the appropriate costuming. If you also want to shoot B-Western you could use the same guns except for the rifle. You would also have to have a different holster rig and meet the separate costuming requirements. If you have no intention of shooting Classic Cowboy I’d shoot .38 Special for the economy of it. 
 

Randy

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12 minutes ago, Randy Saint Eagle, SASS # 64903 said:

A lot depends on what Category/Categories you might want to shoot?  As mentioned for Classic Cowboy you’ll have to have .40 cal. or larger, an 1873 or earlier rifle, a hammered or lever shotgun and holsters where part of the revolver grips are above the top of the belt and the appropriate costuming. If you also want to shoot B-Western you could use the same guns except for the rifle. You would also have to have a different holster rig and meet the separate costuming requirements. If you have no intention of shooting Classic Cowboy I’d shoot .38 Special for the economy of it. 
 

Randy

Upgrading  or building leather is the easy part, I "roll my own."  Imposing because of yor position - I have a design in mind and prototype in process for an improved add on drop loop.  When it is done, where would I submit it for approval? Thanks! 

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17 minutes ago, Rip Snorter said:

Upgrading  or building leather is the easy part, I "roll my own."  Imposing because of yor position - I have a design in mind and prototype in process for an improved add on drop loop.  When it is done, where would I submit it for approval? Thanks! 

I think any gear requesting a rule change to be legal would have to go before the ROC, Pale Wolf may reply. For Classic Cowboy part of the grip has to be above the belt holding the holsters, for B-Western the entire grip has to be below the top of the belt. For Age-Based Categories either is fine.

 

 Randy 

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9 minutes ago, Randy Saint Eagle, SASS # 64903 said:

If you do your own leather it would be easy enough to make 2 sets of holsters and use the same belt if you wanted to shoot Classic Cowboy and B-Western.

 

 Randy 

You might guess I have a pile of leather.  What I wanted to do was upgrade my current Hollywood set as a stop gap in respect to current rules.  Maybe I "got away with it" in the past - I was never a top competitor even at club level.  My gun butts were not low enough.  My gadget will work with any of my belts and on the surface meets the rules.  At least one of the well known gun leather makers has a simpler similar one, can't recall which .  I will be making a full Buscadero as well, though I may not have that done by early warm weather, if I am going to spend the time, effort, and materials, I want it to be the best work I can do.  Carving or tooling tries my patience, and I tend to rush!

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1 hour ago, Rip Snorter said:

You might guess I have a pile of leather.  What I wanted to do was upgrade my current Hollywood set as a stop gap in respect to current rules.  Maybe I "got away with it" in the past - I was never a top competitor even at club level.  My gun butts were not low enough.  My gadget will work with any of my belts and on the surface meets the rules.  At least one of the well known gun leather makers has a simpler similar one, can't recall which .  I will be making a full Buscadero as well, though I may not have that done by early warm weather, if I am going to spend the time, effort, and materials, I want it to be the best work I can do.  Carving or tooling tries my patience, and I tend to rush!

When I started shooting B-Western, I used a Buscadero rig but my weight tended to fluctuate from summer to winter and that changes the position of the holsters so I eventually changed to drop loop holsters on a straight belt. I now shoot Silver Senior Duelist but my current rig is still B-Western legal.

 

 Randy 

 

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1 hour ago, Randy Saint Eagle, SASS # 64903 said:

When I started shooting B-Western, I used a Buscadero rig but my weight tended to fluctuate from summer to winter and that changes the position of the holsters so I eventually changed to drop loop holsters on a straight belt. I now shoot Silver Senior Duelist but my current rig is still B-Western legal.

 

 Randy 

 

My weight stays pretty constant as a geezer!  Haven't quit processed all of that in regard to what I'll shoot at as a Cattle Baron! :rolleyes:

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you dont explain why you went away or what has changed to allow your return , it might make a difference in our response , but lacking that i guess as a smokeless shooter of 45colt and 38spcl , id recommend starting back up with 38s to go for the long run , 

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8 hours ago, Rip Snorter said:

My weight stays pretty constant as a geezer!  Haven't quit processed all of that in regard to what I'll shoot at as a Cattle Baron! :rolleyes:

PLX post pictures of what you are making in holster mods for all of us to see.

OLG 

 

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I first shot a CAS match in 1991, and at the time my gear consisted of a Ruger Blackhawk .44 Magnum and a Army-Jager Dakota in .45 Colt, and the rest of what I used grew up over time around those guns. By shear fate, the next gun I acquired was a Winchster Trapper in .45 Colt, and from that day forward I shot .45 Colt. If I'd run across a .44 Magnum carbine instead, things might gone a different direction.
Today, unless I wanted to shoot in a caliber restricted category, I'd shoot .38/357. Slightly lower shooting costs, and it seems to be easier to get components in that caliber (allthough it seems all handloading stuff is hard to acquire right now).
But you have to suit yourself. A real traditionalist using .44-40 loading with blackpowder is bound to be having fun (at least they sure look that way). They guy running tuned up race guns with light loads in .32 H&R? Also sure looks like they're having fun, from where I sit.

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I mainly shoot a black powder category and for that reason do shoot 44-40 in both rifle and pistol (when using cartridge pistols).  If I had to do it all over again I honestly would probably go with 38/357 in everything.  Way easier to find guns, cartridge belts, components, etc., in 38/357 than any other caliber. 

 

The only reason I might consider a 40cal or larger caliber is if I knew I was going to shoot classic.

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8 hours ago, watab kid said:

you dont explain why you went away or what has changed to allow your return , it might make a difference in our response , but lacking that i guess as a smokeless shooter of 45colt and 38spcl , id recommend starting back up with 38s to go for the long run , 

Moved to Montana.  Prior to that one informal club closed down, the other now apparently shut down as well went rule ish to the extreme.  Out here did fast draw with wax and several other shooting types.  Just came out of a several year medical mess now feeling good / normal.  Hopefully that condition will last for a few years.

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1 hour ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

PLX post pictures of what you are making in holster mods for all of us to see.

OLG 

 

That's the plan - basically a more sophisticated add on drop loop than those I've seen so far.

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1 hour ago, Oddnews SASS# 24779 said:

I first shot a CAS match in 1991, and at the time my gear consisted of a Ruger Blackhawk .44 Magnum and a Army-Jager Dakota in .45 Colt, and the rest of what I used grew up over time around those guns. By shear fate, the next gun I acquired was a Winchster Trapper in .45 Colt, and from that day forward I shot .45 Colt. If I'd run across a .44 Magnum carbine instead, things might gone a different direction.
Today, unless I wanted to shoot in a caliber restricted category, I'd shoot .38/357. Slightly lower shooting costs, and it seems to be easier to get components in that caliber (allthough it seems all handloading stuff is hard to acquire right now).
But you have to suit yourself. A real traditionalist using .44-40 loading with blackpowder is bound to be having fun (at least they sure look that way). They guy running tuned up race guns with light loads in .32 H&R? Also sure looks like they're having fun, from where I sit.

Had an Armi (y?) Jaeger in .357.  Did yours have a strange little safety wheel at the top of the hammer? It not only was unreliable, it broke and I had to weld up the top of the hammer and grind it to profile before I traded the gun.  Have to get set up to my satisfaction, learn some more, and practice a bit. Will see where I l land and which of the local clubs I prefer.

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49 minutes ago, July Smith said:

I mainly shoot a black powder category and for that reason do shoot 44-40 in both rifle and pistol (when using cartridge pistols).  If I had to do it all over again I honestly would probably go with 38/357 in everything.  Way easier to find guns, cartridge belts, components, etc., in 38/357 than any other caliber. 

 

The only reason I might consider a 40cal or larger caliber is if I knew I was going to shoot classic.

Haven't decided where I'll jump.  Be a while before I'd consider going to the dark side.  I never much liked the cleaning, though I know some of the tricks, and I' better set up to load smokeless.

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Large pistol primers seem easier to find. If small primers were readily available, I would go with .38 unless you're wanting to do Classic. 

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44 Special is what I wish I had started with. I works for CC and Wild Bunch, 44 Russian can be used with a Smith Shop carrier for less recoil loads. 

I started with 45 LC, currently .38's or 44-40. When my wife started shooting we went to .38's. 

Regarding BP, while it's true the 44-40 or other bottle necked cartridges are prefect and do keep the action cleaner, .38's with APP do just fine, whereas .38's with real BP gum up quickly.

Tully

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Something else to consider, if you go to a shoot and for some reason need to buy or borrow ammo. .38's, 45LC can be found, after that it starts becoming difficult.

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10 minutes ago, Tully Mars said:

Something else to consider, if you go to a shoot and for some reason need to buy or barrow ammo. .38's, 45LC can be found, after that it starts becoming difficult.

Good point.  Probably be one of those to start.  I've always been one of those over prepared guys - I've  have been hit for ammo several times over the years, haven't had to borrow or buy myself..  

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13 minutes ago, Rip Snorter said:

Good point.  Probably be one of those to start.  I've always been one of those over prepared guys - I've  have been hit for ammo several times over the years, haven't had to borrow or buy myself..  

 

Prepared or not, you never know, sometimes there's just more to shoot then we expected or heavy KD's appear. Shooting a popular caliber opens up options of loaned or bought ammo.

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Howdy

 

Good luck finding anything chambered for 38-40.

 

I have always shot 44-40 in my rifles and 45 Colt in my pistols. No 45 Colt rifles for me, my first CAS rifle was an original Winchester Model 1892 chambered for 44-40. 45 Colt was never chambered in rifles until the mid 1980s.

 

Anyway, I have been shooting nothing but Black Powder in my cartridges for years. 45 Colt in my pistols, 44-40 in my rifles, 12 gauge in my shotgun. Except for my antique S&W New Model Number Threes which are chambered for 44 Russian.

 

I see no reason to change.

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35 minutes ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

Howdy

 

Good luck finding anything chambered for 38-40.

 

I have always shot 44-40 in my rifles and 45 Colt in my pistols. No 45 Colt rifles for me, my first CAS rifle was an original Winchester Model 1892 chambered for 44-40. 45 Colt was never chambered in rifles until the mid 1980s.

 

Anyway, I have been shooting nothing but Black Powder in my cartridges for years. 45 Colt in my pistols, 44-40 in my rifles, 12 gauge in my shotgun. Except for my antique S&W New Model Number Threes which are chambered for 44 Russian.

 

I see no reason to change.

Had a repro #3 in 45 quite a few years ago.  Bought it from a gunshop used.  Can't call to mind what the issue was, but when I took it to the range it was just not working properly and I returned it.  I've always liked the idea of pairing a long barreled Colt clone with a long barreled Schofield clone for matches. A best of both worlds back in the day kind of idea.  Something to think about for the future.  As to 38-40, it is a bit fussy to reload compared to 357 or 45, but I have an ace in the hole source if I ever decide to make up a set to use for SASS - an old friend has some stuff he might part with.

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38-40 is no more fussy to load then 44-40. I have been loading 44-40 for many years. 38-40 brass is the same as 44-40 brass, just necked down a little bit further.

 

I did discover though, when loading 38-40 with Black Powder I had to reduce the powder charge slightly from what I use in 44-40. Unbeknownst to me, compressing a soft lead bullet on the 44-40 charge of powder caused the bullet to swell slightly when jammed down onto the powder. This is because 38-40 has slightly less powder capacity, due to the smaller case mouth. Did not discover this until I tried to fire my first shot with an original Winchester Model 1873 chambered for 38-40. The first round jammed in the chamber and would not seat all the way. Had a heck of a time taking the gun apart to get the jammed round out of the chamber. My bad for not trying the rounds out first before a match.

 

Here is the Winchester Model 1873, it shipped in 1887, along with a Colt Bisley, also chambered for 38-40, that shipped in 1909.

 

plHq7x5Wj

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When I bought my very first firearm after I got out of the military, I went with a 1911 in .45 ACP. After many years of Law Enforcement shooting my favorite caliber is hands down the 9mm. 

 

That said when it comes to CAS, I went with 45 Colt. One could argue the smaller calibers could have an advantage, but I think that's pretty negligible. Especially if you have been shooting for a while. Price is definitely a factor and right now store bought 45 Colt is like $1.40 a round. Which hurts. 38 Special if you're not into the Classic category, might be a good option. 

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1 hour ago, Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 said:

38-40 is no more fussy to load then 44-40. I have been loading 44-40 for many years. 38-40 brass is the same as 44-40 brass, just necked down a little bit further.

 

I did discover though, when loading 38-40 with Black Powder I had to reduce the powder charge slightly from what I use in 44-40. Unbeknownst to me, compressing a soft lead bullet on the 44-40 charge of powder caused the bullet to swell slightly when jammed down onto the powder. This is because 38-40 has slightly less powder capacity, due to the smaller case mouth. Did not discover this until I tried to fire my first shot with an original Winchester Model 1873 chambered for 38-40. The first round jammed in the chamber and would not seat all the way. Had a heck of a time taking the gun apart to get the jammed round out of the chamber. My bad for not trying the rounds out first before a match.

 

Here is the Winchester Model 1873, it shipped in 1887, along with a Colt Bisley, also chambered for 38-40, that shipped in 1909.

 

plHq7x5Wj

Very nice guns.  The first I bought, still in college was a WWII 1911.  Unfortunately I don't have it anymore.

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32 minutes ago, Primus Palus said:

When I bought my very first firearm after I got out of the military, I went with a 1911 in .45 ACP. After many years of Law Enforcement shooting my favorite caliber is hands down the 9mm. 

 

That said when it comes to CAS, I went with 45 Colt. One could argue the smaller calibers could have an advantage, but I think that's pretty negligible. Especially if you have been shooting for a while. Price is definitely a factor and right now store bought 45 Colt is like $1.40 a round. Which hurts. 38 Special if you're not into the Classic category, might be a good option. 

Ammunition prices are tough.  Fortunately, I roll my own.  

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I love and shoot 45 Colt, for the following reasons:

 

1) I already owned two 45 Colt revolvers before ever seeing a SASS event

2) Flexibility to shoot any class

3) Use the 45 Colt 1873 Rifle for deer hunting

4) When shooting BP for fun, I get maximum boom and smoke with 38 g of FFFg...I always get laughs and comments like "You need a bigger powder measure."

PC140010.JPG

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18 minutes ago, Diamond Jake said:

I love and shoot 45 Colt, for the following reasons:

 

1) I already owned two 45 Colt revolvers before ever seeing a SASS event

2) Flexibility to shoot any class

3) Use the 45 Colt 1873 Rifle for deer hunting

4) When shooting BP for fun, I get maximum boom and smoke with 38 g of FFFg...I always get laughs and comments like "You need a bigger powder measure."

PC140010.JPG

Very nice little Buck!  We're starting to have a significant Whitetail population, but mostly Mule Deer - AKA Black Tail.  They are Big!  Might get a license again this year - though many days I could take a deer from the patio.  They're plentiful.

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13 hours ago, Rip Snorter said:

Moved to Montana.  Prior to that one informal club closed down, the other now apparently shut down as well went rule ish to the extreme.  Out here did fast draw with wax and several other shooting types.  Just came out of a several year medical mess now feeling good / normal.  Hopefully that condition will last for a few years.

good to have you back , stay healthy 

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18 hours ago, Rip Snorter said:

Had an Armi (y?) Jaeger in .357.  Did yours have a strange little safety wheel at the top of the hammer? It not only was unreliable, it broke and I had to weld up the top of the hammer and grind it to profile before I traded the gun.  Have to get set up to my satisfaction, learn some more, and practice a bit. Will see where I l land and which of the local clubs I prefer.


No, mine has a safety, but it's not on the hammer. Mineis a small knob on the base pin, and a small handle on the end of the base pin next to the ejector rod housing. Turned one way, the knob on the base pin fits into a small hole on the hammer, and allows it to drop. Turned the other, the knob in theory blocks the hammer's fall. In reality, what it does is shoot the base pin forward about a half an inch. I think this would slow the hammer's fall enough to keep the gun from going off, but I haven't tried it. I keep the chamber under the hammer empty and make certain the base pin is in the "fire" position at all times. I think you have the second model and mine is an earlier one. (BTW, if anyone has one like mine in a 5 1/2-inch barrel, .45 Colt, I'm looking to buy one).

 

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We’ve shot 45 Colt for 20 plus years.  If’n I had it to do over I would’ve went with 44-40.

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Would I shoot?

 

Do I shoot?

 

45 Colt.

 

44-40.

 

44 Colt/Russian/Special.

 

No need for anything else. Except maybe 38-40.

 

Now, if'n you want to talk REAL calibers in bigger guns than CAS allows... I'll be yore Huckleberry. ;)

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Pretty much all I shoot is 45 colt or 44 c&b. I have a pair of 1851 navies in 36 cal and a Ruger blackhawk in 357. I use bp unless the range has fire restrictions.

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