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Equipment for CAS?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by buzz_knox, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of getting involved in cowboy action shooting and I was wondering what everyone who is already involved is using. Also, what would ya'll recommend for a greenhorn?
  2. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Most anything will do for a start. In the beginning, your familiarity with the equipment is more important than what you are shooting. For revolvers, Rugers are VERY durable and affordable. Colt clones are also popular. The 1892 Winchester copies and the Marlin 1894s are some of the more common lever action rifles. Shotguns are either 1897 pumps, or some sort of double barrel. If a double, it must NOT have ejectors.

    Don’t neglect the rest of the gear, holsters, shell holders and the like. It’s best if you can find out what you like from a little trial and error and then buy. Good leather is a bit pricey.

    My best recommendation is to go to the next Cowboy match you can find. You will learn more from attending a match than anywhere else.

    You won’t find better people. Especially if you have most of the gear needed, they will often talk you into borrowing one of their guns to shoot the match. I’ll bet you one of your favorite beverages that you will enjoy it.
  3. JMLV

    JMLV Well-Known Member

    Your equipment mainly is based on two things

    What catagory you wish to shoot in and how much cash you have to invest in weapons and gear. make no mistake even a barebones battery of guns will cost you from $900 -$1200 then theres cloths boots and leather. there are ways to keep the expences down to a bare minumum but some sacrifaces may have to be made. It really depends on you and what you want pout of the game and why you are into it to beguin with.
    Below are some examples of equipment from 3 levels of the scale you can mix and match them to your specifactions.

    inexpensive level:
    (Staying away from cap & ball arms and going with cartridge guns)
    revolvers blackhawks used in 357. cost aprox $200 each
    Rifle marlin 1894 - used if possible aprox $350
    Shotgun - used stevens 311 or stoger coach gun aprox $350

    Work boots all leather (wolverines or what ever you have should do. NO Skenekers of any kind) also engerier boots will do if you have them
    Demun work shirts or snapbutton shirts
    denum work jeans (NOT designer)
    cheap slouch felt or straw hat

    1 straight draw & 1 cross draw holster, cartridge belt and s loop shotgun slide for about $100 from cabelas.

    this will let you shoot matches from now till the cows come home. Not fancy but functional.

    intermedate level:
    Guns: Either Vaqueros of SAA clones in the caliber of your choice.
    Win 94 or 92 or 1894 marlin rifle in caliber to match handguns.
    Stoger coach gun or bakal hammer gun. also Norinco replicia of the winchester 1897 hammer pump

    Clothes can be the same or similar to above with the additional of some shirts or pants from some of the cows clothing sellers. and perhaps a set of custom boots.

    Leather : Dillian gunleather or el Paso saddlery have complete CAS sets for a bit over $250 including 2 holsters and a money belt.

    New or used colts SAA revolvers in either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, Generations Costs can be anywhere fron $1500 to way over $5000 depending on conition and rareity of the gun.
    Two manufacturers will soon have avaiable new replicias of the colt lightning rifles and origionals are avaiable.
    New as well as origional 1873 rifles as well as 1866/henry replicias are also avaiable. Origional winchester 92's are also avaiable. all are pricy just under $1000 for replicias and well over for origionals.
    origional winchester 1887 & 1897 shotguns lever and pump.
    many doubles all doubles may be used hammers or hammerless so long as ejectors have been disconnected. I have seen fine barretta doubles used in this game.

    leather custom made from the ground up. they can replicate any rig you ever saw from an ofigional Hickock rig to the Lone Rangers silver mounted double rig or anything in between it can be had

    You can spend as much as you want here from talored cloths made with origional patterns, buckskins to replicia outfits from the classic roy or hoppy westerns. you can even get a complete Lone Ranger outfit to go with your leather! Custom made boots all the way fitted to your feet by a custom craftsman.

    The above is just the tip of the iceberg and is only a recommendation for SASS and WASA shoots which I am familiar with. NCOWS shoots have slightly rules mainly being concerned with complete authenticity of all equipment. Hope this helps
    by the way if we ever shoot a match in the same place I am know by my sass alais: Deaf Smith and mainly shoot in the PA/NJ area. I have bee out of action for the last couple of years due to medical reasons but hope to shoot again as soon as I am able.
  4. BigJake_old

    BigJake_old member

    you mentioned having a whole batery of guns, if i go to shoot CA, will i need all of them? because i'd be just as happy showing up with my vaquero and shooting a couple of pistol stages, since i don't have any other "old" guns. how does that work?
  5. stellarpod

    stellarpod Well-Known Member

    Big Jake:

    Each stage is usually made up of pistol targets, rifle targets and shotgun targets. You'll have to shoot them all in each stage.

    But, don't worry! The great thing about CAS is that you'll likely be swamped by people offering to let you borrow their guns for the match. In my opinion this is the biggest single thing that sets CAS apart from the other shooting sports. It's about the fun and fellowship first, competition second. BUT... don't get me wrong. There ARE those who really get into the competitive aspect.

    Show up with what you've got and I'll bet someone will be willing to help you out on the rest.

    Have a ball!

  6. Tom C.

    Tom C. Well-Known Member

    Starting in CAS

    I showed up for my first match with 1 pistol, 1 holster and a rifle. I didn't have any trouble borrowing a second pistol and shotgun for the match. A few months later, when I had all the gear, I got my wife to come. She thought it was crazy. She is now a competitor too.
  7. Detritus

    Detritus Well-Known Member

    want to second the friendliness of CAS shooters, personally i only have experience with SASS (single action Shooting society) matches, they are the most prolific and well "forgiving" with regad to historical accuracy of guns and clothing used/worn. there ARE other groups that are more historically correct in equipment but SASS shoots are best to start off with from all i can gather.

    at the first regular match i attended, i showed up simply to watch and happened to have on my boots along with my regular clothes (jeans and a long sleeve cotton shirt). but had only brought along the rifle that i had intentions of using for my match gun (i brought it so i could stop by my "home" range between the match adn my house and run a few more boxes through it ). about half way through the runnign of the first stage by the "posse" i'd chosen to watch i was approached by the club vice persident and asked "why ain't you shooting??!!" i told him "ain't got all my guns, nor any gunleather or other gear", to which he responded "that ain't no excuse, we can get you gear and guns to use! your gonna shoot today. on;ly question is am i gonna have to whoop ya to get you to get over here?!! :D

    needless to say i had a blast, adn if not for losing my job back in Oct. :cuss: and having to sell what gear i had accquired, to make ends meet, i'd be making plans to shoot my first match with all my own stuff now.

    that being said my oppinion on starting gear (if you don't already have favorites within the gun makers) is this, first thought adn this applies to each of the three gun types, new or used don't matter much they're YOUR guns after teh money passes hands. Ruger pistols (blackhawks for modern, vaquero for all others), a Marlin 1894 Cowboy, great gun for teh price and it just feels more "right" don't bother with the "Cowboy competition" model till you're sure of what you want, on shot guns you have two choices that are near the same price adn contrary to what many will tell you there isn't much of a compeditive difference eaither.. you can go the SxS route and get a Stoeger Coach gun, or the pump gun route and get a Norinco copy of the Winchester '97 coach gun.

    as for leather good i recomend the good folks at san pedro saddlery Big Ed (the owner) will treat you right adn make sure YOU are satisfied with his goods, and there is a "new shooter package" discount deal where you buy 5 pieces and get free shipping and 10% off. the 5 pieces most folks get are .. Gun belt, two holsters (unless you shoot Gunfighter class, get a 1 strongside adn one crossdraw) , a "speed loop" shotshell belt slide, and a Badge holder (fr your SASS, badge)

    for more info i would suggest visting the SASS websiteSASS and go to the SASSwire forum adn ask any questions you have over there as well.

    sorry for being so long winded, hope i am of some help :)
  8. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    CAS people have a habit of building their gun carts waaaaay to large,and as a result there are usaully twice as many guns at a shoot as their are people!!
    IF you don't have all the gear it's not a problem.In fact after this summers End of Trail shoot,single shot shotguns will be legal to shoot;.Won't be fast,but will be very affordable.
    Cabellas' sells a revolver called the Milleneum that will get ya by on the "cheap". They are very sturdy and well made,just finished plain on the outside.A spring kit really helps em....and most others too.
    I see lots of old double barrel shotguns on the used market for about 200.00 or so,IMHO,a used american made double beats all of the imports for quality.
    BTW I joined about three years ago,and the number of members has gone from 23k to almost 50k!
    Some clubs have a requirement that you take their certification course before shooting,so don't just show up and expect to shoot.Some clubs will just let ya shoot,under a watchful eye.
    Best fun shooting I ever had!!!!
    Throckmorton sass #23149
  9. JMLV

    JMLV Well-Known Member

    I joined SASS so long ago

    My membership number only has 4 didgets
    Deaf Smith
    SASS # 4475
    NCOWS 600 - no longer a mamber
    WASA # 18
  10. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    oops,forgot to mention......

    this site had ALL the info.our BB,the Wire has info,lies,rumors,jokes.......and ME!!
    All are welcome to ask qustions and join in on the Wire. Chec us out sometime!

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