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Guns for a Modern Cowboy

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Cowboy Preacher, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Cowboy Preacher

    Cowboy Preacher Well-Known Member

    In the days of the Old West, the guns would have been a Colt Peacemaker or maybe a S&W No.3 and a Winchester 1873 in .44-40. What would your guns be if you were working as a cowboy to today. My choice would be my
    S&W M28 Highway Patrolman and a Marlin lever-gun in .35 Remington.
    I just thought, "Let's play the what if game." Lets hear the rollcall.
  2. bratch

    bratch Well-Known Member

    Are you talking about the mythical cowboys chasing down outlaws or the real cowboys shoveling crap and building fences?
  3. Cowboy Preacher

    Cowboy Preacher Well-Known Member

    Either one. This is a light hearted question intendedto start some conversation and maybe bring some Old West history into the mix.
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

  5. bratch

    bratch Well-Known Member


    Probably go with a 1911 and a Marlin Cowboy rifle in .45-70.

    Second up would either be a Ruger in 45 Colt or a Smith in 44 Mag. Not sure if I would do the matching Marlin rifle or go with the 45-70 again.

    I just finished the first season of Deadwood and love lever actions so this is a fun topic for me:).
  6. joegerardi

    joegerardi Well-Known Member

    Hmm... Good question.

    I would have to say a Glock 21 for the pistol. Their reliability is unquestionable, and that fits in with the old SAA. Also, their ability to operate in the harshest conditions. This is actually an interesting reply for me, because I only own 1 Glock - the 17 - and it's not something I normally advocate.

    For a rifle? Well, there isn't anything wrong with what they carried back then: a Winchester lever gun...


    JOE MACK Well-Known Member

    Cowboy guns

    Hmmm... probably what I carried on the old homestead while growing up. I carried a Ruger OM in .41Magnum in a cross-draw rig. The saddle scabbard had my pre-64 Winchester 94 in .30-30. I'd probably substitute my Marlin 1894CCL in .41Magnum while having the Winchester re-blued as it's almost "in the white." These guns are familiar and have always delivered when counted on in a pinch.
  8. sd

    sd Well-Known Member

    a new ruger flattop blackhawk .357, and a .357 lever rifle. Maybe a modern smith and wesson schofield (sp?) , not sure if smith is still making it. Anyone own/fired one of these?
  9. jobu07

    jobu07 Well-Known Member

    SAR-1 with a 1911 :neener:
  10. cookiemonster

    cookiemonster Well-Known Member

    Colt 1911 and a Winchester Timber carbine in 450 Marlin.

    If you can't knock it down with the one, the other certainly will...

  11. Soap

    Soap Well-Known Member

    -Ruger Bisley Vaquero 5.5" Blued/Case, .45LC, Belt Mountain base pin, Power Custom hammer and trigger kit, burl mesquite stocks, sighted in for a Garrett load of some sort

    -Marlin Guide Gun, .45-70, WWG sights, trigger, ejector, scout mount, Leupold 2.75x IER w/ German #1
  12. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    Well, you might be surprised to find out that the "gun to grab" for many ranchers out here is a bolt action scoped 22-250. The most likely thing to have to shoot is a coyote.

    But then most "cowboying" these days is done from a pickup or ATV rather than a horse.

    As far as handguns, I don't know that very many ranchers carry one anymore (unlike me ;) ) but I do know that my rancher neighbor has a 357 mag because we discussed it's effectiveness on porcupines. Haven't noticed him carrying it though. Maybe it's a bedside grab in the night sort of thing (or glovebox/under the seat).
  13. Redneck Revolver

    Redneck Revolver Well-Known Member

    side arms: twin s&w .500 with black power coat finish and silver engravings(for that nice old west custom look)

    shotgun: winchester model 97

    rifle: mosin nagant 91/30 scoped.

    of course this is just what I would do if i were a cowboy :D
  14. Wakal

    Wakal Well-Known Member

  15. 20cows

    20cows Well-Known Member

    Guns for modern cowboys

    The most common guns one sees in a rancher's pick-up in my neck of the woods are a Ruger Blackhawk in .357 and a Remington bolt action in .243.

    The Ruger was the most practical least expensive quality center-fire available for a long time and it looked right. The .243 is a good generic "take-care-of-anything-you-need" gun that was easy to shoot.

    Most of the people I'm talking about (I'm an exception) are working ranchers that don't shoot a whole lot, but know the value of a good tool. They recognise that sometimes you might need to put an animal down and it costs money to have it done by a vet. Sometimes you catch a varmint in the feed bin. They'll shoot a deer when they come across one in season while taking care of their stock, but probably won't go "hunting". They spend all day out where they would hunt and come evening, they're ready go to the house.

    I believe this was the same attitude of many of the working cowboys of the late 1800's. A gun was tool that had a purpose.

    EDIT: Most of the time, the only gun they carriy in the truck is the rifle. The Blackhawk is ususally only carried if they think they might run into two-footed critter trouble, such as not long ago around here when we had somone kill a cow and butcher it in the bar-ditch less than a mile from my place. This was considered rustling and was taken very seriously. The railroad commission, who has the authority over such matters caught the rascals selling beef locally (can you say dumbass?) out of the back of a truck. Would you believe the proof was DNA evidence (I told you, this was serious).

    I believe the reason the handgun is used for this purpose is that it's presence can be out of sight until the need arises and it is considered more intimidating, even if less effective.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2005
  16. theCZ

    theCZ Well-Known Member

    As an actual "modern cowboy", I can tell you what I like to take around the ranch. In the pickup I take my CZ452 .22 in case I see any ground squirrels along the way. If we're having coyote problems I'll take along my .223 CZ, which is also my primary varmint rifle. As far as pistols go, only time I've packed on horseback was a few summers ago when we were driving cattle high up in the Sierras and while crashing through the brush I found a complex irrigation system most likely used for growing marijuana. So, after that I put my CZ75 9mm in my saddle bag in case I saw someone that was a little wacky.

    Now, as far as what the cowboys in my area used to carry, it was always a lever action, either a Winchester 94 in some of the obscure calibers that are now coming back in CAS, or a model 95 30-40 Krag, and finally a model 88 .308. When coyotes or bears were bad, a pistol would be taken, but guns were a nuisance a lot of times to carry around, and that is the truth.
  17. Battlespace

    Battlespace Well-Known Member

    either a Winchester 94 in some of the obscure calibers that are now coming back in CA

    I have my great gandfather's Model 94 in 38-55. It is a little beat up, but I will never restore it as each mark and scratch on it were made long ago by one of my heros.
  18. theCZ

    theCZ Well-Known Member

    The sights on my grandfather's 30/40 Krag (made in 1896) had been set on the ~300 yard setting for so long that the spring had completely gone out of them and would not stay put when set on any different setting. I suspect that he didn't actually shoot deer at 300 yards, but 200 would have been about right for the mulies in our area.
  19. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Well-Known Member

    bratch beat me to it, 1911 and Marlin lever action in .45-70 were the first two things that came out of my mouth.

    In reality though, I'd rather have an AK/SKS or AR for the rifle.

    What does a cowboy need a firearm for? Varmints? Self defense?
  20. 20cows

    20cows Well-Known Member

    What does a cowboy need a firearm for? Varmints? Self defense?


    See my earlier edited post.

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