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Cowboy set-ups?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Dr.Rob, Feb 6, 2003.

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  1. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    Saw "American Shooter" last night, and their report on "End of the Trail".

    Makes me want more cowboy guns.

    For those of you who shoot Cowboy, what do you use? and what style do you shoot? (It was weird watching the two-handed hold, cocking with the left hand... also the hammer springs seemed REALLY light on those Colts and Rugers) Do you customize? (free-spin pawls, etc.)

    I've been eyeing a Marlin .44 mag rifle to go along with my Vaquero (since no one is making the Lightning Replica in .44 mag) And a shorter barreled pistolé might be fun to have anyway.

    Also, didn't see anyone have to re-load like we do in IDPA... are most stages designed for 5 shots from a pistol or was reloading left on the editing room floor?
  2. griz

    griz Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Eastern Virginia
    I shoot in the modern class and use Rugers, Marlin, and a cheap imported double barrel. Those are fairly common choices. Where I shoot there are probably more '97s than doubles but it's close. Most of the serious shooters have had a little work done on the guns. Accuracy isn't a big concern, smoothness of operation is what counts. A shooter with a little mechanical skill can go a long way toward slicking up their own guns.

    Reloads, when seen, are usually limited to a single round for the rifle or handgun. The stage may dictate when the reload takes place which will require different strategies. I have shot stages that required a complete reload of both revolvers. This can take forever for an inexperienced shooter and is not often seen. As you have already seen, all shots from the shotguns are "reloads".

    Come out and play, it's fun.
  3. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Upper Michigan
    I've done just a little Cowboy tpye shooting. I used a couple of Ruger Blackhawks in .357 Magnum one with a six inch barrel and one with the four inch (plus a fraction). I used .38 Special reloads in the Blackhawks. I borrowed a Rossi .45 Colt lever carbine and a 12 gauge double barrel with field loads from the guy running the match. I had my own boots and Stetson.

    I shot the Rugers two handed and cocked the hammer with my left thumb. It seemed natural to me after a couple of tries and was pretty fast too.

    I have considered buying a Winchester '97 16 gauge, one of the Marlin 1894s in .41 Magnum and a six inch Blackhawk in the same caliber for my next Cowboy foray. The shorter Ruger didn't work well for me, so I sold it.
  4. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    3 year cas vet says:

    Visitors are always welcome at cowboy shoots,and new members are even more welcome!
    We shoot 2 pistols loaded with five rounds each,rifle loaded with nine or 10 rounds,and up to 10 shotshell rounds per stage.VAries according to the stage directions.
    Reloads slow things up so are seldom required for pistols or rifles.Shotguns are staged empty and reloaded on the clock..maximum of two rounds in the scatterguns.
    For complete info the main website is;
    the Wire is our BB there,and its'a great place to chat.
    Oh yea,we get to wear a shiny badge while we play.:)
  5. fal308

    fal308 Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    I've shot CAS since the mid-ninties and have been designing matches for about a year. Most stages are designed so that the only loading that takes place on the stage is with the shotgun. As stated above, it really slows down the stage if every participant has to reload rounds. Occasionally I'll throw in a reload, but then I design the rest of the stage to shoot quicker to make up for the time lost. An example of that might be to shoot only one revolver instead to two revolvers and reload two rounds into your rifle. Remember it's not only your posse (shooting group) that is slowed down but every posse in the match slows down for the reload, causing a traffic jam on that stage while other stages may be empty. I always try and make each stage in a match last about the same amount of time.
    I think the vast majority of shooters shoot in the modern or traditional categories. The modern category would include any single action revolver greater than .32 caliber with adjustable iron sights (Ruger Blackhawk for one) while the Traditional category is the same only with fixed sights (Ruger Vaquero, Colt Peacemaker and clones etc).
    I shoot Traditional and use the method you describe, one hand works the trigger while the other hand works the hammer. It's quicker that way and gets me back on target sooner. I shoot 7 1/2 inch Vaqueros, an old 1894 Marlin and a Stoeger double barrel. I'm thinking of getting another Vaquero as I've got a bird's-head conversion sitting on my workbench crying out to be put on a gun.
    On the shotgun, any double barrel without ejectors can be used. Whether is has outside hammers or not does not matter. In pump shotguns, there must be an external hammer (ala Winchester '97) to be legal. The lever action shotgun is legal also. As stated above, no shotgun may hold more than 2 rounds, so as to not give an unfair advantage over the double barrels.
  6. Tom C.

    Tom C. Member

    Jan 15, 2003
    Southern Maryland
    SASS guns

    Because of the manual manipulation of all the SASS guns, smoothless is critical. I work all my own guns. The revolvers are Blackhawks in .45 Colt. The springs are changes out to lighten things a little, the internal parts are polished as appropriate to smooth the actions. Mine are identical. Some don't find that matters to them. The rifle is a Marlin. It has been smoothed for easier function. The fast shooters are pumping rounds through the rifle, on one target, not swinging between targets, with 350 ms splits. The shotgun I use is a double. Because the doubles can't have ejectors, the chambers must be smooth to pop ouot the empties. Most of the fast guys shoot '97 Winchesters or '97 clones, loaded single. A '97 really does need a little work to smooth it out or it can balk. Not good.
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