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View Full Version : Oh, the humanity! (Cowboy ready SKB SxS)



ohland
07-25-2014, 09:00 PM
Went to Gun Breaker to look at SKB SxS shotguns (hey! got a problem with that?) and I saw a heresy that was worthy of flensing, rolling in salt, then a slow BBQ. Some idiot had bobbed FOUR SKB SxS down to 22" barrels (or so!), then is asking darn near the going price for original, unaltered SKBs.

"Cowboy action work by Johnny Meadows, including full action job, beveled chambers and mechanical trigger."

The SKB has a single trigger with a barrel selector at the upper rear. I have NO IDEA on why an SKB would need an "action job" as my SKB has worked FLAWLESSLY every time I have hunted with it since the mid 70s. Beveled chambers? What? I have NEVER had a problem with stuffing any of the hundreds of shells in during the mad glory days of the late 70s, hunting woodcock and grouse up north by Antigo. Butchers.

Ithaca SKB Model 100 20ga. Cowboy Ready
Beautiful Ithaca SKB 280 12 ga Cowboy Ready
SKB Royal Light Cowboy Action Shotgun 12ga
Fully engraved Ithaca SKB 100 12ga
:-(

Ed Barrett
07-25-2014, 11:26 PM
Remember these are the same people who rust and "Distress" a new gun to make it look authentic.

oneMOA
07-27-2014, 03:25 PM
Ohland,

Johnny Meadows specializes in gun for Cowboy Action or SASS competition. Like any other competative shooting sport the rules allow some level of modification to improve the production gun performance within that sport. Some gun more than other lend themselves to mods and the SKB is one of those in the SASS game. The Browning BSS is another and either of these guns would be considered by many to be the "Cadillac" of SASS sxs. Five or so years ago these SKB's could be bought for $500 to $600 in 12ga. Today due to the demand and popularity in the cowboy game, a stock gun will bring $1000. A tricked out SKB will bring, depending on condition and the amount of life left in it, around $1,325 and beyond. I shoot the cowboy game and have a main match SKB sxs as well as a back-up SKB. I also have a couple stock guns waiting to be made into a cowboy gun.

Some of the mods done by Johnny Meadows include removing ejectors (not legal in SASS) funnel the chamber mouth for faster loading, polish the chambers for easier shucking of spent shells. Lighten the hammer springs and cocking lever spring for easy of opening the action, modify so that barrels open fully above the top of breach face with out added effort. Modifing the timing to reduce the amount of hammer/trigger sear overtravel. Modify the inertia trigger to set the second barrel when using a low recoil, shell which is all that is needed to take down a knock-down shotgun target. All this in addition to generally slickin' all the moving parts so the action is as smooth as butter.

ohland
07-27-2014, 07:31 PM
polish the chambers for easier shucking of spent shells. Lighten the hammer springs and cocking lever spring for easy of opening the action, modify so that barrels open fully above the top of breach face with out added effort. Modifing the timing to reduce the amount of hammer/trigger sear overtravel. Modify the inertia trigger to set the second barrel when using a low recoil, shell which is all that is needed to take down a knock-down shotgun target. All this in addition to generally slickin' all the moving parts so the action is as smooth as butter.

How many of these enhancements are period?

Gurk. There is only one area that I could see and that is for the low recoil shell. Sorta gaming the system, how many period SxS shotguns used inertial triggers?

Easier shucking of spent shells. - Heck, get a pump. never had an issue pulling the empties out.

Lighten springs... easy opening of action - The SKB is one of the most well behaved SxS that I have used. This sorta makes me imagine folks flipping the barrels up to shut it. While fast, it offends me about the same as flicking your wrist to snap a cylinder back into a revolver.

This is America, so whatever. FWIW, use a period replica gun to re-enact that era. If that is too much, then how about 300 Blackout with subsonics? 40 S&W with cast? How far does this go? For me, I went to cast boolits and a single shot, and I do shoot off-hand.

The bench proves the gun, off-hand proves the man (and I'm a poor copy at times...).

oneMOA
07-27-2014, 08:00 PM
I reckon so!

rbertalotto
07-27-2014, 10:15 PM
Ohand, Attend a CAS match and shoot a few stages and you will understand why Johnny Meadows is so well revered in the sport. This is competition that is on the clock. To win it calls for modified firearms.

The SKB is just a Japanese shotgun that has found value simply because of CAS. If CAS didn't exist you could buy these shotguns for well under $500. It just so happens that they lend themselves so well to being modified for the sport.

TXGunNut
07-28-2014, 01:10 AM
Gamers and clothes vendors are why I don't play the SASS games. I'm a shooter, not a gamer or a clothes horse.I like the period guns & equipment but this game needs a back-to-basics makeover.

ohland
07-28-2014, 01:13 PM
Attend a CAS match and shoot a few stages... This is competition that is on the clock. To win it calls for modified firearms.

Well, the rifle club here has a cowboy range in the back, and it's probably 100 yards long, with various shooting stages off to one side. After over a quarter century of box and belt fed guns, I want to see if I can get good results using more simple guns. If I can shoot a gun well that was built before my Grandad was born, perhaps that might mean that I had to apply myself, practice and experiment with casting to get better. After reading about Rabbeth and Hudson, I don't see myself as the "Human Benchrest" in any way. BUT when I can ring the hanger at 75yds way more often than not, it gives me some hope that I can get better.

On the clock. Haven't wore a watch in two months. Nobody can tell me what I need to be competitive, because I don't need to compete. We all die someday, so what is being a fraction of a second faster going to get you when they shovel dirt on you? My guns are well maintained and they are not "niche".

Working around limitations makes an individual more proficient. I'll use my money for more ammo and guns, thank you very much. Time to go to the range, the old retrobate wants to try out the .323 sized, softer lead 321297 boolits I cast up. I can try my 6.8 SPC.

rbertalotto
07-29-2014, 05:35 AM
Folks that don't shoot Cowboy Action simply don't get it. I felt theexact same way about the gaming and the cloths. But then I liked the idea about hanging with a bunch of like minded gun nuts and shooting a whole bunch of rounds after driving an hour plus to a shoot. So I attended a shoot and got hooked BIG TIME....I only owned one lever action rifle two years ago. Now I have 16!!! Only owned one single action revolver.....Don't even know how many I have now.

To me it is all about the period guns and the fantastic folks that shoot this game.

Being fast is not the point (unless you want it to be)...Some folks need a calendar to record their times. But they are having a ball....

And then, there are the women that shoot with us...........Soiled Doves add a certain look to the game... :bigsmyl2:

762sultan
07-29-2014, 07:32 AM
I just closed the door to my gun safe..but before I did I held my SKB 200 and made a promise. As long as I live I will never allow it to be altered in such a way. If someone else wants to do that to their gun that is all right with me. I have too many memories of long gone friends and great hunting dogs of years gone bye that would be lost. Just my 2 cents

Geraldo
07-29-2014, 07:57 AM
How many of these enhancements are period?

This is America, so whatever. FWIW, use a period replica gun to re-enact that era. If that is too much, then how about 300 Blackout with subsonics? 40 S&W with cast? How far does this go?


ohland, it's not about being period correct, it's about cowboy movie fantasy. If it was correct there would be stages such as "Virgil Earp"-fire both barrels at one target--end of stage; or "Luke Short vs. Courtright"-shoot target at near contact distance--end of stage.

Not that USPSA/IPSC or even IDPA are more realistic. When IDPA started it was supposed to be more realistic, but adding the clock takes away from that as I found out in my first match: I shot it like my life depended on my tactics and placed poorly because everybody else shot it like a slowed down IPSC match.

As for the chopped SKBs I wouldn't worry too much. Shooting sports impact guns, but not every 70 Series 1911 has a comp on it, and most doubles won't be put to the blade.

dakotashooter2
07-29-2014, 09:34 AM
No matter what shooting sport you have there will always be a few people who have to push it to the limits to gain an advantage. Eventually every shooting sport seems to end up with an unlimited class. I prefer to see competition that is more real life. I can't even dry cycle my Henry 22 as fast as some of the slicked up rifles they are shooting in some of the CAS matches.

In the 3 gun matches I'd like to see them have to drop the guns in mud or sand and see how fast they function. It would be a whole different story for those race guns.

ohland
07-29-2014, 10:32 AM
it's not about being period correct, it's about cowboy movie fantasy.

Dilettantes is what they gamers are. To see how good people are, they should be provided the same guns and we will see who the naturals are. Everyone else that wants to shoot and have fun, by all means!

Are the slicked up gamers like Dungeons and Dragons nerds from the 80s?

Gaah. Time to go back to the veneration of the holy Boolit, peering into the melt, pouring the plumbous blessing into reliquaries that have been blessed and are pure enough to form the blessed projectile.

ohland
07-29-2014, 10:35 AM
held my SKB 200

It is probably as tight as the day it came into your life, the chrome lined bores still shine, and other than worn bluing (and a few scratches), it will most likely be that way when the next supplicant to the wonders will carry it.

Denver
07-29-2014, 11:06 AM
It's been a few years since I participated in CAS so apparently some rools have changed. It use to be that shotguns had to have outside hammers. I don't recall that the guns mentioned have them. Winchester 97s were often thought of by some to not be period correct. Maybe Win model 12s or Rem 870s are allowed now? Anyway it looks like the CAS game has turned into another arms race. Too bad.

Big Rack
07-29-2014, 01:30 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if they had a basic class one handgun and limited the rifle and shotgun to a value amount. Maybe I'm just embarrassed from the wife outshooting me with my Rossi as I was using a Marlin Cowboy.

oneMOA
07-29-2014, 03:38 PM
Life is about competition in just about everything we do and good equipment is part of the winning edge. Les Baer has made millions from competitive mods to the 1911. Fortunes have been made just about everywhere you look in a competitive endevor, not just in shooting sports but golf, football, tennis, auto racing and the list can go on. Don't throw stones at anothers shooting game if you haven't tried it. SASS has over 100,000 members across America and the world........I'd call that a sucess. Here's a good example of good equipment and a certain level of skill.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHI6JFEtUwE

Alvarez Kelly
07-29-2014, 04:24 PM
Here's a good example of good equipment and a certain level of skill.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHI6JFEtUwE

Pretty fast all right. Best I've done is the mid 14 second range. And I'm not considered fast.

Ive been looking for a reasonably priced SKB 12 gauge for at least 4 years. I'm still looking.

Springfield
07-29-2014, 04:44 PM
So ohland, are you willing to shoot the whole cowboy match with Blackpowder guns? Rifle, both pistols and shotgun? No? Then you aren't REALLY shooting the weapons of the old west. I do, most don't, but I don't call them names. I just enjoy the shooting and only compare my times with the other BP shooters. I long ago gave up letting what others do dictate how I have fun. I personally shoot 1872 Colts( Italian copies of course) an 1866 or 1873 rifle and an old L.C Smith double barrel. I don't beat too many other guys but I have fun. My wife and 2 kids shoot with me also, just adds to the fun. I actually like the dressing up part, I even wear chaps as long as it isn't too hot out. If people won't go just because they have to wear jeans and a cowboy hat it is their loss, IMHO. But to each his own.

oneMOA
07-29-2014, 05:00 PM
Pretty fast all right. Best I've done is the mid 14 second range. And I'm not considered fast.

Ive been looking for a reasonably priced SKB 12 gauge for at least 4 years. I'm still looking.

Alvarez,

As noted in an earlier post the SKB is the Cadillac or one of the Cadillac guns for SASS and the demand from the cowboy shooters has driven the price up. Then there's the cost of the gunsmith work to make it "Cowboy ready." I have recently sold several SKB "Cowboy guns," the least expensive was $1,325 the most expensive was $1,400. My personal SKB's (main match and back-up) would take more than that to buy either of them. They are SKB 200e Coin Finish. If you are waiting for the price to come down, you may be disappointed. The market seems to be drying up since most of what's available on Gunbroker are 20 guages. If you have been looking at SKB's then this is not news to you.

Alvarez Kelly
07-29-2014, 05:05 PM
Alvarez,

As noted in an earlier post the SKB is the Cadillac or one of the Cadillac guns for SASS and the demand from the cowboy shooters has driven the price up. Then there's the cost of the gunsmith work to make it "Cowboy ready." I have recently sold several SKB "Cowboy guns," the least expensive was $1,325 the most expensive was $1,400. My personal SKB's (main match and back-up) would take more than that to buy either of them. They are SKB 200e Coin Finish. If you are waiting for the price to come down, you may be disappointed. The market seems to be drying up since most of what's available on Gunbroker are 20 guages. If you have been looking at SKB's then this is not news to you.

Yep. Not news to me. But I'm still looking. You never know.

I have a cowboyed up double trigger Stoeger SxS I use sometimes, but I really like my slicked up '97 clone. Never could get consistent with my lever action '93. :-)

RPRNY
07-29-2014, 05:08 PM
An appalling end to four perfectly good guns sacrificed to big bellied chaps into cosplay... ;-)

oneMOA
07-29-2014, 05:10 PM
Pretty fast all right. Best I've done is the mid 14 second range. And I'm not considered fast.

Ive been looking for a reasonably priced SKB 12 gauge for at least 4 years. I'm still looking.

Alvarez,
Fourteen seconds is awesome time! You are obviously not an Old F**t, if you are, my hats off to you Pard. Times like that are only in my dreams, I'm afraid. I can, on occasion do a 19 second stage (24 round) but I'm afraid that about all I can muster ( I have good equipment, it's the old tired bones). My Grandson can do better and make it look easy......he's 23 yrs old with good vision and great hand/eye coordination, but that's another discussion.

oneMOA
07-29-2014, 05:25 PM
An appalling end to four perfectly good guns sacrificed to big bellied chaps into cosplay... ;-)

I Reckon so!

Col4570
07-29-2014, 05:30 PM
Is the competition for modern day Cowboy action Shooting.I have Just won a Silver Medal at the MLAGB National Black Powder Clay Shooting Championships.This was the Hammergun Comp using Black powder cartridges only.I used a John Fry of Derby Hammergun Circa 1895.2 1/2 drams Black Powder and 1 1oz no7 shot.I entered the Double Percussion comp but was Mr average.In the Flintlock comp I was useless.The Hammergun comp,ended in a shoot off between two of us and I was pipped at the post for Gold by one dropped clay.

oneMOA
07-29-2014, 08:37 PM
Is the competition for modern day Cowboy action Shooting.I have Just won a Silver Medal at the MLAGB National Black Powder Clay Shooting Championships.This was the Hammergun Comp using Black powder cartridges only.I used a John Fry of Derby Hammergun Circa 1895.2 1/2 drams Black Powder and 1 1oz no7 shot.I entered the Double Percussion comp but was Mr average.In the Flintlock comp I was useless.The Hammergun comp,ended in a shoot off between two of us and I was pipped at the post for Gold by one dropped clay.

And there you have it! When men get together there is talk of competition. When women get together, they make tea in the parlor.

fatelk
07-29-2014, 09:13 PM
Competitiveness is in the genes, I suppose. Whether it's shooting sports, athletics, cars, boats, golf, collecting, whatever; some folks are just driven to try their danged-est to be better than the rest. They put in the time and money for lots of practice and top dollar gear at whatever they do. I've known guys that drop many thousands of dollars into whatever hobby they happen to be into at the time, then move on to the next big thing in a year or two.

Others among us though, just aren't too competitive, either anymore or simply never were. We're content to have fun at a lower level of intensity. Often the two camps have a hard time understanding each other.

To each their own. :)

ohland
07-29-2014, 09:36 PM
So ohland, are you willing to shoot the whole cowboy match with Blackpowder guns? Rifle, both pistols and shotgun?

I am not near reloading with black quite yet. All this stuff about compression and whatnot. But the T/C is a break open, therefor easier to clean. The Marlin 336 does whisper to me, but I'm not sure if cleaning a lever action is all that much fun.

Depends on my progress along the plumbous brick road (if I was near one, it would get rapidly smaller!) on whether I cast for a revolver. In this case, a 1858 Rem replica with a 45LC conversion cylinder (IIRC). Shotgun? Maybe slugs, the Paradox concept always fascinated me.

Not sure I'll ever shoot Cowboy Action. Run my Brittany Spaniel, hunt Doves, Woodcock, Pheasants... Sit and freeze during WI deer season (so COLD that I wasn't going to shoot one unless it attacked me!). Cast boolits. Load shells. Shoot somewhat in the direction of the target.

Geraldo
07-30-2014, 08:13 AM
I'm not down on competition as long as everybody remembers it's not reality. The tactical 3 gun matches I shot had equipment rules and you might have crawled through mud, but shooting twenty hostiles in a stage isn't any more real than CAS.

JTeale
08-24-2014, 02:48 PM
ohland,

You need to keep in mind that SASS shooters actually believe that they are "members" of an organization, rather than customers, and that their games really do reflect a historical reality.

ohland
08-24-2014, 03:42 PM
Sad but true. The Cowboy range down here does a pretty good business on shoot days. Hmm, a Gatling was period. Wonder what the free recoil of a 45-70 six barrel would be... Hey, they had electric lights and motors before 1900, didn't they? Whomp up a wet-cell motor driven can of whoop-buttocks. Have to leave it tripod mounted... Hey, I remember camel-mounted Maxims.... Not that I was present when they were in service...

Ahh-nold at the CAS range... Brrr-t. Top stage winner every time.

KCSO
08-24-2014, 09:17 PM
Make the gun look authentic???? Sure every old timer went to the hardware store and said hey I don't want that shiny blue one give me that rusted up piece of ... I refuse to do an aged??? muzzleloader you want it aged use it for 30 years!

There is a place in Dante's basement for the fellow who did this to and SKB.

Lance Boyle
08-25-2014, 09:06 AM
I chuckle at the purposely aged guns. Do you think the guys that bought them new in 1878 to 1900 stripped all the finish off in use. I doubt it, that wear and tear took a lot more time and use than that. Look at your own 20-30 year old guns, even the guns that walked the beat on the streets in the 1950-1970's usually didn't look all that bad. A little cylinder and muzzle blueing wear.

I wouldn't mind shooting the cowboy game once or twice for kicks but I'd hardly bother to go out and buy a wardrobe. I don't even own a single action revolver anymore, sold both of them. I did enjoy shooting a Ruger Old Army, that thing was hell on playing cards at 25 paces. One gun I couldn't seem to miss with.

Alvarez Kelly
08-25-2014, 09:13 AM
I shot my first few cowboy matches in blue jeans, a button up shirt, work boots, and a $5 straw hat. Lack of wardrobe is not much of an excuse.

I have never had so much FUN! It takes days for that big grin to leave my face.

I have also never seen anyone "age" their guns. I'm sure it happens, but most all the folks I have met take very good care of their hardware.

There have been plenty of posts here that have been laughably ignorant of the facts. Come out and have fun. Or not.

Janoosh
08-25-2014, 09:55 AM
I've read that there are two different schools of thought when shooting
CAS. One shoots full loads of black powder, the same loads originally used in the 1800's and the other reduced loads of smokeless. It is easy to shoot a non recoiling firearm.

WILCO
08-25-2014, 10:07 AM
Folks that don't shoot Cowboy Action simply don't get it.

That's true. I'm fortunate though. I'm not in the game and I still get it.

John Barleycorn
08-27-2014, 08:12 PM
ohland,

You need to keep in mind that SASS shooters actually believe that they are "members" of an organization, rather than customers, and that their games really do reflect a historical reality.

That's simply not the case. The vast majority understand SASS is a for profit company that is selling "entertainment". SASS is currently in the exploration stages of becoming a Non-profit organization. It may or may not work out.

John Barleycorn
08-27-2014, 08:30 PM
I've read that there are two different schools of thought when shooting
CAS. One shoots full loads of black powder, the same loads originally used in the 1800's and the other reduced loads of smokeless. It is easy to shoot a non recoiling firearm.
There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about what Cowboy Action is. Yes, there are the "warthogs" these are purist that shoot a full case if the holy black out of period firearms, but there are those that don't.
There are the gents that just enjoy a day at the range playing a fantasy game with real guns, lead bullets and being with friends.
There are the top 5% that are born competitive and are dead serious about shooting a fast stage. Some call these gents "gamers"
Below them are the next 5% these are the cowboys that on any given day can beat one of the top shooters and they strive to do so. Pushing the very limit of their skills to catch those gifted few. Often as in my case these very shooters they strive to beat are in fact their mentors, who have helped them along the way.
Im not the first to say it but Cowboy Action is The Most FUN can have with your clothes on and shooting.
Come out and join us I'm sure there is a club near by that would love to see a new shooter.

John Barleycorn
08-27-2014, 08:43 PM
Check out the fun.
http://logansferrysaloon.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,339.0.html

Even had a Wild Bunch and Zoot Shooter with us that day.

Ballistics in Scotland
02-06-2015, 08:57 AM
I think you are very hard on people who pick up some mud and bulge or burst their muzzles.

KCSO
02-06-2015, 11:49 AM
Things wern't any different in the old days I repaied a Parker gun with 18" tubes a while back it was hocked in a bar in 1890 and the owner cut it down to keep under the bar and now his grandkids are having it RESTORED???

Plate plinker
02-07-2015, 03:38 PM
If you have not been in a competition don't knock it. It is a lot of fun, you can meet lot of good people and you can learn to shoot under stress and with a adrenaline dump.

waksupi
02-07-2015, 04:20 PM
If you have not been in a competition don't knock it. It is a lot of fun, you can meet lot of good people and you can learn to shoot under stress and with a adrenaline dump.

That sounds like the local grizzly bear paintball teams!

Plate plinker
02-07-2015, 08:59 PM
Yeah not sure what your getting at waksupi, but I be that's fun too. Bring it on.

waksupi
02-08-2015, 02:48 AM
Yeah not sure what your getting at waksupi, but I be that's fun too. Bring it on.

We send out teams every spring. None have ever reported back, so they must be having fun!

Plate plinker
02-08-2015, 09:08 AM
Sounds like a high casualty rate! No survivors.

Wayne Smith
02-08-2015, 09:14 AM
We send out teams every spring. None have ever reported back, so they must be having fun!
Yes, but have you seen any multicolored bears?