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Thread: What are Cowboy action loads anyway?

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default What are Cowboy action loads anyway?

    I was warned. "That's nasty stuff", he said at Boondock.

    Back at the cleaning bench after shooting a box of Winchester .44 Special Cowboy Action Loads (240gr, lead flat nose), residue was everywhere. It looked like house windows after a fire. Andy Hawk had gone over the gun a couple of months ago, and I wanted it back to clean. But it took some soaking this time. I had been looking for cheap practice ammo, but might pay the extra dollar to skip this ammo next time.

    What exactly are "cowboy action loads"? Didn't find much online incld Wikipedia.
    Do they always leave so much residue?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    What exactly are "cowboy action loads"? Didn't find much online incld Wikipedia.
    Do they always leave so much residue?

    Thanks.

    Cowboy Action loads are made for the SASS (Single Action Shooters Society)? for their fun shoots. The loads are:

    Very light for lowest recoil.
    Lead bullets only (no jacketd loads allowed)
    Lubed with a lube to help make smoke. (That's more fun to watch)?

    The loads are so light (low pressure) that the powder doesn't burn well and leaves a lot of residue and this mixed with the lube and the soft lead makes a nice clean up job.

    If you don't roll your own you're at the mercy of ammo makers.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default I thought the smoke was for...

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Cowboy Action loads are made for the SASS (Single Action Shooters Society)? for their fun shoots. The loads are:

    Very light for lowest recoil.
    Lead bullets only (no jacketd loads allowed)
    Lubed with a lube to help make smoke. (That's more fun to watch)?

    The loads are so light (low pressure) that the powder doesn't burn well and leaves a lot of residue and this mixed with the lube and the soft lead makes a nice clean up job.

    If you don't roll your own you're at the mercy of ammo makers.
    I thought the extra smoke and cleanup was to add to the realism. After all, in the era CAS/SASS is simulating, black powder was the propellant. So, the extra fouling and extra cleanup is all part of it, eh?

    (I trust this light-load humor post does not lead to extra fouling!)
    Lost Sheep

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Foul humor...

    Ahaa!. Plenty to learn, isn't there?

    There was more soot on that gun than I'd ever seen.
    Thank you, gentlemen.

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    Some of them are surprising. My friend brought over his Marlin 45-70 with the cowboy loads. I was amazed at how accurate they were. Not dirty in the rifle either. We had a ball.
    But in the revolvers, it is the secret for fast shooting. Almost no recoil. Way too tame for a hunter and not good enough practice when hunting loads recoil so much more. I believe in shooting only what I hunt with for serious practice. Handling recoil is a very important part of practice.
    I do make some light fun loads though because it is cheaper if I want to just bust cans and shoot a lot.
    My hunting loads with cast and 296 gets dirty too from the lube mostly. I use STP on the cylinder pin and ratchet to prevent wear and tightening from crud. It even works on my cap and ball.
    I am getting close to 58,000 rounds through my SBH and it shows no wear or looseness because of STP.

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