Cowboy Up with Lever Guns From Cimarron, Uberti, Taylor’s
Life is too short to shoot an ugly rifle, so we tested three beauties with this timeless action. If forced to choose, we would fill our dance card with Taylorís & Company 1873 Comanchero.
Good, modern-day cowboy-action shooters can push lead out of lever-action rifles at about 10 shots in two seconds. That’s fast. Tuned guns help. SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) rules allow only original or replica centerfire lever- or slide-action rifles that reflect the period between 1860 and 1899. Caliber can be the minimum, 32, to the largest, 45. Rifles must have exposed hammers, tubular magazines, and barrel lengths longer than 16 inches to qualify for matches. That means clones of the Winchester Model 1866, Models 1873, and Model 1892, are contenders, as well as the Marlin 1894 and reproductions of the Colt Lightning. Many competitors run reloaded 38 Special to the minimum velocity. SASS rules require rifle ammunition to have a maximum muzzle velocity of 1,400 fps or less. The 38 Special has other attributes that make it popular, such as mild recoil, less cost, and ease of reloading.