Monday, October 8, 2012

Good News: for the Wild Bunch shooting!

According to Michael Bane Blog

"Originally, the 1897 Winchester and its Chinese clones were the only pump guns allowed. But in Wild Bunch shooting, the pump guns are loaded up and run like pump guns are supposed to be run (in cowboy, '97s are only loaded 2 at a time). Winchester '97s are sketchy at best — they're old, overly complicated (87 separate heat treating steps) and prone to being pounded to pieces. My friend Gene Pearcey (cowboy champion "Evil Roy")  has always said every cowboy shooter needed 3 '97s — one to shoot, one for back-up, the other at the gunsmith being repaired. When I shot '97s in competition, I found this to be gospel.

The Wild Bunch founding fathers decided — wisely, I think — to allow Winchester Model 12s into the sport effective 1 January 2013. Model 12s, one of the most famous and best -selling shotguns ever, was created to solve many of the shortcomings of the Model '97. Secondly, Winchester made about a billion of the things, and they're widely available at completely sane prices. My local gunstore had 7 of the things in the rack, with prices starting at $250. Cheap at the price! Mine's a 1950s vintage gun (as opposed to my 1903 '97) in excellent shape. Ken cut the barrel to 21 inches or so, took an inch off the stock, fitted screw-in chokes and replaced the worn parts.

I think Wild Bunch has the potential, I believe, to be a major national sport, capturing the good points of both cowboy action shooting and some of the other practical shooting sports like USPSA. 1911s remain crazy popular, and the cool thing about a Model 12 is that I would not be uncomfortable at all using my Model 12 as a home protection shotgun (I would use a '97 if that's what I had, but I would worry)."

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