I decided to expand my Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) by competing in what is called “Wild Bunch” shooting. Just like Cowboy Action Shooting, Wild Bunch is a fantasy competition where folks compete within the theme of the “Wild Bunch”.
The Wild Bunch is a 1969 Western movie about an aging outlaw gang on the Texas-Mexico border, trying to exist in the changing “modern” world of 1913.
Unlike CAS where all weapons are pre 1899. the guns allowed in Wild Bunch are those that appeared in the movie. The two biggest departures from CAS is the use of a John Browning model 1911 pistol and the only authorized shotguns which are the Winchester model 1897 and Model 12.
I just bought an inexpensive 1911A1 and plan to shoot in the Traditional category (akin to Duelist). I don’t own either required shotgun but I feel confident that I can convince the local clubs to let me shoot my ’87.
I bought an IAC 1911A1 “Regent” which is of Turkish manufacture.
I shot some cheap russian ammo from Walmart without incident but since I’ll be shooting at steel targets in competition I have to switch to cast bullets and that meant casting my own or buying them pre-cast. Either way I would be reloading my own ammo. I decided to cast.
As I mentioned above, Wild Bunch requires the use of a 1897 Winchester, external hammer pump shotgun or new this year, a Winchester Model 12. I found an 1897 from the same guy I bought my 1887 from, Slate Mike from Vermont. He gave me a good price on a 1939 version of this shotgun. It had been refinished at some point but I’m not a collector, I plan to shoot it. The barrel is cut to 20″ and it has a screw-in improved cylinder choke installed, we’ll see how I like that.
To start I bought a Lee six cavity mold for the H&G 68 200gr SWC. I have some wheel weight lead on order but until I get it I decided to cast using some of my 20:1 BPCR lead. It’s a bit soft and will likely lead the barrel but I needed something to shoot.
I am using the same .452″ sizing die that I use with my Big lube bullet, and as a matter of fact I didn’t have to adjust any settings, it lubed my new bullet perfectly. I am using my black powder lube mix of 50/50 beeswax and mutton tallow and I added just a little bit of carnuba wax to stiffen it so it would not be as sticky as the original formula and it worked fine. When this runs out I’ll try adding a little more beeswax (I’m out of carnuba) to see if I can achieve the same effect.
I actually had some issues with the resultant bullets seating properly in my go/no-go gauge and it appears that I was stretching the case while sizing. Lubing the brass first solved that problem.
I was having so much fun with my 1911 in the back yard that I just had to have another one. This second one is going to be used in the Wild Bunch Modern Category. I wanted a stainless steel gun but I did not want to spend a thousand dollars or more for one. I was just about to order the Regent R200s stainless 1911 which looks really nice and them I discovered a local gun shop had a bunch or Ruger SR1911’s in stock so I jumped into the car and drove up there.
Sure enough this shop had about 20 Rugers which surprised the heck out of me because they are
ult to find anywhere. I left the store with one and here it is.
The Ruger comes with lots of features found on guns $500 more expensive and is just beautiful. I cant wait to shoot it. Oh, and it’s 100% Made in America for an added bonus.