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Discussion Starter #1
I have read some stories on how there are a couple of smoothbore SAA's supposedly used in the Wild West shows.

When I started thinking about this, how would these guns have been used?
I assume they fired .45 shotshells through 'em, but wouldn't that be somewhat "cheating" since its much easier to hit a tiny/moving target with a couple of pellets than with a single bullet?

Not trying to bash the shooters there, just my thoughts.

And what would the accuracy be if you fired a single bullet through a smoothbore barrel?
 

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Smoothbore guns were for shooting shot cartridges. The point was to make an impossible shot look possible when done by a so-called sharp-shooter. I saw quite a few of these when I was younger.
The smoothbore guns were/are lousy for standard ammo.
 

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'Think' about this for a minute...

These men were trick shot performers, and those guys don't have a show if they miss.

Have 'you' ever tried hitting something as large, say, as a thrown Blue Rock?

They're not easy to hit - plus, a lot of these shows were tent shows, and patching bullet holes gets to be tedious.

Enter the smoothbore barrel...

Not only did they pretty much guarantee a hit on a frangible target - their shot would dissipate and lose its penetrating power well before hitting the apex of the Big Top, with the crowd being none the wiser.

Outdoor shows like that of the Topperweins - who shot wooden blocks - were different, but they also used Winchester rifles and shotguns and strikes could be seen.

Accuracy from a smoothbore is minimal - at typical SASS distances, it's accurate enough - anything past that and you actually have to use rifling and sights.
 

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I remember someone years ago, thinking Ken Maynard, performed at an outdoor rodeo, and used bullets for his aerial shooting, with what I recall a Winchester rifle.

He got a substantial bill later from a greenhouse, where falling bullets broke more than a few panes of glass.


Bob Wright
 

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Roy Rogers used them. As a kid I remember him shooting hand thrown targets in a indoor arena. I remember that he missed a couple.
 

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I have read some stories on how there are a couple of smoothbore SAA's supposedly used in the Wild West shows.

When I started thinking about this, how would these guns have been used?
I assume they fired .45 shotshells through 'em, but wouldn't that be somewhat "cheating" since its much easier to hit a tiny/moving target with a couple of pellets than with a single bullet?

Not trying to bash the shooters there, just my thoughts.

And what would the accuracy be if you fired a single bullet through a smoothbore barrel?
It's a performance, so I don't know that it's cheating any more than say a magic show. Would you be upset if you found out the magician wasn't using real magic? It's all fake, just like wrestling.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
'Think' about this for a minute...

These men were trick shot performers, and those guys don't have a show if they miss.

Have 'you' ever tried hitting something as large, say, as a thrown Blue Rock?

They're not easy to hit - plus, a lot of these shows were tent shows, and patching bullet holes gets to be tedious.

Enter the smoothbore barrel...

Not only did they pretty much guarantee a hit on a frangible target - their shot would dissipate and lose its penetrating power well before hitting the apex of the Big Top, with the crowd being none the wiser.

Outdoor shows like that of the Topperweins - who shot wooden blocks - were different, but they also used Winchester rifles and shotguns and strikes could be seen.

Accuracy from a smoothbore is minimal - at typical SASS distances, it's accurate enough - anything past that and you actually have to use rifling and sights.
Fair points. Gotta agree with you.
I wish I had the option to practice such shooting, but I can only shoot indoors for now. So no, I haven't tried it yet.
 

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The legality of a smooth bore SAA is also a issue today. The 1934 NFA reclassified them as a short barreled shotgun
 
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