A few weeks ago I wrote about a new shooting sport centered on fun and enjoyment called Zoot Shooting. I took the plunge and joined and I can’t wait to get started, first match for me will be in the spring. The emphasis is on 1920s-1930s costuming and the fun of shooting some classic firearms like the M1927 Thompson and the Model 1911. However, there are a large number of great classic firearms that fit the period and cost a lot less. Some great values are .38 special revolvers made by Colt and Smith & Wesson; these can be found with at used gun counters all over the country at attractive prices.
As long as it is mechanically sound, these guns with some finish wear will look and perform great in Zoot Shooting. The list is too long to name but the number of firearms available as pre 1939 style is immense. Of course the gun can be of later manufacture as long as it is in approximate 1939 configuration. There is a place for revolvers and semi autos, and I think there is no clear advantage to either. For CAS shooters, the usual cowboy guns (revolvers and rifles) will work just fine, in fact so will some of the leather.
For rifles, the Thompson is available and reasonably affordable; Winchester Model 92 clones are plentiful and comparatively inexpensive. A few of the more interesting choices would be the Winchester M1907 semi auto rifle and stocked Mauser or Luger pistols.
Zoot Shooting has not yet added stages or defined in the rules which shotguns might be eligible. Cowboy double barrel and lever shotguns and the Winchester 1893,1897, 1912, would seem logical, along with Remington, Stevens, and Ithaca offerings could be very interesting.
I think the best advice is to assemble the guns now, and avoid the rush later on.