Another Rossi fan. Have owned ten or so, all "pre-safety" Interarms and EMF. Great guns. Very generally - a Rossi is a Rossi - mostly for the good, but there some exceptions and differences in trim levels and "features" over the years.
As stated Rossis have come in many names (importers). Approximate guide:
- Interarms/"Puma" 1980s (late 70s?) to mid 1990s.
Some of these in the middle years actually had a puma-head emblem on the saddle ring side of the receiver. In the last several years as CAS popularity was on the rise and Rossi really cranked up production, cosmetic quality seemed to suffer with a goofy almost black mystery stain over a sort of generic South American hardwood. Good rifles nevertheless. How to spot an Interarms from a distance? Generally, if you see no safety switch (see LSI) combined with the front sight mounted on the barrel band, it's an Interarms. I'd say the sight alone will usually tell you, but someone said they believed some very early LSI's had that too? I had not seen such but it's possible though would be a minority of LSI's. Most early to mid-year Interarms carbines sported saddle rings like the original Win 92s, the last to do so in any number 'til Navy Arms and EMF.
- LSI (Legacy Sports International) "Puma" - took over from Interarms in the mid-late 1990s and resumed Interarm's position as Rossi's biggest distributor up 'til 2008 or so. Early on, LSI for awhile ran its operation out of the same old Interarms location in Virginia. Dubious achievement award: LSI introduced the much maligned (but generally benign) safety switch atop the receiver - "fixable" aftermarket (minor smithing or DIY). See note above in Interarms, but most LSI carbines sported front post sights finally relocated off the barrel band, per the original Win 92s. This "correct" position was adopted by EMF, Navy Arms and the currebt era Rossi-Bretech as well.
- EMF Co. Mid-late 1990s to present (with an interruption in most models' availbility (ca 2019-2012 or so?). Lately have seen them on the website looking to be a regular offering again. EMF's had no extra safety switch 'til mid 2006. Older EMFs are generally a little nicer wood/finish, sights, etc., than their Rossi competitors save for Navy Arms
- Navy Arms. Mid-late 1990's to 2006 when they got out of the Rossi/92 business. Only one to supposedly wear genuine walnut furniture. Always a low volume 92 importer, used ones are now scarce and 20" carbines especially hard to come by. Also, like Interarms and older EMFs, no extra safety switch.
- Rossi, courtesy new parent company Taurus-Braztech. Ca 2008 to present, AFAIK, until EMF recently started carrying Rossis again, was the only importer of "its own" 92s following LSI's '08 switch to Chiappa. Following the old LSI-Rossi pattern, all Braztech Rossis have the safety switch.
- As suggested, contrary to the popular assumption, not all Rossi 92's are "Pumas." only Interarms and LSIs are the ones to formally have the "Puma" marketing name. However, because these distributors were the biggest importers in their respective years of operation, many folks have used it to refer to any Rossi 92 (some any 92 period) like many say "Coke" for any cola.
So, there are a bunch of different names you can look up for Rossis.
I'm sure I've missed an odd one or two or missed a specific year, but that's about it.
Last edited by gak; March 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM.