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Old November 24, 2012, 02:59 AM   #1
TennJed
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Rossi 92 in 45colt as first/only/all purpose rifle

I grew up hunting on occasion and still do. When I do I have a multitude of family members with land and rifles. I am a handgun fanatic. I love shooting and collecting them. I have just never gotten around to getting a rifle. I have reached to point where I want one and feel I "need" one. (I do have a Ruger 10/22 so the rimfire rifle is covered)

I reload and my favorite caliber is 45 colt. I am considering a Rossi 92 in 45 colt with a 24" barrel. What is everyone's opinon on this as a first rifle. My primary use for all firearms is fun and hobby, but self defense is important. I am pretty sure this gun would be a hoot to shoot, but how do you think it would stack up as an all purpose gun (100-150 yard hunting, self defense, SHTF [ I know those thread are frowned upon, but this would be part of the guns role])

Should I break down and get a AR or AK? I know both of those would have higher capacity and longer ranges.

I am driving myself crazy trying to pick out my christmas present and I keep going back to the Rossi. Already reloading for 45 colt plays a big role in wanting this gun. ARs get a lot of hype and I am sure it is for a good reason.

What are your thoughts?
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Old November 24, 2012, 05:30 AM   #2
alex0535
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It would make a great companion to your 45 colt handguns.

I don't know much about rossi firearms other than that I want a circuit judge. On that note, have you looked at the circuit judge? Basically they took the "judge" handgun platform, added a stock and a longer barrel, and called it the circuit judge. It shoots .410 2.5" and 3" shotshells and 45 colt as well.

Single action/double action .410 shotgun and 45 colt in a rifle platform.
http://www.rossiusa.com/product-deta...adcrumbseries=

Marlin 1894 Cowboy is also chambered in .45 colt. They have a long history of making lever actions, and we actually own a couple of them. Worth checking out.

As far as hunting, I don't know how viable 45 colt would be against a deer at 100 yards. Shot placement would have to be perfect, or else an injured animal is going to run too far away to find. You would get a lot more punch with a .44 magnum or something. I would feel much better about .44 magnum for hunting or defense against whatever might need to be shot.

Last edited by alex0535; November 24, 2012 at 05:43 AM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 07:37 AM   #3
Dr. A
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I have a 45 Colt 24 inch Octagonal barreled Rossi. Out of the box, like many factory guns, it was rough, hard to load, and not accurate. I planned on using a tang sight, and have happily gotten one and learned how to use it. I also hand load. This gun can handle more pressure than a Ruger, but the types of bullets it can handle are more limited. Any lever action will have OAL limitations as well as just having certain bullets it prefers to shoot. I cleaned the action, replaced some springs, and most importantly firelapped the bore because of the extremely rough barrel it had. It had dovetail contrictions that limited the accuracy of cast bullets considerably. 47 or so lapping loads later, I can shoot 4 inch steel plates at 150 yards with relative ease, and count on hitting them nearly every time.It loves the moderate load of a Lyman 250gr rn or swc, but not a store bought 270gr. SWC. It also likes other bigger bullet loads as long as they are higher velocity. I have numerous Marlins, and because they are not of recent manufacture, have not had quality control issues. Newer ones made by. Remington have taken a dip in quality, but hopefully are improving again. My Marlin 45 Colt was easy by comparison to get to shoot. The best part of getting a 45 Colt lever, is that they shoot the same cast diameter as the Ruger revolver does when its throats have been cleaned up. I may get another in 45 Colt (short 20 in barrel stainless), but will look on it as a work in progress. Incidently, my 45 Rossi did like jacketed bullets from the start. That is not an option for general plinking for me. If I hunted with a 45 colt, it would be with my 20 inch Marlin. It is much more balanced, and quick to the shoulder.

Last edited by Dr. A; November 24, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 07:50 AM   #4
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One advantage to the lever rifle over the AR or AK is that it does not have the "sinister black gun" appearance. Depending on what part of the country you are in, that may be something to consider.

I'd choose a Marlin over the Rossi, personally. If you get the Rossi you will likely find it is pretty rough out of the box but they can be slicked up and made better.

I agree with the reply that recommended a 20 inch barrel over the 24.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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I also have a 45 Colt 24" octagon barreled Rossi made in Brazil. It is rough as a corn cob. Just yesterday, I completed the tuning mods by www.stevesgunz.com . While it runs better, it is still rough.

If you are set on a 92, look at Chiappa firearms made in Italy. While it is a tad more expensive, the fit and finish are supposed to be much superior to the Rossi.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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Not so very different from a M94 in 44 mag. I've killed a couple of deer with a Win 94 Trapper 44 mag so see no reason the 45 Colt wouldn't work nearly as well. It will throw lead in good fashion past 100 yards to keep the boogie man at bay.
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:55 PM   #7
TennJed
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Thanks for all the info guys. As far as the 24" vs the 20", I assumed the 24" would give me better accuracy and a little longer effective range. If it is just a marginal difference I might go with the 20". What is everyone's opinion on the accuracy and reach difference?
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Old November 25, 2012, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Thanks for all the info guys. As far as the 24" vs the 20", I assumed the 24" would give me better accuracy and a little longer effective range.
Probably not.

All other things equal, shorter barrels give better accuracy because they are stiffer. Read up on barrel harmonics to understand.

As to muzzle velocity, the 45LC is a pistol cartridge and is typically loaded from the factory with fast powders. This being the case, it is logical to assume that all of the powder will be consumed before the 20 inch mark is reached and that by 24 inches, the bullet has already begun slowing down. This phenomenon can probably be mitigated with a different powder selection when reloading.

Speaking of reloading, if you are not already a reloader, you will probably want to become one when you start shooting 45LC. It is without a doubt the most expensive handgun ammunition extant in my area. At $40/box of 50, I couldn't afford to shoot it very much.
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Old November 25, 2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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My son has a Rossi Puma Lever in 45mag. Nice gun, great finish and is accurate for hunting or defense. Like hand guns, once you buy one many will follow. I like the idea of similar cartridge size, being able to fire multiple guns with the same ammo. Good luck with your Christmas present!
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Old November 25, 2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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I would go with the long barreled rifle version because I like long barrels(especially octagonal) and the way they're set up with the dovetailed mag tube and nose capped forearm. I would limit hunting to 75-100 yards with 75 preferred. Most deer are taken at closer ranges.
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Old November 25, 2012, 03:39 PM   #11
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I could recommend the 20" carbine

You won't be giving up much in the way of velocity. 4 extra inches of barrel can really get in the way in many situations.
I've got the 20" stainless version and it is accurate enough, easy to shoot and a joy to carry. It weighs just under 6lbs empty.
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Old November 25, 2012, 03:57 PM   #12
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I've got a 20" Rossi in 45 Colt. The action was pretty rough when I first got it many years ago but has smoothed out with use. It loves heavy Ruger only handloads and will knock **** out of a deer. I keep shots inside 100 yds due to my poor eyesight but it will group around 2" @ 100 yds with younger eyes doing the shooting.
With the 20" barrel it is a joy to carry and makes a good deep woods gun. One of the main benefits to lever actions for SD situations is they can be top loaded while cocked and chambered. Even with Cowboy loads it is a formidable gun.
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Old November 25, 2012, 03:57 PM   #13
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20" R92 .45 Colt will kill anything on earth. You can shoot stem to stern on most any creature and shoot through most any creature on a broadside. 300 grain LBT style hard cast bullet or JSP for big stuff and 250 grain SWC or JHP for self-defense. For sure you can go to 150 yards.
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Old November 25, 2012, 04:31 PM   #14
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Another +1 for the 20" carbine. I've had/have several 20 inchers and one 24 - in .44 Mag (relative to this thread)...same difference for your purposes. The long gun is fun but if I could only have one, it'd be the 20" carbine. They get 5x the field time the 24" does. You'll really enjoy that .45 in the 92 same as I have my .44's. Eight or nine 92s (.44-40, 44 Mag and .357) over 35 years or so, few problems with any.

I disagree that you have to move up to a Chiappa (Cimarron or Taylors) to get a good running 92. If yours is a bit stiff out of the box--some are, some aren't--a couple hundred dry leverings watching a movie or game on TV can help smooth things out a bit (and nothing beats shooting them either)....and then there's the DVD mentioned earlier many have had great success for a DIY tune job. Mine are all older pre-safety 92s and have not been an issue on most in the stiffness department. A few have needed "extra help.". I can't speak for the newer "Rossi" imported "Rossis" (since Braztech/Taurus ownership). To a degree, you do get what you pay for versus the Chiappa, but the latter gun has not been entirely without their critics either regarding some of the small bits at times. They're beautiful and frankly I want one (at least!) as they're cosmetically the closest to the originals (w/o the otherwise excellent current Miroku production of Winchester's own lawyer ba********* of the gun), but the Rossi will do yeoman's duty for fun, SD or hunting for a very long time.

While I don't prefer them, some do (for their steadying weight out front, especially for CAS'ers) - you might look at the 20" octagonal "short rifle" as a compromise to your needs. same look/features as the 24",just shorter barrel. I still like the extra "wieldability" and packability of the lighter round barreled 20" carbine, with very little sacrifice of accuracy (for me) to the heavier brreled guns...not to mention the carbine's more gently curved buttplate (vs the sharper "rifle" aka "antique" crescent butt of both the short rifle and 24"). Regardless of which 20", same number of rounds in the tube (10) versus 12 IIRC on the 24". Nice thing is there's something for everybody.

I didn't recall mention of finish, but if in a moist climate you might consider stainless. Not my problem being in Aridzona so all mine are my preferred blue, but something to consider.

To the question of HD/SD, while no AR or M1 Carbine in the rapid reloading department, the lever format does permit loading "on the run"--as you're shooting. Something other repeating rifle types can't do. Again, not as a comparison to the autoloaders, but an indication these old style levers aren't totally useless in the HD role, esecially if you're leaning in that direction anyway.

My .02.

Last edited by gak; November 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old November 25, 2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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Couple of years ago, I walked into the LGS and there was an 1894AE 20" in 45LC. Added Ghost Rings and it's a doozy. You won't sacrifice any velocity in 20".
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Old November 25, 2012, 05:02 PM   #16
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Have you looked at the Henry big boy in 45l.c. www.henryrepeating.com
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Old November 25, 2012, 10:16 PM   #17
Mobuck
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45 Colt really doesn't use enough powder to show a velocity gain in a 24" vs 20" barrel. Longer sight plain might make a slight difference when using open sights.
Regardless of previous comments, this is STILL A HANDGUN CARTRIDGE and can not and will not provide the performance of even a low end rifle cartridge(30/30, 35 Rem) except at very short range.
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Old November 25, 2012, 11:19 PM   #18
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^ No - disagree
From Paco Kelly's Lever Guns web site and his article on .45 Long Colt:

"I once whacked one of our famous and tough old jack rabbits (the Arizona type made from bailing wire, hard tack, and ½ inch leather strips) with one of Kelly’s 275 grain 45 slugs at around 2000 fps muzzle velocity. I know I hit him at right under 100 paces...even with recoil I saw bits and hunks go everywhere....but when I got there, I found nothing that resembled a rabbit of any kind..though there was a lot of very small pieces of fur and such over a six to seven foot circle. By the way that’s somewhat close to 2700 lbs of muzzle energy.

A better comparison indicator for me, of where a handloaded round is in the scale of killing ability...is to compare it’s standing against other rounds without the over rated muzzle energy figures. If you multiply the velocity times the bullet weight, and then divide by 7000 (number of grains in a lb, it’s the old Keith method) you get a better picture of actual power/killing levels compared to other rounds. 2000 X 275 div 7000 = KS(Killing Scale) of 79 for this 45 long Colt load from the Rossi 1892. A 44 magnum Ruger revolver with a 275 grain (same nose shape) cast WFN bullet at 1400 FPS velocity reaches a level of KS 55, and that’s a heavy handgun load that’s harvests larger medium game very well.

A 30-30 with a 170 gr bullet at 2200 FPS gives a level of power ranking at KS 53.4... ahh yes dear reader, the 44 mag from a long gun really does have more power at 100 yards than a 30-30/170 commercial load. Of course the 44 mag/275 gr. load above from a rifle, at basically the same velocity as the 275 gr./45 long Colt from a rifle has the same killing level potential as the 45 long Colt. There are difficulties with all measuring methods of bullet energy and killing ability since so much more is involved than just velocity and weight...but this works for me when we are comparing the same bullet shape/content and construct with changes in weight or velocity.

The neat thing about this method is you can take the down range velocities all the way out to your longest range and compare them with the down range velocities of other rounds, calibers and see the changes compared to each other. The 45 long Colt at 100 yards has slowed to 1600 FPS and the killing level has dropped to almost KS of 63 from 79. Where the 30-30 load has dropped to 1930FPS to a KS 46 from 53.4.....that should make a few yell ‘foul...can’t be’, but it is! And from my use of these 45 loads in the field for years on large game....I can tell you it is.....! As many gunwriters have stated over the years, a 44 mag or heavy loaded 45 long Colt fired from a rifle is more powerful than a 30-30 at 100 yards....actually they are more powerful than the great 30-30, at a lot further than 100 yards.....

So the next time someone states the 44 mag and 45 long Colt from rifles only has an advantage over the 30-30 under 100 yards...show him the error of his reality. But remember bullet drop with the larger calibers, is more than the 308 calibers ....But that never bothered me....mainly because I started rifle shooting without scopes and learned how to compensate....scopes were far from being seen, much less using them, when we were boys. (Some like to say so was smokeless powder, but I’m not that old)."

BTW - What .30-30 load goes 2,700 ft lbs?
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Old November 26, 2012, 08:47 AM   #19
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Taking velocity on my two guns has told me the 20 inch definitely shoots faster than the 24. On a Rossi, the 24 inch gun has a very heavy and not tapered barrel. Its OK for shooting at the range, but like I said, I prefer the 20 inch Marlin for hunting. Very handy and fast. If I seemed down on the Rossi, I think its only because it did take me some time to get it whipped into shape. Some folks would have given up on it sooner. Its a real shooter now.

I also load higher pressure loads for hunting. However, when throwing large chunks of lead, there is a law of diminishing returns. If Paco claims he has taken his gun to 50,000 CUP, and the Marlin to 40,000 CUP, I don't doubt him. He has also been known to load a bit beyond where most others wouldn't dare to tread. I do load my 45 colts up, but more along the 30,000 CUP Ruger load levels.

Last edited by Dr. A; November 26, 2012 at 09:03 AM.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:51 PM   #20
TennJed
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Thanks for everything. One more thing. I actually reload for 357, 38sp, & 45 colt. I originally thought I would go for the 45 colt because I thought it would be a little more powerful and maybe have a slightly better effective range. If I did want to try a 50-75 yard deer hunt would the 45 be a better option. I am now considering the 357 because it is cheaper to reload. What kind if power difference am I really looking at.

Thanks again, this thread has been really helpful.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
All other things equal, shorter barrels give better accuracy because they are stiffer. Read up on barrel harmonics to understand.
All things are never equal.

Accuracy should be pretty close. The effects of a "stiffer" short barrel have a marginal effect on accuracy.
The positives of a longer barrel have to do with increased velocity and recoil dampening from the greater weight. Given this is a pistol caliber those gains will probably be relatively marginal as well.
There might also be a slight advantage with a longer sight radius.

I'd suggest picking barrel length, in this case, on how the gun feels.
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Old November 28, 2012, 09:00 PM   #22
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I'd work as a 150 yard rifle if you load it warm & shoot it real well. The problem, as I see it, is that if you misjudge your distance the trajectory will contribute to misses, or worse, bad 'hits'.

This is from someone who loves the 45 Colt, owned the 16" version, loaded it hot & (generally) shot it pretty well. The eye opener for me came when I took it out and started shooting random targets at unknown ranges, across a 200 yard section of pasture with a few little dips and rises on it. Somewhere just past 125 yards, it became real easy to shoot dirt instead of my intended target.

I followed with my old iron-sighted 94 Winchester and destroyed them at will. The difference was startling and provided some insight as to why the 30-30 was seen as such a world-beater in its heyday.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:30 PM   #23
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I have a Rossi '92 with 24" bbl in 45 Colt and in Stainless Steel. It is a fantastic rifle. It is very accurate, and a TON of fun to shoot. It has 12 in the magazine, and 10 more on the buttstock. I would not feel undergunned with mine. I load and shoot some pretty hot 45 Colt loads and the Rossi'92 handles them with EASE, making it a pretty formidable rifle to face.




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Old November 28, 2012, 10:36 PM   #24
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Go ahead and google the Paco article, No doubt loaded to even just the somewhat less powerful Marlin level, the 45 is more powerful by a margin similar to the 357 compared to the 44. I will give the 357 higher marks, though, for slightly longer distance shooting accuracy. The short, fat bullets drop quickly. I prefer the 45 for its quiet, but 357 can kill well with a carbine as well. Get what you want. My 24 inch gun is a range toy. The 20 inch gun does what a pistol cartridge should do. Its easy to hit the target off hand, and carry is much easier. I will also say I much prefer the Marlin action.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:52 PM   #25
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Paco's article on the .357 - he do like to push things.
http://leverguns.com/articles/paco/3...literature.htm
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