View Full Version : Unscrewing Rossi Lever Action Barrel

nagib otayek
October 19, 2006, 01:43 PM
I own 2 Rossi lever action rifles in 38 spl and 357. Have tried and failed to unscrew the barrel on either rifle. I have some experience with these guns and have stripped them completely many times for celaning or polishing. The barrels won't come off. Please any suggestions or tricks?

October 19, 2006, 01:50 PM
Threaded barrels require a heavy-duty hydraulic barrel vise with brass or oak inserts, and a fitted action wrench.

A shop vise and a crescent wrench will not only not get the barrel off, it will likely destroy the receiver.

Gun barrels are torqued in TIGHT, and the special gunsmith's barrel vise and action wrench is the only way to get it out.

This is what a gunsmith's barrel vise looks like:

This is a typical gunsmith's action wrench:

October 19, 2006, 02:18 PM


nagib otayek
October 19, 2006, 03:10 PM
The chamber's mouth on the 38 and 357 Rossi Lever Actions have no or very little tolerance I have done work on my rifles with great difficulty. Now they work fine. I just wanted to know how to unscrew the barrels, because in the "Pistol and Revolver Guide" of the Late George C. Nonte, Whose loss I still miss, he appears unscrewing the barrel of a revolver fixing the barrel in a vise and introducing the handle of a hammer in the frame as a lever to unscrew it. Anyway thanks for the information.

October 19, 2006, 08:06 PM
You'll occasionally still see or hear of the business of shoving a hammer handle through a revolver frame window and twisting the frame off.
Worse, some of the people writing about it are otherwise knowledgeable people who should know better.

What you never hear of are the numerous revolvers destroyed by this.

First, this is pretty well guaranteed to bend or spring the frame. This may not be readily apparent, but often people do a home re-barreling job, then wonder why the gun never shoots very well again, or why it suddenly spits lead.

Second, take a look at a revolver frame just below the barrel threads.
You'll notice how thin the metal is in that area.
NOT using a special frame wrench with special inserts that fit THAT specific brand AND model of frame over-stresses that area and the frame cracks right through the threads.

The fact is that many of the old-timers just didn't know they were doing damage to the guns, and good gunsmiths were expensive and hard to find.
They gave it a try and got away with it, and just figured that was an OK technique.

In the case of your rifles, the exact same problems hold when using "expedient" barreling tools.
First, in most cases a shop vice and quickie barrel blocks simply can't hold the barrel tight enough and it'll slip in the block, stripping the blue off.
Barrels are torqued in TIGHT.

Second, unless you use a real frame wrench made to fit that action, you run a high risk of bending or twisting the receiver.

Last, barrels are not just pieces of threaded pipe you can screw on and off at will.
They have to be turned in a lathe to index the barrel correctly so the sights are at 12:00 o'clock top-dead-center, then the head space has to be set.

No BS, there's a LOT more to barreling work than just screwing it on.

People who think all this is just some BS to try to make more money for a gunsmith are in for a rude awakening when they start the job and bad things happen.

There's been a good number of times after some gun magazine writer mentioned using the hammer handle trick I'd have people show up asking me why their prized gun suddenly wasn't working or shooting right.
Other's wanted to know how much it would cost to "straighten the frame" or weld up the crack.

Sorry, even the gun companies are not able to straighten a bent frame or receiver.

nagib otayek
October 23, 2006, 10:03 AM
Thanks a lot Dfariswheel, I didn't consider the points you mentioned.