View Full Version : local dealer trying to talk me out of buying a Rossi Lever for entry level cowboy...

Magnum Wheel Man
February 17, 2011, 03:21 PM
said none of his have run right... I have a very good retired gunsmith that still does projects for me, just to keep busy, so I'm inclined to buy one anyway...

so... how have current production Rossi's been ( specifically 357 mag & 45 Colt models ) ... still haven't made up my mind on cartridge :o

February 17, 2011, 03:45 PM
I bought a Rossi Puma M92 .357Mag about two years ago. It has been completely reliable and is accurate and has a pretty smooth action. I haven't had any work done to it but there's a guy, StevesGunz.com, who is supposed to be really good with them.

February 17, 2011, 04:28 PM
Mine's a .357, two of my buddies have .44 mags and all three have been perfect since we got them early last year. I hear that they're a pretty popular entry level gun for the cowboy shooters.

FWIW, I believe that ours are Braztech Rossis.

February 17, 2011, 05:01 PM
The book on the 92s is that if they will run they will run well.
If they don't Stevesgunz can make them sing.

February 17, 2011, 05:41 PM
My 44-40 was stiff out of the box. I filled the action with white lithium grease and worked it a couple of hours and it's slick as a whistle now.

February 17, 2011, 09:35 PM
Hey Hawg - just curious . . . which side of your rifle is the grease zerk mounted on? :D Sorry . . . couldn't help myself :rolleyes:

On the serious side . . . that sounds like a good way to "break it in" - after you do that with the lithium grease, do you leave it that way or do you have to take it apart and clean it up after you've done a lot of shooting?

February 17, 2011, 11:42 PM
Looking to save some scratch when I can, I was looking into adding one of these someday soon. Good to hear they have a positive rep. The guy at the local Sportsman's Warehouse doesn't even carry them, but he had some nice things to say too.

February 18, 2011, 01:50 AM
Entry level my butt! I've been using mine since 1994. Now, if you are really skilled and have panther-like coordination a short stroked '73 would help you gain a second or two per stage. For some folks that is what's needed to win but geeze, I shoot in the Frontiersman category (cap&ball) so I don't scare anyone. Before short stroke kits were designed the original "gamer gun" for match winners was the '92 short rifle. That is the one with the 20" OCTAGONAL barrel which added some weight and stability when working the action to stay on target. If I weren't such a cheapskate I'd get me a coupla those but so far, for my purposes the two Rossi 92 carbines I have are doing well. They are sensitive to OAL which is different for each bullet shape but once you get the cartridge dialed in to the sweet spot OAL they are reliable rifles.

February 18, 2011, 05:06 AM
Bedbug I had way too much grease it it to even consider shooting it that way. I just flushed it out with liberal amounts of WD-40 followed with Remoil. Before, I had to really slam the lever open to get the carrier to come up. Now you can hold it by the forearm out in front of you and work loaded rounds thru it with one finger.

February 18, 2011, 10:03 AM
Entry level my butt!

:D That's what I get for listening to rumors!

February 18, 2011, 10:23 AM
well i can't comment on the actual rossi version but i have a puma 92 (the ones made by rossi) and its a great little gun and a blast to shoot. I guess pumas are now made by someone else and about twice the price but i would buy another rossi made 92 without a problem.

Magnum Wheel Man
February 18, 2011, 10:27 AM
I have to wonder if that isn't a financially motivated recommendation ( from my local dealer ) maybe he makes more money on the Marlins & Henry's he normally stocks ???

February 18, 2011, 10:31 AM
Yes. The new Puma is made in Italy and is almost twice the money.

February 18, 2011, 11:12 AM
New puma rifles are made by Armi Chiappa (Armi Sport) in Italy. I have actually heard some bad things about them, but I've no first hand knowlege of them. I do own an old Rossi puma .44 mag carbine. Had it for 16 years. One of the best rifles I own and I have Ubertis and Marlins and winchesters. I hunt with it and use it as a "farm" gun. If you get one I do not think you will be sorry IMHO.

February 18, 2011, 12:14 PM
They are sensitive to OAL which is different for each bullet shape but once you get the cartridge dialed in to the sweet spot OAL they are reliable rifles.Hellgate,
My Brazilian Puma was a closet queen for many years; but, now I have access to a new range. Tried it with home cast .38 and .357 SWC's and got feeding failures. Any suggestions for bullet type and OAL? -- I'm thinking of trying some jacketed FP's or HP's to get it broken it. TIA

February 18, 2011, 12:50 PM
Here's how I work up a load:
Pick your bullet, load up 5 dummy rounds without primers or powder with the bullets seated way out (like 1.7" long). Load them into the magazine and rack them out rapidly. WRITE DOWN the OAL and brief description i.e. "rough", "hangups", "stovepipes," etc. Then go back and reseat them to a deeper OAL like 1.65, 1.63, 1.60, and on down to where you start getting rough feeding again. Write down findings each time or you WILL FORGET the last or best OAL (BTDT). You will find a "sweet spot". Mine was 1.61" for BOTH my Pumas for the SWC and 1.56" for the RN). After finding the right OAL, THEN fiddle with the powder charge from the bench over sand bags at 25 or 50 yds using 3 or 5 shot groups of each charge. I use a muzzle loading 6 bull target and keep a notebook with sections for each gun with a list of favorite loads for each gun including OAL. For the Rossi Pumas I find the best feeding OAL first then work up the powder charge. I use my Rossis exclusively for CAS/SASS matches where reliable feeding is paramount. I also have fire lapped both rifles and groups shrunk by about 30% afterwards. I do the opposite for the deer rifles (get most accurate powder charge then fiddle w/OAL that is most accurate AND feeds well). I've had OAL changes shrink groups by 50% in my 30-06.

February 18, 2011, 03:09 PM
I got a NIB Rossi in .357 in August and haven't had any real issues. Occasionally a case expands too much and it takes more force on the lever to extract it than is normal, but other than that it's a great gun. The action isn't as smooth as on my Henry lever action, but works just fine anyway.

February 18, 2011, 05:11 PM
Best bullets for any lever gun are round nose flat points and truncated cones.

February 18, 2011, 05:59 PM
Hawg - thanks for the info on what you did - I'm filing it away in my "little black book" as I'm hoping to pick a lever action up this next summer in 357 - to go with my New Vaquero - so I can shoot 38 spl in both. I had a Winchester 94 in 30/30 that was made in '67 - so it was one of the "newer ones". The durn thing operated like an engine that someone had thrown a handfull of bolts in to - it just never seemed to work smoothly. I finally sold it. If I'd known your trick, it probably would have made a big difference in it. I was always amazed at the difference in quality and operation with the 94 my father-in-law had that was made in the 20s (I think). Putting his next to mine was like setting a Mercedes next to a Yugo. I wanted his 94 in the worst way but he gave it to his son (my b-in-law) shich is where it should have gone - except he ended up selling it to buy car parts - but then he's an idiot anyway. Thanks for the advice - greatly appreciated! :)

February 18, 2011, 11:15 PM
Thanks for your recommendations.

February 19, 2011, 12:59 AM
Very logical, Hellgate, and excellent advice. Thankyou.

March 28, 2011, 05:05 AM
I got a Rossi 44 mag lever action last year. It hits about a foot high at 100 yards with rear sight set to minimum elevation. Front sight is fixed/welded on. So, it makes a nice bang stick.. That's about it. Low quality..

March 28, 2011, 07:18 AM
I've had a Rossi M92 SRC in .357 Mag. since the early 80's and it has been a great rifle. Light, accurate and 100% reliable. I haven't experienced any feeding failures in mine, it seems to handle .38's and .357 Mag's with the same good performance. I would recommend it to anyone and I don't consider it an entry level gun.



March 28, 2011, 08:33 AM
I started with a Rossi Puma 1892 .45 Colt, then went to toggle links, and now am on a Marlin and Spencer kick. My daughter has won her category at the Montana state championship two years running with a .357 Rossi SRC just like the one pictured above. She shoots 125 grain .38's through it and has never had a hiccup.

March 28, 2011, 09:50 AM
I got a Rossi 44 mag lever action last year. It hits about a foot high at 100 yards with rear sight set to minimum elevation. Front sight is fixed/welded on. So, it makes a nice bang stick.. That's about it. Low quality..

That's weird - my buddy and I got our Rossis last year - mine is a .357 and his is .44 mag. Both of ours have dovetailed front sights. Not the greatest sights - we both added Lyman tang sights, so I keep telling myself that I need to get some kind of a front bead sight.

Quality-wise, we're very happy with ours. We shoot pistol cartridge metallic silhouettes with them once a week, plus two weekends a month. Complete reliability - and before I put the tang sight on, the only problem that I had with 100 yard turkeys was that my tired old eyes couldn't see that doggone far!

March 28, 2011, 10:23 AM
My wife got a brass frame .45 Rossi last year and it also has a dovetailed front sight.

March 28, 2011, 11:27 AM
A little late chimin' in on this, but.....

I have a '92 Rossi in 38/357 (carbine) that I (and my daughter) use for SASS. I am friends with Steve of Steves' Gunz and the rifle was worked on by him long before I bought it. Best of his records show that it was one of his "early works" sometime in the early '90's. His work on this particular variety of rifle is unsurpassed, IMHO. It operates very smoothly....it will not outrun one of those short-stroked, aluminum carrier, etc. '73's or '66's....but as long as I do my part, they (the really fast shooters) won't hit their 10 targets more than 5 seconds or so faster than I do..... most of the time it's less than that. My rifle cost me $500 used....theirs....more like $1100 or more.

My '92 is OAL sensitive. I load .38's to a minimum of 1.50". I use truncated cone, flat point 125 gn bullets I buy from Missouri Bullet Company most of the time. I do need to operate the lever all the way -- meaning from stop to stop -- to get it to operate and feed reliably. If, for some reason, I "short stroke" it, then I may get a feed problem. This doesn't happen very often.

I've shot a Marlin and several 73's and 66's (with short strokes, etc.). If money wasn't an object, I'd probably do a 66 or 73 because I could get "that little bit faster" time, but I've been very pleased with the '92. It is very accurate as well. My 13 y/o won a side match recently for long-range rifle in pistol caliber at a annual match.....against ALL women (yep, I'm a proud Dad :D) using this rifle. She hit the 25, 50, 75 and 100 yd target twice each in less than 12 seconds. That ain't bad shootin'.

Good Luck in your selection.

April 7, 2011, 10:10 AM
Rossi finally agreed to fix the rifle. I called them multiple times and get phone agents telling me that they don't warranty the sights. 10 phone calls later and they are sending FedEx to pick it up. Guess I got the right agent.

April 7, 2011, 04:27 PM
My Newer SS Rossi 92 shoots high too so I ended up just removing the elevation ramp for the rear sight and it shoots dead on. If you need to lower the POI more you could put a nail across the barrel under the sight (ramp removed) and bend the sight down a little and remove the nail. That would put the rear sight right on the deck for its lowest setting possible.

April 11, 2011, 07:45 AM
I swear, I need a vacation. I took a quick look at the title of this thread, and really, really, thought it said, "Local drug dealer trying..." :eek:

Which of course, immediately got my attention. :rolleyes:

Sticking with the thread though, those are some mighty nice looking guns.

The Doc is out now :cool: (and of course, heading to court later on today)

April 13, 2011, 02:28 AM
Rossi Puma jambs:
Changed re-load bullets from home cast SWCs (Lee 358-140-SWC) to RFNs (Lee 358-158-RF) and feeding is now flawless with 38 Spl and 357 Rem Mag.

April 13, 2011, 09:58 AM
Yep, SWC's have that ledge on the leading edge which will hang up on the chamber mouth (in my experience anyhoo). RNFP's and TCFP's seem to work fine in my Rossi as well.

April 14, 2011, 10:29 PM
If you want the REAL thing, instead of a copy, Winchester is now selling the model 1892 in short rifle and carbine configurations, and the new ones are available in .357 magnum and .44 magnum.

April 14, 2011, 10:43 PM
A genuine Winchester costs two, or three times as much as a Rossi.
Not everyone can throw $1000 + at a rifle. Winchester is now a Japanese company (owned by Miroko, I believe) so they're just "copies" of "REAL" Winchesters too. Tell me, what will a $1000+ "Miroko-chester" do that a $400+ Rossi won't?

April 14, 2011, 11:26 PM
Winchester is owned by FN Herstal and you can get the 1894 that is now being made in Columbia, SC as a special commemorative (since last year). Up until 2006 they were made in New Haven, CT until the factory was shut down. They are pricey, but they are American made. FN Herstal had Miroku make some custom Model 95, 1885, and 92s though, and they still make many of the Browning rifles and shotguns.

Miroku is just a contract factory though, not the owner.

Your point on the price though is spot on.

April 14, 2011, 11:49 PM
[QUOTE][Miroku is just a contract factory though, not the owner/QUOTE]
Good to know. Really. I have Winchesters, Rossi, Uberti, etc, etc. I just don't know why someone would be judgemental about what guns other people buy. I don't see the point of spending $700 more for the Winchester name, when my Rossi can and has taken deer as well as a "REAL" Winchester. I have $100 rifles and I have $1500 rifles, and I like them all. To each his own.

April 21, 2011, 06:08 AM
Winchester is offerring the model 1892 in carbine and they are offerring the model 1894 in carbine (collector grades) and in short rifle (not just for collectors). Prices at retail are well below what is on the Winchester web site.

Why would I make a judgement about what rifles others buy? Because I am alive and breathing. We all make judgements all day long about what we like, what we don't like, what we think of the judgements that others make, etc. And, this is a discussion forum. If you don't want to discuss other people's opinions and judgements, what are you doing here in the first place?

I stand by what I said before. I don't know why anyone would buy an Uberti or a Rossi when you can own the real thing, a genuine Winchester. But since you jumped on my opinion, I will tell you what I held back from typing last time: The Rossi model 1892's are a copy of a rifle that never existed in the Old West. The REAL Winchester model 1892 was a 44-40 and other black powder cartridge rifle, and was not made to fire .357 Magnum smokeless powder cartridges or .44 Magnum smokeless powder cartridges. So, if you buy a Rossi in those calibers you are buying a copy of a fake rifle. Suit yourself if that's what you want, but you are not holding a replica of anything that was ever used in the Old West. Winchester NOW makes the 1892's in .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum, more than a century after the Western frontier was closed. Nobody in the Old West used a .357 or a .44. As I said, suit yourself, or get a genuine Winchester.

April 21, 2011, 08:19 AM
Who gives a squirt if it's a "genuine copy" of anything if it's what the buyer wants. You're hung up on having "REAL" winchester, when it isn't what everyone wants. Some folks like marlins too. They aren't a "genuine copy" either, even though they were rivals to winchester in the "old west". Not everyone wants a .44-40 either, that's why rifles are offered in other chamberings. This was a thread about weather a Rossi was good for entry level "cowboy" shooting, not weather everyone should buy a "REAL" winchester for a lot more money. You're more than welcome to give your thoughts, but when you insult someone else's tastes in firearms, that aint "discussing" a subjest. It's being an ass.

April 21, 2011, 08:39 AM
I don't want to turn this into a "pile on ursavus.elemensis" contest, so I'll just point out that a thousand bucks is not "entry level".

And, for what it's worth, no rifle in the "Old West" had a tang safety or rebounding hammer. Or, for that matter, came from Japan.

April 21, 2011, 12:43 PM
Look, there's nothing wrong with preferring Winchester over anything else. Not everyone wants to spend an extra $500 for those ten little letters stamped on a barrel. What about those that want a 1866 model "Winchester" or a 1873 or 1876 model? Winchester doesn't offer those rifles. Uberti does. The point was, if a "REAL" Winchester is what turns your crank, great. Buy all of them you want, but to act like people are stupid if they like/want/buy something else aint going to get you too many warm replies. For a fella just getting into "cowboy" shooting, a Rossi, two Uberti revolvers, and a Stoger shotgun would run about $1600 give or take. Going by your train of thought, a "REAL" Winchester, and two "REAL" Colt revolvers alone would run $3000+ not to mention what shotgun you chose. A lot of folks can't afford that kind of money.

April 21, 2011, 12:54 PM
Nothing wrong with reproductions or "contract factory" guns... I sure wouldn't pass up a 1911 that said "S.MFG.CO." (Singer) on the slide if I could get it for the same price as a "genuine Colt"...

April 23, 2011, 10:03 AM
Before I try the white lithium grease method mentioned earlier, has anyone heard of a similar method using toothpaste? One person suggested it to me.

April 23, 2011, 10:41 AM
I've heard of it and valve grinding compound. But toothpaste and grinding compound are coarser than lithium grease. I think you'll get a smoother action with the grease it may just take longer to achieve the results. All you're doing with the grease is letting parts wear together normally. With toothpaste and grinding compound you're forcing wear on parts.

April 23, 2011, 10:48 AM
Thanks, Hawg, sounds like grease is safer. No need for me to get radical yet.:D

April 26, 2011, 09:57 AM
I sure wouldn't pass up a 1911 that said "S.MFG.CO." (Singer) on the slide if I could get it for the same price as a "genuine Colt"...

The "trusty" .45 I carried under my armpit throught thick and thin while serving as an Army tanker was a Singer manufactured weapon....and I wouldn't have traded it for anything else! :cool:

April 26, 2011, 10:37 AM
Too bad you weren't able to bring it back. There were only about 500 1911A1's made by Singer, with production stopping at the end of 1941, and a decent example today can easily exceed $25,000.

April 26, 2011, 02:44 PM
Too bad you weren't able to bring it back. There were only about 500 1911A1's made by Singer, with production stopping at the end of 1941, and a decent example today can easily exceed $25,000.


I got to carry it in DS b/c of a technicality (we'd already transitioned to the 9mm) and after we returned, it was shipped off to be destroyed. :barf:

The internals were all mis-matched, but the slide a frame were Singer. We had a few Ithaca's in the unit as well, but I used to joke that mine could shoot the bad guys in the morning and sew you a shirt in the afternoon. :D

Nite Ryder
April 26, 2011, 05:49 PM
I've had Winchester 92's, Rossi's, Puma's, Marlins and Uberti's ('73), for my money nothing beats an 1894 Marlin for a CAS shooter who is just starting out. Marlin is easy to slick up yourself, and like the Rossi, they are fairly inexpensive compared to other rifles you can buy.

Magnum Wheel Man
May 2, 2011, 11:41 AM
nice wood, engraved... 38 / 357... should be a nice looking cowboy gun ???




May 2, 2011, 02:47 PM
nice wood, engraved... 38 / 357... should be a nice looking cowboy gun ???

That's a beauty, for sure! If it shoots half as good as it looks, you'll be in tall cotton!

May 2, 2011, 06:17 PM
Well if you decide to get into SASS you are looking at the clothes, two pistols, holsters and a belt and a rifle plus a shotgun. So starting out a Puma would be priced right.

May 5, 2011, 01:54 PM
"Puma" was Rossi's trade name for their '92 repro in the early days. They took the cat's head badge off the side of the receiver and dropped the Puma name - probably something to do with CAS.
The 1892 copies made in Italy by Armi Chiappa are closer to the Winchester from the point of view of the action. The Rossi uses a coil mainspring while the AC has a more authentic flat spring. Right out of the box the Armi Chiappa is as slick as a whistle and the fit and finish is super. Yes, the Rossi is a good little rifle, but you get what you pay for.


May 13, 2011, 07:49 PM
Now I t hit a foot high and a foot to the left. Nice warranty. I called rossi and got to speak to rap nasty ghetto mama. Rossi move your call center to India like everyone else. At least I have a shot at understandimg the operators. Final assessmemt of rossi. You suck.

Red Cent
May 27, 2011, 05:04 PM
The 92 is a cool looking rifle. Watch the movies and you will see them in all kinds of disguise. Watched Gregory Peck use a wannabe Henry that looked suspiciously like a 92. How come they take the fore ends off? Do they think we don't know? Stupid.
You know, the '92 and the '94 was built for bottle neck kinda long blackpowder cartridges. The '94 ushered in the smokeless. They are strong actions. The 38-55 and later the 30-30 were pretty hard hitting rounds. I have a Marlin 38-55.

But they are not meant to be ran as fast as the Cowboy shooter can go. As stated, you had better go from this wall of the cycle to this wall of the cycle or else it won't go.

As a cowboy shooter for a number of years I have seen the beginners buy without talking to anyone, asking questions, or shooting the cowboys guns that would have been shoved upon them if they would have asked. The guns they bought were soon recognized as the ones for sale on the cowboy websites.

Before the old timers get bent, let me say that I will be seventy in October. I started in 2000 (I think). And I am a gamer. Before the osteo-arthritis and plain ol' arthritis set in, I shot every Saturday and Sunday, every state match up and down the east coast, NE Regional and the SE Regional for years. And I have been to NM.

Having said all of that, I feel it necessary to advise the beginning cowboy. I have seen many cowboys struggling financially buy all the inexpensive stuff and discover that they cannot compete. I know, I know, it ain't about winning right? Bull.

If they want to buy guns, clothes, boots, hats, leather, reloading equipment, and all the components just to have fun, then so be it.

I was lucky and fell into a bunch of pros. My starting guns were a pair of nickle Colts 4 3/4", an 1873, and a M97 (totally tricked out by the best). I changed to 3 screws and kept the rest.

If you want to really compete, then buy a pair of Ruger Vaqueros 4 5/8", a Marlin lever gun, and a M97. Pay to have them tricked out.

Am I still invited?:cool:

May 27, 2011, 11:05 PM
You know, the '92 and the '94 was built for bottle neck kinda long blackpowder cartridges.

The 92 was chambered for bottle necked cartridges but they weren't longish. They were all pistol cartridges except for the 218 Bee which was based on a 25-20. original chamberings were .32-20, .38-40, .44-40, .25-20, .218 Bee. The 218 wasn't used until 1936.