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Old June 22, 2018, 07:53 AM   #1
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Old Brazilian revolvers question

I just came into an old Rossi .38 Special, model 68, and I'm trying to learn a little more about the gun. It's in a decent condition, but showing its age.

In particular, I'm trying to figure out what kind of quality control they had making these guns in the 70s and 80s? People keep saying the S&W is superior, but in what particular way? Is it just the materials are inferior or were the Brazilians machining the guns wrong?

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Old June 22, 2018, 09:02 AM   #2
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From everything I've read, it isn't a S&W but it is one of the better cheap revolvers to be had of the time. I've never owned, shot, or even handled one though. Merely stuff I've read elsewhere.
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Old June 22, 2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Rossi has had a bad rep in the past. They are now owned by Taurus and make some nice guns. If the price is right I would buy an older one. A buddy of mine bought for $100 and it main job is to sit in his wife night stand.
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Old June 22, 2018, 09:45 AM   #4
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I've always thought the old (pre-Taurus) Rossis were better than the post-Taurus guns.
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Old June 22, 2018, 11:08 AM   #5
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Rossi and Taurus both changed hands more than once, IIRC. Quality seems to have shifted back and forth more than once. I have a Taurus from the 70s that is a pretty nice revolver. I am not a student of the subject, though, and can't tell you what ownership it represents. There were times when those companies exhibited some craftsmanship, and others not, though. There will be more knowledgeable people along to fill in gaps, I am sure.
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Old June 22, 2018, 11:35 AM   #6
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The major difference between a Smith and a Rossi is the cost of production. At any time. One Brazilian Real is currently worth 27 cents US. Don't think there are unions running the Taurus/Rossi plant(s) either. Average monthly income in Brazil is $678.90US.
And a Rossi M68 isn't terribly old. They were made between 1978 and 1985. S&W's parent company was Taurus' majority owner at the time.
"...both changed hands more than once..." Nope. Bangor Punta bought 54% of Taurus in 1970. Sold it back to Taurus(an independent manufacturer) in 1977. Who then bought a complete Beretta plant from Beretta in 1980.
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Old June 22, 2018, 12:30 PM   #7
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Most older Rossi revolvers were very high quality with a pretty decent fit and some nice blueing. I have owned several and all of mine, at least, were real nice guns. Never had any issues. Mine were from the 70’s and early 80’s.
Say when.....
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Old June 22, 2018, 02:03 PM   #8
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Deleted to avoid thread drift and unnecessary fuss.
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Old June 23, 2018, 09:05 PM   #9
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I have an old Interarms Rossi that is strikingly similar to a S&W chiefs special. I don't have it right in front of me, but I think it is an M335. Fits any holster for a J-frame. The lockup is a little loose but not bad for a beater from the late 70's. I don't have any kids so it serves kitchen cupboard duty. I shoot it a couple times a year and get decent accuracy out of it. Like another post said, the bluing is pretty dang nice on it.
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Old June 24, 2018, 12:01 AM   #10
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Ive had a couple of old rossi's that were very well made, solid craftsmanship, then Ive seen some that looked like they were built on Khyber pass (exaggerated for emphasis). The older guns were definitely the best.
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Old June 24, 2018, 01:34 AM   #11
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People keep saying the S&W is superior, but in what particular way?
Primarily metallurgy and finishing. Yes, Rossis are made out of steel and are kinda shiny, but the steel is soft and the shiny is just highly buffed, it's not polished first. Additionally, quality control was generally poor and fit was generally poor in the 70s and 80s guns. Nowadays, with CNC machining, you can make a lot of things a lot better, but you cannot make poor steel higher quality, nor can you make a poor design into a good design. Look at the actions on S&Ws and look at a Rossi. Although the Rossi may have similar parts, it does not have fine lockwork that keeps the gun in time. The list goes on and on. Rossis are not a bad gun, they are just not S&Ws. If you want a gun to sit around "just in case", sure, get a Rossi. But if you want the gun to work "just in case", get a S&W.
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Old June 24, 2018, 03:49 AM   #12
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I chose not to get into the Rossi/Taurus/S&As debate because of my knowledge of worksmanship on the two former pistols. Scorch sums up the issue nicely without bashing anyone, good job, I would not have been so merciful.
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.38 special , brazil , rossi

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