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Old January 25, 2012, 03:58 PM   #1
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Rossi model 68 .38 Special

I have some questions about this gun. I hope somebody can help me:

Is it safe for use with 38 Special +P loads?
Is this model 68 the same as the modern model 35102 of the same Rossi Compay?
And, how would it compare with a Taurus model 85 revolver?

Forgive my bad English
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Old January 25, 2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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Get a Ruger or Smith & Wesson.
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Old January 25, 2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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Rossi does not address the use of +P ammo in any literature I can find. If the revolver doesn't say +P on the barrel, I'm going to say NO, you shouldn't try to use it.

Mandatory Warning: .38Spl +P+ ammo should not be fired in any .38 Special revolver, other than possibly an N frame S&W .38/44. Some of this ammo is loaded close to .357Mag pressure levels and is intended only for .357Mag revolvers. That said, most +P+ loads were taken off the market decades ago; AFAIK there is only one +P+ load available today and it is supposed to be sold for law enforcement use only. However, I like to repeat this warning in case you shop at a mom 'n pop gun store which may have 20-year-old merchandise on the shelves.

Regarding comparisons of this gun to modern Rossis and Tauruses (Tauri?), I'm not an expert on Rossi, but it's my understanding that older models like the M68 were virtual carbon copies of S&W models, and were built on S&W tooling that had been sold to Rossi along with a license to produce the guns. However, these older Rossis have a reputation for being inferior in quality to genuine Smiths, particularly in fit-and-finish.

Rossi has since been bought out by Taurus and revamped their product line. Their newer products are more accurately described as "inspired by S&W" or "S&W pattern" rather than direct copies. IOW I can't tell you exactly what's different between an old Rossi and a new one, but I can tell you that they are substantially different in many respects.
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Old January 25, 2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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Are you looking for a more powerful knock down round?

I once said, ".38s and 9mm's will poke small holes in you, 45's will only poke a bigger hole in you, but a 44mag will blow part's off your body!"
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Old January 25, 2012, 08:30 PM   #5
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Probably would not shoot +P a lot. I have a blued M68 from the mid 90's and is as good as any M36 S&W I've seen. Maybe not a gun to shoot thousands of rounds thru, but as a self defense gun, its fine.
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Old January 25, 2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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For plinking stick with standard pressure....a few rounds of +P for self defense would be fine...but they are good SD options without going to +P

+P out of a snubbie really doesn't increase the performance that much from a 2 inch barreled revolver.....a good 158 gr. SWC Standard pressure or a 148gr. WC would be a reliable.. lower recoiling choice...

rules of picking a SD round
1. Dependability
2. accurate (placement)
3. penetration
4. controllable ( for follow up shots)

With a 38spl. snubbie the 148 gr.wadcutter and or the 158 gr.Semi-wadcutter
both standard pressure

Meets all the above mentioned criteria

Note expansion is not mentioned..never depend on expansion ...Placement , penetration ,recovery and then repeat.....until threat is stopped
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Old January 25, 2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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This is a picture of my 38 +P revolver2.2 inch ported barrel ..note it is a Charter 357 Mag. 5 shot ..this gun is built on a (D) size frame a wee bit larger than a (J) size frame ..and smaller than a (K) frame

Note the thickness of the cylinder wall.....

Last edited by Buckeye!; January 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM.
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Old January 26, 2012, 12:31 AM   #8
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I owned one. Broke the hammer dry firing it. Make sure you don't dry fire the gun without having snap caps in the cylinder.

I would not shoot much +P out of it. I don't think it is built that strong.

It is in the same size class as the Taurus 85, which is much more popular and better known than the Rossi 68. Not sure of difference in design although my 85 has a newer style hammer than the old pointed hammer on my 68.

Not sure how much better the Taurus is, but Taurus does advertise the 85 as "being rated for +P for Duty Use," whatever that means. I take it to mean you can OCCASIONALLY shoot +P out of an 85.
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Old January 27, 2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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I own an older Rossi model 68 revolver w/2" 5 shot. Nice gun regardless what few say negative about it. The older models are solid and heavier.
At the range I only shoot only .38spl FMJ
For Conceal Carry or keeping in the truck, I load the first fireing chamber with +P 125g JHP......The remaining 4 chambers with .38spl JHP
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Old January 27, 2012, 02:40 PM   #10
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A snap cap in the chamber would not prevent the hammer from breaking if its metallurgy is bad. The firing pin, perhaps, but not the hammer.
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Old January 27, 2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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If your looking for a snubby for CCW I would recommend a S&W model 36 chief special. They are not expense on the used market. Usually they can be bought for around $300 to $350. You can safely use +P 38 special ammo in a model 36. Buffalo Bore has a good standard presure round for short barrel snub nose. Also, if you can find some of the Federal Nyclad HP standard pressure that would be a good round too.
I have a S&W model 36 1 7/8 that I bought for $125 out the door. It had some rust on the frame but after cleaning the rust off, I have a good shooter.
Much better option than a Rossi.
Good luck,
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Old January 27, 2012, 08:31 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your advises. I already have a S&W model 36 no dash, but I wanted to know what are te capacities of this Rossi model 68 that I also have.
I´ll use it only with standard paressures .38 Special and try no to do dry fire with it neither.

Roaddog28: Are you sure the S&W model 36 is safe with +P loads?. I mean even the old ones. I used to think only the produced in the 90´s and the XXI century was safe for +P loads.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:55 PM   #13
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This is a Pic. of my pocket carry 38 Spl. its a S&W 642 its 14oz nice carry piece ..I feel the Rossi should serve as a nice carry gun.

These little Smith's are priced rather competitively with other small lightweight revolvers....

This is a picture of a gun i'm waiting to arrive its a Taurus Model 80 38 Spl. with a 3in barrel ..The gun is similar to a S&W Model 10 .... If the gun checks out will be one of my carry revolvers..most likely stoked with 148 gr. Wadcutters or 158 gr. Semi-Wadcutters

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