Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rossi M92 - 357 Magnum 20 Inch Round Barrel, Lever Action. New gun in the house!

My new stainless Rossi is here, and it's one sweet rifle.  Or more technically correct, carbine.

For the new readers, this is my second Rossi.  I sold my blue gun, and regretted it immediately.  It had much of the action job recommended by Steve's Gunz (more later), a Rossi weaver mount and a 2x scope. Since 99.9% of my shooting is indoors, it's usually limited to 25 yards maximum.  Off a rest it shot a best five round group of .18 inches.  That's not a slam dunk, even at 25 yards.

Now, let me show you the new gun!

It looks just as great on the other side too:

The round barrel Rossi's come predrilled and tapped for a weaver mount, which Rossi also manufactures.  The holes are underneath the rear sight and make it easy to swap sights back and forth.

I really liked shooting with the 2x scope on the old gun. However,  I decided to keep iron sights on this beauty.  It came with a brass beaded front sight, and a nice rear sight.  There's no need to mess up it's lines with a scope. 

The rear sight looked good, but it was swapped out for a Marbles Bullseye rear sight.

It's hard to make out the inner ring, here's how it looks:

This is one fun sight!  The open field of view helps to aquire the target.  Your eye naturally centers the front sight in the center ring.  It's not as precise as the scope off of a rest, but shoots better off hand.

With my range closed for renovations, I have to trek quite a way to be able to shoot.  But the temporary range has some 30 yard lanes. With the Marbles Bullseye rear and stock front sight, it is lot's of fun when shooting off-hand. 

This new gun came with a nice smooth action, and a great feel.  However the Steve's Gunz ( http://www.stevesgunz.com/ ) DVD contains video for a step by step action job.  This gun now has some light work done on:
  1. Trigger is lightened
  2. Loading gate is lightened
  3. Magazine spring shorten to lighten it
  4. Left cartridge guide smoothed
  5. Bolt bottom smoothed very slightly
  6. Replaced the plastic follower with a metal one from Steve's Gunz
Carefully using a Dremel, these minor tweaks take 15-25 minutes.  Not much time, but with a huge benefit. 

Two things to know about these Rossi Lever Action rifles.  There are some tricks to getting them back together.  If you haven't ever tried before, get the Steve's Gunz DVD.  It's worth every penny.

Also, keep an eye out for the loading gate.  If it slides back, you will get jams.  It must be adjusted to be "in" the gun and not flush.  Believe it or not, lightening the magazine spring lessens the pressure on the gate and minimizes the chance of a jam.  When the gate is right, it works like it's supposed to.

The everyday - super accurate & fun target load is the proven Lee 358-125-RF, over 5.4 grains of Unique.  Proven in the old gun, it's just a accurate and just as much fun in this gun.

Though my range is still closed for renovations, I'll be working up some hotter, high velocity loads for this gun.  There are two new bullet designs in the works.  I'm unsure if the 110 grain gas check mould or the 150 grain gas check bullet will the test bed.  Maybe both, over time.  I posted an early draft 110 grain GC and tumble lube bullet several weeks ago.  Here is the conventional lube groove version, which is another option in the works:

Over a heathly dose of 2400 or H110, this promises to be one awesome varmit bullet.  With velocity potential up to 2,300 FPS.  It's still in design with a lot of work remaining before it becomes a reality.  The other option is a 150 grain version:

The 150 grain version could be really something special!  Both bullets are designed specifically for the Rossi.  Using chamber casting alloy, I carefully made a chamber casting, then designed each bullet to match the measurements.

They promise to be excellent bullets with a plain base too.  With the Lee 125 and several 158 grain moulds so inexpensive, I'm not sure another low-mid velocity bullet design is needed.  However all options are on the table.  The only thing I'm 100% sure of is, I'll change my mind many more times.

If you have a preference which should happen, post your comments.  I'm always interested in what fellow casters / handloaders think.

There are more immediate tests needed first though.  They are designed to validate the effect of crimping and different dies with no crimp groove.  Those results are needed before either of these will be given the green light.  Getting custom moulds gets expensive and it all adds up rather quickly.

I'll be following up with those results shortly!

Have fun at the range and shoot tight groups.


  1. I just got an M77/357 and am trying out some lasercast 140 and 158 gr with Titegroup, so, I'd appreciate possibly some of these combos. I'd like to start casting. Enjoy you detailed posts.

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