EMF/Rossi Range Report


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Dave Markowitz
June 8, 2003, 07:58 PM
Well, the crummy weather that's socked in SE PA with rain for the last month abated today, and the upset stomach that's been bothering me for the past couple of days also got better, so I went to the range with my new EMF Hartford Model 1892 Short Rifle .357, made by Rossi. I also took my S&W Model 14 and my S&W Model 640, which is my carry gun.

I had 100 rounds of Federal American Eagle 158 grain JSP .357 loads, 100 rounds of Winchester USA .38 Special 150 grain LRN, and 50 Winchester Super-X .38 Special 158 grain LSWC (not +P).

Let me say right off the bat that the EMF/Rossi is an absolute hoot to shoot. With the .357 loads I had, the recoil is just a tad more than an M1 Carbine, but there is no muzzle flip. I shot it first at 25 yards to see where the gun was hitting. Elevation was just about POA, while windage showed a bit to the left. A few whacks with my Lyman mallet and the windage was fixed. I moved the rear sight up one notch, and then shot at 50 yards.

At 50 yards, the gun printed a couple inches high, which is fine by me. At some point I'll try it at 100. Groups were nothing to shout about -- at 50 yards offhand I was keeping all my shots inside the black of a 100 yard small bore rifle target. I figure this was due to the 20 oz. of coffee I had before shooting combined with the sites.

I decided to try some .38s in the rifle, returning to my 25 yard target. Shooting .38 Specials in a 20 inch barrel sounds like shooting a standard velocity .22 LR from a rifle, it's that quiet. The .38s fed fine, and recoil was almost non-existent.

It was then that I noticed a problem -- some of the .38 cases failed to eject, even though I was working the action smartly. When I switched back to .357s, about half of them failed to extract. The lead .38 loads severely fouled the chamber in less than 20 shots. I made sure the extractor was clean, and then ran a couple of patches wet with Shooter's Choice down the bore to clean out the chamber, following up with dry
patches. I was then able to shoot my remaining .357s without incident.

Based on this experience, I'm not going to shoot any more .38s, at least with lead loads in the gun. I may try .38s loaded with jacketed or plated bullets to see if they make a difference. However, for quiet loads in for this gun I'll probably handload 158 grain LSWC ahead of a light charge of Bullseye, but in .357 brass.

One other, minor problem raised its head with the gun. I noticed that when I loaded rounds into the maag sometimes they felt like they were catching on something. And when I examined my spent brass, most cases bore two small marks on the case mouth, as if they were catching on burrs inside the gun somewhere. I plan to strip the piece down to see if I can fix this.

As always, my Smith revolvers functioned 100%. I put about 25 rounds through the 640, one and two handed, shooting quickly at pie plates at 10 yards. No problem killing them.

The Model 14 was actually difficult to shoot today. The trigger pull is ~so~ good on it, so much better than the 640's and the 1892s, that it was hard to adjust to the light SA pull. So, I put only about 30 rounds through it.

Aside from my own toys, I got a chance to check out another shooter's HK SL-8 which has been modified with enough US parts so that it now has a real pistol grip and accepts M16 mags. He also died the plastic
receiver black with RIT dye, so the gun now looks just like a G-36. Pretty nifty, but pretty spendy. If I drop that amount of dough on a
gun it better say "Sharps" on the barrel. :)

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