Anyone Have an Old Rossi 88?


July 2, 2008, 02:44 PM
I just got mine down and checked it out. This is my home pistol and the one I go to the door with when someone knocks who isn't expected. I had one just like it years ago and it shot accurately and reliably. I've busted a few primers just to make sure this will fire when I pull the trigger, but I've never taken it to the range and fired it. In short, it's in pristine shape and I like its 3-inch barrel.

Does anyone know if this gun can handle +Ps on a limited basis? Because it's all stainless steel, my guess is that the answer is yes. It's about the size of the S&W 60 .38 Spc., only it has a 3-inch tube.

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July 2, 2008, 03:32 PM
Great looking piece.
Rossi recommended against +P use in the 68/88 models. However there is exceptions to everything.

At the gun forum there are many who have put +P through these on a limited basis or gave their snubbies a steady +P diet without any fallout. These would be Rossi 66/88s and Taurus early model 85s.

+P use will batter and wear the gun out sooner than if standard pressure loads were used. Might wear it out quickly or right away.

Buffalo Bore makes a 158gr. LSWCHP standard pressure load that has the standard pressure, but has the +P velocity. All this without hurting the gun.

158gr. LSWCHP in +P are the bar by which which other .38 Special loads are judged. They were and still are one of the top defense loads.

Staying with standard pressure 110-125 gr. JHPs at standard pressures cannot hurt either. You'd still have a decent level of pr0tection.

Lets just say that a certain limited use of +P will probably not hurt your gun. Practice with standard pressure loads on regular basis and then practice with10-20 +P rounds to stay current. Then carry the +Ps if you feel a need to.

As far as the Rossis go:

July 2, 2008, 09:37 PM
Well, I used +P in my last Rossi with no ill effects, but I shot it with those loads only to find out how controllable the gun is. I keep +P in it now, but if I shot it, I'd probably use standard loads. It's a nice little gun and I like that extra inch.

Thanks for the recommendation on the Buffalo Bore. I'll certainly check it out, as well as the links you provided.


July 3, 2008, 06:06 AM

I had one many years ago, and I'm pretty sure at the time, Rossi advised against running + P ammo through it. I thought it was a neat little revolver, as well made (and finished), as most S&W's were from the same time period. It made for a really nice kit gun, and I was surprised that it took S&W so many years before they made a version of it. The only thing I added to the gun was a Tyler T-Grip adapter, mainly because the original grips were a little on the small side.

July 3, 2008, 07:38 AM
I have one, an older polished blue Interarms import. The Rossi 88 J-frame S&W clone snubnose. I've never fired it. Quality seems great and the trigger pull is wonderful in double or single action.

July 3, 2008, 09:36 AM
I have Rossi 88 I carry around home and while working in the yard. Although I always practice with regular pressure ammo, usually reloads, at the range, I do keep it loaded with either +P 125 Rem Golden Sabers or Win 158gr LSWCHP, which ever is most handy at the time. Prolonged shooting with +P will probably loosen it up or cause other problems but I personally don't think a limited amount will hurt it. JMO

Could you please let me know exactly which grips those are? Thanks

July 3, 2008, 10:20 PM
Those are the Pachmayr Compacs. They're the greatest grips I've seen for that gun. I also have them on my Rossi .22LR 511 revolver.

Because the Rossi 88 has an all-steel frame and has the cylinder stop notches offset, I believe it's strong enough to take a limited number of +Ps. I've had friends who have used the +Ps in their S&W 60s, and had no problem, but again, prudence dictates that they not be used regularly.

Every Halloween, I keep "Ross" in a gun pouch on a table just out of sight. The neighbor did come by with his kids, so I invited them in and I didn't realize until later that he saw the unzippered pouch. Still, when you're opening your door to anyone who knocks or buzzes, it pays to be cautious.

This 511 is "Ross Jr." It, too, is a well designed
little revolver with surprisingly good accuracy.

July 4, 2008, 12:20 AM
Thanks for the info Confederate. I looked at that set at Midway but wasn't sure they would fit my model 88. Did they make a round butt? Mine also aint quite a pretty as your's. Maybe polish it up some day:)

July 4, 2008, 04:00 AM
Confed, that 88 is gorgeous! I had a blued one years ago but gave it to my girlfriend when I moved out, she still has it. I think that gun is every bit the equivalent of the Smith 36, and darned hard to find with the 3-inch barrel, which I prefer over all others. The fact that it's stainless is just more gravy on a good gun. And that 511 is EXACTLY what I've been looking for......a companion gun to my other revo's, and lots cheaper to shoot!


July 4, 2008, 04:14 AM
Papajohn. If you can't find the 511 there might be an alternative. Not what you might expect but.......

July 4, 2008, 04:27 AM
I guess that's a possibility, but Taurus guns are still a crapshoot. I've had several, some good and some clunkers. I'd only buy one if I could test-fire it first! There are just some guns I avoid, like the Charter Pathfinder, or most of the old H&R's. I had one, and it went bang almost every time, but that's about all the good I can say about it.

But every Rossi I've ever seen has been worth what it cost, and in a few cases, a lot more.


July 4, 2008, 09:47 AM
I don't think Rossi made a round butt. The Compacs I had were for a square butt, but they fit my hand very well. I had a number of Taurus revolvers and every single one of them was a bomb. The problem seemed to be that the chamber throats weren't properly done, and it resulted in horrendous accuracy.

I had a slight problem with end shake with my 511 .22LR, but before I had it fixed, it still was accurate and reliable as long as the gun didn't get too dirty. Now that it's fixed, it's a solid gun that's far from my least favorite gun.

Ross Jr. (top) and Ross.

Ala Dan
July 4, 2008, 11:28 AM
My wifey pooh's daily carry is a stainless steel Rossi model 88 snub nose,
that she purchased herself back in the fall or 1994. Its a superb little
piece, complete with walnut grips (and square butt) from the factory.

July 4, 2008, 09:27 PM
As a salesman behind the retail counter, I took advantage of Interarms' offer, back in the day, to sell 25 of their revolvers and receive my choice of several of their lineup. I took a 2" model 88, and Interarms engraved my name and "1995" on the sideplate.

Personally, I'd keep +P loadings to a minimum.

July 5, 2008, 10:45 AM
I personally would use +P in a Rossi on a VERY limited basis, if at all.

Why? Not because it'll "blow up the gun", but because the added stress it puts on a gun that wasn't designed for it just MIGHT make that gun fail when you most need it.

July 6, 2008, 04:49 AM
Damn, that thing looks like you could shoot .38 +P+ out of it. But, who wants to take a chance?

IMHO, the .38s and .38 +Ps are not much different from each other from experience shooting my Airweight 638 +P.

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