New to me .38 may be coming home soon....


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MacTech
March 31, 2011, 11:15 PM
I was at my "toy store" again tonight (it's tough living a mere 5 minute drive away from Kittery Trading Post... ;) ), I was doing my standard perusal of the used firearms racks, mothing in the shotgun racks, no .22 rifles tempted me, and it's getting very difficult to find a decent condition Mosin there, and the ones that are there are overpriced ($250 for a 91/30 with average wood?!?)

So, I swung by the handgun counters, looked at a Ruger P89 in 9mm, but the aluminum frame felt far too cheap, and the grip angle was all wrong, looked at a cheap $95 Walther-style .22LR clone (Interarms?) that would have given me a severe case of slide-bite...

Then, as I was scanning the revolver cabinet, I noticed an interesting little gun on the bottom row

Stainless steel, 4" vent-rib barrel with full underlug, 6-shot .38 Spl with a nice set of wood grips, I asked to see it, it melted into my hand like it was made for it, the sights lined up perfectly, the DA trigger pull was smooth and consistent, SA pull was crisp and clean, no endshake, and just a *tiny* bit of side-to-side wobble on one chamber, less than on my Ruger NM Blackhawk .45 Covertible, rifling was clean and sharp, cylinder and crane lock into place securely, it looked to be in great shape, I'd estimate 96-98% of new

It looked like a classic Smith and Wesson, and the asking price was right too, $210

thing is, it's a Rossi.....

I know that Taurus/Rossi firearms don't have the best reputation for reliability, and it's a crapshoot, you either get a great one or a horrible one, but this one looks to be pretty darned solid, and the price is right, too
It's the stainless steel version of this one with wood grips instead of rubber grips (http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=137&category=1&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=)

I put it on 7-day hold so I have time to think about it first, do some research

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Jim NE
April 1, 2011, 06:42 PM
I have a Rossi .38 stainless snubnose that I bought probably 10 years ago, and it's a GREAT gun. It has NO issues on a functional level. I bought it to keep in my store. It's very accurate, has no cylinder or ejector problems when loading or unloading, and feels as good in my hand has any gun has. It looks good, too.


The clincher was when one of the knowledgeable gun shop owner guys in town told me how great they were. I didn't buy it from him, but took it in to show him and he shook his head and AGAIN said "these are so great!"

I've made this mistake many times before (but never will again): got rid of good guns with the wrong pedigree because nobody was impressed, only to buy an (atypically) crappy colt or other good brand.

My rule now is: I keep all excellent functioning guns - will not get rid of any of them for any reason.

I have no doubt there are bum Rossi revolvers out there. I also have no doubt there are bum colts and rugers, 'cause I've OWNED them. I've also owned great Rugers and Colts. All you can do is buy them and try them and decide if you'll keep them.

Smaug
April 1, 2011, 07:43 PM
If not, take a pass and put the money toward something you "need."

It is only a good deal if you need it at the time or are 100% sure you can resell it at a profit.

bannockburn
April 1, 2011, 08:04 PM
MacTech

I had an older Rossi Model 88 many years ago. It was a stainless 3" J frame sized .38 Special. I bought it because it had all the features I was looking for in a kit gun, and because S&W didn't have anything like it at the time. It was very well built, locked up nice and tight, and had a decent DA/SA trigger pull.

Hanshi
April 1, 2011, 08:27 PM
My experience with Rossi and Taurus is that they have come a long way from the years of making junk. All the guns I've seen have been excellent.

MacTech
April 1, 2011, 10:49 PM
I went to KTP tonight to take another look at it, good timing, solid feel, no endshake, feels very solid and well put together, nice ?walnut? grips, balances and points well, smooth DA pull and extremely crisp SA, absolutely no creep in the trigger

do I *need* it, well, strictly speaking, no, but I have had .357 Mag revolvers in the past and shot .38 Spl. out of them nearly exclusively, so why not just get a .38 Spl.

Plus, it'll give my nephew an opportunity to try shooting a centerfire handgun that won't be too big/heavy for him (my other CF handguns are a Ruger NMBH .45 convertible and a Kimber Custom II), yes I can down-load my .45's to powderpuff level loads, but the guns themselves are probably too heavy for him to safely and comfortably hold on target

Next purchase for this gun.... reloading dies, bullets and primers

Here's the new family member;
http://gallery.me.com/mactechg4/100018/IMG_3697/web.jpg?
http://gallery.me.com/mactechg4/100018/IMG_3698/web.jpg?
http://gallery.me.com/mactechg4/100018/IMG_3699/web.jpg?

Jeb21
April 1, 2011, 11:02 PM
nice!

MacTech
April 1, 2011, 11:22 PM
This one appears to be an older Interarms model, not Braztech, I understand the Braztech models are able to handle +P loads, are the Interarms models +P compatible?

Jim NE
April 2, 2011, 02:09 PM
You only paid $210 for that? Looks GREAT! I'll happily give you $215.

FruitCake
April 2, 2011, 02:40 PM
Very nice especially at that price.
I don't see why anyone would ask if you need it. Of course you don't need it, its just nice to have and the more the merrier.

dawei
April 2, 2011, 04:34 PM
I was at my "toy store" again tonight (it's tough living a mere 5 minute drive away from Kittery Trading Post... ), I was doing my standard perusal of the used firearms racks, mothing in the shotgun racks, no .22 rifles tempted me, and it's getting very difficult to find a decent condition Mosin there, and the ones that are there are overpriced ($250 for a 91/30 with average wood?!?)

So, I swung by the handgun counters, looked at a Ruger P89 in 9mm, but the aluminum frame felt far too cheap, and the grip angle was all wrong, looked at a cheap $95 Walther-style .22LR clone (Interarms?) that would have given me a severe case of slide-bite...

Then, as I was scanning the revolver cabinet, I noticed an interesting little gun on the bottom row

Stainless steel, 4" vent-rib barrel with full underlug, 6-shot .38 Spl with a nice set of wood grips, I asked to see it, it melted into my hand like it was made for it, the sights lined up perfectly, the DA trigger pull was smooth and consistent, SA pull was crisp and clean, no endshake, and just a *tiny* bit of side-to-side wobble on one chamber, less than on my Ruger NM Blackhawk .45 Covertible, rifling was clean and sharp, cylinder and crane lock into place securely, it looked to be in great shape, I'd estimate 96-98% of new

It looked like a classic Smith and Wesson, and the asking price was right too, $210

thing is, it's a Rossi.....

I know that Taurus/Rossi firearms don't have the best reputation for reliability, and it's a crapshoot, you either get a great one or a horrible one, but this one looks to be pretty darned solid, and the price is right, too
It's the stainless steel version of this one with wood grips instead of rubber grips

I put it on 7-day hold so I have time to think about it first, do some researchHere is a great source of information about Rossi® revolvers.........
• Click it (http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/index.php?board=19.0)

Liberty1776
April 2, 2011, 06:24 PM
I have a Rossi 971 - basically the same thing, but in .357 Magnum. 4", stainless. I have shot it the most of all my handguns and it has always been 100% reliable and trouble free. I'd a bought that pistol for $210 every day of the week...

MacTech
April 2, 2011, 07:57 PM
Well, it's range report time....

Frankly, I'm dissapointed.

three of the cylinders are pretty much dead-on at 7 yards, and will land bullets withina quarter-to-half-dollar size groups, the *other* three however, are *WAY* off, one prints a good 12+" low, one about 6" low, and one about 3" low, it's predictable and did it with the entire 50 round box of AE 154 grain LRN cartridges

I took it back to KTP and their gunsmith will be taking a look at it to see if it's worth fixing, best case scenario it's fixed for free under their 30 day warranty, worst case scenario I get my money back and buy another gun

I really can't completely fault Rossi here, as it's a used gun and I have no idea how the previous owner treated it, it could have very well been traded in for this very reason, it could have been treated well and this is a factory defect, it could have been abused (given the external condition, I doubt it though)

I have every confidence KTP will solve this issue to my satisfaction one way or the other

....thankfully I have other "toys" to play with while the Rossi is in "Gun Hospital", yet another reason for owning more than one firearm, backups to backups....

as far as how it shot, it was smooth and controllable in SA or DA, a tad louder than I was expecting, but not unpleasant, and a nice slow recoil, quite an easy and comfortable gun to shoot

I'm torn either way, part of me just wants my money back so I can get another decent used gun, (even though there's just as much chance of the replacement gun having an issue, heck that's even a possibility with a new gun, they're mechanical devices built by humans and therefore fallible), and part of me wants this gun repaired, I've seen what accuracy it's capable of on three of the cylinders and it's quite impressive, if all six can shoot to that POA, it'll be a real sleeper

I should know in the next few business days what the fate of the gun is

Oh well, time for some dry fire practice with my Ruger NMBH .45 Convertible in the meantime, that one's been 150% reliable, it's a tank, a rock, utterly reliable

oldfool
April 3, 2011, 08:07 AM
sorry to hear about your bad luck

I own the same gun, by the way, Interarms Rossi era, BUT bought NIB back-when
It always was just "right size" for the wife (smaller than K, larger than J), very accurate gun, reliable, no issues then or now
being a old model S&W fanboy, obliged to say the DA trigger is relatively rough, but not terrible

here's hoping that the "fix" is relatively simple, because it's a really good deal, if that be the case
if the timing seemed solid, could be something as simple as a bent ejector rod
(idjits have been known to wrist flip cylinders closed, and this being a used gun, you just never know)

Ours sometimes still "rides in truck with me", because I am reluctant to do that with hard-to-find vintage Smith woobies
IIFC (?) that Rossi is actually more an imitation of a Colt design, Diamondback maybe, not S&W
(the vent rib, you know)

me, I wish Rossi was still Rossi (instead of Taurus/Braztech); they used to make a pretty good bang for your buck, at a value price
something that Taurus does well only infrequently

good luck

SwampWolf
April 6, 2011, 03:32 PM
Do you *need* a .38 Special?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If not, take a pass and put the money toward something you "need."

It is only a good deal if you need it at the time or are 100% sure you can resell it at a profit.

What are you saying? :confused: That I have to "need" a gun before I should buy one? Or that I have to be 100% sure that I can resell it at a profit? Are you kidding me? If I only bought guns on the basis of real need, I'd probably own about three of them: a 30-06 rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle-well, ok, maybe four, I'm sure I'd need a handgun of some sort. Probably a .357 Magnum revolver. But then, everybody needs a 1911 of some type, so I'd have to get one of them. But wait, can I resell them at a profit? Oh dear, this is starting to get complicated-and a whole lot less fun. :(

I'm sorry, Smaug. Life's way too short to buy everything based on need (especially guns :eek:) and a carefully calculated resell plan. I mean, that's the kind of thing I tell my wife-and used to tell myself-to "justify" yet another firearm purchase. :o Well, I think I've gotten wiser as I've gotten older: I buy guns now because I want'em and when I can afford'em. Otherwise, I'd have to explain why I need the over fifty guns that are presently in my "collection" of necessities...:what:

MacTech
April 11, 2011, 10:38 PM
I just got off the phone with the gunsmith at KTP, his initial diagnosis...

The interior of the gun was *filthy* and covered with a goopy, sticky "varnish-like" substance, he's taken it down to the individual parts and had them soaking in solvent for the last few days, he seems to think the solvent bath should get the crud out, but he wants to wait until Wednesday before reassembling and function testing, to insure the solvent gets into all the little nooks and crannies

He's pretty sure the gummy, varnishy stuff was the residue left over from the previous owner using WD-40 as a "lubricant", he says he's seen it plenty of times, thankfully I told him that I know WD-40 is a BAD THING to use on a gun as lubricant and I never let the stuff near my guns

I asked him straight up "would this cause three cylinders to print lower?", his response was it sure wouldn't *help*

my next question "do you think this gun is repairable, or will I have to return it and get a different one?", he responded by saying that he thinks the gun is repairable, he sees no reason to give up on the repair, the parts are in good shape overall, and since KTP is paying for the repair under their 30 day warranty, they end up eating any repair costs, I'm sure if the repairs were going to cost them more than the gun is worth in profit to them they'd lean towards refunding my money so as not to lose money on the deal

I'm actually glad to hear it, because it really is a nice little revolver and the price was quite good, if the gunsmith gives it his seal of approval as a good, solid, safe gun, I think i'll have made out quite well with just a minor inconvenience of having the gun out for repair for a couple weeks

ewrski
April 11, 2011, 11:11 PM
As a fellow Mainer, taking the trip down the Turnpike (for me) to KTP is always fun. They seem to have good prices and can't beat that Maine customer service.

I bought an older (1990) Stainless Taurus Model 65 with wood grips (.357) there for $300 a few years. No problems what so ever.

BTW. My first post.

ArchAngelCD
April 12, 2011, 01:05 AM
That revolver is filthy! Did you buy it that way or did you shoot it and leave it dirty before you took the photos???

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