Sighting the Rossi Ranch Hand


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badgerrr
September 20, 2011, 07:53 PM
Got a fresh American Rifleman today and they have a Lever action piece. In it , the author observes that he was unable to bring the iron sights to shoot to point-of-aim with the Ranch Hand. He was shooting the .44 caliber model.

I don't have one of these, but have been seriously considering it. Mine would be in 45 Long, however.

Have been wondering if there are any members in this forum that have a Ranch Hand and what their experiance has been in sighting them - and what bullet weight/type has worked (or not)?
Another question: Does recoil permit anchoring the "handgun" against the sternum/chest? Seems to me the traditional shoulder position wouldn't work with the abbreviated butt stock.

Observations?

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waidmann
September 21, 2011, 11:41 AM
Funny, I have the article in front of me. Yes, he could not get to point-of-aim with the existing sites. He also said there was not enough stock for use and the straight hand grip had its problems. To paraphrase him, its a Hollywood Gun.

My two bits. I have tried a number of things in my youth I have discarded. Making handguns out of rifles and shotguns run high on the list of "tried that". Trying to get rifle performance out of pistol cartridges probably runs second.

My experience is that firearms like most metallic devices readily fall into one of three categories: tool, toy or weapon. This one seems to fall firmly in the middle.

If you like I were once a devotee of Josh Randle or Lucas McCain and want to have some fun by all means do so. The old man in me says don't bring expectations to the table. The technology of the last 100+ years eclipsed this piece.

DPris
September 21, 2011, 01:35 PM
I had no problems in sight regulation with mine in .45 Colt.

The stock nub is not there to be placed against anything. This variation is, by legal definition, a handgun.
No, the traditional shoulder position doesn't work well, it's not supposed to. Can't imagine anchoring against the sternum. What would that do for you?

The straight hand grip or hold does have its problems, most notably in handling heavy recoil.
It's not intended to be a practical gun, and while it can be fairly accurate (my Chiappa version is more so), it's an inefficient platform for serious uses.
Denis

M2 Carbine
September 21, 2011, 08:00 PM
I have the .357.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/RossiRH-1.jpg

I did have to lower the rear sight all the way down but then it did OK.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/RossiRHshooting38SWCtwohandsstandingcheekweld-1.jpg

You can hold the gun out like a pistol and do pretty good but that's not it's thing.
Point shooting or shooting from the hip is the way to go. With a little practice dumping the magazine into COM out to 10 yards plus becomes pretty easy.


I liked the .357 so much I was going through a lot of 38 and 357 magnum. I thought a 22 Mare's Leg would be just the thing and about that time Henry came out with one.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/HenryMaresLeg22.jpg

Due to the lack of recoil the gun can be aimed while holding the side of the butt stock against your cheek. This works so well I put a Red Dot sight on the gun. It's right accurate. About a inch to inch and a half at 25-35 yards with Wal Mart bulk pack ammo.

khegglie
September 22, 2011, 11:59 AM
I have no sighting. probs with the 357 0r 44

DPris
September 22, 2011, 01:41 PM
As a caution- the .22 version of the Mare's Leg is the ONLY one that's advisable to shoot with the gun resting against your cheek, or in general anywhere near your face.
Denis

M2 Carbine
September 22, 2011, 10:40 PM
the .22 version of the Mare's Leg is the ONLY one that's advisable to shoot with the gun resting against your cheek
The day I bought the .357 I shot a couple boxes of 38 Special.
I guess I shot about 30 rounds with the butt stock against my cheek. It seemed to work very well and I thought this will be one good way to shoot the gun.
BUT, the next morning when I looked in the mirror it looked like someone beat the crap out of me. My right cheek was covered with two large bruises.


But yes holding the 22's butt stock against the cheek does work well. Today I did a good bit of shooting that way with the Henry. Pretty accurate at 25 yards.
Fun gun to shoot.:)

neilin
October 22, 2011, 03:47 PM
I started looking for a Rossi Ranch Hand over a year ago. A local gun shop had me on the top of the list when they could get one in. About three weeks ago they called me, and said they had one for me in .45 Colt, the cal. I wanted. I bought it. Came home and tried to load it. It was near impossible to do, due to the roughness of the inside finish. Called a gunsmith I know who is active in cowboy action shooting, delivered it to him, and received it back today. It works great and is fun to shoot. In addition to working on the action, I had him remove the sights and install dovetail blanks. Without sights it really looks nice and I don't have to worry about snags. I am going to enjoy this Ranch Hand. The down side is I had to have a gunsmith prep it for action. The gunsmith said this is the first Ranch Hand he has worked on, but has worked on a number of the full sized '92 rifles from Rossi, which required the same work as my Ranch Hand to put them in action. The stock is too short to shoot as a rifle, and using a 255 grain cast lead bullet in .45 Colt, the recoil is mild.

neilin
October 22, 2011, 03:50 PM
I have been viewing some Wanted Dead or Alive TV shows from season one. Steve McQueen really plays his role well, and of course there is the excitement of the Mare's Leg. I have noticed at least two versions of the Mare's Leg in these season one episodes. One version has a triangular shaped cocking lever, whereas another version has a more circular shaped cocking lever. The Mare's Leg itself, I have noticed in these episodes, with either of the cocking lever variations has a round barrel. However, the picture of the Mare's Leg in the end credits has an octagon barrel. Has anyone else noticed this? And, can anyone shed any light on the reason for the variations of the Mare's Leg in the Wanted Dead or Alive TV episodes?

M2 Carbine
October 23, 2011, 03:07 AM
And, can anyone shed any light on the reason for the variations of the Mare's Leg in the Wanted Dead or Alive TV episodes?
I don't think they were big on detail in the TV shows of that day.

From what I read Steve McQueen originally didn't want to do the show. I'd guess the people involved didn't think the show would last, so didn't want to invest too much money. They probably just got what guns they could find or throw together.


One funny thing they did once in a while is "fan" the hammer several times without working the lever and loading another round.:)

DWFan
October 23, 2011, 06:20 PM
The levers were modified at McQueen's request. He felt the loop lever was too much like John Wayne's carbine (and often described as such) and wanted his own look. His Mare's Laig had a shorter barrel and shorter grip/forehand than the Ranch Hand and no sights.

DPris
October 23, 2011, 08:26 PM
DW,
That's my gun & photo you done gots there. :)
Looks & handles better than the factory version.
Denis

Owen Sparks
October 23, 2011, 09:56 PM
I don't understand why anyone would want one of these things when they could get a good single action revolver in the same caliber.

DPris
October 23, 2011, 11:02 PM
Then it's not the gun for you. :)
Denis

DWFan
October 23, 2011, 11:06 PM
DPris, I got the pic from Steve to show me what kind of work he does. We were discussing some modifications that could be done with the Ranch Hand. He did a fine job on yours. I also know of one that has had the barrel replaced with a .357" bore chambered for the .357-44 Bain & Davis and a laser/LED sight installed in the mag tube.

Ash_J_Williams
October 23, 2011, 11:25 PM
I'm glad to see so many have tried these. The .22 almost came home with me, but it seemed a bit silly. A bigger caliber seemed more... usable, but I don't hunt, so I dunno for what, and shooting for fun would be even more expensive.

DPris
October 23, 2011, 11:35 PM
DW,
Steve asked for a photo for his website, I was happy to do one for him.
I quite like that gun... :)
Denis

gmansguns
October 24, 2011, 11:33 PM
Does the 357 mag. shoot any kinder than the 44 mag,?

gmansguns
October 24, 2011, 11:59 PM
:cool:

DPris
October 25, 2011, 12:15 AM
Well....yeah.
Denis

pockets
October 25, 2011, 10:26 AM
I thought a 22 Mare's Leg would be just the thing and about that time Henry came out with one.
I bought the Henry .22 Mare's Leg also. Love the 'Wanted Dead Or alive' concept, but I actually wanted to shoot the thing regularly....22LR made more sense for my purposes than .357 or .45 (for me). The .22 can be rested against the cheek, or even shot one-hand 'duelist' style. Good shooter too....as accurate as my other Henry guns.

.

jojo200517
October 25, 2011, 09:47 PM
I held one of the .45LC versions in Academy sports a while back. I couldn't really figure out how one would hold it and still be able to see down the sights. Frankly I don't see how the ATF didn't rule it a SBR but then again they never apply common sense to any of their rulings, but thats another rant for another thread :banghead:

I kinda put it in the category of toy too after handling it and trying to figure out how one would aim it. Maybe if I could get one and SBR paperwork to put a full stock on it i'd be more interested, but otherwise it just wasn't something i'd really want.

M2 Carbine
October 26, 2011, 04:50 PM
The .22 can be rested against the cheek, or even shot one-hand 'duelist' style. Good shooter too....as accurate as my other Henry guns.

Last week I ran a bunch of 38 and .357 through the Rossi.
It's surprising how accurate you can shoot the gun one handed when held belt high.


I checked with a gunsmith about cutting the Henry's barrel and mag tube back to the forearm but, as I expected, it was too costly.

BossHogg
October 26, 2011, 04:58 PM
I always thought it was a shoot from the hip gun and didn't even need sights.

DPris
October 26, 2011, 10:38 PM
With sights, my Chiappa can put a bullet where I aim at 75 yards.
Without sights, as my Rossi now is, it's a major Alabama Overunderage Guestimation proposition to hit at 30.

If all you want to do is close range shooting, it can work from the hip.
Denis

neilin
November 18, 2011, 01:55 AM
I took the Ranch Hand, cal. .45 Colt, to the range for the second time. It now has over 250 rounds through it. I had two boxes of factory rounds (50/box), and a hundred rounds of reloads with me. The factory loads were Ultramax, and Precision. I was lucky to have the range to myself for over an hour, so I was able to stand twenty feet from the target. The recoil is mild (no noticeable muzzle rise). There is some rearward recoil, which I felt when holding the butt near the lower rib cage, so I held the gun out a few inches from the body, which made the lever cocking more challenging. I thought the point shooting would be easier than it was. I consider myself to be a pretty good shot in general, but normally use sights. With the Ranch Hand it is fun to shoot, no doubt about it! However, the point shooting is a new experience for me, and it is going to take considerable practice for me to become proficient with the Ranch Hand even at 20 feet. The Ultramax factory ammo gave me 3 misfires. The foregoing being said, I will have fun on my goal to become proficient in point shooting the Ranch Hand. While cleaning this handgun, I noticed about 20 tiny cresant shaped dings in the top of the wood stock where ejected cases bounced off. They add character to the looks of the gun. Empty cases were easy to find, as most landed not more that two feet away. I could not find one case, and later located it in my jacket pocket. Watching some of the old Steve McQueen TV episoces, I noticed he hits his adversaries with the Mare's Leg more often than he shoots them. I can see why, since it is suitable for as a good club. The Ranch Hand is fun, and I love it. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had to have a gunsmith work mine over to put the finishing touches to it that Rossi neglected to do to get it to function. At the price of the gun, it was worth it to me to pay a little extra for the gunsmith. Besides, I had this on order for 15 months.

M2 Carbine
November 18, 2011, 06:39 PM
Something interesting.

Just recently I started to teach a lady to shoot.
It turns out she is a retired movie stunt woman. She worked with Steve McQueen on Wanted Dead or Alive and knew him well.

Like the lady says, "For years I shot guns in the movies but never shot a gun with real bullets".
So I'm teaching her to shoot "real guns" and she loves it.

When she saw and shot the Mare's Leg she immediately bought one.:)

splithoof
November 19, 2011, 12:36 AM
Wait until some new movie has some actor blasting away with one of these contraptions. That will instantly launch it into comedy status. I figure that after about four end up in the property room, somebody will make coffee table legs out of them.
I suppose that if I used a few for my saddle racks, then my friends could all laugh when I show them a "Mare's Leg".

M2 Carbine
November 19, 2011, 09:19 PM
I always thought it was a shoot from the hip gun and didn't even need sights.
COM from the hip out to about 10 yards is OK, but past that on out to about 50 yards I need sights or a Red Dot.

The first time the neighbor lady shot mine she kept backing up until she was shooting (and hitting) at 52 yards.
She bought her own as soon as she could find one.:)

2wheels
November 20, 2011, 08:46 PM
Wait until some new movie has some actor blasting away with one of these contraptions. That will instantly launch it into comedy status. I figure that after about four end up in the property room, somebody will make coffee table legs out of them.
I suppose that if I used a few for my saddle racks, then my friends could all laugh when I show them a "Mare's Leg".
One of the main characters in the movie Serenity (from the Firefly series) used a mares leg.

Not really a mainstream movie, but it's a recent movie.

MacPelto
November 21, 2011, 08:32 PM
So does Tallahassee in Zombieland.

neilin
December 1, 2011, 07:29 PM
Here is a 1961 Guns Quarterly Article on Steve McQueen’s Prop Gun from “Wanted: Dead or Alive”.

http://www.originalprop.com/blog/2010/01/09/1961-guns-quarterly-article-on-steve-mcqueens-prop-gun-from-wanted-dead-or-alive/

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
December 3, 2011, 03:09 AM
neilin, that is one awesome article! thank you very much for sharing that. I'd really like to get my hands one one of these sooner than later, just to see what it's like and how it feels to shoot.

neilin
December 13, 2011, 07:56 PM
Just remember, I had to have a gunsmith work mine over. It was worth to me, though.

Lightsped
December 14, 2011, 11:32 AM
Since before the RHs started hitting shelves I have considered getting one. My local gun shop has a 45LC for $429.00. I held and saw one for the first time in person last weekend.

Likes:
I like the way it looks.
It isn't super expensive.
Its something different.

Dislikes/Questions:
How would I fire it and be halfway accurate?
How is quality (yes I read about having the gunsmith smooth out the action - something I don't like to have to pay for on a brand new gun)?

So basically I don't know what to do. I have a number of fun guns just because I like the way they look, or that they appeared in a videogame or movie I liked. I have a strange feeling that the RH would get very little range time once I bought it. Still, I do enjoy the look of this piece.... Not sure what to do....

Mainsail
December 14, 2011, 05:05 PM
I put one on order a few months ago with my LGS, and got the call that my .44 Magnum Ranch Hand is waiting for me to run out there and get it. Saturday!

Mainsail
December 22, 2011, 10:39 PM
Got it! I have 200 rounds of .44 Mag reloads to play with, hoping tomorrow.

http://www.topohiker.com/FS/RanchHand02.png

http://www.topohiker.com/FS/RanchHand01.png

Carl N. Brown
December 23, 2011, 12:41 AM
I don't see how the ATF didn't rule it a SBR ...

Sawed-off rifles SBRs were restricted to prevent circumvention of handgun laws. Since the commercial Mare's Legs are made and sold as handguns subject to handgun laws, they are not a circumvention of handgun laws.

joseywales87
January 25, 2012, 01:54 PM
Has anyone put the Flat Top Rear Sight fro steve's gunz on there rossi ranch hand?....if so, how does it improve accuracy?

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