Interesting failure in my levergun


August 3, 2012, 10:50 PM
So I got a Rossi M92 in .357mag with 16" bbl over a year ago. I just FINALLY got my range membership (wait list was nearly a year for the range I wanted!), and I went to shoot it for the very first time today.

A) I love that rifle. I need to work on accuracy, but I feel like that's probably me, not the rifle.

B) It does have one interesting quirk. I shot 158gr. .357mag, 158gr. .38spl, and some 130gr. .38spl.
It was perfectly reliable with the 158gr. loads in .357 and .38spl. But it would consistently fail with the 130gr. .38 spl.

When shooting the 130gr. load, every time I cycled the action it would double feed, and the round that came out of the mag tube first (the one that should have been chambered) would end up pointing straight up! It was kind of like a stovepipe, except on the feed part of the cycle.

So the question is, is there anything that can be done to avoid this? I usually like heavier ammo anyway so it likely won't be a significant problem, but I'd really like to be able to reliably shoot the 125 and 130gr. loads as well as 158's.

To help out with specifics, the load that was jamming was Remington Express 130gr. FMJ flat point. I've otherwise had great experience with that round.

P.S.- I also sighted in my Ruger Security Six today. It is amazingly accurate.

I'll edit to add:
I assume this is an issue with the OAL of the round. But, if there's a way to solve this issue it would certainly be nice.

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Texan Scott
August 3, 2012, 11:00 PM
130gr flat point .38? I'm suspecting short COAL to be a problem. I've said it before... I've known 92 carbines to feed all lengths of shells equally poorly, but I've never had one feed all lengths equally well.

ETA: mine was a winchester 92, so i'm inclined to think this is not a problem unique to rossi.

August 3, 2012, 11:06 PM
I've known 92 carbines to feed all lengths of shells equally poorly, but I've never had one feed all lengths equally well.

Interesting. Thank you for the info. Today I put 50 rounds of 158gr. LRN .38spl through the gun without a single hiccup. I also put about 25 rounds of DoubleTap's 158gr. .357mag down the pipe with no problem. But BOY could you hear and feel the difference!!!!

With .38's that gun is like a little pop gun. It's nice and VERY low recoil. With a hot .357mag it's certainly not painful but in that very light gun it really does kick!

Perhaps my gun just likes 158gr. food. Fine by me. that's my prefered weight in .38/357 anyway.

August 3, 2012, 11:15 PM
Yes, what Texan Scott said. With lever guns the feed reliability seems to be more about cartridge length than weight. Are the 130gr .38SPL rounds shorter than the 158gr .38SPL rounds? A few hundredths can make the difference in my Marlin 1894, so maybe it can in your Rossi as well.

Are you babying the lever a bit? Running it hard can help feed issues, sometimes. But sometimes babying it can help. These rifles just don't care for short cartridges.

Pop gun? I guess that's accurate. Anything but +P-ish .38 loads in the Marlin makes it feel like it's shooting 22LR. Kind of fun, ain't it.

August 3, 2012, 11:50 PM
it's length. mine ran 357's of all weights better than 38's. you can try shimming the feed rails to get better results, but that's a lot of trial and error and might make it worse. Enjoy the gun, they're fun.

August 4, 2012, 01:40 AM
My own Rossi '92 slicked up for cowboy shooting tends to do this if I rack the lever with a little too much of a finger whip at the end of the stroke.

I think it happens because the hinged elevator is activated at the very end of the cycle by a very short travel of a knob on the lever that hits the underside of the elevator and toggles it up.

There's no doubt that the lighter bullet also contributes to this but I've had the same trouble with 158gn round nose bullets as well.

I have not had the double feed issue though. But as mentioned I suspect it's due to a short COAL issue as mentioned.

August 4, 2012, 06:53 AM
Wow. This is why I love THR. Thanks guys.

I'm thinking I'll probably just live with it and feed it heavier/longer ammo. Last thing I want to do is fiddle with it and possibly make things worse (and then cost myself a trip to the gunsmith).

To answer a few questions, I was aware of the "babying" issue. I'd read about it before, so I tested. The failure occurred whether babying or running it like I was trying to break it, and everything in between.

I guess I'll try rounds of all different lengths to confirm which profiles and COALs work best in the gun. I really like that gun. In fact, once I put some more 158gr. .357mag through the gun, i think it will become my HD rifle. It's shorter and much lighter than my Rem870 (18"bbl), holds more ammo, quicker recoil recovery, recoils less, and with the approximate power of a .30-30 coming out the end of the barrel it's pretty big medicine. Especially nice when you consider that unlike a .30-30 this is a .35 cal bullet with a nice big hollow-point that'll REALLY open up at those speeds.

My accuracy is already good enough for HD ranges (I shot a 2" group at 25 yards) but I would like to do better (I'd like to get that group at 50 yards and I'll be happy). Perhaps I'll get some better sights. I feel like I'm gonna have fun with this rifle for a while now!

Thank you again guys.

August 4, 2012, 08:07 AM
Sights--have you considered an aperture system?

August 4, 2012, 12:13 PM
Nice. I like that. Any way to get a FO (or preferably tritium) front sight to go along with it?

August 4, 2012, 01:35 PM
If you reload, use 38 spl load data in 357 mag case and you can run 130gr.

August 4, 2012, 04:14 PM
If you reload, use 38 spl load data in 357 mag case and you can run 130gr.

That's a darn good idea. I don't reload yet (but I have started saving my brass in anticipation thereof!), but that would be good trick. I might have to work up some light 125gr or 130 gr. loads in .357mag cases. Id bet the cases would last indefinitely.

I should say though, that my only reason to have used the 130gr rounds is because that's what I happened to have left from a few years ago when Natchez ran a sale on that ammo. Otherwise, I'm deferential to the 158 gr. stuff because I have a thing for "heavy for caliber, but still standard weight" bullets.

August 4, 2012, 07:36 PM
For all my .38s And .357 ammo I shop for 158 gr as much as possible. My 1894c runs them well. So does the wife's 4" SP101.

August 5, 2012, 02:40 AM
Reading this post has reminded me how much fun is shooting my 1894c. I haven't shot it in a while because the kids are out of school & they prefer to shoot 22lr.

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