Rosi lever rifles - are they any good?


May 3, 2004, 12:28 PM
I've been searching for a stainless lever gun chambered for the .357 Magnum and Rossi seems to have one in their line-up. However I've never owned a Rossi myself, and am therefore cautious. Has anyone had experience with them?

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May 3, 2004, 01:12 PM
I have a Rossi Win92-clone that I shoot in cowboy action shooting. It is a stainless model, 24" octagonal barrel, crescent buttplate, .45 Colt. In a sentence...I love it.

I originally bought it used because it was cheap and I was already spending a lot to get into the sport. I figured that I'd trade it later for a Marlin or Winchester. I started shooting it and found it well made and VERY accurate. In fact, I have no intention of getting rid of it.

I did make some changes however. An afternoon of elbow grease, steel wool and stripper got rid of the awful black finish they use on their wood (I think it is a Brazilian hardwood of some kind). I put some walnut stain and an oil finish and got a lovely dark golden hue with a lot of figure. I also swapped out the sights to Marbles full buckhorn rear and Game Getter front blade. Rossi's are a little on the cheap side. I also had Steve Young (Rossi gunsmith) remove the stupid bolt safety and fill it with a plug. Slapped a Bunkhouse spring kit in the rifle and she is GOOD TO GO! Even with all that, I have only about $360 in the rifle.

Fast, smooth, super accurate. 3 seasons of cowboy shooting on her (about 900 rounds) and never a failures to feed, eject. No broken parts. BTW, Rossi makes the Win92 clones for Navy Arms and (I believe) EMF also. You can pay a little bit more for those and get some of the modifications I did built in.

Here she is with a few of her friends:

May 3, 2004, 02:08 PM
I've got used one about 2-3 yrs. ago. It is a bit stiff to load ammo into the magazine.
More use or sanding might solve that. I've only shot about 30 rounds of .357 thru it. I was unimpressed with my accuracy at 100 yds. and quit using it. For me personally, the gun is too light and too small to hold steady dependably. However it is a very handy size for someone of smaller frame. Should make a good car gun. All ammo fed in reliably and had no misfires. Trigger seemed ok. The sights do not lend themselves to fine accuracy.

May 3, 2004, 05:08 PM
I just recently bought a Rossi .357 levergun and like iamkris, I love it. It shoots great, feeds wonderfully, weighs next to nothing, and has minimal recoil. I was looking for a Marlin 1894C, but came upon this one instead. The only way I'll get rid of it is if I find a decent deal on an 1894C. Even then, the Rossi won't go far, my fiance has already expressed a serious interest in mkaing it hers.

May 3, 2004, 07:25 PM
Mine broke today :( I haven't put all that many rounds through it. It seems as if the head of a screw that holds a pin in place broke off. That allows the pin to slide out. It should be an easy fix.

Mine is a 357 with the 16 inch barrel. I love this gun. It is my favorite rifle by far. It is fun and accurate. My next one gun will probably be the 20 inch in stainless. That in itself is a good endorsement.

One more note when we had to evacuate our house it was one of two guns that I took with me.

iamkris, were you happy with the work done by Steve's? I am thinking of sending it to him to make it a little smoother.


May 3, 2004, 09:08 PM
Why can't I find any Lever Actions on Rossi's website?

May 3, 2004, 09:15 PM

Rossi now markets their lever-actions under the Puma brand-name. Check out their site for info.


May 3, 2004, 09:58 PM

Steve Young was courteous and fast in work and shipment. I would have liked it if he was able to completely fill in the safety hole but there were two little "nubs" that he couldn't get to. All in all, no complaints though.

May 3, 2004, 10:19 PM
I have a blued model in 454. I regularly run 45LC through it. I'm impressed with it overall. It shoots great, feeds great and looks great. I believe that the problem with the weird finish on the wood is an old one. Somenone once told me that Rossi used to paint the wood. I'm not sure, but I think he was exagerating a bit. The wood on mine is very nice.

May 3, 2004, 10:31 PM
I`ve got one of the stainless Puma carbines in .357 mag. and like it. The wood to metal fit leaves a bit to be desired but the gun works great with 158. gr. Blazer ammo. I can`t get it to work with .38 spl. at all though I have read that there is a fix for this.The loading port seems a bit on the small side and I have a little trouble loading it with my chubby digits. YMMV.

It is a ball to shoot and the accuracy of mine is outstanding. I wouldn`t mind getting it slicked up a little. I bought it as a stable mate for my .357 GP 100.

May 4, 2004, 12:27 AM
Or .44-40, if you prefer.

Loading gate is a little tricky, but managable.

Shoots well, is accurate enough for Cowboy action or deer in the woods. (5-6 inches at 75 yards offhand.) Handles fast. Powerful enough.

Is currently loaded and lying on the floor in my den. Just sort of hanging around.

May 4, 2004, 08:33 AM

Do you know what size the dovetail is for the sights? I was told that they aren't the standard 3/8" size. I've looked all over for them and can't find any. I called Brownells and the guy there said that they used to have some that fit but don't carry them anymore. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

May 4, 2004, 08:39 AM

I don't know what the dovetail size is but it isn't standard. I ordered the "long shank" Marbles rear sight but had to use some brass shim stock underneath the dovetail to get a good tight fit.

May 4, 2004, 09:05 AM
Had the same caution as you did originally, but after reading about their popularity among cowboy action shooters, I decided to give one in .357 a try. Love it.

May 4, 2004, 09:53 AM
I don't know what the dovetail size is but it isn't standard. I ordered the "long shank" Marbles rear sight but had to use some brass shim stock underneath the dovetail to get a good tight fit.

Thanks, I think I can manage doing that.

May 4, 2004, 04:23 PM
My .38/.357 has had trouble chambering after the previous cartridge has been ejected. Have to watch and jiggle the lever back and forth until it seats properly in the throat of the barrel. Pain in the butt.

Sights aren't the best either.

Shoots accurately, once you get it chambered, despite the sites.

My Marlin and Winchester .38/.357 lever guns are much, much better.

Just my 2-cents.


May 4, 2004, 04:42 PM
My neighbor has a blued Puma in 454 for sale. It's in like new condition. I think he's asking $350 for it. He bought it on a whim and hardly shoots it. E-mail me if interested.

May 8, 2004, 11:19 AM
Here's the current link for Puma (

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