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Puma Lever Rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by applekev, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. applekev

    applekev Well-Known Member

    I'm interested in a 357 lever rifle. Are Pumas good guns? Who makes them and where? Thanks for your feedback! :)
  2. MrDig

    MrDig Well-Known Member

    Legacy Sports International

    Follow this link for some more info
    My first reaction to them is that they are a clone of the Winchester. Having compared them at least externaly to a Winchester and a Marlin. I bought a used Marlin 1894C in .357 for the simple reason that I don't like the top ejection of the spent casing. Makes it easier to mount a scope in the long run if I decide to. That being said this is a 100 yard gun due to ballistics anyway so scoping it is less than necessary to achieve the level of preformance it was designed for.
    The Winchesters are out of production finding one NIB might prove to be a problem. Both the Puma and the Marlin while still in production can be scarce you will need to be somewaht patient to find a fair price.
    My Slightly used Marlin was the same price as a Puma new.
    Hope this helps.
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    i bought one in .480 ruger. it was super-cheap. it's fun to shoot. the action isn't nearly as smooth as i'd like, but then, i don't shoot it enough to loosen it up. it's not as accurate as my taurus raging bull 8" revolver, which is surprising.

    not a stellar recommendation, but i don't regret buying it
  4. iamkris

    iamkris Well-Known Member

    I have a Puma...they are Win92-clones Made by Rossi...that I shoot in cowboy action shooting (under the alias Thaddeus Muckenfuss). It is a stainless model, 24" octagonal barrel, crescent buttplate, .45 Colt. In a phrase...I love it.

    Rossi's are a good value in my opinion. I paid $275 barely used. 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. It has NEVER misfed. 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 (total of about $25 from Brownells). The Rossi sights 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 for $40. Slapped a Bunkhouse spring kit ($15) in the rifle and she is GOOD TO GO! That and a few thousand rounds through her have smoothed the action up to be like butter. Even with all that extra, I have only about $360 in the rifle.

    Fast, smooth, super accurate. 4 seasons of cowboy shooting on her (over 1500 rounds) and never a hiccup...no failures to feed, fire or 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

  5. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    Pumas, though not the most expensive, nor do they get write up, have good word of mouth, which is the most important, really.
  6. AH-1

    AH-1 Member In Memoriam

    I have a navy arms 44-40 which is the same as the puma (rossi).they did a better job with the fit and finish and used higher grade wood on them.
    very strong action for a lever. stronger than a 94 action so if your reload level II loads are not a problem.
    I sure like mine:) .
  7. Vairochana

    Vairochana Well-Known Member

    Gday- I traded in my Marlin 30-30 for a new .357 Puma like the one above (sans case hardening), the fit and finish is superb, looks just like my 94.
    Only had it a week tho, going to test fire tommorow, so I will let you know how it goes.
    I bought it as a light backup for BP hunting in pig country, it is a pain to get a handgun licence for that here.
  8. BBA

    BBA Well-Known Member

    Puma (Rossi)

    I have a 357 and the 454 models and like them both. The 454 sports a peep site and does a great job on deer. It's easy to carry and balances well. The 357 handles 38's for plinking and the 454 does well with 45's:)
  9. LAH

    LAH Well-Known Member

  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I bought my Rossi Puma in .357 20 years ago. It has dispatched a deer and untold numbers of coke cans. :D I really like the gun, it's reliable and quite accurate and fires .38 as well as .357. I don't shoot wadcutters, have a 105 grain SWC light .38 handload for it. Its favorite .357 is a cast (Lee mold) gas checked 158 grain SWC. It's a 4moa gun with that load and what killed the deer.

    I like the Rossi over the Marlin. I don't want no stinkin' microgroove and the Rossi shoots cast bullets (99 percent of my .38/.358 shooting is with my own cast bullets) very well. Can't put a scope on it easily, don't need no stinkin' scope. I put a ghost ring aperture rear sight on it, major improvement over that buckhorn crud. It is also click adjustable for elevation and lets me quickly adjust for light .38 or heavy .357. I also installed Uncle Mike's sling swivel studs on it which makes for a handy to carry light carbine. Only thing that happened to it was an ejector broke once, had to have that repaired. I think it was from shooting overly hot .357s in testing. I'd keep the loads no more hot than you'd fire in a K frame .357, not Ruger hot, my bad. I thought being a rifle it could handle the pressure, but that's not the case according to my smith.

    That round Puma thing inset into the receiver fell out within days, no biggy. I don't know if that's a feature on 'em anymore, anyway.
  11. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    +1 on a .357 puma. I also have one for cowboy action shooting and it's my pride and joy. Funny thing is I found it by mistake and bought it on a wing and a prayer. Sometimes things just work out I guess.

    If you get one and it works a little rough do a search on the cowboy action pages for instructions and/or gunsmiths who can tune it up to absolutely sing.
  12. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Well-Known Member

    My little Rossi .357 "Trapper" carbine with its 16" barrel has become the new favorite of my two youngest nephews, ages 10 and 12. It's been among my top two woods bumming and pure fun longarms from the first range session. I've had it more than ten years now, and it just gets slicker working and more endearing with time.

    It's short (34"), light (5 1/2#), handles superbly and functions 100% reliably with anything but flush-seated WCs. With my standard general purpose handload of a 158 gr. LSWC over 5.8 grs of Unique in .357 cases with a WW primer it's capable of keeping 5 rds inside 3/4" at 50 yds from the bench, when I'm up to it. With the same bullet over 4.2 grs of WW 231 in .38 Spl. cases it'll put an entire eight-rd magazine load into a ragged 1/2" hole at 25 yds with .22 RF-level recoil and very mild report.

    I paid about $240 OTD for it at a '1500' show, NIB. I put Uncle mike's QD swivels and a carry strap on it, had a Lyman 66A receiver sight installed and the bbl band front sight modified to a 3/32" bead. Don't regret a cent of it, and surely do enjoy the result.

    They're made in Brazil by Amadeo Rossi, now a subsidiary of Taurus.
  13. brucets11

    brucets11 Active Member

    I shoot a Marlin 1894 Cowboy and it's smooth and pretty fast. I love shooting the 357s with it. I haven't shot a Puma but see those that do and they seem to do wel with them. A 357 lever gun is really nice.
  14. Colt46

    Colt46 Well-Known Member

    I've got the stainless .45 carbine

    Love it. Surprisingly accurate, easy to carry, and lots of fun. The .45 Colt isn't much of a long range affair though. For plinking or even short range big game it ought to be just the ticket.
  15. M110

    M110 Well-Known Member

    My Puma 16" in .357/38 is my new favorite, and sits next to my shotty as one of my go to guns. Very light and quick to the shoulder.

    I'm evan thinking of selling an AR to get me 2 more, one in .44, and one in .454 to match my raging bull.
  16. pittspilot

    pittspilot Well-Known Member

    Paid $200.00 for mine in 44 mag. The lifter had a problem which was easily fixed.

    It's a great little rifle. Handy, well made, fun to shoot and the .44 mag thump.
  17. CZ223

    CZ223 Well-Known Member

    I have had several of them

    and they are good guns. One of them was an excellent gun and I wish I had not sold it. That said, they do have some problems. If you are gonna feed it a steady diet of 357s you should have no problems with, what I consider is their number one draw back, feeding short cartridges. I too am a Cowboy Action Shooter and the number one problem that I have seen with these rifles is feeding problems which usually turn out to be be a function of cartridge length. The second and less important problem, unless you are a speed freak, is smoothness. These rifles are generally not very smooth out of the box, but can be made very smooth. Steve Young does an excellent job of smoothing them up. For competition I would stick with the Marlins or the Uberti clones of the 66 and 73 rifle, which is what I do, as a woods gun it should be fine. By the way, the 92 action is most definitely not stronger than the 94 action but, in my opinion is much nicer in looks and function.
  18. AH-1

    AH-1 Member In Memoriam

    really:D these loads would blow a 94 action wide open.

    from paco kelly.

    Please read carefully, there is pressure and there is pressure. Any small change in bullet weight, case thickness, case length, primer type, and many others can change the pressure very quickly...and if you are playing with top loads...take care!!! The next list of loads I feel are top even in the 1892s much less the 94s. I know as I said the 94s are rated for 40,000 CUP level loads...but I would be very careful approaching even 34 to 35,000 CUP....then if it absolutely safe move up. Older but strong leverguns belong in the 25,000+ CUP levels, the new strong Marlins and Win 94s are certainly strong enough for the 30,000 to 35,000 CUP levels. The new strong 92s can go to 50,000 CUP but I would not give them a steady diet of that. DO THEY RECOIL? FROM THE BENCH SOME OF THESE LOADS WITH RIFLES WITH STEEL BUTT PLATES ARE DOWNRIGHT UGLY......
  19. Vairochana

    Vairochana Well-Known Member

    Brief Range Report

    Gday- I got to shoot my 38spl/.357M Rossi yesterday.
    I am very happy.
    it comes with buckhorn sight, which I usually swap for peep sights on my leverguns, but I don'st think I will do it in this case.
    I wanted it zeroed at 50m as it will be a backup bush gun.
    Sights as set by yhe pactory were perfect for this.
    Using the .38 (winchester cowboy load-all the shop had) I used the large opening like a peep sight abd it was on the money, same deal with the .357 (158gr) only I put the bead in the groove.
    Nice and easy to shoot also; .38spl feels like a hefty .22 with plenty of power into the target and .357 has a nice satisfying kick, and lots of legs down range- A mate had a go at 4oom and hit the med size rock he called.
    The fit and finish is great, next to my Win 94 they look like they came from the same factory.
    All in all I am a happy camper and give it my recomendation.
  20. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Well-Known Member


    Glad you liked your .357 / .38 SPL rifle.
    I have the 1894 Marlin and I love mine. However, mine doesn't like the .38SPL, so I said *** and just run .357 through my rifle.

    The furthest I have shot mine is 200 yards, and it barely dropped in velocity.

    Hope you enjoy yours for many more years!

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