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Old February 23, 2015, 04:22 PM   #1
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Rossi revolvers?

Does anyone here have anything they can share on this topic? I know nothing about their handguns. A friend is looking at their 971 .357 mag, 4" barrel, and I told him I'd check if anyone had comments on it. I know they're much less expensive (which is why he's interested) but price does always spell the whole story.

Soooo, any info would be much appreciated!

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Old February 23, 2015, 04:52 PM   #2
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I don't bash products I don't like but I try to tell the truth as I know it. Rossi revolvers used to be better than the current revolver back when they were family owned instead of being owned by Taurus. The Rossi revolver of 20 years ago are much better than today's revolver IMO. Also IMO, current Charter Arms revolvers are a very good buy and the quality is high compared to the last 25 years ever since the original owners came back to them. Of course there is also used Ruger and S&W revolvers which will be in the same price range.
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Old February 23, 2015, 04:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for that input AACD! I've been scanning the adds for used GP100's for him too, but they're a bit out of his budget right now. There is an add for a new Rossi for $319. Nice looking gun too, but if it won't hold up, the point is moot.
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Old February 23, 2015, 06:02 PM   #4
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I agree that the Rossi revolvers of the 1960s thru 1980s were very good quality. I have no desire for one that's currently made, nor a current Taurus. They are no longer comparable to S&W or Ruger, but believe it or not, they sure USED to be.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:12 PM   #5
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I have owned 3 Rossis from the '80s. One was very good on style , fit and function. 2 failed me. I am snake bit. I might buy one if I can hold it in my hand and inspect it , never via internet. The new ones - no way. Looked at a new .357 in a LGS - lots of cylinder play in lockup , and when I moved the cylinder the trigger moved under my finger. Ugh.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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The fit and finish of current Rossis is hand over fist better than Interarms guns of 20 years ago! I've owned a bunch of 'em. The OLDER once were quite good, talking early 80s. I kept a 68 that's awesome, as good as any J frame. But, early 90s guns I've owned had many blemishes in the finish, tool marks needing buffed out and such. There were gaps in side plate fit and other irritants. THEN, I had firing pin breakages with early 90s guns and divested myself of them in the end.

The two Rossis I've kept are the 68 I bought in '81 and a .22 caliber kit gun, M511 Sportsman which is a friggin' amazing little tack driver. The DA sux, but the SA is light and crisp and that thing puts Federal Auto Match into 1" groups at 25 yards from the bench. The sights are of great quality and the fit and finish is good. It's far better than the early 90s centerfires I owned.

Looking at them at Academy now days, they are quite good compared to the early 90s Rossis I owned. I've been tempted to get a 461 .357 magnum, but own a nice 3" Taurus 66 and a 605 Poly Protector in .357 magnum as well as other .38s and .357s, don't really wanna spend the money on the new Rossi. It is a handy size and a six shooter, but just don't need it and I still remember the issues I had with the firing pins back when. I sent the 971 back, got it back and the firing pin snapped on the second round. I then had a smith fit a K frame firing pin and that stopped the problems.

All of the Rossis I've owned functioned well, well timed and gap tolerances were good. Only negatives were the firing pin problems.
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Old February 23, 2015, 07:38 PM   #7
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That's the way it seems to be with Rossis - luck of the draw.
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Old February 24, 2015, 01:31 AM   #8
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I recently picked up a NIB Rossi R44102 2.5" 5 shot 44 mag. Blued version of the taurus tracker.
Lock up and cylinder gap is tighter than any of my Smiths albeit with a slightly heavier trigger.
I am very impressed with the fit although there are some machining marks leftover, but for a OWB buming around pistol that I'm intending only for warm specials/light magnums it's heavyily built enough and hopefully the trigger breaks in to be a little lighter (It is sufficiently smooth.)
my Rossi 44mag 92 lever rifle impressed me enough to pick up this L frame sized hand canon.
I fully endorse Rossi if a Smith is unaffordable/unavailable. Hurry up and release a snubby M69 Smith!
range report and pics to follow Soon if I can get around to it.
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Old February 24, 2015, 02:09 AM   #9
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I have owned two older Rossi 38's that were unreliable and I got rid of them. But my Rossi 720 (44 special) is one of my favorite handguns.

I have owned two older Taurus model 66 357's and they have both been excellent. They are not hard to find used and are relatively inexpensive.
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Old February 24, 2015, 11:07 AM   #10
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I had an older Rossi Model 88 back when they were imported by Interarms, that I felt was equal at the time to similar S&W revolvers. It was stainless steel, had a 3" barrel, a small but adequate front and rear sight set-up, and a decent DA/SA trigger. I thought of it as just about being the quintessential .38 Special version of the original Kit Gun. About the same size and weight of a J frame it was a gun that S&W didn't even offer back then.
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Old February 24, 2015, 11:52 AM   #11
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I have a Rossi 971 in .357 (don't know age, aquired in trade). The action is as smooth as any Colt, or S&W I have. The rear sight blade was plastic, and broken, but a S&W rear sight fits, and is all metal. Your milage may vary.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:06 PM   #12
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I had a Rossi 2" bbl .38 about twenty years ago. It looked like - was probably a direct copy of - a S&W J frame M36. It was reasonably accurate, and very reliable. Fit and finish was excellent, so based on other comments here, maybe it was a 1980s vintage gun; but I have no idea how old it was because I bought it used at the time. It actually became my "travel gun"......it went into my locked, checked luggage when I had to travel by airline. I figured if it was lost or stolen by the airlines, no big deal because it was an inexpensive gun, they could just buy me a new/better replacement gun. I don't even remember why I sold it. But I have always regretted it, because my travel gun now is a 1980's vintage S&W M38 Airweight Bodyguard, which I think would be hard to replace.
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Old February 24, 2015, 02:38 PM   #13
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I'm just repeating what others have posted, the older Rossi 68 (blue) and 88 (stainless) are outstanding bargains in J-frame sized guns (5 rounds, 38 Spl). I have both from my 1980's FFL days. The 68 remains NIB but the 88 has been fired and is one of my carry pieces.
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Old February 24, 2015, 06:01 PM   #14
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I believe that the Rossi 720 was the best revolver Rossi ever produced. I own a fix sighted version. The 44 Special gun is just awesome. Super smooth action, and reliable as anything I've ever owned. Mine is a 1993 weapon.
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Old February 24, 2015, 08:25 PM   #15
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I THINK the 720 was pretty much just a 5 shot 971 in .44 Special. I liked my 971 despite the firing pin problems I finally got fixed. It was decently accurate, timed fine, and was a smooth DA. What I most liked about it was it was barely over 30 ounces and, yet, a 4" full lugged medium frame gun. Felt recoil was quite light considering and it was a dream to tote in the field. BUT, I didn't feel TOO much loss when I traded it for a fantastic Ruger .45 Colt 4 5/8" stainless Blackhawk. Of the two, I won't rid myself of the Blackhawk. It was a good trade, put it that way. I'd get another 971 ...or now I thiink the stainless is called the 972, but for I have a Taurus 66 that's a great shooter. It's a little heavier, but not THAT much, better shooting gun, though.
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Old February 24, 2015, 09:39 PM   #16
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I've got a 90's era Interarms imported Rossi Cyclops, and a 720. Both are really good, but not Smith/Colt/Ruger/DW quality. I had a 971 from the same era that was a good gun as well.

At some point, Taurus bought them and currently positions Rossi as the value line. I think the models they offer are nearly identical between Taurus and Rossi, and they both have a lifetime warranty. If you are a fan of Taurus, you'll probably like the Rossi. If you hate Taurus, you'll probably hate Rossi.
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Old February 24, 2015, 10:42 PM   #17
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Only two of the current Rossis are Taurus designs to my knowledge, the .44 magnum and a new .22LR model. The 461 snubby .357 is based on the 971 and they still have the 971 and their .38s which aren't models 68 or 88 anymore, but I forget what. The .38s and the 971s have the firing pin on the hammer just like the old Rossis, but the .44 mag is a floating firing pin with a transfer bar like the Taurus revolvers.
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Old February 25, 2015, 11:24 AM   #18
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This is the Rossi Model 88 from the 1984 Interarms catalog. My gun was surprisingly well built with a very high level of quality, especially in terms of overall fit and finish. The only drawback at the time was a lack of factory or aftermarket grips for it, something that I remedied by adding a Tyler T-Grip adapter to it.

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Old February 25, 2015, 12:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
The only drawback at the time was a lack of factory or aftermarket grips for it, something that I remedied by adding a Tyler T-Grip adapter to it.
The Pachmayr #3147 fits the Rossi 68/88's. They are currently available from various sources. I've added them to both my Rossi's.
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Old February 25, 2015, 04:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
The Pachmayr #3147 fits the Rossi 68/88's. They are currently available from various sources. I've added them to both my Rossi's.
Ditto. My 88 wore a pachmayr compac and my M511 22 does. I put some Ajax pearlite on my 68 just to pimp it out.

You'll notice the rear sight on that pictured 88 is a blade held in place by a set screw on either side allowing for some amount of windage adjustment. The early 90s guns I owned didn't have this, but rather a fixed rear notch. If you see that blade held by set screws on either side, you're looking at early 80s production and they were well made guns. Not sure how far back that rear sight style goes, but I know in the 90s guns I owned, I had fixed notches.
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Old February 25, 2015, 05:36 PM   #21
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I have one of the new stainless ..357 snubnose Rossi's. It been a runner and looks great. I also have a old m68 that is real nice but had very thin bluing from the factory.

The new grips on the Rossi .357 are fantastic.
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Old February 25, 2015, 08:09 PM   #22
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I have a Rossi M88-2 J frame snubby in stainless steel.

I was told it was made in the late 70's, its been just fine.

Double action trigger is heavy but works fine.

Jimmy
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Old February 25, 2015, 08:11 PM   #23
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We just did this. Lol

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=768922
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Old February 25, 2015, 09:25 PM   #24
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Yes, well, this thread is a lot more logical, friendly, and informative.......so far.
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Old February 26, 2015, 07:25 AM   #25
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MCgunner

According to the description in the Interarms catalog, 1984 was the year they introduced the Model 88 with the rear sight like that. I think I bought my gun around that time or maybe a year later. And you're right; Rossi guns from that time period were for the most part well built and finished.
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