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Help me pick a lever action

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Stefan A, Oct 30, 2022.

  1. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    Look at some of the Steve Guns videos I was referencing earlier in the thread. The loading issue can be addressed with a little work. If you notice some grabbing or hesitation in the action work get some stones and polish some key points to smooth it out.
     
  2. Stefan A

    Stefan A Member

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    Yeah, I looked at his website. Thanks. What sort of stones do you mean? I was thinking of getting a file for the edges of the loading gate.
     
  3. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I would not use a file or a Dremal for this. Remove the loading gate for access and use a hardwood dowel of the diameter of the cartridge or slightly larger. Use a piece of 600 wet/dry paper with oil or better yet 1000. The idea is to smooth over any burrs or sharp edges onnthe inside edge o the gate without removing any metal.

    It is normal to push the cartridge fully into the gate with the following cartridge when loading up. For the rest, I would just make sure the rifle is clean and well lubricated and let those other parts find home in due course. It is real easy to ruin the timing or cause damage for a lever gun newbie.

    Edit to add, oops, forgot this is a Model 92. I would still use a fine paper with a flat backer or at the very most a fine jeweler file gently.

    A basic set of stones that could be used:

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-...s-premium-ceramic-stone-file-set-prod797.aspx
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022
  4. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    First, maybe a Marlin. Next, maybe a Winchester. After that...Browning and Henry.
     
  5. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    The admonition about no fillers in smokeless casings is interesting. Long ago, had a 5.5lb Ruger #3 in .45-70 that like to kick my brains out. Standard thinking back then was kapok or similar filler on top of the powder charge in that ginormous .45-70 case. It worked well enough in terms of pressure problems (none) but I never did find a load that was pleasant to shoot.
    Perhaps the conventional thinking has changed; there were no Internet forums then either.... :)
    Wish we'd had Trailboss back then; likely would have the solved the problem.
    Did have the 'position sensitive' issue with .45 Colt; need to check the old data, but it was probably Unique. Had 100'sec variation between muzzle up/muzzle down. Trailboss fills the case, and solves the problem. Glad I have a small stash of the stuff. Reputedly, it is not in current production.
    Moon
     
  6. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    Congratulations on the new Rossi. I think it will treat you well and you will find yourself reaching for it often. The deliberate act of cycling a the action being like shifting in a manual transmission vehicle, might be slower but its also more fun. You have control.

    I was taught when reloading a tight side gate you nose the cartridge into the side gate stopping at the rim, then use the next round to push it all the way in stopping at the rim on the second cartridge. Repeat till you’re full and finish off the last with your thumb. That way you only bite your thumb once. :D

    Also I’m not surprised the steel butt plate with hot .357 had noticeable recoil. Buffalo Bore makes a .357 Magnum that has more energy than a factory .30-30 at 100 yards. But thats the beauty of pistol caliber levers. .38s a mild and fun.

    Keep shooting it and have fun.
     
  7. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    They are typically called Polishing and Smoothing Stones for Metal. They come in a set and have different grits. When I smoothed out the my Rossi action I used stones similar to the below attachment. They worked great.

    Amazon.com: Spyderco - White Ceramic Sharpening File Set with Suede Snap-Close Pouch - Ceramic Stone - 400F : Tools & Home Improvement
     
  8. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    Enjoy that Rossi

    Everybody that I know that has one, loves it.
     
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  9. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    You are shooting a 19th Century rifle. Forget everything you know about a 21st Century rifle, become a 19th Century man while you are shooting your '92. As I said, rifles with crescent shaped butt plates were made for a very long time, going back to Kentucky Rifle flintlock days. There is a reason they were made that way. The crescent shaped butt plate is designed to keep the butt from sliding up or down, particularly when you work the action. Rossi replicas of the 1892 Winchester are pretty faithful copies of the originals, right down the the crescent shaped butt plate. Do not place the butt on the meaty part of your shoulder, recoil with 357 Mag ammo will hurt as the points dig into your flesh. Remember my story about the old Model 1894 that hurt so much I could only fire three shots. Place the butt so the points encircle the shoulder joint. The points should not contact your body. I just took out one of my '92s, and I am standing about 45 degrees to an imaginary target in my basement. Lay your cheek firmly on the comb and raise your right elbow up to bring the sights up to your eyes. Do not hunch over as you might while shooting an AR15. My 44-40 lever guns may not recoil as much as a 357 Mag, but I can shoot them all day and it does not hurt and my shoulder is not sore. My 24" 44-40 Model 1892 weighs a shade under 8 pounds. How long is the barrel on yours? If it is 24", it should weigh a bit more, because the bore is smaller. If it is a 20" carbine it will weigh a bit less, but even shooting 357 Mags the rifle should be heavy enough to absorb most of the recoil. Be sure you plant the butt stock firmly against your shoulder joint, do not allow it to slam against you with recoil.

    Except for a few models designed for scopes, all Winchester lever guns eject out the top. At CAS matches the guys shooting Marlins sometimes have to leave their empties on the ground because Marlins tend to send the brass in front of the firing line. Winchesters send the brass straight up. There is no ejector in a Toggle Link rifle,the carrier rising shoves a spent round out of the frame, so the more briskly you work the lever, the higher the brass goes. Not so with a '92. There is a spring loaded ejector built into the bottom of the bolt. As soon as an empty clears the chamber the ejector pops it out, pretty much straight up. One of the reasons we wear cowboy hats at CAS events is to prevent ejected hot brass from finding its way inside our shirts at the collar. A broad brimmed hat goes a long way to keeping us from getting burned. Trust me on this. Black Powder burns hotter than Smokeless, and ejected brass that has been shot with Black Powder is very hot.

    You might consider buying some snap caps to practice loading. I like the A-Zoom brand. They are made of aluminum with a hard anodized finish.

    https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands/a-zoom/a-zoom-revolver-snap-caps

    As somebody said, you do not have to push each cartridge into the loading gate all the way with your thumb. You should be able to push a round into the loading gate just far enough that it stays partially inserted if you take your thumb away. Then you shove it all the way in with the next round. You only have to completely push the last round in all the way with your thumb.

    Do not let a dremel tool anywhere near a firearm. Very fine files and stones are the way to go.

    I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I can almost take a single action revolver apart with my eyes closed. Modern Smith & Wesson revolvers are a little bit more complicated. I can take a Model 1873 Winchester apart without any problems. But I stay away from taking a Winchester Model 1892 apart. I took one apart once, and had a heck of a time getting it back together again. And I recall there is one part that will go back in backwards very nicely.

    There are probably plenty of videos on you tube for taking apart a '92, I just have not looked.

    This book is excellent. If ever I feel the need to take a '92 apart again, I know I can depend on this book to get me through it. Dave Chicoine passed away a few years ago, but he was a master gunsmith and wrote several books about gunsmithing the old guns. I have another one of his books called Gumsmithing Guns of the Old West.

    poyGWqjcj.jpg
     
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  10. Stefan A

    Stefan A Member

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    Thanks for the confirmation of some of those things, driftwood. Yeah, it will take some time to get used to holding the rifle the way it should be held. Do you hold the rifle across your body, or straight out in front of you? I get the shoulder socket thing, and that’s what I was trying to do yesterday.
     
  11. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    "How to Run a Lever Gun - Rifle: Gunsite Academy"



    The following video title says something like "for beginners". No it isn't ! This is for very practiced individuals wanting to get into rapid-fire shooting. I include this video because it is truly amazing how fast a lever can be fired. IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER, DO NOT TRY TO DO THE FOLLOWING! I've fired levers for over 50 years and I wouldn't try the following. Plus, I would go broke even if I reloaded all that ammo.

     
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  12. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    Look at the trigger in that bottom video. Doubt that's anything from the factory.
     
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  13. browneu

    browneu Member

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  14. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    I am standing at approximately 45 degrees to the target, so the rifle is slung about 45 degrees across my body. I never stand directly facing the target with the rifle at 90 degrees to my body.

    Let me take an opportunity to comment on the two videos posted previously. In the first video, notice the rifle has an after market, thick butt pad, probably some sort of soft rubber, It does not have a traditional crescent shaped butt plate. So when the shooter mounts the rifle he mounts it directly to the meaty part of his shoulder. Exactly as I am saying not to do. That is a relatively heavy recoiling rifle, and if it had a traditional crescent shaped butt plate, the shooter would see stars every time he fired the rifle and would develop a mighty flinch.

    In the second video, the shooter is firing a replica of the 1873 Winchester, which is the preferred rifle for all the really fast shooters in CAS. I can tell his rifle has been slicked up, or tuned because he can work it so fast. His rifle has a traditional crescent shaped butt plate, but he has some sort of cover over it. I cannot tell exactly what the cover is, whether it cushions recoil or not, but I'll bet you a donut his rifle is chambered for 357 Mag, and he is shooting very lightly loaded 38 Special ammo out of it, as ALL the really fast CAS shooters do. He has also mounted the rifle to the to the meaty part of his shoulder, but if he was shooting SAAMI spec 357 Mag ammo that way, the points of the crescent shaped butt plate would really hurt after a few rounds.


    Before we get too much further, let's understand the difference between a Winchester Model 1892 Rifle and a Winchester Model 1892 Carbine.

    Most shooters think a carbine is just a short barrelled rifle. But during the 19th Century, Winchester built their rifles in three different configurations, rifle, carbine, and musket.

    Study this photo. At the top is a typical Winchester Model 1892 Rifle with a 24" barrel, at the bottom is a typical Winchester Model 1892 Carbine. If we flipped them over we would see the carbine is a saddle ring carbine, but that does not matter for our purposes. Winchester rifles had a crescent shaped butt plate with sharp points at the top and bottom. The butt plate was a steel casting inlet into the stock. In addition, there was a metal fore end cap at the end of the fore end. Notice too that the magazine is suspended near the front by a magazine hanger dovetailed into the bottom of the barrel. There is another hanger hidden under the fore end cap. With the Carbine version, in addition to the short barrel, 20" in this case, there is no fore end cap, and the magazine is supported by two barrel bands. This particular carbine has the front sight brazed to the barrel just behind the front barrel band, but sometimes the front sight was brazed directly to the front barrel band. Rifles were available with a variety of barrel lengths, usually in 2" increments, but 24" was the most common. Carbines were also available with a variety of barrel lengths, 20" being the most common, but carbine barrels were sharply tapered, resulting in less weight, while rifle barrels were usually of constant diameter. Rifle barrels could be round, octagonal, or part round and part octagonal. Despite what you see in the advertisements, round barrels were more common than octagonal barrels on rifles, and half octagon/half round were relatively rare.

    poIqN436j.jpg




    Now, let's look closer at the butt plates, the '92 rifle at the top, the '92 carbine at the bottom. In addition to the sharp points, you can see how the rifle butt plate is a piece of cast metal, varying in thickness through out. The carbine butt plate is actually a bent piece of sheet metal, screwed to the top and rear of the wooden butt. Notice too the carbine butt plate is shaped differently than the rifle butt plate, the crescent is less severe, and the angle is different. And the points are not as sharp on the carbine butt. In addition, if we looked down from the top, the carbine wooden stock has a bit of a flat machined onto the comb, the rifle wooden stock comes to a fairly sharp angle at the comb.

    pogFFDB1j.jpg




    So, Stefan A, which one do you have, a Rifle, or a Carbine? With the carbine stock having points that are less severe, there would not be as much pain if the stock were mounted to the meaty part of the shoulder. Just for the fun of it I went to the Rossi web site and they are offering their replica of the Winchester 1892 in both rifle and carbine configurations, and from what I can see they are sticking very close to the features I just described with Winchester Rifles and Carbines.

    By the way, I did mention three Winchester Configurations in the 19th Century. Rifle, Carbine, and Musket. The musket was kind of an overgrown carbine. The barrel was 'rifle' length, but the fore stock extended almost all the way to the muzzle. Yes, the 'musket' version of the Winchesters were rifled, just like the Civil War rifled muskets the Union was shooting. Musket versions of the Winchester do not show up very often, most of them were sold to foreign governments, not too many here. As such, they often had bayonet mounts on them.

    I put this image together a bunch of years ago. The firearms are 1873 Winchesters, but this illustrates the difference between a rifle, carbine, and musket. At the top are two Model 1873 Rifles, with different barrel lengths, 3rd down is a Carbine, and at the bottom is a Winchester Model 1873 Musket.

    pmBxvZY4j.jpg




    Here is a video of me firing my Henry, SXS shotgun, and Colts at a couple of Cowboy Action Shooting matches. First off, I am well known for not caring about how fast I shoot, as opposed to the guy in the second video posted above. You will notice I take a fairly aggressive stance with both rifle and shotgun, leaning well forward. You may or may not be able to see I am standing approximately 45 degrees to the targets. You cannot see where the rifle is mounted, but trust me it is as I have described, with the butt plate encircling the shoulder joint. That rifle is very heavy, it weighs a full pound more than a '92 in the same configuration, and even though I am shooting 44-40 ammo stuffed to the gills with Black Powder, the heavy rifle absorbs much of the recoil and I can shoot it all day long. Notice in the second sequence how some of the empties are bouncing off my hat, and I shake my head after I put down the rifle, an old habit to make sure no empties are still on my hat. You will notice I wear a glove on my left hand because the barrel of a Henry, which lacks a wooden fore end, gets very hot on a summer day. If you look carefully you will see the tab of the magazine follower moving back after every shot, a feature unique to the Henry, which is why I am holding the rifle with my left hand barely in front of the frame, so the tab does not get hung up on my hand. The heck with what that gamer says about reaching way out with the left hand. In the third sequence I am firing my shotgun first. Notice the aggressive stance. Yes, I have to cock the external hammers for each shot. Then I sashay over to the rifle position, and fire the last two shots from my shotgun before starting with the rifle. Again, notice the aggressive stance, even though I don't care how fast I shoot. When shooting Black Powder, the smoke often obscures the targets, that is why I take a step to one side, so I can see the targets. In CAS we follow the 'basektball' rule, in other words one foot must remain planted while we can move the other foot. If I take a step with my other foot, I will get a stage DQ. The breeze is blowing the smoke from left to right, so I step to the left to see the targets. When I shoot my first pistol I take one step to see the targets better. I carry my second pistol cross draw style, so I have to pull it without sweeping anybody, that is why I take a couple of steps. Once I start shooting the second pistol, the 'basketball' rule applies again.

     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2022
  15. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    What a mind-numbingly beautiful rifle. When I looked at it, I heard the angels sing.

    A friend of mine milled his own receiver for an 1873 Remington rolling block (yes, he went through the BATF to make it legal), then color case-hardened that receiver. He had to create his own furnace. He used animal bones in the furnace as did the folk back then. His receiver turned out absolutely beautiful. However, his was no where near as beautiful as the receiver shown in the link posted.

    That rifle is the Biblical "pearl of great price". Were I to have such a gem, it would forever rest upon my lap. I'd not ever be able to part with it.
     
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  16. Stefan A

    Stefan A Member

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    It’s 20” - so a carbine. Nice shooting!
     
  17. P89DCSS

    P89DCSS Member

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    Good choice. My 2015 Rossis work great and didn't need any work to feed specials or magnum length rounds. As for loading rounds, I adapted to my guns. After a few tubes I had it down. Here's mine, 24" octagonal 44 and 16" 357/38.

    image_123923953 (5)~2.JPG
     
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  18. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Did you check all the features of a carbine? Look at my photos and what I wrote. A 20" barrel does not define it as a carbine, the rifle configuration was available in many barrel lengths, including 20". Check the features: Barrel Bands, lack of a Fore End Cap, and the carbine style butt plate. If it has the carbine style butt plate, that should be less painful than a crescent shaped rifle butt plate when placed against the meaty part of the shoulder, but you still may want to try mounting it as I describe.

    By the way, in the photo above, posted by P89DCSS he has a Rifle configuration Rossi at the top and a Carbine configuration Rossi at the bottom. I assume P89DCSS put that butt cover on the rifle because of the sharp points on the crescent butt plate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  19. Stefan A

    Stefan A Member

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    I guess I was not considering all your points carefully enough at first since I assumed it was a carbine only because of the length. After looking at the characteristics, it’s definitely a carbine. Thanks for setting me straight on that.
     
  20. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    A score of 6-7 sounds about right for new user impressions of Rossi's. :) Most your comments are standard, you didnt get a dud if thats what you are worried about. The load gate can be sharp on thumbs and force needed to load is not uncommon for these. Two things that help are smoothing the load gate edges and cutting the magazine spring length shorter as Rossi uses the same length spring for the magazine in the 24" as the 20". They can also tend to fling cases around when ejecting as the springs are tight. If this bothers you there are aftermarket spring kits you can get.Check out steves DVD as mentioned. I am not much of a DIY guy so I got a gunsmith at the LGS to smooth mine up, and also stop the extractor nicking rims. It was not major work. What also helps any stiffness is cycling the action lots. Oil it up and work it while watching the TV.

    That it feeds both 38 and 357 is good, in my books that puts a 357 at a score of 8 right there since there are no guarantees even from the more expensive brands it will.

    Regards weight, your gun isnt 8lbs, its about 6 I think, should be lighter than most Ar-15 or 308's...

    Could I also ask what your gun has stamped on the barrel? I ask as the most recent CBC stamped guns I have found a step up in finish and woodwork from those 2-3 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2022
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  21. Stefan A

    Stefan A Member

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    It is stamped CBC. I’ll have to weigh it later. Depending on what spec list you look at, it ranges from 5 to 8 pounds for a 20” 357 Rossi :). I’ll check the exact weight when I get a chance.
     
  22. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    Deosnt surprise me, sites and stores get it wrong. But its definetly not an 8lb gun in 20", the 24" barrel heavy octagonals are around that weight though.

    This thread has fellas weighing 16" and 20" models. About 6lbs even comes up the most often in literature.

    Rossi 92 16" Actual Weights? - The Firing Line Forums
     
  23. P89DCSS

    P89DCSS Member

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    No. I have the pad to reduce felt recoil.
     
  24. Citizen John

    Citizen John Member

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    I have a JM Marlin in 45 LC and it truly is a smooth lightweight fun gun. It also matches single actions I have in Colt and Ruger. You seem to favor 357's which are nice, as are 44's and 45's. Henry offers more variety in all of these calibers and are readily available, finding all of Henry's selections to go hands on may be more difficult, Cabela's, Bud's, Sportsman Warehouse. You may have a large gun dealer in your State that would have them to heft, I think that we have a couple. You will likely have to invest time and fuel but I agree it is important to check the fit for you personally before making a purchase. While looking you can also check out the competition and used market, gun shows, pawn shops, etc. Sounds like fun to me !
     
  25. spraay

    spraay Member

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    All the centerfire levers I've fired are Marlins. I own a 336 in .30-30, which is a pretty fabulous deer rifle for a lot of scenarios, and a 1894 SBL in .44mag which I adore, simply because it's fun to shoot. I download .44mag rounds to lower pressure to shoot for kicks and have full-power stuff for serious applications (hunting and defense/protection). My first 1894 had the rail/rear sight so badly mis-installed they sent me a whole new gun. The 335 (which is probably 20 years old) has been squared away from the beginning. I've also had some trigger time with my friends 1895 in .357mag and that was a little tack-driver and loads of fun to shoot.
     
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