Rossi 92 or Henry Steel ?

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Dec 16, 2011
I'm decided on a 357/38 lever rifle. I got it narrowed down to either a Rossi 92 or Henry Big Boy Steel . The Rossi runs at $525 or so locally and the Henry at $640, so going by price the Rossi seems to be the better deal, however after recommended upgrades ( steel follower, springs, safety plug, etc.) the price goes up a bit closer to the Henry. The Henry has a scope option which could make the rifle double as a short range deer rifle, which would be a plus.

My Pros/Cons

Rossi 92

Pros: more traditional looks, loading gate, price

Cons: Will likely need "fine tuned" and/or need replacement parts, May have QC issues,

Henry Steel

Pros: Smooth action out of box, fit and finish, great customer service, option for scope

Cons: no loading gate, price, less traditional looking,

I'm slightly leaning towards the Henry, due mainly as there is a much lower risk of getting a lemon and Henry's good reputation. It's going to be a range/fun gun so I really want to enjoy shooting all types of 38 and 357 without a lot of trouble. So help me make up my mind, let's hear your thoughts on the two. -Thanks
Throw each up to your shoulder. You will likely find that one, if not both, actually don't fit you very well.
All things considered, I think I'd take a Henry.

I owned an old Rossi Puma in .357, and the extractor broke, which meant my poor rifle spent years in the shop, waiting on a part.

I think I'll get a Henry next time around.
That's another good point, the Rossi is hard to get parts for if there is a failure
I have a Rossi 92 in .357 Magnum. It is stainless with the 20" barrel. I ordered the Steve's Gunz video with his parts kit and I slicked it up per his video instructions. I like it a lot. It's a fun gun. However, it is still finicky regarding cartridge length for feeding, especially with .38 Specials, which I have to hand load to .357 lengths. I have 2 of the Henry .22 lever action rifles as well. I think Henry's overall quality is better and it has one of the best customer support reputations in the business. I'd go with the Henry.
Definitely the Henry! I have a Rossi 92 and had to do a lot of work on it to get it smooth. Still not as smooth an action as a Henry right from the box. I have 5 Henry lever guns. Had trouble with one (.45-70). Henry customer service was great. They had me send it back to them for an upgrade. Had it back in less than two weeks and have had no more problems.
I think im the odd guy out. I prefer the Rossi. Mine required zero work out of the box and was as smooth as any of the Henry rifles i looked at.

As already stated though, hold them both up to your shoulder and buy what feels best.

The fact that the rossie is a top eject does make optics a bit of a challenge.
With the Rossi, you will be lucky to get 5 years service out of it before something breaks and it spends months at Rossi being serviced. And it's at least a 50% chance it will come back still broken and have to go back for months more.

With the Henry; if it ever has to go back to Henry it will probably be your grandkids who send it in. And they will get grandpas old gun back in two weeks working perfectly.
Neither, Go with the Winchester model 1892.
I own a Model 94 Scout in the .44 win. Mag. Manufactured in the 1970's
Mine shoots like hell-fire in all climates. I have shot several Deer with it.
Two of my sons have shot their first deer with it.
My oldest Grandson shot his first deer with it.
It compliments my three screw Ruger new model by using the same Cal. Ammunition. (First deer shot with a pistol for myself)
Better caliber selection
Better Resale value
Better parts availability
I could go on and on
My Rossi worked fine right out of the box. No need for any extra tuning or slicking up the action. Have had it for six years now and it still works fine without any problems to report. Love the way it handles and for how it looks.

I bought my Rossi 92 in the late 80s and it has over the years served me well, with no real issues. As far as Customer Service and parts, I refinished the stock on mine a week or so ago and while reassembling it, the screw that holds the magazine tube plug in broke??? Rossi had me a new one in 3 days. Because of the age of my rifle, I had to shorten it a bit. Rossi customer service gets an A+ on this one.
I have a Rossi and a Henry in 357 and ditto in 45 colt. I like them all for various reasons. Rossi's are just light handy rifles that shoot well, have good fit and finish, and I've no complaint about the action other than the factory ejector spring launches brass into orbit. No problems with either one, and COAL has not been a problem, the 357 occassionally pitches a 38 special right on out of the action, but that's only occassionally. Only things I've done is replace the ejector springs, and the plastic magazine followers, and burnished the sharp edges on the loading gate. I've put scout scopes on both of them, it's not ideal, but it's better than I can do with my old eyes.

Henry's are heavier (the brass frame hexagonal barrel 357 is a lot heavier), fit and finish is excellent, and, although I initially had a problem with the 357, Henry service is superb. The 45 colt is sensitive to COAL, I initially had a problem with some Keith semi wad cutter dummy rounds, but soon determined that I'd just seated them (although in the crimp grove) longer than the rifle could handle. Henry tells you right up front that the Big Boy in 45 colt won't shoot anything bigger than 270 grains due to bullet length, and although these were 255 grains, they do seat over the recommended COAL of 1.60 when crimped in the groove. The Rossi 45 colt handled them with no problem, the Henry locked up on the longest ones, easily remedied by pushing down on the rim of the cartridge with a plastic pen, which popped the bullet up and allowed the lifter to function, but annoying. Lesson learned, I'll crimp them shorter or go to a RNFP bullet. The Henry's allow optics to be mounted on the receiver, a real plus since you don't have to find an intermediate eye relief scope (required for scout scope installation). Henry has excellent disassembly and cleaning videos on their website, there are equally good videos on YouTube by as fellow whose handle is "My Rossi Rifle" for the Rossi's
With that close of a price differential, get the Henry! I wish I could find a Big Boy in steel for that price in my neck of the woods.

I've got a Rossi 92 20" in 357. The quality is just not there. Just last week the extractor bushing broke. Rossi customer service quoted a 12 week lead time for a replacement. Luckily,, carries the part and I was able to replace it.

Mine also can be a bit finicky on ammo. It doesn't like Magtech. Also if the
barrel gets too hot ammo jams are more common regardless of which type of ammo used.

Check out the reviews on youtube. The vast majority of Big Boy owners love their guns.
Rossi owners...not as much, me included. View the disassembly videos, too, the Big
Boy is easier to work on.

I hope to trade in my Rossi for a Big Boy someday. Good luck on whichever you choose.
Lever actions are sooooo much fun to shoot!
I recently bought a Rossi 16" stainless in .357. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. I was wrong. Fit and finish were very good. It was fairly smooth right out of the box. I did a home smooth up job and it is very slick now. It has fed any bullet style flawlessly. I did not like the factory sights and swapped them. I can hit a 12" gong at 200 yards more times than not. I have put 3500 rounds thru it in the past 6 months and haven't even cleaned it. It is my favorite range toy long gun.
Rossi for the loading gate. I don't like loading the tube like a .22. I bought a Rossi for my brother and he loves it.
I prefer the traditional styling of the Rossi over the Henry, so I got a Rossi in 357. It's been flawless with 38/357 for the last 6-7 years and is one of my favorites. I have some Henry rimfires and they have been nice rifles for the money. If Henry made a traditional style model '92 I wouldn't hesitate to purchase one. I guess it kind of depends on whether you're looking to get a model '92, or a just any lever gun in that caliber. I was specifically wanting a '92 (clone), so I went with the Rossi.
Of the two you list I would go with the Henry. I have a Henry in .22LR and it's a dream to shoot. Why do you consider the tube loading of the Henry a bad thing? In reality it's faster to load than the King's gate. I guess if you were in combat it would be nice to top off the load through the gate but that time has long passed lol. If you get a Henry I highly doubt you will be disappointed.

I'm wondering why you didn't mention the Marlin? I have a Marlin in 38/357 among others and is also a very nice levergun. I'm guessing price?
I prefer and bought the Rossi mostly because I prefer the traditional loading gate.

It has been near perfect out of the box - sights were dead-on and only thing I did to it was clean, cycled the lever a few hundred times and then another clean. About 3,000 rounds through it so far.
Henry is going to be higher quality, built better. I believe it will be smoother, last longer, and you will get great customer service.

Rossi has the features that I like in a lever action rifle with the loading gate and the traditional sights. If you buy the Rossi, I would go to the store and closely inspect the rifle you will receive and even then, you are rolling the dice on whether it will not have issues.

And even if all is well, you'll still probably want to tune it up.

The Henry is worth the money, but you have to ask yourself do you want the loading gate or not?
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