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Sighting the Rossi Ranch Hand

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by badgerrr, Sep 20, 2011.

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  1. badgerrr

    badgerrr Member

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    Got a fresh American Rifleman today and they have a Lever action piece. In it , the author observes that he was unable to bring the iron sights to shoot to point-of-aim with the Ranch Hand. He was shooting the .44 caliber model.

    I don't have one of these, but have been seriously considering it. Mine would be in 45 Long, however.

    Have been wondering if there are any members in this forum that have a Ranch Hand and what their experiance has been in sighting them - and what bullet weight/type has worked (or not)?
    Another question: Does recoil permit anchoring the "handgun" against the sternum/chest? Seems to me the traditional shoulder position wouldn't work with the abbreviated butt stock.

    Observations?
     
  2. waidmann

    waidmann Member

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    Funny, I have the article in front of me. Yes, he could not get to point-of-aim with the existing sites. He also said there was not enough stock for use and the straight hand grip had its problems. To paraphrase him, its a Hollywood Gun.

    My two bits. I have tried a number of things in my youth I have discarded. Making handguns out of rifles and shotguns run high on the list of "tried that". Trying to get rifle performance out of pistol cartridges probably runs second.

    My experience is that firearms like most metallic devices readily fall into one of three categories: tool, toy or weapon. This one seems to fall firmly in the middle.

    If you like I were once a devotee of Josh Randle or Lucas McCain and want to have some fun by all means do so. The old man in me says don't bring expectations to the table. The technology of the last 100+ years eclipsed this piece.
     
  3. DPris

    DPris Member

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    I had no problems in sight regulation with mine in .45 Colt.

    The stock nub is not there to be placed against anything. This variation is, by legal definition, a handgun.
    No, the traditional shoulder position doesn't work well, it's not supposed to. Can't imagine anchoring against the sternum. What would that do for you?

    The straight hand grip or hold does have its problems, most notably in handling heavy recoil.
    It's not intended to be a practical gun, and while it can be fairly accurate (my Chiappa version is more so), it's an inefficient platform for serious uses.
    Denis
     
  4. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I have the .357.
    [​IMG]

    I did have to lower the rear sight all the way down but then it did OK.
    [​IMG]

    You can hold the gun out like a pistol and do pretty good but that's not it's thing.
    Point shooting or shooting from the hip is the way to go. With a little practice dumping the magazine into COM out to 10 yards plus becomes pretty easy.


    I liked the .357 so much I was going through a lot of 38 and 357 magnum. I thought a 22 Mare's Leg would be just the thing and about that time Henry came out with one.
    [​IMG]

    Due to the lack of recoil the gun can be aimed while holding the side of the butt stock against your cheek. This works so well I put a Red Dot sight on the gun. It's right accurate. About a inch to inch and a half at 25-35 yards with Wal Mart bulk pack ammo.
     
  5. khegglie

    khegglie Member

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    I have no sighting. probs with the 357 0r 44
     
  6. DPris

    DPris Member

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    As a caution- the .22 version of the Mare's Leg is the ONLY one that's advisable to shoot with the gun resting against your cheek, or in general anywhere near your face.
    Denis
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    The day I bought the .357 I shot a couple boxes of 38 Special.
    I guess I shot about 30 rounds with the butt stock against my cheek. It seemed to work very well and I thought this will be one good way to shoot the gun.
    BUT, the next morning when I looked in the mirror it looked like someone beat the crap out of me. My right cheek was covered with two large bruises.


    But yes holding the 22's butt stock against the cheek does work well. Today I did a good bit of shooting that way with the Henry. Pretty accurate at 25 yards.
    Fun gun to shoot.:)
     
  8. neilin

    neilin Member

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    Finally got a Ranch Hand

    I started looking for a Rossi Ranch Hand over a year ago. A local gun shop had me on the top of the list when they could get one in. About three weeks ago they called me, and said they had one for me in .45 Colt, the cal. I wanted. I bought it. Came home and tried to load it. It was near impossible to do, due to the roughness of the inside finish. Called a gunsmith I know who is active in cowboy action shooting, delivered it to him, and received it back today. It works great and is fun to shoot. In addition to working on the action, I had him remove the sights and install dovetail blanks. Without sights it really looks nice and I don't have to worry about snags. I am going to enjoy this Ranch Hand. The down side is I had to have a gunsmith prep it for action. The gunsmith said this is the first Ranch Hand he has worked on, but has worked on a number of the full sized '92 rifles from Rossi, which required the same work as my Ranch Hand to put them in action. The stock is too short to shoot as a rifle, and using a 255 grain cast lead bullet in .45 Colt, the recoil is mild.
     
  9. neilin

    neilin Member

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    I have been viewing some Wanted Dead or Alive TV shows from season one. Steve McQueen really plays his role well, and of course there is the excitement of the Mare's Leg. I have noticed at least two versions of the Mare's Leg in these season one episodes. One version has a triangular shaped cocking lever, whereas another version has a more circular shaped cocking lever. The Mare's Leg itself, I have noticed in these episodes, with either of the cocking lever variations has a round barrel. However, the picture of the Mare's Leg in the end credits has an octagon barrel. Has anyone else noticed this? And, can anyone shed any light on the reason for the variations of the Mare's Leg in the Wanted Dead or Alive TV episodes?
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I don't think they were big on detail in the TV shows of that day.

    From what I read Steve McQueen originally didn't want to do the show. I'd guess the people involved didn't think the show would last, so didn't want to invest too much money. They probably just got what guns they could find or throw together.


    One funny thing they did once in a while is "fan" the hammer several times without working the lever and loading another round.:)
     
  11. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    The levers were modified at McQueen's request. He felt the loop lever was too much like John Wayne's carbine (and often described as such) and wanted his own look. His Mare's Laig had a shorter barrel and shorter grip/forehand than the Ranch Hand and no sights.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  12. DPris

    DPris Member

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    DW,
    That's my gun & photo you done gots there. :)
    Looks & handles better than the factory version.
    Denis
     
  13. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    I don't understand why anyone would want one of these things when they could get a good single action revolver in the same caliber.
     
  14. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Then it's not the gun for you. :)
    Denis
     
  15. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    DPris, I got the pic from Steve to show me what kind of work he does. We were discussing some modifications that could be done with the Ranch Hand. He did a fine job on yours. I also know of one that has had the barrel replaced with a .357" bore chambered for the .357-44 Bain & Davis and a laser/LED sight installed in the mag tube.
     
  16. Ash_J_Williams

    Ash_J_Williams member

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    I'm glad to see so many have tried these. The .22 almost came home with me, but it seemed a bit silly. A bigger caliber seemed more... usable, but I don't hunt, so I dunno for what, and shooting for fun would be even more expensive.
     
  17. DPris

    DPris Member

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    DW,
    Steve asked for a photo for his website, I was happy to do one for him.
    I quite like that gun... :)
    Denis
     
  18. gmansguns

    gmansguns Member

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    Does the 357 mag. shoot any kinder than the 44 mag,?
     
  19. gmansguns

    gmansguns Member

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  20. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Well....yeah.
    Denis
     
  21. pockets

    pockets Member

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    I bought the Henry .22 Mare's Leg also. Love the 'Wanted Dead Or alive' concept, but I actually wanted to shoot the thing regularly....22LR made more sense for my purposes than .357 or .45 (for me). The .22 can be rested against the cheek, or even shot one-hand 'duelist' style. Good shooter too....as accurate as my other Henry guns.

    .
     
  22. jojo200517

    jojo200517 Member

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    I held one of the .45LC versions in Academy sports a while back. I couldn't really figure out how one would hold it and still be able to see down the sights. Frankly I don't see how the ATF didn't rule it a SBR but then again they never apply common sense to any of their rulings, but thats another rant for another thread :banghead:

    I kinda put it in the category of toy too after handling it and trying to figure out how one would aim it. Maybe if I could get one and SBR paperwork to put a full stock on it i'd be more interested, but otherwise it just wasn't something i'd really want.
     
  23. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Last week I ran a bunch of 38 and .357 through the Rossi.
    It's surprising how accurate you can shoot the gun one handed when held belt high.


    I checked with a gunsmith about cutting the Henry's barrel and mag tube back to the forearm but, as I expected, it was too costly.
     
  24. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    I always thought it was a shoot from the hip gun and didn't even need sights.
     
  25. DPris

    DPris Member

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    With sights, my Chiappa can put a bullet where I aim at 75 yards.
    Without sights, as my Rossi now is, it's a major Alabama Overunderage Guestimation proposition to hit at 30.

    If all you want to do is close range shooting, it can work from the hip.
    Denis
     
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