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Puma / Rossi lever action rifles - how are they?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Rick Barker, Sep 26, 2011.

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  1. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Wondering if any owners of these rifles can tell me what is the overall quality of them.


    Price is about 1/3 of Uberti, and even less of new Winchester.


    I am looking at the 357, 24 " octagon barrel.
     
  2. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Never mind, unless you want to respond. I found some info on a 2nd search attempt.
     
  3. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    I had an old Rossi M92 carbine in 44-40. This was a "pre-medallion" gun. At one time Rossi had a bronze medallion with a puma on it embedded into the side of the receiver.

    The M92/Puma is almost a clone of the Winchester 1892, but there are some differences.

    First, few parts interchange. If something goes awry, you'll have to track down a source of Rossi parts.

    Second, the mainspring is not leaf, but coil. It's a PITA to put back together, as you have to preload the spring on the hammer strut and capture it with a very small diameter, but very hard wire. I used a sewing needle and the pressure almost bent it in two.

    Third, they are even less tolerant of non-traditional bullet designs like semi-wadcutters than the original Winchesters are.

    Fourth, I don't think they are as accurate as the original Winchester 1892, the modern Win/USRA or Browning clones.

    Fifth, the wood on the older ones was some sort of South American hardwood, which was quite dark and somewhat oily. I don't know if they've switched to walnut now or not.

    Sixth, I took a hard look at the octagon barreled rifles when Rossi introduced them, and was not impressed. The original Winchester 1892s always used a tapered octagon barrel. It balanced better and it looked better. Rossi uses an untapered barrel, and for anyone who has used original Winchesters, you can feel the difference in balance, plus looks. This obviously is a moot point for many Rossi owners.

    Having said all that, my Rossi M92 in 44-40 was quite reliable. And frankly, I'd rather have a Rossi M92 than a Win/USRA Model 94 chambered for a short cartridge. The 1894 was never designed for short cartridges, and it has never been a perfect conversion. Many work reliably, but some do not and it is a crap shoot.

    I converted my Rossi M92 from a 20" carbine to a 16" trapper, which was not as easy as it sounds. After several years of use I sold it, because it was no longer needed, having settled on .45 Colt for my cowboy guns (and a Marlin 1894). Sometimes wonder if I should have kept it, but, what's done is done.
     
  4. Doug Mc

    Doug Mc TS Member

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    You get what you pay for ... they are what they are
     
  5. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    Santa Clarita, CA
    With a tune up from a knowlegable SASS gunsmith they are hard running, very reliable shooters. Collectors pieces they will never be but good reliable shooters they are indeed.
     
  6. 97Fxds

    97Fxds TS Member

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    I had one of the black wood, stainless M92 Rossi .454 and I loved it. My first lever action toy. My only real complaint was the fit and finish of the metal components, they where sharp. When you cycled the action open, the "bolt?" ( the part that slides back over the stock) would pinch upon closing and cut holes in my shirts. =P Tell you the truth, I had more problems with my .450 Marlin than I ever did with the Puma.
    Lawrence
     
  7. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for additional input.

    I am not into Cowboy Shooting and I have Winchesters, just looking for something that will handle 357 which I can use in connection with my S&W 686, and not have a fortune tied up in.
     
  8. Codebrown

    Codebrown TS Member

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    Jul 20, 2009
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    I have a Rossi 92 Stainless .357 carbine. It's a nice little gun, handles well, and mine is plenty accurate. It actually has a walnut stock with nice burled grain in the butt. Shoots SWC 38's, LRN, anything I've fed it - mostly moderate target 38 reloads, but some factory 357 hot stuff. You can actually get some decent power out of 357's out of the 20" barrel.

    It's currently sitting in the corner in a case with a ziplock bag taped to it with the ejector in it. Apparently this is a common problem (ejector "ejecting" itself). Since it's an Interarms import ("Lifetime" warranty was THEIR lifetime - I'd rather have no warranty than that stupid safety on the bolt, though), I'm on my own to fix it. Recalling the days after school as a kid I spent trying to reassemble a Win 94, Ruger Mark 1, Browning A-5, old Ithaca sxs's, and the kitchen toaster, I think I'll just send it off for an action job and let that guy take care of it.

    Overall It's worth what they get for them, which isn't true for many of the Rossi-type guns.
     
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