Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rossi 92 Range Report

Today I got out to the range and shot the Rossi 92 I bought last Thursday for the first time. I ran 150 rounds through it: 100 Sellier & Bellot .357 Magnum 158 grain JSP and 50 Winchester white box .38 Special +P 125 grain JHP.

When cycling the gun empty at home  the action felt pretty smooth. However, once I loaded it up it became evident that there were some burrs in the action. In particular, the S&B .357s were hanging up when trying to load them into the chamber. There were a couple burs on the breech face, alongside the ejector slot. After about 20 shots I took a needle file and knocked them down a bit. I worked through 50 rounds of .357 plus 10 rounds of .38 (which fed smoothly). After about 60 rounds the gun was noticeably smoother and I was able to do rapid mag dumps.

The S&B .357s were loaded with a truncated cone bullet, while the Winchester .38s had bullets with more of a curve to the ogive, basically a RNFP with a hole in the tip. The gun seems to feed better with a more rounded bullet profile so I'll try to use that sort of ammo in the future.

I am going to have to tweak the ejector a bit. Ejection of .357 brass was positive but when trying to eject the last .38 in the gun, the empty case stayed in the receiver every time.

When shooting .38s I also experienced one time when the cartridge on the carrier ejected from the gun along with the empty.

After about 60 or 70 rounds I noticed the bolt pin stop screw on the left of the reciever was loose. It will get some Loctite.

AIUI, it's not uncommon for the Rossi .357s (or Marlin 1894s in .357, for that matter) to experience issues with the shorter .38 rounds. As long as it works 100% with .357s I don't mind the occasional bobble with .38s.

The trigger is good. Probably about 5 or 6 pounds and crisp, with very little creep.

I shot the gun at 50 yards, mostly with my arms rested on a shooting bench. The gun will group into about 3" with the loads I shot today. With the rear sight set on the lowest position it shot a few inches high and about 2" left. Since it was pretty close I didn't adjust the sights today, concentrating more on functioning.

Aside from making sure the ejector is not binding on anything and is properly shaped, I plan to strip the gun and polish the wear points to slick it up (but I will NOT be touching the locking bolts, which set headspace). I will also probably replace the plastic magazine follower with one made from steel, and replace the ridiculous bolt-mounted safety. Finally, I'll be giving the stock some attention to make it look nicer. Whatever finish Rossi uses on their wood comes out really dull.

Overall I'm pleased with the Rossi. It's a light, quick handling rifle in a useful caliber at a reasonable price. With a little "fluff and buff" it'll have a really slick action.

No comments: