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Thread: .45 Colt Rossi M92 range report

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Smile .45 Colt Rossi M92 range report


    I have been perusing this site for years as a nonparticipating member. I'm gonna change that finally. For my first ever post I thought I would share the results of a little reloading experiment I am conducting with my newest rifle, a .45 Colt Rossi M92 lever gun. It has a 24-inch octagon barrel with the 1-in-30 inch twist that all these Rossi levers have. The fit and finish are supreme and the wood has a nice walnut tone with well-defined grain. Having read descriptions of this rifle on slightly older posts, I was surprised to find the kind of quality I did on this new firearm.

    I wanted to find a nice, accurate load for this rifle. First, I researched loads on this site, in reloading manuals and elsewhere on the internet looking for accuracy loads in particular. I found several that used a variety of bullets, boolits and powder. I narrowed the loads to those that used the bullets and powder I have in stock. All of these loads were touted by the authors as extremely accurate in their particular firearm and these were usually in 20-inch barrels. So I fixed up a bunch of primed brass and loaded them up with “pet loads” (credit to Ken Waters for that term). Then it was off to the range for the first test.

    All loads were shot at 25 yards into paper plate targets with a 1-inch black bull. The rifle was set up as it came from the factory, i.e. it had the wild buckhorn sights. No modifications were made to this very smoothly functioning rifle, and I used my shoulder for a “lead sled.” That may not have been wise, as this curved steel butt is none too forgiving with stout loads. I did not chronograph the loads…that will come later when I try to come up with deer and elk loads.

    Here's what I found:

    Bullet Powder Amount Group size(5-shot)
    258g lead Trail Boss 4.7g 1.9 in
    340g lead LilGun 20.5g 2.5 in
    258g lead LilGun 15.6g 0.9 in
    340g lead Unique 9.5g 2.8 in
    300g JSP 5744 16g 1.0 in
    300g JSP Reloader7 20g 2.4 in
    Factory* 1.8 in
    *WinBonded PDX1 225g HP (handgun load)

    Load #2 above was one heck of a stout one and rattled my teeth pretty good. It looks like a good start on a hunting combo. But I want an accurate, easy to shoot load.

    I am certain each of these bullets and powders will combine somehow for a sweet spot load in this rifle. But since the results of this test gave me a head start, I decided to refine the most accurate powders (which I also have in abundance) and attempt to match them to the boolit I have the most of, a 340g piece of lead with GCs in place, the 454350B from Montana Bullet works measuring .452 in.

    The rifle got a new sight for this go-round, too, the peep sight from Steve that fits into the bolt safety hole…very nicely, by the way. My old eyes have a MUCH easier time with peeps and I am used to them from childhood and decades of practice with them.

    I chose Lil Gun and 5744 as my powders for this 2nd round test based on their performance in the first test. I estimated the amount of powder for a 340g boolit from various reloading tables and bracketed the loads up and down by 0.5g. Here are the results:

    Powder Amount Group size
    LilGun 12g 1.3 in
    12.5g 0.5 in
    13g 1.7 in
    13.5g 2.4 in (50 yd)
    14g 2.6 in

    5744 10g 1.4 in
    13g 2.8 in
    13.5g 3.2 in (50 yd)
    14g 2.4 in
    14.5g 2.5 in (50 yd)
    15g 1.6 in

    So there it is. Lil Gun at 12.5g and the 454350B GC is a pretty tight combo. There was just one ragged hole in the target. For really light and dirty loads, 10g of 5744 looks okay. And it looks like 14.5g of 5744 at 50 yards ain't so bad nither.

    Now to try some distance work with this peep-sighted lever and those Lil Gun loads!

  2. #2
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    Smoke4320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Right here ..at least I was a minute ago
    Nice writeup
    probably need to shoot the 12.5 gr lil gun load a few more times to confirm
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master helice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    California. Where absurdity reigns and confusion makes it look good.
    Hey---Welcome to the crew. I too have an R-92 in 45 Colt. The dad-gum thing just won't stay anywhere's close to me. Every time I take it out to the range with my shooting buddies the dang thing turns up in one of their gun cases going on their hunt for deer or pig or bear or some other cockamaimie story. It's in Bill's safe right now and I don't see much hope of me getting it back any time soon. Just be glad it ain't a .357. Every kid and woman in the world has tried to steal that one from me.
    Nice write up. I look forward to pictures of the arm and the targets and the sights and the shooters. What moulds are you messing with, I mean experimenting on?
    Again Welcome.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Bo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Tioga, LA
    Great write up, with some good info.
    My next purchase is gonna be a Rossi 92 45LC with the 24 inch octagon barrel.
    This just reinforces the decision to get one. Keep up the good work, and keep us informed.
    "Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not"
    Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    They can be great shooters that's for sure. The other day I put a 10 shot group at 40 yards into one wallered hole with a newly designed 235 grain LFN style boolit and 7 grains of Promo. My Rossi 454 is also a great shooter too.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Lovettsville, VA
    Thanks for the info. Had a pair of 357 Mag Rossi 92s years ago and wish I still had them. Currently have a 92 in SS 44 Mag. Slicked it up using stevesgunz video and parts. Makes a big difference. The Rossi 92 might need a little work right out of the box but are worth the money.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Thanks to all who read and/or responded. I only have 120 rounds through this piece so far and we'll see how it's functioning with a few hundred more.
    Ironhead...I saw the stevesgunz info and also read Jim Taylor's article on the leverguns site (http://www.leverguns.com/articles/taylor/rossi.htm) regarding smoothing the action. I fully expected to have to perform those acts of gun care on my rifle but I was so impressed by how well it worked out of the box, I feel like I can delay those duties indefinitely.
    RobS...yours is the first Promo load I've noticed and it looks like a nice light load...certainly very accurate. You must have good eyes! Sure like to see a pic of that flat nose you're shooting so accurately...and now to see if anyone has Promo in stock.
    helice...sorry to hear the missing-in-action rifle story! My son loves this rifle as much as I do but fortunately he still lives with us (17y/o) for a few more years. Maybe I'll get him his own to go with his Kentucky caplock .50 when he graduates...it may save me some grief down the road. I will be happy to post some pics of this experiment at some point. As for moulds, I have yet to jump into that activity. My work space is overwhelmed with my hobby paraphernalia currently. I'm gonna hafta hold a garage sale before I start making my own boolits. I just look for the best prices that match the size of my rifles (.315, .366-368, .452), close my eyes and hit the "buy" button for now. I'm toying with trying resizing .375s to .368....as soon as I get up enough courage to ask Lee to custom make one of their dies and then once again hit the "buy" button.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Here is the 235 that shot well for me the other day:
    I use this one as a multiple purpose for both my 45 ACP in the auto and the revolver with a ACP cylinder as well as lighter 45 Colt loads

    Then I have a design very similar if not identical to this one and is another one of my favorites:
    also a great shooter

    And then some of the heavier ones Ruger only 45 Colt loads but the 310 does work well at 900 fps from a revolver too. These two work well in my Rossi 45 Colt and Rossi 454 Casull rifles:
    *As a not though my Rossi's both have a 1:20" barrel twist.

    If you are only going to shoot from a rifle then I have a few secant nose profiled boolit designs too that shot just as accurate from the rifle and a person doesn't have to worry as much about cycling or chambering due to the fatter tangent ogive of the nose although the tangent nose designs above all cycle like butter through both of my rifles.
    Last edited by RobS; 07-27-2013 at 11:32 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    As to function if the rifle is already cycling well and will only get better in another 500 rounds or so. You may not need to do anything to the rifle regards to slicking it up; shoot and have fun and see where it goes.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master joec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I've been shooting Ranch Dog's 290 gr .454 gas checked bullet sized to .452 in my Rossi 92 45 Colt, 20" octagon barrel using 25 gr of Lil'Gun. I've also shot them in my Raging Bull 454 Casull with excellent accuracy from both. I'm getting 1" to 1.5" groups at 25 yards but shooting standing and free hand not on a bench etc. That is excellent for me considering I have only one eye and it is old and not what is used to be. It is also stout but that isn't as big a problem as I thought it would be and not much with a leather, padded butt cover at all.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    HiVelocity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    I love these 92's, and levers. I, too, have an older Rossi 92 in 45 Colt, 16" Trapper. What I've settled on, out of 6 molds, is NOE's .452-230-hp [normally for 45ACP]. I purchased some 45 plain based gas checks and apply them to these and load into 45 Colt cases using either Unique, 4227, or Blue Dot. I'm guessing ~ 1200 fps. I have mold weights from 230gr to 300gr.

    My hunting load this year will be a 270gr true 454 [Casull design] hollow pointed by Buckshot. Good luck, be safe.

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    Although, politicians routinely abuse the privilege.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check