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Thread: Rossi Lever, which caliber? 38/357, 45LC

  1. #1
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    Rossi Lever, which caliber? 38/357, 45LC

    Don't know squat about Leverguns, but I'm really taken by the look of the Rossi in Stainless. But trying to figure out which caliber to get. (Yes Henry's look nice, but I'm trying to keep cost down)
    Yes, I've read each of the posts here, and I don't really see consensus. Mainly looking to get a good plinking gun, might be a deer or coyote (yep, got a few here that really should be gone) along the way but just plinking will be main use. Either would be new caliber for me, I've stayed with the .223 and .300BO black guns and one .243 Remington I inherited.

    So factory ammo for a while then dies and mold would be next...

    Opinions anyone? 16" or 20" is other decision. I'm favoring 16" but appears that 20" is more favored by those here. My top distance available is 100 yards, so nothing extreme for distance needed.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I’m curious as to what others will suggest. I would like to think that .45lc would be the better choice at your max distance, but I’m not educated enough to know how much drop the 38/357 would have from that type of rifle.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I'm going to suggest that either of these are great rifles .
    My buddy Jorge has an SS 357 with 20" barrel it has a burr or something in it I can't find . It'll run 38s as fast as you can shuck wad cutters to RN weight and type don't seem to matter 357 needs a wiggle or a double bump and behaves like it's hanging the case mouth except that I tried taper crimping until an FMJ RN was under sized .
    Seat long and run 357 loads in 38 brass and all's well . Just a bug in his rifle .
    It rolls pop cans as well as you can shoot and 2.5" at 100 .

    I love my 45 Colts . There's only noise abatement to be gained by going to a 20" barrel over the 16" , I had one of each . The twist is the heart break on the Colts. 200s and 230s are ok 250-265 are great if they start subsonic at the muzzle . A Lee 458-340 sized 454 works but leaves me with 4-6" groups at 100 . Hold shots 75 and under and its a 2" work horse and use whatever bullet you want .
    It doesn't like Rem brass and will hang it up but feeds Starline Schofields fine with the bigger rim ........
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have an older rossi in .357. it has the 20 inch barrel . I hit groundhogs out to 100 yds. I think the 20" barrel is better. you give up nothing in handling and the longer sight radius makes it easier to hit with. I use 358429 in .38spl. cases loaded with 12 gr. 2400. yes it will down a deer with no problems. plus if you want lite loads the same bullet with unique saves powder and lead. also .38 spl. cases are cheaper and eaiser to get then .45 colt.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master knifemaker's Avatar
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    You said the main use will be a plinking rifle and you do not reload right now. Just take a gander at the cost for 45 colt ammo as compared to the cost of 38 special and 357 mag. I have a Rossi in 38/357 with 20 inch barrel and love it. It feeds everything from 38 wadcutters to 160 gr. 357 mags using round nose flat point bullets. It will take your coyotes out to 150 yards with ease and deer also.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    I had two 16" Big Loop Rossi M-92's, a .357 &a .45 Colt, and for me the .357 was far more versatile - and there's prolific, less expensive, ammo choices for the non-handloader.

    The .357 took care of business just as good as the .45 Colt did - but I never had to use either much past 100yds, due to where I typically hunt.

    I put peepsights on both - a Williams 5D-94SE on the .357 & a Skinner LoPro replacement for the bolt-top lawyer safety on the .45.





    I further fashioned a bolt-top safety replacement plug on the .357, so the Williams aperture could be set as low as possible




    I replaced the rear barrel open sight on both rifles via fashioning slot filler blanks from old rear/barrel longleaf open/iron sights.





    .
    Last edited by pietro; 11-06-2017 at 11:42 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I have both Rossies and the Henry. For a plinker you can not make a bad choice. I like either Rossi better for hunting.
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  8. #8
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    I have a 26" in 45lc, a 44mag with a 20" and a 38/357 with a 16" barrel. All are fun and each a bit different but the funnest by far is the 38/357 and can shoot out to 100 with decent accuracy.
    Last edited by Bzcraig; 11-07-2017 at 12:27 AM.
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    Boolit Mold Markedoutdoors's Avatar
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    I am a bit beyond fond of my Rossi 92 I'm 45 Colt. It has the 16" barrel and carries like a dream! Longest shot I've taken with it was about 75yrds. Works real well.

  10. #10
    44-40 of course, as they were originally intended.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    For your uses, either caliber would work. However, the .357 rounds are less expensive, brass is easier to come by when you start to reload, and they will use less lead, i.e., less expensive bullets.

    As far as the barrel, you may pick up a few extra FPS with the longer barrel, but any increase will be minor. Try them both at a store or try other people's guns if possible, see which one suits you better. I'm very happy with my 20".

  12. #12
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    Hands down .38/.357! I own 2 Rossi's in .357, a 20" and a 24" octagon. The 20" carbine is nice to carry due to the light weight and quick handling while the 24" octagon "hangs" better for more deliberate long range offhand shooting. Brass for .38/.357 is abundant and cheap, factory ammo less expensive than .45LC. Once you own one of these rifles you will find yourself going through much ammo. Shooting pistol caliber levers is like eating popcorn, hard to stop. Good luck which ever you choose.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master rondog's Avatar
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    Good luck finding a Rossi in .357, they've been out of production for awhile and are scarce & pricey. If you know of one, buy it! Supposedly, the factory has been undergoing "upgrades" and is back online again, and new rifles are supposed to be shipping, but I'll believe it when I see them.

    FWIW - I want a 20" Rossi .357 too. I have a 24" in .45 Colt and I love it! It took some tuning up, but it's a superb shooter now, one of my favorites. I prefer blued but mine is stainless and there ain't a thing wrong with that. The wood kinda sucks, but I refinished mine with Watco Danish Oil and it's 1000% better now.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rondog View Post
    Good luck finding a Rossi in .357, they've been out of production for awhile and are scarce & pricey. If you know of one, buy it! Supposedly, the factory has been undergoing "upgrades" and is back online again, and new rifles are supposed to be shipping, but I'll believe it when I see them.

    FWIW - I want a 20" Rossi .357 too. I have a 24" in .45 Colt and I love it! It took some tuning up, but it's a superb shooter now, one of my favorites. I prefer blued but mine is stainless and there ain't a thing wrong with that. The wood kinda sucks, but I refinished mine with Watco Danish Oil and it's 1000% better now.
    I traded into mine. The deals are still there sometimes.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    If you don't reload, then a 38/357 is the better choice, but good luck getting it to feed 38 spl reliably. I never could with mine. It now belongs to someone else. On the other hand, have had zero problems with 45LC and several different profile bullets. There is no easier introduction to reloading than the 45LC.

  16. #16
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    I have no problem with .38's in either of my Rossi's. Both will feed RN,SWC,RNFP in .38 cases as fast as I can run the lever. They will even feed cast wadcutters if I crimp on the middle lube groove!
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for the updates and comments. Yes, I DO reload, but not 45 or 38/357 YET! Reload and cast other stuff, so yes, for a while I'd be only factory. But probably not very long.

    Supposedly, the 38/357 is out there, I'll be checking..... I'm now tilting that way.... And I guess barrel will just depend on what I find.

    THANKS AGAIN!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    I have a 24" stainless octogon in .357. I slicked up the innards and refinished the wood. Runs great, scary accurate .

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPRNY View Post
    If you don't reload, then a 38/357 is the better choice, but good luck getting it to feed 38 spl reliably. I never could with mine. It now belongs to someone else. On the other hand, have had zero problems with 45LC and several different profile bullets. There is no easier introduction to reloading than the 45LC.
    My R92 runs .38SPL RN fine, but doesn't like .357 Mag LFN. Throws them right out the action onto the ground. I'm ngoing to experiment with other bullet profiles.

  20. #20
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    I have 2; a .44WCF-24" & A .357MAG-20". If you're going to hunt then .357 is a better choice. Plinking/target is cheaper with .38/357 too. Pick a mold designed for Cowboy Shooting. It will feed better & they have the crimping groove needed for ammo loaded to shoot in a tube magazine rifle. Each ROSSI is a law unto it self, whether it will feed specials or magnums. All I've seen & worked with will feed .357MAG. Most will feed .38spl without a problems. You have to use the right profile bullet, SWC & WC rarely feed well. If not, a good COWBOY GUNSMITH can fix that.

    I've .45COLT Lever rifles too. A MARLIN with a 24" bbl & a UBERTI with a 19" bbl. I use them for plinking too. But I'd never use them for hunting. I have better choices for that.

    .357MAG is simply a better choice for your needs. And again It's a whole lot cheaper too. And when you get your .357MAG Revolver you'll be all set up.
    Last edited by Walks; 11-07-2017 at 02:22 PM.
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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