Ok, not a traditional hand gun buy any stretch of the imagination. Technically, it's doesn't really fit into this category cuz it's a lever gun but it's closer here than break action.
Now that I got that it of the way, recently I've been kicking around something different (imagine me looking for an excuse to buy a new gun ) and I ran across this Rossi Ranch Hand. Modeled after the "mares leg" of an old western, "wanted: dead or alive", this unique piece is available as a 38/357 mag, 44spl/mag or 45 colt(and NO, it's not a looooong colt, there's no such cartridge!). With 12" barrel and abbreviated stock, it has a 24" oal. Action is a copy of a Winchester 1892 with its twin locking bars in the rear making for a purty stout piece.
I shopped around a tad and found they're reasonably priced and some of the reviews I've read were very positive for reliability and accuracy, not something I would have expected from Rossi. As rumor has it, Taurus builds these guns for them which doesn't leave me all warm and fuzzy based on a lot of end user reports from the pages of our very own forum here. So, as luck would have it, a local shop actually had one in stock, in 45 Colt, and was more than happy to sell me the thing below cost since he's had it in stock from just after opening the place almost 2 years ago!
Considering what lever guns sell for these days and all the more I paid for the thing, the initial inspection was surprisingly good. Metal fit/finish is very nice. All the edges are straight, maybe even a little sharp. Wood fit is "proud" in typical today's cheap gun fashion. Its finish is even although the wood is a quite plain. Cycling the lever is very mechanical but decently smooth without any hitches or hiccups. I'm sure it will smooth up with use.
Sights are a buck horn or semi-buck horn, I don't really know the difference, with a brass bad front sight. Placing the abbreviated stock to your check produces the typical lever gun sight picture and from what I've read, is couple inch at 50 yards accurate, assuming you do your part.
Rossi offers a scope mounting option that replaces the rear sight and has 4 screws that secure a weaver style base to the barrel. I've ordered one in case I decide to try a pistol scope or a red dot. Being a lever gun fan, I know it's kind of a sacrilege to put optics on a lever but I'm not known for being a traditionalist so I wanted that ability.
Currently, I'm waiting for some brass to arrive to load up some 250swc bullets with trail boss. Hopefully, they'll arrive in time, and this heat subsides, so I can get some loaded for testing/shooting this weekend.
The 45 Colt has plenty of horse power for varminting and deer size game so that's the plan for it currently. I've also got some ideas for upgrades, depending on accuracy and function.
Haven't read anything here about them so if you've got experience, speak up. If you'd like to just discuss, I'm all ears. I know everyone likes pictures so I'll try to get some up tomorrow. Sorry for the long post but I'm kind of excited about a lever HANDGUN!
everyone seems to want the safety they added to get it through import removed...its simple
drift out the pin pull it out...discard the spring and ball...grind off the tab on the bottom...done
There's a company that makes a peep sight to replace the safety, might be something I do, depending if I go irons or optic...
Got a minute so I thought I'd post pix of the gun and one of an upgrade I'm kicking around.
You'll have to shorten the mag tube, spring, and move the band. Not a big deal. Plus whatever your doing with the sights
I made one of these in 357 my truck gun.
Silencerco makes an XL piston so, assuming diameter is not an issue, I shouldn't have to deal with all that. I'll just have to make sure the threaded section is kept short enough to avoid the can hitting the mag tube, shouldn't be a biggie. Haven't decided to thread it yet...
Got the brass today, thank you Mr Sample!, so I'm going to try and make it out before the heat in the am and load up a few.
Kicking around replacing the large loop lever with a standard. Don't know that I'm a fan of that huge loop.
Ya but you can spin it like Lucas McCain ;-)
It's not a break, it's a brake, unless it's a break, then it's broke ;-)
I had a customer want to change the lever....rossi wouldn't sell us one...they wanted him to send it back and charge a bunch...dont remember what it was for a price tho.
we just cut and tig welded it...word of caution tho....the loop is pot metal and welding is a P.I.T.A. big time.
The guns are good tho...no quality complaints.
I shot it!
Decided to brave the freakin heat, which is quite ridiculous, and also had to set up my Redding TiCarb 45 Colt die set in a new T-7 turret since all my others are full. Ran Trail Boss thru my Redding powder measure, which only took about 5 or so rounds to get set right on at 5.5 grains.
I processed 20 pieces of the new Starline brass and proceeded to throw charges which were all weighed on a Redding scale. Bullet is a commercially produced Master Cast 255 SWC that I'd purchased for loading 45 Colts for my father-in-law's Judge. I've got to double check but I'm fairly certain I purchased a mold for this cartridge a while back, haven't needed to get it fired up yet. Seated all 20 to 1.61" and profile crimped.
I grabbed the gun, a target (old 8" frying pan) and gear and headed for a place to give them a try.
I anticipated some difficulty in loading after some of the internet babble I've read. WRONG! Cartridges slid right in the loading gate and seated without difficulty, including the last round, number 6. Racked the action, lined up on the bottom of the pan, which a nice aiming point in the center, and let fly, BULLSEYE! Distance was only about 10 yards but it more or less center punched the pan. I'd planned on shooting a few then saving the rest for another outing, didn't happen. I couldn't load and shoot them fast enough. I backed off to around 20 yards and continued perforating the pan. The irons for my eyes aren't the most accurate although I was able to keep all round on the pan. I've got a scope mount coming so I'll be giving that a try.
Overall, it's really fun to shoot. Recoil with the TB loads is mild and I never once took a thumb to the nose even though I placed that short stock to my cheek. I could see it beating you up a bit with hot loads but these were quite fun. The gun functioned flawlessly less one round that I short stroked the lever and it wasn't kicked out of the magazine tube.
I did find one glitch with my threading plan. There's a screw in the end of the mag tube that passes completely thru (holds the cap on) and rests against the bottom of the barrel. I believe it tensions the tube so it doesn't rattle around. Something will have to be done with it but I don't see that being a huge issue. Will be talking to my gunsmith soon.
Will post back after I get the scope mounted and give it a try.
I have essentially the same gun in a carbine version. I bout it for the express purpose of threading it for my TiRant 45. I figure I can run some heavies at decent speed and still be subsonic. Should be a great quiet deer thumper in the woods. I'm currently waiting for my stamp to go through before i get mine threaded though. And that screw in the front..... it works to hold the mag tube in place so it can't slide out of the receiver, I think.
If I remeber right. The screw thru the mid band holds the tube in and the one thru the end cap hold the cap and keeps the tube from turning.
I found a place that has done the threading of the Ranch Hand(he's actually done numerous Rossi 92s). He threads the barrel and then makes an adapter to extend the threads past the mag tube and avoid messing with the screw in the mag cap. As soon as I figure out how to tear this thing down to the receiver/barrel, it's making a trip to Texas! He advised it will be a7 day turn around!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Magnum Mike,
It looks a wee bit different tonight...
Also found that it's an early model that's not drilled and tapped under the rear sight sooooo that's another stop it will have to make before it gets reassembled.
Back from threading!
It's not a break, it's a brake, unless it's a break, then it's broke ;-)
Thank you! It's going off this week to my gunsmith too have the extension polished and blued, the barrel drilled & tapped for scope mount. Then it'll be ready to get to some serious load work. If it's ready in time, I'm going to try it deer hunting this year. I've got a 255swc mold coming that I'll pc and work up with a slower powder to around 1100fps.
Nice gun! I've always liked the look of the mares leg. Look forward to seeing how it turns out! To show you're truly a Josh Randall fan you'll have to wear .45-70 rounds in the cartridge loops on your belt (even though his gun was a .44-40). I liked Wanted: Dead or Alive but one thing I always wondered was how he got ahold of an 1892 Winchester when the show was set in the 1870s. Things gun people notice but most people don't.
I had one of these in .44 Magnum. I removed that safety and installed the peep sight from Stevezgunz. From a rest, I found that even with heavy loads and 300-grain gas-checked bullets the Ranch Hand was extremely controllable if I held it with my right hand around the wrist in the usual position and the outside of my left forearm along the left side of the receiver and butt stock, with left hand curled around the butt, if you can visualize this. From offhand, I could shoot with reasonable accuracy by pulling forward on the forend with my left hand and rearward with my right.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bill in Oregon,
Well, I've run into a snag. The rossi scope base that allegedly works for all guns doesn't seem correct for my gun. The base is not tapered at all, it's actually the same as a weaver 92a that works on contender barrels. Anyone know what base, and where I can get it, for the Rossi 92s?
They changed some things a few years ago. Don't know how old yours is.
What if you had a scout rail made?
Or. If you just used one of the mini dots and had a 2" section of rail mounted to the front bridge on the rec and just let it hang forward. That would be a cheaper way out and would work well
I found a thread, with pictures, that show the mounting hole location and the fact that they use the base I have. It'll have plenty of cant!
Here is a chart of weaver base's,
may be of help.
May find another base that will fit bbl dia etc.
See info here,
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Mike, any followups on your Ranch Hand experiments?
Just got it back from my gs last week, had him polish and blue the threaded extension. I'm waiting on the Skinner peep sight, as soon as its here(and time permitting), i'll be working with it some more.
Got shipping notice on my Skinner sight today so it shouldn't be too long before I get the chance to get back to this project!
any progress yet? I just sent my rossi 92 45 colt to Morgan at Class 3 to have the same extension installed. I have the 16" carbine. Have you had a chance to run any subs through it yet? I came across a good amount of hard cast 310gr LFNGC bullets from beartooth that I want to run from mine as subs. Did your ranch hand not have the tapped holes under the rear sight? I got a a rail from NOE bullet molds for my rifle and it fits awesome. I'm going to do either a red dot or reflex.
anything, I've shot my rossi 92 45colt with my AAC TiRant and it's silly quiet. I love it
I shot it the day I got it back from Morgan with my Octane45. It's stupid quiet! I got a Skinner sight that replaced the rear, removed the aperture and use it like a ghost ring, works great. Without a stock it's a short range proposition and this sighting combo works great. Need to get some more ammo loaded and get it sighted in, see what kind of groups I can get out of it at what distance, might be good for some close range deer hunting. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Magnum Mike,
if you get this, look at the scope mount rail made by NOE bullet moulds. They have one for the Rossi 92 and it's a fine piece. I put that mount on my 92 carbine ion 45LC and it fit perfect, great spot for a nice red dot. hopes this helps
Unfortunately, as noted on the item, some of the guns were not drilled and tapped, mine being one of them, so that mount won't work either. Thanks for the heads up though.
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