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Thread: Marlin 1894 vs Rossi 92 in .45 Long Colt

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    Default Marlin 1894 vs Rossi 92 in .45 Long Colt

    It seems I may have been bitten by the .45 Long Colt bug. I have fought off the urge to have one for many years being content with the 44 Mag and .357 Mag Marlin 1894's.

    I can forsee a need to have a carbine in that caliber in the future. I was talking to a friend who has a Winchester trapper in 45 LC and he suggested a Rossi 16" 45 LC since I had no desire to spend mega bucks for a winchester and I want a 16" barrel. He thinks they are a solid if not cheap looking gun that is a little rough but function fine and seem to hold up OK as well.

    Does anyone have a Rossi 92 and if so, what do you think of them as a 4 wheeler/snow machine/airplane gun?? Will they stand up to pretty hot 45 LC loads or should I be looking for a Marlin 1894?
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    The Winchester 1892 Trappers in terms of fit, finish, qc, overall quality and resale value are 10x the gun that a Rossi is. YMMV

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    Very true, but I'm looking for a beater gun to carry in a scabbard on a 4 wheeler and if it gets broken in a roll over I won't cry.
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    The Rossi/Puma 92s are pretty well put together guns and almost carbon copies of the winnies, even better in some areas. I don't own one but a few buddies have and love them. I have fired them a few times and they are pretty smooth. For a snow-machine gun you are looking at around $400 for a rossi or $1000 for a winnie - no brainer IMHO.
    I think snyd is running a Rossi/Puma in 454C and reports on here that he is very happy with it.

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    My Puma 357 is Mighty Fine, Fit and Finish wise, and otherwise.

    I wouldn't call it a "Beater", neither.

    Just a Replica of the 92 Winchester.

    One might prefer a Marlin 94, for other reasons.

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    Sorry Smitty....didn't mean to insult your Puma!!
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    I have a Rossi 92 in 454C and although the fit and finish is not that of the Winchesters it is one H**l for stout gun. These guns will take, and many have, a serious amount of very stiff loads of 454 and keep on shooting. I'm loading the Lee 300gr cast (actually about 317gr) at 1950fps. I have nothing against the Marlins but the 92 action is much stronger and the gun is a little lighter. Get it in 454 and you can shoot either 454 or 45colt. The 92 action was designed for the pistol length cartridges and will feed almost any bullet you chose without problem. I think Snyd found one or two of the really heavy long wide nose bullets that won't feed. But most up to about 350gr feed very well. The only issue I have with the Rossi is the cheesy rear sight and the funky safety. I replaced the safety with a Peep and fixed both issues at once. I can highly recommend the Rossi but have little experience with the Marlin. I paid $360 for mine and I believe I could get my money back plus any time I want. Wish you were near as I would be happy to let you put 100 rds through mine. I think it would be hard to pick a better choice for your purposes and although the 45Colt can be loaded hot you might as well have the longer chamber as that's the only difference.

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    I got my Puma a few years ago when they had it in the .480. I love that little gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I have a Rossi 92 in 454C and although the fit and finish is not that of the Winchesters it is one H**l for stout gun. These guns will take, and many have, a serious amount of very stiff loads of 454 and keep on shooting. I'm loading the Lee 300gr cast (actually about 317gr) at 1950fps. I have nothing against the Marlins but the 92 action is much stronger and the gun is a little lighter. Get it in 454 and you can shoot either 454 or 45colt. The 92 action was designed for the pistol length cartridges and will feed almost any bullet you chose without problem. I think Snyd found one or two of the really heavy long wide nose bullets that won't feed. But most up to about 350gr feed very well. The only issue I have with the Rossi is the cheesy rear sight and the funky safety. I replaced the safety with a Peep and fixed both issues at once. I can highly recommend the Rossi but have little experience with the Marlin. I paid $360 for mine and I believe I could get my money back plus any time I want. Wish you were near as I would be happy to let you put 100 rds through mine. I think it would be hard to pick a better choice for your purposes and although the 45Colt can be loaded hot you might as well have the longer chamber as that's the only difference.
    What he said.

    I have 2 Rossi 92s in 357, another in 45 Colt, and a 1994 made Winchester 92 in 357. Iíd say they are all right good guns and of the fore the best is one of the Rossi 357s, it was a select grade engraved one and better by quite a bit than the newer Winchester. Ainít nutin wrong with the Rossi 92, most are good and some of the older ones are great.

    I was in Artic Ammo (the reloading forum sponsor) last week and they had just what you want. A late model Rossi 92 Trapper in 45 Colt, I donít remember the price nut I think $400 or $450 and I didnít see a thing wrong with it.
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    Oh, this one's easy........A rossi or a puma FEELS like a Winchester, the other......does not. The rossi or puma SHOOTS like a Winchester.....the other does not. That's the difference.

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    Wow, looks like there is no decision to be made here!! When you find resounding support of a gun like I saw here, how can I go wrong. Combine your comments, the copy of the gun John Wayne used and an Elmer Keith bullet....'nuff said!!

    The comments regarding 454C are compelling but I think I may go with the 45 LC because that is what my Blackhawk shoots and I have pretty well settled on the 325 gr HC (or maybe a 300 gr HC) for both guns, assuming the Rossi will shoot it the way it should. 1200 FPS out of the BH with LilGun should get pretty close to 1500 FPS out of the 16" barrel. It's my firm belief that there are few things that won't kill with a well placed shot.

    This also puts my winter project to cut down my 1894 Marlin in 44 Mag on the shelf for now and I'm going to leave my .444 alone as well. One of the reasons I'm moving to the 45 LC is the BH is lighter than my 5" Super BH in 44 Mag., carries easier and the BH fits in my Hill People chest pack which I really like and the SBH won't.

    I think you guys have made a great choice for me and thanks a lot for the comments!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    The only issue I have with the Rossi is the cheesy rear sight and the funky safety. I replaced the safety with a Peep and fixed both issues at once. .
    rbuck,

    I'm guessing you removed the safety since the Rossi has a hammer notch to keep the hammer off the firing pin like the 92 Winchester. Once the safety is gone you drilled and tapped the hole and put in a screw-in rear peep and I'm guessing a Skinner Sight...right? You can use that as a ghost ring with the Rossi front sight. Is the Rossi front sight solid enough or did you replace that as well?

    I think that is a great idea and fixes both problems at once!! I have an old Lyman receiver sight on my Winchester 1894 in .30-30 and your idea would give the same sight radius and about as long as you can get without going to a tang sight I don't want.
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  13. #13

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    I have 1894's in 25-20 and 32-20 and a bud has one in 44 mag. I've owned original 92's in 25-20 in the past, and have to say I prefer the 1894 in those small cals, but I can't tell you why. They just "feel" better in my hands somehow. I'm not as impressed with the bud's Marlin 44 for some reason.

    Another "can't tell you why," but of the three I've handled and shot (Marlin, Win and Rossi) I prefer the feel of the Rossi. I'm edging toward picking up a lever 45 or perhaps 454 (shoots both 45 and 454), but the only one that's on my radar is the Rossi. It's a taste thing, but I know my tastes.

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    Actually I removed the safety and built a replacement that doesn't stop the firing pin from going forward and doesn't turn partway like the safety did. I then drilled and tapped the new safety plug and brazed a ghost ring that I made onto a small screw, put on a nut to lock it at the proper elevation and screwed it in the plug. I posted a picture a year or so ago. I'll see if i can find it. I bought one of the HF mini lathes 2 or 3 years ago and it has been one of the best additions to my loading bench that I ever got.

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    Well, I found where I posted the picture but I don't know how to move it to this thread and I'm at work so I can't repost now. The original post was " What cast bullets will feed in a Puma 92 454 Casull" posted on 09-08-2010 if that helps.

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    A picture would be great if it is not too much trouble.

    WIthout having the Rossi in hand I'm only imagining the way you attacked the problem but it sounds like a good way to go. I have a mill and lathe and can probably follow your idea pretty well. Sounds like you should take your idea/product to market and solve the problem for the "masses".
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    Found it. Thaks!!

    It looks nice and it appears you kept the front sight too. I tried to copy the picture and paste it here but didn't work...sometimes I hate computers!!
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    This is a really great thread to read. As said I have shot the little Rossi levers and like them, but to hear so many resounding good reviews just re-emphasises my desire to pick one up. Personally I find that Rossi get an un-deserved poor rep amongst gun snobs. My kid has had a little Rossi matched pair for a few years and it has been faultless and a tack driver. Looking at getting him a Rossi 'mini-loader', muzzle loader next year and this thread has also helped me in continuing to look to Rossi for that muzzle loader. Also I have found few owners reports that say anything but great things about the Rossis. Most bad rep is from snobs who do not own them.

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    Bought one for my wife to use in cowboy action shooting. Spent more trying to get it work properly than I spent on the gun. Maybe I just got a bad one. It was really of poor quality. I had both 357 and 44 in Marlins with ballard rifled barrels and they worked without problem. Back then I had trouble with both Marlins due to their microgroove rifling and cast bullets. Got the Ballard rifled barrels and solved this problem.

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    I have a early 80's Rossi clone of the Winchester 1890 Gallery pump gun and it is loose, fit is 3rd rate and the wood looks like a reject from a railroad tie mill but it shoots pretty good. I bought a Rossi Trifecta (22LR/.243/20ga) last Summer and that thing is fit pretty well and it shoots great but still has awful wood but what do you expect for a cheap gun. Those experiences are what led me to post originally.

    My friend who has a couple Rossi levers said they are "work horse" guns that you can work hard and put away wet and they just keep on going. From the comments I've heard here they are much better than that and I getting excitied about having one of my very own. Rossi has certainly moved up in my mind after reading these posts.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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