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Lever action for 38/357

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Kentguy, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    Last week I picked up a Rossi lever action model M92, chambered in 38 special/357 magnum. Yesterday up here in Ohio it was 60 degrees, now that's almost unheard of, so I had no choice - I had to take my new carbine out and run some ammo through it.

    Outside of just being new & stiff, it ran all of my ammo just fine. :thumbsup: The sights could use just a bit of adjusting thought. Originally I made up all my rounds for two revolvers ( S&W model 10-6 w/4" bull barrel, S&W model 28-2 w/6" bull barrel) with the intention of purchasing a lever action carbine to run the same calibers.

    I Chrono-ed all my 38 special & 357 rounds and did some bench and standing free hand shooting from 15 yards out to 50 yards. It was a bit breezy but not "too" bad, although 50 yard shots were getting a bit sketchy from time to time, of course that could have been the shooter - I don't know :supergrin:.

    I did have two 357 mag with 158g XTP HP's collapsed into the cartridge on me... I usually don't put too much of crimp on those rounds so the "new" spring tension found a potential flaw in my rounds - at least for use with this gun. These were also Nickle casings, no problems like that with brass - something else to go back and test. :dunno:

    The accuracy winners were my 158g LSWC rounds by far both for 38 spec & 357 mag. followed behind by the 158g XTP rounds. Oddly enough all my Plated rounds 125g, 140g & 158g didn't seem to do as well through the Rossi, they were fine but just not as good as I expected.

    Velocity winner was my 140g XPB HP (Barnes), S&W 357 mag - 1,196.5 fps and the Rossi - 1,761 fps/Standard Deviation – 13.96664, with a noticeable kick out of the carbine.

    All in all I am very pleased with this carbine this fits the bill quite nicely and will for many years to come.
  2. rednoved

    rednoved NRA Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Cool. I keep considering a lever action rifle to pair with the 686.

  3. engineer151515


    Nov 3, 2003
    << loves range reports.

    Thanks for the post.

    .357levers are very kool.
  4. I think that the .38 caliber lever guns are some of the smoothest, easiest shooting LG's available. I have shot plenty of them at the local ranges during matches and love them. Glad you were able to get yours out for some test shooting.

    I have two lever guns, one an old Winchester chambered for .30-30. The other a Rossi M92 chambered in .44. The Rossi is a bit rougher in the aesthetics department, but every bit as good in the function department. They are guns that are meant to be fired...a lot!

    I have found in mine that once I have cycled several rounds out of the tube, that the remaining rounds do smack each other pretty hard "nose to tail" under heavy recoil. If I am shooting soft lead, I can actually see marks from the interaction in the magazine. I used to only crimp my .44 rounds lightly for my revolvers, but the rifle has changed the way I do business and they all get a fairly stout crimp now. I don't think my light mag or Special loads exhibited as much of the issue, but an extra half turn on the crimp die seems like easy insurance.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  5. NMG26


    Jul 24, 2010
    Cool. I have been wanting to pick a 375 rifle up for a long time.

    357 and 38 spec is all I load at present, so it would be a great addition to my handguns.

    Glad you are enjoying yours.
  6. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    If a lswc doesn't hang up in feeding, it's always my first choice. I do like XTP bullets, but they aren't free, and casting is fun.

    I don't have a lever in .357, just .44 mag. I do occasionally have to do a little jiggle to get them to feed, as they tend to catch on the shoulder, but the swc profile is about the most accurate bullet you could hope for.

    Got some wiggle in the stock, and the group shifted when I tightened it down... but to illustrate the point...


    This guy didn't know it wasn't a premium bonded hunting bullet:


    Nephews had to come see what all the noise was about...
  7. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Very jealous, I am still planning on adding a .357mag Marlin to the collection. Would be very handy to have around the hunting camp and a few of my stands that are in thick woods with 50yd max shots.

    Being able to shoot cheap .38spl for plinking would be a plus as well.
  8. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon
    My Marlin and Timberwolf .357 rifles are quite happy with a Hornady 158g XTP FP over 10.8g of BlueDot.
  9. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    I am very happy with the carbine right out of the box. Like I mentioned the sights need to be tweaked a bit and the lever action is not smooth as glass but nice and with some break-in time that will smooth out.

    I field tested 15 different loads for both 38 special and 357 magnum and all chambered without fail, just to give you an idea of the OAL that chambered in my Rossi.

    38 special OAL for;
    LSWC - 1.445"
    Plated round nose - 1.445", 1.455"/1.450", 1.490", 1.500"
    XTP HP - 1.450"

    357 magnum OAL for;
    LSWC - 1.570", 1.580", 1.600"
    XTP HP - 1.560", 1.580"

    These OAL's represent different bullet weights/powder but What I was primarily interested in was will these rounds chamber in my carbine... and they did!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  10. windpoint


    Feb 23, 2012
    I bet those two keep you on your toes!
  11. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    Amen, brother. :cool:
  12. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH
    This gives me the best of both worlds - I can use the same ammo for my 38 special, 357 magnum & my Rossi carbine. Now that's the way to go to the range. :thumbsup:
  13. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    That's right. One ammo box serves two or three firearms.
  14. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Thanks for restating what the poster just said. But, I guess you have to do that if you want to respond to every single thread in a forum, right! :wavey:
  15. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  16. LarryNC

    LarryNC Millennium Member

    Dec 27, 1999
    Kentguy, thanks for posting this. This reminds me of my desire to buy a .38/.357 Levergun. There is no excuse for my not having done this already. Years ago I went to visit an old friend and we went shooting on his property. I had a Glock 21 with me and he had a Rossi carbine and a really nice Ruger Super Blackhawk chambered in .45 Colt. I had almost always disliked the old cowboy guns, but after shooting his that day I had to admit that it had great merit. My friend, Ed, has an amazing collection of pre 64 Winchesters and a few post 64 Winchesters as well, but he had me work the action on all these different rifles and the last one he handed me was the Rossi and the action on the Rossi was as smooth as warm butter. And the Rossi was the one we shot that day. Thank you to whoever it was who included some links. I really should have already bought a .357 Lever. And I have not purchased, but I have found a fine alternative to that big Ruger in .45 Colt, with its 7.5 inch barrel. A Ruger Bisley in .45 Colt with the same barrel length. If I was gonna try handgun hunting, I think that big Ruger Bisley would be the way to go. I really need to set up my reloading machine :steamed: I have not had a place to set it up since my move three years ago. Anyway, thanks and one more thing. Have you thought about a receiver sight for that carbine? That was what I always thought I would like to get for mine. You might want to check out John Taffin's website at and another one called
  17. Texas357

    Texas357 Señor Member CLM

    Jan 3, 2007
    Those are fun little guns.
  18. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH

    Thanks for the links, I have visited "levergunscommunity" seems like a good group of folks, picked up a tip or two there. I say go for it... no better time than now to buy a gun you have always wanted and get... and that reloading press, just toss some junk off of the nearest desk or table and set it up!

    As far as the sights go, I have been looking around and asking tons of questions, I'm sure by the end of this month I will at lease know what I want to pick up for it. You can't (easily) mount a scope on it, but with that type of carbine I actually prefer the iron sights.

    Texas357..."Those are fun little guns."

    How right you are! Especially when you can shoot so many different rounds through it. I had a blast (pun intended) at the range the other day!

    Pretty close to the most fun you can have with your clothes on... :whistling:
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  19. Poohgyrr

    Poohgyrr trout fear me!

    With Lil Gun, you can get 357Magnum/180 gr bullets to 1800 fps out of the 16" M92 Levers...

    That basically equals some of the original 30-30 loads out of longer barrels.

    Or you can load 38 wadcutters and have all the recoil of a Daisey Red Ryder...

    And another plug for Steve's Gunz, he does great work. He also sells a do it yourself DVD on tuning the Rossi's.

    Steve put this 16" 44 together for me:


    Here is a sweet M92/357 Mag & S&W M27 combo:

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  20. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    Why be so rude?