My M92 357 Triple Black project

The Rossi Model R92, a lightweight carbine for Cowboy Action, hunting, or plinking! Includes Rossi manufactured Interarms, Navy Arms, and Puma trade names.

My M92 357 Triple Black project

Postby KeepArms » 07 Jan 2021 13:40

I decided on purchasing this R92 Triple Black in 357 last year after reading a bit about how fun pistol-caliber lever action carbines are. I only went with this version of the R92 because of the threaded barrel. I’ve been slowly converting my collection to .35 caliber weapons with 1/2x28 pitch threaded barrels. I’d like to eventually work through the process of getting a can for them. The rubber butt pad and cerakote finish are also nice to have, but I’m not a fan of the paint, rail, large loop, and black leather. I think this will mostly be a cheap-to-shoot range toy, but I also plan to carry it when hunting deer in some of the thickets we have around here. I also figure this will be an easy-shooting first firearm for introducing others to shooting.

When I called, the local gun store clerk seemed surprised to have a product that someone was calling about in stock. I hadn’t been into a gun store yet in 2020. I had to stand outside a locked door until a clerk was available to assist me. Masks were required per governors order. The R92 operated almost as smoothly as the stainless 44 mag Marlin that was hanging next to it. That gun was 1.5x as much money without a threaded barrel. The price for the R92 was $699.95 + tax and legal fees. I was allowed to purchase one can of H110. They said I could also purchase a box of ammo since I was purchasing a gun, but I told them I’d leave it for someone else. They said they were about to the point of having more guns than ammo.

Over the next few days I watched some YouTube videos on how to run lever actions and cycled the action approximately 1,000 times. I noticed the lever wrap started too far behind the trigger and it ended up functioning more like a hard bump than padding. I pulled it off, and I’m thinking I'll replace it with something different later on. Eventually I had time to tear the whole gun down. Most of the screws were surprisingly loose. There wasn’t as much grease on the gun as I expected there would be. I’m still glad I cleaned it up. I polished the inside of the mag tube with some mothers mag, and found that some citristrip was able to remove the black paint from a small portion of the inside of the forend. I also added a heat-resistant o-ring behind the thread protector to keep it from walking. I decided I should run it a bit before doing any polishing or messing with springs. I was glad to have heard about the snap cap trick prior to reassembly.

Today I found time for a morning range trip. Air temp was 32 degrees fahrenheit.
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I shot some light 158gn SWC reloads, hollow points, and FMJ 38 special rounds. I also shot some 125gn and 158gn hollow points and a 180gn WFN out of 357mag cartridges. I was pleasantly surprised to find the rifle cycled everything well.
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A few times I had the rim of the last cartridge hang up on the inside of the loading gate. Levering with some authority seemed to bounce the round onto the carrier, but I’d appreciate any insight anyone might have on keeping this from happening.
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On some of the factory 38spl loads, I had some gas escaping around the brass. I've read that these rifles have large chambers. I'm not sure if this will be an issue or not.
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It was fun blasting away, but I was very disappointed in the sights. After dropping the rear sight as low as I could on the ramp, the rifle was still shooting about a foot high at just 25 yards.
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It appears to me that Rossi has created either a 35 caliber artillery piece or a firearm that is unusable out of the box. I was considering changing the sights anyway, so I’m not heartbroken. I think instead of a taller front sight, I’d like to pursue a wide ghost ring in the dovetail for fast shooting and maybe a folding tang peep sight for longer range shots. I’m also considering a fiber optic front sight for faster sight acquisition. I’d appreciate any input anyone has on these ideas.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
Last edited by KeepArms on 24 Feb 2021 08:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 07 Jan 2021 16:50

I have Marbles tang sights on both my '92s, a 357 and a 45 Colt. Both were factory drilled and tapped for the sight. Both of mine are the newer version with the interchangeable staffs. I like them, mostly getting the rear sight as close to the 76 year eye as I can get it. It's not at all unusual for the Rossi 92 to shoot high out of the box.

Enjoy
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby Archer » 07 Jan 2021 21:42

I am a pretty big fan of the Marble's tang sights but I haven't got them on most of my levers unfortunately.
The Skinner rear sights are popular but it is perhaps more of a ghost ring setup at the same location as the current sight. The Marbles has the advantage of longer sight radius and a smaller apeture closer to the eye.
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby GSB4243 » 08 Jan 2021 11:16

You have the rail set-up that I do not have on mine, but I opted for the Marbles Bullseye sight on my 454 and am happy with it. With the sight as low as I can make it, mine shoots about 3 inches high at 50 yds with my factory front sight. Ultimately I plan to replace the front with a fiber optic of some sort.
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby Ranch Dog » 09 Jan 2021 09:09

That's a nice looking rifle! It looks like they did a better job on the rail vs. the old Weaver base. I like the large loop for hunting with gloves. Nice matte finish!
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby Blind Hawg » 09 Jan 2021 22:04

That rear sight does appear to be quite tall.
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby KeepArms » 11 Jan 2021 07:01

Thanks for the replies. I ended up ordering the tallest Lyman 17 globe sight last week. I think it will be tall enough to see over the 1.5" diameter can I'd like to put on it. Once the front sight is installed and I've done a little shooting with it, I think I'll have a better idea which rear sight I might want to order. I'm planning to load a 38 special plinking/subsonic round for this and a 357 magnum round for whitetail hunting. I'd like the rear sight to have enough adjustability that I could use it to shoot either load to 100 yards. A safety replacement sight seems like the simplest to add and carry in the woods, but I think I may need something like a Lyman 66 receiver sight or a marbles improved tang sight with a standard post to get the correct height and elevation range. At any rate, I'm looking forward to getting some shots on target next weekend.
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby Nashville Stage » 11 Jan 2021 10:50

That's a nice report; thanks for sharing!

Regarding the rounds hanging up in the loading gate area, Steve's Gunz (one of the better known Rossi gunsmiths) produced a nice DVD that covers a lot of tips & tricks for improving the R92. Among them is lightening the leaf spring on the loading gate to make it easier to depress. Also, you can round-over the inside edge of the loading gate where the cartridges rub against it on the way in.

As for gas escaping at the chamber, that's usually caused by low-pressure hand loads. Lightly loaded cartridges sometimes don't have enough pressure to fully expand the brass case against the inside of the chamber to form a gas-tight seal.
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby golfish » 11 Jan 2021 20:18

Look how tall that front sight is.

Good review OP, thank you
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Re: My 357 Triple Black project (Pic heavy)

Postby KeepArms » 11 Jan 2021 23:57

My trigger pull is just under 3 lbs. It feels pretty good, but I love light triggers. I'm going to have to experiment with shimming the trigger spring.

I couldn't find it listed online for this particular model, but looking down the barrel, it appears the twist is about 1:30". Is this normal for a 357 R92? I had been looking at some 200 grain bullets for subsonic thumpers, but an online calculator says this twist won't stabilize them.
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