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Thread: I love my Rossi .357 levergun, but I don't shoot well with it.

  1. #1
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    I love my Rossi .357 levergun, but I don't shoot well with it.

    Hi. I've probably bumped in to some of the other forum members here in other places. I've only just joined NZHS.

    I'm wondering what experiences some of you may have had with Rossi Puma lever action rifles. I bought mine about a year ago and have shot pigs, goats and a hare at close ranges. Just lately I've been shooting targets as I test reloads and anticipate some hunting shots at longer ranges. However I don't think I should use this rifle over 40 or 50 yards because I just can't seem to group well with it - even with factory loads.

    Maybe I should sell it to someone who stalks in thick bush or who needs a 'bail' gun.... and then get a bolt or break-action for my hundred yard hunts. It is a pity... because while it is far from being the most accurate rifle I've used, it has probably been the most fun. It is a joy to carry and use. I could keep it for my scrub hunts, but I am trying to minimise/optimise the contents of my gun safe. Mine is the stainless model with the 16" barrel. I can now see why so many people enjoy 'cowboy' style shooting. In the picture you will see that i keep a supply of insulation tape on the rifle for covering the muzzle.

    Anyway - I'd be interested to read about what others have experienced with these types of rifles.

    Best wishes from Nelson.

    Blisters likes this.

  2. #2
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Hi Coote, welcome. Head on over to the introduce yourself thread and say hi there.

    As for your lever gun... looks like it's being used well enough. has it paid for itself in pork?
    RIP Larry S. 19/02/19

  3. #3
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    I personally would think the cartridge SHOULDNT be used much past that range on game anyways...... Ive got a wee 7.62x39mm that is scoped and call 150 yards my maximum for similar reasons.....sure I could hit something but energy levels are getting borderline.
    loved the 94 .30/30 I started out hunting with many years ago,it was more accurate than what you are describing...but then again I used to put the top of post/bead in very bottom of V so it was a much finer sight picture than post to top of v.....give it a go,it might work for you too

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. Micky... when you say the cartridge shouldn't be used much past that range anyway, were you referring to the 50 yards or 100 yards? I certainly think that a 100 yard shot is pushing the limits a bit, and if were to ever use a .357 at that distance it would have to be a heck of a lot more accurate than what I'm achieving now. My subsonic reloads pass right through large animals at close ranges, and full loads would have twice the energy, but of course they need to hit the right spot. I've used a 7.62 x 39 for a couple of hunts and I found it was really good but, like you, I feel that shooting over 150 yards would be a bit dodgy.

    The front sight is a brass bead. I sit it right in the bottom of the vee.

    The gun has paid for itself in both meat and good fun. There is something about a lever action. I've always fancied one since I became acquainted with my uncles old 32-20. We went bush stalking together and I saw him drop a red deer with it in a very impressive manner.

  5. #5
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    pretty much nailed my thoughts..... 50yards all good-100 would be maximum from what Ive seen of it,I know what you mean about hitting right spot,with subsonics headshooting sheep for house mutton (my sheep before anyone asks) Ive seen the good and not so good of subsonics,you miss bone or brain and animal shakes head and runs off.mate of mine was using rifle like yours for homekill......with mixed results...near miss off brain was not so flash,which made me ask questions about loads for it,turns out there are alot of loads made for two legged soft skinned animals so the DONT penertrate worth a damn,short wide holes not so good in game animals...now that particular rifle had a red dot scope set up forward of action like a scout setup...looked weird but worked good..might be an option if you deside to pursue it.
    always had a soft spot for the .32/20.....funny how close to full circle hunters have gone isnt it??? we now using subsonic loads close to what the old timers had before they got smokeless powder,guess the rules havent changed too much when it comes to putting animals down quickly,get as close as you can then 5 yards closer,anywhere in the eye son,look at an old book with aiming points to kill a deer...the deer havent changed LOL.

  6. #6
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    I loaded subsonics for .308. I found they were accurate enough, but of course nothing I tried expanded even slightly. Then I got sick of toting around a rifle with a big ugly suppressor and a scope. So now I'm happy to just shoot the slower cartridge in a naked rifle that looks and handles like a real old-fashioned rifle. I wear ear plugs or muffs if I have time to put them on, but if I don't then so be it. I might get another suppressor for a subsonic centrefire rig, but I'm not in a hurry. I generally don't shoot more meat than I can use, so having to wear earplugs occasionally isn't a big hassle. Plus if I need to be really quiet I have a .22 with a moderator.

    While bullet expansion is a good thing, plenty of game has been shot with bullets that don't expand. I'm thinking in particular of all the military mk vii .303 ammo that my family and friends used for many years. I consider my .357 projectiles to be 'pre-expanded'... and a .44 or .45 caliber is even better. A head or spine shot is very decisive whether or not the bullet involved expands. I seldom go for head shots nowadays, unless the range is comparatively short. I've shot a good number of pigs and goats with a .22 (and I realise I am likely to attract a lot of advice about this, but that is just how we did it in the particular circumstances we had). I quickly realised that head shots should really be thought of as 'brain shots' and that brains are relatively small. By comparison, lungs are quite big and I found that a .22 bullet placed frontally into the chest, or from behind a front leg worked very well. And although I never want to experience it directly, it seems that a lung shot is sometimes a more peaceful death for some game... they often just take a few steps then lay down. Dang, I don't always get this graphic... I hope I don't offend anyone. I suppose a man could splash out and buy some of the fancy expanding subsonic projectiles that seem to be getting a lot of attention nowadays.

    Homekill does really require a head shot though.
    veitnamcam and rewa like this.

  7. #7
    Member Tommy's Avatar
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    Mine is all over the place at 200m, I shot it standing at that range just to see where it went, dusty backstop meant I could see where they were landing. Answer was all over the show, like over a meter wide. Flat point jacketed soft points. At that distance, the front sight was also a meter wide, so that's kinda to be expected. However, at 100m standing, they were going more or less exactly where I wanted them to, shooting clods of dirt etc. Anything over 80-100m is not ideal just for the cartridge anyway. Your 50 yard max is probably bang on. Then again, a lone goat at 200m is safe, but a small mob of 5-10 at 20m is just about a sure thing?
    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  8. #8
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    Try 125 grain jacketed bullets sitting on 21gr Winchester 296 powder. I have hunted for years with that load in a Rossi 92 but I try to keep the shots at 100yds or shorter. Knocked over a big bore at about 150yds with it one day, with hold over. Bullet went in by the kidney and stopped under the skin of opposite shoulder, didn`t think I had a show of pulling that one off but it was my turn to shoot.
    My Rossi never liked cast bullets and I never shot anything larger than 125 grain weight jacketed.

    Coote : did your father or grandfather convert 303 Enfield's to 7.62x39? If so I remember reading a article by him in I think an early NZ guns and hunting magazine.

  9. #9
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    It is a great goat rifle Tommy. I used to chase after goats quite frequently when we had our big huntaway cross dog. But since she passed away we don't have so much use for the meat. I like a bit of goat occasionally, but my wife and I don't eat it at the same rate that the dog did. The last time I shot a goat it was a big billy. I took the meat off the carcass up the hill, then brought it back home and boiled it up... then froze it in small lots for our daughter's dog. I find goat has a great flavour, but many animals are much tougher than most of the venison we eat. Don't laugh, but I think goat balls are good tucker... along with the hearts.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Tasbay. I've only ever tried 158 grain. Maybe I should try some lighter jacketed before making any decisions about selling the rifle. Incidentally, I have been impressed to read about your achievements with your suppressed .44. I've been wondering about the Berry's bullets and you seem to have had success with them.

  11. #11
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    My 44 will stack them into the same hole at 25m, 50m, but starts to open up massively past 75m. At 100m it's almost a dinner plate.

    I'm not that shit a shot either. So I've got no real explanation! Subs fare much better.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coote View Post
    Thanks Tasbay. I've only ever tried 158 grain. Maybe I should try some lighter jacketed before making any decisions about selling the rifle. Incidentally, I have been impressed to read about your achievements with your suppressed .44. I've been wondering about the Berry's bullets and you seem to have had success with them.
    Yep still shoot the Berry`s 240gr out of the 44 subsonic don`t see a lot of reason to change.

  13. #13
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    So PommyMcPomFace, is your .44 a Rossi?

  14. #14
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    Coote...try some of shootersnz /Roberts 151grn cast HPs through the .308...they are the ducks nuts...think power point .22lr on steroids.... he sells them on Trademe cheap as chips. they DO expand at subsonic and if you want even more expansion...an older chap like yourself will remember what we used to do the .22lr before they got a decent hollow point in them,out with the stanley knife and cut an X across the tip....thats what my rifle uses subsonic.....tempted to push them just above speed of sound as trail boss loads are quiet enough even without suppressor.

  15. #15
    Village Idjit Barefoot's Avatar
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    Friend had one in 44Mag, it could shoot round corners. Goats were safe as long as they stood still, but he solved the problem by selling it to someone else.
    jakewire likes this.
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