158gr +P in a Rossi? - Pistolsmith
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:44 AM   #1
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158gr +P in a Rossi?

Hello,

As per my recent post, I found a LNIB Rossi snubby revolver, no lock, pre- +P issue.

I bought some S&W 158gr LSWCHP +P for self-defense. Standard pressure is used for practice.

My question to you is, what can I expect with this gun/ammo combination? I know it will accelerate wear, but I do not plan on shooting it more than 5 rounds every 6 months, and that only to get rid of my old carry rounds and load up fresh. All practice shooting will be done with standard pressure.

I am quite used to shooting .357 mag, and a friend's .38spl 3" with hot loads, so I'm used to the recoil; no need to practice that. I'm a recoil junky

My question to the board is this: What can I expect upon firing this stuff? As I said earlier, I know accelerated wear is a given, but I'm asking more about catastrophic failures. Would you expect the forcing cone to give in five shots? One hundred shots? I'm aware of the .38/44 being loaded into old J-Frames before the advent of the .357mag.

I guess I'm looking for someone to say that I will or will not experience a severely stretched frame, cracked forcing cone, or blown up gun with the very limited shooting I described above.

Any takers on guessing what 10 rounds per year of hot ammo would do to a J-Frame Rossi?

Thanks,

Josh <><
 
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:09 AM   #2
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10 rounds per year of +P in a J-Frame Rossi probably won't do anything IF the gun is right to begin with. Maybe Rossis have softer steel than S&Ws, but if you've got a good one occasional +P use shouldn't matter. It didn't seem to hurt my Charter Arms. Only quit using that one when it started to go out of time (not yet spitting) due to normal wear and I wanted an excuse to get a .357 Jframe S&W anyway.

OTOH, if timing is/becomes bad or chamber(s)/barrel don't line up properly for some other reason, then even std press ammo can be dangerous. Endshake, flashgap, and headspace are also important. Rough/undersized/oversized chamber throats, forcing cone, and barrel are other potential sources of dangerous overpressure.

The above caveats apply to ALL makes, not just Rossi.

Unless something is seriously "out of whack" or BECOMES THAT WAY, you won't "experience a severely stretched frame, cracked forcing cone, or blown up gun with the very limited shooting" you described. Well, maybe 5,000 to 10,000 +Ps might do one of the first two. :lol:

Which would "wear out" sooner: Smith or Rossi? If we were going to shoot one of each until one wore out, statistically a Smith should outlast a Rossi IF EACH GUN WAS MADE PROPERLY TO BEGIN WITH. In 5 shot .38s , unless I wanted feature(s) only a Smith has and/or was going to shoot upwards of 5,000 rnds/yr, I'd probably get a Rossi myself.

I feel I can examine my guns well enough to notice anything wrong that one could reasonably expect to be, or become, a major safety problem. If you don't have anybody you trust to do this for you, then get ahold of Kuhnhausen's book on S&W revolvers and follow the guidelines in the first part for initial inspection of Smiths (that's what I did). After all Rossis are quite similar.

Please forgive the qualified statements. I can't see/shoot your gun for myself and while I've tried to point out possibilities, nobody can predict the weird "one in a million" problem that might happen.

Here's an example: Back when S&W was bought by Bangor Punta, their overall quality began to decline. Sure there were lots of good ones yet the number of "bad ones" increased noticeably. Friend of mine lived in Buffalo, NY in the early '70s and got interested in target shooting. One evening he was at the range and the man next to him started cussing. Mike said the guy had a brand new Nframe .357 through which he had only fired some std .38s. When the fellow was cleaning or checking the bore, he noticed a funny "shadow". A closer look revealed a crack inside the barrel. Remember this was a brand new Nframe .357 which only had some std .38s fired through it.

Another example: friend in my gun club west of Davenport, Iowa back around 1980 bought a new stainless Ruger .22 Single-Six. He found .22LRs spit badly and were horribly inaccurate. The .22 Mag cyl did better probably due to the jacketed bullets but still nothing like it should. Bob sent the gun back to the factory and they sent him a new one with a note stating they destroyed the first one! Normally there would simply be a replacement of the hand/bolt and maybe the cylinder(s). Since they destroyed the gun, I bet the hole where the barrel is threaded into the frame was off center.

If you're used to shooting other DA .38s/.357s, you'll probably be able to tell if your Rossi has any likely "blow up issues". Strongly recommend you get new ammo for SD. S&W hasn't made ammo since the early '80s IIRC.
 
Old 03-09-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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retDAC,

Thank you.

I am well versed in semi-autos, but I've not owned a centerfire wheelgun for years since I sold my pinned and recessed M19, nor do I feel qualified to work on them.

However, I do know a few things to check - the timing, end shake, lockup, etc, are all 100%. I'll go so far as to say that before I looked at the name, I thought I was looking at an older S&W J-Frame, so I guess it would be mainly the metallurgy which concerns me.

I've posted this on several boards and I've had both naysayers and people who have used +P for 25 years in these things. I wonder how many of the naysayers are actually Taurus/Rossi bashers, and how many are sincere. It's hard to tell sometimes. But the fact is, I hadn't seen a pre-lock snubbie around here for at least a year, and I would have picked this up regardless of brand. If it were a generic Spanish copy I wouldn't have bothered, but as I said, at first glance I thought it was a S&W. The finish, compared to my old M19, was just that good.

I thank you Sir, and will most likely do as you suggest both with the gun and ammo. While I'm not sure how this ammo has been stored for most of its life, I can say that it's sat on the dealer's shelf for a good 10 years - climate controlled and all that. He had probably ordered it from a warehouse, knowing how he does business. It's probably OK, but I had no idea it was that old. I'll be finding the Federal version shortly.

Thanks again,

Josh <><
 
 
Old 03-12-2007, 01:41 AM   #4
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Please forgive me, Josh. Was unaware of your background or wouldn't have overanswered your inquiry.

Read Jim Hig's response on stoppingpower.net. Was quite surprised. Would not have expected that unless his factory loads were more "+P" than they should have been and/or the cyl was softer than it should have been. Posted an inquiry to Jim there.

+P+ loads would not have surprised me nearly as much. Beginning w/S&W in the mid '60s, mfrs went through learning curves w/stainless up thru the mid '80s.

Don't know if the carbon steel cyls would be soft or if Rossi had "spells" of softer metal in some runs of either. Did seem to have spells of poor fit/finish in some runs.

Saw a 5 shot stainless Rossi the other day, but when I went back to look further, it was gone. Might still buy one someday anyway and take my chances since genuine ALL stainless Smiths are so much more expensive and hard to find.

Funny thing is, IIRC, when +P first came out, Smith & Colt both said their small frames weren't rated for it for years. Smith soon changed that policy on their steel Jframes, but Colt didn't until the '90s.
 
Old 03-12-2007, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retDAC
Please forgive me, Josh. Was unaware of your background or wouldn't have overanswered your inquiry.

Read Jim Hig's response on stoppingpower.net. Was quite surprised. Would not have expected that unless his factory loads were more "+P" than they should have been and/or the cyl was softer than it should have been. Posted an inquiry to Jim there.

+P+ loads would not have surprised me nearly as much. Beginning w/S&W in the mid '60s, mfrs went through learning curves w/stainless up thru the mid '80s.

Don't know if the carbon steel cyls would be soft or if Rossi had "spells" of softer metal in some runs of either. Did seem to have spells of poor fit/finish in some runs.

Saw a 5 shot stainless Rossi the other day, but when I went back to look further, it was gone. Might still buy one someday anyway and take my chances since genuine ALL stainless Smiths are so much more expensive and hard to find.

Funny thing is, IIRC, when +P first came out, Smith & Colt both said their small frames weren't rated for it for years. Smith soon changed that policy on their steel Jframes, but Colt didn't until the '90s.
Hello,

Please, no need to apologize! Even if I know it, it's good to rehash. I feel like a beginner again, picking up my first gun.

I can't reload quickly, even if I found speedloaders which fit, I can't put five shots into a milk jug at 25yds yet, though my 7yd shooting is improving. I've gone from putting 5 shots all over a 8.5x11" sheet of paper to hitting close to the playing card I use for most of my "serious" targets. When I get boot grips I think things will improve a lot as well, but I was the same way when I first got my Taurus 92, which is my daily carry gun. I went from not being able to hold a group to 4" at 25yds, and now, with some of my home 'smithing, to under 2" at 25yds.

I've proven to myself though that I can gunsmith with confidence, and if I had been able to do that a number of years ago, I'd still have a pinned and recessed M19 Combat Masterpiece. Alas, it's long gone.

At any rate, I saw your question to Mr. H. I was going to PM him on H&A but that would just be redundant, so I'll head over to Evan's and check now and again.

I thank you for your help!

Josh <><
 
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