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Old 12-29-2018, 08:45 PM
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Rossi RB22L/Mossberg 802 bolt action



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Just picked up the Rossi 22 I ordered about ten days ago. It is the same gun from the same Brazilian factory as the Mossberg 802, with minor differences. $170 OTD.

The Rossi stock has cheek rests on both sides and has the Monte Carlo rise for using scopes. The 802 is not raised, except a slight rise with the wood stock, and AFAIK neither Mossberg stock has cheek rests. The Rossi stock also has a steeper pistol grip. Overall, it is a much more ergonomic stock than the Mossberg's, which is why I bought it and not the 802. The Rossi bolt handle tip is conical, while the Mossberg's is round. Both brands have metal sling studs.

So got it home and fired two rounds of CCI Quiet into my bullet trap, just to check for proper function. Also verified that my Mossberg 702 Plinkster mags functioned properly with this gun, which they of course did. The 702 mags have a higher follower, used as the LSHO for the 702. This kept the bolt from closing in the Rossi when the mag was empty, which I knew would happen. Still, you can in fact use 702 and 802 mags with this gun. (The 802 mags are of course identical to the Rossi ones.)

Determined that the 18" barrel was completely free-floated by easily passing a folded dollar bill between it and the stock.
Checked trigger pull three times--3.5#, 4.0#, 3.75#.
The barrel diameter at the muzzle is 0.605". Barrel has an 11 degree target crown.

Then I started tearing it down.
1. Blue Loctite on the front and rear sight screws. The forward screw on the front sight was missing, so I will call Rossi on Monday.
2. Polished the bolt, the locking lug and the area on the receiver where they rub, for smoother action. (All my polishing ends with 1500 grit.)
3. Disassembled the trigger group (very easy, as it turns out). Polished the areas where the trigger and disconnector rub, and smeared a little Frog Lube there. Trigger pull dropped to around 3.0#. I will also try to source some lighter trigger and disconnector springs. They are both the double torsion spring type. If I can source extra triggers and/or disconnectors, I will also try stoning them a bit.
TIP: to pull the trigger group off the gun, you will need a normal #1 Phillips screwdriver with a thin shaft. Can't use one with a bit held in a thicker shaft for the rear screw. You can get a cheap one for a buck or so. This screwdriver will work on every screw on the gun BTW. It's all Phillips screws, and two pins in the TG.

Pics.
Pic 3 shows how well the forend is gusseted. No flex at all in this stock, and very light. The whole gun is four pounds!
Pic 4 shows the entire contents of the trigger group, minus the two pins that hold the parts in.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rossi1.JPG (122.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Rossi2.JPG (140.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Rossi stock.JPG (140.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Rossi trigger.JPG (79.3 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 01-04-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:24 PM
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BTW, I fit all this into the stock without trying too hard. Probably could have held a little more ammo in another small bag. So 10 rounds in one mag in the gun, 10 in the stored mag, and 30 - 50 rounds in bags in the stock. Just need the Phillips screwdriver on your multitool to access all this.
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File Type: jpg Rossi open stock.JPG (144.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:29 AM
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Nice review. Don't think there is an adult-size bolt .22 rifle any lighter.

You were wise to buy the RB22 vs. the 802. I have had an 802 for several years and would buy the Rossi if I were to get another (the RS22 is also better than the 702). On the 802, I like the light weight and the crisp trigger w/ virtually no creep.

Waiting to learn what ammo is best for your Rossi.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by toomanyguns View Post
Nice review. Don't think there is an adult-size bolt .22 rifle any lighter.

You were wise to buy the RB22 vs. the 802. I have had an 802 for several years and would buy the Rossi if I were to get another (the RS22 is also better than the 702). On the 802, I like the light weight and the crisp trigger w/ virtually no creep.

Waiting to learn what ammo is best for your Rossi.
Last night I watched this Youtube review by sootch00 on the Rossi version of the 702, the Rossi RS22L1811. He really liked it. He was reviewing two copies--one with a black stock and one with an olive drab one! This was about two months ago. There is no green stock on the Rossi web site, or I would have grabbed either the semi or the bolty in a minute. I will call Rossi and ask about this....he mentioned that it takes 702 mags, without actually saying that they are essentially the same gun; or that the Rossi's stock is better. Being diplomatic IMO.

If I can get Rossi to sell me an RS stock in either color, I will grab it for my 702. And a green one for the RB. I will give feedback here about stock availability for both the semi and the bolt gun.

Plan on going to the 25 yard indoor range this week with my Mossie 46B and this RB.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 12-30-2018 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:22 AM
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Forgot to mention that the LOP is 13.5". It would be easy to fab up an extender to put between the buttplate and the stock for a longer LOP; or just put on a small Limbsaver.

I would consider this an ideal lightweight woods-walking gun. No need for a semi since if you miss with the first shot, the squirrel etc will be long gone before you can aim a second shot.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:00 PM
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Neat video. The green stock did look good. A local farm store is selling the RS22's in a brown stock.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by toomanyguns View Post
Neat video. The green stock did look good. A local farm store is selling the RS22's in a brown stock.
So there's all these stock colors, but they aren't on Rossi's website?!?!

Edit: found it. Rural King, color is flat dark earth. I prefer the green.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 12-30-2018 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:37 PM
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Another advantage with the Rossi stock is its tolerance for more types of bipods. My 702 does not like a sweeping bipod; falls off, due to the very narrow Schnabel profile. The noticeably wider forend of this Rossi RB22L stock accepts bipods much better. I just handled an RS22L in a store today; it has the same basic stock. (You can't put the 702 action in the RB22 stock or vice versa, but no doubt the 702 and RS22, and 802 and RB22, will do fine with interchanging).

Conclusion; do not ever buy a Mossberg 702 or 802 when you can get the Rossi versions.

BTW, Academy sells the green-stocked ones; $150 and only in stores, not online. My local store has two. If I can't get Rossi to sell me a green RS22 stock for my 702, I will buy the Rossi and sell the 702 to a friend. Rossi customer service is closed today for the holidays, will re-open Wednesday.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 01-01-2019 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:17 PM
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Conclusion; do not ever buy a Mossberg 702 or 802 when you can get the Rossi versions.
BINGO!!!!!

Sell the 702 and buy the RS22. No, buy the RS22 and swap trigger assemblies (i. e., put the trigger assembly with the good trigger in the RS22), THEN sell the 702. One of the first things I did when I got my RS22 was to install a spare trigger assembly (from a 702) that I had done a trigger job on.

You will not only like the RS22 stock better, but also the extended bolt handle that is about 1/4" longer.

EDIT: Just looked at the 702's and the 802's on Mossberg site. Stocks have been redesigned (no more Schnabel). New stocks have sling studs and rubber recoil pads.
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Last edited by toomanyguns; 12-31-2018 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by toomanyguns View Post
BINGO!!!!!

Sell the 702 and buy the RS22. No, buy the RS22 and swap trigger assemblies (i. e., put the trigger assembly with the good trigger in the RS22), THEN sell the 702. One of the first things I did when I got my RS22 was to install a spare trigger assembly (from a 702) that I had done a trigger job on.

You will not only like the RS22 stock better, but also the extended bolt handle that is about 1/4" longer.

EDIT: Just looked at the 702's and the 802's on Mossberg site. Stocks have been redesigned (no more Schnabel). New stocks have sling studs and rubber recoil pads.
Yeah I was thinking the same thing about the trigger group swap, and selling the 702. I have several 702 trigger springs, so I would at least get the pull down to a smooth 3.5# on the Rossi's new TG in the 702. And yes the RS22 has a better bolt handle, forgot to mention that.

Coulda bought it today, but the cheaper/easier thing to do is get a green stock from Rossi (if possible). Maybe even a bolt handle.

I also saw the redesigned 702 and 802 stocks. Too little, too late. Go Rossi!
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:37 AM
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Had a brainstorm.

I'm gonna buy the green-stock Rossi RS22 and test it, with my 702 upgraded trigger (2.5#). Whichever one has the better barrel is the one I keep, in the Rossi stock. Selling the other one, or maybe keeping it as a spare/loaner gun. My 702 actually shoots pretty well, and definitely does well with nice inexpensive CCI AR Tac. Gotta go find test results now.....

EDIT: from The Plinkster Chronicles, post #206:

Went back to the range and shot some CCI. The usual deal: 50 yards, bipod, rear bag, 12X scope, no wind. Four groups shot per ammo. Shot 'em in this order.

Best 4.....Avg 4.....Best 5......Avg 5.....Ammo..................................Commen ts
0.98........1.08........1.03........1.35........CC I Sub-Sonic LHP............2 biggish flyers; not overly impressive
0.85........0.96........1.16........1.40........CC I MM 36gr CPHP “Choot 'em”.....meh
0.68........0.74........1.05........1.19........CC I MM 36gr CPHP............gettin' respectable
0.40........0.72........0.92........1.00........CC I MM 40gr CPRN...........even better
0.18........0.43........0.66........0.94........CC I AR Tac 40gr CPRN......Wow!

I expected the best to be the Sub-Sonic and the "normal" 36gr CPHP, because that does so well in my Ruger 22s. But no. The two heavier round-noses beat them out, and very decisively in the case of the AR Tac. Best 4-shot group ever, and a couple of good 5-shots. I was pretty surprised.

AR Tac
4 shots: 0.18, 0.48, 0.52, 0.55
5 shots: 0.66, 0.68, 0.98, 1.42
So only two rounds out of 20 shot that I would consider flyers. Without that one really bad flyer, my average would have been 0.77" for the 5-shot groups! And 0.43" for the 4-shot groups. Under 1 MOA for under $140 total investment (includes MCarbo trigger spring).

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 01-01-2019 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:21 AM
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Tom-in-MO, please post your test results at 50 yards, and if possible, at 100 yards also, with your two new Rossi rifles. Always curious as to how well easily affordable .22s can shoot. My first (purchased with my own money) firearm was a Marlin 99 that was, and still is exceptionally accurate, all out of proportion to the $34 I paid for it new. (You can guess by that figure that I'm creeping up on 70 years of age). Those Rossi's are so affordable that I may have to buy one of each. Great posts....do an extensive ammo test and let us know how it goes...good luck.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:36 AM
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Tom-in-MO, please post your test results at 50 yards, and if possible, at 100 yards also, with your two new Rossi rifles. Always curious as to how well easily affordable .22s can shoot. My first (purchased with my own money) firearm was a Marlin 99 that was, and still is exceptionally accurate, all out of proportion to the $34 I paid for it new. (You can guess by that figure that I'm creeping up on 70 years of age). Those Rossi's are so affordable that I may have to buy one of each. Great posts....do an extensive ammo test and let us know how it goes...good luck.
Hi Steve, as it turns out, I am going shooting tomorrow, possibly with both. If not, then one gun tmw and one on Friday.

However, this will be at a 25-yard indoor range. I don't like shooting at 25 yards for accuracy testing, but that's all I've got right now.

My Mossie 702 did great with CCI AR Tac, so that will be in the mix, along with other CCIs and some high-end ammo as well. Have to root around and see what I've got. The first 100 rounds in each gun will be 10-shot groups of CCI Mini Mag 40 gr CPRN, which the 702 did pretty well but not great with. I should be able to watch the groups shrink as I go through the ammo.

Due to production inconsistencies and the loose nut behind the trigger, I don't worry too much about 5-shot groups. But multiple 4-shot groups, of 5 rounds shot, should tell the tale of how a particular ammo is trending.

Just went and shot my Mossie 46B today. Here are the results @ 25 yards, for reference (post #22). The 46B might be my most accurate 22, the only other contender being my Armscor M20P. Have to take that to the 25-yard range soon.....

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 01-03-2019 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:29 AM
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Alloy or Steel?

Seems very lightweight. Is the receiver alloy on the RB? If so are the areas where the bolt locking lugs steel? The thought of alloy and steel grinding together in a critical area rubs me the wrong way. Yes, pun intended.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:59 AM
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Seems very lightweight. Is the receiver alloy on the RB? If so are the areas where the bolt locking lugs steel? The thought of alloy and steel grinding together in a critical area rubs me the wrong way. Yes, pun intended.
The Mossberg and Rossi receivers are steel, as is the RAR. I'm sure that a steel bolt locking lug rubbing an aluminum receiver would wear out the receiver very quickly, to the point where the lug could no longer do its job.
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