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  #1  
Old 12-24-2016, 03:57 PM
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Rossi R92 vs. Henry Big Boy



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I have a Rossi R92 lever action in .357. I like the gun except for the loading gate; it's hard (for me) to load. Because of this, I typically load it one round at a time directly into the chamber.

Thinking about getting rid of it and getting a Henry Big Boy in .357. It seems to me that it would be easier to load and unload. I also like the availability of the Henry big loop levers. Have heard good things about Henry quality.

Or, is there a way to make the Rossi easier to load by maybe weakening the spring or something else?

Would really like an 1873 replica but don't want to spend that much money.

Not into SASS or anything similar and not concerned about historical authenticity; just want something in .357/.38 to shoot (mostly plinking with maybe an occasional varmint.)

Any recommendations?
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2016, 04:55 PM
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My Rossi 92 came loaded with a brown grease that made everything sticky and hard to operate, including the loading gate. My first step was to flush out all the factory grease with mineral spirits in a spray bottle till everything ran clear and then spray the action with a mix of 50/50 ATF and MS. It was like a different gun, including the loading gate. I have heard that some 16" versions are very hard to load because they have used a 20" gun spring in the magazine at the factory. If that is the case with you, just remove the spring and cut one link off at a time. Be careful to not cut off too much until you thoroughly test loading several times. With the spring out, polish the interior of the magazine tube and the follower. Once you get everything slick, you'll much prefer a side gate loader to the Henry style tube loading.
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:09 PM
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I love my Henrys there QC is the best and there customer service should be a model for all other gun companys.I have 6 and my next firearm purchase will be another Henry.
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Old 12-24-2016, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GladesGuy View Post
My Rossi 92 came loaded with a brown grease that made everything sticky and hard to operate, including the loading gate. My first step was to flush out all the factory grease with mineral spirits in a spray bottle till everything ran clear and then spray the action with a mix of 50/50 ATF and MS. It was like a different gun, including the loading gate. I have heard that some 16" versions are very hard to load because they have used a 20" gun spring in the magazine at the factory. If that is the case with you, just remove the spring and cut one link off at a time. Be careful to not cut off too much until you thoroughly test loading several times. With the spring out, polish the interior of the magazine tube and the follower. Once you get everything slick, you'll much prefer a side gate loader to the Henry style tube loading.
Sounds like some good tips. Mine has a 20" barrel, but maybe it has a spring for a 24" model. I got mine used.

I have an original Winchester 92 in .32-20 and it seems easier to load, but then it's over a hundred years old. Cleaning and lubrication might be the answer for the Rossi.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:15 PM
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If you really like the side loading gate but would like something a little nicer than the Rossi, with patience you may find a Marlin 1894c in .357 for around what a Henry cost.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2016, 08:39 AM
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If you really like the side loading gate but would like something a little nicer than the Rossi, with patience you may find a Marlin 1894c in .357 for around what a Henry cost.
I will include the Marlin in my search. I also really like the Ruger 77/357.

Still looking for an H&R in .357 but the ones I have seen don't have open sights.

Lots of fun just looking.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bichettereds View Post
If you really like the side loading gate but would like something a little nicer than the Rossi, with patience you may find a Marlin 1894c in .357 for around what a Henry cost.
Good luck with that. I've been looking at 1894Cs on Gunbroker, etc because I want a side loading gate and side ejection. The prices for decent JM stamped ones seem to be starting in the $850 - $950 range. Appears to me that you can get a new .357 Henry Big Boy Steel for a lot less. Regardless, I'll keep checking out 1894Cs.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:58 PM
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My vote is the Marlin 1894, I have 2, a 1894CS in 357 mag and a 1894S in 44 mag. Cannot recommend them enough.
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2016, 07:19 PM
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I've wanted a Marlin 1894 for years, but pricing has put them into the "I'm afraid to use it and scratch it" category. For me, anyway.

Due to that, I have been looking hard at the Rossi and the Big Boy Steel in .357 magnum.

As much as I think I'd prefer a receiver loading gun, I'm used to using front loading tubes and like how fast I can unload them without having to run all the ammo through the chamber. Not just for safety reasons, but also because I hate scuffing the living crap out of ammo from regular loading and reloading. Experience with centerfire autoloaders has shown me plenty of that.

What I'd prefer is the American made Henry with the short 16.5" barrel, but with the regular lever. I don't really need an oversized lever which would just annoy me and slow me down.

Last edited by chicharrones; 12-26-2016 at 07:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2016, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomanyguns View Post

Mine has a 20" barrel, but maybe it has a spring for a 24" model. I got mine used.


It's easy enough to check:

Remove the magazine tube end cap (only), remove the spring and measure it's free (uncompressed) length.

The magazine spring should be 150% longer that the magazine tube, so:

A 16" barrel/tube should have a 24" long spring
A 20" barrel/tube should have a 30" long spring
A 24" barrel/tube should have a 36" long spring

.
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2016, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluzman View Post
Good luck with that. I've been looking at 1894Cs on Gunbroker, etc because I want a side loading gate and side ejection. The prices for decent JM stamped ones seem to be starting in the $850 - $950 range. Appears to me that you can get a new .357 Henry Big Boy Steel for a lot less. Regardless, I'll keep checking out 1894Cs.
I have somewhat of an obsession with Marlins and in the past year I've bought 5 Marlins in .357. 2 at auctions, 2 on armslist and 1 from a Facebook gun page. I check daily and have driven very far to go to auctions. All were in excellent condition and I've paid $575, $625, $625, $725 and $800. Sold 3 and got $800-825 each. They sell really quick at $800 so I know I probably could've got more.

I guess my point is, there are deals out there, but i wouldn't blame you for just buying a Henry. My dads big boy steel in .44 is really nice. Looks like a scaled down Marlin 336.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2016, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicharrones View Post
I've wanted a Marlin 1894 for years, but pricing has put them into the "I'm afraid to use it and scratch it" category. For me, anyway.

Due to that, I have been looking hard at the Rossi and the Big Boy Steel in .357 magnum.

As much as I think I'd prefer a receiver loading gun, I'm used to using front loading tubes and like how fast I can unload them without having to run all the ammo through the chamber. Not just for safety reasons, but also because I hate scuffing the living crap out of ammo from regular loading and reloading. Experience with centerfire autoloaders has shown me plenty of that.

What I'd prefer is the American made Henry with the short 16.5" barrel, but with the regular lever. I don't really need an oversized lever which would just annoy me and slow me down.
In addition, the Big Boy Steel comes with sling studs and rubber recoil pad.

The optional large lever is $50 BTW.

The Ruger 77/357 would be even faster than the Henry to unload.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2016, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete44ru View Post
It's easy enough to check:

Remove the magazine tube end cap (only), remove the spring and measure it's free (uncompressed) length.

The magazine spring should be 150% longer that the magazine tube, so:

A 16" barrel/tube should have a 24" long spring
A 20" barrel/tube should have a 30" long spring
A 24" barrel/tube should have a 36" long spring

.
Interesting.
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2016, 11:59 AM
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Thanks for the tip on magazine tube spring lengths Pete44ru.
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2016, 05:51 PM
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Besides cutting the spring back to about 4-6" extension beyond the tube, you can replace the crappy yellow plastic follower with a Winchester model 92 steel follower for a 32.20. Lots of SASS shooters do that on slicked out Rossis.

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Products/1344050.htm
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