History of 357 lever guns

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mickbr
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History of 357 lever guns

#1 Post by mickbr » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:24 am

Folks anyone know when it all started, who did the first ? Also when the other major levergun manufacturers weighed in for the first time with a 357 chambering?

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JimT
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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#2 Post by JimT » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:51 am

Gunsmiths were converting Model 92's back in the 1950's and 60's. When I was a kid I remember seeing some. I imagine someone did it even before then. Gun folks are curious and seem to love to experiment. Which is a good thing!

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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#3 Post by Pete44ru » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:37 pm

mickbr wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:24 am

Also when the other major levergun manufacturers weighed in for the first time with a 357 chambering ?
AFAIK:

1979: Marlin Model 1894
1982: Browning/Miroku B-92
1992: Winchester Model 94, Rossi M-92 (importation of Rosssi's started)
2001: Winchester/Miroku Model 92


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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#4 Post by COSteve » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:35 pm

Pete44ru wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:37 pm
mickbr wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:24 am
Also when the other major levergun manufacturers weighed in for the first time with a 357 chambering ?
AFAIK:
1992: Winchester Model 94, Rossi M-92 (importation of Rossi's started)
That's when Rossis changed importers from Interarms to BrazTech. It's my understanding that Rossi had been making and importing through Interarms, a Model 92 clone in .357mag as well as other calibers for decades before that starting in the late 60's. It's also my understanding that in many of his movies, John Wayne used the cheaper Interarms Rossi levergun vs the expensive, antique Winchester 92s.
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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#5 Post by gak » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:32 pm

Steve is right that the Rossis way preceded the others mentioned, I thought mid 70s at latest (start). Someone(s) has said there were some Armi San Marcos 92s as well way back when? (Not sure the. 357 part either). Re John Wayne and other US westerners I think more likely, when not Winchesters, they were the Spanish El Tigre 92 copies, often complete with proper "old west"/pre war period carbine ladder sights. At least one of Riflleman-Connors' was said to be an El Tigre...likely when it was going to see dirty, rough duty, and I've seen many others used on the big and little screen. If you see the front post sight ahead of the barrel band (toward muzzle), a giveaway it's very likely it's an El Tigre... I think most on these shores, at least most if not all I've seen, were .44-40. I did see Magnum-Sellek brandish a Rossi carbine once, the Interarms-era barrel band sight the clue.

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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#6 Post by mickbr » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:01 pm

Thanks fellas that is interesting to know. I had heard the Rossis were a 1960's start. Didnt realise the browning 92 was from the 80's. I came across one a few years ago and was told it was one of the best of all the 92 repros.

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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#7 Post by Carlsen Highway » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:41 pm

We got our first Rossi 92 in late 1970's back when they had the Puma head on the side of the action. I have read that they were making them in the 1960's, although that may have just been for local market in Brazil, I have never seen a Rossi 92 that I knew for sure was made earlier than the late 1970's. (They may have been selling them in America earlier than that, but not Australia/New Zealand.)
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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#8 Post by JimT » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:45 am

gak --- all the El Tigre's I have seen were 44-40. I bought one at the Jewel Box Pawn Shop in Phoenix, AZ back in 1964. They had quite a few of them. I shot a lot of ammo through that gun and toted it all over southern Arizona.


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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#9 Post by mickbr » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:07 am

Carlsen Highway wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:41 pm
We got our first Rossi 92 in late 1970's back when they had the Puma head on the side of the action. I have read that they were making them in the 1960's, although that may have just been for local market in Brazil, I have never seen a Rossi 92 that I knew for sure was made earlier than the late 1970's. (They may have been selling them in America earlier than that, but not Australia/New Zealand.)
How popular were they in the 80's and 90's Carlsen? Common calibre or seen as rare birds?

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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#10 Post by gak » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:54 pm

JimT wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:45 am
gak --- all the El Tigre's I have seen were 44-40. I bought one at the Jewel Box Pawn Shop in Phoenix, AZ back in 1964. They had quite a few of them. I shot a lot of ammo through that gun and toted it all over southern Arizona.


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Jim, I remember handling a couple El Tigres I thought were pretty good, but by the time I started looking at these 92s in the late 70s/early 80s they were pretty scarce. If that's the pawn shop I'm thinking of downtown that eventually got closed by the Light Rail, when the interarms Rossis were in their final run (their black mystery wood / stain / no saddle ring period). they had about 30 new ones in that shop, about 40% 357, 40% 45 Colt and maybe 20% 44-40 and 44 Mag.

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Carlsen Highway
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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#11 Post by Carlsen Highway » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:54 am

mickbr wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:07 am
Carlsen Highway wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:41 pm
We got our first Rossi 92 in late 1970's back when they had the Puma head on the side of the action. I have read that they were making them in the 1960's, although that may have just been for local market in Brazil, I have never seen a Rossi 92 that I knew for sure was made earlier than the late 1970's. (They may have been selling them in America earlier than that, but not Australia/New Zealand.)
How popular were they in the 80's and 90's Carlsen? Common calibre or seen as rare birds?
We got one because my father was a levergun aficionado - he would have got a Winchester 92, but down here they were mostly half magazine or button magazine models and he could not abide those. The Rossi's were affordable and brand new, unlike a proper Winchester which looked like they had been dragged behind a landrover for most of their lives. He insisted that it could only be in .44-40, because "that was the original cartridge". The .44-40 was the first centrefire cartridge I ever fired and I learned all about reloading and shooting it very young. To this day I still have more than a sentimental attachment to it. If I had to give up everything but one, I would keep my .44-40 carbine, and I own some nice rifles.

To be honest I couldt say how common the Rossi's were - whatever Dad and me did was our own affair. In the '70's the internet wasn't around and I was young. I remember the most common rifles by far were .303's. We did not hang around in pig hunting circles, I imagine the pig hunters would have bought them up as they do now still. We were the only people we knew who used a .44-40. I am still the only person I know who owns (and hunts) with a .44-40 today. But old .44-40 in the back of closet and hot water cupboards were not uncommon, but they weren't using them much anymore, they were the previous generation's rifles type thing. In Australia in the 1970's gunshops used to have racks of Winchester 92 carbines going cheap.
I remember racks of new-looking Swedish Mausers (with bayonets fixed) going for $70. But that's because most people considered them just old junky military rifles from some unknown country; someone who bought one we would have regarded as eccentric. If you wanted a real rifle you got a British-made BSA or a Sako.
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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#12 Post by Nate Kiowa Jones » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:19 pm

For years dating back to about 1975 the made in Brazil Rossi 92 was imported by InterArms of Alexandria VA. Before InterArms. From about 1968-74 Garcia Corp. of Washington DC imported Rossi. Before that Firearms International of Washington DC imported Rossi in the mid 1960’s.
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Re: History of 357 lever guns

#13 Post by COSteve » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:50 pm

And there you have the definitive explanation. Steve KNOWs Rossis. He's THE man.
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