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Posted: 12/30/2012 3:50:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2012 4:34:48 PM EST by Taft]


Rossi Ranch Hand .38 / .357 Review

Some technical specs
Caliber available .38 /.357 magnum, .44 spec. /44 magnum, & 45 Colt.
6 rounds of .38 /.357
Weight 4 pounds, 1/2 pound less than a standard 16 inch version
Over all length is 24 inches
Wood and steel construction

A while back I posted a quick post HERE about the ranch hand and after reading some of the posts I realized a better, more in depth review might be in order.

Keep in mind this post is not intended to replace our highly coveted AR15's, M1A battle rifles, shotguns, or anything like that. It is solely intended to give you, the reader, yet another tool for the toolbox. And, it is not intended to replace the collapsible stock or folding stocks versions such as a Mini-14's, SU16's, or any other truck guns already in place.

It is intended to look at yet another option to those who use a get home bag (GHB) and feel a rifle or something like it is in order. It is important to remember we have people on this board from all walks of life and in various blue and white collar industries. What you carry and when you carry it has to be considered especially everyday carry (EDC) in a rifle, not just a pistol. I think FERFAL made a good point in his Argentina articles about carrying your highly vaunted Thunder Ranch M4 to the dentist. You just can't hang it on the coat rack while at your appointment.

So, here is my review of the Rossi Ranch Hand. First thing first. This is not a rifle, nor is it really a pistol. Unlike a true rifle caliber SBR this shoots a pistol round. It is registered as a pistol here in California but I certainly will not carry it like a Glock 19 or a S&W .357 tucked in my waistband. But I do think it has a place in a backpack or as a truck gun. I found that most backpacks can easily carry the Ranch hand with no issues. Here it is in my Camel Bak Talon GHB.

Some quick thoughts
The Ranch hand (RH) feels great in the hand, very natural. Point ability is good even without the full stock. It is short, light, and easy to handle. It is also just plain fun to shoot. I have big hands and my Marlin 1894CS lever action left my right hand bruised and sore after strings of firing it. The lever loop is small for me. So the addition of the large loop lever on the Ranch hand is a welcome addition. Another nice feature I like is the pistol is all wood and steel and if needed would make a great impact weapon or "melee" weapon as it were. Having to smack a bad guy around won't hurt the Ranch hand like it might a rifle with composite/polymer parts. It also is a great companion piece to my S&W 66 .357 revolver. The downside to this is It does not lend itself to a scope mount or to a flash light easily. And, even if you could mount either one you can't use a scabbard to carry it.

Shooting impressions
I used .38 special + P and .357 magnum. All .357 rounds were the Remington 125 grain semi jacketed hollow points. In the .38 +P rounds I also used the Remington 125 grain semi jacketed hollow points and the Hornady Home Defense 110 grain jacketed soft nose with the red dot. I fired at the 25, 50, and 100 yard lines. At the 100 yard line the Rossi was bench rested. The .357 was a bit snappy to shoot out of the Ranch hand and I found it a little harder to control. The extra weight and shoulder stock on a full size rifle does make a difference. The .38 + P rounds were quite pleasant to shoot and very controllable.

I only took pics from the 25 and 100 yard lines.

I also shot my older US mail box on the PD range to demonstrate the 38 +P is very lethal and penetrates very well.

At first the Ranch hand shot 4-5 inches high at 25 yards. The front sight is high on this gun and uses a brass beed. I have since replaced it with the Marble front sight which has an orange fiber optic. I also remove the rear buckhorn elevator piece and this lowered the rear sight almost an 1/16th of an inch and the Ranch hand shoots right on the money now. A plus is the fiber optic is a quasi red dot and makes for faster sighting on follow up shots.

Another fun fact is this Ranch hand comes with a saddle ring. Now, I don't think I will be tying this sawed off bad boy off in the saddle scabbard on my horse anytime soon; however using it as a single point sling is unexpectedly cool. Or, as a pistol leash to those of us here in politically correct California.

I realized I can carry it in a backpack but what else is there ? Several companies make holster / belt combinations but I am in no rush to pay $ 200 plus for one anyway. I shopped around and found that Voodoo Tactical makes a ambidextrous molly scabbard for a short barreled pistol grip shotgun called a breachers scabbard. It fits the Ranch hand perfectly. It will fit either side of my molly capable pack and/or has an adjustable carry strap. It makes attaching to a UTV or quad very easy and useful. Another item I secured is a pair of wallet ammo holders from MTM via MidwayUSA. This seems to keep the ammo where i need it.

While I profess to liking the 60's Rifleman with Chuck Conners and the TV show Wanted Dead or Alive with Steve McQueen I won't be spin cocking this Ranch hand any time soon. The obvious gun safety aspects aside, my luck would be to launch it into the TV set or through a window.


Conclusion
It may not quite be a rifle, but it sure ain't just a pistol. It is one of those guns that fills a limited niche and quite frankly is a lot of fun to shoot.
But, if you have limited options on what you can carry based on size and weight in your GHB then this "pistol" just might have a use for you.




































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Posted: 12/30/2012 3:55:48 PM EST
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Posted: 12/30/2012 4:00:50 PM EST
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Posted: 12/30/2012 4:31:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2012 4:43:23 PM EST by Taft]
For some reason the 3 sight pics keep going upside down.

Also some of the pics are larger than others, don't know why.

The whole review was done with an i-phone and an i-Pad 2 including uploading of pics from photobucket.

First time using photobucket too from an i-Pad.





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Posted: 12/30/2012 4:59:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2012 5:20:31 PM EST by Ryan_Ruck]
I picked up a Ranch Hand in .44 Magnum earlier this year with the intent of using it during deer gun season since here in Ohio we are limited to pistols, shotgun, and black powder. Unfortunately not a single deer sighting the one day during the week-long gun season I was able to get out and I normally see 5-10 per day where I was.

Over the summer I took it out to see how it shot. My impressions pretty much match yours. If one decides to go with the .44 version, I highly recommend wrapping the lever loop in paracord, tape, or perhaps leather. It was a bit rough on my firing hand's index middle finger. Also, .44 Mag one handed is a hoot!

I quickly found out as you mentioned with the saddle loop, it works very well with a single point sling. With one cinched close, you can get a sight picture almost as well as if it had a full stock.

Also, thanks for mentioning the Voodoo Tactical scabbard! I had been looking for a carry method other than sling but like you, found everything was pretty outrageously priced.
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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:03:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2012 5:04:12 PM EST by Taft]
Originally Posted By Ryan_Ruck:
I picked up a Ranch Hand in .44 Magnum earlier this year with the intent of using it during deer gun season since here in Ohio we are limited to pistols, shotgun, and black powder. Unfortunately not a single deer sighting the one day during the week-long gun season I was able to get out and I normally see 5-10 per day where I was.

Over the summer I took it out to see how it shot. My impressions pretty much match yours. If one decides to go with the .44 version, I highly recommend wrapping the lever loop in paracord, tape, or perhaps leather. It was a bit rough on my firing hand's index finger. Also, .44 Mag one handed is a hoot!

I quickly found out as you mentioned with the saddle loop, it works very well with a single point sling. With one cinched close, you can get a sight picture almost as well as if it had a full stock.

Also, thanks for mentioning the Voodoo Tactical scabbard! I had been looking for a carry method other than sling but like you, found everything was pretty outrageously priced.


$29.99 not inluding tax and shipping HERE
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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:04:21 PM EST
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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:21:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2012 5:24:02 PM EST by Ryan_Ruck]
Originally Posted By Taft:
$29.99 not inluding tax and shipping HERE


Actually just grabbed one off Amazon for $28.39 shipped - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FGPJSK/

Thanks though!
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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:22:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ryan_Ruck:
Originally Posted By Taft:
$29.99 not inluding tax and shipping HERE


Actually just grabbed one off Amazon for $28.39 shipped - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FGPJSK/

Thanks though!


Great deal !

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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:36:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2012 5:40:30 PM EST by Paul]
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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:41:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By Taft:
While I profess to liking the 60's Rifleman with Chuck Conners and the TV show Wanted Dead or Alive with Steve McQueen I won't be spin cocking this Ranch hand any time soon. The obvious gun safety aspects aside, my luck would be to launch it into the TV set or through a window.

Forgot to mention, spin cocking is actually really easy once you get the hang of it (forward rather than down is the trick!). I don't think I have the stones to ever go trying that with a loaded weapon though.

Just head outside or in a room with no/few breakables and go to town! You'll be surprised at how fast you can pick it up. I had it down pretty well in under a half hour having never even touched a lever action in my life.
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Posted: 12/30/2012 5:47:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2012 5:49:29 PM EST by Ryan_Ruck]
Originally Posted By Paul:
Interesting ... more than a pistol with a 12" barrel but less than a rifle with that cut down stock and weight at 4 pounds.

Comes in .44 Special and Magnum and 45 Long Colt too.

How does it feel shooting? Do you hold it out like a pistol or tuck it in like a carbine?


Without a sling I saw my best results holding it out like a pistol, two handed. Tucked in is a little awkward, especially for bigger folks.

With a sling is really the way to go. The sling will let you keep it under tension while getting it a "normal" distance for the best sight picture. Just feels a lot more secure. In doing some reading after I found this out, it looks like it is a popular way to accurately handle over-large pistols and stockless PDWs.
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Posted: 12/30/2012 6:07:42 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ryan_Ruck:
Originally Posted By Paul:
Interesting ... more than a pistol with a 12" barrel but less than a rifle with that cut down stock and weight at 4 pounds.

Comes in .44 Special and Magnum and 45 Long Colt too.

How does it feel shooting? Do you hold it out like a pistol or tuck it in like a carbine?


Without a sling I saw my best results holding it out like a pistol, two handed. Tucked in is a little awkward, especially for bigger folks.

With a sling is really the way to go. The sling will let you keep it under tension while getting it a "normal" distance for the best sight picture. Just feels a lot more secure. In doing some reading after I found this out, it looks like it is a popular way to accurately handle over-large pistols and stockless PDWs.


I like cheeking it the best and/or benching on my pack. I have a single point sling but did not use it at the range. I will now.


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Posted: 12/31/2012 5:43:41 AM EST
I got one in .44 magnum since I reload that caliber. Great fun gun to shoot, plus it's a handgun so I can carry it loaded in the car.

Here's a shot of the kid shooting it:



The tactical holster is pretty cool. Here's the holster I got.

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Posted: 12/31/2012 6:03:02 AM EST
How is recoil with the 44mag,not talking target loads but hunting loads!
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Posted: 12/31/2012 8:54:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2012 8:54:45 AM EST by DieselEngineer]
Many east coast states, mine included, prohibit loaded long arms on motorized conveyances such as trucks, ATVs, or tractors. This is a perfect end run around that outdated poaching rule.
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Posted: 12/31/2012 11:42:31 AM EST
Nice review. Looks like a fun range toy.

Practicaly speaking tho, How is a Ruger Super Blackhawk not better in every way? Or even a Keltec PLR 16?
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Posted: 12/31/2012 1:58:04 PM EST
Good review, nice pistol.
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Posted: 12/31/2012 2:08:11 PM EST
Very fun to shoot! Love mine in 38/357!
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Posted: 12/31/2012 2:41:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2012 2:42:31 PM EST by Taft]
Originally Posted By Woosaa:
Nice review. Looks like a fun range toy.

Practicaly speaking tho, How is a Ruger Super Blackhawk not better in every way? Or even a Keltec PLR 16?


It's not meant to replace or compare it.

It is meant as a companion to the BH in the same caliber where a longer shot may be needed, just in a shorter package.



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Posted: 12/31/2012 3:31:14 PM EST
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Posted: 12/31/2012 5:19:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By tayous1:
How is recoil with the 44mag,not talking target loads but hunting loads!


I've only fired this out of mine, 240gr soft point.

It will definitely get your attention but it isn't too tough to get back on target for a follow up shot. As I mentioned before, I did feel the need to cover the lever loop with paracord since it kept biting into my middle finger. That was also a complaint from other people that shot it. After I did that, it was a lot more comfortable.
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Posted: 1/1/2013 12:56:59 AM EST
How do you rank the quality? Is it on par with a Marlin or something?
I have been wanting to SBR a lever gun, can't decide between one of these and a stock, or a Marlin with a cut down barrel/mag tube.
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Posted: 1/1/2013 2:55:05 AM EST
thanks for the review.

i've been watching off and on for one of these to pop up used in 357 for a year or so. i know they're pretty cheap, but i have the crazy idea to SBR it and i don't wanna play full price plus the stamp. i haven't yet found what i consider to be a legit source for a replacement stock in the event that my project comes to fruition, but i haven't been hunting hard.

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Posted: 1/1/2013 4:12:54 AM EST
Great review and thanks for posting it!
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Posted: 1/1/2013 6:09:04 AM EST
So want in .45LC
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Posted: 1/1/2013 7:56:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By Nameless_Hobo:
How do you rank the quality? Is it on par with a Marlin or something?
I have been wanting to SBR a lever gun, can't decide between one of these and a stock, or a Marlin with a cut down barrel/mag tube.


I have a newer Marlin 1894CS in .357 and actually prefer the Winchester 92 type action better.

The Marlin is stong and rugged, but not as smooth.

Quality seems pretty good so far. Accuracy is actually better than I thought it might be.
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Posted: 1/1/2013 8:07:57 AM EST
Mine is in .45 LC, shoots great, especially using rock the baby....recoil is fine due to the weight.
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Posted: 1/1/2013 8:59:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By Nameless_Hobo:
How do you rank the quality? Is it on par with a Marlin or something?
I have been wanting to SBR a lever gun, can't decide between one of these and a stock, or a Marlin with a cut down barrel/mag tube.


It's the only lever gun I own and have had any trigger time on so I really can't say how it compares to anything else.

I do know that when I first got it, the action was a bit on the stiff side. After I completely disassembled it (a real pain), cleaned it, lubed it, and cycled the action a lot it smoothed out quite a bit.
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Posted: 1/1/2013 9:18:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/1/2013 4:05:05 PM EST by Mainsail]
The action on mine was a little sticky when I got it, but smoothed out a lot after a good cleaning and lube.

The only quality issue I've noticed is that there are a lot of sharp edges, including the loading gate area. It will draw blood if you're not careful. As to fit & finish, you're getting what you pay for- a functional lever action pistol that goes bang when you squeeze the trigger. I'm happy with mine.


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Posted: 1/1/2013 2:49:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/1/2013 2:50:26 PM EST by ireload]
Taft where did you get yours from and what price? I take it that bad boy still have to be in a case and locked since it's considered a pistol here in CA.
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Posted: 1/1/2013 7:18:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By ireload:
Taft where did you get yours from and what price? I take it that bad boy still have to be in a case and locked since it's considered a pistol here in CA.


I purchased from Ten Percent Firearms in beautiful down town Taft, CA.

All rules here in Californiastan do apply.

Price was $ 547.00 IIRC

For those interested, they just got another one in stock, this last week in caliber .357.





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Posted: 1/1/2013 10:05:19 PM EST
After reading this I just bought 1 in .357 off of Gunbroker for $400.00.
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