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Budget Gun Review: Rossi Model 972 .357 Magnum with 6 “ Barrel
Okay now onto the review.
First and foremost when shopping for a hand-gun I was looking for something to pull triple duty; predator defense while hunting, home defense, and hunting. My original intent was to go with the venerable 1911, but my research into it as a large predator defense round led me to pursue other avenues. To make a long story short I found a common opinion that the .357 with a 6” barrel loaded out with the hottest loads should, shot placement being critical, suffice for critters up to black bear. (When I head for grizzly bear county down the road I am investing the $$$ in the mighty .454 Casull.)
Caliber: .357 Magnum
Capacity: 6 Shot
Weight: 35 oz
Barrel Length: 6”
Sights: Adjustable rear
- Stopping power
No one denies the stopping power of the .357 magnum round, Period. It will more than do the job in sending the bad guys to their just rewards. The cost is right for the budget-minded among us. I bought the gun ($349.99), leather holster ($20.00) and box of shells ($20.00) after taxes going out the door for $423.00. This thing is a beauty to hold at a mere 35.oz it is like holding a paperback book that slings lead.
I am a big guy with big meaty hands that are great for smashing people in the face, opening jars for the wife, and other such Neanderthal duties. The grips on this thing are way too small for my taste, (which initially affected accuracy or so I thought - more later) and I feel a more meatier set of grips would serve this particular pistol well for the larger, ham-handed among us. There are no after market grips currently for sale on this particular model so I am stuck with what I got. The weight is a factor when drawing down on target and if you wobble any or are prone to the shakes in anticipation of the recoil, then you will get off target. I shot a .454 Casull the same day of shooting and it’s weight was such that I drew down on bulls-eye and the gun stayed there.
- Sight adjustment
I found that after 3-4 successive sets of firing all six rounds in single action mode, the hammer hangs up about the 5th or 6th shot. I am taking it to a gun smith to figure this out as I DO NOT need this thing to act up on me when I am relying on it to put the bad guy down or the beastie who is about to chow down on my ass out in the tall and uncut. The rear sight required excessive adjustment to keep the rounds on target from the 7,15, and 25 yard line.
I consider myself a capable and competent pistol shooter from having shot the 1911 .45 and 92F 9mm for 21 plus years of military service.
But as you will see from the photographic evidence, initially I kept putting rounds to the left of center and couldn’t manage an consistent group at 15 yards. WTH????? But my brother in law on my second day of shooting suggested adjusting the rear sight and after a little tinkering I was putting them center mass consistently. I would expect that an out-of-the-box gun wouldn’t require that amount of adjusting to keep the rounds on target.
THE PHONE BOOK TEST (no pictures-sorry)
I shot Remington 125 grain JSP and Monarch 148 grain JHP into 6 phone books duct taped together at 7 and 15 yards.
The 125g bullets at 15 yards went through two phone books and upon further investigation disintegrated completely.
The 148g bullets at 7 yards went through two phone books as well and upon further investigation had good expansion with 2 of the 6 coming out of their jackets.
I can live with the 148grain performance for around the house use, but for predator defense and hunting I am investing in Buffalo Bore brand Heavy 357 Magnum Ammo - 180 gr. L.F.N. -G.C. (1,400fps/M.E. 783 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box as I have read nothing but positive reviews of this ammo.
I feel that I need more range time to be at ease with this gun. Revolvers have not been my side-arm in any capacity and I am just not as comfortable as I would like to be. Especially when push comes to shove with defending my family or my own self when confronted with an animal with large teeth and claws, or drawing down on some meat for the table. Wild hog anyone?
That being said for the 150 rounds I shot through it in two days time this revolver is great to shoot.
The recoil is manageable, the price is right and I would recommend this gun as a great budget buy.
The following pictures are from my first day of shooting. I didn’t think to bring even my camera phone for the second day so I have no follow on pictures to attest to the change in accuracy after adjusting the sights.
All but the last picture are from the 7 yard line. The last one is from the 15 yard line and I was (ahem) aiming for the upper right target.