In the 1890s, Winchester saw the need for a stronger action to improve the 1873 Winchester. John Browning was the designer, and he came up with this shorter trim action that uses vertical locking lugs. This action design allows modern smokeless pistol cartridges to be fired safely. Winchester produced over a million of these guns but ceased manufacture in 1941.
This action has been replicated by many different companies over the years, and I was lucky enough to pick up a model produced by Brazilian manufacturer Rossi.
Rossi specializes in rifles, shotguns, and pump-action firearms and has been pumping out guns since 1889. Founded by Amedo Rossi, the firm is known best for quality copies of well-known guns at affordable prices. Their R92 series of rifles and carbines have become very popular.
Marlin firearms first came out with a tactical lever-action carbine a few years ago. Rossi was not far behind, and in 2020, introduced the Triple Black Edition R92 lever-action carbine. Emphasizing quality, this carbine breaks from tradition. It features a black-coated wood stock, Cerakote metal finish, wrapped large-loop lever, Picatinny rail, and threaded muzzle. It appeals to those who appreciate modern function over traditional looks.
Modern optics are a breeze to install, the large loop allows fast cycling even with gloves, and the ability to add a muzzle brake or suppressor make it extremely versatile.
The Feel and the Specs
Short and light, this carbine feels like compact power in my hands. Under 7 pounds, it comes up to my shoulder quickly. The Picatinny rail allows my Holosun sight to position correctly every time.
Although not a semi-auto, the big-lever loop is fast and improves my confidence in a first-shot hit. The respectable 9+1 capacity in .38 means a lot of firepower in a small package. Holding it reminds me of my first Daisy BB gun many years ago. I cannot help but remember the old 60s TV show "The Rifleman" starring Chuck Connors in which he started every show by shooting his custom big loop 92 quickly and reloading as he walked!
Maybe that's why I had to buy it?
Overall length: 34.5 inches
Length of pull: 14 inches
Barrel length: 16 inches
Weight: 6.4 pounds
Magazine capacity: Nine .38 Special or seven .357 mags
This rifle features a Picatinny rail, rear ghost peep sight, and raised front sight post to allow sighting with a suppressor. I have chosen the Holosun model HE510Cholographic site with a green-circle-dot reticle. This color allows me to see it clearly during the daytime. It also has a mini solar panel that allows function if the battery is low.
My preferred load is caliber .38 special. They allow two more rounds in the magazine. I hand load the cartridges and cast my bullets. The bullets are then Powder-Coated and baked. I do this to prevent the soft lead from contacting the rifling to keep the gun and suppressor cleaner. I like the high visibility of these bullets as they cycle through the action.
I have owned this carbine for some time and fired hundreds of rounds through it. It has a smooth, slick action. The internal springs are easy to replace and there are several spring kits for the gun. Your local gunsmith can do this for you. I replaced the springs myself and polished all the internal surfaces. The safety was removed and replaced with a spent .25 auto case. Check with your state and local authorities before you attempt this. I didn’t find it necessary, and it’s totally legal in Arizona to do this, so why not?
I shot a paper target at 25 yards and a steel "milk bottle" shaped target at 100 yards. The carbine groups well at 25 yards on paper from the off-hand position with and without the suppressor attached. The .38 special rounds make quick work of a water-filled can and a 2-liter soda bottle. The grouping at 25 yards on paper is around 2 inches, plenty accurate for this little gun.
Shooting suppressed is always fun, but it can be even more fun with a lever action! My favorite suppressor is the SilencerCo Hybrid. It can be adapted to many different calibers from .223 and .45-70 to .458 Win Mag! The end caps are exchanged to fit the firearm and the caliber. Today, I shot the .38 version, which will also allow .357, 9mm, and others.
The effectiveness of the suppressor is amazing! I hear the round impacting the steel target, but the gun is nearly silent. The hammer striking the firing pin is the only noise heard.
When I’m done with a high-stress match competition, I pull out this carbine and shoot it because it’s enjoyable. Fun is a big part of shooting, and the Rossi R92 Tactical is fun!
Lightweight, accuracy, and a slick action make it a good choice as a truck gun, home-defense gun, or low-cost plinking favorite. You will not regret owning this or any of the Rossi Model 92 variants.