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1892 & All Variants/Copies

1892’s & All Variants/Copies

Winchester started making the model 1892 in well, 1892. These rifles/carbines were originally made with soft steel for use with low pressure black powder, but as of around 1895, Winchester began to make the 1892 barrels with harder steel for smokeless powders, then a couple decades later, Winchester again made a huge leap forward in use of quality/strong steel, for use with smokeless powders that were becoming popular. Any 1892 Winchester with a barrel made of correct steel for smokeless powders, can fire very powerful/high pressured ammo.

Original Winchester 1892’s were not chambered in 45 Colt, 44 magnum or 454. The latter two of these cartridges not even being in existence until the mid 1950’s and early 1980’s.

Certainly, ANY model 92 original or variant, made since 1919, is strong enough to handle any of our 45 Colt +P  loads.

By design, no matter who the maker was/is, the 92 is very strong. It is also very short, which means that with some of today’s modern heavy/long loads in 44 mag. or 45 colt, the action is too short to cycle them from the magazine tube.

Enter Rossi/Puma

With the introduction of the Rossi/Puma versions of the 92, the novice shooting world has become very confused. Why? The first Rossi model 92, 45 colt carbines had the typical short model 92 action length, but then Rossi decided to lengthen that action so it could cycle/feed the much longer 454 Cassul. This is a fantastic development, for which I applaud Rossi, but it also caused mass confusion because the earlier Rossi 92, 45 colt rifles, would not feed the longer/heavier 45 Colt cartridges, but as Rossi has evolved and perfected their 1892’s, I have seen later versions of their 92, chambered in 45 colt, that would feed our very heavy/long 45 colt loads and some of our much longer than normal 44 magnum loads. As Rossi has perfected their 92 copies, what could have been accurately stated about the very early versions, cannot be said of later versions, so there is NO HARD AND FAST RULE about what cartridge length a 45 colt, 44 magnum or 454 Cassul chambered Rossi/Puma model 92 will cycle/feed. To make matters more confusing, there is no firm manufacturing date that will identify which 92’s will feed the longer 44 mag. or 45 Colt cartridges, as the design changes were incrementally added over a couple decades. The only way to know is to simply get the ammo you want to shoot and try it. This is a good place to ask you to read my short essay on the variances in factory made firearms of any make or model, titled, How Will This Ammo (name any) Feed And Function In My Gun.

Because Rossi started making 92 variants chambered in and lengthened for the mighty 454, I see no reason to purchase a 92 chambered in 45 colt as the 454 chambering will feed and fire any 45 colt load as well as feed and fire the 454 cartridge, but that is just my thinking. I currently have one Rossi 92 chambered in 454 and it is a very different machine than my first 45 Colt model 92 Rossi of 20+ years ago. Since the Rossi/Puma 1892 is made of stainless steel, is strong, reliable and affordable, they are a fabulous buy, but still, they are mass produced and you can tell the difference between a $600.00 Rossi, versus a several thousand dollar custom 1892. As always, each gun, regardless of make or model, needs to be treated as an individual—I cannot overstate this fact!

It should be noted that manufacturing companies of ANY PRODUCT, change/perfect/evolve their products over time. (Just look at all the variations of Ford’s Mustang, for example) When gun makers do this, it simply confuses all but those that follow such changes religiously. The casual or novice (which 99% of shooters in America are) shooters end up purchasing gun and ammo combinations that may not work the way they expected.

I CONTINUALLY get asked about the compatibility of our various 45 colt and 44 Magnum loads in the Rossi/Puma 92’s and since there are now so many variations of the Rossi/Puma 92’s, I can no longer give any definitive answers, hence this short essay. Even if I (or anyone) could give definitive answers, shooters really need to understand that all guns are in fact individuals and the only way to know which loads will cycle reliably or shoot with any degree of accuracy, is to try the ammo in question, in the gun in question.