The Rossi Trapper and Reloading .38 Again

Now the Rossi .357 is all put back together after refinishing its wood and I was waiting on that Brownell’s order to get the replacement rear sight which came in Wednesday with the 94 loading gate screw. Thing is once I got the sight listed as the stock replacement for Rossi’s I noticed it was about 1/3rd the height of the Marbles that I was replacing.

Original dark wood

The main reason I was replacing it is that some amature grabbed what ever would almost fit the Rossi dovetail. When I can see light coming under the dovetail there is something wrong. They’d even pinged the edges of the slot to try to get a better fit. But the trapper length already shoots low with the taller rear blade so the short one is not going to fix anything. And as the front post is cast as part of the barrel band I’m stuck working with the rear for the moment.

After refinishing the wood

Eventually I’ll cut off the front, slot the band and pin in a blade I can tinker with but not until I know I can secure a replacement. As for the too low rear blade it’d look good on the 24″ Puma rifle which still has the factory stamped steel. Too bad I don’t particularly care for the type of elevator Marbles uses.

Anyway past that disappointment I got the sight better adjusted and found part of the problem was test firing at CQB pistol ranges. Shooting at 25 yards was something of a different story and the rear only needed a nudge to the left to be dead on with Mag Tech 158gr magnum loads.

The .38 special loads shoot high but turned in the best groups… 4 grains of Bullseye pushing a 125gr lead truncated cone. This is a poochy load after shooting some Winchester white box .38 special but when I looked at the groups that load put out I thought I was patterning a shotgun rather than a carbine. (the Taurus 605 doesn’t like it either) The 125gr TC load on the other hand was consistently printing clover leafs at 25yrds. I think that’ll work as a plinker and possum load.

I have not ramped up to reload any volume of .38/.357 so there I was loading on the Rock Chucker. I’d forgotten how time consuming single stage loading can be! I dug out Mike’s spare turret press and set that up; considerably faster than loading blocks and the Rock Chucker but still not satisfactory for any quantity. It took a hour to load 100 rounds where I’m used to loading 400-500 in that time on the progressive. But though I have all the hardware to setup the progressive press for .38/.357 but I have to change the whole shell plate carrier and for 200 rounds it just wasn’t worth the effort.

On the amusing side I’m using a 9mm expander die since the plug for the .38 expander die has disappeared long ago. The last time I remember loading .38/.357 was for a Taurus 85 back in ’90 or ’91 so that plug could be anywhere. Fortunately Lee is easy to get die parts from.

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