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Winchester/Rossi 1892 Action
by Roy Seifert

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Disclaimer:  This article is for entertainment only and is not to be used in lieu of a qualified gunsmith.  Please defer all firearms work to a qualified gunsmith.  Any loads mentioned in this article are my loads for my guns and have been carefully worked up using established guidelines and special tools.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for use of these loads, or use or misuse of this article.  Please note that I am not a professional gunsmith, just a shooting enthusiast and hobbyist, as well as a tinkerer.  This article explains work that I performed to my guns without the assistance of a qualified gunsmith.  Some procedures described in this article require special tools and cannot/should not be performed without them.

Warning:  Disassembling and tinkering with your firearm may void the warranty.  I claim no responsibility for use or misuse of this article.  Again, this article is for entertainment purposes only!

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I have two Rossi 92 rifles; one in .45 Colt and a stainless steel one in .44 Remington Magnum  The stainless steel rifle required a lot of work to get it to load and cycle reliably and correctly.  If I cycle the action slowly cartridges get hung up in the chamber mouth.  But if I cycle the action briskly, they feed ok.  That’s the thing about the 1892 action; it needs to be cycled briskly and the lever opened and closed completely.  If the action is short-stroked – not opened or closed completely – the rifle could jam.

I wanted to find out exactly how the action works, so I disassembled all the internal parts and took some photos of the action outside of the rifle.  I included one of the locking bolts, which may not be in the exact correct position, but I was more interested in the relationship of the bolt, lever, and carrier during the action cycle.

The Action Cycle


With the action closed the next round in the magazine tube sits on the carrier, and the head rests against a lobe at the bottom of the lever.  The head of this cartridge is even with the front of the loading gate which allows another cartridge to be loaded.  The nose of this cartridge pushes against the rear of the next cartridge in the magazine tube and prevents it from feeding onto the carrier.  The front left side of the bolt presses against the cartridge stop moving it away from the magazine tube.


When the action is opened, the locking bolts drop down and the bolt begins to move to the rear extracting an empty case.  When the bolt begins its rearward motion, the cartridge stop moves in front of the magazine tube opening preventing the next cartridge from feeding onto the carrier.  The tension of the magazine tube spring pressing against the follower causes the cartridge to move.  The lobe at the bottom of the lever moves back allowing the cartridge on the carrier to move to the rear until it is stopped by the lip on the top of the carrier.  When the empty case or cartridge clears the chamber mouth, the ejector pushes against the head of the case causing it to rotate around the extractor and out of the rifle.


As the action continues to open the hook on the bottom front of the lever strikes the carrier causing it to rotate on the pivot screws up into the feeding position.  The cartridge stop prevents the next cartridge from feeding out of the magazine tube.  If the cartridge stop is not functioning correctly, the next cartridge could feed under the carrier causing it to jam the action.

When the action is closed, the bolt begins to move forward feeding the cartridge from the carrier into the chamber guided by the two cartridge guides.  As the bolt continues to move forward it strikes the carrier causing it to rotate back into the horizontal position.


When the bolt is completely closed, the front left edge of the bolt pushes the cartridge stop and the next cartridge is fed onto the carrier against the lobe on the lever, and the extractor slips over the rim of the case.

Understanding how the 92-action works can help diagnose cycling problems and determine what areas need to be polished.  There are many articles and YouTube videos on how to smooth the 92 action.  Steve Young has an excellent video on how to improve the function and reliability of the Rossi 92.  Click on the link here to go to Steve’s web site or you can send your rifle to him and he will do the work for you.  Steve has an excellent reputation with the Cowboy Action crowd.


   © Copyright 2020 Roy Seifert.