Steve Young: Rossi Model 92 Specialist


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

January 29th, 2007 - Updated February 1st, 2007




The Rossi Model 92, a replica of the legendary Winchester Model 92, has been around in various forms for many years now, and has almost achieved legendary status of its own. For the most part, the Rossi Puma 92 rifles are dandy little weapons, are made of pretty strong steels, and work well. There have been several importers of the guns throughout the last few decades, with EMF and Legacy  bringing them in from Brazil these days.  The current Model 92 Rossis have a little safety lever attached atop the bolt that looks like an afterthought, because that is exactly what it is. It is, thankfully, easily removable, and a plain pin can be installed to fill the hole, but there is an even better filler for that little hole to be available soon.

The Rossi has been, and still is, available in several different configurations, as were the original Winchesters. Barrel lengths are usually sixteen, twenty, or twenty-four inches, with round, octagon, or sometimes half round/octagon models available. The latest Rossis are also available made primarily of stainless steel, if desired. My favorite of the bunch is the little pre-safety sixteen inch .357 Magnum carbines, and I buy every one of them that I run across if in decent condition at a good price, meaning around three hundred bucks.  The .357 Magnum out of a carbine barrel is a whole different animal than the same cartridge fired from a four or six inch revolver. The combination of a sealed breech and long barrel really brings the efficient little cartridge to life, and it can be safely loaded up to .30-30 Winchester power levels, and with a fatter bullet.

The only drawback of the little Rossi rifles and carbines is that they could be a bit smoother in function. Some work pretty well as is, but most all of them could be a little slicker. The Model 92 rifle, when timed, fitted, and properly polished is one of the smoothest, and strongest, lever actions ever designed.

Steve Young of Port Arthur, Texas is a gunsmith who specializes in the Rossi Model 92 rifle. He does some other ‘smithing work as well, but the Rossi is his specialty.  When asked why he chose to specialize in the Rossi rifles, he says that all of the other guns were already taken. Reason enough. Anyway, Steve does a booming business in slicking up the little Rossis for hunters, plinkers, and especially Cowboy Action Shooters (CAS). Steve is also a Cowboy Action competitor himself, going by the alias of Nate Kiowa Jones, so he understands what a competitive shooter needs.  Steve can really make the little Rossis run.

Timing and feeding are important on these guns, and Steve polishes them where they should be polished, and tweaks the action for smooth running with no hang-ups. In a CAS match, one bobble can mean the difference between winning and being an also-ran. On a more serious note, the Model 92 wasn’t designed by John Browning to shoot in Cowboy matches, but to protect oneself from enemies, and to put food on the table. The 92 was a much stronger, handier, and lighter rifle than its predecessor; the Winchester Model 1873. The Model 92 is still a dandy choice for a defensive carbine, and much preferred to any handgun. It carries more power, and is easier to deliver aimed fire. The little lever action carbines are pretty much overlooked these days as a fighting weapon in favor of AR-15 carbines and pistol-caliber autoloaders, but a slick little levergun is one of the best choices available. In this latter context, a smooth-running weapon is even more important than in any shooting match.

I have three Rossi .357 Magnum carbines that are almost identical, so I picked the roughest action out of the bunch to send to Steve for his action job.  Steve adjusts the loading gate spring to ease loading, adjusts the ejector spring, magazine spring, and trigger return and hammer springs. He does timing work when needed to assure proper and smooth function, and pretty much just makes the gun "slicker". He removes any sharp edges and burrs from the action and loading gate area, and as an option, replaces the plastic followers with a metal one.  After getting the little carbine back from Steve, it is the slickest Rossi that I have.

If you need a new Model 92, Steve can supply those as well. He gives every gun a good going-over and an action job, and that is included in his price. Also, Steve can eliminate the little safety flapper atop the bolt for an extra charge. As alluded to earlier, Steve is working on an aperture sight that will replace the safety lever, resulting in eliminating the eyesore, and adding a very practical sight at the same time.

Steve Young also works over revolvers and shotguns, making them race-ready for competition. For more information, go to:

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.



"Before" pictures of a Rossi Model 92 shows the safety on top of the bolt, just forward of the hammer. This part is not needed, and downright offensive to the eyes of the Model 92 purist.



Steve furnishes a filler that is much more appealing to the eye than the Rossi's safety. This part is available for the home gunsmith.



An even better option is Steve's flush-fitting filler. It must be fitted by Steve, but offers a much better appearance. This is part of Steve's standard Model 92 action job.



Steve Young, AKA Nate Kiowa Jones - Rossi Model 92 Specialist

Jeff is a big fan of the Rossi Model 92, and owns several.



Author's .357 Rossi Model 92 after Steve Young slicked 'er up.



The Model 92 is one of the strongest lever-action rifle designs.





Steve Young does a great job of slicking the action and improving loading gate function.