Rifle Roundup: Rossi R92 Triple Black with a Bushnell RXM-300 Red Dot Optic

And we’re extending the utility of this setup with an ammo carrier from Skinner Sights.

posted on July 5, 2024

This week on Rifle Roundup, we have tribute to the classic Wild West Lever gun and join the lever action resurgence with a Rossi R92 Triple Black chambered in .38 Spl./.357 Mag. We team that up with a red dot sight from Bushnell Optics and a buttstock ammo carrier from Skinner Sights and Simply Rugged Holsters.

Rossi R92 Triple Black: MSRP $1060.99

Whether it’s the influence from popular TV shows or other cultural factors, lever action guns are surging in popularity right now, especially “tactical” lever guns like the Rossi R92 Triple Black. The name “Triple Black” from the black Cerakote applied to all the external parts as well as the black-painted furniture and black accessories on the gun.

The version we’re shooting is chambered in .38 Spl. +P / .357 Mag, and it’s an absolute joy to shoot. Recoil from standard-pressure .38 Spl. rounds is on par from the recoil of a .22LR rifle, and full-power .357 Mag. loads are of no concern at all. The action is on par with other stock lever guns, with a few small hiccups as the rounds are moved from the tubular magazine into the chamber. Some TLC from a good gunsmith will smooth this out, and a little more effort can shorten the stroke on the action, creating a rifle that’s blazingly fast to shoot.

The stock iron sights are adjustable and quite nice, with a peep rear sight and a blade front sight. There is, however, a short section of Picatinny rail in front of the ejection port that is crying out for an optical sight, and so we mounted a Bushnell red dot and took it to the range.

Bushnell RXM-300 Red Dot: MSRP $299.99

A lever action rifle in a pistol caliber is not a long-range firearm, and therefore doesn’t require a long-range optic. In addition to this, these types of guns are typically top-ejecting, which limits how close you can mount the optic to your eye. This in turn means that most conventional magnified optics are a non-starter, forcing us to look at more specialized optics like a scout scope or something with an infinite eye box.

The large viewing window of the Bushnell RXM-300 red dot makes it well-suited to this task. The brightness of the dot auto-adjusts for the ambient light, and I had no issues picking up my aiming point in the bright Florida sunshine. Inside of that big window is a 4 MOA dot that’s a good compromise between a large dot that’s easy to see and a smaller dot that gives you a more-precise aiming point. In addition to this, thanks to auto-brightness settings and a sleep mode, the battery inside of the RXM-300 can last up to 35,000 hours before needing to be replaced. Not bad.

Simply Rugged / Skinner Sights Ammunition Cuff: MSRP $100

The tubular magazine of the R92 limits the number of rounds you can carry, and it also means you’ll need to replace those rounds one at a time once they’re gone. This is the same problem that owners of tube-fed pump action shotguns run into, and the solution is much the same, namely, storing spare ammo on the gun where it can be easily reached and loaded into the magazine.

Skinner Sights is a company that is well-known inside of lever gun circles, and has teamed up with Simply Rugged Holsters to create a leather cuff for the buttstock of your rifle which holds spare ammo. The version on our gun is black to make that Triple Black look of the rifle, has a riser for a better cheek weld to the stock and holds 10 rounds right where you can get at them. The ammo cuff is also available in other common lever gun calibers like .45 Colt, .30-30 Win and .45-70 Gov’t.

If you’ve ever done a “shoot one, load one” drill with a pump action shotgun, you’ll immediately understand the usefulness of this ammo carrier. The cuff laces on the butt stock and stays there, something I can’t say about nylon “slip on” ammo cuffs, and the cheek riser comes in handy with the slightly elevated red dot optic.

The Rossi R92 Triple Black shows why lever guns are making a comeback. Accurate, easy to shoot and available for use in every state in the country, it’s simplicity and reliability all but insure it will be there when you need it the most.


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