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The machinist in the photo above is trimming the barrel of an imported Rossi .44 magnum revolver from three inches to two. According to U.S. law — as interpreted and enforced by our good friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) — Rossi can import Brazillian handguns with three-inch barrels all day long. But a two-incher is beyond the pale. So parent company Taurus imports the .44 mags as is, cuts ’em down, re-crowns them, re-blues them and sells them to U.S. customers. Needless to say, Rossi passes on the cost of the conversion to the customer: somewhere between $50 and $100. But them’s the breaks. Besides, it saves or creates at least one job right here in America. How great is that?

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  1. Just like .380 Glocks don’t pass the test either (not that I want one). WTF ever. If the ATF didn’t regulate everything, they’d de-regulate themselves out of a job

  2. ATF needs to be dissolved. If they have nothing better to do than make a stink about this kind of shit they’ve more than proven they’ve lost their way.

  3. Please forgive my ignorance here but it seems that I am missing some info, Is Rossi/Tarrus doing this to make them legal to import into the USA? in other words do we have a ban on foreign made 2 inch revolvers?

  4. This is part and parcel of the 1968 Gun Control Act and the “point system” required for the importation of handguns. I won’t bore people with the technical details, suffice to say, this sort of thing is just the tip of the iceberg of nonsense engendered by said law.

  5. Oh, and for those who like to know technical details: The machinist is using what is known as a “turret” lathe, where the tailstock of a conventional engine lathe has been replaced by a multiple-position toolholding turret. Tools are placed into several positions of the turret in the order they’re used, and the barrel is set up in a collet or other workholding chuck in the headstock. You can see the collet grip/retract handle on the far end of the lathe under the machinist’s chin in the picture.

    The turret is indexed to the first tool in the machining sequence, the machinist moves the tool the required amount for that operation, retracts the turret, indexes it to the next tool and does the next operation.

    Before CNC machines became so prevalent in US manufacturing, turret lathes were how machine shops did large(r) volume manufacturing machining. For the operator, it’s often dreadfully boring work.

    • I’m a little confused. In the picture, it looks like the entire gun is being held in place on the right, and I assume there is a tool in place where the lubricant is being sprayed. I thought that typically whatever was being worked on, like a barrel, would be removed from the rest of the item, fixed in place in a chuck or collet on the motor, and the working bit would be moved into place from the right.

      What’s going on in this picture?

      • You’re right, but removing the barrel would take more time. Looks like they’ve built a special clamp to fix the gun in place. I imagine they saw cut the bulk of it, because machining an inch off would take forever. And then just cut to final length and recrown all at once on the lathe. I wonder if the sights are already installed an inch from the end or if they have to redo those as well.

  6. Also, that’s friggin stupid and wasteful. Wish I had something more profound to add, but I’m not sure what else there is to say.

    • Import them with some ~7″ barrels, saw off ~5 inches and refinish the revolver into a 2″ gun, THEN machine the ~5″ piece you have left to make a ~4″ barrel for a second domestically manufactured frame (and you save some domestic manufacturing costs in finishing and crowning the muzzle end)!

  7. How big a market is there for snub nosed .44 mags? And yes, the ATF, along with numerous other agencies, needs to go. They’re just oppressing free enterprise which means they’re oppressing people.

    • This gun was one part of a special order batch headed to a large regional sporting goods retailer for a Black Friday promotion. So someone thinks there’s demand for them.

  8. “trimming the barrel…from three inches to two”

    “Rossi can import Brazillian handguns with three-inch barrels all day long. But a two-incher is beyond the pale. So parent company Taurus imports the .44 mags as is, cuts ‘em down”

    Huh? I don’t understand this post. Two inches is ok but three is not then what? I thought it was legal to import and sell 2″, 3″ etc long barrels as long as it matches regs regardless of where they are made; domestic or abroad.

  9. ***Explanation of article confusion follows***
    1. Due to import restrictions, Rossi can import a 3 inch barreled version of their .44 revolver but not a 2 inch version.
    2. Rossi has found (for reasons I can’t imagine) a market for snub nosed .44 magnum revolvers in the United States.
    3. Since they manufacture said revolvers outside the States and since they can’t import a 2 inch version of the revolver to meet the theoretical “need”, their solution is to import 3 inch revolvers legally, cut them down to 2 inches in the states, and sell the now legally imported and amended six-guns to the American market.

    One can only assume that it’s cheaper to make a gun in another country, ship it here, re-finish and cut it down, and then distribute it inside the states than it would be to manufacture the wrist—breaker here in the first place. A tribute to capitalism I say if not to the current state of trade regulations.

    • Actually you have a very good point. I wonder what they can get away with importing. Let’s say they make everything except the one part that need to be shorter, the barrel. Make that local in the US and you are good to go.
      I know they are pushing to expend the US market so we might just see that take place sooner rather than later.

  10. God I hate Jingoism / Xenophobia. “Whelp, if it makes buying something from one of them thurr evil foreigners more expensive, let’s do it!”.

  11. In this particular operation, the gun is being held in a fixture on the turret, and the tool (which appears to be an end mill) is being held in the headstock of the lathe with a collet.

    The other positions of the turret appear to be loaded with tools, which means that the barrel will be held (somehow) on the spindle of the lathe, or the other positions of tooling on the turret lathe are used for something entirely different.

  12. the government thinks digging holes filling them back up is so great for the economy they now force the private sector to do it as well.

  13. I prefer 3″ .44 mag revolvers (if it needs to be a shorty-four at all, otherwise I go long!), yet I must be alone in this because they are always hard to find compared to 2″ barrels. The companies should just give out some 3″ shorty-fours to prop houses and after they get some use in some hit movies or tv shows and that’ll be all people will want and you won’t have to cut them! 😉


  14. I have got one of the 2 inch Trackers they did in 44 mag a few years ago. I have to say I love it same size as my S&W 66 with 5 shots of 44. Very shootable with the porting. Easy to keep all shots on a paper plate at 25 yards. It does however usually attack a crowd at the range as it is LOUD.

    Please do tell where we might lay hands upon one of these 2″ Rossi’s.

  15. I’d rather Americans have jobs than Brazilians. Yes, corporations will find loopholes to make any law look silly, but ensuring that America has the experience and equipment necessary to ramp up gun production is a laudable goal that ensures our rights and national defense. We also have a farm bill to ensure we don’t all starve to death in the event of a succesful blockade.

    Trading the tyranny of a government for the tyranny of an oligopolist is not a very wise move. 922 r is the only good gun law.

  16. This article seems to be messed up completely in the way it’s written.

    To import a revolver according to ATF Form 5330-5 it MUST have a barrel over 3 inches as a pre-qualifying factor. The longer the barrel more points that go towards its acceptance for import.

    Taurus/Rossi could leave the barrels at 4 inches long if they wanted to. They just can’t import a revolver with a 2″ barrel according to the importation rules that are in-place. Apparently they can modify it once it’s imported to have a shorter barrel if they choose to.

  17. Has anyone laid hands on one of these? Academy has them on sale for $269. I’m thinking loaded with .44 Special (either Silver Tips or Hydrashocks) this wouldn’t be a bad CCW.

  18. I bought one of these out of curiosity at the sale price of $269. It is a monster to shoot 44 mag rounds. I and some of my friends and relatives shot it and we all found it to be punishing. The huge muzzle flash is spectacular…even in daylight. It’s fun to shoot with 44 spcl rounds and is pretty accurate.

  19. Being the new owner of one of these “pocket cannons”, I have a few comments. This whole thing about importing a longer barrel version then cutting it down sounds like baloney, please excuse my French. Why in the world would Braztech not try and see if anybody wants a 3″ barrel version for less money? Academy does sell a ported 4″ barrel version for slightly more. BTW anybody who got one for 280 got a great deal I don’t think that is going to happen again. I paid 380. I called Rossi (Braztech) to ask about shooting 44 special and they say what the manual also says to only shoot what is stamped on the barrel which is this case is 44 mag. As far as shooting, to those who say, “Who would want a 2″ 44 mag?”, I’d like to misquote a movie title “Incredibly loud and extreme kick.” In other words it is a blast (excuse pun) to shoot. It shoots tight groups at 7 yards, hurts your wrist and shoulders, saves ammo costs b/c you are not going to want to send that many rounds downrange. You would not want to be at the adjacent stall at the range due to sound, concussive wave, fireball (size of basketball and not apparent to shooter nearly as much). I plan to shoot it at less crowded times. Finally it’s look and feel are worth at least $500. Don’t get me wrong I like automatics, have several, but this gun looks incredible. My wife who really likes her GP100 says the Rossi looks smaller and as far as barrel length it is but the Rossi is my new favorite gun. OMT back to cutting down the barrel, I think it is strange that this gun is not on Rossi’s web site, is not mentioned specifically in the manual which discusses 38sp, 357 ammo but has no mention of 44. But then again the ported 4″ barrel version is not on the web site either. Person I spoke with did not know either. The gun has been out since 2012. Those are my thoughts hope they help.

  20. I would definitely recommend eye protection like with any firearm but also double ear protection. Foam inserts in addition to earmuffs with a good NRR. Would fire first rounds with only one in cylinder to get used to it and handle it like any firearm with the respect they demand. Guns in general are very intolerate of lapses in care or judgment.

  21. Final comment for today. If you buy this gun be very careful who you let shoot it. It is definitely a handful. I would be very careful about letting kids under 18, smaller people – male or female – and those who have not shot a powerful handgun like a 357 magnum before. To me it makes a 357 magnum feel like a 22.

  22. Objective points against barrel being cut off
    1) the end of the actual barrel is recessed approx. 2 mm inside the end of firearm – this would be difficult to do by just lopping off end of barrel
    2) if you cut off an inch or two from the barrel you would also cut off the front sight. Now you would have to machine a new dove tail attachment groove to reattach the front sight
    3) The emblem “Rossi” on the left side and “.44 MAGNUM” on the right would no longer be centered on the now cut off barrel

    Where do people come up with this stuff?

  23. Fired one these cannons last week, recoil was vicious but tolerable. With 44 specials it was enjoyable. Gonna take a lot of practice with magnum loads! Just like most folks I think the Bureau of Arson, Terrorism, and Facism needs to be gone

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  25. I’ve got one of these. Bought it from Academy Sports on Black Friday a few years ago for $250. Still haven’t fired it yet so, it’s still new in the box. My question is, I wonder if a Taurus long .44 Mag barrel could be swapped out on it? Just wondering.

    • I also have one of these that I bought from Academy at the Black Friday sale. I shot it quite a bit and shoots quite well.


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