Rossi Circuit Judge Shotgun – Rifle Crossover
Be advised this is my own personal experience and you may have different results.
I recently purchased a Rossi Circuit Judge 410/45 rifle shotgun combo.
It’s fun to shoot the .45 out of the rifle and at ranges below 20 yards the accuracy is fine with the .45 pistol cartridge.
Now the yucky stuff.
If you fire the rifle as a 410 shotgun, using the proper straight rifled choke the results are surprisingly good. I would love to take the gun squirrel or rabbit hunting. It came bored for a scope and the flat rail mount was included so I attempted to mount a scope. After bore sighting I mounted a target at 40 yards and proceeded to waste 50 rounds trying to get two shots to be within 3″ of each other, they were all over the paper. I figured the scope must be bad so I repeated the procedure with the same effect. Moved the target within 20 yards and had a 3″ group immediately. Since the cylinder is set up to fire 3″ shot shells, there’s a huge amount of freebore inside the cylinder before the bullet ever enters the barrel. If that’s not significant enough, once it enters the barrel it is another .5″ or so (estimate) before the bullet strikes the throat of the rifling. Firing a variety of .452 diameter jacketed and cast bullets I realized i’d have to move up to a .454 or .455 bullet to try to increase range and accuracy. I’m even considering attempting a .454 hollow based minnie ball to see if it improves.
THE ACTION. This rifle utilizes a “transfer bar” firing system. Several times while firing single action I encountered miss fires. After taking the .45 LC bullet out of the Rossi, I was able to fire them without issue in my Ruger new model black hawk .45 pistol. Firing double action increases the odds of a miss-fire to 1/2 out of six trigger pulls. It’s almost as if the transfer system is too thin or the firing pin two short. Perhaps the issue is the lack of strength in the firing pin spring.
Then the 410 shotgun, because of the nature of the gap between cylinder and rifle barrel, allows excessive noise and gas to escape and it’s so loud I think if I go torment rabbits with it I’ll have to wear ear plugs or risk going deaf!
It looks neat and should function allot, and I do mean ALLOT better than it does. Why such a huge amount of head space? Why the firing issues? This rifle while a cute camp gun with open sights, is useless with a scope over 20 yards and the scope inhibits quick shots with the .410 any way. I will never take it out for anything larger than rabbits at close range and only fire at them on single action. So what’s the point? The folks at Rossi need to speak to their gunsmiths about job retention.