We’ve dealt Rossi Revolvers for a long time. They’ve always offered credible copies of the Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special. Some of our first were the model 30s of the 1960s. After 1968, and up until the mid 1980s, all the new Rossi J frame revolvers had 3 inch barrels. A 3 inch is optimal. It will hit point of aim better than a 2 inch, yields 50 fps more velocity, less noise, and more stability. Snubs always outsold them, still do, but the 3 inchers are a better choice. Here is Rossi’s descendant of its 68 series revolver, the R351 chambered in .38 Special. Manufacturer is Amadeo Rossi of Sao Leopoldo, Brazil; this .38 is marked Made In Brazil By Taurus. Type is traditional double and single action. Construction is entirely blue steel with the exception of the gray hardened steel hammer nose firing pin and rivet. Frame is J Size small frame, with Square Butt Grip frame and 3 screw side plate. Barrel is 3 inch heavy full lug type, with matte finish verticals and barrel-integral serrated blade front sight. Rear sight is frame integral fixed notch. Cylinder capacity is 5 rounds of .38 Smith & Wesson Special caliber ammunition. Note the cylinder yoke’s detent latch, a Taurus inspired mechanical improvement that prevents cylinder wobble. Trigger is .290 smooth faced combat with semi-target, shorter spur .400 serrated hammer. Weight empty is a well balanced 23 1/2 ounces with center of gravity at the trigger. Double action trigger pull is smooth and consistent, 12 pound vicinity, with a crisp 6 pound single action pull. Safety system consists of a transfer bar that prevents the firing pin from touching a cartridge primer unless the trigger is fully depressed, and also Taurus’s innovative internal hammer lock. Note that we have installed a set of Sile Italian Walnut Grips for Smith & Wesson J Frame Square Butt, modified and fitted to this Rossi. Small amounts of grip frame will show, as the photos show, but the Siles look infinitely better than Rossi’s factory issue rubber grips, see our attached comparative photo of an early 1980s 3 inch S&W 36 with Herrett’s Grips. Note that a 36A Speedloader Will Not clear the rest ridge on these. From its letter G serial number prefix, this 351 was manufactured in 2012 or 2013, perhaps a special run, since the 3 inch variant is not even in Braztech’s Archive. This revolver is what we call a factory demo, probably a sales rep’s sample or showgirl from Firearms Industry trade shows like the annual SHOT show held in Las Vegas. It is in its original overlabeled factory box with instruction manual, two keys for its hammer lock. Note that the box top is labeled, Factory Reconditioned. This simply means that if this Rossi develops mechanical problems, Braztech will repair it at no charge, but they will not give a freebie refinish. It does not need any refinish anyway. Surface detractions are negligible, only faint occasional edge whitening and cylinder rotation marking. Grip frame exposure past the grip panels’ edges is minimal, as the photos show. We rate this 351 as Excellent in Box, perhaps Near Mint, but photos ought to suffice for our distinguished shoppers to judge finish grade for themselves. Bore, chamber, and mechanism are all bright and clean. Compare with the 36-2 in the photo; those sell upwards of $800. We’re offering the Rossi 351 Blue 3 inch in the photos, however, for only $ 289.00. Not transferable to civilian residents of California, the District of Colombia, or Massachusetts.
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