Rossi’s New .357 Magnum Revolvers — RP63, RM66


I had a Rossi revolver approximately 10 years ago. I used it to shoot the proficiency course that was required for me to renew my LTC Instructor rating one year. Then, I sold it to a cousin who needed something to keep in the Gator he used to run around on his farm.

In 2018, Rossi issued a safety recall on its earlier revolvers after discovering they could accidentally fire if dropped. Production on all those early models was discontinued. Now, Rossi has a new line of revolvers manufactured by Taurus on a Rossi assembly line. There are currently two of them.

Rossi RM66 revolver (top) and RP63 .357 magnum with 3-inch barrel bottom
The Brazilian firm of Rossi is now back on the market with a couple of .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolvers. The RM66 (top) features a 6-inch barrel and adjustable sights. The RP63 is designed for concealed carry with a 3-inch barrel.

Rossi’s New Features

The one I picked for this review was the model RP63. The RP63 is a six-shot, .357 Magnum, double-action revolver with a three-inch barrel. The other one is the model RM66 with a six-inch barrel and adjustable sights.

The model RP63 is designed for concealed carry and home defense. It holds six rounds of .357 Magnum in a steel cylinder. The full underlug barrel adds additional weight that helps with recoil. To aid with concealment, the frame is smooth with the only exception being the cocking serrations on the hammer and the anti-glare serrations on the top of the front sight. Rubber grips on the rounded grip frame help with concealability and recoil management.

I compared the RP63 to the other double-action .357 Magnum revolvers in my collection. The RP63 weighs 18.8 ounces on my postal scale. The Taurus 605 rings up slightly less at 16.3 ounces. The 605 is about the same size, but it’s a 5-shot revolver. The other two are larger guns.

The Ruger GP100 weighs 21.1 ounces and is considerably larger than the RP63. The seven-round S&W Model 686 weighs 37.2 ounces. Obviously, the Taurus 605 and the RP63 have the advantage when it comes to concealed carry. Since my Taurus 605 has a Riton red dot sight, it might edge out the RP63 as a carry gun, but that red dot is the only advantage the 605 has.

The 605 is a 5-shot revolver that is lighter and therefore a little tougher on the hands when shooting .357 Magnum loads. The bottom line is the RP63 appeals more to me as a defensive handgun than any of the others available to me. Also, its $460 MSRP is considerably lower than the Smith & Wesson or the Ruger.

Rossi RP63 .357 magnum 6-shot revolver
Ease of operation, along with the smooth contour of the Rossi RP63 and the 3-inch barrel, make it an ideal concealed carry handgun.

The Rossi RP63’s three-inch barrel is just right for concealed carry. The RP63’s longer sight radius (than a two-inch snubby) makes for more shots landing on target. The fact that it’s a one-piece barrel with a recessed crown and the underlug machined at a slight angle makes for easy holstering. The front sight has a serrated ramp and is pinned in place, therefore replaceable. The barrel has a flat top, and it’s mated to a frame that sports a grooved top strap which serves as the rear sight.

The right side of the frame and barrel both have the serial number engraved on them. The frame also has the model number and the address of Braztech International, LLC, the parent company of Taurus and Rossi, as being in Bainbridge, GA. The Rossi logo is engraved behind the cylinder shield. “Taurus Armas Made in Brazil” is engraved on the left side of the frame below the cylinder release.

Earlier Rossi revolvers had the firing pin mounted on the frame, but this new model has the firing pin mounted on the hammer in the classic style. The hammer-block safety prevents the firing pin from reaching the cartridge, unless the trigger is pulled. In the unlikely event the firing pin should break, replacements are available on the Rossi website.

Rossi RP63 .357 magnum 6-shot revolver with the cylinder open
The RP63 holds six rounds of .357 Magnum or .38 Special. Many other revolvers of this type and size only hold five rounds.

The trigger has a smooth .4-inch-wide face with a comfortable curve. Although the double-action trigger pull exceeds the 12-pound limit of my Lyman trigger pull gauge, it’s a smooth pull that you won’t think about much if you’re under fire. If you’re slow and careful, you can stack it to get a chance to recheck sight alignment before releasing the hammer to fire the round. Cocking the gun for a single-action shot nets a 6-pound pull that is smooth and has no pre- or post-travel.

The fluted six-shot cylinder is 1.43 inches wide. Timing on the RP63’s cylinder locking bolt is good with only faint drag marks leading into the slots. There’s no side-to-side play. Both the cylinder release, which you push forward, and the ejector rod work smoothly.

The cylinder gap is within gunsmith recommended specs. The rubber grip has a pebbled texture and finger grooves with the Rossi emblem on both sides. It’s a two-piece grip with a single, slotted screw on the right side securing the plates in place.

Four revolvers with varying barrel lengths for comparrison
Here’s how the Rossi RP63 (top) compares to the author’s other .357 double-action revolvers. Shown are the Taurus 605 T.O.R.O., Ruger GP100, and the S&W 686 Combat Magnum.

None of my revolver holsters were a good fit for the RP63, so I reached out to Rossi and got one of its UM Tactical Rossi RP63 Qualifier holsters. It’s a Kydex holster that can be set up for IWB or OWB. With that holster setup, I can carry the RP63 in the appendix position where it’s easily concealed by my shirttail.

Range Results

Shooting the RP63 at defensive ranges such as three, five and seven yards produced reasonable results even though I had trouble picking up the front sight in some lighting conditions. I’m thinking about putting some white or orange paint on the serrated top edge of the front sight. As a quick point-and-shoot gun, the RP63 is perfect.

There seems to be a resurgence of interest in revolvers — especially in using them for self-defense. The argument is an easy one. Revolvers are less complicated to operate, and there is less to go wrong with them than with their semi-automatic brothers. If you’re thinking about using a revolver for your daily carry gun, the Rossi RP63 revolver is certainly worthy of consideration.

The RM66 would be more appropriate for hunting or for competition shooting with its longer sight radius and adjustable sights. The primary argument for the 6-inch barreled RM66 is the greater accuracy at longer ranges made possible by the longer sight radius. It also shoots a bit flatter, due to its higher muzzle velocity. It’s not a gun that would be easy to conceal, but it’s an ideal gun for outdoor use in the outback. It is also priced very reasonably at an MSRP of $620.99.

Final Thoughts

Rossi is back in the game with these two revolvers assembled by Taurus technicians. There’s a good chance that other Rossi revolvers may soon join the product line. Rossi does a good job of pricing its products where they are affordable, but not cheap. Workmanship on Rossi products puts them in the ‘proud to own’ department.

Have you fired a Rossi revolver? How do you think the Rossi RP63 compares to your favorite CCW gun? Do you prefer .38 Special or .357 Magnum rounds for self-defense? Share your answers in the Comment section.

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