Handguns

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

Rossi RP63 .357 Magnum 6-shot revolver over a paper target used for accuracy testing

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.

  • Rossi RP63 .357 Magnum 6-shot revolver over a paper target used for accuracy testing
  • Four revolvers with varying barrel lengths for comparrison
  • Rossi RP63 .357 magnum 6-shot revolver with the cylinder open
  • Rossi RP63 .357 magnum 6-shot revolver
  • Rossi RM66 revolver (top) and RP63 .357 magnum with 3-inch barrel bottom

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (10)

  1. I purchased the Rossi RP63, due to price and reviews. So far, I am pleased. It does have a kick with .357s, but not as bad as my Airweight M360. I agree, the kick does catch the finger under the trigger guard though. The trigger is heavier than I like, more than 12lbs in D/A. Yet, it is not bad for the cost. I would probably buy it again.

    I bought one of the new King Cobras. So, I do have a rather nice revolver. I was looking for something inexpensive yet solid. This one seems to fit that bill. As for accuracy, it does its job, when I do my job.

    Nice write up.

  2. To be fair I have a Rossi m92 in 357. I have taken some time to smooth the action and it is a nice addition to anyone’s collection. Mine is blue with a 20” barrel. Shooting 38 130gr fmj cheap loads is almost like shooting suppressed. Very accurate, a little gritty when new nut it smooths out with use.

  3. To be fair I have a Rossi m92 in 357. I have taken some time to smooth the action and it is a nice addition to anyone’s collection. Mine is blue with a 20” barrel. Shooting 38 130gr fmj cheap loads is almost like shooting suppressed. Very accurate, a little gritty when new nut it smooths out with use.

  4. I just took possession of a Rossi RR66. Now I want this. I have a nice Taurus 605 3″, but being roughly the same dimensions (+3 oz) and an extra round, now I want one. I have a local gunsmith who is a revolver guru, so after break in I’m sure he can tune this up very nicely.

  5. I bought an RP63 after reading good reviews of the new Rossi line. It seems to be a well-made wheelgun, and is certainly up to the self-defense task. I read the comments to this article, and I too, had some of the same concerns. This is how I addressed them.
    While there is no aftermarket support for internal parts, I disassembled it and polished the parts- just a light polish. The factory springs might well suspend a small truck, but I thought I could do better. I replaced the trigger spring with a Wolff unit for Smith & Wesson. It took a little trial and error but I finally settled on a 13 lb. rebound spring. With the polishing, the trigger resets nicely. I went with a Wolff hammer spring for a Taurus 856, factory 856 strength. I know I have totally screwed up my warranty, but I have a really nice trigger now.
    To address the holster issue, I used a Galco pancake that I bought for my 3″ Taurus 856. I bought it from the Taurus website, and it really fits the 3″ Rossi well.
    Overall, I now have a great .357 with a trigger as good as most of my S&Ws, and better than some of my Colts. And I have a cool holster for it. I got a deal on the RP63, and it cost less than $470, and that includes the holster. I hope this helps.

  6. Ive had a Rossi .38 snub for 40 years since i was a young banker. Goid belly gun way before micro 9’s. Never had to use it, but it performed well at 7 and even 15 yards at the range. Comfortablle that it would take care of me if need be. Flawless, tight lock up, oh… and i only paid about $100 for it !

    Go Rossi and Taurus!

  7. I looked at this model as well as the ruger gp100 and then the Colt king cobra 3”. Yes, the colt is more money but it is also a lot more gun. Heavier, sure, but it shoots like a dream single action with full power magnum ammunition and the trigger pull in double action is super slick right out of the box and it makes double taps easy. I have owned many revolvers of the best manufacturers and the new Colt is really impressive.

  8. I picked up both the M64 4″ and M66 6″ models when they came out. The DA pull on each is heavy. I see no practical way to fix this since aftermarket springs are absent. I’m also concerned that lightening the pull will result in failures to fire. I tried installing the grip panels from an old Rossi 357, but they would not align with the new frame design. Ditto for an aftermarket set I bought off Amazon. On the plus side the revolvers do seem to be well made and they are affordable.

  9. Glad to see that Rossi is back in production and turning out a quality Revolver. I’ve never owned a Rossi Firearm before but it was interesting to learn that they’re manufactured at the Taurus factory.
    I did enjoy carrying a Taurus 941 as a Trail Gun for several years and found it to be worth every penny I paid for it and More.

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