Article on The "Rosco"

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Article on The "Rosco"

Postby adam01364 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:44 am

Just got the link to this GunNews article in my in box. Posted by Greg Apgar on Thursday, April 17, 2014

"I recently wrote in another article about a cardboard box filled with dangerous items that some friends had found while cleaning out an elderly parent’s house prior to sale. One of the items in the box was a Rosco brand six-shot revolver chambered for .22 short. Rosco was one of several brands of inexpensive revolvers made by the firm of Röhm Gesellschaft (RG) in Sontheim West Germany. Many of these inexpensive guns were imported into this country prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968. In fact, the derogatory label of “Saturday night special” was coined by gun control advocates to specifically describe affordable imported handguns like the various Röhm revolvers, then on the market. Much like the pejorative term “assault weapon”, which was used by liberals to help pound the 1994 ban through the legislature, “Saturday night specials” were the primary target of the sponsors of the 1968 GCA.

"Röhm managed to gain even more notoriety on March 30, 1981, when John Hinckley Jr. employed an RG-14 revolver, chambered in .22 long rifle, in his unsuccessful bid to win the affections of Jodie Foster. The incident left four men grievously wounded, including the President of the United States; White House Press Secretary, James Brady, has never fully recovered from the injuries he suffered that day. Just five years later, after decades of frivolous lawsuits and legislative persecution, RG Industries ceased all operations in the US. Röhm Gesellschaft returned to quietly manufacturing drill chucks in Germany, just as it had before it ever started making firearms.

"Röhm revolvers were, more often than not, dismissed as total junk. That was not my experience with the Rosco. I found the revolver to be very basic, with a zinc alloy frame, but all of the steel parts are nicely machined and better designed than a lot of other “economy” rimfire revolvers that I have had experience with in the past. The revolver’s cylinder is free to rotate whenever the hammer is at rest. When cocked, the lockup of the cylinder is a bit sloppy, to say the least. At full lock, however, with the trigger fully depressed and the hammer down, the Rosco is as tight as my Dad’s Colt Diamondback. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of shooting an old Diamondback or Python, that means tight!

"After thoroughly inspecting and cleaning the Rosco, I loaded it with some Aguila Super Colibris to test it out. The very-low-power rimfire cartridges functioned perfectly in the revolver. At a range of about ten feet, the Aguila rounds grouped into a couple of inches and penetrated about three quarters of an inch into a rough-cut pine board. Modern, high-velocity, .22 shorts would certainly have blown right through the two inches of pine.

"In case any of you are starting to think that I’m writing a love story, let me assure you that the Rosco has its shortcomings as well. The ergonomics of the revolver are terrible and the whole thing has the general appearance of the “detective special” snub-nosed cap guns you could get off of a hook in the toy section of most supermarkets when I was a kid. Anyone with a middle finger larger in diameter than a no.2 pencil won’t be able to get it between the trigger guard and the front strap of the grip frame either.

"No, the Röhm “Rosco” is not an heirloom by any stretch of the imagination, but it and other low-cost revolvers like it offered a viable self-defense choice for those who simply couldn’t afford anything else. Wasn’t that enough?

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Re: Article on The "Rosco"

Postby FergusonTO35 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:27 pm

Good write up. I think the Rosco and a few other clones were a bit better than the ubiquitous RG-10 that spawned them all.
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Re: Article on The "Rosco"

Postby Flowmaster » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:18 pm

I have a Rosco Vestpocket that's an RG10 clone. Its the first SNS revolver I ever bought. $35 without grips.
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Re: Article on The "Rosco"

Postby Kiln » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:13 am

They were made extremely cheaply. Still though at $40 I'd buy three of them and hide them away just in case. I wish somebody produced a small frame double action .22lr revolver for even $120 today. Sadly we've pretty much seen the end of the inexpensive revolver. Only companies I know of making a cheap revolver are Heritage and Cimmaron and both of them are SAO models that cost $140+ each.
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