Most any Rossi I've ever had or been involved with wasn't the purtiest girl at the dance but like homely gals, when you turned out the lights they were all a bit fun!
I've heard claims that the the Rios aren't as strong as the Marlin 1895s & the absolute heaviest loads shouldn't be used in them. But I have ever spoken with an actual owner of one. I HAVE seen comparisons on the net with various parts from both rifles laid side by side and some of the Rios parts are a little thinner (the levers for instance). But again, never seen a user of both say yay or nay.
I was in the 45-70 lever market earlier this year. I picked up a few Rios at a gunshop but I could never get over the cheap, "un-attractive" wood used on the stocks. But thats just me, if you either dont care or are looking for a cheap bigbore lever to chunk behind the seat in your pickup, then the Rossi might be your daisy!
I bought 2 1895s, one a lmtd edt 1895STBL for my oldest son. It'sa jewel & is flawless. (he put way more scope on it than I'd personally choose. He went with a SS VX3 3.5x10x40 but that was his choice) I then bought a 1895G, carried it home & slapped a VX3 2.5x8x36 on it & man does it carry like a dream in my west TN swamp!
(my son shoots the 325FTX Leverevos in his. I have the bonecrushing Buffalo Bore 300 Barnes in mine)
My sons STBL is a work of art & was slick as glass straight out of the box. My G-gun has great wood on it but the Carrier (I'd call it the loading ramp) needs removed & polished as it scrapes cartridges up pretty badly while cycling. Both guns shoot great tho!
I tried & tried to find a new Henry 45-70, wrote the company & the Pres himself said they WERE shipping in May/June but I never found any that had so I gave up looking & bought the Marlins. Sure woulda liked to have tried a Henry but I dont know wth they were doing.