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The Rossi (now Taurus) got a lot better in the last few years...not that the old ones were all that bad, just a bit rough internally. The later efforts were as well finished on the inside as on the outside. Only a couple of complaints about mine in .45Colt (also onwed one of the old ones in .357mag.):
1. Whatever it is they stain/finish the wood with is a bit "muddy". With just a bit of effort, can make the stock look better (and if you want the old-stype Winchester look, want a bit of red/orange in the stain).
2. The front sight is on the front barrel band...the band is fixed by a small screw that runs between the mag. tube and the barrel. It can get loose, the band can rotate a bit, and your shooting goes to Hades. Degrease, loc-tite (the softer type)...if yu need to take it off, can heat it.
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The .45LC version hasn't been particular about what it will shoot well...many loads have earned good accuracy. Not 1/2 bad with BP either.
 

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Standard lands and grooves...not micro-groove or anything odd. Rifle seems to prefer .452" Jacketed bullets, but I norally shoot 250gr. Lead FN at a simple 1250fps. Know the rifle can shoot hotter loads, but 250gr. @ 1250 has come out of the off side of the deer I've shot, and with a hard cast SWC that really is all that one can ask of it.

Not one to run a round to the absolute max.; philosophy being that if you have to hot-load a round to get the performance you want, what you really need is a larger caliber. God argument now that the .454 version are out...if I needed that level of perfomance, I'd buy the .454 rather than hot-load a .45LC (esp. in your casr where you want to use the same ammo in the rifle and revovler).
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going to have one problem...finding a good load that works well in BOTH the revovler and the rifle. Have found many that work well in one or the other, but getting both of them to agree is sometimes a bit difficult.
 

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Most of the lever guns (at least the ones with a tube mag.) will have contact between the barrel and the mag. tube in two or three places. For the Rossi, there is the front band (where the front sight is located) the fore-end band...those you can see...there is probably also hard contact between the tube and the barrel right where it enters the reciever. There is also the end cap of the mag. tube, which is held in by a screw that fits into a dimple on the barrel...so tht's a total of 4 places of contact (and damn-all you can do about them).

It's going to heat and expand a bit unevenly, so when it does get hot, not unexpected for the rounds to "walk" a bit...then again, your friend's .44's will generate more/faster heating and they will face the same problems.

One thing seldom mentioned about heavy weight barrels...while they heat more slowly, they also cool down more slowly.

Keep it simple...good lead bullets (plain based) that fir the bore well will shoot fine, and penetrate more meat than your buddies hot loaded JHP .44's.
 
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