Oh joy of joys. I have recently made an unexpected but welcome purchase of a Rossi model 518.
I apologize my digi cam is not currently available as I would love to provide a picture, but I'll try to describe it. The 518 is no longer in production and as a matter of fact by the stamps I know this one was definitely made when Interarms used to distribute Rossi, before Taurus ever owned them.
I cut my teeth on Rossi revolvers. My father wanted a .357 and a .22 but with all the kids he didn't have a lot of money to spend on guns so he bought Rossis because they were cheap. About the age where it was appropriate to introduce me to pistols he had discovered the Ruger P-85 and has never looked back. He'd always shoot the semiautomatic and I always wanted to shoot the revolvers.
In particular I spent a lot of time with a DA/SA stainless steel wonder .22 LR wonder with a ramped front sight and a 4" half underlug bbl. The sights were so big and bright, the cylinder shone so brightly, and the long action of the hammer was hypnotic. I loved it.
I finally have come into one of my own and it's the cat's pajamas. I feel like I could hit a fly with the thing.
Putting it next to my 686, it does compare well. Don't get me wrong in a fight I want the 686, but I have to admit this little revolver is definitely to my tastes.
I suppose it's a bit ridiculous to miss a gun company but I really do miss the old Rossi. I still like Rossi and I think the new ones represent one of the best values in the gun world. Yeah I guess they're just another cheap gun no one else misses, but I lament that when I was finally old enough to get my own guns, there were only one or two styles of Rossi to be had.
I asked a man who had a huge gun collection once what he thought about Rossi revolvers. He carefully rubbed his chin and stated matter of factly : "The truth is I'd take a Smith and Wesson every day, but if all we had were Rossis the great majority of us wouldn't be missing much."
It takes me back to a simpler time when I didn't care about what brand the gun was, or even what format it was, or how powerful the catridge loaded in it was. All I knew was that I was firing a real gun, and that's something none of my friends at school could honestly say they had done.