The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

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CowboyTutt
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The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Well, strange as it may sound, I am taking early retirement this year from my job as a school psychologist of 20 years to take care of my aging Mom. I can see no other ethical decision for my family or my school district so I don't leave them in a lurch. So I'm also trying to put my own affairs in order. I asked McPherson to write me something about the work he did on my Rossi 454 Casull Puma many years ago. True to form, he wrote me a 9 page article about it. I think he also comments on it in some of his books but not by name exactly. I thought this might be of some interest to the board of how he used to do things. For the record, Mic never spent a single day in "Gunsmithing school". He just was so bright he figured it out for himself. The most "self-made" man I know or who I have ever met I think in my life. He's truly a remarkable person, not perfect, but amazing gunsmith (now retired) and writer. Hopefully another gunsmith can learn from this post and continue the work that Mic did. Truly hope so. Keeping the serial number secret to the document for obvious reasons but have all the signatures and numbers. Yeah, I know, Sixgun is going to love this stuff. Hopefully the quality control got better later!

Here's the article if I can get it to post:

Regards, -Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by gamekeeper »

That was a very interesting and detailed letter and shows what can be achieved. Thanks for posting.... 8)
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by JFE »

That’s a big decision to quit your job to look after your mother. Good luck with it.

McPherson must have spent a lot of time on your rifle. I’ve got one of his books and it’s a great resource. Some of tricks he used are detailed in his book but It would have been helpful if he provided more detail on the work that’s not in the book, eg feeding SWC bullets, feeding & cycling 1.87” long shells and the mods to make it function properly. He is a very clever man.
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by Grizz »

Blessings Tutt, Doing the right thing is the right thing to do. Prayers UP for you and your Mom.... †
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Thanks Guys, best decision available to me moving forward. Also, the work load is just terrible and time for me to move on now. I don't want to live this way after the last 2 years.

I think I can have a better life going forward with my small pension and working part time in some capacity. That is what I am hoping for. Thanks for your understanding.

Yes, Mic spent an extraordinary amount of time with my rifle to get it right. He probably only made $5 bucks an hour on a guess. About the same with the BLR too.

But at the same time, he chose to do what he wanted to do regarding "gunsmithing".

IMHO he was "master class" gunsmith on "lever-actions". And I have been trying to find someone who can do what he previously did. Not surprisingly, the "crickets" have been very silent since then.

Mic is a very unusual animal. I don't think I have ever come across another Gunsmith like him before.

Regards, -Tutt


-Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by Lar45 »

That was quite an extensive list of mods to your rifle!
I am about to pick up a Puma in 480.
Would it be possible to get a couple of close up pics of the inside of your action showing the breach, loading gate, lifter and cartridge guides?
I was talking with John Linebaugh several years back and he mentioned converting a 480 Puma to 475 Linebaugh. I've been having thoughts of converting mine when I aquire it.

Here's a pic of the 480.
Image

I also have a 24" octagon stainless 45 Colt and a Rossi 357 that I gave my youngest son after he shot his first deer on his 12th birthday.
Image
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Lar45, I only have a cell phone camera so don't think I can get the angles very well, but will try. I don't think you will be able to see much difference in the parts though. McPherson mentioned in his article that the only way to really "see" the differences between a standard 454 Rossi and mine would be to put the parts side by side. My other concern about your rifle is you read about how poor the tolerances were on my rifle. I had a small hairline crack developing on the fore stock which I was aware of and some cracks developing in the interior of the butt stock neck that I was not aware of. One locking lug and the ejector was taking all the bolt thrust and it would start to bend the lever over time. At least my barrel was good. A have about $2500 in the whole project and that was back in 2003. Mic probably got paid about $5 bucks an hour at that! I sincerely hope your rifle is built to better tolerances than mine was. I would strongly recommend you pull the buttstock and reinforce the interior neck with epoxy and bed it or have a gunsmith do it. It looks like they are still using the same "Brazilian hardwood" whatever that is. I think I would shoot it first and see how it holds up. Hopefully it is built to better tolerances than mine was. Regards, -Tutt

P.S. It looks like they only made a hundred of them???? Very collectable!!

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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Lar45, I just received this message from McPherson today. Thought it might help you.
As to the 92s, I never did enough of those to figure out how to explain the process and it was different for each gun. In other words, the 357 Rossis required certain modifications and the 454 Rossis required other modifications, and I presume that other makes of reproductions and other chamberings might equally require unique changes.

The concept is always the same: Figure out what the limitations are and modify whatever needs to be modified to mitigate those limitations. For example, getting a longer round through the loading gate requires removal of material from the offside of the receiver forward of the loading port, where the bullet nose hits as the round enters through the loading port. Similarly, getting a longer round to enter onto the carrier and lift to align with the chamber requires modifications that allow the bolt to move back further before it lifts the carrier (shortening the shoulder on the carrier that the bolt pushes against to rotate the carrier upward) and so the nose of the bullet can rotate up to align with the chamber (cutting a slot between the bottom of the chamber and the top of the magazine port). Getting the longer round to eject is taken care of by allowing the bolt to move back farther before it lifts the carrier. But, the devil is in the details, and, as noted, each gun seems to be unique with regard to the details.
He said Ben Forkin, who is Mic's age, could probably do what Mic did but he is the same age as McPherson so he may be retiring soon.

Regards,

-Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by Lar45 »

Thanks for the response, I appreciate the details.
I will probably reinforce the wrist area of the butt stock with epoxied in brass machine screws, or all thread. I did this on the 470NE double I built and it held up fine.
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

You have one of the rarest of Rossi Puma's coming to you. It will be a really fine rifle for you in the future I think. Just be advised that if you choose to "hot rod it" to 475 Linebaugh, you may be opening a "Pandora's Box" of upgrades due to poor factory tolerances. Shoot it first, see how it does for you. Our rifles are from the same time period it looks like. Shoot it, and go from there Regards, -Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by AJMD429 »

.
A few still circulating in 480 Ruger - https://www.gunbroker.com/item/933126022
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by Lar45 »

I wasn't aware that they had only made 100 of the 480s. I'll probably leave it as a 480 then.

That Stainless one on GunBroker sure looks tempting.
I wish the 45 Colt that I have had a faster twist in the barrel, but it seems to shoot fine with 275s.
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Be curious to see what the final bid price is. Still has 4 days left. -Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

As of today, with 1 day and 3 hours to go, the stainless 480 Ruger Puma is going for $1565 for its next bid. I suspect it will sell between $1600-$1800 final bid. Take care of yours! Will let you know final selling price. -Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Holey Cow, it sold for 3 thousand, 25 dollars. I can't even believe that! Your blued version, which I think is more rare, might be worth an equal amount. Just saying. Improve the fiber optic sights' on your gun, and go from there! -Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by Lar45 »

Wow, $3025 is crazy when a new 454 is $650
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

I agree, you could get a brand new Big Horn Armory lever gun for that price! -Tutt
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Re: The MicPherson 454 Casull Rossi Puma Letter of Provenance

Post by CowboyTutt »

Lar, where did you find a Rossie Puma 454 Casull for $650?? Can't find one anywhere for that price. Just curious. -Tutt
"It ain't dead! As long as there's ONE COWBOY taking care of ONE COW, it ain't dead!!!" (the Cowboy Way)
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