I like revolvers, always have and while having carried many snub-nosed models over the years along with duty sized 4-inch versions both on and off duty as a law enforcement officer, I never owned or carried a 3-inch barrel length revolver. The new Rossi RP63 is just that, a 3inch barrel length, compact model revolver optimized for concealed carry and self-defense at home or while traveling.
The RP63, introduced in early 2023 offers a 6 shot steel cylinder and with a full underlug barrel giving additional weight allowing for greater recoil management. A rounded butt grip (and rubberized grips) frame provides a solid, full-handed gripping area, giving the revolver’s “print” a minimal profile while carrying concealed. The front sight being ramped along with a fixed rear sight allows for a snag free draw. The front sight can easily be replaced along with the hammer firing pin.
Also, considering that the firing pin is mounted directly to the hammer, maximum reliability in the RP63 will be the norm with a variety of ammo and primers. Chambered in 357 Mag/38 special +P, I recently put the RP63 from Rossi to the test with a wide spectrum of loads and weight grains.
Ammo tested at my range with the RP63 included:
- Sig Sauer Elite, 357 Mag 125 gr, Full Metal Jacket
- Armscor, 357 Mag 158 gr, Full Metal Jacket
- Remington, 357 Mag 125 gr, Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point
- Winchester Silvertip, 357 Mag 145 gr, Hollow Point
- Federal, 357 Mag, 158 Grain, Jacketed Soft Point
- Aguila 38 Special 130 gr, Full Metal Jacket
- Federal Train and Protect 38 Special 158 gr, Versatile Hollow Point
- PMC 38 Special 132 gr, Full Metal Jacket
The double action trigger pull of the RP63 registers between 10.5 to 11 pounds and falls about in the middle in size as compared to the J frame and K frame S&W revolvers. This is one solid revolver taking into account that all major parts on the Rossi RP63 are built from stainless steel complete with a satin finish, including the frame, cylinder, and barrel.
During my range time and in the field, I never experienced a failure to fire with any of the ammo tested in either single or double action with close to 100 rounds fired. This revolver is pleasant to carry and to shoot with the magnum ammo providing more felt recoil as would be expected but not unpleasant with the guns rubberized grips.
The Remington .357 Mag, 125 grain semi jacketed hollow point shot the best for me in the magnum category with a fist sized group from double action at 7 yards. In the 38 Special, the Aguila 130 grain FMJ with its minimal recoil put six rounds into an even tighter group.
Rossi RP63 Revolver Specifications:
- Action: Double/Single Action
- Caliber: .38 Spl +P / .357 Mag.
- Frame Size: Small
- Barrel Length: 3 inches
- Frame/Cylinder/Barrel Material: Stainless steel
- Height: 5.20 inches
- Width: 1.46 inches
- Overall Length: 7.95 inches
- Weight: 27.30 ounces
- Sights: Fixed rear sight, removable fixed serrated front sight
- Twist Rate: 1 in 16.5 RH Twist
- Safety: Hammer block
- Cylinder Capacity: 6
- Barrel Grooves: 6
- Finish: Satin stainless steel
- Country of origin: Brazil
- MSRP: $460.99
Considering there are many accessories (holsters, speed loaders) already available for the RP63 it’s a good choice for carry right out of the box.
I like the Rossi RP63. It fits in the hand well, comes stock with a smooth action, carries nicely and with the 3-inch barrel is an excellent compromise between the classic snub nose revolver and 4-inch models. With the wide array of offerings for both .357 Mag and 38 Special defensive ammo, the RP63 is a serious contender for everyday carry especially for those who admire the qualities and feel of a revolver.
The affordability of the Rossi RP63 cannot be overlooked with the price point coming in well under other “brand name” revolver offerings.
Want to add a wheel gun to your choices of everyday carry or perhaps revisit revolvers from a long absence? Then maybe it’s time to take a look at the new Rossi RP63.
To locate a dealer near you visit www.lipseys.com/dealerfinder
About the Author:
TERRY NELSON – is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement with police and sheriff agencies, including SWAT and sniper roles, and has served as a state game warden. Nelson also served seven years with New Mexico State Guard. A lifelong hunter, guide, tracker and firearms enthusiast, Terry is sought for training in multiple disciplines by both civilian and police-serving agencies and companies. Nelson also holds a Basic Tac Med instructor certification from Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.