Gun Review: The Rossi Wizard

Rossi Wizard Stainless.Field Tested

I was impressed with the performance and functionality of Rossi’s .22LR, so the proverbial bar had been set relatively high before the .50 caliber ever got out of the house and onto the range. Perhaps not surprising, I wasn’t disappointed with her performance.

Although typically a pelletized powder kind of guy, I decided to test the Wizard with both pellets and granulated powder, basically out of curiosity. Pyrodex products got the nod here; I’ve had nothing but good fortune with the company’s RS granular material and 50-grain pellets over the past decade or so.

For bullets, I chose a variety – 295-grain PowerBelt AeroTips (AT) and Hollow Points (HP); 290-grain Barnes Spit-Fire TMZ (TMZ); PowerBelt AeroLites in a 300-grain format; and 300-grain Knight Red Hot bullets using the High Pressure (black) sabot. Like the powders, I’ve used all of these projectiles over the years, and all with good success both on the range and in the field. Ignition was supplied by Remington’s Kleanbore 209 muzzleloader primers, and the barrel was swabbed clean between shots.

Mechanically, I experienced absolutely no problems throughout the course of the 50-shot run at the bench. Ignition was immediate and reliable and recoil was noticeable, though tamed somewhat thanks to Caldwell’s Lead Sled and a PAST shoulder pad. In terms of downrange performance, it was the 295-grain ATs that won out, printing 2- to 2-1/2-inch three-shot groups at 50 yards; however, I’ve never been extremely impressed with the ATs’ on-target performance in the field on whitetails.

The Red Hots, though a close second with their consistent 2-1/2-inch clusters, provide, it’s been my experience, extraordinary knockdown power on deer-sized creatures – and based on those observations will be what we’re stuffing down the Wizard’s gullet come December. Post-range cleanup was minimal, quick, and easy; pull the plug, scrub the bore, take a toothbrush to the plug, lube, install, wipe, and it’s over.

What didn’t I like about the Wizard .50 muzzleloader? At almost 9-1/2 pounds, she’s a heavy little thing, and quite barrel heavy and unbalanced. The telescoping ramrod, though understandable in this particular situation, does, at least for me, take some getting used to. Afield, my thoughts are to either pack a lightweight 25-inch fiberglass rod with me, or telescope the OEM rod and lay it alongside my pack – just in case I need to reload the Wizard with the quickness.

And I think the transfer bar and manual safeties are a bit of an overkill; in fact, I found the left-side manual switch to be rather inconveniently located for a right-hander, not to mention tremendously noisy when allowed to fall forward by itself. That said, a little practice with manual safety can help overcome both inconvenience and noise. Price? Online, I found the Wizard Matched Set, which includes wood-stocked .243Win, .50 caliber MZL, and 28-inch 12-gauge barrels for – ready?—only $325 ( That, if my math is correct, makes for three very different firearms for just a touch over a C-note each.

Rossi Wizard Specs

Make/model – Rossi Wizard
Caliber – .50 Caliber Muzzleloader
Operating system – Inline; black powder only
Barrel – 23 inches
Overall length – 38-3/4 inches
Weight – 9.4 pounds
Trigger pull – 5.6 pounds
Safety – Transfer bar; Rossi/Taurus key lock; manual SAFE/FIRE safety
Sights – Fully adjustable rear, fiber optic; fixed front bead
Finish, metal – Blued
Wood – Walnut stock/forearm
Recoil pad – One inch ventilated rubber, with white spacer
Accessories – Sling swivels; Weaver style one-piece base
Ramrod – Brass; expandable from 15-1/2 inches 23-1/8

This article appeared in the Gun Digest the Magazine 2013 Shooter’s Guide. Click here to subscribe.

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4 thoughts on “Gun Review: The Rossi Wizard

  1. jemsj4

    I have this with a 22lr, 243 & 20ga. I have not had any problems with mine. I have also heard of some people saying they had accuracy problems with them. I am perfectly happy with mine.

    1. Keelarr

      I am currently having problems with mine, the gun jammed and will not break open anymore. It has only a 1 yr warranty, minimum charge of 35 to even look at it. As it is certainly internal parts that are the issue, they asked for a credit card before even opening it up. I will never buy another Rossi firearm again. I have a 27 yr old Charter arms Bulldog Tracker that still is covered.. My Rugers are never a problem, even my HiPoint Carbine is lifetime and it isn’t exactly Weatherbee quality,,, I am very dissapointed with the customer service.

  2. mikeutah

    My Rossi came with a manufacturers defect. The firing pin doesn’t hit the primer hard enough to fire every round. Rossi doesn’t sell repair parts. I searched the Internet and found many other Rossi owners with the same problem. I called Rossi USA. The only way I can get it fixed is to ship the rifle and pay Rossi almost as much as a new rifle costs. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER ROSSI!!!!!

    1. mcoleman

      I have two Wizards. Both had the same issue as yours,would not fire out of the box.About 5 to 10 minutes with a fine file and stone fixed them both. I removed a few thou’ from the hammer face, Test firing as I went, I was careful not to remove too much,which would result in pierced primers. Both are now very reliable and good,accurate shooters as well. Takes 50 or more rounds to clean up the rifling and “break in” the barrel, about the same as it takes to break in a Handi barrel. I am NOT suggesting you do this to yours,just telling you what fixed my own.