Author Topic: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?  (Read 4084 times)

Offline LonesomePigeon

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 503
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:42:31 PM »
Does anybody have any info on recent Pedersoli Lightning rifles in .44-40? The thread below on 'who makes the best Lightning' is from 2014, I'm wondering if more current info is available. If I got one it would be mainly for plinking and target shooting, not really looking to race it.

Offline c.o.jones

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2018, 01:57:00 PM »
I USED TO OWN ONE. SOLD IT A LOSS AFTER ONE MONTH. TOO MANY PROBLEMS TO LIST.
NCOWS 1097
Kansas Vigilance Committee
SASS 5610 Life
NRA Life
VFW Life
USMC Forever

Offline LonesomePigeon

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 503
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 08:54:05 PM »
Well, I got my Pedersoli Lightning Rifle .44-40. I have put about 20 round each of Hornady and Magtech cowboy loads through it. The Magtech seemed the most accurate with 5 shots making one big hole at 25 yards. Both hit about 6" high and and inch or two left at 25 yards. At 50 yards it hit higher still. Groups were not very good at 50 but it was getting dark by that time and hard to see the sights. I think they are sighted for 100 yrds because I was able to hit a 12" plate at 100 yards several times offhand. I think the rifle will be capable of good accuracy once I get the sights adjusted.

Now the problems. There were 3 or 4 light primer strikes where the rounds failed to fire on the first strike but did fire on the second strike. I have a pdf by Roger Rapid that includes how to fix light primer strikes and I think I will be able to deal with it. The other problem was that sometimes it failed to chamber a round. I pumped the action and no round fed into the chamber. I pumped it again and the round went into the chamber. This happened about 3 or 4 times. Does anybody know what causes this?

Offline Coal Creek Griff

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1863
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 70
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 09:51:45 PM »
I appreciate your reports.  A Lightning of some type is on my long-term wish list, but I'm not sure that I'm willing to risk it.  In the meantime, I read about other's experiences with interest.

CC Griff
Manager, WT Ranch--Coal Creek Division

BOLD #921
BOSS #196
1860 Henry Rifle Shooter #173
SSS #573

Offline Abilene

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 3356
    • Abilene's CAS Pages
  • SASS #: 27489
  • NCOWS #: 3958
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 170
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 12:03:46 AM »
Pettifogger has a lot of knowledge and experience with the various Lightnings, but I don't think he's been around here much lately.  I suggest sending him a PM.

Advertisers

  • Guest
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:40:48 AM »

Offline LonesomePigeon

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 503
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 10:38:30 AM »
 Thanks, Abiline. CCG I paid $950 new from Dixie Gun Works on sale. I don't regret it, yet. I hope these issues can be fixed.

Offline Johnson Barr

  • Berger Sharpshooters, KVC, Blue River Regulators, Double M Cowboys, GAF
  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
  • NRA Life, TSRA Life, NCOWS Life, NCOWS Senator
    • J Barr Texas
  • NCOWS #: L-173
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2018, 10:17:47 AM »
My .44-40 serves me well. I hand load with Federal primers and have had no issues with light strikes. Only problem with feeding came from working the action too slowly. Working the slide as fast as I could manage cured my chambering problems. One other thing I did
use to remove the California compliant magazine plug follower. The aluminum extension rod inside the magizine tube spring limits capacity to 10. With the extension rod removed the mag now holds 14 rounds in my rifle. 
"Peace is that glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading"  -Thomas Jefferson

Offline LonesomePigeon

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 503
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 06:01:00 PM »
Took the Pedersoli Lightning out with some bp handloads. Accuracy and POA-POI was very good at 25yrds. No problems with misfires. Still had a couple failures to feed but it was fewer than with factory ammo. One thing I am wondering about, the slide is a bit loose. Is that normal for this design? Could that have something to do with the failures to feed?


Here are a few pics if I can get them to post:




Offline scrubby2009

  • Very Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Lifelong obsession with '73's
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 09:24:01 AM »
... One other thing I did
use to remove the California compliant magazine plug follower. The aluminum extension rod inside the magizine tube spring limits capacity to 10. With the extension rod removed the mag now holds 14 rounds in my rifle. 
Can you expand on this? Does the State really get involved in antique weapon "compliance"? Now I'm concerned about the 16 rounds I keep in my Marlin 1889. Well, that's a lie. Not concerned, just curious..
Responsive, timely, tactically accurate, and strategically precise fire.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1357
  • SASS #: 11754
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 10:40:16 AM »
California gangbangers choice of weapons.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Advertisers

  • Guest
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:40:48 AM »

Offline Blackpowder Burn

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1301
  • Smoke & Lightning
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 05:47:41 PM »
I have one in 44-40, and it has performed flawlessly.  As an interesting aside, I took a new shooter to a CAS match last weekend.  I gave him his choice of any of my rifles to shoot (Henry, '73, Marlin and Lightning).  He chose the Lightning rifle and absolutely loved it.  Having no preconceptions or "muscle memory" from long term use of a lever rifle, he had no issues and says that is the way he wants to go when he buys his battery of guns.

We also have two other shooters at our club that shoot Pedersoli Lightnings as their primary rifle with no issues. 
SUBLYME AND HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT
Learned Brother at Armes

Offline OD#3

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 251
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 08:06:06 PM »
ANY lightning reproduction is, at best, a reliability-improvement attempt at what was an inferior design to the Winchester toggle-link rifles to begin with. I once owned a USFA Lightning.  This was the finest rifle, in terms of clean, precise machining, that I have ever owned.  Truly a work of art in steel.  It was hamstrung by having faithfully reproduced Colt's lightning down to the last detail.  I think I read somewhere that USFA substituted a screw or two in place of pins, but the bottom line was that even USFA was unable to produce a bobble-free Colt Lightning when they stuck to the original blueprints.  Uberti and now Pedersoli have put out their own reproductions with their own re-engineering efforts at tweaking the design for better reliability.  The only advantage the Lightning has over the period Winchesters is in having a shorter, more compact receiver and perhaps a stronger lockup.  But I can't stress enough that the Winchester toggle-link levergun configuration is much more user-friendly and is the better design for the pistol-caliber cartridges both were chambered for.

Don't get me wrong, I still VERY much regret selling my USFA Lightning.  It remains my benchmark for the most precisely and cleanly-machined rifle I've ever owned.  But there is only so much one can do with what I maintain was an inferior design to contemporary Winchester rifles.  If you just want a nice Lightning rifle as an example of Old West firearms, the Pedersoli is the best you can get among the currently-manufactured rifles.  But if you want to compete in Cowboy Action Shooting, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you set your sights on any of the Lightning Rifle replicas.   

Offline Abilene

  • CAS-L Ghost Rider
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 3356
    • Abilene's CAS Pages
  • SASS #: 27489
  • NCOWS #: 3958
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 170
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2019, 09:40:57 PM »
...  But if you want to compete in Cowboy Action Shooting, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you set your sights on any of the Lightning Rifle replicas.   

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule.  Lassiter won Gunfighter World and/or National Championship with a Taurus Thunderbolt!! 

Offline Galen

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 185
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 06:54:00 AM »
Makes one wonder if them Italians accrual test fire their firearms at the factory.

Offline Cliff Fendley

  • NCOWS Member
  • Top Active Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 3377
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 62
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 07:18:29 AM »
Makes one wonder if them Italians accrual test fire their firearms at the factory.

I know for fact they are not all test fired because I've gotten ones that won't chamber a round because of headspace issues, a friend got a 44 revolver with a 45 cylinder. I'm sure there may be a certain number that are tested but not every gun.
http://www.fendleyknives.com/

NCOWS 3345  RATS 576 NRA Life member

Johnson County Rangers

Offline Coffinmaker

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 6199
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 63
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2019, 11:54:13 AM »

OK.  Lemmie in here,

As a retired Gunplumber, I think I can comment with some ........ acuity.  The original Lightning was a fine looking rifle.  A few of the actually ran really well.  They didn't last in the market place very long as their reliability came into question.  Actually, with some exceptions, the rifles weren't reliable.  Fixing the issues proved to be involved.  Folks simply gave up and the guns faded away.

Then ...... Came the REVOLUTION.  The current manufactures touted their Lightning rifles would set a new standard for SPEED in the CS game!!  The new/old guns were awaited with reckless abandon.  Folks got in line to buy them.  Took the to the first match knowing full well they were going crush the competition.  Not Hardly.

The guns required huge amounts of work to get them to run.  Normal cost to make one run was some amount of money MORE than the original price of the rifle.  Then it would still break.  After a while, the number of Gunplumbers who would even attempt the lightning dropped off to maybe 3 or 4.  Then 2 or three.

The only lightning that has shown any reliability "out of the Box" is the Pedersoli.  YES!!! Lasiter, primo gunfighter and swell Gunplumber won several prestigious matches with a Tarus Thunderbolt.  The innards of the rifle Lasiter used to such success bear no resemblance to Tarus parts.  He is one of the 2 or three who will work on a Lightning, let alone a Thunderbolt.  But ..... Bring your Broker.

Toward the end of their Glory, and when I was still Working, I had opportunity to speak with a couple of the guys from USFA.  Both of those guys lamented they hated the day USFA brought out the Lightning.  Lost their butt on warranty work.

This had been a very Verbose (didn't know I Knew big wurds didja) way of telling Lonesome Pigeon,  The Pedersoli is the only Game worth playing.  I shoot on a regular basis with a couple that both run Pedersoli's.  They run really well.  Occasional hiccup.  They DO NOT run really fast.  Additionally, the ergonomics of the Lightning make it one of the most uncomfortable rifles I have ever tried to shoot.   

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1357
  • SASS #: 11754
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2019, 07:01:06 PM »
Bought a used .45 Taurus at the NE Regional years ago. Tried to run it but I found that while your right hand stayed on the wrist and finger on the trigger, every time the rifle was cycled the front sight was all over the place. Very hard to shoot fast, plus it would spit back at me. They are a neat rifle but not for cas.  My trusty Marlin had nothing to worry about.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Lucky R. K.

  • Purveyor of Fire & Brimstone
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 352
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2019, 09:03:31 AM »

My first CAS rifle was an AWA Lightning in 45 Colt. It was a great gun and would operate as fast as I could run it. It broke last year and no parts were available for it. A world famous Lightening gunsmith welded the parts back together but they broke the first time I fired it.

To shorten a very long story I bought a Pedersoli Lightening in 44-40 late last year. So far it has operated flawlessly.

For those thinking about a Lightening I would recommend the Pedersoli.  One thing you should be aware of though is that it is almost impossible to run them as fast as a toggle link rifle. All that slide action makes it really hard to hold on target.

Lucky
Greene County Regulators       Life NRA             SCORRS
High Country Cowboys            SASS #79366
Gunpowder Creek Regulators   Dirty RATS #568

The Wind is Your Friend

Offline Fingers McGee

  • American Plainsmen Society
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1379
  • Smoke & Fire
  • SASS #: R28654
  • NCOWS #: 3638
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2019, 01:33:16 PM »
I've got an AWA lightning in 44-40 that had light hits and failure to feed.  Turns out the sizing die I was using was not adjusted  to set the shoulder back enough to allow the cartridge to full chamber. By not chambering fully, the cartridge would not allow the bolt to travel far enough so the hammer would release the next cartridge.  This would also cause a light strike on the primer. I hope that made sense.
.
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee;
SASS Regulator 28654 - L - TG; NCOWS 3638
AKA Man of many Colts; Diabolical Ken's alter ego; stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer; Rangemaster
Founding Member - Central Ozarks Western Shooters
Member - Southern Missouri Rangers;
NRA Patron Life: GOA; CCRKBA; SAF; SV-114 (CWO4 ret); STORM 327

"Cynic:  A blackguard whose faulty vision sees thing as they are, not as they should be"  Ambrose Bierce

Offline Blackpowder Burn

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1301
  • Smoke & Lightning
  • Liked:
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How good/bad is the current Pedersoli Lightning?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2019, 06:27:26 PM »
I also have a USFA Lightning in 44-40 that runs perfectly.

I spoke to Lee Shaver (Pedersoli warranty rep for USA) about the Lightnings.  He echoed what Gary Granger of USFA told me.  The 44-40's run well, as the rifle was designed around that cartridge.  The 45 Colt's run OK, but not perfectly.  The 357's run poorly.  The geometry of the action is designed for bottleneck cartridges, not straight cases.

I find myself still shooting my lever guns, but do like to shoot the Lightnings, and mine work well.
SUBLYME AND HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT
Learned Brother at Armes

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk

© 1995 - 2020 CAScity.com