The Italian company Pedersoli drew on a large collection of historical originals to build detailed replicas of the Winchester 1886 / model 71. Currently, however, the Classic and Premium models of Pedersoli’s 86/71 are only available in the punchy caliber .45-70. The Boarbuster, marketed in in the States under the name Hogzilla Killa, is also on sale in a caliber .444 Marlin model in Germany. The company is already hatching plans to manufacture the weapon in its original .348 Winchester caliber in the not too distant future.
Pedersoli 1886/71 lever action gun – The models
This article focuses primarily on Pedersoli’s Premium model, but the model 71 replica is actually available in a total of three different model series.
Pedersoli equipped all three of the series with a thick rubber butt cap and screwed-in swing swivel studs. The basic model of the gun comes with a burnished and polished receiver, and the 61 cm barrel has the same finish, complemented by a checkered walnut stock and pistol grip.
The half-length mag tube takes five cartridges. The Boarbuster model has a 48.5 cm barrel, an American walnut stock, fiberglass sights and a mounting rail. Last in line is the Premium model. As mentioned earlier, the Boarbuster is available in.444 Marlin or .45-70 Government calibers and is priced at €1,562.00. The other guns retail at €1562.00 for the Classic model and €1,598.00 for the premium model.
Pedersoli 1886/71 Premium lever action gun in .45-70 Government
Several parts of the gun – including the receiver and the butt cap on the pistol grip – are delightfully color case-hardened. The beautifully grained stock made of American walnut has an intricately checkered pattern worked into the pistol grip.
The barrel length and magazine capacity are identical to Pedersoli’s classic 1886/71 model, while the weapon’s fit and finish are absolutely deserving of the model name “Premium”.
It goes without saying that even the most beautifully designed gun does not make anyone a good shooter. But this lever action gun works as smoothly and shoots as pleasantly as it looks.
Feed and ejection of the cartridges and the cases were entirely trouble-free, even during fast operation of the lever, i.e. while cycling. The Premium’s trigger released at just over 2 kilograms of pull, and the thick rubber butt cap was a friend indeed when shooting, absorbing a hefty whack of the recoil even when firing more powerful loads.
Pedersoli 1886/71 lever action gun – In the field
Keen to sate his passion for open sight shooting, VISIER tester Spangenberger took the chance to put the 1886/71 through its paces during a safari in Africa. He used the rifle in the Namibian bush to bring down an Oryx antelope with horns just under one meter. The easy weight of the 1886/71 allowed the gun to be carried comfortably for several days across the thorny savannah.
The lever action gun delivered good group sizes. Adjusted using the ramp, the buckhorn sights allowed quick target acquisition, even with the shooter’s older eyes. Interestingly, the repeater is equipped to hold an optional diopter scope, while a telescopic sight can be fitted to the barrel. The group sizes of shots taken from a seated position at 100 yards (91.44 meters) were up to 12.7 cm, whereby most of the hits ranged between 8.9 and 10.2 cm.
The lever action gun coped with all loads without any hitches. Overall, it is important to note that good group sizes were achieved with all of the tested loads.
Pedersoli 1886/71 lever action gun – Our summary
The Davide Pedersoli 1886/71 Premium revealed itself as a beautifully finished lever action gun during our test. The compact rifle is easy to handle and well balanced. As stated earlier, the fit and finish are produced in a high quality. This is a weapon that will delight aficionados of the replica’s classic role model, while also catching the eye in sections of the hunting community. Western shooters will be particularly interested in the lever action gun.
Unfortunately, there is currently only one factory-made “hog load” cartridge that would be suitable for hunting — the 325 grain Hornady Lever Evolution FTX. But friends of hand loading are bound to find what they’re looking for among the numerous cartridges available in the 300 grain category.