Pedersoli Lightning pump action: the fastest gun in the West

Pedersoli Lightning for target shooting
The Pedersoli Lightning rifle is a faithful replica of the historic Colt slide-action, and proves to be a very versatile gun in the calibers it is available for, designed for target shooting but ideal for hunting too

Compact, fast action and easy to aim, the Pedersoli Lightning rifle is a replica of one of the most prolific long arms used on horseback in the 1890s, today very popular for western target shooting. 

It is available in various calibers, from .357 Magnum and .44-40 Winchester to .45 Long Colt and it is designed to be a target shooting gun, but also a reliable boar hunting rifle. 

The Lightning is available in the Rifle version with its octagonal barrel, or with a long round 26” and 24” barrel, Carbine with a 20” octagonal barrel and Baby Carbine with a round 20” barrel fixed on the magazine by a double ring band. 
There are three different finishes available for each version: Standard, with polished action and adornments and a walnut stock; Premium, with case hardened action and “semi-fancy” walnut checkered stock; and Deluxe, with coin finish color and hand-engraved finish for the action and the trigger guard, and “fancy” walnut stock with fine checkering. 

Pedersoli Lightning Sporter Rifle Standard in .357 Magnum

Pedersoli Lightning fired test
Rearming the gun is fast and sweet, and this is one of the characteristic features of the Lightning, essential if you do not want to lose your target and need to get off a precise second shot

The Lightning Sporter Rifle Standard version we tested at the firing range takes .357 Magnum cartridges, measures 1,038 mm long and has a round barrel measuring 610 mm or 24 inches. 

It is also available with an octagonal barrel.

The rifle weighs about 3 kg, making it easy to carry and use. The wider Sporter stock makes aiming fast and easy, giving you a nice stable grip.

Compared to the original American model, Pedersoli has made some important changes to the internal mechanism.

The materials used are machined from solid blocks using numeric control machines, allowing the gunmakers from Gardone to make this rifle even safer and more functional.

Mechanical innovations of Pedersoli Lightning

Pedersoli Lightning detail
The mechanical innovations introduced by Pedersoli make this historical replica a modern, reliable rifle. The Lightning can only fire with the extractor closed, and the firing pin is inertia driven

The original Colt Lightning in fact was fast but not very safe to use, as the trigger acted directly on the hammer and consequently all you had to do was pull the trigger and pump the slide action to fire several shots off. The firing pin was longer than the bolt, which meant when the hammer was down it rested on the primer of the cartridge. 

If you knocked the gun over or dropped it, it would more than likely go off accidentally. 

Video: Pedersoli Lightning pump action rifle

Pedersoli Lightning shooting
On alternating stationary and moving targets the result is always the same; the Lightning is fast and comfortable to fire, with a soft recoil making it stable and precise

The Pedersoli Lightning is designed to fire only with the bolt fully closed. 

The firing pin is inertia driven, meaning it is shorter than the bolt. 

As a result, even with the hammer fully lowered and a round in the chamber, there is no chance the gun can go off accidentally if knocked over or dropped. 

When the gun is fired, the hammer hits the firing pin to strike the primer, but it is then pushed back into its rest position by a spring. 

The hammer has a trigger-disconnect safety. These innovations have meant Pedersoli was able to keep the charming look of the original model but with a more modern mechanism, better suited to today's shooters. 

Reliable, fast and comfortable to shoot, with notable precision, the Pedersoli Lightning rifle guarantees excellent performance at the firing range as you can see, and one can only imagine the joys it could bring on a real hunt. 

For more information visit the Davide Pedersoli & C. website

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