Pedersoli: hunting with a muzzle-loading shotgun and pointers

To make the most of the present and build the future, it’s essential to know the past. This goes for our passion for hunting in the same way as it’s true for any other aspect of our past. Hunting evolved in time from an activity necessary for survival to become a part of our cultural heritage and much more. 

Guns, and their development obviously represent a fundamental part of hunting. In the case of muzzle-loading shotguns they’ve kept that classic look and feel of times gone by, while offering the hunter both safe and reliable performances for the most satisfying and enjoyable day's hunting.

Pedersoli shotguns

The hunter in the woods with his shotgun, the Pedersoli Waterfowl 20-gauge 
The accessories needed to reload the gun fit easily into the pockets of a hunting vest. After just a few simple operations the side-by-side shotgun is ready to shoot.

Here at we’ve been able to test the quality and performance of the shotguns made by Davide Pedersoli, a leader in the production of replica smooth-bore and rifled-bore muzzle-loading guns and breech-loading hunting and sporting shotguns.

Today we’re hunting with pointers in a most charming area, the Fiordimonte Valley in central Italy. 

Here the panorama changes from one of evergreen forests that open up onto wild meadows, climbing to heights where the dogs can put themselves to the test against different game in a variety of environments. 

Hunter firing his gun
Thanks to the solid build, the Pedersoli side-by-side shotgun doesn’t give you too much of a kick, and it’s both precise and stable when getting off your second shot.

Hunting with the Pedersoli Waterfowl 20-gauge muzzle-loading side-by-side shotgun

Dogs in the woods
Muzzle-loading shotguns are best used with pointers, particularly when hunting sedentary game.

The beautiful setting is perfect for this trip back in time. 

The gun I’m loading is the fine Waterfowl 20-gauge muzzle loading side-by-side shotgun that Davide Pedersoli gave me with all the accessories required to use it.

There’s no need to take anything bulky with you, as some might imagine. 

The plastic charge tubes contain the black powder charges I prepared earlier with others of the same size, with loads of No. 8 shot for the first barrel and No. 6 shot for the second. 

It all fits easily into the pockets of my hunting vest, including the over-powder felt wads, the over-shot cards and the percussion caps. The dogs whine impatiently to be let loose as I prepare the first load, breathing in a lungful of fresh morning air. The curiosity and enthusiasm to hunt with this gun I’ve only just started to get used to make the walk up the side of the mountains we’re going to explore all the more exciting. 

Firing the Pedersoli side-by-side shotgun

Hunter with dogs and prey in the woods
We had the chance to try the Pedersoli 20-gauge side-by-side shotgun point shooting at close range and taking shots with the second barrel at a quite considerable range of over thirty metres, both with extremely satisfying results.

This side-by-side felt just right in my hands the first time the dogs gave me a chance to take a shot at a pheasant in a juniper thicket. 

Despite the fact that it weighs in at a little over 3 kg, the gun is fast to aim and very stable when firing. 

After that first pheasant, it was a pleasant walk interspaced with the dogs pointing or tracking the long and complex trails left by the fleeing pheasant amongst the evergreen shrubs and bushes.  The short pauses to reload the gun were an excellent opportunity to savour every moment of the hunt, which really takes you back in time, with the value and dedication every game bird deserves in its own unique way. 

A hunt that’s both fun and rewarding with your pointers, taking all the time to make the most of it and to truly appreciate the quality of this type of hunting.

Retrieving a game bird brought down with a charge of powder and shot loaded by hand with the most meticulous attention to detail, while holding a piece of history in your hands gives you a more intense thrill. And while this is true at first, you'll soon become deft with your hands and it all becomes natural, leaving you to focus on the hunt. Enjoy!

For further information, please visit the Davide Pedersoli & C. website.

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