Some guns are a pleasure to write about, and the new Continental Target, produced by Davide Pedersoli is undoubtedly one of these. The reason is simple: it's beautiful to look at, competition products have nothing on its performances, it's cheap.
As far as assembly and tuning are concerned quality "out of the box" is excellent. But the secret of the exceptional versatility of this weapon is undoubtedly the choice of the components used, in a well-thought matching of elements conceived for competition and elements projected for different purposes such as informal target shooting, collection or historical re-enactment.
Pedersoli Continental Target: the pistol
The creative path that led to the Continental Target was therefore not based on a project from scratch but, on the contrary, on a reasoned updating of an existing product, expressly referred to in the trade name.
The Continental Duelling pistol is closely related to the Continental Target, an inexpensive product that – despite having undisputed qualities including, for example, an excellent design of the stock – has objective rather than critical limitations as far as competition is concerned.
Redesigning, therefore, was deep, starting from the selection of a barrel that eliminates all doubts with regard to its ballistic accuracy: the one chosen was a P.M.G. ("Premium Match Grade") barrel, the same mounted on real sporting jewels like the Le Page, the Mortimer or the Mang in Graz. Products that, in the hands of some of the best athletes in the world, have made the "DP" brand famous in the firearms international scene.
These barrels are manufactured from cylindrical solid forged high-carbon steel bars, that are broached, turned externally into an octagonal profile, mated to the breech plug with small adjustments by hand, such as the muzzle countersink and the subsequent sanding.
Pedersoli Continental Target, features and details
Mating with the butt is ensured by a tang screw and, at the front, by means of the classic lug and wedge key, which is especially appreciated for cleaning and ordinary maintenance since it allows for great speed in stripping and reassembly.
The .45 caliber version has a twelve-groove bullet stabilization system with a constant twist of 1: 450mm.
The length is 11 in / 280 mm, with a overall pistol length of 16.3 in / 415 mm. Weight is 35.7 oz / 1 kg.
These values have a positive effect on the functionality, increasing ease of use and minimising the effort for correct shooting: sight acquisition is very natural while balancing and butt shape facilitate aiming and trigger pull.
The dovetail metallic sights are drift adjustable and, during the test, we have been able to verify their perfect factory set-up. So users don’t need to adjust them.
The single stage trigger with French Stecher is adjustable and is another very clear improvement on the Continental Duelling model that lacked it.
We can surely say that trigger geometry and smoothness guaranteed by the limited friction bring the quality to "match" level.
The lock, both in the percussion version and in the flint version, is the same of the Kentucky pistol and is an essential and sturdy mechanism, equipped with a hammer safety system in order to increase safety during loading operations.
Thanks to the grip design, the handling is ideal.
The stock, derived from the Continental Duelling model and clearly inspired by duelling weapons of Central European design, is made from selected European walnut blocks and is oil-finished.
The trigger guard is brushed brass while lock and hammer are color-case hardened; small parts such as the nipple, the trigger and the sights are blued steel.
Pedersoli Continental Target: shooting impressions
The new Continental Duelling pistol can be conclusively defined as a winning model of a target shooting gun: it can match weapons of a more modern design that moreover, from an aesthetic point of view, are drowned out.
This pistol has an exciting training potential so that our collaborators, namely Mario Berardinetti and Nunzio Buzzanca, the first president of the Milan section of Tiro a Segno Nazionale (the national Italian target shooting organization) and the second prominent figure of Tirooperativo.it respectively, recognized it not only in words but with facts, re-launching the practice of shooting with this type of weapon.
In fact, together with them we started a test almost a year ago which, considering the positive results obtained, has not yet ended, involving other members of the local muzzle loading team and even some beginners who performed dry-fire tests – with the necessary precautions, of course.
This product is addressed, however, to those who are approaching muzzle loading and don’t want any compromise, cultivating the desire to try their hand in ambitious tests.
From our personal point of view it is a very attractive product, which could well be imagined even in the hands of young athletes, consistent with the traditions of countries where the tradition of sports shooting is more rooted such as Germany, France and many Eastern European countries.
The retail price, less than 500 euro, allows us to write with conviction that it is difficult, if not impossible, to find a better option as regards the quality/price ratio.
A weapon that has all the right credentials, so that new shooters can get to know one of the most beautiful sports specialties.