Test: Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom muzzleloader revolver in .44 caliber

Even if the Western heroes of the US pioneering era preferred Colt revolvers, despite their historical fascination the latter are less popular with today's muzzle-loading shooters. This is because the Colt-typical design with the open-top frame and the barrel fixed to frame by means of a key is less solid and less precise than that of revolvers featuring a closed frame with a barrel screwed into it. Such features can be found especially in the revolvers manufactured by Remington & Sons. Namely, with their 44 New Model Army (NMA) introduced in 1863. Neo-classic modern replicas of it have become the most popular revolvers among precision-minded muzzle-loading shooters since the first copies appeared in the early 1960s. The advantages of Remington revolvers are the closed frame with a securely fixed barrel and the option to quickly remove and replace the cylinder without having to disassemble the gun. Consequently, today there are far more examples and variations of the Remington 1863 New Model Army than the original manufacturer has ever produced. The latest of these comes from the Italian family-owned company Davide Pedersoli & C. Pedersoli has now introduced a mechanically and optically optimized version. Its name: Remington Pattern Custom in .44 caliber.

 the Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom comes chrome-plated
Stylish and classy: the Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom comes chrome-plated and polished on the outside.
the cylinder of the Pedersoli percussion revolver
At the rear of the cylinder of the Pedersoli percussion revolver, between the beryllium nip grooves, there are safety notches for the hammer, thus preventing accidental firing.

The test gun: Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom revolver in .44 caliber

Stainless Steel? Nickel finish? That was the first question when unpacking the gun, which showed up with a shiny silver finish. The answer: the revolver, with the word "Custom" engraved at the bottom of the grip, is chrome-plated and polished on the outside. The metalwork on the test gun proved to be very good. This was also evident in places that are usually not visible at first glance, such as under the grip panels. Cast seams or something were not found. The cylinder was fitted with beryllium nips (No.12-28UNF).

The grip frame
The grip frame is one-piece, containing a leaf spring with adjustment screw. Note the screw-on grip panels – inside, a pin holds them in position.

From metal to wood, or more precisely: to the grips. Correct, plural. Because the scope of delivery included three sets:
- the standard grip, 38.5 mm wide at the bottom, narrowing towards the top, one set mounted, a second enclosed,
- a second set of grip panels, 36.5 mm wide at the bottom and 37.5 mm wide at the height of the mounting screw.

With these somewhat bulky grip panels, the revolver fills even large hands very well. Of course, before a competition, one should also make sure that these grips are also approved according to the respective rules and regulations – because they do not correspond to the original as it comes from the factory. In any case, all grips, whether of normal thickness or bulbous-shaped, sat neatly on the grip frame without any protruding edges.

The manufacturer Pedersoli supplied the Remington Pattern Custom with pairs of grip panels 
The manufacturer Pedersoli supplied the Remington Pattern Custom with pairs of grip panels of different thicknesses made of walnut.

For the improvements to the revolver, Pedersoli evaluated the experience of competitive shooters. As a result, the revolver showed up with reduced trigger weight (value: 790 grams). Then the factory had the trigger and cylinder assembly specially hardened and surface-tempered to reduce friction to the minimum technically possible and improve smoothness. The taper of the main spring increased its flexibility, reduced the force required to cock the hammer, and reduced vibration during firing. Consequently, the Pedersoli model also exhibited impeccable timing, i.e., the correctly tuned interaction of the cylinder, hammer, trigger, lever, and pawl.

With the Remington Pattern Custom from Pedersoli on the shooting stand

The blued front sight of the Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom
The blued front sight of the Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom can be drifted laterally thanks to the dovetail groove. The base edges are matched to the profile of the octagonal barrel.

Pedersoli recommends .454" (11.53 mm) diameter bullets for its revolvers. Since the front chambers are 11.4mm in diameter, you should not use smaller diameter bullets under any circumstances, rather bullets with a slightly larger cross dimension. We therefore used bullets with a diameter of .457", which have a weight of 9.38 grams, or 144.6 grains.

About the powder: Pedersoli recommends a charge between 18 and 35 grains per chamber. Since no particular type of powder is specified, shooters who are looking for good accuracy will probably prefer to use Swiss black powder No. 2 from the Poudrerie d'Aubonne. Experience has shown that it is advisable to reduce these charges by about ten percent when using No. 2. In the test, there were no powder loads of more than 24 grains of powder, as experience shows that powerful loads do not lead to improved accuracy. We used RWS 1075 Plus percussion caps throughout. These had to be pressed firmly onto the nips every time, so that they could not fall off on their own during firing.

Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom
Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom: the view over the rear sight groove on the frame bridge to the fine front sight offers the aiming eye a clear and high-contrast sight picture.

The accuracy check was done with the revolver supported. We placed the gun in an MTM Case-Gard short-barrel rest. We fired the gun a total of 55 times. After a test series to determine the hit placement, we fired two times five series of five shots each to determine accuracy. And everything went as it should: after firing, the primers could be pulled off the nips without any problems. There were no malfunctions in the cylinder operation caused by the remains of spent caps. And the quality of the barrel and forcing cone was confirmed by the fact that no lead deposits appeared in either the barrel or the forcing cone after firing. The best result of the two mentioned five-shot series, measured from hit center to hit center, was a top score of 1.49”/38 millimeters.

Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom revolver specs and price

Model: Pedersoli Remington Pattern Custom
Price:1299 euro
Cylinder Capacity:6 rounds
Dimensions (L x W x H): 
50 x 41 x 135 mm
Barrel Length: 
8”/203 mm
Barrel Gap: 
0.15 mm
Sight Radius: 
9”/230 mm
Notch Rear Sight: 
0.078”/2 mm
Front sight width: 
0.039”/1 mm
Trigger Pull Weight: 
27.8 oz/790 g
43.6 oz/1238 g
Single-action percussion muzzleloader revolver. Chrome plated barrel, cylinder and frame, trigger guard made of polished brass, grip panels made of walnut wood. Side driftable front sight.

Remington Pattern percussion revolver by Pedersoli: wrap-up

The showdown comes at the end, as they say not only in Westerns, but also here. Sure, at just under 1300 euros, the Pedersoli isn't exactly cheap. But the price level is on the lower level of what one has to spend for a reasonable 357 match revolver. So, in our view, the price is fully reasonable, especially since the new variant of Pedersoli's copy of the Remington muzzleloader proved to be excellently crafted. With the oversized grip, the gun felt good in the hand. The sights were clear and contrasty to the eye. No malfunctions of any kind occurred during the test. It was also possible to hit the target quite well: with the two best loads, the ten ring of a pistol target can be consistently hit without any problems. And with a little fiddling with loads and bullets, there's certainly more to come …

 What we liked:

 What we found less good:

Excellent workmanship and function
Somewhat short grip (gun type-related)
Good acccuracy

The price/performance ratio is right

Text: Wolfgang Finze and Matthias S. Recktenwald

For more information on the Remington Pattern Custom and other firearms please visit the Davide Pedersoli website.

This article is also available in this language: