Talking about muzzle-loading firearms – or otherwise about historical weapons – is always useful because it represents a mental exercise with which to recall the history not just of firearms, but also of combat and construction techniques. The history of firearms, which is essentially the history of wars, is made up of many steps: from flintlock to percussion cap, from paper cartridges to metallic cases, from single shot to full auto. Therefore, a journey through the catalog of a manufacturer like Davide Pedersoli allows you to see beautiful and well-made firearms, and to learn or remember interesting notions. But let's not waste any more time and let's go to the discovery of these three products manufactured by the Italian company.
Pedersoli Cook Underhammer in .36 caliber
Muzzle-loading pistols featuring the hammer under the barrel were among the first to use the copper percussion caps invented around 1820. In this type of pistol the nipple and the hammer are under the barrel, so when firing this prevents sparks and possible cap splinters from hitting the face of the user. In addition, the hammer does not interfere with the line of sight. It's a type of gun that is improperly referred to as a "saloon shooting" firearm. These guns were actually very popular, especially in America in the first half of the 19th century, for defensive purposes. The particular hammer position in fact made belt-carry easier.
For Pedersoli this is not the first underhammer replica, since it has already in its catalog the .36 caliber Carleton model.
The Pedersoli Cook Underhammer is a .36 caliber rifled barrel, muzzle-loading pistol with a percussion lock. It is an ergonomic gun, fully ambidextrous and easy to maintain, thanks to the barrel assembly system, consisting of a cone-shaped pin that keeps all the parts together. The front sight is drift-adjustable while the rear sight is elevation-adjustable. Stock is walnut, lock parts are machined from solid steel, the PMG (Pedersoli Match Grade) quality barrel is broach-rifled with seven grooves and 450 mm twist. Being absolutely identical to an original, the Pedersoli Cook Underhammer replica can be used in MLAIC shooting competitions.
Lorenz Infantry Rifle Type II
The second proposal by Davide Pedersoli is a military weapon that is very popular among historical re-enactment groups, that is the Lorenz Infantry rifle, here in the Type II version, featuring an adjustable rear sight instead of the fixed one of the first model.
Born from the mind of Austrian lieutenant Joseph Lorenz, it officially went into production in 1854. It replaced the Augustin rifle in the ranks of the Austrian army, proving to be immediately superior to its predecessor. It was used in Italy, during the Second Independence War and later in the Balkans. It was the protagonist of famous battles on Italian soil, such as Magenta, Solferino and San Martino. Widely exported to the United States, it equipped both the Union and Confederate armies, becoming one of the most widely used rifles during the Civil War years. It fired a Wilkinson type bullet, with a solid flat base but with two deep grooves on the body that expanded when fired, engaging the four-groove rifling. Because of its strong connection to the Italian Wars of Independence, as well as for sports shooting, the Pedersoli Lorenz is very popular among Italian historical re-enactment groups.
Sharps Little Betsy
The third and last gun we are talking about is the Sharps Little Betsy rifle. Designed for demanding sports shooters, this new version of the Sharps 1874 model is chambered in .357 Magnum caliber and stands out for its graceful lines and reduced size. They worked on the frame, side plate and barrel in order to round-off the profiles and minimize overall dimensions, so that they managed to keep the gun's weight within 7.6 lb/3.45 kilograms. The frame is forged steel and CNC machined with a floral engraving, the stock is made of American walnut while the barrel is PMG (Pedersoli Match Grade) with a matte blue finish.
The sights consists of a tunnel front sight and a folding aperture sight. The rifle comes with double set trigger.
For hunters, there is also a Little Game version simplified in some details, featuring a single trigger, with blade front sight and adjustable rear notch.
Technical specs and prices
|Model: ||Lorenz Infantry rifle type II ||Sharps Little Betsy |
|Caliber: ||13.9 mm ||.357 Mag|
|Barrel Length: ||37”/940 mm ||24”/617 mm|
|Overall Lenght: ||53”/1346 mm ||41 7/8”/1045 mm|
|Weight:||9 lb/4.1 kg ||7.6 lb/3.26 kg|
|Rifling Grooves: ||4||8|
|Rifling Twist: ||2000 mm||460 mm|
|Price:||1584 euro ||1881 euro|