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Woody Shootem, SASS # 24816

Looking to buy Pedersoli Sporting Rifle #3

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I'm looking for a new long range rifle in .45-70 caliber. I've found a Pedersoli Sporting Rifle #3 that seems like a fair price, but what I'm interested in knowing is: Is it worth buying? I'm not looking to start shooting in NRA BP silhouette matches or anything like that -- just side matches and perhaps some local competition out to 500 yards. I know making proper, consistent ammo is a key to accuracy; I'm just wondering if I would be happy with the performance of this gun. Your thoughts?

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I'm looking for a new long range rifle in .45-70 caliber. I've found a Pedersoli Sporting Rifle #3 that seems like a fair price, but what I'm interested in knowing is: Is it worth buying? I'm not looking to start shooting in NRA BP silhouette matches or anything like that -- just side matches and perhaps some local competition out to 500 yards. I know making proper, consistent ammo is a key to accuracy; I'm just wondering if I would be happy with the performance of this gun. Your thoughts?

Pedersoli rifles are well made and everyone I've seen is a really good shooter. I own a Pedesoli Trapdoor rifle and it will shoot 1-2" groups at 100yrds. At our monthly Buffalo match, our top shooter uses a Pedersoli Model 1874.

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I have the Billy Dixon Pedersoli in 45-70. Like you said getting the right bullet weight and powder combo is essential. The sights are OK for side matches. Once I started shooting out to 500 yds. I bought a good soul rear and hooded front sight with a spirit level. My accuracy improved immensely. Then it comes down to the shooter.

 

Very satisfied with accuracy and workmanship.

Ike

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Pedersoli might be alright for 300 yards, and I am sure that some shooters can take them a bit farther. I would bet that most serious long-range (NRA-BPC_ shooters are using C Sharps, Shilohs and Ballards, or they are usng original guns with 'lots-of-love'. The newer US-made rifles cost about twice as much and may incur a lead-time, but I believe that these domestic arms are more tolerant of ammo and external effects (weather, humidity, etc).

In other words, the Italian guns are good guns but are not the choice of shooters who put many, many loads downrange.

Cherrys (www.cherrys.com) has C Sharps and Shilohs for under $2500. Original High Walls can be found for even less at Gunbroker.

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Pedersoli might be alright for 300 yards, and I am sure that some shooters can take them a bit farther. I would bet that most serious long-range (NRA-BPC_ shooters are using C Sharps, Shilohs and Ballards, or they are usng original guns with 'lots-of-love'. The newer US-made rifles cost about twice as much and may incur a lead-time, but I believe that these domestic arms are more tolerant of ammo and external effects (weather, humidity, etc).

In other words, the Italian guns are good guns but are not the choice of shooters who put many, many loads downrange.

Cherrys (www.cherrys.com) has C Sharps and Shilohs for under $2500. Original High Walls can be found for even less at Gunbroker.

That's not entirely true I watched 49er Preacher shoot his out to just under 900 yards and beat me with my Shiloh. He has both a high wall and a roller and shoots them both very well at very long ranges. I shoot a Shiloh and a CPA Stevens and he has no problem beating me! A number of yaers ago now Pedersoli asked the long range comunity what they wanted in a rifle and they followed through! I argee that they aren't as sexy as a Shiloh or a CPA Stevens, but they shoot!

Jasper

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Tom, gonna have to disagree with you Pard and side with Jasper's overview ...

 

I have 2 Pedersoli's. One is 45-70 and the other is rechambered to 45-90. You may not know, their barrels are match bored:

Per Dick Trenk, deceased US Pedersoli Match Coordinator:

Mr. Kolbe does not mention the process of Broach Rifling which is a form of cut rifling. Instead of a single point cutter being drawn through a prepared bore hole many many times, the bore hole is prepared to whatever standard the maker desires. Then a long broach having 14-16 sets of cutters on it is pulled slowly through the bore hole. (of course ample lubrication is always flowing).

 

Each set of cutters is slightly larger than the prior set and as the broach is pulled through, these cutters (made in the shape of the grooves desired) cut equally in all directions and gradually produce the grooves of the barrel.

This broach rifling is the process used by Pedersoli to rifle all the barrels, both for muzzle loading guns as well as for cartridge rifles.

 

Mr. Kolbe mentions that barrel makers will ream the drilled bore hole to obtain a level of smoothness before they start cutting grooves.

 

At Pedersoli all barrels are drilled and reamed but then we add a third step which is to HONE the bore hole to bring it up to the match grade tolerance of the final bore diameter. Also the honing produces a much finer finish in the bore hole and this fine finish becomes the tops of your lands.....mirror finish affect before we start the broaches on their job of cutting all the grooves.

 

Also, we use two of these 5-6 foot long broaches on each rifle barrel.

The first broach brings the rifling up to within .0020" of the final dimension. The second broach having 15 cutters brings the rifling up the last .0020" to the final dimension.

This second broach has the last three cutters of the exact same size. As cutter #13 makes the final tiny cut it is worn a bit. Eventually cutter #13 will no longer bring the groove up to the final diameter so cutter #14 which has been doing no work, comes into play and handles that final cut.

#14 eventually wears a bit and cutter #15 which has done no work up to this time, comes into play and takes over making the final cut.

 

Experience tells us when to remove the broaches and have them resharpened back to normal dimensions. Barrels are visually inspected using a borescope which projects the picture onto a large TV monitor. Air gaging is performed to verify the rifling is within match grade tolerances (plus/minus .0002").

Note the air gauge tolerance ... 0.0002" ... 2/10,000

 

OK, that's the barrel. How does it shoot? Here are a couple of targets:

100yds - 25 shots - 14 in the ragged hole

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd220/Meadowmucker/Targets/LymanPostell100Yds.jpg

 

1000Yds, 45-70 - 10" Bullseye

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd220/Meadowmucker/Ridgway%20Oct%202008/PDRM3577.jpg

 

Woody, you have no concerns that the #3 will be a junker - Buy It

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John Boy,NICE, thanks for the info! A friend who has a Pedresoli sharps in 45/70 was just learning the gun and his bullets were all touching at 100yards, not long range,but still very impressive!

Jasper

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Howdy

 

First of all, the OP stated that he is not looking to start 'NRA BP silhouette matches or anything like that'.

 

Secondly, I agree that Pedersoli rifles take a back seat to none. What you pay for with a Shiloh or a C Sharps is a prettier rifle. But Pedersolis can be great shooters.

 

Buy the Pedersoli, you will not be disappointed.

 

What I will caution you is to pay attention to some of the details. When I went shopping for my Sharps a number of years ago, I looked at a lot of them before I bought one. At that time, I was not particularly impressed with either the checkering or the metal fore end caps that Pedersoli was doing. The examples of checkering I saw were poorly executed, with many lines extending outside the border, and they did not meet properly on the underside of the barrel. I also was not impressed with Pedersoli's execution of fore end caps. They were pinned in place, and the pins had not been properly ground down, but stuck out like a sore thumb. Those are some of the points where the domestically made Sharps will shine. For end caps are properly cast in place, there are no pins holding them in place. And the checkering is first rate.

 

Therefor, when I bought my Pedersoli Sharps I bought the Silhouette Model; a plain jane model with no checkering or fancy end cap. I did not want to be annoyed every time I saw those details.

 

The other thing to think about is the shape of the butt plate. Although all of my CAS Main Match rifles have crescent shaped buttplates, my Sharps has a plain shotgun style butt plate. 45-70 kicks pretty good, even with a heavy rifle like a Sharps. With a crescent shaped buttplate you must place the buttplate around the shoulder joint, not rest it against the meaty part of the shoulder. If you try to fire a heavy recoiling rifle with the buttplate on the shoulder like most of us are used to doing, the points of the crescent will dig into your shoulder and it will hurt. Crescents were designed to fit around the shoulder joint, and will keep the rifle in place, it will not slip up or down. It is not too difficult to shoot this way offhand, but I find that at the bench it is inconvenient, so I went with the shotgun style buttplate. I can place it against the meaty part of my shoulder and the recoil of a 45-70 round full of FFg does not hurt.

 

I went to the Pedersoli webpage and I see that their Sporting #3 model has a slight curve to the buttplate. Go to their website and you can compare the different buttplates. I suspect that that shape of buttplate will be OK to mount conventionally at the shoulder without hurting, but I cannot swear to it. I also see that this model has some checkering. Be sure you inspect the checkering before you pay your money, to make sure it is up to snuff.

 

I notice their Deluxe version of the Sporting #3 Sharps does have a fore end cap. If that is the gun you are interested in, turn it over and see if the cap is pinned in place. If so, the cap and pin should have been ground down together so that the joint is almost invisible.

 

Just a few cautions from my experience. I do like my Silhouette model a lot, and it shoots a lot better than I can.

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Thank you, everyone, for you well-thought out responses. I knew I could rely on folks here to answer my questions. It sure sounds like I'll be happy with a Pedersoli. I have at least a couple of them I'm looking at. I'll let you know which one I get.

 

Thanks again!

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