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The Aggie Rifleman, SASS#55213

Pump rifles

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Pard's,

 

Years ago I had one of the Taurus Thunderbolts.  It was a fun gun but alas it was sold.

 

Now I'm kinda looking again at them.  Taurus doesn't sell them but Uberti is making a version.  How does the Uberti one shoot?  Is it easier to load/unload?  Any one run one?  Good points/bad points?

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Pedersoli makes the best pump rifle, IMHO. If you’re going to buy one make it a 44-40.

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2 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Pedersoli makes the best pump rifle, IMHO. If you’re going to buy one make it a 44-40.

I agree.  I have been through them all.

Taurus, AWA, Uberti/Berretta, and Pedersoli.  The last one is still the only one around.

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I am sure there are others but Lassiter has an excellent reputation at making the them work well for CAS

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+1 for Yul and Lost Vaquero.  I only have one left and it's a .44-40 Pedersoli.  The two other Lightnings I have owned have been Pedersolis and they have been trouble free. 

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I shot an AWA Lightening for years with no problems. It broke and I retired it after unsuccessful attempts to repair it. Bought a Pedersoli in 44-40 and it has proved to be a very reliable replacement. I am not able to shoot the pump action rifles as fast as the lever guns but I really love to shoot them.

Lucky

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The Uberti lightning uses a transfer bar safety & the Pedersoli has a rebounding hammer.  My 45C main match rifle is a Beretta Gold Rush (Uberti lightning).  The only issue I have is that you have to run it like you stoll it.  Even then, 1 in 100 the rifle will fail to fire when the hammer drops.  I feel the the forearm move slightly (a few 1/1000") when hammer drops.  You either have to jack out a round or perform a somewhat complicated action to recock & fire the round in the chamber.  1) With trigger depressed pull the hammer back to cocked position.  2) Release pressure on trigger (resets the sear).  3) Remove your thumb from hammer  4) Acquire the target & pull the trigger.

P.S. Lightnings are very fast when reloading on the clock.  When the magazine is empty just drop a round onto the elevator.  Or when the magazine is not empty use the loading gate when action is open.

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Posted (edited)

When I was in the market to get a Lightning, I was able to compare the Taurus to the Beretta to the AWA.   The Taurus had an action that felt like pulling two pieces of sandpaper against each other.   The Beretta, made by Uberti, was smoother, but had a clunky action in my opinion.   The AWA had an action that was smooth and felt "right" to me somehow.   I bought the AWA, .45 Colt, and it soon became my favorite Main Match rifle.  I found that I could shoot faster with it than any lever gun, not that I am all that fast to begin with, but still.  I also shot my first ever clean match with it, at End of the Trail no less.  It has never given me any problems, with one minor exception.   One time I had a few failures to fire.  Took the gun home and flushed out the firing pin with gun scrubber.   Cleaned out a lotta gunk, and since then the problem has never reoccurred.  Bottom like, they must be kept clean.   Especially a .45 that gives a lot of blowback into the action.

 

I like the gun so much that I decided if I ever found another AWA in .44-40 I would buy it.   Soon after making that decision, I found one, so I bought it.  The chamber was a bit tight, to the point where ammo would not chamber.  Had a gunsmith polish it, and the problem has gone away and it now works just as well as the .45.  And, since there is no blowback with the .44-40 the action stays much cleaner.

 

Then, not too long after that, I found a genuine Colt in .32-20 that had been "expertly restored" and given a good action job.   It is now very pretty, works flawlessly, and since it's collector value has been "ruined" I could actually afford to purchase it.   I am quite happy with its performance.

 

So, in my experience, AWAs and Colts are good choices.   Tauruses are be avoided at all costs, and the Uberti/Beretta leaves much to be desired.  The other brands out there I have no first hand experience with.

 

And for what it's worth, both the Colt and AWA will slam fire, if that is something that appeals to you.

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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Just as a cavet, the reason the AWA is no longer is that when things broke there are no parts to fix it.  While some things got patched up, it was just that a patch and in the end not worth it. 

 

While I do sometimes take the Pedersoli out for a match, I primarily now use it as my pistol caliber long range rifle. Mine is in 357 magnum and yes the firing pin broke.

I had it replaced with a 45 one and the bolt drilled so the pin should not break again.  I will say that for long range pistol, fast enough and the thing is amazingly accurate if I do my job.  Pedersoli is known for putting match grade barrels on their rifles.

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Should you invest in a Pedersoli Lightning rifle and you ever need parts Taylor’s and Company can get parts as well as an outfit in Canada, Marstar, I believe. I’ve needed a firing pin in the past on a couple of different rifles and got them from them. The Pedersoli rifle is very trouble free but a good crimp on 44-40 is necessary to avoid turtlenecking in the magazine. 

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my friends that bought these versions of the colt lightning have been somewhat disappointed but that is all that has stopped me from buying one , i love the concept and would love to own one , 

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I run a Pedersoli Lightning in .45LC and love it. I have the 20" carbine version also but prefer the longer 26" hex barrel for stability.  Because I'm into Lightnings, I also have a Taurus Thunderbolt and Uberti Lightning, and as others have said, the Pedersoli is a far better, more reliable, and easier to shoot rifle than the other models (the Taurus being the worst). From the outside, they all look similar but their inner workings are different. It's been my experience that a capable shooter can run a Lightning as fast as a lever gun. Try one, you'll like it!

 

RR

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Posted (edited)

With any of the pump clones of the Colt Lightning, to preclude stove pipes, be sure to test fire the overall length of your reloads. Th lifter to the chamber clearance can vary slightly.  In my case, the Taurus 45 Colt likes a COAL of 1.50 to 1.55 without stove piping.  Put any longer up to 1.60 round in it and start swearing

Edited by John Boy
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owned and shot them all. the original Colt lightning in my opinion is the best. had two 32-20's set up for CAS and while I only shoot mine once and awhile, because it is a 26" oct barrel, my wife shoots hers carbine full time. It works fine and the Colt holds up well. 5 years and not problems.

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At matches that I attend and even one that I attended today I hear new guys asking about my Lightning rifle. Today, as I often do other shooters disparage the Lightning because they say I have lots of problems. In actuality none of the issues I’ve had have been with the rifle, they’ve all been ammunition related, either round to long, to short or the crimp not sufficient or primer not being seated properly. For awhile I had been having quite a problem with my Dillon 650 and once I discovered what it was and sent it into Dillon for a rebuild my ammunition issues with the Lightning rifle have disappeared. I sent my slam fire Pedersoli Lightning back to Lassiter for a tune up but have not started using it in matches again because I haven’t had the time to get it to the range to check it out. Some folks like them and many don’t. I’ve got a couple of other lever guns but I really like using the Lightning’s. 

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We need to have a specialty shoot.   Minimum requirements is that everyone must use a Lighting for their Main Match rifle.   Extra credit is awarded if you use the Lightning Bolt from AWA, sort of a Lightning version of the Mares Leg, as one of your pistols, and since extra long range targets will be added, more extra credit for using a large frame Lightning for them, and of course in keeping with the theme, everyone must use a 97 with the magazine stoked at the loading table.

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Speaking of the different frame sizes of the Lighting rifle, I have to say that while I often come across the small frame .22's, I do not often see the large frame variant.   Of course, all the reproductions are medium frame pistol calibers, so we are talking original Colts here.

 

According to Wikipedia, a little of 6000 were made, so I guess that counts towards their scarcity.   The relative handful that I have seen at gunshows are also quite expensive, so I don't know if I'll ever own one.   Still the thought of using all three sizes for main and side matches is attractive.   Wiki however does not indicate what all the calibers the large frame was offered in.   Anybody know?   Based on how it one of the few listed is .38-56, not .38-55 suggests to me that they may have been chambered for cartridges that are now more obscure that contemporary Winchester and Marling big bore guns.  Which may make reloading and shooting the more problematic if getting brass is exceptionally difficult.  I have a feeling that it'll be, oh look, an affordable one, I'll get to get it without regard to caliber.

 

Anyone have any answers?

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

We need to have a specialty shoot.   Minimum requirements is that everyone must use a Lighting for their Main Match rifle.   Extra credit is awarded if you use the Lightning Bolt from AWA, sort of a Lightning version of the Mares Leg, as one of your pistols, and since extra long range targets will be added, more extra credit for using a large frame Lightning for them, and of course in keeping with the theme, everyone must use a 97 with the magazine stoked at the loading table.

Well now that you mention it I’ve expressed an interest in putting on a similar match but the reaction that I get is not to enthusiastic. When matches  were still shot at Pala they had no problem with you stoking your 1897 but it had to be on the clock, I believe Cajon allows it also. Sometimes escaping the mundane and ordinary are hard to do.

Edited by Yul Lose

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