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Cowpoke Chris

Taurus Thunderbolt

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Posted (edited)

Seen a new Taurus Thunderbolt today. 45 lc. About $600. What is the good the bad and the ugly? Feels good. Anybody using them?

Edited by Cowpoke Chris

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NO! NO! JUST NO! RUN AWAY! FAST! 

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I've heard Rumors that it is possible for some Smith's to make em run.... Ain't never seen it.

But I do Know for a Fact they make Great Tomato Stakes !!!!!

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Posted (edited)

Of the various replicas of the Colt Lightning, the Taurus as an earned reputation for being the worst one ever marketed.   

 

I am a Lightning shooter, and when I was first in the market, I was able to compare a Taurus, a Beretta and an AWA.   The Taurus action felt like rubbing two pieces of sandpaper together, the Beretta was smoother, but clunky.   The AWA was smooth and just felt right.   I bought the AWA, and it soon became my favorite main match rifle, surprisingly supplanting my beloved since childhood Winchesters.

 

All of that being said, 650 is less than you'll pay for one made by anyone else.  But you will probably have to pay to have it made usable.   The go to guy is Lassiter.  I have met him and talked with him on occasion, and he says he can make a Taurus work.   Even so, I'd say it's about 250 over my max price.  Factor in the cost to make it work right, and have you really saved anything over the alternatives?

 

AWA is gone, so that's used only.

 

Uberti is still making them, but I truly don't know how good or bad they are.  [They made the Beretta, if I remember correctly]

 

Taurus eventually gave up.

 

USFA's are supposed to be very good, and as rare as hens teeth.

 

Real Colts are hit or miss, and can be expensive.

 

I have never heard anyone say anything bad about the Pedersoli made ones, but they are not cheap.

 

WARNING:   The Lightning Bug is very serious.  If infected, you develop an uncontrollable urge to use them all the time, and obtain more of them in different calibers.   Some people seem to be immune and dismiss those of us who have fallen to the ailment to be misguided for having exposed ourselves to it in the first place.  If left untreated, the next thing you know, you have five rifles, three of which are real Colts, including a .22, you have gone out of your way to find and obtain a rare AWA Lightning Bolt Pistol, think Mares Leg Lighting, [not SASS legal but a hoot to own and shoot] and are saving your money to eventually obtain a large frame one.   Once you get this bug, there is no known cure.  So be careful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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No good, just bad, and ugly is in the eye of the holder.  Deadeye Dallas (I think?) figured it out some years ago and posted a bunch of things that needed to be reworked.   Lassiter fixed one up and used it to win Gunfighter National Championship.  He would be the one to talk to.

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I have a nickle one in 45LC.  Many of the Taurus in 357 or 38spl just would not run correctly.  Everyone said run it like you stole it.

 

My 45LC ran just fine, but with a straight case, it spit in my face.  If it had been 44-40, it might have been just fine.

 

I still have it in a safe someplace.  Just couldn't use it as a tomato stake.

 

My advice, do not buy at any price.

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Deadeye Dallas “completely re-engineered” mine and if he worked at the factory folks would be clamoring to buy one

Of note, shooting 45’s, at 1.50 COL, mine swallows the rounds with 100% perfection and with hard racking of the forearm, no stove pipes. 

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Too high of a price...  Taurus can be pretty touchy.  I've shot two that work as fast as you can cycle them.  Stock but most ive seen need help. 

 

 I paid less than that for my uberti last month. A Taurus I wouldn't spend more that $400 for. 

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At $600 bucks.

It's $550 over priced.  

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I was once infected by that pesky Lightening Bug, it is a sneaky lil pest.   Started with the Taurus, went from one Uberti to another.  Finally got a Uberti that worked well for me.  It is a expensive habit, the Taurus Bug is the worst, talk to Lassiter it is well worth your time.  Spur that horse and ride hard away from the Taurus.  After a run of antibiotics I have shed the bug and now only use 73's.

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I had one, way back when they were selling for $365.00  .45 Colt.  I was never able to run it for more than 4 rounds before it locked up with a round under the carrier.  Most times not that long.   Never did try it in a match.  I sold it here on the Classifieds, told the buyer exactly what it was doing before he bought it.  He wanted to try working on it anyway.  Boy, that was a long time ago.

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I seem to recall those going for about $300 when everyone called them tomato stakes. I could be wrong, but those take about $600 in order to fix them to run fast. They can run, but I would want one at the lower price before pulling the trigger, so to speak.

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14 hours ago, Cowpoke Chris said:

You guys have completely busted my bubble. There are reasons to ask questions.

 

Don't be too discouraged.   The Taurus may be problematic, but some of the other alternatives can do very well.

 

My first one the above mentioned AWA, is a .45 Colt and this is the one that got me hooked on the Lightning forever.   I have shot 2 clean matches with it, End of the Trail and The MA/CT/RI Tristate.   Granted, I am a bottom of the pack shooter, but I am faster with it than any levergun.   Mine is out of the box stock, and I have only ever had one problem with it.  I had let it go too long without carefully cleaning it, and as a result the firing pin channel got gummed up and sometime the gun would not go bang when the hammer fell.   Squired it with Gunscrubber, and yeah, a lot of gunk flushed out, but it started working fine again.  Since then I always give it a good cleaning after every match.  After several years of using it as my primary main match rifle, an internal part broke on me.  I took it to Lassiter who fixed it right up.


It was the gunk in the firing pin experience that made me say that if I ever found another AWA in .44-40 that I'd buy one.  Less blowback means less gunk afterall.   Less than 2 months later I found one, and I bought it.  The only problem this had was that the chamber way too tight.   Had a gunsmith polish the chamber and the problem went away.   Curiously, it also had a spacer in the magazine that made loading rounds 9 and 10 very difficult.   After it caused a round I was loading to pop out under the lifter, I removed the spacer.   I can now load 13 round with no problem if I want to.

 

My third was a real Colt in .32-20.   Advertised as being "lovingly restored and given an expert action job" it is a very beautiful rifle that I was able to get for a lot less than a typical Colt, and it works just fine.

 

The next one I got is another Colt in .44-40.   This is one that was actually military issue in Costa Rica way back when.   Only 350 were made in this configuration, and it's got a bayonet lug.   Now I need to find a bayonet for it.  Have not fired it yet, but nothing seems to be amiss with it.

After that I got a small frame Colt in .22 Long.  I am looking forward to using it in a .22 Sidematch.

 

My most recent Lightning is one of the very rare AWA Lightning Bolt Mares Leg type pistols.  As I mentioned above, these are not SASS approved, are very hard to find, and a LOT of fun to shoot.

 

My next Lightning will be a Large Frame Colt, hopefully in ".45-85-285" which is a Colt proprietary cartridge that is essentially .45-70 under another name.  The only difference is that the rifling in the Colts assumes a higher velocity thanks to the lighter bullet, or so I have bee told.   I'll figure it out if and when I get one.

So yeah...    Ignore the Taurus, but don't give up on the Lightning itself.  Just know that once you start, you can't stop...

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Unless it's a steal and you just want to own a cheap Lightinng to play with, stay away from the Taurus Lightnings. As H.K.Uriah stated, it is the worst of the four versions (Pedersoli, Uberti, AWA, and Taurus). Pedersoli is by far the best from a standpoint of workmanship, attention to detail, re-engineering of the internal parts, and functionality for CAS. Uberti has introduced too many safety functions which makes the rifle function only reasonably well without a LOT of practice. The AWAs are "okay", and the Taurus is just very poor made (even though it is the closest replica to the original 1884 Colt Lightning).

 

If you do get a Taurus, I have prepared a 24-page fully-illustrated tear-down and assembly manual for the Taurus Lightning - it's free - just PM me.

RR

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Just for the record, Deadeye Dallas does not work on Lightnings any more. When he did, he could make them sing. I've seen very few Lightnings that would run reliable and quick every time. Lassiter, Deadeye Dallas, Larry Earp and Pistol Packin Peanut.....that's it.

 

Dallas had me test one once back years ago. Before I shot this one in the video below, I'd never shot one before. After the video, I wanted one bad. After shooting some others people's Lightning, that feeling went away quick.

 

 

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I had a 45 Colt Thunderbolt which was a fun practice rifle and worked pretty well in practice. Something different between practice and shooting a match because it would mess up in every match. It took me a couple of years to finally give up and get rid of it,. The rifle was very particular on COL and if you thought a Marlin .45 had a lot of blow back, you had never shot a .45 Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt gave Taurus a lot of bad comments

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Got a pedersoli off Gunbroker at a decent price.Got Roger Rapids book on itdid part of the action work on it.Putting a tang site on it.

Range is closed so I havent been able to shoot it yet Soon I hope.

                                                                                                                                  Largo

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I am not affiliated with them, though I do a lot of business with them.  If this post is not allowed, please delete it.  Johnson's Sporting Goods has a used Pedersoli Cimarron Colt Lightning in .45 Colt for sale for $1050.00  https://www.johnsonsguns.com/sale-and-used.html

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I had problems with mine until I though about just using inertia and cartridge weight to help it reset behind the Stop.  I found out that if I just let the rifle slightly loose in the shoulder then the kick of firing moves rifle back but the Bullets dont and thus resetting them on the stop.  Yes I know this is not normal to not keep it against the shoulder tight but I have tried it tight and I have the jamming problems due to the Mag tube allowing the next round to jump over the stop.  and Now I have tried it through about 50 different styles of ammo loose with Zero Problems.  Not one.  With No modifications.    Just food for thought until people can get this tube mode all done.

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I have to admit that I am a lightning junkie as well. I have an AWA in 38 sp. that I have been shooting for the last dozen years or so. It works flawlessly & has never been worked on. Last year I acquired a Stainless Taurus that I sent to Lassiter to make work. I have as much in the action job as you are looking to pay for the rifle. 
here is a video of my first run with it after Lassiter worked on it. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have a USFA Lighting in .44-40 that I used as my main match most of the time.  It has always worked for me but has a very tight chamber.  My brother has a Beretta Lighting with factory engraving that he likes.  The insides of the Beretta is different than a stock Colt Lighting.  My brothers cycles great not at all like the Taurus.  They were so bad that when Taurus stopped making them they dropped the price to $250 and could not give them away.

 

Here is an email I received from a SASS member:  "Roger Rapid" SASS 96080

 

From: "Roger Siminoff" 
To: "Pee Wee"
Cc: 
Sent: Wednesday March 6 2019 6:13:43PM
Subject: Pedersoli Lightning Instructions
 

Pee Wee
 
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on your request - I was at Winter Range when it came through and have been trying to recover from an email blitz.
 
Thanks for your email and glad you have a Pedersoli Lightning - these are great rifles and can be made to run as fast and reliably as any lever gun. Attached please find Revision 14 of my instructions for assembly and disassembly. I do updates from time to time and I have you on my list to receive future versions.
 
The internal workings of the Pedersoli Lightning are more intricate than the Uberti or Taurus versions, and in order to run fast and smooth, the Pedersoliu Lightning requires frequent cleaning, especially of the lower trigger assembly. Just squirting oil into the action - while helping it run better for a few rounds - only makes matters worse by allowing more junk to accumulate in the lower action. I fully strip and clean my Lightnings after every three matches or so. May seem like a pain, but look at it as your friend - it’s an essential part of having them run well. 
 
Having said that, the Pedersoli Lightning, in my opinion, is the best working Lightning on the market and well worth all the care and attention to krerp in running well.
 
If you have a .357 verrtsion, there are a few things to consider:
 
1) The firing pins on the .357 Pedersolil Lightnings are prone to breakage. I’d urge considering installing a .45LC firing pin (which requires drilling the bolt to accept the larger diameter firing pin). There is information on doing this in the enclosed manual. (I can also help you with that if you are concerned about doing it.)
 
2) While it is commonly known that a .357 pistol or rifle will also chamber a .38SP round, .38s don’t feed as well in the Lightning as .357s do unless you are using a bullet that brings the OAL close to the .357’s length of .160”. So, I’d urge shooting .357s, and if that doesn’t work for you, then longer bullets - like 120g or better - are recommended for good feeding.
 
Don’t hesitate to email or call if you have any questions.
 
Best,
Roger Rapid
 
Roger Siminoff
Gunstocks, grips, and CAS gunsmithing
9190 Harvest Way
Atascadero, CA 93422
805.801.8750 • siminoff@siminoff.net

 

He is a good guy to talk with.

Edited by Pee Wee #15785
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I had a Pedersoli .44-40 that had been made race-ready by Lassiter.  It ran fine, but after years of shooting 73s, it was hard for me to shoot a stage without jacking one out.  That rifle was "adopted" by another cowboy.  I still have one Pedersoli Lightning (.44-40) left and I may play with it someday when my only goal in cowboy shooting becomes "cool factor points".  I almost purchase a Taurus when they first came out, but, luckily, my cowboy friends did an "intervention" and saved me from the grief it would have caused. 

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Run run run away ! 

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It is the kind of rifle that is paid by the hour, can't be in any type of hurry with it and it works when it wants to......  You get to spend lots of $$ to make it CAS quick.

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If you want to amuse yourself, Google the Taurus Thunderbolt, and you'll come across all kinds of articles that saw how great it is.

 

I wonder who was writing them.

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