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Pedersoli Lightning/Lighting .357mag feed 38spec good?


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I am thinking i may want to shoot a pump action rifle for my sass rifle when shooting 38spec colt handguns. 

 

The pedersoli seems to be the one i want. Any experience on how it feeds and shoots 38spec? 

 

Looks like it may be hard to find one right now too. Can’t find on the website either.

 

edit: after phone conversations, i have had my mind changed. I am now moving the AWA to the “most wanted” category.  Yea, i know,,worse then a woman. :)

Edited by Marshall Matt Dillon
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  • Marshall Matt Dillon changed the title to Pedersoli Lightning/Lighting .357mag feed 38spec good?

You probably don’t want to hear it but 44-40 would be a better choice for your Lightning, might be easier to find also. 

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I will echo what Yul said.   If you really WANT a .38 Pedersoli, then by all means go for it.

But considering how everything is hard to find right now, and if you are willing to go with a different caliber, then ,44-40 is a good choice.  I've also done well with .45 Colt, but you will get some blowback and need to keep the gun Clean with capital C in that caliber.   

No personal experience with the Pedersoli version, but I have found the Colt and AWA's work just fine.  .32-20 is also a good choice, but as far as I know, only Colt made them in that caliber.

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There is no such thing as a .38 Special Pedersoli.  The originals were made to handle ammunition that is 1.590" OAL.  The Pedersolis are the same.  They require .357 ammunition that is a minimum of 1.540" OAL and that has a certain shape RNFP bullet.  With the right ammo the .357 is very reliable.  With the wrong ammo they suck.  In this case the barrel marking is correct -- .357 Mag.  Contact Roger Rapid and ask for a copy of his Pedersoli Lightning Manual.  Lots of great information in there.

DSC_0002.jpeg

 

 

I do have some experience with Lightnings.  Here is some of my herd.

 

 

 

P4300904.jpeg

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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Ditto on Larsen E. Pettifogger regarding .357 and not .38 in your Lightning.

 

IMHO, Pedersoli is the best of the Lightning rifle clones. Go for it - they are super fun to shoot and can be as quick as any lever gun.

RR

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3 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

There is no such thing as a .38 Special Pedersoli.  The originals were made to handle ammunition that is 1.590" OAL.  The Pedersolis are the same.  They require .357 ammunition that is a minimum of 1.540" OAL and that has a certain shape RNFP bullet.  With the right ammo the .357 is very reliable.  With the wrong ammo they suck.  In this case the barrel marking is correct -- .357 Mag.  Contact Roger Rapid and ask for a copy of his Pedersoli Lightning Manual.  Lots of great information in there.

DSC_0002.jpeg

That puts a big crimp in my plans! I just assumed it would shoot 38spec,,but came here to check. Glad i did. Thanks

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20 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

There is no such thing as a .38 Special Pedersoli.  The originals were made to handle ammunition that is 1.590" OAL.  The Pedersolis are the same.  They require .357 ammunition that is a minimum of 1.540" OAL and that has a certain shape RNFP bullet.  With the right ammo the .357 is very reliable.  With the wrong ammo they suck.  In this case the barrel marking is correct -- .357 Mag.  Contact Roger Rapid and ask for a copy of his Pedersoli Lightning Manual.  Lots of great information in there.

DSC_0002.jpeg

 

 

I do have some experience with Lightnings.  Here is some of my herd.

 

 

 

P4300904.jpeg

 

The unmitigated gall! Post a picture showing 14 of them and then say "Here's some of the herd".:P

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Use 38 special with long bullets if you are set on using 38 brass. May need to have different ammo for the rifle and pistols.

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I love the looks of the lighting. I just want something different for a rifle.

 

Seems everybody shoots a lever 66 or 73 or a marlin. I am a marlin fan,,but i shoot those for everyday guns at home, so no new excitement there.

 

I wanted 38 to keep same cartridge when i shoot my colts. 

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I ca say that a few years ago at EoT I saw a .38 Special Lightning.  I almost bought it.  I do not remember who made it, but it was being sold by Lassiter, so it definitely worked.  Might want to contact him to ask about what can be had in that chambering.   

 

Dang it, now I have to post this pic...

 

Lightings.thumb.JPG.049c6f9d05db777147001bab8519b6b1.JPG

 

I really wat one in .44 Special.

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They exist, I have two AWA in 38 special that feed fine with ammo loaded RNFP at 1.46"  Here a video I me running one of them. Yes this one was worked on by Lassiter.

 

 

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I just talked to Lassiter on the phone. Got info! I want to buy an AWA Lightning in 38 special, and he can make it run.

 

That is the plan,,,,now just have to find one. I posted in classifieds for any leads. 

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4 minutes ago, Marshall Matt Dillon said:

I just talked to Lassiter on the phone. Got info! I want to buy an AWA Lightning in 38 special, and he can make it run.

 

That is the plan,,,,now just have to find one. I posted in classifieds for any leads. 

 

Congrats on getting what you want.   I don't believe you can go wrong with a AWA, especially if it's been worked on by Lassiter.   I have two AWA's, three if you count the Lightning Bolt Pistol in my above pic, in .45 Colt, .44-40, and .45 Colt respectively.

The .45 is my favorite main match rifle, and the only one I've ever shot clean matches with.  About two years ago, after many years of faithful service, something inside broke, and Lassiter fixed it for me with no problems.

 

I will admit that the chamber on the .44-40 was tight, but once I took care of that, everything has worked well.

The pistol, well, that used to belong to Happy Trails.  :)

 

Good luck, and welcome to the Lighting Club.  An unofficial group of people who love the gun that doesn't really exist.   Just beware, you stand a good chance of so falling in love with the thing that the next time you blink, you'll have a small to large collection of them!

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8 hours ago, Kuna said:

They exist, I have two AWA in 38 special that feed fine with ammo loaded RNFP at 1.46"  Here a video I me running one of them. Yes this one was worked on by Lassiter.

 

I am looking for one now. Turns out i am less then one hour from lassiter. Nice video!

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I would suggest that You might want to try one at the range before buying.  If a pard will let you fire their's , it will let you feel if that is what you actually want.

 

I bought one for Wild Bunch to go along with the 97 pump action.  I did not like it all and went back to the 66.  I have a friend that has one made by  Uberti.  We shoot them at the range, but neither of us actually shoot them in a match.  I guess I just cannot get used to the shoot them as if you had stolen them technique.

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1 hour ago, Frontier Lone Rider said:

I would suggest that You might want to try one at the range before buying.  If a pard will let you fire their's , it will let you feel if that is what you actually want.

 

I bought one for Wild Bunch to go along with the 97 pump action.  I did not like it all and went back to the 66.  I have a friend that has one made by  Uberti.  We shoot them at the range, but neither of us actually shoot them in a match.  I guess I just cannot get used to the shoot them as if you had stolen them technique.

 

This is good advice ESPECIALLY since the OP looks like a new shooter with no experience with a Lightning.  The question was about Pedersoli, now we are talking AWA.  An AWA is not a Pedersoli.  Completely different guts.  The AWA, Taurus, Uberti, USFA, and Colt are all out of production and parts are hard/impossible to find.  I tell people if they want to shoot a Lightning they need to be prepared for it to become a second hobby.  You have to learn how to completely disassemble/reassemble and maintain a Lightning and if necessary fashion parts.  They are not for everyone.  I know several people that simply cannot shoot a Lightning.  For example, if you are a levergun shooter and pull back firmly on the forearm while shooting a Lightning probably won't work for you.  Some versions don't have a slide lock and it is hilarious to watch some people try and shoot those.  On several that do have a slide lock the lock is very weak and can wear out if the shooter is constantly pulling back on the forearm.  (The Pedersoli slide lock is far and away the strongest.)  Even on guns modified to shoot .38s the ammo has to be within certain specs for it to work.  So if the ammo you use in your Colt revolvers does not work do not come back on the wire in a few months complaining that Lightnings are junk because they won't shoot your ammo.  You craft the ammo for your gun.  You don't craft the gun for your ammo.

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Far be it from me to discourage someone to use a Lightning, but I have to admit that Larsen makes a very good point.   When I first became interested in the gun, I had a few lever guns that worked just fine for me.   I wanted to get a Lightning, just to have one.  I figured that I'd use it maybe once a year with my Winchesters remaining my go to guns.   I was really surprised when the Lightning became my default gun.  That may or may not happen for someone else who tries one.
 

As far as which is the "best" I can only go by what has been said here, coupled with my personal experience.

Pedersoli:  Has the advantage of still being in production.   I do not have one, but everything I have read here on the wire says they are good guns.   I would recommend going this route.

AWA:  My personal experience with them has been excellent.  Others have agreed with my assessment, others have said I was just lucky and that their experience with them was unpleasant.   Worth considering, but keep in mind that they seem to be hit or miss.

 

Colt:  Disadvantage of all of them being very old.  Advantage being that all of them are therefore Antiques or C&R.   I have 4 Colts.  A Large Frame that I have not fired yet, but is in excellent shape, a medium frame Costa Rican Army surplus that I have run snap caps through that seems to function properly, another medium frame .32-20 that was "lovingly restored and given an expert action job" before I bought it and is a very pretty and flawlessly functioning gun, and a small frame .22 Long that has only been tested with snap caps that works quite well.   Prices for Colts can range from surprising bargains to astronomically expensive.   I'd recommend a Colt only for a hard core Lightning lover, and even then be very careful about what you do obtain.

Berretta/Uberti:  I believe that these are the same, in that one was made by the other.  My experience with them is limited to when I was getting into the Lightning arena and I was able to handle one in a gun store.  The action was very clunky to me, to the point where I passed on it.   Not recommended.

USFA:  Rare as hens teeth.  Never even seen one in real life, only pics.  Reviews for them have been all over the map.  Some good, some horrific.  Given all that data, I'd not recommend one of these either.

Taurus:  General consensus around here is that hey are crap, and that's being charitable.   I had a chance to handle one when I considering getting a Lightning, and the action felt like sandpaper to me.  I passed on it.   Recommend pretending that they do not exist.

Those are my thoughts on the different makes, based on personal experience where possible, and a lot of reading opinions on the wire where practical.

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Too late for good advice! Lol,,,i bought one.

 

I bought a like new AWA from a member here just a couple minutes ago. 

 

I do not think there will be (too many)problems. Yes, i am the new guy to sass, but i grew up with pump rifles and shotguns. I shoot doubles in trap with a 97  winchester. I ain’t skeered.

 

The reason i changed to awa, was after talking to lassiter about the two brands and what he could/would do to them. 

 

Hopefully i will not be back with my head hanging down for more advice! If so,, feel free to laugh. :)

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Well; ok then, but you are going to have to change your alias.  Never seen a Lightning on Gunsmoke.  :)

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4 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Well; ok then, but you are going to have to change your alias.  Never seen a Lightning on Gunsmoke.  :)

I thought about that too! It is easy to dress like matt dillon. A vest, hat boots and a badge,,,done.

 

Gunsmoke was always lever action winchesters and sxs shotguns. I have a lever 1887 shotgun. Of course he only wore one handgun too, a long one. He was tall, i am short with all the wrong guns.  I did buy a badge,,,

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On 2/28/2021 at 7:11 PM, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

There is no such thing as a .38 Special Pedersoli.  The originals were made to handle ammunition that is 1.590" OAL.  The Pedersolis are the same.  They require .357 ammunition that is a minimum of 1.540" OAL and that has a certain shape RNFP bullet.  With the right ammo the .357 is very reliable.  With the wrong ammo they suck.  In this case the barrel marking is correct -- .357 Mag.  Contact Roger Rapid and ask for a copy of his Pedersoli Lightning Manual.  Lots of great information in there.

DSC_0002.jpeg

 

 

I do have some experience with Lightnings.  Here is some of my herd.

 

 

 

P4300904.jpeg

 

On 2/28/2021 at 9:20 PM, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

I ca say that a few years ago at EoT I saw a .38 Special Lightning.  I almost bought it.  I do not remember who made it, but it was being sold by Lassiter, so it definitely worked.  Might want to contact him to ask about what can be had in that chambering.   

 

Dang it, now I have to post this pic...

 

Lightings.thumb.JPG.049c6f9d05db777147001bab8519b6b1.JPG

 

I really wat one in .44 Special.

Proof that lightning really can strike the same place twice, or 14 times...

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I bought a lightning 38spec made by AWA. It eats my 38 spec ammo for my pistols perfectly. I don’t know about POA yet,,just test ran some thru for feeding results. My rounds are RNFP, and load to oal of 1.350,,,which i was told would not work well, but they feed perfectly. I am happy I don’t need to find another recipe for my 38 spec. 

 

it makes you smile to shoot it. I wasted a bunch of ammo shooting dirt clods! 

 

So, since this rifle must be loaded with the action open, then racked twice to get a shell in chamber, what is the procedure at the loading table?

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"So, since this rifle must be loaded with the action open, then racked twice to get a shell in chamber, what is the procedure at the loading table?"

 

Load gun, close pump, lower hammer.  If you gun then requires two pumps it needs adjustment.

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I guess I've never seen anyone load a pump at the loading table.  Are they all loaded with the action open or just certain models?

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