Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II: the modern lever-action rifle
The Pedersoli Boarbuster lever-action rebuilds its own look: the Boarbuster Mark II rifle retains the classic 86/71 action while offering modern features, designed to face the worst possible environment conditions
Hunting-wise lever-action stands to rifles just like pump-action stands to shotguns: a traditional, tried-and-true, mechanically simple design for robust, reliable firearms perfectly capable to handle rough use and hot ammunition loads.
Lever-action rifles chambered in classic calibers such as .45/70 Government (1873) and .444 Marlin (1964) are still pretty popular worldwide particularly for wild boar hunting – a type of hunting whose enthusiasts know all too well that these two calibers are best appreciated through lever-action rifles.
Headquartered in the Italian town of Gardone Val Trompia, the Davide Pedersoli & C. company is best known for their modern replicas of the muzzleloading and metallic cartridge firearms that made the history of the Old and New Continent alike; in recent years, however, the company reprised other classic designs and revisited them into a more modern layout to suit the needs, tastes and demands of the younger generations of hunters and shooters.
That's specifically the case of the already well-established Boarbuster lever-action rifle, launched on the global commercial markets a few years ago and based on the Browning-Winchester Model 1886/71 rifle design – historically known as "The Universal Big-Game Rifle".
The Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II rifle we're talking about today is a perfect example of a "modern classic": manufactured with the best and most modern materials and technologies that the Pedersoli company has access to, it traces its roots deeply on the tried-and-true, robust mechanical layout of the Winchester 1886 as upgraded in 1935 by the Winchester Model 71 – hence why the product line is called the Pedersoli 86/71.
The popularity of the Pedersoli Boarbuster model led the company to develop and market an upgraded variant, dubbed the Boarbuster Mark II, retaining most defining features of the previous variants while offering new and improved traits in terms of versatility, compatibility with accessories, and capability to withstand heavy use in adverse conditions.
The Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II is built around the same receiver as the previous Boarbuster models, which is machined out of a high-quality solid billet, then internally and externally adapted to host the moving parts such as the bolt – running on a double guide – as well as the typical sliding locking blocks and feed ramp.
The Boarbuster Mark II is specifically conceived for battue hunting, particularly (but not limited to) wild boar hunting, and even more specially aimed to appeal those hunters who seek a hunting rifle offering the time-proven reliability and the rapid repeating capabilities of the lever action.
The barrel mounted on the Boarbuster Mark II is a PMG ("Premium Match Grade"): a Pedersoli exclusive barrel type featuring a broached rifling for increased accuracy. It is 48,3 cm / 19" long, and features either six grooves in a 1:18" pitch or twelve grooves in a 1:38" pitch depending from the caliber.
The Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II model you see in the pictures on these pages is chambered in .444 Marlin, a classic caliber for deer hunting in north America that gained international popularity for wild boar shooting.
The .444 Marlin cartridge was first introduced in 1964. Back then, most lever-action hunting rifles were chambered in .44 Magnum, and hunters were starting to realize that while lever-action designs were versatile and fast enough for the task at hand, the .44 caliber was lackluster in terms of ballistics and stopping power for most hunting situations.
The .44 Magnum was, and still is, undoubtedly effective against human attackers, but large-sized hunting preys such as deer and wild boars are a whole different ball game as the curved trajectory of .44 Mag makes it unsuitable for those uses on all but the shortest of ranges, and particularly unapt when it comes to take a shot at a range exceeding 50 meters (54.68 yards).
Loaded with the same 240-grains ball of the .44 Magnum cartridge, .444 Marlin offers similar ballistic performances on vastly extended ranges, thus more akin than its predecessor to be chambered in hunting calibers, particularly on lever-action guns – for which it has become an international standard ever since it was first launched in the mid-1960s.
More specifically, the Boarbuster Mark II is available in .45/70 Government and .444 Marlin – two hard-hitting calibers offering higher first-shot kill probability against wild hogs and other large-sized preys. The overall length of this gun – 95 cm / 37.4" – and the excellent balance of the 3,3 kilograms (7.27 lbs) overall weight makes it easier and more comfortable to manage.
The trigger of the Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II lever action rifle is a single action only, with an external hammer. A sliding safety switch is located right behind the hammer itself, at thumb reach, easy and quick to operate by left-hand and right-hand shooters alike.
Among the classic Winchester design features retained by the Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II are the top ejection and the side-mounted loading port. The magazine tube holds up to five rounds in both calibers; for those jurisdictions imposing stricter limitations to the capacity of hunting guns, a reducer is available limiting the overall capacity to three shots.
What makes the Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II stand apart from all previous variants at the very first glance is the uniform tan Cerakote finish applied to all metal surfaces. The nano-ceramic based finish offers a superior level of resistance against corrosion, scratches and natural elements if compared to the solutions adopted on the previous entries in the Boarbuster line.
The stock and forend of the Boarbuster Mark II rifle feature a black Soft Touch finish and a slip-proof checkering on all contact surfaces, including the pleasurably ergonomic pistol grip.
The buttstock also features an adjustable cheek riser and a Microcell technology buttpad that will absorb most of the felt recoil generated by the two generous hunting chamberings the Boarbuster Mark II is offered in.
Sights-wise, the Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II rifle is made to facilitate fast target acquisition in the deepest of the woods, and as such it features a set of adjustable front and rear sights that do without the classic fiber-optic inserts, replacing them with Superluminova inserts – a strontium aluminate -based, non-radioactive material that absorbs even the faintest environmental light to illuminate itself and offers quick alightment and a brightness level similar to that of tritium.
The rear sight is installed on a double-ramp Weaver-Picatinny rail, allowing it to be positioned at four or twenty centimeters (1.57" to 11.81") from the receiver. The rail also provides a perfect mounting point for optical sights in a forward, "Scout" position. Not exactly perfect for high-magnification optics, but perfect for other devices more apt for battue hunting such as low-magnification riflescopes, red dot or reflex sights..
In terms of solidity, versatility and modernity, the Pedersoli Boarbuster Mark II currently represents the Summa of the evolution of the classic lever-action rifle design. It is available in two hard-hitting calibers that make it extremely effective on most European and north American preys. And quality is hell-bent guaranteed. What else can you ask from a lever gun?
For more information about price and availability in a specific country please contact your local dealer.
People living in the United States of America can refer to:
Italian Firearms Group