IWA 2016 – Davide Pedersoli & C., the Italian brand well known for its historical reproduction and hunting rifles, has presented the replica of the famous Withworth muzzle loading rifle, along with the 1886 Hunter Light rifle, a light round barrel version of their 86/71 lever action rifle
As the name itself suggests, the new Pedersoli 1886 Hunter Light rifle is a lighter version of the model 1886, normally sporting a heavier octagonal barrel. The Pedersoli PMG quality 22 inches round barrel and the shorter magazine give the rifle a modern slim line, reducing the weight to only 3,5 kilos (7,11lbs).
The frame is forged and CNC machined, prepared to accept a Creedmoor sight on its left side. The stock is made of american walnut, equipped with swivel stud and features a microcell butt plate.
The Pedersoli 1886 Hunter Light rifle is chambered for two of the most popular and traditional cartridges of all kind of lever action rifles: the classic .45-70 Government, and the .444 Marlin caliber.
After several years of testing, the British Withworth rifle entered operative service in 1860, as an evolution of the famous Enfield rifles pattern 1851 and 1853.
The Withworth was a single shot, black powder muzzle loading special rifle intended to shoot heavy .45 caliber bullets at long distances, up to around 1.000 yards, what practically speaking, made it a sniper rifle. And in fact, the Withworth rifle was used as such during the American Civil War, delivered by the British government to the Confederate Army sharpshooters.
Its most important feature was its special bore: not rifled, but hexagonal (!), shooting special hexagonal lead bullets well over 550 grains in weight. The Pedersoli Withworth rifle replica brings all this to life again, equipped with an a hammered barrel featuring the same hexagonal bore and .451 caliber of the original rifle. The barrel is 36 inches long, and the six 'lands' of the bore have a 1:20 twist.
Pedersoli states that some testing have been made shooting a standard .451 caliber bullet (the one used in the Pedersoli Gibbs) in the hexagonal bore of the Withworth, by generously wadding between the powder load and the bullet itself. But an hexagonal bullet mould should be on the go as well, providing a more 'fitting' bullet. For more information, just refer to Pedersoli directly.