Davide Pedersoli began his firearm business in 1957, specializing at first in side-by-side and over-under hunting shotguns. In 1960, the Italy-based company changed focus to muzzleloaders. Today the firm has earned a reputation for attention to detail and producing complete firearms with the kind of workmanship you expect from European makers.
Davide died in 1996, but his son, Pierangelo has carried on the tradition while expanding the offerings. The dedication to quality and timeless design has never wavered and the company continues its muzzleloading roots, even offering some great kits reviewed by American Rifleman—like the Model 1805 Harpers Ferry Pistol.
As for the quality that goes into complete firearms, though, the Davide Pedersoli Lightning rifle—based on a popular Colt firearm from the late 1800s—was so popular stateside last year that it ranked fourth among all pump-actions in Gunbroker.com’s 2019 ranking. It didn’t make the top-10 in 2018, so gun owners are taking notice.
The number of versions, undoubtedly, has caught the attention of many gun owners. With two dozen variations, there’s likely something for everyone. Barrel lengths are 24- or 26-inches for the rifle versions—round profile or octagonal, depending on model. Carbine models come with a 20-inch barrel.
Chamberings available include .357 Mag., .44-40 Win. or .45 Colt. Three finishes are offered: blue action and metalwork with a walnut stock; case hardened action and checkered walnut stock; or a deluxe coin-finish action and triggerguard, with hand engraving and fine checkering on the walnut stock.
The looks are classic and timeless. The guns are not 100-percent accurate replicas, though. As Pedersoli explains on its website, “…we made important modifications to the mechanical parts to make the rifle more safe and reliable.” The company website doesn’t include MSRPs, but the Standard version of the Lightning, with 20-inch barrel and blued metalwork, is currently running around $1,500 at many FFLs.