by Scott Crawford - October 9, 2022
First off, I'd like to thank Taylor's & Company for providing this rifle for a "Media Test & Evaluation" session. Without manufacturers and distributing companies offering this type of option, there would be far fewer reviews online and in print.
This rifle, straight from Italy gives a first impression of quality workmanship. From the beautiful case colored receiver & forearm cap to the deep bluing on the barrel, lever and other components this is a gorgeous firearm. The American black walnut stock & forearm and the deep cut checkering feels like a quality firearm from the first time I picked it up.
This particular rifle had a very heavy dose of Cosmoline (or some related variant) residing within all inner mechanical workings of the lever action, hammer, bolt and chamber. It took a good bit of cleaning to make this rifle ready to load and fire. A process that should always be undertaken on any new firearm, at least to inspect for such rust proofing & lubrication.
The Davide Pedersoli-built Model 86/71 BoarBuster
So let’s get down to business. The BoarBuster model in 45-70 Government caliber was designed purposely for timber hunting and especially for boar hunting. The Picatinny rail, short sight distance between the rear & front fiber optic sights provided quick on-target action and is well suited for optics as well for shooting further distances. The tubular magazine holds five rounds plus one in the chamber for enough big bore firepower to suit most hunters. It comes with two sling studs making it ready to carry for any distance.
The BoarBuster makes a handsome rifle for the sport shooter
The BoarBuster is available in this model, the Mark II, the HV-1 Camo, the Evolution, the Shadow, and the Guide Master. It has been a very popular line of big bore lever guns based on the Winchester action.
Right after I opened the box I fell for the looks and feel of their design however my first impression while attempting to work the lever action was, somethings not right. I could not force the lever fully open easily, In fact I almost couldn't get it fully open. I worked the lever back and forth until I was able to gain full movement. At first I thought the amount of Cosmoline was impacting the action however it was something more than that.
Throughout the multiple sessions at the range I continued to experience a very stiff action, enough that I couldn't always work the action while holding the gun in a firing position on the shoulder. I had several followers respond to one of the videos of me lowering the rifle from my shoulder each time to work the action wondering why I would do that.
As much as I hoped putting rounds through the action would smooth the motion - it didn't. After a few hundred rounds down range I gave up and not that familiar with this type of design/action I didn't want to try any adjustments.
The lever and internal action is significantly different than most of my lever guns
The engineering team at Davide Pedersoli designed an ergonomic, beautiful lever action rifle that shot extremely good groupings if only the action worked smoother. I enjoyed everything about the design with this one large exception.
Lever action rifles were designed with a hammer safety or otherwise known as at rest, halfcocked and fully cocked positions. These three positions are what a true lever action fanatic grew up with back in the day and what so many buyers still want today. Nicely done Pedersoli. This model of the BoarBuster doesn't have a secondary safety while other models do.
On with the details. The BoarBuster holds five rounds of 45-70 Govt. in the magazine tube which should get about anything you need done. The side loading gate is very easy to depress (burr free) to load the rounds.
The lever when worked with deliberate forceful action is just much stiffer than any other lever action that I've used, without exception. I did experience one hard jam utilizing federal Fusion factory ammo that took some doing to extract from the action. It jammed as the cartridge just began to enter the chamber.
I did find the butt pad on the stock very capable of absorbing the heavy push of stiff loads in the rifle. I was able to load and shoot 100 rounds at each range session without shoulder bruising.
The factory sights on this model consist of a rear fiber optic and ramp front blade fiber optic making for very quick target acquisition. This design is very functional and right out of the box I was on steel at fifty yards. Some hunters will like the ability to add a peep sight mount on the left side of the receiver or glass to the rail. Although I didn't have access to moving targets like running boar, I felt that this sight system would work very well in a close hunting situation with running game.
The Front & Rear Sights on the BoarBuster
The stock and forearm are constructed of American black walnut which is finished to a beautiful color. Sharp checkered grip panels provide superior grip in all weather conditions. Something I’d be proud to tote through the woods on a deer hunt or backpacking trip.
The metal fit and finish on this particular model is very clean and well done. The case colored receiver just blends in nicely with the walnut stock and forearm. The bluing is well done on each part.
The rifling twist on this model is 1:18 Right Hand which works well for a heavy .45-70 load. I found the accuracy, repeatability quite good for a short barreled, short sight window rifle. Although I was using various factory rounds and my hand loads which I didn’t tune specifically for this rifle I felt the rifling and twist rate worked well with a variety of bullet types, diameters and weights. I used .458 - .460 diameter, off the shelf 300, 325, 350, & 405 and some custom cast 535 grain bullets. These consisted of jacketed, solid & cast bullets from Federal, Hornady, Remington, Steinel and various others from SNS Bullets.
The muzzle on this rifle is a non-typical threaded, round barrel for a suppressor or brake. This is something that more and more shooters prefer in today’s market. Although I probably wouldn't install a can on my 45-70's I could see placing a muzzle brake on it.
Now let’s talk ammo. I shot four brands of factory ammo and multiple different hand loads of my own from 300 grain to 535 grain and some included new loads with "Buffalo Rifle" from Shooters World Powder and SNS Coated Cast Bullets. I experienced similar accuracy across the full spectrum of what I sent down the tube! Very pleased with the overall accuracy of the six groove rifling on this big bore rifle.
While the Point of Impact varied between all types of ammo shot (as expected due to differences in weights & muzzle velocity), the shot grouping experienced with this rifle was impressive. Regardless of what rounds I fired in the rifle from 300-grain up to 535-grain they all grouped extremely well (as best I could tell on steel) while using the factory sights at 50 yards.
At 7.93 lbs., naked, this model is on the heavy side for a big bore lever action. At 38.50" overall length this rifle is short enough to be utilized comfortably in a ground blind or in a tree stand. This size would also make a nice "truck Gun".
While the price is much higher than U.S. built rifles from Marlin or Henry one might expect an Italian firearm to be higher priced. The MSRP for this rifle is $2,350.25
Do yourself a favor and look into a Davide Pedersoli BoarBuster however be warned about the rougher action than what I'm accustomed to.
I wanted to summarize what I thought of the overall package compared to my other lever action rifles which I absolutely love. This rifle is about the same overall length as my others, .5 lbs. heavier, carry the standard five rounds. The wood to metal fit is every bit as good if not better than my Marlin guns however the action is much rougher out of the box.
Overall I'd say these Davide Pedersoli-built rifles handle well (with good balance), provides very good grouping and ranks as one of the best overall finished of metal to wood fit. I wanted to be excited about this rifle however I walk away disappointed with the sub-par quality of the action. It may not be representative of other BoarBusters however this is the one I received.
Would I buy one? If I knew that the action problems could be readily resolved, I absolutely would have one next time I was in the timber.
(some parts represent other models of the BoarBuster)
1895Gunner shooting the Pedersoli BoarBuster
IN THIS ARTICLE
Davide Pedersoli Taylor's and Company Starline Brass Shooters World Powder Steinel Ammo Federal Ammunition Remington Ammunition Hornady Ammunition