Pedersoli Gibbs "African Hunter"


Robert Wilson
December 23, 2010, 08:33 PM
I am strongly considering one, but Pedersoli guns often have extensive, crudely done, and very large markings on the left side of the barrel, and for $1500 I'd rather not put up with it. So far, I can't find any pictures of the left side of this gun. Has anyone else seen one?

If you enjoyed reading about "Pedersoli Gibbs "African Hunter"" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Robert Wilson
January 10, 2011, 11:48 PM
Well, fat bunch of help you lot are. ;)

Sorry about the poor quality shot, but the gun showed up on my doorstep this evening and I'm not set up for decent photography after dark.

The gun is interesting to me because there are so few British style muzzleloader replicas available. I have taken several hard looks at Pedersoli's big-bore double rifles over the years, but the "regulation" of the barrels has always put me off. As far as I know, that leaves only the rifles from October Country/The Gun Works, and a few custom builders. Prices tend to start at $2500 and go up quickly...

So I'm looking forward to shooting it. Quality is the usual for Pedersoli; good but not great. Wood-to-metal is adequate, but could have been better. The rifling is quite shallow and gives me some concern. The case-coloring is quite nice; better than on any of my guns but for my USFA SAA revolvers. And they didn't put the gigantic markings all over the barrel! I suppose if I could change one thing at this point it would be the steel butt plate. I know it's historically correct, but the thought of a .72 caliber round ball with 120 grains of FFg is already making me wish for a Decelerator...

January 11, 2011, 06:26 AM
Very interesting gun. I'd like to read a range report if you can do one.

January 11, 2011, 07:40 AM
I like the Gibbs style of rifle for target work. (A hunting rifle without a ram rod, not my idea of fun but to each his own.) A 72 caliber target rifle does have my interest. And I am aware of several fellows with 60+ caliber rifles but most of them are bech guns. The shallow rifling is not as big a deal as you might think.

What is the twist for that barrel? It may be set up for round ball.

As for recoil, if you need a pad, try one of the shooting vests with the recoil pad in the shoulder.

Robert Wilson
January 11, 2011, 11:25 AM
I will print a range report when I can, Mykeal.

For some reason, StrawHat, I really like the absence of the ramrod. I plan on carrying a folding wiping stick in the field, and I much prefer a long, heavy steel loading rod for the range.

I'm trying to become less concerned about the rifling. The lands and grooves are quite wide and quite slow. I think they were trying to emulate Forsythe rifling but at 1-75" it's still a bit too quick. Maybe they were afraid nobody would understand or buy a gun with a 1-100" twist. At any rate, it's certainly a ball gun and that's all I ever intend to use. I just prefer a rather loose ball/patch combo and am concerned that I might not be able to get away with it in this gun. Time will tell.

And yes, I'll be wearing my Past pad on the range! I just don't like wearing it in the field, so may be in for a bruise...

January 11, 2011, 10:09 PM
Got one. Great quality, at least in the finish. Have not fired it yet but look forward to doing so. Looks like Lyman sabot slugs in (ugh) plastic wads should work also. Twist might be slow for them but why not try. Have the matching shotgun by Pedersoli.

Fit and finish on all I've seen are great. BTW, total outlay for both was under six bills.

Robert Wilson
January 12, 2011, 10:05 PM
I think the gods will strike you down for shooting plastic wads and sabot slugs in traditional guns. ;)

How did you get $2500 worth of guns for under $600?

January 13, 2011, 11:41 AM
Good fortune. The fowler was hanging on a dealer's rack with a $350 tag on it. I asked him, just before the end of the year (two years back) what he'd take. He said, "$250 and get it out of here." Evidently, he has a customer who has more money than sense. The guy buys these things and then brings them in to sell later for a song. The Dangerous Game gun was listed at $450 in the same shop. I was trading for a BT99 for trap (a dumb move as I again went back to my 870tc). I asked how much additional to throw in the big game gun. He added $300 to the tag and off I went.
In years past I've picked up four others the same way. A pair of TC Cherokees (or maybe Senecas, I'd have to go down and look). Traded a Ruger P85 for the pair (had 250 in the Ruger). Got a Navy Arms Magnum Double 12, like one I bought in 78, for $ new. Also picked up a TC Hawken (I hate that name on this gun) for $250, from the 70's, unfired, from a guy who won it at Second Chance.
The bargains are out there, especially now that the big black powder boom is waning.
I shot at Friendship from '67 through 80 and a couple times after, at Illinois state, Wisconsin bp shotgun championships, and on and on. Used over a keg a year and a hundred pounds of lead/year. Now, I get out once a year for deer.
Sometime down the road, I'm going to thin out the ranks of BP guns. Those on the chopping block will include one of the TCs, probably the .36, the Hawken, a Mowrey 12 ga, an original Leman squirrel gun, and a 50 cal Renegade.
BTW, got a 58 TC Big "Boar" from the same dealer about three years ago, custom shop special, same original buyer, for $250. Timing is everything.

Robert Wilson
October 6, 2011, 11:20 PM
Just FWIW, I did finally get to spend a few days at the range with the gun.

The shallow rifling is a limitation. The groove depth is supposed to be .004, but in reality it's about half that. I nearly sent it back after the first day at the range, because it was printing 15 inch groups at 50 yards. I could make it shoot with .719 lead balls and .015 patches, but loading was extremely difficult - pounding on the short starter and leaning on the rod with 50 - 70 pounds of pressure. I know some people find that acceptable, but I don't. An easy solution was to back way down on powder and then use .005 patches - but I didn't buy the gun to use with reduced loads.

After much experimenting with ball diameter, patch thickness, powder load, and lead hardness, I have found success with a .713 pure lead ball (I prefer 1-50 lead-tin for hunting, but no alloys obdurate adequately in this bore) and a .010 patch with an Ox-Yoke wad on the powder. This still loads harder than I prefer (some of my most accurate loads in other rifles can be seated without short starting and with only a few pounds of pressure on the rod) but gives a nice round group of six inches at 100 yards with ghost ring sights. This, of course, is nowhere near the half-MOA muzzleloaders owned by everybody else on THR, but will do what needs doing in the hunting field.

It's also an 8 pound 12 bore with a steel buttplate. When loaded with 4 drams (110 grains) of Swiss FFg you know about it when you pull the trigger. I ended up shoving a wadded-up sweater underneath my PAST pad during an extended bench session.

So overall I'm satisfied, but barely. It's a good looking gun that should do the job I intended for it. But Pedersoli could have made it a lot easier for me to get from there to here...

Robert Wilson
December 20, 2011, 08:58 PM
Final update, if anyone cares...

I sent it back. It just wasn't consistent enough. I could sometimes get several acceptable three shot groups in a row, but sooner or later the gun would park one in orbit. Another, very careful, bore measurement had most of the grooves at .001". The gunsmith at the place where it came from verified that measurement, and then measured the others he had on hand and found them all the same. In his words "They won't be much better than a smoothbore."

So that's a disappointment, as the gun is really likeable in many ways. But "Only accurate rifles are interesting"...

December 21, 2011, 02:09 PM
Here is my video report on the Gibbs African Hunter

December 22, 2011, 03:46 PM
That thing is just begging to be cut down into a pistol

If you enjoyed reading about "Pedersoli Gibbs "African Hunter"" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!