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Pedersoli Howdah: To buy, or not to buy?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Packman, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. Packman

    Packman Member

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    So I've been drooling over the Howdah ever since I started shooting BP a couple of years ago, but I've never been able to justify the cost. I just checked Cabelas website, and the 20x20 Howdah is on sale for $650. Normal price is 750. Now, I know I shouldn't blow 650$ on another gun right now, but I really really want to. So, a couple questions for y'all.

    1-Is that a pretty decent price that I should jump on?
    2-What accessories am I going to need to get up and running with this beast? (holster and such can wait a while)
    3-Anything I should know about the Howdah?
    4-Talk to me about shooting one with a shoulder stock vs. freehand.
    5-20ga slugs out of this one? Is that going to be a realistic shooting experience? I see the .58 rifled barrel is no longer carried by Cabelas.

    My current experience with BP is playing with an 1858 NMA and an 1851 Navy Sheriff.

    I have no illusions of hitting anything with it, but words can not express the level of pleasure I would take in annoying the codgers at the local trap range with something like this. Just one round, that's all I ask. :neener:
     
  2. EljaySL

    EljaySL Member

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    That's been on my black powder list for a while but I haven't quite gotten there yet. So take this all with a grain of salt.

    1. Probably. I *think* I've seen it as low as $600 but wouldn't swear to it. Dixie has all the different configurations for $750.
    2. Powder, caps, cleaning stuff. If shooting patched ball you'll need patches and balls. If shooting shot or balls with cards you'll need shot or a ball and cards.
    3. I've heard that there's a problem with side by sides where you shoot one side and the ball on the other side will end up moving, so whatever you do needs to be pretty secure.
    4. If you want to shoot it with a stock Pedersoli makes a couple of different short barrel side by side shotguns that probably make more sense. If you're concerned about recoil just keep the loads reasonable.
    5. Sure, why not? Should be accurate enough at handgun distances.

    My understanding is that it attracts attention. Should be a good time. Hopefully if I'm very good I'll get one for Christmas.
     
  3. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    Hey Packman,

    What do you need it for? Is there a legitmate need for the weapon to be in your arsenal? If not, pass for then you're needlessly coveting. If I were in the market for a double gun for home defense, my choice would be a coach gun cause then I could at least hunt with it.

    It might be nice to have on your leg while on safari in Africa should your blunderbuss fail to bring down that charging pachyderm...
     
  4. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    duplicate
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  5. EljaySL

    EljaySL Member

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    "legitmate need" seriously? If that's the criteria all the black powder guns are going right out the window.
     
  6. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    That depends on how you define it and what is included in it of course.

    One can have a legitimate need for a concealed carry sidearm, personal defense, carbine, shotgun and rifle in black powder AND smokeless for example. And let's not forget those who shoot in those Cowboy Action matches, IDPA, etc.
     
  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    It's huge. Basically it's a Kodiak double front stuffer with reduced barrels and a pistol grip instead of a shoulder stock. The size is what's kept me away from them. I don't care for a handgun that heavy. But it will get attention at the range and is a hoot. It's a novelty gun. Fun but of no really practical use.

    What about a musket? I just picked up an 1842 Armi replica from Dixie for a little more than you're looking at with the Howdah. It's a surprisingly well-balanced beast and would certainly work for the shotgun range. You could actually hit something with it, too.
     
  8. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    If you want it and buying it will cause no financial hardship, I don't see that any other justification is needed.

    If you want to get a gun of the same type but at less cost, Middlesex Village Trading Co. sells a similar pistol for $475. It won't be as nicely finished as the Howdah and you may need to tune the locks a bit, but it will save some money. MVTC also offers a double barrel flintlock pistol if you prefer.
     
  9. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Howdah

    I was going to suggest the Howdah available from Middlesex....but the last post beat me to it.
    I have one. It is a hoot to shoot. Nominally, it is twenty gauge but I found that I needed 17 gauge components to get the right fit.
    The Middlesex version is handier than the Pedersoli as it has shorter barrels.
    I keep meaning to take it into the field, especially in brushy cover for close shooting of grouse but have not done so. Need a bit more work with backyard Trap first.
    Note....about tuning the locks. VERY true. The Middlesex Howdah that I have had absolutely the worst triggers I have ever tried to pull. No kidding....they had to be 40 pounds. It took two fingers on the trigger to get the hammer to fall.
    Fortunately, the locks are not difficult to work on and respond to polishing and judicious filing quite well. After considerable work - I polished every part and every bearing surface and reduced the thickness of the main and sear springs - I was able to reduce trigger pull to about 10 lbs.
    Pete


    (See this link for some very helpful info about locks: http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/lockfunction.html..
     
  10. Noz

    Noz Member

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    I have never bought a gun that I "needed". Only those I wanted.
    You want it? Can you afford it?
    If the answer to both of the above is "Yes", go for it.
    You know the Howdah style pistol was designed to kill tigers that were attacking the howdah(basket of the back of an elephant). Normal range of the shot was around 5 feet. Huge impact, equally big recoil. Life or death so recoil was unimportant.
    Are you aware that you can still buy modern ones that load up to elephant sized smokeless rounds?
     
  11. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Noz, has my sentiments exactly, never bought a BP gun I needed, but bought quite a few I wanted. Also sold a few I regretted.:eek::scrutiny::uhoh:
     
  12. Packman

    Packman Member

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    Well, after careful consideration, 3 hours on youtube and google, some research on usage and loads and such, along with pondering on y'all's replies...I placed my order for the Howdah. The way I figure it, Noz and LooseNoose nailed it. I don't need it, but I want it, and I'm not spending my rent money or anything, so shoot...I bought it.

    In truth, I don't need any of my BP guns, or most of my long guns, or all but 1 of my carry guns. BP is a diversion from reality for me. I like putting on my cowboy boots and my hat, and taking a big ol' box full of BP paraphernalia to the range and making big clouds of smoke. I have a pith helmet at my parent's house that my dad gave me when I was a kid, I think I'll wear that and my best khaki to go shoot my new howdah. I just shoot black powder because I rather enjoy it.

    In the end, is there any better reason to do something?
     
  13. Packman

    Packman Member

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    Oh, and it goes without saying...pics and a range report will be forthcoming! Might take a little bit though, I still need to order balls and such. This will be a new segment of BP shooting for me, I'm not accustomed to dealing with patches or shot or anything like that. I've just played with revolvers so far.

    Keep that input coming if you've got it! I know there's a couple of you floating around here with them, I'd love to hear whatever you'd like to share!
     
  14. Plastikosmd

    Plastikosmd Member

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    Howdahs are a blast! Enjoy!
    [​IMG]
     
  15. freedom475

    freedom475 Member

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    They are tons of fun!!!!!!!! The only bad thing I have ever heard about the Pedersoli is from guys that wished they would have bought the 20ga.:neener:

    Why buy one???? Because you can't spend that money after the lid slams shut and they are pat'n you on the face with a shovel:banghead:

    If you get one, look closely before you buy, some of them come with a loose wooden ramrod. Others come with a steel ramrod that is held by a swivel...The steel rod is nice since you can't drop/lose/or break your ramrod.

    One thing I have always been going to do is add a rear sight to mine...someday.

    There is a design issue with them...MAKE SURE if you load shot, that you DO NOT let any shot pieces fall into the ramrod hole in the end of the stock. This hole will funnel the shot right into your locks. I have heard of several seers being broken. With mine it just failed to catch at full cock and nothing bad happened.

    It took me a while to figure out because at first, I had no idea what was causing this problem because it always seemed to "Fix" itself and I could never get it to do it with the gun apart....then I found that it was the #6 shot messing things up. Now I am more careful when loading the shot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  16. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    Good for you! Don't worry about it. Anyone financially in such rough shape that $650 is going to put them under is probably a lost cause anyway and may as well go out happy.
     
  17. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    You will not find a BP gun that is more fun than the Howdah.
    I had absolutely no legitimate need for a 20 gauge Pedersoli Howdah.
    I'd always wanted a sawed off double, like in Mad Max, but couldn't afford one and didn't want the hassle of NFA paperwork.
    I still don't need it, but I wouldn't sell if.
    It's so much fun, it's almost carnal.
    I"m going to carry it as a backup gun to my BP rifle, when hunting deer/hogs during BP season.
    60-80 grains of BP under a round ball is loads of fun.
    I cast mine from wheelweights. They penetrate nicely.
    Shot loads are fun, too.
     
  18. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    OMG, you were being serious!?

    For the OP, drool rusts guns and I think there are many others you should covet first, but, if that's your thing and you clearly have the excess cash (a savings account is good), then, what the heck. 20 ga./62 caliber is probably the most popular smoothbore caliber. You'll need some powder, ball, over powder wads and over shot cards, caps. A tiger?
     
  19. PRM

    PRM Member

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    They are pretty neat guns. I bought the Pedersoli 20X20 variation when they first came out. The .60 patched round ball works well - my favorite load is a patched round ball with #4 Buck on top of it. Patterns well and gives you a little more "affect."

    Never had a problem with loads moving from recoil??? As far as being useful??? I certainly would not be worried about taking small game. With Buck and Ball, it makes a pretty good hall sweeper. Did I really need it??? NO... But, I didn't need my C&B revolvers, rifle, or my flint lock Brown Bess either.

    Jaymo - good point on the Mad Max comment that a lot of folks don't think about. The 11 inch barrels would be a problem with a modern shot-gun. Black powder doesn't fall under those guidelines. The Howdah is a smooth-bore, black powder pistol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  20. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    To serve the Lord and lay up treasure in heaven???
     
  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'd love to have one, but even at 650, they're a might steep for me right now. I should be in better shape in a couple of years, still moving in to a new place and buying things I need for the house/yard. Those things would make a pretty mean home defense gun loaded with maybe 3 buck, methinks. I currently keep a 20 gauge coach gun in the bedroom.
     
  22. Packman

    Packman Member

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    Actually, I'm an atheist. I don't normally go there, but since you did, I'll follow for one post and then resume my walk on the High Road. Ergo, I serve no lord, nor have any interest in laying up treasures for the afterlife. "It's not what you gather but what you scatter that tells the life you've lived." My guns, especially my BP guns, are owned solely to provide my entertainment, and will hopefully one day provide similar joy to my kids and grandkids.
     
  23. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Just use the holy black and all will be right.
     
  24. Packman

    Packman Member

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    It's here, it's here!
     
  25. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    OK Packman let's see some photos!
     
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