The Pedersoli LePage - Review
Alex Florance reports on an Italian classic, Pedersoli’s faithful, yet fresh, reproduction of a 19th century dueling pistol
What is it?
The Pedersoli LePage is a reproduction of the LePage dueling pistol, made between 1840 and 1850 by French gunsmith Henry LePage. It is available in several different calibers, grades, and even action types, allowing percussion and flintlock shooters to enjoy this beautiful repro.
Needless to say, this repro is not designed for dueling, but instead marketed towards a more sport-oriented audience. Specifically target shooters, and especially those who wish to compete in precision muzzle loading events, such as those run worldwide by the Muzzle Loader’s Associations International Committee, often abbreviated to the MLAIC. These pistols have seen worldwide success over the past thirty years and for good reason.
The model used in the review is the .44 LePage Target Percussion
What features does it have?
The Pedersoli LePage is a black powder muzzle loading pistol, meaning you must effectively “build” each shot using the key components: loose powder, a projectile, and a primer of some type, be it a percussion cap or a flint and powder.
This pistol comes in three calibers; .31, .36 and .44, the most popular being the .36, due to its easily obtainable and cost effective loading components.
It comes in three “grades,” the LePage Maple, with fixed sights, and a maple grip, the LePage Target, with a stainless steel finish, adjustable sights and a set trigger, allowing for an extremely light trigger pull, and the LePage Target Deluxe, with a unique rust-brown colour finish on the barrel, some truly exquisite scroll engraving, and a gold inlay in the barrel. All three of these variants are available as either a percussion or flintlock mechanism.
Why should you buy one?
If you are looking to take precision muzzle loading pistol shooting seriously, this is a great choice. At 25 meters (the standard distance for most muzzle loading pistol competitions, although some do stretch out to 50 meters) this pistol is capable of putting lead balls through the same hole with ease, provided of course the shooter has done their job correctly!
The pistol represents fantastic value for money. Whilst the retail price for these pistols is approximately £800 for the Target model, you can pick up a secondhand LePage for as little as £250, and I would wholeheartedly recommend taking the time to find yourself one of these bargains instead of making a compromise and going for a cheaper option. The only other target pistol that comes anywhere close to this level of quality is the Feinwerkbau History No.1, which (if you can find one) will set you back the best part of £1100, a considerable difference if you’re only just starting out.
Bit of a screw loose…
Unfortunately, there is one small issue with the Pedersoli LePage, and I mean small both physically and metaphorically speaking. As expected on any target pistol, the Pedersoli LePage Target comes with an adjustable trigger, this is achieved via a small screw located behind the trigger, which screws directly into the mechanism. I discovered that when I was firing slightly larger amounts of powder (around the 24 grain mark) the screw would walk itself out. This is a very small screw and is very easy to lose. Furthermore, when the screw is removed, the set trigger, whilst still capable of being set, will not cause the hammer to fall when the trigger is pulled, rendering the gun unusable. I managed to solve this by reducing my powder charge, as well as putting a very small amount of Loctite on the threads. Just make sure that the Loctite does not seep into the trigger system, as this can cause all manner of issues!
The Pedersoli LePage is a very well made pistol, which has clearly been thought out by someone who knew who their key demographic is, and what their needs were. It is very accurate, great value for money and is a very aesthetically pleasing firearm.