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Taurus Thunderbolt 45LC pump rifle???

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by LDBennett, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Last year I went to the SHOT Show and discovered the then new Taurus Thunderbolt pump rifle (a external copy of the Colt Lightning pump). I ordered one through "The Gun Source" (TGS) a year ago January. Taurus missed the introduction date of mid year and currently claim on their website that it is "available". No dealers or distributors have them (that I can find) and TGS says "Don't know" when quizzed on availabity. One inquiry to them said mid January but that came and went with no gun. One distributor lists the gun with a "limited availablity" with sales going to " selected dealers". What goes on with this gun?????

    Has anybody seen or bought one of these jewels?

    Did anyone talk to Taurus about this gun at the SHOT Show?

    LDBennett
  2. eyetotheheart

    eyetotheheart Former Guest

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    I have also seen one of these rifles and loved it. I have tried to order one, but the gun shops I have spoken to have said that they thought it would be available in May of this year, but none have wanted a deposit (not very promising) and all have said they'd "Call me."

    What is the relationship between this Taurus and the Beretta Gold Rush of the same caliber? Other than the fact that the Gold Rush is three times the cost? Is the Beretta that much beter a rifle?

    I keep checking "Gallery of Guns" run by Davidsons. They list the availability of the Taurus as "Allocated". They do have several of the Berettas.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    eyetotheheart:

    There is no relationship. The Beretta Goldrush is probably made by Uberti in Europe for Beretta since I recall that Beretta owns Uberti. There is also the Unitied States Fire Arms Mfg. Co.'s Lightning copy, made in the USA with a price to match Beretta's Goldrush. It is magnificently well done.

    Taurus is a Brazilian company that typical puts out good less expensive guns that often look similar to other manufacturer's guns. The Taurus PT92 is their copy of Beretta's Model 92 pistol. I had one and it was excellent. Seems Beretta had a military contract with the Brazilian government and when it was done the tooling and the rights to the gun where given to (bought by?) Taurus. They produce the little Winchester 22 pump and the old Winchester Model 63 semi-auto 22 rifle and others. Since they bought Rossi several years ago they seem to enjoy making replicas. I have seen the 22 pump and own the Model 63 semi-auto and both are finely made. I suspect the Thunderbolt will follow in the same foot prints. Taurus claims to have fixed the reliability problems the original Colt Lightnings suffered. The one I saw at the SHOT show looked good but was no match for the USFA expensive version. But in reality it was good enough for a gun I expect to shoot not display. In fact it was nicely made and finished. To get the high level of fit and finish you have to pay for it!

    I still want to know if anyone has one of the Thundrbolts. Someone claimed to have one and was selling it on Ebay but it may have been a fishing trip by a dealer to see what the market would bear price wise and there was really no gun to be bought.

    LDBennett
  4. eyetotheheart

    eyetotheheart Former Guest

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    Thanks, LDBennett

    I own a Rossi .223 and I like it because of its simplicity. It is also very accurate (100 yds) for a decent shot.

    The USFA/Winchesters (which I think you are talking about above) say they are "Black Powder". Now I know what Black Powder is, but I've never owned or shot one. Do you have any experience with these? Do you have to know how to load your own with these? Are Cartidges easy to find? Add anything else you might want to.

    But thanks, again.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    eyetotheheart:

    I just reviewed my 2005 USFA catalog for the Lightning and I saw no mention of only using black powder in this rifle (???). Where did you see this limitation?

    The three cartridges listed are 45LC, 38WCF (commonly know as 38-40), 44WCF (commonly known as 44-40). All are readily available as loose brass cases and in commercial ammo. These were invented during the period before smokeless powder was available and at that time were loded with black powder. Of course today only smokeless powder loads are commercially available and in those calibers the loads are designed so as not to damage guns from the black powder era. Not only are black powder pressure characteristics different from smokeless powder but the metalugy of that time greatly lagged todays available metals. Winchester answer to the metal's strength was the use of Nickel-Steel in the barrels which allowed smokeless powder usage without concern. Today all guns except the "black powder muzzle loaders" are made of materials that are more than strong enough to accommodate commercial ammo in those calibers.

    You really don't want to get into black powder loading of cartridges (sorry, you black powder loaders but this is my opinion). Black powder shoots messy leaving a black soot in the barrel that requires frequent cleaning to just fire the next set of shots. Add to that special reloading tools to assure being able to completely fill the case and pack the black powder correctly. After a range session you must clean the rifle that day as the soot left by the black powder is anhydrous (attracks moisture) and the barrel and any metal under the soot in the receiver will rust quickly. Normal cleaning solutions do not work as well as soap and water, which if not thoroughly dryed out will also rust the gun.

    Add to that the dangers of black powder: it is an explosive while smokeless powder is a propellant. Set a pile of black powder off with a match (virtually, not actually unless you know what you are doing) and it goes up in an instant flash. Do the same with smokeless powder and it burns slowly. As an explosive, black powder is suppose to be stored with special rules as to how and in what quantities. Few gun stores sell it because of its explosive nature. You could choose black powder replicas like Hodgedon's Pyrodex. (The inventer of Pyrodex was killed in a Pyrodex powder explosion at his factory--really safe stuff!)

    The USFA Lightning, I am sure, is made from modern metals and as such will shoot commercial smokeless powder ammo. The available loaded ammo is loaded to pretty safe levels, well below the ability of this gun and even period black powder guns to handle it. Most firearms manufacture shun reloaded cartridges of any type (smokeless or black powder) and most state that their warrantee is void if reloads are used in the gun. This is because with reloads they have no idea to what level they have been reloaded: a small overload can hurt the gun seriously.

    I have a Remington black powder revolver that I built up from a kit. It turned out beautiful but I rarely shoot it as even Pyrodex is extremely messy and the gun is time consuming to reload for each cylinder full. It sits on the shelf and gets taken out only once every five years or so for those reasons. Black powder (Pyrodex, too) sucks!

    Hope this helps.

    LDBennett
  6. eyetotheheart

    eyetotheheart Former Guest

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    LDBennett

    Once, again, thanks so much for the info and time. This is exactly the reason I Joined TFF.

    As to the "Black Powder" I found, I guess it was just sloppy research, I quickly looked up USFA and found a USFA/Winchester called "1885" which says it is a limited edition black powder replica. It says it uses a 45-90 cartridge.

    But you have confirmed my gut-feeling: stay away from black powder.

    Thanks, again.
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