Pedersoli kodiak .72cal express

  • Last Post 31 July 2010
biddulph posted this 24 March 2010

Hi there,   I'm tempted to get a 72 cal Kodiak Express double muzzle loading rifle by Pedersoli. Has anyone had any experience of one of these? I've had zero experience of muzzle loaders and this would be the first time I've crossed over from centre fires. I'm not worried about recoil as I do most of my shooting with a .375 h&h. I'm no stranger to casting bullets, currently casting for .375, .303 and .308.   The rifle looks 'nice' and the the idea of cutting out the brass case has a strange apeal too!   To get said beast to Australia I'm looking at a price of about $2000 Australian dollars so clearly not a cheapie, but it does look fun.   It takes round balls weighing in at about 500gr. Who makes moulds in this cal?   Any help welcome,   cheers and thanks   James

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Brodie posted this 25 March 2010

NEI carries short bullet molds in .72 cal or at least close to it.

I haven't fired one of those .72 side by sides, but I handled a .45 cal at a gun show.  I hope that you have very strong arms, cause they ain't no light weights.


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DAMRON G posted this 25 March 2010

I had on in .58 about 12 years ago.My particular gun wouldn't regulate the barrels at 25 to 100,but each barrel  individually shot well.The POI of each barrel was about 4-5 MOA apart.Now another guy i talked to had no such problem and was a 100%muzzle-loader fan so possibly it was my lack of experience,not the fault of the gun.I sold it and wish i had another,what a beautiful gun to handle!



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Mnshooter posted this 25 March 2010

You can get a RB mold from Lyman at 715 as that is recommended. The ball weighs in at about 1 1/4 ounce. For big nasty stuff a WW ball will work as it gives more penetration and is based on historical precedent as “hardened ball” were used on large game during the ML era. They are more effective than any of todays “slugs". It is not a target rifle so do not expect miracles for accuracy but most have a good reputation. Also remember that certain accessories are necessary with a ML like a flask or horn to carry powder, and some sort of bag for patching and shot. I carry most of my hunting accessories in a Walmart fanny pack I picked up for about $5.00 but you can really get into this stuff. Patching usually start at .o15 but can vary. You can also lube the patches with Crisco or buy something like Bore Butter. These should work OK with stuff like 777 which is loaded in bulk according to BP loading measures. Buy lots of it and lots of lead as a 12 bore is pretty hungry.


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lk1004 posted this 25 March 2010

DAMRON G wrote: I had on in .58 about 12 years ago.My particular gun wouldn't regulate the barrels at 25 to 100,but each barrel  individually shot well.The POI of each barrel was about 4-5 MOA apart.Now another guy i talked to had no such problem and was a 100%muzzle-loader fan so possibly it was my lack of experience,not the fault of the gun.I sold it and wish i had another,what a beautiful gun to handle!



i have worked on 6 of this over the years and found the barrel crown to be off center recrown them and shot fine


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biddulph posted this 25 March 2010

Hi all, thanks for your help and advice. MN Shooter: thanks for the hint “get lots of lead"! Luckily I'm nothing if not obsessive, so have about 200kg of mixed alloys: mainly wheel weights but also 30kg of pure lead (99.97%: BHP lead ingot) so will be able to shoot for a while yet!

In Australia wheel weights are commonly available at low cost. Main problem is people who fish (Darwin being a fish crazy town) gobble up all the wheel weights for sinkers: what a shocking waste of good antimony, tin and lead!

cheers and thanks


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nobade posted this 26 March 2010

Hi, I have one of those rifles. I like it a lot, but it does have its shortcomings. I got lucky and it regulates perfectly with a 5 dram charge and a 715 round ball, patched with pillow ticking. The 72 cal isn't terribly heavy like the 58 cal, and makes a decent rifle to carry. Complaints? The crowns are sharp and need to be radiused so as to load easier and not tear up the patches. The sights are pretty cheap looking and need to be replaced with something decent, and much lower. The locks are on the cheap side internally, and one trigger has a pull weight about three times the other. But they haven't failed yet. The nipple fences are a joke, the nipples stick up so far the fences don't do anything. So those are my gripes, nothing that is either too serious or not fixable keeping in mind this is the only affordable big bore double rifle on the market. Mine is very accurate, keeping most shots touching at 100 yards from both barrels once I started loading it hot enough. Pedersoli recommends 80 gr. FFg powder, and at that level it shot terrible. Once I passed 150gr. Fg it really came into its own and started to group, as well as have a reasonably flat trajectory. As for balls, it doesn't seem to care - pure lead, wheelweights, they all shoot great. The wheelweight balls are somewhat lighter, so can be driven a bit faster and have tremendous penetration if hardened. So, IMHO if you want a big bore double and don't want to spend $10K to get one, this is the way to go.

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Mnshooter posted this 28 March 2010

One inexpensive way to handle the fence issue is to purchase a couple of flash guards that fit over the nipples. You place the nipple through tem and screw them back in. They are relatively inexpensive and I have used them on percussions to save on stock wood and barrel corrosion. At one time these doubles came with two rear sights, one for each barrel. They must have a better way to regulate them now. As you state, most of what I read is fixable.


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DAMRON G posted this 29 March 2010

lk1004 wrote: i have worked on 6 of this over the years and found the barrel crown to be off center recrown them and shot fine


I sure wish i knew that back then!

I sold the gun for $175 in 1998 and wished the new owner lots of luck!


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Daryl S posted this 28 July 2010

This target was shot with the above gun using 100gr. 2F and a .562” ball, along with a .0215” ticking patch, lubed with WWFluid/oil. With that ball, increasing the powder charge, opened up the groups.  I found Mink oil as sold by shot virtually identically as my 'range' lube. I went to a .570” ball, also pure lead, same patch and ran the gamut of powder charges to 120gr. as which point, the barrels were shooting too far in divergence to be of use, and separted vertically opposite to what it did with lighter charges.”"> I have now found a 110gr. charge of 2F GOEX, a .570” ball, .0225” Denim patch and mink oil lube puts the barrels into the same group, right barrel group printing 1” right of the left barrel group at 50 yards - almost perfect regulation, with the groups virtually on top of one another at 100 yards, then diverging very slightly after that. Decreasing the powder charge to 82gr. (3 drams) makes the barrels cross by almost 2” at 50 yards, the right shooting left and 2” higher than the left barrel. As powder charge is increased, the barrels come together, with the barrels superposing with 100gr, then opening up to shoot almost parallel at 110gr. - the accuracy/hunting load. They then switch elevation from what they did with the lighter charges, with the left barrel printing higher and farther left from the right barrel - roughly 2” at 50 yards. The reason I write this, is to show that load development must be attempted, even if the gun doesn't appear to 'regulate' with the first attempted loads. Perserverance might give you better results - as it did with my rifle. Please do not shoot slugs in these double rifles. There is too much possibility of the unfired barrel's slug moving foreward with the discharge of the other barrel. The larger the bore and heavier the projectiles, the more greatly the chance this 'disaster-in-waiting' can happen. Firing a barrel with the slug off the powder can blow the rifle up, seriously hurting the man firing the gun, or worse yet, someone beside them - either side. There is probably no such thing in a muzzleloader as a slug that will fit tightly enough not to move (that can be loaded from the muzzle) - so, a tightly patched round ball is the best projectile.  In the .54 or larger calibres, there is nothing to be gained by the use of a slug and they become a liability, not a benefit. if you think you need more penetration, shoot a WW ball.  They need not be hardened to penetrate through and through. Also - be aware that Pedersoli chose to put a 16 oz.(1 pound) cylinder of lead in the butt. I removed the one from my rifle and how it weighs an almost perfect 9 1/2 pounds. I say almost - 9 pounds would be perfect for such a rifle.   I use one sight only, btw -  having to have one sight for each barrel is a lousy situation and shows a VERY poorly regulated gun.  A double rifle with 2 or 3 sights is a good thing, as long as those extra sights are zero'd for successivly longer ranges, as on my 14 bore single rifle.

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raytear posted this 28 July 2010

Daryl S.

Beautiful work on the rifle and well written article, cousin.

Good shooting! RT

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Daryl S posted this 29 July 2010

TKS RT - Now, if you can find a load that allows the use of one sight only, the other given with the rifle can be sighted to a longer range.

For a hunting rifle, I suggest 100 and 150 yards for zero ranges with a .72 using heavy loads, and 50 and 100 for powder charges in the 100gr. range.

The .54 or .58 Kodiak might be well sighted if set for 75 and about 125 yards.

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raytear posted this 29 July 2010

I do not have one of the Kodiak rifles in question, but have always been interested in them and had a high regard for them based upon handling one in a gun shop and reading about others' experiences with them.

At one time I had thought about scratch building a .54 caliber double ML rifle starting with as long a Douglas barrel I could find, and cutting it in half. Then, using the cut ends as the muzzles, going on from there. Perhaps after I retire.


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Daryl S posted this 31 July 2010

Good idea, RT- but you'd be much better off with a GM , Rice, Colrain barrel - there are many other makers of good ML barrels today.

  Douglas used cold or hot rolled octagonal stock and drilled that, whereas normal barrel companies drill barrel stock, then mill flats. Also, Douglas bores were not centred in the barrel, which limited mounting options. As they heat up, the POI changes due to the bending/warping of the barrels. Good thing they don't make them any more - apparently, some have blown up due to poor quality or inclusions in some lots of their 12L14 stock.

I would personally use a GM or Rice barrel if I could get it.  A pair of 42” swamped barrels, cut off at about 28", would give straight tapers barrels about the right taper to make them shoot proplery, without extra wedging for regulation.  If using straight octagonal stock, you'll have to wedge them apart, and shoot, then separate and re-solder, etc, that is normal regulation. Also, you'll have to make up or have made, ribs.

  Interesting project.

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