"Mang in Graz" Pistols

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Notchy Bob

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I have taken an interest in the "Mang in Graz" pistols by Pedersoli ( https://www.davide-pedersoli.com/tipologia-prodotti.asp/l_en/idt_6/pistols-mang-in-graz.html ). There are three versions, all percussion, all available as either .38 or .44 caliber. The one that interests me the most is the .44 caliber "Match" version:

Mang in Graz Match Pistol.jpg


The Standard version is similar, but has "coin color" mountings as opposed to the color-casehardened finish on the Match version. The Deluxe version has engraving and some gold inlay... Not my style, and out of my budget.

I'm not fully committed to buying one of these. Everybody's first impression of them, including mine, is generally sticker shock. The Standard and Match versions seem to be running around $1,730 - $1,795. That is well within the range you would expect to spend for a custom pistol, and the Mang Deluxe costs considerably more. However, with conditions as they are in the world at this moment, I'm not likely to be taking a traveling vacation any time soon, and I hope to get a little something from a tax refund, so getting one of these may be feasible, if they are available. Italy is reeling from the effects of this coronavirus pandemic, and it is almost certain that production of manufactured goods has been affected. Used "Mang in Graz" pistols are also pretty scarce, and tend to sell quickly.

Pedersoli really gives very little usable information on their website. The .44 caliber pistol which interests me has seven grooves and a 1:18 twist. They mention an adjustable set trigger and a walnut stock. Their exploded view appears to show a hooked breech, and a very cleverly designed screw-adjustable rear sight.

I did a search on this forum and found some old threads from 2006-2009, but some things change over time and I was hoping some of you folks might have first-hand information about the currently available Mang in Graz pistols that you would be willing to share. Does the Mang in Graz come with a hard case or other accessories? How do you like that adjustable rear sight? General impressions? What size nipple does it use? Pedersoli recommends a .435" ball... Do you agree, and can you offer recommendations regarding patch and powder?

I would like to cordially say that I'm not really interested in suggestions for alternatives. I know Pedersoli has recently introduced a Continental Target Pistol which is a giant step above their Continental Duelling Pistol (adjustable set trigger, better barrel, better sights) and considerably cheaper than the Mang, but I like the style of the Mang (and maybe the Le Page), and would like to limit the discussion to these.

So, if you have any first-hand knowledge of the topic, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks!

Notchy Bob
 

TFoley

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Before you put your money down, take a look at their Kuchenreuter pistol.
 
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Hi Bob, I have owned or own now all of these pistols. Match use. What is your intended use?
 

Notchy Bob

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Thank you, TFoley and "No second place" for your responses.

Mr. Foley, I took your advice and checked out the Kuchenreuter pistol. I see that it costs more, maybe $150 or so depending on the vendor, and the hammer, snail, grip shape/angle and butt cap are somewhat different than the Mang, but for all that, I don't see a lot of difference. I think the sight, trigger, and barrel specifications are similar.

Here is the Kuchenreuter Standard model:
Kuchenreuter Standard.jpg


...and the Mang in Graz Match pistol:
Mang in Graz Match.jpg


...and for comparison, the Le Page "Maple" model:
Le Page Maple.jpg


Of the three, the Le Page is the least expensive, by at least a couple hundred dollars. The "Maple" Le Page has the most appeal for me because the Standard Le Page has a chromed barrel, and I prefer the browned finish. The Mang in Graz costs almost $500 more than the Le Page, and the Kuchenreuter costs almost $150 more than the Mang. All have adjustable sights and single set triggers. I think each one has a hooked breech and they all appear to have similar barrels in the .44 caliber version. I'm not seeing the reason for the price differences.

In an ideal world, I would be able to handle all three and get a sense of how they feel, but I don't think that's going to happen. There just aren't that many dealers selling these. Cherry's and Dixie list all of them, and Cabela's has the Le Page listed. Most of the American dealers of Pedersoli products appear to target the Cowboy Action or Civil War reenactment markets, and they don't carry these particular pistols.

So, if you can comment on the differences between these three and their relative advantages, I would appreciate it.

Mr. No second place, I would use these primarily for recreational shooting on the local ranges. In the interest of full disclosure, I already have a .50 caliber Lyman Plains Pistol, a Uberti 1st Model Dragoon (which was professionally set up by Mike Brackett), and a 1970's vintage Colt 1851 Navy revolver. I am in a gun club that has a black powder group with monthly matches, but they (we) rarely shoot pistols. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing a blackpowder pistol match locally, although the CAS clubs in my area have a number of blackpowder revolver shooters. I have not been active in competitive shooting recently, though. I recognize that these are upper-end pistols we are discussing here, and the Pedersoli Continental Match pistol, at under $600, would probably shoot just as well for me. However, I would like to gather a little more information on the Kuchenreuter and Mang in Graz pistols. There is actually a lot of information on Pedersoli's Le Page already "out there," if you are willing to look for it.

Specific questions:

What size nipples do they use?

What accessories come with the pistols?

Do they come with a hard case, as in this picture?
Mang in Graz - Accessories.jpg


How do you like that tang-mounted rear sight?

Pedersoli recommends a .435" ball, which is hard to get, but Hornaday and Speer both have .433" balls readily available, only .002" smaller. What size ball do you find gives best results?

What do you suppose accounts for the differences in price between the Le Page, the Mang in Graz, and the Kuchenreuter pistols?

Any information would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Notchy Bob
 
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Ok Bob, my take on these pistols for plinking and just having fun. Buy them all and have fun. Offer others to shoot yours and don`t be afraid to ask to shoot their`s. Best overall; Lepage Flint then Cap. Best for $; William or Charles Moore cap or flint. Most overpriced; Kuch and Mang tie. Both good match guns if $600 less. Other notables;... New Cook Underhammer; Wonderfully easy to shoot,just borrowed one to shoot a few shots helping my buddie sight it in. 4 10s and 1 pulled 9 at 25yds w/10g swiss, then 2 10s and 1x w/15g swiss at 50yds. Was able to adjust trigger down to 6oz with ease."Hege-Siber" nice William Moore type. William Parker w/ double set triggers cap and flint very nice gold medal winners but sold after switching to the Lepage`s...Caliber; Most of mine have been custom barreled to use soapy water damped precut patch 000buck/.350 ball seated gently on powder ,lightly damp patch loose swab between shots using 10-12g of Swiss at 25yds and 15-18 at 50yds w/no sight adjustment. larger calibers loaded with only a couple more grains...
 

Barry Strickland

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Bob, I can only comment on one of the pistols, that would be the Lepage. I have been shooting in pistol competition since the late "60's and over the years have shot my own builds and many others of my friends. As No second place says the Lepage is a wonderfully handling pistol. Also I might note just as NSP mentioned, if you are interested in target shooting go with a 36 or 38 caliber. You won't regret it. In the 60's and 70's the vast number of competitors at Nationals were using 44/45's. Through the years the sizes went down and now the most common size is probably 36 with the 32 cal coming in a close second.
 
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No way I’d ever pay that much for a Pedersoli.

A custom maker can make you a pistol for that cost with a far better barrel, better lock, trigger, etc.

Most of the money spent on a Pedersoli at that price is the fancy decorations. Their LePage pistols are much less expensive, but will shoot equally well to the Mang.
 

Notchy Bob

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Thanks to all who replied. "No second place" gave a nice rundown of the pistols in question... Much appreciated. I may have to take another look at the Charles Moore percussion pistol. Dixie still has a few of these in the blued finish, which I prefer to the chromed barrels that Pedersoli is using on the current production.

The Le Page gets universally good reviews. "Cap & Ball" productions has produced a good video on this pistol, and MIke Cumpston and Johnny Bates devoted a whole chapter to it in their book on shooting percussion pistols and revolvers. I still can't account for the price difference between the Le Page and the Mang in Graz and Kuchenreuter pistols, but I like the Germanic style.

Regarding price: This always comes up. As noted in my original post, and as repeated by Smokey Plainsman, the Mang in Graz and Kuchenreuter pistols are well within the price range of custom pistols. I corresponded a little with Lowell Haarer a few weeks ago, and his prices for a "Sparky's Nothin' Fancy" pistol, for example, which is plain but built with best quality components, start at $1,600.00. Any gunsmith will tell you that building a pistol takes about as much work as a rifle. I have had the good fortune to have owned several custom long guns by well recognized builders, and a couple of them were not all they were cracked up to be. They have been sold. You pay your money and you take your chances. However, the three Pedersoli pistols (Mang, Kuchenreuter, and Le Page) that form the core of this discussion are considered top of the line models, and they have reportedly performed well in international competitions. I would not rule them out just because they are production guns. Comments in these and older posts on this forum indicate these pistols are range and competition ready out of the box which, if true, would make them worth the extra cost. I've spent some time "tweaking" new guns, as have a lot of people on the forum, and can really appreciate a gun that's ready to go. Still, the pistols under discussion aren't for everybody, and I appreciate that, too.

Thanks!

Notchy Bob
 

Notchy Bob

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Ok Bob, my take on these pistols for plinking and just having fun. Buy them all and have fun. Offer others to shoot yours and don`t be afraid to ask to shoot their`s. Best overall; Lepage Flint then Cap. Best for $; William or Charles Moore cap or flint. Most overpriced; Kuch and Mang tie. Both good match guns if $600 less. Other notables;... New Cook Underhammer; Wonderfully easy to shoot,just borrowed one to shoot a few shots helping my buddie sight it in. 4 10s and 1 pulled 9 at 25yds w/10g swiss, then 2 10s and 1x w/15g swiss at 50yds. Was able to adjust trigger down to 6oz with ease."Hege-Siber" nice William Moore type. William Parker w/ double set triggers cap and flint very nice gold medal winners but sold after switching to the Lepage`s...Caliber; Most of mine have been custom barreled to use soapy water damped precut patch 000buck/.350 ball seated gently on powder ,lightly damp patch loose swab between shots using 10-12g of Swiss at 25yds and 15-18 at 50yds w/no sight adjustment. larger calibers loaded with only a couple more grains...
No second place,

I sent you a PM.

Notchy Bob
 

TFoley

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I have only experience with the LePage and Kuechenreuter, neither of which I own. My personal preference is for the LePage, which is the .44 - it just seems sweeter to shoot than the other. The Kuechenreuter was bought by a shooting pal from a dealer who knew absolutely zero about BP guns of any kind, and it was tossed in an old cartridge box with a load of junk. 'What do you want for the old pistol?' asked Mike, - 'Sixty quid alright?' Mike paid his money and got it put on his FAC by a very bemused gun-store owner, who couldn't for the life of him figure out why anyone would want a piece of old junk like that on his FAC, as it was plainly old.

Yup, made in 1999, and selling, at the time that Mike acquired it, for around £900 here in UK...

Anyhow, bargain stories aside. it has a hammer spring like no other I've even encountered, and that, plus the square-headed key that is used to adjust the rear sight are either WAAAAAAY too strong, or finicky/fragile, in that order. I've had to acquire both items for him twice over the years from Bálasz Németh [capandball on Youtube].

You can see him shooting HIS LePage on his Youtube page. He likes it, and has the Gold medals to prove how well it shoots for him.

ALL of them have won international competitions at the very highest levels, so what you do with any of them is entirely down to you - personally, I'd be buying a real LePage - there are a good few still around.
 

mlshooter

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You might consider buying an antique instead. A few years back I picked up a German percussion target pistol at an auction for about $1,100, and it has a micro-grooved rifled barrel (.44 cal), single set trigger and modest but nice engraving. I have seen a number of similar pistols for less than $1,500 regularly come up at auctions; the only possible problem is if a part breaks, it is a DIY fix for sure.
 

TFoley

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See post #10 - 'personally, I'd be buying a real LePage - there are a good few still around.'.........................................................
 

Notchy Bob

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Sorry about the delay in acknowledging all of this good information. I've had a little trouble getting on board with the recent upgrade to this site, but those issues appear to have been resolved. I think I like this new format. Thank you, Moderators!

There are indeed a few original Le Page pistols out there, as mlshooter and TFoley suggested, and a good many of them appear to be in shootable condition and really no more expensive than the Pedersoli reproduction. There are also a very few of the Chiappa Le Page pistols still available at about half the price of the Pedersoli, but we will leave it at that.

Regarding the pistols we have discussed here (Kuchenreuter, Mang in Graz, and Le Page), I have taken a good look at the grips. To my eye, the Kuchenreuter grip looks a bit like the Colt Bisley revolver grip, which was designed for offhand competition. However, I tried a buddy's Bisley a while back and was not impressed. The grip just didn't fit my hand. The Mang, for all of its fancy fluting, resembles a plowhandle, which actually fits my hand pretty well. I was contemplating this while cultivating my garden with my 70+ year old Planet Jr. "push-plow" a couple of days ago. I would suggest the Le Page grip is in a class by itself, but the experts tell us it is very ergonomic. I would call the grip on the Charles Moore pistol a "bag-type" grip. From pistols I have handled, I would say that very subtle differences in angle or dimensions can make this type of grip very good or not so good. For comparison, I have a Lyman Plains Pistol, and would suggest it has more of a "cane-handle" grip... Curving like the arc of a circle, and of a near uniform diameter, similar to an old-fashioned walking cane. The Lyman Plains Pistol has a lot of things going for it, but the grip is not one of them. At least, not for me. The trigger reach is also sized for someone with pretty big paws, and is kind of long for me. It would be great if Pecatonica River came out with an aftermarket stock for this pistol, with better wood and a better designed grip. I doubt that will happen, though.

TFoley, I appreciate your comments. I have seen the "Cap and Ball" video on shooting the Le Page. There is also a whole chapter on the Pedersoli Le Page in the book, Percussion Pistols and Revolvers: History, Performance, and Practical Use, by Johnny Bates and Mike Cumpston. Those who have been following this thread would probably like the book, which is available from Amazon.

So, we have a lot to think about in researching percussion target pistols. I'm still considering options, and the information and comments you guys have provided has been useful and much appreciated.

I still don't know what size nipple these Pedersoli pistols use, though. Nobody has answered that, yet.

Thanks!

Notchy Bob
 
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Sorry about the delay in acknowledging all of this good information. I've had a little trouble getting on board with the recent upgrade to this site, but those issues appear to have been resolved. I think I like this new format. Thank you, Moderators!

There are indeed a few original Le Page pistols out there, as mlshooter and TFoley suggested, and a good many of them appear to be in shootable condition and really no more expensive than the Pedersoli reproduction. There are also a very few of the Chiappa Le Page pistols still available at about half the price of the Pedersoli, but we will leave it at that.

Regarding the pistols we have discussed here (Kuchenreuter, Mang in Graz, and Le Page), I have taken a good look at the grips. To my eye, the Kuchenreuter grip looks a bit like the Colt Bisley revolver grip, which was designed for offhand competition. However, I tried a buddy's Bisley a while back and was not impressed. The grip just didn't fit my hand. The Mang, for all of its fancy fluting, resembles a plowhandle, which actually fits my hand pretty well. I was contemplating this while cultivating my garden with my 70+ year old Planet Jr. "push-plow" a couple of days ago. I would suggest the Le Page grip is in a class by itself, but the experts tell us it is very ergonomic. I would call the grip on the Charles Moore pistol a "bag-type" grip. From pistols I have handled, I would say that very subtle differences in angle or dimensions can make this type of grip very good or not so good. For comparison, I have a Lyman Plains Pistol, and would suggest it has more of a "cane-handle" grip... Curving like the arc of a circle, and of a near uniform diameter, similar to an old-fashioned walking cane. The Lyman Plains Pistol has a lot of things going for it, but the grip is not one of them. At least, not for me. The trigger reach is also sized for someone with pretty big paws, and is kind of long for me. It would be great if Pecatonica River came out with an aftermarket stock for this pistol, with better wood and a better designed grip. I doubt that will happen, though.

TFoley, I appreciate your comments. I have seen the "Cap and Ball" video on shooting the Le Page. There is also a whole chapter on the Pedersoli Le Page in the book, Percussion Pistols and Revolvers: History, Performance, and Practical Use, by Johnny Bates and Mike Cumpston. Those who have been following this thread would probably like the book, which is available from Amazon.

So, we have a lot to think about in researching percussion target pistols. I'm still considering options, and the information and comments you guys have provided has been useful and much appreciated.

I still don't know what size nipple these Pedersoli pistols use, though. Nobody has answered that, yet.

Thanks!

Notchy Bob


Nipple size references; Call Track of the wolf...c
 

scbuxton

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I have a Mang which I would trade even for a pedersoli LePage caplock in 32 cal.
 

J-team

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I've owned a Mang in .38 cal, I really liked it and it was a good shooter, a little muzzle heavy for some but I don't mind that. Before that I had a lePage in .44 cal, it was also a good shooter, but I preferred the Mang, from both shooting and styling.
 

TFoley

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The cap size is #11. The nipple size? Perhaps and owner can tell you, but its going to be the same as all Pedersoli's other single-shot pistols.
 

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