U.S. importer Italian Firearms Group announced in 2019 that it would be importing a modernized, defensive pistol designed by popular Italian manufacturer Pedersoli. Though the new IFG Pedersoli Howdah Alaskan is inspired by a classic 1920s design, the system has been modernized and updated for use by today's defensive shooters and is chambered for use with both .45 Colt cartridges and .410-bore shotshells.
In 1922, shotgun manufacturer Ithaca developed a design called the Auto & Burglar, itself inspired by the classic, big-bore Howdah defensive pistols wielded by British officers and adventurers needing a defensive arm against large predators in Africa and India. The Auto & Burglar featured a break-open, side-by-side design with smoothbore barrels measuring 10 inches long and chambered in 20 gauge. However, the advent of the National Firearms Act of 1934 meant that these guns fell under increased regulation, and the Ithaca Auto & Burglar vanished into history.
Now in 2019, IFG and Pedersoli convened to offer a similar design while remaining legal for importation into the United States. The non-NFA design of the Howdah Alaskan focuses particularly on the barrel construction itself. Rather than being smoothbore barrels, which would make the system an NFA-regulated 'Any Other Weapon," the design features two rifled barrels, making this a large handgun. However, like the Taurus Judge or the Smith & Wesson Governor, the lengthened chamber accommodates 3-inch .410-bore shotshells.
One of the downsides of compact revolvers like the Judge or the Governor is that the shorter barrel on these guns lessens the muzzle velocity and terminal performance of the .45 Colt and the .410-bore shotshell. The Pedersoli Howdah Alaskan is outfitted with lengthened 10.25-inch barrels, enabling users to get enhanced performance out of a package that's still compact enough to store in a pack.
Each Pedersoli Howdah Alaskan 45/410 pistol is constructed with a weather-resistant, chromed finish on the barrels and receiver, and the pistol grip and fore-end are made from rubber-coated wood designed to hold up to years of exposure. The hammerless design provides a seamless finish and allows users to fire quickly and easily, thanks to two independent triggers, with the front trigger firing the right barrel and the rear trigger firing the left barrel. Both triggers feature a pull weight of 3.5 pounds. Dual extractors allow for fast and easy reloading, and a brass-bead front sight matches up with a fixed rear notch to allow for accurate aiming at extended distances.
The suggested retail price on the IFG Pedersoli Howdah Alaskan 45/410 pistol is $1,350.