Far from being an anachronism the single-shot rifle is alive and well. The Rossi Pomba is an affordable welldesigned break-action.
THE NATURAL GRACE and balance of this inexpensive little single-shot rifle from Brazil impressed me. It offers the twin advantages of a simple design – superior handling and considerably shorter overall length which contributes greatly to its handiness for hunting.
The light 580mm barrel is long enough to deliver factory velocities from a rifle that’s at least 10cm shorter than a bolt-action with similar barrel length.
The heart of the Pomba is a simple, straightforward design based the fundamental break-open shotgunstyle action, as exemplified by the Thompson Centender and Harrison & Richardson.
It has an action that is hinged to expose the chamber for loading. The receiver which has internal transfer bar mechanism houses the hammer, sear, firing pin, lock together with appropriate springs and pins. It also houses the opening lever as well as the safety mechanism.
Locking is by means of a spring-loaded wedge-shaped lug which emerges from the base of the standing breech to engage an angled bite in the rear face of the immense underlug. It provides large shear area and exerts holddown pressure on the breech end of the barrel. Unlike some single-barrel shotguns, the external hammer is not cocked by the opening action of the barrel and must be drawn back with the ball of the thumb.
Nor does the opening lever swivel atop the rear of the action as it does in many shotguns; rather it is a knurled button handily located beside the hammer on the right side. When it depressed with the thumb, the action swings open smoothly exposing the breech for easy loading. A cartridge can then be inserted into the chamber against the extended extractor hook and on closing the breech, the cartridge is pushed fully home.