Question re: FA .454


October 26, 2004, 08:09 AM
I have an opportunity to purchase a used FA Field Grade .454 with a 6 inch barrel. Is this a good length, or am I giving up a significant amount of muzzle velocity and accuracy? What are the pros and cons?

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October 26, 2004, 12:25 PM
I don't think loss of velocity in a 6" vs 7.5" is much of a concern, specially in the 454 where there is plenty to begin with. I am a little more accurate with the longer barrel when using open sights, but the 6" should be just as mechanically accurate. The 6" will have more recoil...not sure if you will be able to tell the diference...alot is alot. The 6" should be a little easier to pack around and a little handier in an up close/brushy encounter. I don't think you are handicapping yourself much by having a 6" vs 7.5".

Your ability to be as accurate with a shorter barrel is probably the biggest factor...negated if using optical sights and maybe not much of a difference if using open sights, depends on the shooter. A 6" barrel is not usually considered short and I don't run into real accuracy issues until I get into the 4" range. FWIW, dvnv

October 26, 2004, 01:58 PM
Six inches is probably a nice compromise. The only two SA revolvers in my safe right now are a SBH 4 5/8" and a FA 7 1/2". As noted above, the longer barrel can be a lot easier to shoot accurately with iron sights, but after carrying the 4 5/8" the 7 1/2" feels like you're trying to carry a garden rake or something like that around. ;)

I don't have chrono figures for the .454 Casull out of a 6" barrel, but unless you're hunting truly out-sized game I doubt it matters, in terms of ballistics. The cartridge has a surplus of effectiveness (however you prefer to measure it) for almost any purpose. Six inches just might serve you very well.

FA can also rebarrel revolvers for a cost that looks sorta tame, compared to the up-front cost of the revolver (though still pricey). Gunsmithing services are listed on their website. One other thought -- call FA and see if you can talk to someone who hunts with one and get their opinion. They're great folks, very helpful and willing to talk about their guns.

October 26, 2004, 06:39 PM
I know where there is a 8" model 83 .454 for sale for $980. It sound like a hell of a deal even if you had to pay shipping transfer fees. Let my know if you want contact info. I have no connection to the seller just saw it on the rack and wished he had a 4 5/8" model 97 for that price. :(

October 26, 2004, 07:34 PM
According to the FA website, the loading data shows velocities for the 7.5" barrel, and they say you should expect variances of minus 50-75 fps for the 6" barrel and plus 50-75 fps for the 10" barrel.

I'd say it's inconsequential...

October 26, 2004, 10:50 PM
I get 1,600 fps (Chronoed) with 300gr factory and reloads in my 6" FAC .454 Field Grade. 340gr stuff about the same.

To me, the 6" FAC is the best balanced gun I own. It just kind of sits in your hands -- not muzzle light, but not muzzle heavy.

8.0 gr of Titegroup and 200gr SWC (.45 ACP Bullet), crimped over front drive band shoots to same point of impact at 25 yds as the 300gr at 1,600 fps. Should be about 1,100 fps and makes a nice light load.

Forgot to mention -- it sure beats the crap out of the knuckle on my middle finger.

October 27, 2004, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the responses. I made an offer and it was accepted. I am picking it up tomorrow! :)

October 27, 2004, 09:57 PM
Let us know how you like it. I think you will be pleased.

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