Freedom arms or BFR, which one is the most accurate?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Samb1611, Jun 13, 2020.

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  1. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I never said one was "better" than the other. I'm speaking of personal preference and personal opinion. Funny thing about personal preference, it's personal and individual. I know sometimes it's difficult to accept that someone might have a different opinion than your own. Mine is based on what works for me through extensive trial and error. No agenda or ulterior motives.

    Deductive reasoning is also a thing. If it's less comfortable and less appealing in handling, it's not going to be magically more comfortable when the primer lights. You learn these things when you spend 30yrs swapping grips around on nearly 100 revolvers. As I said, the BFR is a dead ringer for the Super Blackhawk. Which I do own and have fired extensively. It works and doesn't bust my knuckle but still prefer the Bisley or FA.

    I'll say it one more time, that is MY opinion and MY preference. I do not require anyone to agree with it or conform to it. Nor do I care to endlessly argue about it.
     
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  2. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    Samb1611, my advice is to find a a gun shop that rents both BFRs and Freedom Arms in 454, then buy the one that is more "comfortable" to shoot while having the desired accuracy. If the Freedom Arms is more accurate yet isn't as "comfortable" to shoot there is little point choosing it over the BFR and visa versa if the BFR is more accurate yet less "comfortable" to shoot.
     
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    As has been said, the accuracy issue is a moot point as both are probably more accurate than the one pulling the trigger. So that dictates that paying more for accuracy is not a valid option. Comes down to personnel preference and as you can see(or read) here that is varied and passionate. .454 can be a brutal round in a lightweight platform. How the gun fits your hand and your grip makes a big difference as does how the gun itself balances in your hand. How much are you going to shoot it?
     
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  4. Samb1611

    Samb1611 Member

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    A lot.
     
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    If 200 yards is a serious goal, you might want to consider the 7.5 incher. The extra inch will give the slow burning powder used in .454 a better chance to burn and will result in higher velocities, which equals flatter shooting. While I practice regularly out to 150 yards with my .460, I limit myself to about 125 yards for hunting. 200 yards is tough for a revolver, with straight walled cartridges and bullets heavy enough for legitimate medium to large game hunting. Even when rested. Shooting to 200 yards means using a rest, so balance as compared to shooting freehand, is not nearly as obvious. More weight forward with heavy loads means less recoil and less muzzle flip. Same goes for a range gun. The more pleasant the gun is to shoot, the more you will shoot it. If it would be for a back-up for DG or as a secondary weapon to a rifle, then I myself might opt for a shorter 5.5" barrel. But for a primary deer hunting handgun and a pleasant to shoot and accurate range gun, I'd be more prone to go longer. But, JMHO.

    Again, having a gun that fits you and helps with recoil, especially with the heavies like .454, goes a long ways towards making the average handgunner shoot more and become more proficient. "A lot" is a relative statement. Some folks think that shooting a box of 20 rounds once a month out of thier .454, is "a lot". Some folks think several hundred rounds a week is not "a lot". Heavy recoiling handguns like the .454 and the cost per round, even when handloaded, means a lot less shooting than the average 9mm. I shoot all my hunting revolvers at least once a month, most months 2-3 times a month. It's amazing how fast one's proficiency falls off after a few weeks away. One of the hardest things to do is to convince folks new to handgun hunting, how much practice it takes to become accurate when the target in front of you is flesh and bone instead of paper. Still, there's no greater satisfaction than taking a good deer with a platform few people even attempt. I wish you luck with making your choice and with becoming proficient with it.

    I suggest once you get your .454, you try Speer's 300 gr Deep Curls over a charge of IMR4227.
     
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  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    This is so true.
    Even using a firearm with an optic, handguns are just harder to master.
    I can pick up my .30-06 with a 3-9x40 scope and shoot an MOA group from sandbags after not picking the thing up for 6 months.
    Not so with a handgun.

    I recently put an Ultradot 30 on my 7.5" .45 Colt and I did notice an immediate improvement over iron sights, but it's not like the rifle at all.
    Gotta put in some work.
     
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  7. 13.45

    13.45 Member

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    I have no experience with the BFR, but I've always had excellent results with FA.
     
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  8. Samb1611

    Samb1611 Member

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    Where are some pics of the bfr targets showing groups? I only ask because only FA targets have been put up sofar.
     
  9. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    I’ll put some up in a bit.
     
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  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    BFR Bisley in pencil, Super Blackhawk in red ink. As I said, the BFR is derived from the Super Blackhawk pattern. Biggest difference is at the heel, where the BFR has less flare. So if the Super Blackhawk works for you and does not bust your knuckle, the BFR offers nothing over it. The SBH works fine for me and with thicker custom grips, does not bust my knuckle at all. However, for the same reasons why I do not like the Ruger XR3-RED pattern, I do not prefer the SBH or BFR profiles. I prefer the Bisley or FA over either one. I don't need to buy or shoot a BFR to determine this. The fact that you cannot easily adapt the Ruger Bisley grip frame to the BFR receiver is why I don't have one. Not emotionally invested in this at all, I just know what works for me. From doing it.

    BFR%20Bisley%20tracing.jpg
     
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  11. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    You would have to add considerable material at the bottom (as per your drawing and per Huntington) just like Huntington does with his redesign. How is that not a vertical profile? Still maintain that one needs to actually try them before drawing a credible conclusion.

    This is Magnum Research's plow handle top, and Bisley, bottom:

    IMG_3840.jpg

    GD-444BFR-3_1.jpg

    Ruger Bisley and MRI Bisley:

    IMG_4128.jpg

    IMG_4126.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  12. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger member

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    I have a Freedom Arms M83 Premier Grade, 6” barrel I received as a gift from my wife in 2011 after a promotion at work. Caliber is .454 Casull.

    I set the revolver up with an RMR and have been very pleased with its performance. The Freedom Arms mounting plate for the RMR is robust while still being as svelte as it can be given it’s function.

    I rarely bench any handguns but this one will stack bullets it likes on top of each other at 50 yards, with both the .454 cylinder, and the .45 ACP cylinder Freedom fitted for me in 2012. I had even inquired about having an octagon barrel installed and the smith at FA talked me out of it. He asked if I was having accuracy issues, which I was not, and he told me that his test targets after fitting the .45 ACP cylinder and installing it were exceptional. He though it would be a shame to risk pulling the barrel off solely for a cosmetic change.

    I wish I could give you more comparative input on the BFR but I have no extended experience with one.
     
  13. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Here you go, .500 S&W at 50 yards:

    IMG_0238.jpg

    .460 S& W at 50 yards:

    IMG_9564.jpg

    .45/70 at 50 yards:

    45-70%20DT%20300%20TSX%2025%20yds.jpg

    .500 JRH at 50 yards:

    BFR%20500%20Punch%2050%20yds.jpg



    And the most important target photo; BFR in .500 JRH at bad breathe distance:

    IMG_3908.jpg
     
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  14. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    All the bfr's I've shot would stay in side a clay bird at 100 yards.
     
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  15. Obturation

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  16. Gary W. Strange

    Gary W. Strange Member

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    I have handled and shot only one bfr. I thought it was a nice revolver. It handled well and was a good shooting revolver. I own two Freedom arms revolvers. A pre model 83, 6” field grade 454 and a model 97, 4 1/4”, 44 special. In my opinion, Freedom Arms builds the best single action revolver out there, short of a full custom. They are finely built revolvers. The fit and finish is excellent. They lock up like a bank vault. One could take something else, send it off to one of the custom smiths, and pay way more, and not have any better revolver. My thinking is why buy something off the shelf, send it off, spend more than double what it cost to begin with, to get it to what you want it to be in the first place. Freedom Arms will build a revolver with the barrel length and custom options if you want them. Freedom Arms doesn’t build no where near the revolvers, Ruger builds in a year, because they put more time in what they do build. Freedom Arms are what would be called factory custom. You can tell they are not just an off the shelf revolver, when you handle one. A Ruger is not even close to a Freedom Arms and bfrs a aways back still in my opinion. A custom single action is nice but I believe you could pay way more and not have any better than what a Freedom Arms would be. With a custom build, there is the base price of the gun, being customized, the price of the parts going into, the price of the machine work, price of refinishing it, and the price of the labor, of the gunsmith. Labor will add up to big money alone. You can get package deals but to have what a Freedom Arms is, the cost of the package, to get a base gun to Freedom arms level, is more than a Freedom Arms cost to begin with and there is still the price of the base gun on top of that. A Freedom Arms is a lot of gun for the money, considering what you are getting.
     
  17. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    A couple issues.

    Magnum Research has a custom shop that does fantastic work.

    If your full-blown custom built on a Ruger isn’t better than a factory FA, I would suggest going to another gun builder.

    Bank vault lock-up. The cliche that refuses to die. While I love precision machine work, those really tight tolerances can be a liability under field conditions where you can’t keep your firearM spotless. It doesn’t really matter if all you are doing is punching paper, but got someone whose intent is dragging their revolver out into the killing fields, this is a real consideration.

    Again, they are fine revolvers, I just don’t cotton to them being head and shoulders over all else as that has not been my experience.

    JMHO.
     
  18. Samb1611

    Samb1611 Member

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    I spoke to bfr about their custom revolver and they said it will have nor more than a 2 thou cylinder gap. Furthermore, several on several forums have said that bfr's lock up real tight. Wouldn't the bfr then be subject to dirt causing it to not operate just as bad as the FA, because it's tight tolerances?
     
  19. Obturation

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    Tight tolerances are wonderful & terrible at the same time. My FA will not chamber any cartridge that isn't precisely sized, this includes several rounds of winchester factory ammo that I got with the gun. Clean as can be, those rounds would hang about 1/16" from fully seating and you can't rotate the cylinder . those same rounds would drop in and out of my srh like greased lightening, I could see this being an issue in the field due to debris but not a huge problem if you do your best to keep your gun clean and use proper cartridges. The cylinder gap isn't the problem, it's the tight chambers. I notice an increased effort in chambering and extracting after about 50 rds but I've continued shooting and the effort seems to remain the same. It just depends on what you like. I like tight, accurate guns but if I'm going to be in the field and not taking special care of my revolver I prefer something a bit more forgiving . I don't know about the bfr chambers, either way it wouldn't scare me off one. I love my FA and I'm excited to finally get my bfr (hopefully soon).
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
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  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I defer to Hamilton Bowen on this subject, he ought to know and is humble enough to admit it. He said in his book that you cannot rebuild a Ruger to be as precise as a Freedom Arms is out of the box.

    The allure and purpose of custom guns is not to make them as good or better than a Freedom Arms. But to make them exactly how YOU want. Whether it's custom barrels, custom sights, custom grips and grip configurations, off the beaten path chamberings, one-off modifications, premium finishes, top strap conversions or any combination thereof. There are things you can get with a custom Ruger that you cannot get any other way and that is inarguable. The fact that they will never be as precisely made as a Freedom Arms is irrelevant. I have two "best grade" customs with $11,000 invested between the two of them. I don't need to believe they're as well put together as a Freedom Arms to enjoy them for what they are, which is exactly what I wanted with no expenses spared. Freedom Arms and MRI are limited in that regard in that they do not do anything but stainless steel. They have few if any grip and grip frame options. FA and MRI offer more options than Ruger but there are insurmountable limitations and that should be obvious. They have a limited set of options you can choose from but no true custom work. If they can produce the gun you want, then you have your answer. If they don't, chances are very good that there is a custom builder who can make exactly what you want.

    There are no right or wrong answers here, it's 100% subjective. Turning this into a "Ford vs Chevy" debate, arguing about the technical differences or trying to make one better than the other is silly and unproductive.
     
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  21. Samb1611

    Samb1611 Member

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    And we all know ford is the best.
     
  22. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    My Chevy disagrees...:D
     
  23. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    @MaxP I had you pegged as more of a mopar guy.
     
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  24. Gary W. Strange

    Gary W. Strange Member

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    If you read my post, I never said a custom build was not as good as a Freedom Arms. What I said was, it would take more money to buy a base gun, send it to a smith, to have it up to what a Freedom Arms was straight off the shelf. There is nothing wrong with a custom build. One should get exactly what they want, the way they want it. A Ruger off the shelf will do the job. I have hunted and shot a Freedom Arms revolver, for 25 years. I have been on some rough hunts, with it. Other than whipping it down, every now and then has been all that was needed. It has been dirty at times, in rain, snow and a ton of dust and has never failed me yet. I would expect a full custom to be just as reliable, well made and tight. I don’t baby my Freedom arms, but I am not going to drag it behind the truck either. There is nothing at all wrong with a custom. I have looked a what it would cost to send a Ruger to a smith, have it done up like I would want it, and the work and parts alone would be more than what a Freedom Arms would cost to begin with, and there would still be the cost of the base gun on top of that. Everyone has different opinions, likes different things and wants it a certain way. If one wants a custom build they should get it. The guys that build them are backed up for years and do some beautiful work and they are heads and shoulders above a Ruger off the shelf. A Freedom arms is not a full custom, they would be considered a very high end factory made, but they are way above anything else off the shelf and not far under a full custom, for less money.
     
  25. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Haha! In a past life! No time to play anymore, so I sold the Barracuda.
     
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