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What's so special about Freedom Arms?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BigBlock, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

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    I recently looked at a Freedom Arms SAA clone in .45 Colt. Nice gun...but more than $2,000?! To my untrained eye it looks like a Blackhawk. Sure, it's probably more finished inside, but come on, I can buy a pickup truck for less than $2,000!

    What makes them worth so freakin' much? I think I could spend $500 at a gunsmith and have a Blackhawk that shoots just as sweet and looks even better. What am I missing?

    I know they make some 5 shots in bigger calibers than Ruger, but the one I was looking at was a 6 shot .45 Colt.
     
  2. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Besides general fine workmanship, at a level WAY higher than Ruger?

    The answer is: line boring.

    What they do is, they make the frame first. They then put in a cylinder that has no bore holes in it, and size that cylinder to that frame. They then bore the holes based on a drill fixture that attaches to the frame, in the screws where the barrel is going to go.

    In other words, every cylinder is custom to that particular frame. The alignment between bore-holes and barrel is always 100% dead on, for every bore.

    The resulting accuracy is like nothing else in the wheelgun world. Some have been reliably tested as capable of MOA - "minute of angle" - accuracy.

    That means 1" groups at 100 yards.

    Rifle grade accuracy.
     
  3. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    They are some of the finest weapons made in America now.

    Also, remember, you're looking at MSRP, not street price. They often are found around for $1k or so. Not bad compared to a Ruger (which I also love) but when you buy a Ruger for $400 and spend another $500 on it you're not really ahead in the comparision.

    The FA guns are pretty much in a league of their own.
     
  4. farscott

    farscott Member

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    The fitting on the FA is perfect. The steel is 17-4PH, one of the best stainless steels that has a pressure vessel rating. The grips fit the frame with no transition because they are hand fit. The line-bored cylinder fits the frame so that the forcing cone gap is around 0.001". Accuracy is amazing. A Blackhawk is a nice gun, but the FA guns are a different beast. A lot more labor on the FA guns that on the Rugers.

    I have three: one in .454 Casull which I use for deer and boar hunting, one in .357 Magnum with fixed sights which I carry while on my property, and one in .22 LR I use as a plinker. The plinker outshoots my S&W M41. The .357 outshoots my Marlin 1894C in .357 Magnum.

    Great guns backed by great customer service. I bought the FA 97 in .22 LR with the octagon barrel used via an Internet sale. Got it home and it started to have action problems. Called FA, told them I bought it used, and they asked me to send it to them. They had it a week, told me the action had been "bubba"d, and replaced quite a few parts. They also did an action job on it for me. They shipped it back to me. Total cost: shipping both ways.
     
  5. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    Its a custom made gun vs. a production gun. It's like comparing a Springfield to a Les Baer. Except more so in my book. Personally I would rather have a Python than a FA of the same price but I would rather have 2 or 3 of some other kind of guns. I am just one of those guys that doesn't like spending more than 500 on a gun.
     
  6. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The difference is that off of a machine rest it can interlock holes on a target at 100 yards... :what:

    That's becase of the overall precise fitting and line bored chambers.

    Of course what the gun can do, and what the shooter can do can be vastly different. :uhoh:
     
  7. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

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    You might be able to get that kind of accuracy from a ruger

    if you had everything torn down, kept the grip frame and had a very capable smith do the work for you. Only downsides are: Those kind of smiths are always a year behind on everything, and you'd pay just as much or more to rebuild a gun that you could get off Freedom's 'assembly' line.
    They make the finest revolver and then price it according to what it cost them to produce. Virtually all other manufacturers start with the attitude that they need to appeal to a certain price demographic.
     
  8. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    From our friends at Gunblast:

    Mvc-001fa.jpg
     
  9. JB696

    JB696 Member

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    When I got my .44 Special Model 97 it came with a test target shot from a rest at 25 yards. The bullet diameter is .430 and the size of the hole in the target at its biggest point was .625. More accurate than I will ever live to be. Probably you either.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That's not even near as crazy a price as the $3,570 Kimber SuperAmerica 1911 in this months American Rifleman.

    There is NO 1911 in the world that is worth that much money, or costs that much to hand fit and finish, unless it is fully covered by Class-A engraving & gold inlay!

    rcmodel
     
  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    You can keep the Kimber, but I will have a Freedom Arms in .454 Casull some day. Not hard to find in the 1300-1400 range. I don't know if they still do, but they even chambered a .22LR in that gun. Now, seems beefy and expensive for a .22, for sure, but hey, the accuracy is worth it to some folks. I love accurate guns, personally.
     
  12. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Alas...if only they'd make a double action revolver too...sigh...
     
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    They're worth it. They're tougher than a Ruger and better made than anything from the Smith custom shop. I would argue they're better made than any single action Colt produced in its entire history.

    The prices on FA's are not inflated considering the quality, and you can find them used. For someone who likes to mess around with SA revolvers from time to time they're probably not worth it, but if you're going big game handgun hunting or looking to have a top of the line single action magnum they're the ones to go to.
     
  14. telecaster1981

    telecaster1981 Member

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    I often wondered the same thing until we dropped into the Freedom Arms plant while driving through Wyoming last year. I handled every model they make and I've never been more impressed with the fit and finish on ANY gun. Makes a Ruger look like a loose, sloppy mess!
     
  15. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    I don't mean to be impolite at all, not even a little when I say this. If you had a chance to handle one and it didn't convince you, it isn't worth it. Mine reminds me of a combination of a Mercedes Benz, a Rolex and the door on a vault at Ft. Knox.
     
  16. machinisttx

    machinisttx Member

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    You'd have to spend more than $500 on a ruger at a smith to get something that's close to the quality and precision of a FA. Even then, all you'd have is a ruger, and it won't be worth nearly what you have in it. The Freedom Arms guns retain their value well, and with the precise fitting plus the 17-4 construction, good luck wearing one out. A freedom arms gun will safely fire loads that would destroy a ruger in short order.
     
  17. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Bowen, among others, will turn a Ruger into the equivalent of a Freedom Arms. Just as strong, just as accurate, and better looking, IMO.

    Of course, he charges about as much as Freedom Arms -- and you have to supply the gun for him to work on.

    Which I think illustrates the value of the Freedom Arms very nicely.
     
  18. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    I believe that summarizes it pretty well.

    It is indeed possible to turn a 1979 Ford Pinto into something that runs like a 240,000.00 Ferrari. However, it will cost you 250,000.00 plus the cost of the Pinto.

    You'll have something unique and your own but there are more efficient ways to go about it.
     
  19. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

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    It's an interesting place to visit, I've got to agree..although there's not a tremendous amount to see. Definitely fine people...and handling a cutaway FA .44 Mag was truly cool. If anyone happens to be visiting Jackson Hole, WY, it's worth the drive down to Freedom.
     
  20. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    There ya go. 's the TRVTH, as the Romans used to write.
     
  21. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    :what: I was looking at the FA site this morning and hadn't realized that they're all single action revolvers!!

    Looking at their website again, I can't find any information where they mention if their revolvers are SA or DA. The triggers look to be set far back with the hammer down so is that the big clue?

    HA!! After looking at their catalog, now I see the loading gates. :eek:
     
  22. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    ... and what's "an optional trigger stop" and what purpose does it serve i.e. why do we need to stop the trigger, and if we need it, why don't all revolvers have this?
     
  23. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Yes, the trigger set to the back of the trigger guard generally lets you know you are looking at a single action. Really, if you look at it and see "cowboy gun" it's a single action.

    A trigger stop prevents the trigger from moving much past the point that the hammer is released and the gun fires. That movement is known as "overtravel" and can be anywhere from mildly annoying to absolutely ruinous. A properly fitted trigger stop (or overtravel stop) can be a real improvement. It is not done on all guns because A) some guns benefit very little from it, B) it adds cost to the gun, and C) simply adding a stop can really make a mess out of certain guns, Ruger single actions in particular. These guns can benefit from a stop, but without a fairly serious amount of additional work, just adding the stop can make things much worse.

    HTH!
     
  24. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Member

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    They're one of my dream guns and I will own one in .44 magnum or .45 colt within the next five years....granted i'd want to find one in the $1300 range
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I just found one for $1500 used, in perfect condition, a nice stainless .44 Mag. I bought a stainless Super Blackhawk instead; it was $285 used, and while I could tell the difference in workmanship by looking, the Ruger will shoot as well as I can hold it.

    Again, I can see the difference. If I had the money and it was no big deal to me, I'd buy the FA in a heartbeat; it's truly a perfect gun. But Ruger sure does make a pretty damn good revolver for those of us who don't have or want to spend quite so much. It's all up to you.:)
     
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