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Custom Work, or FA? #157603 03/24/2015 5:14 AM
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Odin Offline OP
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So here's the deal: I've got a BFR in 475L, a wonderful gun. But since the first season in the field I've been wanting to get some work done on it. You know, a little barrel trimming, a little action tuning, a little grip work, maybe a couple other little touches here and there... nothing super-special, just trying to make it a bit more field-friendly.

But the way I figure it, by the time I'm done I've essentially bought myself a pretty decent used Freedom Arms in the same chambering.

So the question is, do I get the work done of the BFR, or just sell it and pony up for a nice used FA in 475L?


Odin
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Odin] #157606 03/24/2015 10:18 AM
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Whitworth Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Odin
So here's the deal: I've got a BFR in 475L, a wonderful gun. But since the first season in the field I've been wanting to get some work done on it. You know, a little barrel trimming, a little action tuning, a little grip work, maybe a couple other little touches here and there... nothing super-special, just trying to make it a bit more field-friendly.

But the way I figure it, by the time I'm done I've essentially bought myself a pretty decent used Freedom Arms in the same chambering.

So the question is, do I get the work done of the BFR, or just sell it and pony up for a nice used FA in 475L?



My suggestion would be to have it tuned up, with barrel cut to your desired length and then get the grip frame reworked and fitted with a set of custom grips made for your hand. Then it will be personalized. You get the FA (nothing wrong with the FA) and it will be in a configuration for the masses. You already have the BFR, might as well personalize it......JMHO.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157610 03/24/2015 10:45 AM
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Find a good gunsmith and go for it.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157615 03/24/2015 12:02 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Whitworth
 Originally Posted By: Odin
So here's the deal: I've got a BFR in 475L, a wonderful gun. But since the first season in the field I've been wanting to get some work done on it. You know, a little barrel trimming, a little action tuning, a little grip work, maybe a couple other little touches here and there... nothing super-special, just trying to make it a bit more field-friendly.

But the way I figure it, by the time I'm done I've essentially bought myself a pretty decent used Freedom Arms in the same chambering.

So the question is, do I get the work done of the BFR, or just sell it and pony up for a nice used FA in 475L?



My suggestion would be to have it tuned up, with barrel cut to your desired length and then get the grip frame reworked and fitted with a set of custom grips made for your hand. Then it will be personalized. You get the FA (nothing wrong with the FA) and it will be in a configuration for the masses. You already have the BFR, might as well personalize it......JMHO.


While I would love to own a FA...........this man makes much sense.


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: chas3stix] #157616 03/24/2015 12:12 PM
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Whitworth Offline
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 Originally Posted By: chas3stix
Find a good gunsmith and go for it.


Jack Huntington -- his grip frame mods are worth much more than he charges IMO. I'm a guy who lives and breathes by the Bisley, but his reshaped plow-handles have all of the advantages of the Bisley without the drawbacks.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157626 03/24/2015 7:34 PM
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I'd take Whit's advise. I have 4 FA's and love 'em, one is customed by Jack H. complete with grip re-worked and is my favorite. Having your BFR customized , and I'd recommend Jack Huntington do it, makes your gun one of a kind, essentially you've personalized it. Way to go IMHO.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: FAH] #157633 03/24/2015 9:58 PM
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Whit has the right idea


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Badubet] #157644 03/25/2015 4:41 AM
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Yup. I'd go with Jack too. I already got a 500JRH from him, and sent him another frame that is being turned in to a 45 Colt. If ya do decide to go that route, ya HAVE to do the extended grip frame. If ya don't and you end up shooting someone's gun that has his frame on it, you'll wish you had done it the first time, cause you WILL be sending your gun back to have it done.

It's that good for sure!!


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Raptortrapper] #157672 03/26/2015 5:55 AM
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Odin Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies gentlemen. Interestingly one-sided response. Gives me more to ponder...


Odin
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Odin] #157674 03/26/2015 10:00 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Odin
So here's the deal: I've got a BFR in 475L, a wonderful gun. But since the first season in the field I've been wanting to get some work done on it. You know, a little barrel trimming, a little action tuning, a little grip work, maybe a couple other little touches here and there... nothing super-special, just trying to make it a bit more field-friendly.

But the way I figure it, by the time I'm done I've essentially bought myself a pretty decent used Freedom Arms in the same chambering. Odin,,,, I have uploaded a picture of my BFR that I had JRH work on the bragging board. The work was very similar to what you want.


Last edited by dhom; 03/26/2015 10:02 AM.
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: dhom] #157686 03/26/2015 5:16 PM
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Get the Freedom.... This is a 100 yard target using my Freedom Arm`s 475LB and since hunting is what this is all about my money would go for a super accurate model 83...The bottom target has three 425gr WFN bullets making one hole at 100...These are my thoughts and not directed at anyone....


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: jamesfromjersey] #157693 03/26/2015 10:14 PM
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I have yet to meet a BFR that won't shoot with or better than an FA. The fit and finish doesn't compare, but there's a lot to like about a BFR as a true working gun. Keep in mind that they are put together correctly and they use Badger barrels. Plus, you can safely carry it with a full cylinder. My .454 FA shoots well, but so do my "lesser" guns.

Just to be clear, I have examples of both of the guns mentioned here, and they both have their merits, but for a true reliable field gun, the BFR is one tough act to beat.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: jamesfromjersey] #157694 03/26/2015 10:21 PM
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Nice shootin' James!


Rod, too.

Short cuts often lead to long recoveries.
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: s4s4u] #157696 03/26/2015 11:35 PM
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 Originally Posted By: s4s4u
Nice shootin' James!


Most definitely!!


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157697 03/27/2015 12:37 AM
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My vote is to customize and get an FA. That is if the wallet allows. My wife says that my wants are bigger than my wallet though.

Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157701 03/27/2015 2:42 AM
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Odin Offline OP
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 Originally Posted By: Whitworth
I have yet to meet a BFR that won't shoot...

Amen to that. I am certainly the weak link with my 475L, but on a good day.... WOW!



 Originally Posted By: Whitworth
...a true working gun.... a true reliable field gun...

THIS, to me, is where the rubber hits the road. What I dream of is the magic blend of accuracy and reliability.

So for those who have owned and hunted with BOTH guns, would you say the BFR is a more reliable field gun than a Freedom Arms? Or possibly more Field Friendly, if we can call it that. If so, what makes it so?


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Odin] #157704 03/27/2015 11:39 AM
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I think csherril hit the nail on the head, customize your bfr and buy a FA.

Both are reliable, dependable and well made. Both are more accurate than 99% can shoot. The fit and finish are where things seperate. It's like comparing a baseball bat and a club. You can hit people over the head with either one, one just has a little sleeker lines, and is a little smoother looking than the other.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: cottonstalk] #157706 03/27/2015 2:47 PM
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 Originally Posted By: cottonstalk
I think csherril hit the nail on the head, customize your bfr and buy a FA.

Both are reliable, dependable and well made. Both are more accurate than 99% can shoot. The fit and finish are where things seperate. It's like comparing a baseball bat and a club. You can hit people over the head with either one, one just has a little sleeker lines, and is a little smoother looking than the other.


haha, I like your analogy! I was facing the same dilema when I got my FA 454... in the end, the Freedom Arms did not need to be modified to make me "happy" and it is the original 454, AND I had the money, so I went that route. I have been very happy with mine.

That being said, I would really like to get a BFR some day also... and another Freedom Arms!

P.S. for what it is worth, I have been to the factory in Freedom, WY twice now, and they are very very nice and down to earth people including the owner Bob


"If you are going to go through all the trouble to put a hole in something, why not make it a big one?"
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: BBwheelgunner] #157707 03/27/2015 2:49 PM
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James, that is some damn fine shooting!


"If you are going to go through all the trouble to put a hole in something, why not make it a big one?"
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: cottonstalk] #157710 03/27/2015 4:14 PM
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Vance in AK. Offline
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 Originally Posted By: cottonstalk


Both are reliable, dependable and well made. Both are more accurate than 99% can shoot. The fit and finish are where things seperate. It's like comparing a baseball bat and a club. You can hit people over the head with either one, one just has a little sleeker lines, and is a little smoother looking than the other.


You better be careful... Those Freedom Arms owners may get upset at you calling their guns clubs!!!!
Just kidding...


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Vance in AK.] #157712 03/27/2015 4:34 PM
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I am not comfortable with the tolerances being so tight on an FA, but that's just me. It doesn't take much to tie one up (slight crimp pull will put you out of contention). Plus, broken firing pins are well documented as well as trigger return springs. Yes, you can carry spares in the field, but I don't have these issues with a BFR or Ruger for that matter. A friend of mine also managed to break a hammer (main) spring on his .500 JRH FA83, and it was down for the count.

FA's are known for their precision and accuracy. Can't touch them for fit and finish either. Maybe I'm fortunate, but I have a number of lesser revolvers that will shoot much better than I am capable of. For instance, I have a box-stock SRH in .454 that will pull down 1 1/2-inch five-shot groups (with factory loads not tailored to the gun) at 100 yards with a red-dot mounted up top. My .480 SRH is even more accurate. I can only imagine what could be accomplished from an accuracy standpoint with a variable power scope attached. I know FA's are magical, but they aren't the last word in accuracy.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Vance in AK.] #157713 03/27/2015 4:47 PM
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When you hit the woods, mountains and swamps where the going is going to be tough, wet and muddy for days and so are your guns. In the safe you have two revolvers equally accurate same barrel, sights,grips, caliber. You shoot each well. One's a BFR ones a Freedom Arms which one are you going to choose to drag thru the muck with you. The $2,000 Freedom arms or the $800 BFR ?


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: junebug] #157714 03/27/2015 4:59 PM
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BFR brother!


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157715 03/27/2015 5:19 PM
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I really don't think you're going to gain much with an FA. BFR's are very well made, better than a factory Ruger and their barrels are match grade from Badger. Have the BFR modified and tuned. I think anyone would be disappointed trading "up" to an FA expecting some profound difference in performance.

Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Craig44] #157716 03/27/2015 5:34 PM
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I don't have much of a dog in this fight, but here's my thoughts....

The looks of the gun are what ya show your buddies, and post pictures of. The performance of the gun, and what you can do with it in real life hunting situations is what the brass tacks are all about. You wanna show a bear a pretty gun, or you wanna put a big hole in him?

Pretty guns are fun, but they darn sure better be functional (DEPENDABLE) as well.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Raptortrapper] #157717 03/27/2015 6:04 PM
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Bearbait in NM Offline
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Well, just to toss out a counter of sorts......

My Field grade FA 454 has been carried a lot in hunting stuff, and actually more everyday at the ranch when doing chores. And it wears ivory grips.

It's been wet, dusty, covered in chain saw chips etc., and never had a problem with it being to tight to function. At the ranch it might go three or 4 days, being shot, not cleaned, shot some more rinse repeat until I get back home. It's never had a reliability issue. About the only thing I have not done is run it through swamps and mud. None of that around here.

I think any reasonable holster that is gonna be used on a FA or custom gun should do well to keep the sand and twigs and gravel out of any gun.

If you are worried about bumps and bruises, I would think that the cringe factor would be the same on a FA or custom gun. Either is going to cost. But I would not say that a FA is too tight for hunting or carry, at least not for me.

Craig


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Bearbait in NM] #157719 03/27/2015 6:24 PM
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Whitworth Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Bearbait in NM
If you are worried about bumps and bruises, I would think that the cringe factor would be the same on a FA or custom gun. Craig


Craig, the OP is talking about some minor tuning to his BFR like a better grip, not a full-blown custom. Just for clarification.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157733 03/28/2015 1:06 AM
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Whit,

Yes, I understand that. Odin noted that the upgraded BFR might end up costing the same as a used FA. If that were the case, then the discussion about tolerances/practicality and use/wear might be the same?

Craig


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Bearbait in NM] #157734 03/28/2015 1:17 AM
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I hear ya Craig! I have my custom with me all the time. If you're worried about getting dings, ya probably shouldn't be carrying it. Granted, I'm careful with it, but if it takes a ding while hunting, well, to me, it adds a little character from the hunting trip. I don't mind "memories and stories" being seen on my guns, but I do try to avoided them as best I can.

Like you said, a good holster takes care of most of that.


A lot of people are like a slinky: Not much fun till you push them down the stairs!

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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Odin] #157736 03/28/2015 2:18 AM
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Guys, it's only money........right?

Pigs don't even eat it ;-)


Rod, too.

Short cuts often lead to long recoveries.
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Bearbait in NM] #157745 03/28/2015 3:42 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Bearbait in NM
Whit,

Yes, I understand that. Odin noted that the upgraded BFR might end up costing the same as a used FA. If that were the case, then the discussion about tolerances/practicality and use/wear might be the same?

Craig


Craig, I don't think that changes the issue of reliability. I think the design of the BFR is a better one with that in mind. Plus, that extra long cylinder gives you a bit more critical room in the case of a crimp pull. Don't get me wrong, I love my FAs, but there are some critical flaws that I have trouble getting past. However, I do accept them as they are. JMHO.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157748 03/28/2015 4:27 PM
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Whit,

Exactly why I posted my experiences of the FA as not being too tight for some amount of neglect. It's not hard to find thoughts from folks in print or the web who think that tightly toleranced guns only have a limited range of acceptable use, as to risk.

I do not have a 475L, nor have I ever fired or reloaded for one, so I will defer to your breadth of experience. I have done some pretty "silly" stuff with 454 Casulls and Ruger plus levels in 45 Colts, with a slew of different bullet types. I have never had a round slip, and tie up a gun. No doubt it happens, but I tend to lean towards letting my ability to reload properly trump decisions to buy guns that are more forgiving to reloading errors.

It's funny, I am actually going through this right now with 45 Colt SAA loads that are at the upper end of pressure for the platform. Experimenting with taper crimps and plated bullets, for plinking loads. With my selection of components and pressure, I have been seeing about 5-10 thou of pull on the last cartridge in the cylinder.

Dunno, maybe rather than call it a critical flaw, perhaps a design consideration might be a better term ;^)

Craig


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Bearbait in NM] #157752 03/28/2015 5:08 PM
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Okay, if semantics are so important! LOL!

I have not have .454 handloads break crimp, but have had factory ammo from a number of manufacturers pull crimp. In fact, one lot of ammo that was regularly pulling crimp tied my FA83 up immediately, whereas my Ruger Redhawk was able to fire four more times before the bullet was out far enough to tie it up. It's a real consideration with rounds as raucous as the .454. Of course one doesn't need to load it so hot...... That is the reason Tim Sundles of Buffalo Bore uses a proprietary crimp on his 360 grain .454 loads -- to safeguard against crimp pull.

I just feel that if one's life is going to depend on the reliability of a tool we use in the field, I want the most fool-proof one of all. I don't think that tool is the FA83. Again, just personal perspective and not an indictment of Freedom Arms. I own and will continue to own FA products, I just stay cognizant of the limitations.


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157755 03/28/2015 6:58 PM
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Craig and Whit, you both have good points but I am leaning toward ultra reliability under all situations as being the most important. I do not own a BFR.







Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Gregg Richter] #157770 03/29/2015 3:28 PM
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Hey Gregg, that's a "rest of the story" kind of post. I did not know you owned Glocks ;^) Seriously, I am not sure whether it has just been luck or what, but in 30 years of firearms ownership I have only really had 2 hadguns actually break from shooting, or go click instead of bang (other then when doing gunsmith/mods/checks). My FA did break both the trigger return and bolt spring, and a Colt had a firing pin come lose in the hammer. I think my FA problems were from me going from the loading hammer position straight to hammer down, without going through the full cocking cycle. The Colt was from dry firing without snap caps (New Frontier). I think both were my fault.

Whitt, I tried to think of any revolvers that I have had that had pull issues, and finally thought of one. A Taurus Titanium Tracker in 45 Colt finally came back to my brain. That gun never tied up due to pull, but the bullets pulled like crazy. If the cylinders had been short, it most certainly would have tied up. And with my FA 454, in the thousands of rounds through my gun, I bet fewer than 75 have been factory loads. Looks like my breadth of experience is a little narrow there.

I have only fired one round in the direction of critter that was capable of doing me harm, certainly not like you and others who have stared down some really big and bad beasts. But I do carry my hunting firearms, including my FA 454, as possible self defense arms against the bad critters we have in the woods around here, both two and four legged. I hope I am not being naive, but the thought of a misfire does not concern me at all.

Craig


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Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Bearbait in NM] #157775 03/29/2015 6:39 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Bearbait in NM
I hope I am not being naive, but the thought of a misfire does not concern me at all.

Craig


I don't think that is naive at all. Rather confidence in carrying a quality weapon. Who cares if it is custom, FA, Taurus, or whatever. As long as you are confident in it, that's what matters. Granted, carrying a Taurus and being confident in it back in the day meant you just bought it and hadn't fired it enough to see what you really had!


Carry them all, just don't ever carry one that, when you pull it for self defense, makes you start PRAYING that it will go off!!

Last edited by raptortrapper; 03/29/2015 6:41 PM.

A lot of people are like a slinky: Not much fun till you push them down the stairs!

Lifetime Member of the NRA! Wish I'd a done it sooner.
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Raptortrapper] #157779 03/29/2015 8:46 PM
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jamesfromjersey Offline
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I`ed still get the Freedom....
\:\)


Life member-NRA-SCI
Member-HHI #2900-HHASA #067
Colt-Ruger-Freedom Arms-and S&W Collector Assoc.s
"I have more guns then I need but not as many as I want" "Handgun hunters HAVE to be good"
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: jamesfromjersey] #157782 03/29/2015 10:21 PM
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Whitworth Offline
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 Originally Posted By: jamesfromjersey
I`ed still get the Freedom....
\:\)


Do you now own and have you ever owned a BFR? Curious from where you have derived your opinion of the quality of BFRs. Not trying to be combative, but when one opines about the virtues of one brand or another I simply want to know if they formed their opinion through experience or some other way. Again, just curious.


Max Prasac

Semper Fidelis

BIG IRON: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6aXjMH5C30

Gun Digest TV's Modern Shooter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGo-KMpXPpA&t=7s

Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: Whitworth] #157787 03/29/2015 11:07 PM
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jamesfromjersey Offline
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Whit, never owned or shot a BFR and really don`t care about them... I`am sure they are fine revolvers and maybe if I had purchased a BFR before a Freedom I might be saying the opposite of above however, with all the animals I have cleanly taken with my Freedom handguns it really does not matter....


Life member-NRA-SCI
Member-HHI #2900-HHASA #067
Colt-Ruger-Freedom Arms-and S&W Collector Assoc.s
"I have more guns then I need but not as many as I want" "Handgun hunters HAVE to be good"
Re: Custom Work, or FA? [Re: jamesfromjersey] #157788 03/29/2015 11:13 PM
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Whitworth Offline
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 Originally Posted By: jamesfromjersey
Whit, never owned or shot a BFR and really don`t care about them... I`am sure they are fine revolvers and maybe if I had purchased a BFR before a Freedom I might be saying the opposite of above however, with all the animals I have cleanly taken with my Freedom handguns it really does not matter....


Fair enough......


Max Prasac

Semper Fidelis

BIG IRON: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6aXjMH5C30

Gun Digest TV's Modern Shooter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGo-KMpXPpA&t=7s

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