The ‘Biggest Finest Revolver’ Continues To Impress
By Mark Hampton
When you hear the term “built like a tank” it usually conjures up an image. In revolver circles, the Magnum Research BFR series can certainly be classified as tough, strong, well-built firearms — like a tank. Handgun hunters have their choice of 12 calibers in two frame sizes; short and long cylinders. These BFR revolvers are well-suited for big game endeavors when you consider rounds like .44 Mag., .454 Casull, .480 Ruger, .475 Linebaugh, .460 S&W and .500 S&W — while not overlooking .30-30 Win., 45-70 or .450 Marlin. That’s not a typo either, they do offer the .45-70 in a revolver! These cartridges entail serious medicine for any critter pursued on the planet. When I first heard about some upgrades forthcoming, well, let’s just say inquiring minds wanted to know more.
Wanting to test fire one of the newer models with upgrades, I requested a .44 Mag. with 5″ barrel. The revolver comes in an eye-pleasing, soft-brushed stainless steel construction. One of the upgrades included a soft rubber, one-piece grip contrasting nicely with the brushed stainless. Magnum Research designed the new grip specifically for single-action shooting and it’s a tad bit longer than the original two-piece grip found on earlier models. This new Hogue grip features a screw-less design, unique to single action revolvers. They will also fit any BFR manufactured since 2000. I like the grip and found it most comfortable shooting a variety of factory .44 Mag. ammo.
Also new is the hammer spur which is now taller and narrower than previous models. The company claims the higher hammer provides easier cocking. Several shooters I know are not all giddy about this refinement. Many prefer the wider hammer spur and find it more user-friendly. Your mileage may vary though, and some do like the taller version. While I didn’t have issues cocking the hammer, I find myself in the camp preferring the wider spur. You’ll just need to try it out to see.
BFR upgrades include soft 1-piece rubber grips.
Above is a field-handy .44 Mag. with 5″ barrel. These
guns are all shooters as can be seen by the 25-yard
group using Black Hills ammo and this 5″ 5-shooter.
My test gun tipped the scales at 4.86 pounds unloaded. These 5-shot revolvers are built large and heavy intentionally. The extra weight can certainly help dissipate hefty recoil generated by big bore calibers. Personally, I find the heavy revolver easier to shoot accurately — an added bonus.
After running several different factory rounds, the 5″ .44 Mag. was pleasant and mild-mannered. The factory ammo shot consisted of 240-gr. stuff from Federal, Hornady, Winchester and Black Hills. Accuracy was more than acceptable and all shooting was conducted from 25 yards.
One feature I appreciated was the large rounded trigger loop which did not whack my knuckles during recoil. The free-wheeling cylinder could rotate forward or backward making loading and unloading painless and trouble-free. That’s handy, especially if you’re in a hurry! The large black square notch on the fully adjustable rear sight could easily and quickly be aligned with the black front post. The trigger on my test gun broke at a bit less than four pounds. This would make a mighty fine revolver for close range hog or deer hunting.
This BFR in .460 S&W Mag., wearing a 4x Leupold scope.
An Eternity Gun
Over the years I have shot other BFR revolvers and always found them to be solid performers. Several years ago I found myself stalking axis deer in Texas with a 10″ BFR in .460 S&W. The gun was fitted with a 4X Leupold scope and boy was this thing accurate. It was a handful shooting stout loads but the gun weighed over five pounds with scope which helped tame some of the recoil.
When my opportunity came knocking, the BFR launched a 275-gr. slug striking a 200-pound deer just behind the front shoulder. The shot was around 100 yards on a broadside target and the buck didn’t go far. Since that time I’ve been rather fond of BFR tanks and their dependable performance in the field.
This is one gun you can shoot all you want for as many years as possible, and then hand the gun down to your children or grandchildren for them to enjoy. The .44 Mag. is only available in a 5″ model. If you’re looking for more options, have no fear. Enter the Precision Center for BFR revolvers. There are many custom features available, including octagon or fluted barrels, fluted cylinders, special engravings, Micarta grips and even slimmed down grip frames. If optics is desired, BFR provides their own one-piece scope base. Interchangeable cylinders are available in calibers launching the same bullet diameter as the .450 Marlin and .45-70. You can even choose some non-standard calibers.
These super strong, 100 percent made in the USA — built like a tank — revolvers make solid choices for handgun hunters. Pick a cartridge of your liking for any big game animal and these big boys will deliver. If you’re looking for a single action yielding years of dependability in the field, BFR revolvers will give you one-stop shopping in this category!
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index, Ph: (508) 795-3919