The Magnum Research BFR Custom-Production Revolver


This custom BFR 460 S&W Magnum wears a Leupold 2.5-8x scope in Warne rings.
A Barranti Custom Leather cartridge carrier holds extra rounds.

Many handgun hunters, me included, are always looking for custom enhancements for our hunting handguns. The older I become, the more I want my handgun to be ideally suited for specific purposes and preferences. High-end custom handguns produced by some of our top-shelf gunsmiths are simply flawless in design, with embellishments fabricated to satisfy the most discriminating tastes — works of art. One should not expect these highly desirable custom handguns to be inexpensive. Quality is not cheap, and the wait time can be lengthy. I’m not knocking any custom builds as I cherish these marvelous creations.

There are options available that will allow you to design some of your own custom features at a price point where you don’t have to dip into the kid’s college fund.

There are a lot of factory offerings available in 460 S&W Magnum, with a few shown here.
The BFR is capable of digesting a steady diet of these. The Bisley grip frame, weight and
Holland muzzle brake make shooting sessions more enjoyable.

Magnum Research

The folks responsible for producing BFR revolvers offer the shooter options to build their own custom revolver. BFR, by the way, stands for Biggest Finest Revolver. These revolvers are well-built and known for their strength to digest magnum loads all day long. I have shot a few BFR revolvers in .44 Magnum and 460 S&W Magnum in the past. Today, the BFR can be built to your specifications through their custom shop. Since I was looking for a 460 S&W Magnum for serious big game hunting, I decided on a custom BFR.

So, I went to the Magnum Research website to shop. I found a link to “Build your own custom BFR.” Then, I found a menu allowing me to choose several different options. First, BFR offers both long and short cylinder options. The short cylinders include such chamberings as .357 Magnum, 44 Magnum and 454 Casull. Long cylinder options yielded 30-30 Win., 444 Marlin, 45-70, 460 S&W Magnum and others.

The next option was grip frame and I chose their version of Bisley with rosewood grips. They also offer a standard grip frame. I then chose a barrel length of 10″ (not counting brake), contour and finish. Since I would be shooting optics exclusively, I opted out of sights. I did request a specific trigger pull, a wide hammer spur and asked if they would install a Quick-Discharge Holland muzzle brake I supplied. It was a straightforward and painless process — building a revolver with features I wanted and eliminating those unwanted.

“Custom” Arrival

When I received the custom BFR, I was impressed with the overall fit and finish. The grips fit the frame perfectly. I haven’t measured the cylinder gap, but you can barely see any daylight. The gun is massive, with a cylinder holding five rounds. The trigger breaks crisp and clean. The BFR comes with a Weaver-style scope mount ready for optics. I immediately mounted a Leupold 2.5-8X scope in Warne rings.

From previous 460 S&W Magnum testing, I had Hornady, Winchester, Buffalo Bore, Federal, HSM and Swift ammo on hand. The Hornady Handgun Hunter ammo features their 200-grain Monoflex bullet. Winchester utilized a 260-grain slug and Buffalo Bore was loaded with a 300-grain JSP. HSM Bear Load comes with a 325-grain lead cast bullet. The Federal and Swift ammo both featured 300-grain Swift A-Frame bullets that will be used on an upcoming water buffalo hunt in South America. The 460 S&W Magnum is a versatile cartridge whether you’re hunting whitetail in a straight-wall-only state or chasing Cape buffalo in Africa. There’s a wide selection of premium bullets. I’ll be handloading Swift 300-grain A-Frame, Hornady 240-grain or 300-grain XTP Mag bullets in Starline brass shortly.


When you touch off a 460 S&W Magnum round, one thing becomes immediately apparent — substantial recoil. The weight of this BFR tips the scales at 5.89 lbs. when scoped. Some may sneer at this hefty weight, but I welcome and appreciate it. The sheer weight combined with the effective Holland muzzle brake helps tame copious recoil. Those smooth Rosewood grips are also comfortable and the grip frame helps mitigate the effect of magnum loads. What’s the benefit of all that power if you can’t hit what you’re shooting at due to a flinch?

After a range session, I was not disappointed. The big revolver shoots well inside minute of deer. This BFR seemed to prefer heavier bullets — those 300 grainers. I didn’t shoot targets beyond 100 yards, but I will soon. The revolver is accurate and wears all the features I wanted. A custom gun built for a specific purpose — hunting big game.

It will be headed to Argentina for free-range water buffalo with Swift 300-grain A-Frame ammunition in a few weeks. I’m confident this custom revolver will be up to the tasks, providing I do my part. Buffalo beware …

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