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Thread: Freedom Arms...worth the freight?

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default Freedom Arms...worth the freight?

    I've been contemplating picking up a Freedom Arms 83, likely a 4 3/4" 454 Casull or 500 WE with a round butt option.

    These don't come cheap and I'd like the opinions of those who've owned 83s whether you thought the gun was worth the considerable freight they ask for them.

    Before everyone gets wound up talking about alternatives- I've got zero interest in a BFR, a S&W500 or a Ruger Alaskan Redhawk....

    I like single actions in the beefy calibers, with 4" or so barrels and it can't weight as much as a bank vault-hence the 83. I'm quite fond of the SBH but the FA is really such a nice looking and reportedly well built revolver.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I don't own one, but the ones I've handled are very nice pieces. Were I unwed, I'd be getting one.
    I say do it!

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    I know I want one. In a fifty. If you are considering a 4 3/4 .45, I'd look at the Mod 97 in 45 Colt. 2/3rds the size, transfer bar safety. The 5 shot 45 Colt will do 50,000 psi which is as much as you'd want to sqeeze off in that short barrel I"d think. I know that a 360gr wfn at 1300fps outa my 4" Redhawk 454 is a handful, and it's magnaported and fairly heavy. If a guys gonna pack a 4 3/4 83, might as well be a fifty!

    Personally I'm thinking if guy could find say a 6 inch mod 83 454, then send it to Huntington and have it line bored to a 500jrh for 500 bucks, that would be a sweet setup. The 500 WE thread I started (that went sideways) there were some good points brought up regard the 500jrh compared to the 500we. Like brass and being able to use 500 S&W dies.

    Or, a guy could possibly find a good deal on a FA 500AE, send to to FA and have the 500we cylinder put in it.

    If moneys no object get one the way you want it from FA, might as well get a premium grade with the lifetime warranty. There's something about that FA 500 WE in the "perfect packin pistol" with the round butt that gets my attention. But....$$$$$. I must admit, I kind of like the idea of the proprietary cartridge though. So long as your setup with dies,brass, molds and alloy what the heck. Some guys think it a novelty, I think it's a unique package. Then again, I bought one of the first 325wsms here in Fairbanks.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I've been contemplating picking up a Freedom Arms 83, likely a 4 3/4" 454 Casull or 500 WE with a round butt option.

    These don't come cheap and I'd like the opinions of those who've owned 83s whether you thought the gun was worth the considerable freight they ask for them.

    Before everyone gets wound up talking about alternatives- I've got zero interest in a BFR, a S&W500 or a Ruger Alaskan Redhawk....

    I like single actions in the beefy calibers, with 4" or so barrels and it can't weight as much as a bank vault-hence the 83. I'm quite fond of the SBH but the FA is really such a nice looking and reportedly well built revolver.
    Excellent choice. I have one with a six inch barrel. One of my favorite pistols. Haven't shot one with a 4 3/4 barrel but the 6 inch barrel shoots just fine and isn't too bad to carry in a chest holster. the MSRP of mdl 83's seems to have gone up ... so it's been a good investment.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    I owned one but found the .454 too snappy for my carpal-tunnel damaged wrists. I've owned many handguns over the years and that FA .454 was the best built, best fitted and finest one I've ever owned! Should have replaced it with a softer caliber.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Nice guns. FA makes high quality stuff. I've sold probably 50+ of their revolvers over the years, and have always had satisfied customers.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input folks-

    @Perry- I've considered the 97... hmmm. Wonder what actual difference there is in a hot loaded .45Colt and a downgraded .454 is? Maybe not that much in reality. Good point.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Thanks for all the input folks-

    @Perry- I've considered the 97... hmmm. Wonder what actual difference there is in a hot loaded .45Colt and a downgraded .454 is? Maybe not that much in reality. Good point.
    Ya, I'd contact FA and talk to them about 5 Shot 45 Colt loads. I know I won't load to that level for my SBH 45 Colt. Maayybe a Redhawk 45 Colt. It's got a beefier cylinder.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Default Fa 83

    I have a M83 that I bought in 1984 a 6" in 454.

    I use the Win Factory Loads with the 250gr JHP at reduced Vel of 1300 FPS very plesant to shoot compared to the Full Vel loads and just a tad above Hot 45 Colt loads.

    Very good quality and you have to keep it clean because of the tight tollerance of the cylinder.
    Alaska

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    Gentlemen, if I can have the floor..

    I've been a lurker here for several years. Guess today is the day I said hello. I've been trying to make it to Alaska for what seems like a lifetime. Always thought I could get hire as a bush pilot, but now too old for that. My sister in law is on the north slope. Anyway glad I finally joined. I know some of you fairly well I think. Most I like. A few are too full of themselves and hope I don't get into it someday. I've hunted animals and men. No more killing for me. I disrespect trophy hunters and I'll be in your face anytime you want, and if anyone asks me for pictures of what I've killed I swear to God it's going to be hammer time. These are just the facts..

    I'd suggest a 5/12-6" 454 depending on what the op needs the gun for. Why no 4 3/4 "? I had one. It's really packable, but for me balance and a bit more punch was more important. IMHO you'll never go wrong with 6"

    Personally I prefer the model 83 in anything 357 up. Model 1997 has it's place but if you want maximum performance go with the 83.

    I exclusively shoot a custom 400gr boolit in my 454. Designed it. Shoot it. Love it.

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    Welcome to the forums there suba. I've been doing some experimenting with 400ish gr in the 454. Can you elaborate more on your mold/boolit? I'd love to see a pic of it if you have one.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Thanx for the welcome Snyd. You're a very capable guy. I've seen your threads on heavy boolits. Nice RH. Nice shooting. I got a mold from Mountain molds. You can design any boolit you want with their on-line program. I didn't want to go over 400 in .452 because of instability, but found my boolits are stable at very low velocities even with 1/24 twist like FA. I've use 2.8gr TB for plinking and it's extremely accurate. Looking back I could have gone 425 no problem. I normally load 4227 cause I see no need for h110.

    What's interesting is my boolit's nose is tapered from .450 to .4525. This gives me a gradual feed into the lands and acts like a wadcutter. The more bearing surface with lead the better imo. Many boolits literally stack in one hole at 7 yards. I don't see a way of posting pictures unless I use a use some sort of hosting which I don't so I've added an avitar of my boolit.

    I'd be glad to send you a few pictures over email if you want. I'd be happy to send you some boolits to try out if you want. I've got air cooled and water dropped ww. Maybe about 9/10 bhn air, 20/22 water.

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    Owned one previously and never should of sold it. Not sure how the 454 Casull would compare to the 500 WE but mine was the 454 and it was at the limit I would want to handle. Shot a really nice moose with it once with some solids I had Barnes custom make. They only weighed about 260 grains or so but only recovered one after it went through about 4 feet of moose.
    I am always on the look out for another at a good price but they keep on going up and up.

    Expensive? Yes, and worth every penny. I don't care if they are that much more accurate than a S&W or Ruger, they are joy to handle and use.

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    Welcome to the forum, suba. Just wondering, do you always kick down the door when making an entrance ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    Welcome to the forum, suba. Just wondering, do you always kick down the door when making an entrance ?
    Only when there's a tough crowd in the room

    Thanks for the welcome my friend. 338WM is a great round.....and my favorite.

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    I have owned 2 Freedom Arms Model 83 Premier Grade 454 Casulls for well over 10 years. One is a 7 1/2" barrel with a variable scope and the other is a 6" with open sights.

    I have taken several deer, hogs and 1 black bear in Alaska with my 454's.

    I am a "gun nut" as I have a lot of rifles, shotguns and handguns. All of my other handguns are S&W, Ruger and Kimber. I have both 460XVR and 500 S&W.

    Of all the guns that I own, I consider the Freedom Arms revolvers to be the finest production revolver ever made. They are as near perfect as a handgun can be and they shoot that way too!!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As I mentioned on another thread, through buddies I've had the opportunity to shoot many different configurations of mdl 83, super blackhawks and bisleys in 454, 475L and 500L from 4 5/8" to 7 1/2". Of all the itterations I've shot, the one that stands out in my memory as the perfection of feel, shootability, recoil handling, balance and sight radius was a rounbutted 5 1/2" 454 that had been magnaported.

    While I carried a 4 5/8" sbh for years and years, to me there is noticeable difference in the ability to accurately shoot a 5 1/2" sa vs. the 4 5/8". That slight increase in weight out front makes the gun point more solidly, and the extra sight radius doesn't hurt either. I don't like giving up shootability and to me adding less than an inch of barrel is well worth the minute increase in weight and holster size.

    If you are a handloader, then go with a 475 or 500. I simply don't like the fast snappy recoil of a 454, IMHO the 454 comes into it's own when you push the lighter bullets fast and top it with a scope to make an honest 200yd revolver. For iron sighted work, the bigger bores are a better choice, they more effectively use the powder charge, recoil isn't as sharp, and 400+ grs of lead gets the job done on big critters and big bones. You can also drop the velocity down to make a dramatic decrease in recoil, but give up very little performance in the field.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    They are the Swiss watch of single action revolvers, good as it gets, if you got the bucks then why not? Well, Iíve drooled over them for years but Iím a Timex kind of guy at heart I guess. I get all guilty feeling about putting out that kind of cash for just one gun and start thinking ďis it THAT much nicer than a Blackhawk, what could I do to a Blackhawk with half that moneyĒ and so on.

    What matters is if you want it enough to cough up for it, only you know that. Yup they are very nice indeed but they costs what they costs and only you know if itís worth it to you.
    Andy
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    475 Linebaugh.


    Worth it,whatever the caliber you like.
    I shoot a mild 325g hard cast @ 1100fps. Handles nicely and packs a punch. A comforting companion for peacful walks in the forrest.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    Welcome to the forum, suba. Just wondering, do you always kick down the door when making an entrance ?
    At least he called us Gentlemen.....
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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