I bought one of the 44's this winter. Easiest shooting 44 magnum Ive ever shot. The grip angle makes recoil a non issue, and I'm sure the weight out front with the ribbed barrel helps too. I don't find the muzzle heaviness to be and issue inso far as handling is concerned.
I had planned to cut mine down originally, but after shooting it I decided to just do a triggerjob and call it good. I carry it in a DimondD rig and don't find it to be a hinderance.
All of my cylinder throats measured an even .430 and the forcing cone is nice and smooth. Overall I would say that the fit and finish on mine seems a bit higher quality than most standard Blackhawks. I'm not sure if that applies across the board or if I just got lucky.
I love mine and plan to try to take a blackbear with it this spring. I would recommend one to someone wanting to start handgun hunting but maybe not wishing to spend as much as a Freedom.