I am looking to purchase a Freedom Arms .454, because we are thinking of moving to Alaska. I was wondering if the tolerances will be too tight, ie: adverse weather or if it gets dirty? Does any one have any suggestions or info. Thanks
You know- i'd wonder the same thing, too. I've heard the 'field chambers' and parts on military arms are purposely somewhat sloppy so that it will still function when not in pristine condition and cleanliness BUT 'intuitively' i'd have to say that dirt can't get into a place it doesn't fit into??? As far as the FA chambers are concerned, if you take it into the 'field' as a back-up or emergency sidearm and pre-loaded, the cartridges will already be in it so there wouldn't be a need to worry about dirt interfering with loading? Cocking it could be another thing entirely though. It would be interesting to hear from some PH's with practical experience in this area...
first of all let me say that this is my opinion and that I have little or no fact to support it.
I would believe that the way revolvers work that the finely tuned Freedom Arms would be better than a gun that isnt as finely tuned. Mechanically it should work longer and more eficiently when everything is properly aligned. In a semi-auto like the 1911's and similar guns then you would have a problem. But with the revolvers main moving parts being mostly enclosed I would figure that the FA would give a better performance.
as far as the barrel and chambers getting clogged up with dirt, well, that is dangerous in all guns. Not just the ones with tighter tolerances.
I would like to hear from the people that have the experience in the field though.
I wish I had the money to get a Freedom Arms, I could just see what the wife would say about that.
I shoot a FA .454 and while the tollerances are tight, they are not excessively tight. When working up my load with a 355 gr. LBT LWNGC bullet I shot the revolver 60 times without cleaning, and it was filthy. By the last round the dirt and crud had built up to the point that you could feel the drag when you cocked the hammer, but it was still functioning and shooting splendidly. Unless you plan on rolling around in the sand with the gun, and do give it the care that any quality firearm deserves, I don't think you will have any trouble out of it.
If you are wrasslin that ol bear in a mudpuddle, you probably will not get a shot off anyways.
If you can swing a quality firearm like the FA, I would say that it will serve the purpose as well as a sloppy ol Ruger ;*)
Ultimately, for bear defense, a handgun is not the best choice. On the other hand, rifles and such tend to be not within reach when they are needed most. Anything you have handy will work better than a big rock or pointy stick.
I have found that even after a couple of weeks of riding around on my person in the bush, that the gun stays pretty clean if it is extracted from the holster now and then and wiped off or blown out. (I keep my .45 LC in a homemade flap style holster) There are a few circumstances that could be an exception in that if you camp on a glacial river sandbar and the wind kicks up you will find grit in your toothbrush and other places you did not think sand could go (internal and external!)
Statisticly, you will probably never use it on a charging bear (or moose) but you will have a fine hunting handgun that will serve you well. In the event that the worst happened, my guess is that it would go "BANG" provided you got it clear of the holster.
I suppose a 10 gauge shotgun would be better defense but personally i feel fine packing a large caliber handgun for protection. From a couple documented incidents in my neck of the woods it seems many of the popular hunting rifle cartridges these days have such tremendous muzzle velocity that at close range the bullets are likely to explode on contact and just create a flesh-wounded [and even more highly pissed-off] grizz or moose. Not to mention the fact a large caliber handgun is a very convenient means of dispatching myself from misery in the event i fail in my attempt to keep an animal from mortally wounding me. I too would love to get a FA 454 but my Rugers in 45 colt and 44 mag supply me all the excitement i really need for the time being.
Do yourself favor and get the Freedom Arms in .454. I took my 7.5" to Africa for three weeks. After firing several shots to foul the barrel, the only maintenance I did was to wipe to revlover down with a rag at the end of the day.
I have heard several people suggest the FreedomArms revolvers are so tight that it would bind up with the least bit of dirt or crud. Based on my experiences and several of my friends, I simply do not believe the FAs are any more prone to this then some other brand of revolver.
There is no good way to have a .454 on the cheap. If that is what you want, then just go buy a Freedom Arms and don't look back. They are well worth the money you will pay.
Don't throw it in the mud, sand, gravel, etc., and you won't have any problems. The only thing I didn't like about the FA454, was the recoil was worse than the Ruger I picked up(both 7 1/2) and the Ruger was more accurate (groups of less than 1" at 25 yds were the norm for the SRHK). The FA wins hands down for sight appeal, and the fit and finish is second to none. The 7 1/2 Fa weighs pretty much the same as a Ruger empty, the Ruger is of course a shade heavier loaded. Which will last longer, I doubt I will live long enough to see that. The huge advantage is the FA comes with a much more packable 4 3/4" barrel if you so choose. I wouldn't worry too much about the charging bears, the cow moose with calf, now that is another story, still prefer my #1 in 45/70 for that first shot(475gr hammerhead at 1950fps). Hope you enjoy it up here, we need more shooters, and fewer bunny huggers.
The good news is your wife called me today to say my new gun is in. Now we really have to go shooting. I have a bunch of Marshall's .432 330gr bullets that do over 1400 fps out of my Redhawk.
Your question about the reliability of Freedom Arms revolvers is one I've pondered many times. Certainly a tight fitted gun is more likely to bind up than a loosley fitted gun. My poor opinion is that we are talking more about a function of the holster & maintence. Taking a handgun into the field daily in the constantly changing weather of Alaska seems like keeping it clean is a holster thing. Considering the enviroment (I've never been there so take this with salt) I think I might be concerned with getting water into the gun and the water freezing. I have seen this happen while hunting up in northern PA. Of course, a holster that protects the gun will probably be slow to draw when time is running thin.
Personally, I'd be the most comfortable with the wisdom of MS Hitman and just get the gun.. and get real good with it (maybe you will let me shoot it then). If it is intended for defensive use against big toothy things, I might get a shorter and easier to manage barrel.
It's good to see you on here Jerry. Lets's go shooting!
This is not the first time I heard about this concern. As pointed out by other members, it is unlikely that your FA will mulfunction due to dirt, if you care for it. I have been paying a lot money to have most of my "production" revolvers worked on so they will be as tight as a Freedom Arms revolver.
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