Magnum Research BFR Revolvers

By Mike Barrett

Magnum Research BFR Revolver
Illustration courtesy of Magnum Research.

BFR stands for "Biggest Finest Revolver." (Sure it does . . . -Ed.) If you are looking for the absolute most powerful revolver made, the BFR will fill the need. The BFR is available in the following Calibers: .45-70, .480 Ruger/.475 Linebaugh, .450 Marlin, .500 S&W, .50AE, .444 Marlin, .30-30, .45 Colt/.410, .460 S&W, .454 Casull, and .22 Hornet. Available barrel lengths range from 6.5 inches to 10 inches, with two barrel lengths usually available in each caliber.

Current production BFR revolvers are shipped with rubber grips and a Weaver style scope base. Barrels are stress-relieved and cut rifled. Trigger pulls are set between three and four pounds.

The .45 LC/.410 version of the BFR revolver is chambered to accept both standard .45 Long Colt pistol cartridges and .410 bore shot shells of either 2-1/2 or 3 inches in length. The .410 shotgun slug cartridge is not compatible with the .45 Colt/.410 caliber revolvers. The .45 LC/.410 BFR has a modified choke and a choke wrench is included.

Here are specifications for the Magnum Research BFR:

GeneralSpecifications

  • Height: 6 inches
  • Width: 1.75 inches
  • Overall Length: 15 inches (long cylinder) or 13.75 inches (short cylinder) with a 7.5" barrel
  • Sights: Factory adjustable rear with fixed black front
  • Cylinder Capacity: 5 shots
  • Finish: Brushed stainless steel
  • 2008 MSRP: $899

Long Cylinder Specifications

  • .30-30 Win. with 10" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 10" and weighs 5.3 pounds
  • .444 Marlin with 10" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 16" and weighs 4.8 pounds
  • .45 LC/.410 with 7.5" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 20" and weighs 4.5 pounds
  • .45/70 Gov't with 10" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 14" and weighs 4.7 pounds
  • .450 Marlin with 10" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 14" and weighs 4.7 pounds
  • .460 S&W Mag. with 7.5" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 16" and weighs 4.3 pounds
  • .500 S&W Mag. with a 7.5" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 15" and weighs 4.5 pounds

Short Cylinder Specifications

  • .22 Hornet with 10" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 9" and weighs 4.7 pounds
  • .454 Casull with 6.5" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 16" and weighs 3.7 pounds
  • .480 Ruger/.475 Linebaugh with 6.5" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 15" and weighs 3.6 pounds
  • .50AE with 6.5" barrel has a twist rate of 1 in 15" and weighs 3.6 pounds

I live in Kenai, Alaska and I was looking for a revolver that I could hunt Moose with, as well as provide protection from brown bears. I bought a BFR in .45-70 with a 7.5Ē barrel, which weighs 4.3 pounds (empty).

As a .45-70 reloader for nearly 30 years, it was easy for me to handload cartridges for my BFR. I discovered quickly that the BFR could handle any load on which I could stand to pull the trigger. The stoutest load Iíve tried pushes a 470 grain hard cast bullet at 1610 fps, according to my chronograph. Recoil was just too much at that velocity and MAP was high, so Iíve settled on pushing the same bullet at around 1450 fps. This shows that my BFR is an extremely strong handgun, fully capable of withstanding the maximum allowable SAAMI .45-70 pressures.

Some models, including the .45-70, come with scope mounts. I mounted an EoTech Halo sight on my BFR, but any handgun optics that can stand up to the recoil can be used. Optics or plain old iron sights, I have found my BFR to be very accurate out to 100 yards. Though I would not shoot at a game animal that far away, it is nice to know that the gun is up to it.

Magnum Research offers accessories as well, such as grips, hip and bandolier holsters, custom sights and scopes/mounts. As far as grips are concerned, any aftermarket grip made for the Ruger Super Blackhawk will work. At first, I bought a Hogue grip but was disappointed with its fit and finish. There were gaps in some places and a ridge along the back strap that really bit into my hand when firing heavy loads. My next grip, and the one I kept, was made by Pachmayr. This fits great and handles recoil very well.

For a holster, I am using a bandolier style. It keeps the weight off my hips and saves my back. There are not many holster choices, but what is available is sufficient to fit most needs.

As you can probably tell, I am very satisfied with my Magnum Research BFR revolver.




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Copyright 2008 by Mike Barrett. All rights reserved.



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