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Discussion Starter #1
I have had several FA 83's in 454, They are large guns. I sold them all due to arthritis developing in my hands. I was thinking about getting a 97 in probally 45LC, and was wondering about the size and weight difference between the two.

What loads can the 97 handel safely. I want to shoot a 265gr keith bullet at between 900-1000 FPS.

I have been unable to find a 97 here in Alaska to look at.

Thanks for your help, Byron
 

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I'm sure all the information you need is on the FA website. Its fairly easy to find thru Google.
 

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I can email you a picture of a super blackhawk, a blackhawk, a single six and a FA97 if that will help with relative size. pm me with an email address if you are interested.

I don't have a scale with which to weigh them. The FA97 45 colt, 5 1/2" is pretty much the same overall length as the blackhawk 45 colt 4 5/8" due to the difference in grip shape. While the FA97 is smaller in size, there doesn't appear to be a big difference in weight (blackhawk has aluminium grip frame/ejector housing)

As I understand it, the FA97 will take blackhawk level loads, although in my experience the recoil gets rather whippy when pushing 300gr XTPs to the 1200 fps range.

I bought it with the 45acp cylinder and highly recommend that as an option. I have mountains of acp brass and have had no problems pushing 255 Keiths (too long in 45 colt brass) to 1000 fps in the 45 acp brass. I've been using a shorter nosed 275g Keith at 1000-1100 fps in the 45 colt cylinder.

-ktw
 

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You will not have any problem getting 265gr @ 1000fps out of a 97. Buffalo Bore is offering a 300gr JFN loading @ 959fps that is suitable for the 97. This load has a shortened OAL of 1.585 so that it will fit FA short cylinder.

The weight difference between the 83 and 97 is noticeable. I don’t know the exact difference in oz but to carry them all day or shoot them a lot you will notice a difference in fatigued. The 97, size wise, falls between a single six and a Blackhawk.

I have some pic's posted in this forum. The topic is "here's a pic". It has a 83 and 97 side by side. The difference in size is more than the picture shows. The way the guns are laid out it tricks the brain, kind'a like those rainbow comparison things you may have fooled with when you were a kid.

Take Care,
Scott
 

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The physical dimensions of the FA97 is basically the same as the Colt SAA meaning both smaller and lighter than either the FA83 or the Ruger BH or SBH. The strength is certainly there to exceed your stated goal. BUT be aware the gun is light and if you have arthritis in your hands badly you may find it not so much fun to push the limits of it. I found the goal you've set to be OK but near my personal comfort level with it. I too have arthritis in my hands and wrists rather badly. Going to heavier bullets or higher velocity took all the fun away very fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. The 454 just was no longer fun, due to the recoil. I have been shooting a lot of 45acp lately in the 1911 platforms and they are comfortable to me. I have always loved single actions though.

Greybeard, I do have some pain in my hands, but also a noticeable loss of strength. A heavy gun with smooth grips, like the FA 83's, just don't feel secure in my hands. I was hoping the 97 would be much lighter. I have a 4&5/8" ruger 3 screw blackhawk that feels good. However I do appreciate the workmanship of the FA.

I could not find any weight figures on the FA's website(I checked there first) And could not locate a 97 in Anchorage or Fairbanks the last few times I've been there. I will be in the southeast and northeast US in october and november this year, perhaps I will find one to handle on that trip.

Someone mentioned that the keith style bullets were too long for the 97's cylinder. What do you use? I also have LBT moulds in 250 & 300 gr weights. Does the lfn & WFN's fit.

Thanks again for the replies, Byron
 

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PASTROP; JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, I also have a problem shooting big bore handguns. I had a Freedom Arms 475 Lingbaugh, ported. It was the gun of my dreams until I had shoulder surgery. That Limbaugh was a Freedom Arms Model 83. I sold that handgun and have purchased a Freedom Arms Model 83 in a 44 magnum. I have not not shot the Freedom Arms 44 yet but it can't be worst than the 44 Encore that I used last Deerseason. Rod in Pa.
 

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pastorp said:
Someone mentioned that the keith style bullets were too long for the 97's cylinder. What do you use?
the 275 keith as sold by Dry Creek or Leadheads has a shorter nose and will fit in a 97 cylinder when crimped in the crimp groove. I don't know what mold is used for these.

Beartooth lists several cast bullets short enough for a 97 cylinder but I haven't tried any of them.

Anything with a crimp to meplat length exceeding .350" is likely to be a problem.

-ktw
 
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