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Discussion Starter #1
Some months ago - I finally was afforded to buy a FA 83 in 454.
But I became a little dissapointed. My Ruger SRH shot better. Now I have tried a lot of different loads, but my Ruger SRH still shoot better.
The FA is a lot more thight - and has a much better looking. That`s the only reason for keeping it.
 

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accuracy

pgMaybe you have the best Ruger ever built and the worst FA model 83 ever built----but that seems unlikely----how bad is the FA? My 10 inch .454 with 4x scope would do less than 2 inch three shot groups at 100 yds with 300gr Hornaday XTP Mag bullet pushed by 30 grains of H110---I had to really concentrate to do it and I truely suspect the gun itself was capable of better. (sold that gun to buy a 7.5 inch with express sights) I did not have as good accuracy with cast lead loads --even with gas check bullets, but I am looking to try 360 gr gas checks next in my 7.5 incher. The express sights will not be precise enough at 100 yds to really properly gauge the accuracy of this gun, but I have shot the 300gr XTP Mag load at 50 yds with this gun and two inch groups at 50 yds are possible----I suspect the inherent accuracy is better than I can shoot this gun also. I would guess this is usual accuracy for Freedom Arms guns. Let's see what others say on this subject but if your gun is below standard, it should go back to the factory IMHO!!! :eek:
 

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I have a 10 inch FA in 41 mag, silhouette model and it will shoot 1.5" 5 shot groups at 100 yards. That was after a little load development, shot from sandbags and a 7x scope. Using jacketed bullets. I'm still working, occasionally, on a cast bullet load.

I don't know how that relates to your pistol but it is just what my FA is capable of. I'm sure it really shoots even better if I could be better.

Good luck.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe Ì - and a friend of mine who also have accuracyproblems - are using to heavy bullets? From 325-390 grains.

At 60 yds - the accuracy is 2,5-3".
 

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FA has an accuracy requirement before the gun leaves the factory. This standard is set with factory loaded ammunition. I believe they use Hornady 300gr xtp but I cannot swear to that. All of my FA’s shoot less than 1” at 50 yards.

One thing about the 454 in a SA FA as opposed to some of the real heavy double action revolvers is the way they handle recoil. Recoil is pretty fierce in these guns. If you are accustom to shooting a rubbery cushiony grip that does not recoil with a roll such as the FA I wouldn’t be afraid to say that you may not be use to the FA grip. I know it took me a while to get the hang of them. I don’t know how these guns feel in everyones hands but the FA grip actually slips in my hand during recoil. If the gun does not slip the exact same way every time the point of impact shifts for me. At 60 yards it would not take very much slip to result in a 5 shot 3” group.

Also, how are your groups shaped? Three in one hole and two slight flyers? Etc… it could be possible one cylinder is a tad off or something to that nature.

Take Care,
Scott
 

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Freedom Arms Handguns

Scott, I took me some time before i figured out what was happening to my groups, But lo and behold the old man finally figured it out and it was just as you say. I bought some light deer skin gloves and use the one i hold the gun with and all my problems went away.........Joe..........
 

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Sverre A. said:
Maybe Ì - and a friend of mine who also have accuracyproblems - are using to heavy bullets? From 325-390 grains.

At 60 yds - the accuracy is 2,5-3".
I've wondered about this myself. Most folks talking up the 325-350 grain bullets in this caliber (or 45 colt) are using revolvers with a 1-16" twist whereas FA is considerably slower like 1-22" or 1-24". A faster twist is required to stabilize bullets that are at the heavy/long end of the spectrum for a given caliber. So as we increase in weight through the heavy-for-caliber 45 bullets, at some point this would seem to affect the FA before most other handguns in this bore size with the faster twist.
 

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design weight

I believe the original idea behind the .454 Cassul design was to push a 260 gr bullet at 2000 fps---and the 1 in 24 twist rate is optimum for that bullet weight. It obviously is OK for 300 gr bullets also---witness the two bullets offered by Freedom Arms. I guess I'll forget about the heavy cast bullets. Corbon offers a 320gr Penetrator---I've tried it and acuracy was not up to the standard of the Hornaday 300 gr XTP---although plenty good out to 50 yds and for hunting dangerous game that would likely cover most scenarios. :grin: pg
 

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Re: design weight

palgeno said:
I guess I'll forget about the heavy cast bullets.
I had not yet reached this same conclusion however I was sure wondering about it. I'm trying not to jump to the conclusion that this is the root of Sverre's accuracy trouble either (but it seems possible). So if anyone knows this for a fact it would be nice to know before going out and buying a 325-350gr LBT mould and getting frustrated trying to make it all work.
 

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heavy bullets

EdK---Corbon has ,in addition to the 320gr Penetrator, a 335gr Hardcast as well as a 360gr Penetrator load----trying those factory loads would perhaps give an indication of accuracy with heavy bullets without buying a bunch of components.I have not tried these loads, but probably someone on this site has done so. Maybe we will hear from somebody on this subject. I am waiting for Barnes to make the 200gr TSX bullet available for loading---this is the one produced for the S&W 460 Mag. If a .454Cassul will push a 260 gr bullet to 2000fps, I'll bet a 200gr bullet will come close to the 2300fps of the S&W 460. :shock: pg
 

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Some of the best accuracy I've gotten came with the 320 to 330 grain bullets. There is no reason the FA83 in .454 Casull will not do fine with them. I shot the full line of both Buffalo Bore and COR-BON ammo in mine with excellent accuracy. The main problem I had with the heavies from COR-BON was the stuff kicked so danged hard it hurt and if I didn't really concentrate hard groups would open. When shot with irons and no scope they brought blood with nearly every shot. Kinda hard to shoot decent groups with that happening.

If you have any questions why not call FA and speak with Bob or one of the other guys there.
 

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Thanks for the input GB

It only stands to reason that if heavier/longer bullets demand a faster twist rate for proper stabilization, then a 1:24" twist gun is going to be the first to lose out over the 1:16" gun as the weights/lengths are increased. However I was specifically not trying to state anything in regards to this being Sverre's problem - just wondering the recommmended upper limit for the FA's. You're right, why not just go straight to the source? Why I suppose I've come to rely upon your forums so heavily I didn't even think of that :)
 

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Graybeard said:
If you have any questions why not call FA and speak with Bob or one of the other guys there.
Well, I did just that. Today I spoke with "John" at FA concerning this question. John assured me that there's plenty of feedback from FA 454 users with heavy cast bullets to know that the gun (twist rate) is fundamentally compatible. Specifically bullets in the 320-340 grain range are known to be quite accurate and there is much feedback with users shooting heavy cast in this range.

John went on to add that once going heavier than 350 grains there is not as much feedback. He mentioned a fairly recent account of one customer who took a cape buffalo using a 370 grain bullet and he was very satisfied with the bullet performance. He mentioned that the heavier you go the harder you will have to push the bullets to maintain stability (e.g no 370 grain @ 1000 fps) so the recoil will become punishing. It was also pointed out that we're trying to make a "poor man's 475 Linebaugh" out of the 454 which is probably true. Knowing I cannot quite accomplish that task I also cannot afford to purchase another model 83 so I will likely try to bridge the gap to the greatest degree possible.
 

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Heavy

EdK---I would guess Corbon has done a lot of homework on bullet weight limits for the FA .454 Casull prior to producing their ammo selection. I seem to remember that the Corbon loads were designed (for the FA model 83) before the others (Ruger & Taurus) produced a .454 Casull model. If Corbon tops out at 360gr bullets they must have a good reason. I agree with GB on the Corbon ammo recoiling hard---their .44 Mag ammo seems to recoil harder than most also---Garrett, too----but then these are max loads for sure. And the Corbon hunting loads(Garrett and Buffalo Bore, as well) have taken all the dangerous game species. I think I will just have to be confident that the 320 gr Penetrator is sufficient to do the job if I ever get to face the BIG BEAR---and just suck it up long enough to place the bullet properly. I feel I can shoot the 320 well enough at 50 to 75 yds----better that than going heavier and not hitting anything but sky!!! :eek: pg
 

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I too shoot a heavy cast bullet out of my field grade 7.5" modle 83. The accuracy is in the "pretty good" range (perhaps as good as these old eyes are going to get). However, I've never so much as tried a lighter bullet in this gun and that's going to have to be remedied. I can't imagine any game in the lower 48 that wouldn't fall to a 260 gr. bullet at 1600+ fps if I do my part. Maybe my infatuation with heavier bullets is a misplaced love.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have shot a lot of african antilopes with 325 gr. Lyman (1500 fps)- with my Ruger and FA - and of course - the accuracy I get from my FA is plenty enough for a Blue Wildebeest (and smaller species). But when I am reading that you guys get 50% better accuracy than myself from your FA`s - it is a little frustrating. And more frustrating is it when a "cheap" Ruger shoot better.
I am planning a buffalo-hunt - and therefor I want to use heavy bullets.
Frontier`s CS Game/390 gr. - give 1300 fps - and 3" at 50 yds.
Yes - it is accuracy enough - because I don`t think I will shoot at a buffalo beyond 50 yds.
But I think that I - and some of you - are in right direction when we believe that FA want "light" bullets.
With FA`s 260 gr factory ammo - I have superb accuracy (but I don`t think it will be a medecine for a big buffalo).
 

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accuracy

Sverre A---I had a couple of hours for range time yesterday and after all this discussion,I decided to take out my 7 1/2 inch FA.454 Casull and my 7 1/2 inch Ruger SBH Bisley Hunter .44 Mag to do a side by side comparison. The FA revolver has FA Express sights and the Ruger has a One Ragged Hole rear blade and a Marble's green fiberoptic front sight. No scopes here. I used a handload which has proved very accurate in several FA's. (Last year before I sold my 10 inch FA .454 with 4x scope and with this load, I shot 100 yd 5 shot groups of 1 1/2 inches ----all cylinders fired---) The load uses a Hornaday 300 gr XTP Mag bullet over 30.0 gr H110 ignited by a CCI magnum primer. For the Ruger .44, I used a load which is good for this particular gun---may find one better, but so far this is my best---a True Shot 310 gr hardcast wln flatpoint gas check bullet over 20.0 gr H110 using the CCI magnum primer. The magnum primer is best for both these loads. Without the mag primer ,accuracy is not as good. I also used one Corbon factory load for each gun---.454--320gr Penetrator---.44Mag--305gr Penetrator. I shot 3 shot groups at 25, 50, and 75 yd target stands pre set and measured at our range. RESULTS: .454 FA--- with hand load, one hole at 25 yds, one messy hole at 50 yds, and 1 1/2 inch center to center at 75 yds. ---with Corbon 320gr Penetrator, 2 inches center to center at 25yds, 2 inches at 50 yds 4 inches at 75 yds. Next, .44 mag Ruger---with handload, 1 1/2 inches at 25 yds, 3 inches at 50 yds, and 3 1/2inches at 75 yds--Corbon 305 Penetrator was about the same at 25 and 50 yds with an occasional wide flyer, but 6 inches at 75 yds---the Corbon ammo has a very abrupt kick and I was getting a numb hand at the end even wearing gloves. My UNscientific opinion---The FA revolver definitely shot MUCH better in my hands. I'll keeplooking for a better load for the Ruger, but it seems very picky in which bullets it likes whereas the FA seemes to shoot almost any load well. Sorry about the long post--- :( pg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Now it`s time to admit that my .454 is not a .475.
I have tried very many heavy hardcast bullets - but the accuracy with bullets between 350-390 - will not shoot better than 3-5" at 60 yds.

Factory ammunition (260 gr) own loads with the simialar bullets shoots 1,5" at same distance.

When I`m afford to hunt a Cape Buffalo - I will use one of the heavy bullets - because I don`t think I will shoot at a distance longer than 60 yds. And a 4" accuracy should be good enough.

(Within this time - I believe I have bought a .475)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I thought that I was a "ok shooter" - but when I read that you guys shoot 5-shot groups at 1,5"/100 yds. - then I know that I`ve been wrong.
When you are refering to accuracy: Are you using Ransom Rest or just a simple thing as a sandbag (like I do)?
 

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accuracy

Severre---all the group sizes I mentioned were shot with wrists rested on sandbag and barrel on soft sandbag to keep as absolutely still as possible. I shot this way to eliminate me and test the gun and load as best possible. Using a 4x scope, I tried 100 yd groups----would not even attempt that with open sights. Since the discussion was about bullet weights and loads, I did not address shooting in the field positions. I was referring to the accuracy of the gun only. Shooting from field positions, I am happy just to keep the groups on an 8 inch paper plate at 75 yards!! But when hunting with the .454, a " one hole" group will usually do the job!!!:) pg
 
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