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Thread: BFR caliber selection

  1. #21
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    What kind of reloading dies do you use with JRH? What is the groove diameter? Distance from the front of the cylinder to the top of a sized case?

  2. #22
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    Most .500 S&W dies work, as long as they are newer and the crimp shoulder is low enough for .500 specials. RCBS make the only (I think) carbide dies this big. Hornady dies are NOT carbide in .500 S&W.

    Groove is .501" Cylinder length is 1.850" and case heads are recessed. Cases are 1.4". Subtraction gives you .450" max nose length, give or take a few thou. I'd stay at .445" just because.

  3. #23
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    subsonic:
    Most .500 S&W dies work, as long as they are newer and the crimp shoulder is low enough for .500 specials. RCBS make the only (I think) carbide dies this big. Hornady dies are NOT carbide in .500 S&W.

    Groove is .501" Cylinder length is 1.850" and case heads are recessed. Cases are 1.4". Subtraction gives you .450" max nose length, give or take a few thou. I'd stay at .445" just because.
    I like the bullet in the throats. In the 45/70 I seat the bullet out extra and it's more accurate and likes the higher powder charge. Sometimes it is hard to push in if they grow, but that is the right length, seated out. So with a long front drive band it will be sized to .501. I can lubesize with a .502.

  4. #24
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    Excuse my ignorance here, but WTF is a BFR (big friggin' rifle?) and a JRH? Inquiring minds want to know. BC
    Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

  5. #25
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    http://www.magnumresearch.com/ Big Framed Revolver.

    http://www.jrhgunmaker.com/main.html He invented the 500 JRH cartridge.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by subsonic View Post
    Most .500 S&W dies work, as long as they are newer and the crimp shoulder is low enough for .500 specials. RCBS make the only (I think) carbide dies this big. Hornady dies are NOT carbide in .500 S&W.

    Groove is .501" Cylinder length is 1.850" and case heads are recessed. Cases are 1.4". Subtraction gives you .450" max nose length, give or take a few thou. I'd stay at .445" just because.
    They are a pain too. It seems the JRH is very hard to size and regular case lube is not too good. I have to use Lanolin. A little harder to clean off the brass but not much different then RCBS.
    All in all I can't complain, Hornady makes extremely accurate loads for me. I seen what the gun can do when I hit 5 shotgun shells in a row at 50 yards. I laid them down and shot into the bases. That is a 3/4" target. Little bitty targets at 100 are easy if you can see them.
    The gun is as accurate as my 45-70 BFR.

  7. #27
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    I've only loaded 50 so far, but I used the Dillon spray lube and don't remember having problems. It is just lanolin suspended in rubbing alcohol. Get a pump sprayer and you're in business.

  8. #28
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    AK Caster,

    Thank you for the reply. I guess I'm just not up to date on the new revolvers. BC
    Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet Caster View Post
    AK Caster,

    Thank you for the reply. I guess I'm just not up to date on the new revolvers. BC
    They have been around for a while. Gun writers do not write about them and I have seen no ads for them. All MR ads I have seen are for the Desert Eagle.
    Less ads might keep the prices down.
    I still think the reason is that MR does not give so easy to writers as other outfits do. I do not believe I have ever seen a gun rag with an article about the BFR.
    Once you get one and start to shoot it, you will never want anything else. Look at my avitar, those are BFR's and I have shot much smaller groups since at 50 yards, down to 5 shots in almost one hole. I have more 1" or less groups at 100 then I can count.
    Ruger's Pine Tree makes the castings and all internal parts so it is an over grown Ruger but they are assembled with Badger match grade barrels to tighter specs then Ruger.
    Here are my shotgun shells at 50 yards. I could not find 2 of them in the weeds. You will have a hard time finding any .500 caliber that will do this.
    Last edited by 44man; 05-17-2012 at 10:47 AM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44man View Post
    They have been around for a while. Gun writers do not write about them and I have seen no ads for them. All MR ads I have seen are for the Desert Eagle.
    Less ads might keep the prices down.
    I still think the reason is that MR does not give so easy to writers as other outfits do. I do not believe I have ever seen a gun rag with an article about the BFR.

    What are talking about? I wrote a review for American Hunter in 2011 on the BFR in .500 JRH. Granted, there haven't been many reviews written, but how many have you seen for Freedom Arms? The bottom line is that big-bore revolvers aren't a huge seller for any of the companies that produce them (unfortunately). They do give them to writers easily. You just have call and ask -- and yes, you have to pay for it you decide you want to keep the gun.

    Oh, and BFR has been around since 1998 when they introduced the .45/70 (on a D-Max frame).
    Last edited by Whitworth; 04-27-2012 at 09:37 AM.
    Semper Fidelis

  11. #31
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    I have seen Jim's pal Taffin pen some articles on the BFRs...

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitworth View Post
    What are talking about? I wrote a review for American Hunter in 2011 on the BFR in .500 JRH. Granted, there haven't been many reviews written, but how many have you seen for Freedom Arms? The bottom line is that big-bore revolvers aren't a huge seller for any of the companies that produce them (unfortunately). They do give them to writers easily. You just have call and ask -- and yes, you have to pay for it you decide you want to keep the gun.

    Oh, and BFR has been around since 1998 when they introduced the .45/70 (on a D-Max frame).
    True, because you know them.
    Might I say you are the only writer to admit BFR's exist! You do good.
    Remember, you told me about paying for it and I said I would pay for the crazy, crazy gun? I wanted that thing big time but you bought it. I am glad it did not slip away, it is just stupid accurate. I offered to buy it until you had the money to pay for it because you are my friend. It would hurt to part with it but I would have.
    Now I have my own and nobody will pry it away from me!
    I still believe the gun would cost more if it was advertized more. Not what a writer says but actual ads. Those cost big time.
    I contacted Handloader long ago about the .475 and asked why they never worked loads, etc. I got a nasty response saying they did write about it. I went back and found one article (I have all of the rags) it was a Freedom with no information at all, just a factory load. I just got my last issue and it is my last. It has nothing in it and it has been years and years since useful information has been printed. It is a hand loading rag, not a factory load rag. Something about the Colt comeback. It would be a long time before I pay over $1500 for a .44 special. Again, factory load shooting.
    I miss Ken Waters.
    It took me 5 minutes to go through the American Rifleman before tossing it on the table. I get other gun rags that I never paid for????
    I just got Shooting times for some reason, don't ask, I have no idea. What a waste.
    There is 10 times more info about shotguns then anything else. Then $4500 scopes and military stuff that the normal man can't afford or even need.
    The best lately has been the new Ruger rifle. Cheap and good.
    Newspapers! Do you know I get the Washington Post----Large funny paper that reads better then the rest of the junk.

  13. #33
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    When I first started coming to alaska, the bfr's were in stock at pretty much all fred meyers and most other gun shops, they were pretty much phased out by the 500 smiths. I suspect advertizing and marketing was/ is the cause of this.

    44 man, have you had the opportunity to shoot the 45/70 in both barrel lengths, if so which would say is better for the caliber.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by starmac View Post
    When I first started coming to alaska, the bfr's were in stock at pretty much all fred meyers and most other gun shops, they were pretty much phased out by the 500 smiths. I suspect advertizing and marketing was/ is the cause of this.

    44 man, have you had the opportunity to shoot the 45/70 in both barrel lengths, if so which would say is better for the caliber.
    No, only the 10" and that is a stretch for powder choices. The case is just too large for short barrels.
    It gets real hard to make large cases work where powder does not burn all the way. I even had a tough time with a 30-30 in a 10" barrel.
    However I think 4579 would work in the shorter barrel too and I wish I could try.
    I never seen a powder burn so clean, my brass looks like new when they fall out and even primer pockets are clean.
    We just did a test of all kinds of powders and so far nothing has done better then 4759 but we did equal a lot of factory loads. Some powders left unburned powder in the brass and barrel.
    Varget was actually better then 3031 but still left some. A few powders were fireballs.
    The gun is so forgiving of boolit weight though, I have gone from 300 to 478 gr and all were accurate however all loads used 4759 and the Fed 155 primer. I tried rifle primers with some slower powders but nothing changed enough.
    With every gun I own, I can get along fine with 3 powders, 296, 4759 and Varget.

  15. #35
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    How did the Varget fare in the .45-70?

  16. #36
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    He gets along with H110 too.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by subsonic View Post
    How did the Varget fare in the .45-70?
    I didn't keep any targets, ran short so we used tape to cover holes but if I remember, Varget was 1-1/2" at 50. Felt good but each case had some discolored powder inside.
    We did not chronograph any, just accuracy testing with other powders.
    Seems when powder is too slow, the boolit leaves the short barrel and pressure drops, stopping the burn.
    You need to chose a powder that is consumed before boolit exit.
    In most cases a rifle primer actually opened groups but helped with a few powders.
    I don't record anything that does not work either. My little notebook only has the best load for each boolit.
    Varget is a strange powder. I needed 120 gr SSP loads for deer in my fast twist 7BR and 7R, 10" barrels. I tried everything and had shotguns. The last powder to try was Varget but I had no starting point so I called Hodgdon, they said it won't work. I went ahead and worked with it, got down to 1/2" at 50 (open sights) with good velocity. I got 2175 fps in the MOA. The 7R takes 2 more gr so it must be about the same, didn't check. I have yet to shoot a deer with them though using this bullet.
    Why the stuff works in those little things is beyond me. Mice that roar!
    I use it in my Swede now too and it is deadly.

  18. #38
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    I bought a BFR in .500 Smith a few years ago. Found it cheap, nobody in the store knew what it was for the most part. After reading much of 44man's posts about them. The revolver is stupid accurate, added a 2x leupold and a set of warren rings for weight. With full house loads it kicks right smartly. Single loading it will cut ragged holes at 25 and 50 yards. Loading the cylinder up full I can never seem to get rid of vertical stringing, yes I have gotten aggressive with the crimp.

    I also own a BFR in 50 AE with the full intentions of getting a JRH cylinder fit to it. Balence is WAY better than that of the 500 smith and comfortable recoil. Shooting AEs through it I get the same result with single loading verses full loading. That taper crimp just doesn't seem to hold them. Being as the AE headspaces on the mouth I don't care to roll crimp them.

    All in all I'm very impressed with the accuracy of both revolvers as other magnum research guns. WW296 performs great in both as also in my desert eagle 50AE, and 41 mag. BTW I'm a great fan of the 6.5 sweede, 40.5 grains of RL22 works great with a 160 and 45.0 grains of RL22 works great with 140s in mine. Varget worked well (just not as well as the RL22). I've never tried 4759.

    Ebner

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44man View Post
    I didn't keep any targets, ran short so we used tape to cover holes but if I remember, Varget was 1-1/2" at 50. Felt good but each case had some discolored powder inside.
    We did not chronograph any, just accuracy testing with other powders.
    Seems when powder is too slow, the boolit leaves the short barrel and pressure drops, stopping the burn.
    You need to chose a powder that is consumed before boolit exit.
    In most cases a rifle primer actually opened groups but helped with a few powders.
    I don't record anything that does not work either. My little notebook only has the best load for each boolit.
    Varget is a strange powder. I needed 120 gr SSP loads for deer in my fast twist 7BR and 7R, 10" barrels. I tried everything and had shotguns. The last powder to try was Varget but I had no starting point so I called Hodgdon, they said it won't work. I went ahead and worked with it, got down to 1/2" at 50 (open sights) with good velocity. I got 2175 fps in the MOA. The 7R takes 2 more gr so it must be about the same, didn't check. I have yet to shoot a deer with them though using this bullet.
    Why the stuff works in those little things is beyond me. Mice that roar!
    I use it in my Swede now too and it is deadly.
    Interesting. Do you have any AA1680?

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by subsonic View Post
    Interesting. Do you have any AA1680?
    Yes, I tried it and it was decent too. Most everything equaled or bettered factory cast.
    The problem for me with AA powders is that the stores here do not carry it. They don't have Vihtavuori either.
    What I have can't be replaced unless I buy large amounts from Powder Valley.
    Ebner makes some good observations about boolit pull and the .500 S&W might be worse with it. The AE and taper crimp makes me stay away.
    I have had no problems with the JRH and a 440 gr boolit.
    We had some problems with the .500 Linebaugh and too heavy a boolit. Even the .454 with factory cast shed boolits enough to tie up the gun but my loads did not move.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check