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MRI’s Big Frame Revolver #2

A few months ago I wrote about my first BFR (Big Frame Revolver) by Magnum Research, Inc. (a .454 Casull). Since that article, I managed to harvest a few pigs and a small buck with it, but recently decided I needed one a little larger. That is how I came to own the Magnum Research BFR in .460 S&W with a 7.5-inch barrel.

Now, I realize one could ask, “Why would you need a pistol larger than a .454 Casull for hunting anywhere in Florida and Georgia?” You would not be out of line to ask this question.

But, in a few months I am heading to Kodiak Island to hunt deer. Even knowing this fact, I imagine you might ask, “Why do you need a .460 to hunt deer?” Once again you would be correct to ask this question.

My intent is to take a 7mm Remington Mag for deer. This will be plenty of gun for deer that will weigh between 120 and 180 lbs. But, over the last few weeks I have been watching a show named “Kodiak” that has enlightened me as to the potential dangers facing me – not from the cold or the deer – but from Kodiak brown bears that weigh in excess of 1,500 lbs.!

Now, I am not going to be hunting these massive creatures, but after watching the show and talking to a few seasoned guides in Kodiak, I have discovered it is not uncommon to have these bears challenge you for the deer you have just shot. Now, I have better sense than to try to fight with a bear over a deer, but after watching several episodes of the show, I thought I had better get a really big gun – just in case a bear thinks I am on the menu. I realized in that scenario, I am no longer on top of the food chain.

I could have opted for the larger .500 S&W, but I also intend on using this gun to hunt around my neck of the woods in Florida and Georgia, and the .460 S&W shoots more flat than the .500 S&W.

When you look at the ballistics of both, there isn’t much difference in the muzzle energy, as both are right at 2,800 foot pounds. When this fine handgun showed up I was anxious to shoot it, but still had to wait a few days for all of the ammo I ordered to arrive. When it did, I was off to the range. I had ordered several different factory loads and a set of dies with plenty of brass and projectiles just in case I could not find a factory load I was happy with.

The first thing was to put on a pair of padded gloves, as I can still remember the punishment my shooting hand took from the hot loads in the .45-70 handgun a few months ago. I started at 10 yards to see if I needed to adjust the sights.

I fired three rounds of each of the factory loads and found that the folks at Magnum Research must have already sighted this bad boy in – as the sights were dead on!

I then wanted to try it out at the 25- and 50-yard targets, as this would be plenty far enough for any shots needed to ward off a bear. I set up on the 25-yard target first, sent 5 rounds of Hornady 200-grain FTX at the target and was amazed at the accuracy. These 5 shots were all touching in a clover shape about the size of a silver dollar.

I let the barrel cool down a bit before loading it up with Buffalo Bore 360-grain flat nose bullets. I was not very impressed with this ammo, as my groups grew to about 4 inches. Four-inch groups are not bad, but it was no comparison to the Hornady loads.

Next came Federal Premium with a 300-grain Swift A-Frame bullet. These were even worse than the previous ammo, as my group was pushing 6 inches. I cleaned the barrel and let it cool again before loading up with Cor-Bon Hunter 395-grain lead bullets. They shot about the same as the previous loads, with a group right at 6 inches.

Then came Cor-Bon Hunter with a 200-grain DPX bullet. These were close to the Hornady bullets, with a group of 2 inches. I felt like I was starting to see a pattern, as this gun appeared to prefer a bullet in the 200-grain weight.

I went through these steps again with each load and found the results did not vary enough to mention. So far, at 25 yards, I found the most accurate results came from using the Hornady 200-grain FTX, followed by the Cor-Bon 200-grain DPX bullets.

I headed off to the 50-yard range, where I decided to start with the least accurate loads (based on the 25-yard target) and work up to the Hornady. The Federal Premium 300-grain Swift A-Frame and the Cor-Bon 395-grain did as I expected, with groups of around 10 inches. These were not acceptable for me to hunt with.

Next was the Buffalo Bore 360-grain. These groups also opened up to about 7-8 inches, so back in the ammo cabinet they went. At the 50-yard range, I cleaned the barrel and let it cool between each five-shot string, and I shot three 5-shot strings of each kind of ammo. The heavily-padded work glove I brought was the ticket! After about 100 rounds, my hand did not hurt a bit, even with the big recoil from firing these powerful loads.

I then loaded up the Cor-Bon 200-grain DPX and shot 3 rounds of 5 shots each, finding it produced groups of about 4 inches. Not bad, but I still had high expectations of the Hornady loads that were left to shoot.

Now, I had not mounted a scope on this pistol, and for me 50 yards with iron sights is a long way. But, using a rest, I was able to hold on the target pretty good with my glasses on.

After sending 5 of the Hornady 200-grain FTX loads downrange, I was very impressed with the first group (about 1 inch) when looking through the spotting scope. Not bad! Five shots from a rest with iron sights produced a 1-inch group! I once again cleaned the barrel and let it cool.

My buddy was having problems with the Crimson Trace laser sight he bought for his wife’s home protection .38 pistol, so I took a little break to help him before firing the rest of the Hornady groups. After a few minutes we had the .38 squared away, and I was back to the BFR.

I sent 5 more rounds downrange and was once again amazed at the accuracy this ammo produced when fired from this fine handgun. I had a grin from ear to ear after seeing another group measuring about 3/4 of an inch. I still had to shoot one more group before I was done for the day.

I loaded each of the five chambers, rested the pistol on my Caldwell rest and slowly squeezed the trigger. The bullet hit the target just to the right of the “X.” I repeated this four more times and emptied the spent brass. Knowing it was time to retrieve my board, I did not look at the target through the spotting scope. The closer I got as I walked downrange, the more I liked what I saw. Each of the last five holes were all touching each other – with three through the same ragged hole. Wow! What a gun and ammo combination!

As I walked back to the shooting bench, I wondered what kind of accuracy this BFR would produce if I mounted a scope on it, as it comes drilled and tapped with a Weaver-style scope mount. Perhaps I could get 5 shots in one nice round hole?

I just so happen to have a new Leupold 2-7 handgun scope that has never been installed, and I think it might now have a home. I see no reason that after mounting a scope, this gun would not be able to make very accurate shots out to my longest deer stand (125 yards). The heck with toting a rifle around in the woods! I can strap this to my side and have all the gun I need for hunting deer and pigs around here!

Model: BFR460SW7

Caliber .460 S&W Magnum

Barrel 7.5”

Twist Rate 16

Groove Diameter 0.451

OA Length 15”

Weight 4.3 lbs

Height 6”

Slide Width 1.75”

Trigger Pull 3-4 lbs

Finish: Brushed Stainless Steel Construction

Sights: Factory Black Fixed Front/Rear Adjustable

Shots: 5

• All weights are approximate since scales may vary.

• Barrels are stress-relieved and cut rifled.

• Shipped with rubber grips and scope mount* (Weaver style)

• The .410 shot shell/slug cartridge is not compatible with the .45/70 caliber revolvers. The .45LC/.410 caliber has modified choke and wrench included. The

.410 will accept 3” shotgun shells.

* All BFR’s are shipped with MRI scope mount (Weaver style) included in packaging (except for .45LC/.410) and are drilled and tapped for installation with screws supplied. MRI scope mount may be purchased separately for previously owned BFR’s sold by MRI before 12/31/03. All previously owned BFR’s will need to be tapped and drilled for MRI scope mount to fit, and all Leupold mounts require tapping and drilling in order to fit.

MRI’s Big Frame Revolver is truly the biggest, finest revolver on the market today. Entirely manufactured in the U.S., and like the legendary Desert Eagle pistol, it is designed as a magnum from the ground up. The BFR is all stainless and has a cut rifled barrel that delivers unmatched accuracy with lead or jacketed bullets.

After this outing, I am feeling a lot better about coming head-to-head with a 1,500-pound bear. I am confident that this pistol has the power and accuracy to keep me from being on the menu, while also assisting me in filling my quota of pigs and probably a few deer.

This fine handgun comes in several calibers. If they are all like the two I own, you will not be disappointed with the accuracy or craftsmanship. This is a precision-built, fine-tuned handgun. This is a keeper

If all firearms were treated as if they were loaded, there would be no more accidental shootings. Shoot Straight, Shoot Safe!


Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”