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Old September 16, 2014, 05:57 PM   #1
WAL303
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What is the barrel length of a 10" Freedom Arms revolver?

Hello to all, my first post here.

Now, the title of this post seems a tad obscure but I'll explain a bit.

I'd like to ask for help from anyone who owns Freedom Arms revolver in .454 Casull with a 10" barrel.

I'm in the UK. As I'm sure has been mentioned on here already we are hampered by some fairly ridiculous restrictions as to minimum dimensions of certain firearms. Keeping things brief; a firearm with a rifled barrel must have a barrel length of not less than 300mm and it must be not less than 600mm in overall length. This is usually short-handed to 12" and 24" respectively but it's actually just under those figures.

The legal rule as to how a barrel is measured is thus;

.....the length of the barrel of a firearm shall be measured from the muzzle to the point at which the charge is exploded on firing;....

The above is self explanatory. This measurement clearly encompasses most if not all of the cylinder. The end point is going to be the breech face or, erring on the safe side, the web of the case at the point where the flash hole exits into it.

I love Freedom Arms revolvers but have not actually seen one 'in the metal' for many years - for obvious reasons. However, it strikes me that a standard 10" barrel revolver might just be legal here (if it has an extension fitted to the other end to lengthen it to 600mm overall) given that Freedom Arms revolvers have a longer cylinder than most revolvers.

Is there anyone out there who has a 10" revolver and who would be good enough to measure the distance from the muzzle to the breech face in millimeters so that I can satisfy my self one way or the other as to whether this project is do-able?

Many thanks in advance.

WAL
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Old September 17, 2014, 01:00 AM   #2
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First off, welcome to TFL, there's lots of great information here.

Second, I feel a little bad for your situation where you cannot just go buy the firearm you'd like to have. But shrug, we've got the same problem in some states in the U.S. too although not I think as bad as you.

I think the answer to your question would be to ask at one of your gun stores. They must surely be very well aware of what they can and cannot sell. I think it's futile to argue something that probably already has been decided. Maybe your local law officers could tell you too but I don't have any idea how that might play out...how firearms proficient are your local officials?

Lastly, there are honest to goodness real definitions about how to measure the barrel length in revolvers, semi-auto's, single shots etc. etc. Do you know where and why your law makers got that definition of barrel length?
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Old September 17, 2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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Why don't you email Freedom Arms? I'll bet they would happily supply you with an answer. You might even find that dimension on their website.
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Old September 17, 2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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That's an interesting question.

I have my doubts that you'd make 12". In American terms, the barrel should be measured from the muzzle the front of the cylinder. That's 10", obviously. The .454Casull has a max OAL of 1.77". That means you'd need the cylinder to be 0.23" longer than a max cartridge. I find that unlikely.

I'll be curious to hear the real answer though.
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Old September 17, 2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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I don't have a ten inch Model 83, but I do have a six inch one, and the barrel length from the muzzle to the front of the cylinder is exactly six inches. Therefore, I would expect that the barrel of a ten inch Model 83 would be just about exactly ten inches.

The length of the cylinder is about 1.8 inches (maybe a little less, as my measuring tool isn't that finely graduated), so adding that to a ten inch barrel gives you 11.8 inches, which is just shy of twelve inches.

As some of the other posters noted, the best way to be sure is to call Freedom Arms direct.
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:13 AM   #6
AustinTX
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I actually do own a Freedom Arms Model 83 with a 10" barrel in .454 Casull.

OP needs the length from the front of the cylinder to the muzzle to measure at least 11.811 inches, not 12 inches (300 mm = 11.811 inches).

OP, if you needed the barrel to be 12", then you would clearly be out of luck. However, since you need it to be ≥ 11.811" (300mm), you will definitely need to call or email FA. I don't trust my measuring device (standard ruler) enough to say with confidence whether the length suffices, both because it wouldn't surprise me if the ruler itself were inaccurate by a few tenths of a millimeter/hundredths of an inch, and because the gradations are marked with lines that are themselves several hundredths of an inch wide.
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
OP needs the length from the front of the cylinder to the muzzle to measure at least 11.811 inches...
As I read the summary of the rule by the OP, the length should be measured not from the front of the cylinder, but to the breechface--or perhaps to the flashhole of a chambered cartridge.

If the revolver barrel is truly 10" then it's pretty likely that the barrel length "measured from the muzzle to the point at which the charge is exploded on firing" is going to be somewhere close to 10"+1.77" which would be 298.9mm. I would expect it to be a little longer than that but I can't say how much.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:26 AM   #8
WAL303
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JohnSKa, - yes, that's what I'm after. The message may have got a bit lost in my original post.

UK law stipulates that the "barrel length" be measured from the muzzle to the point at which the charge is ignited. This is somewhere around the breech face or flash hole rather than the end of the actual barrel where it meets the cylinder.

Many thanks.

Last edited by WAL303; September 18, 2014 at 10:39 AM.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:36 AM   #9
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AUTINTX, many thanks for the input. What I'm looking for is the length from the muzzle to the breech face. If that is 300mm then its probably legal. If it's 304mm or more (I have measured the web of the case as being 4mm) then it's almost certainly legal here as long as it can be lengthened with an attachment to the rear end.

W.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:58 AM   #10
WAL303
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DaleA,

The current legal rules by which barrel length is determined have been in law since at least 1968 when the current Firearms Act was enacted. They may date back to previous Acts which the '68 one consolidated and replaced. The '68 Act has been amended many times.

Originally, the length restrictions in the Act only had any relevance to shotguns as they were the only things which were controlled in any way by length. Basically, a shotgun had to have a 24" barrel and be 40" overall. You could have shorter ones (and still can as long as they aren't pump or semi-auto) but you needed a different authority for them

When "handguns/pistols", were banned by the Amendment Acts in 1997 the Act defined a class of guns called "Small Firearms" and banned them. There never was any legal definition of "pistol" or "handgun" - or "rifle" for that matter - and there still isn't. A "small firearm" was any firearm which had a barrel length of less than 300m and which was less than 600mm overall. Muzzle-loading pistols/handguns were exempted which includes revolvers.

However - the rules which govern how a barrel is to be measured were never amended so the measurement still runs from the muzzle to the point at which the charge is exploded.

W
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:22 PM   #11
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Does your Parliament have rules about the acceptable level of blood alcohol for members before voting on the laws of the land?
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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Do you have a particular penchant for .454?

If you are more motivated by the fact it is a long cartridge that would increase your chances of breaking the 300mm threshold, perhaps a .460 wold be an option? Those cases are probably about 2" by themselves!

Also is the grip extension bar welded, riveted or bolted on?
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Old September 18, 2014, 01:28 PM   #13
WAL303
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I do like the .454 Cartridge and I'm looking for something that can be had in a 'proper size' revolver, if you see what I mean. The .460 is on a much bigger frame and doensn't really do it for me. Ex-pistol shooters here are really trying to get back to things as close to what we lost in 1997 as we can. I would also really like a .475 Linebaugh and the measurments in a FA revolver are the same.

I'm a firearms dealer and I would look to import a few for sale and .454 is much more saleable here as components are more available and you can shoot .45 Colt in it.

The grip extension bar has to be attached so that it isn't removable basically. The ones fitted to Taurus revolvers are fitted by drilling a hole in the back strap and crimping the rod with a high pressure press.

Therein lies another problem. You can't convert a gun which has ever been in an illegal state (under 600mm overall) so the rod would have to be fitted at manufacture and I'm not sure that it's something that FA would be willing to do.
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Old September 18, 2014, 01:49 PM   #14
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I do agree that contacting FA would answer all these questions, including any willingness to make those kinds of custom changes.

They'd also need to be very clear on the law, so that you don't risk ordering a bunch of guns to which the Home Office say "Nope!"

The laws are a bit daft to put it mildly, but the rule about not converting a previously non compliant gun into UK spec is a corker!
What were they thinking?!
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Old September 18, 2014, 06:28 PM   #15
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This question intrigued me, so I took out a caliper and feeler gauge and got more precise measurements. Assuming a barrel length of exactly ten inches, I measured the cylinder length and the cylinder/barrel gap:

Cylinder length: 1.785 inches
Barrel/cylinder gap: less than .0015 inches (the .0015 blade is the smallest on my feeler gauge, and it wouldn't go)

Adding all this up and converting to mm, you would get somewhere between 299.3 and 299.4 mm, depending on what value is used for the barrel/cylinder gap.

I don't know how precise this measurement has to be in order to be legal, but you'd be just a little more than half a millimeter short if my measurements are correct, and the ten inch barrel is exactly ten inches.
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Old September 18, 2014, 09:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
.454 is much more saleable here as components are more available and you can shoot .45 Colt in it.
You might still want to take a look at .460. Not as hard to make the barrel length requirement and you can shoot .45 Colt, .454, and .460 in it. .45 and .454 are fairly tame in the .460 but .460 S&W is a handful.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Adding all this up and converting to mm, you would get somewhere between 299.3 and 299.4 mm, depending on what value is used for the barrel/cylinder gap.
May I suggest a very (very!) short muzzle brake?
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Old September 19, 2014, 02:58 AM   #18
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Wal303-thanks for the information.

Once again, too bad for all the restrictions you have and yet another note that we should monitor our laws here. There are many that would like us to have the same restrictions you do.

There's tons of information here and 'lively discussions' - hope you stay even after your question gets answered.
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Old September 20, 2014, 04:06 AM   #19
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Good to see another Brit on here

Sadly even if the barrel is up to the required length you've still got the problem of convincing FA to stick the "coathanger" on the back of it before it leaves the factory. Probably not worth their effort for the number of sales they could make over here.

I do have a hazy memory of seeing a long barrelled FA revolver some years back in Fulton's gunshop at Bisley but I could be wrong.........
Might be worth contacting some of the Long Range Pistol guys over here?

Anyway, if you do get one, can I have a shot?
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Old Yesterday, 12:04 AM   #20
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Not exactly what you are asking, but my Ruger Super Blackhawk in 10.5" barrel measures 12 3/16" from back of cylinder to muzzle. Hope that is helpful.

It's a .44 mag.
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Old Today, 09:32 AM   #21
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If you are going to be ordering from Freedom Arms, contact them with your specific length requirements. With just a minor barrel length change, they should be able to accomodate you. Along with that, the possibility of futuure sales to some of your countrymen could be an incentive for them to expand their foreign markets. It's woth an email.
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