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Old July 12, 2014, 05:38 PM   #26
BigJimP
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Just confirming the model 83 - does not have a transfer bar / so if you want to carry it, you should only load 4 rounds - with the hammer on an empty cyclinder. ( and my gun is relatively new at about 2 yrs old ).

Yes, the model 83 has a "safe" position for the hammer ...but Freedom Arms does say, do not use it.

Neither is a big issue to me....I love the model 83 I had made in .357 mag...It is a great piece of craftsmanship - and it is, what it is.

I also have about 10 other S&W revolvers in .357 Mag I can shoot with 6 rounds - model 19's, 27's, 28's, 66's and 686's .....and I'm not looking to give up any of them ...but none of them are fine single action guns like the model 83 Freedom Arms I have...they are each, what they are ! I like each one of them ...and shoot them all, from time to time.

But I must say the model 27-2 I have in a 4" Nickel and the Freedom Arms in 4 3/4" see at least 75% of my revolver dedicated range time with .357 Mag loads.../ and while revolvers only make up maybe 25% of my handgun range time.../ there is just something special about all of these guns / but especially the model 27 and the Freedom Arms.
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As a side note...the Freedom Arms should not be dry fired without snap caps. The firing pin hits very hard....and even 50 or less dry fires, without a snap cap, can break a firing pin. ( I know because I did it on my gun when it was new.....I read the manual that said do not do it....but I thought they were being a little over the top -- so I did dry fire it a little ...and one day it broke). The good news, is the newer guns - have a bushing that holds the firing pin into the frame - and if you grind a screw driver tip to fit the slot in that bushing ....it is easily backed out of the frame ...and a new firing pin, and spring, can be fit in the gun in just a few minutes ! I think that bushing design showed up about 5 yrs ago....and older guns that do not have it -- can be retrofit by the factory for a fee. Its easy to spot on newer guns -- its a black bushing, with a slot in it, that holds the firing pin. Its a good feature that is standard, at least on the model 83's, with their newer guns. Its one of the first things I check, if I'm handling a used Freedom Arms ...

Last edited by BigJimP; July 12, 2014 at 05:45 PM.
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Old July 12, 2014, 08:15 PM   #27
Hammerhead
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That bears repeating, don't dry fire your F/A.
Freedom Arms president Bob Barker wrote on another forum that broken firing pins are the #1 reason for repairs.
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Old July 13, 2014, 03:19 PM   #28
Clark
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Is there anything to look out for when buying one?
The nicest revolver I ever handled was a FA 454 a couple decades ago.
Since then I heard there were quality problems.
I don't want to shell out $2k at a gun show, only to find out how ignorant I was.
How can I tell a good one from a bad one?
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Old July 14, 2014, 11:02 AM   #29
BigJimP
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I'd check the obvious things.../ but no, the quality is not down on their guns today vs several years ago....

Check to make sure the lockup is tight....
Check the condition of the cyclinder and the bore...
General condition - scratches or wear...
Adj rear sight - yes or no ...
Fibre optic front sight..yes or no...
Premier Grade or Field grade...( depends on what you want )...
Round barrel - or octagonal barrel....
What is the trigger set to break at .../ is there any overtravel...
Box is irrelevant to me ....but does seller have the original spec sheet from factory on the gun....with test target,etc...
Personally I would want the replaceable firing pin bushing in the frame under the hammer ( black bushing with a screw driver slot cut in it )....
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Old July 16, 2014, 08:42 PM   #30
Inspector-Callahan
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One nice thing that I have noticed with the used Freedom Arms Model 83 market, that also was an affliction of the earlier 44 magnum Model 29's......is that most have very low mileage!

I have purchased two Model 83 454's in the used market and BOTH had seen very little actual rounds down the barrel, or usage in general, probably because their owners did not reload and only had full power ammunition which can be brutal! I saved about 50% vs. a new one with equivalent options on the first one and about 70% on the other.

Early Model 29's were often found used and barely fired in their cases commonly with a box of 44 unfired rounds as the owner fired SIX and then put it away!

IC
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