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Old March 13, 2011, 08:39 PM   #1
Join Date: September 19, 2010
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S&W 460XVR vs Magnum Research BFR 460

I have been interested in buying a large caliber revolver, and after receiving some feedback on another post, I decided that I am going to get a revolver in 460 S&W. Now I need to decide if I want to go with the S&W 460 XVR or the magnum research BFR 460. Is the Smith worth the extra few hundred dollars? I like that the cylinder flips out on the Smith because that is what I am familiar with. Is it obnoxious/difficult to load and unload the BFR since the cylinder doesn't flip out? Any other pros/cons? I have heard good things about the BFR, but I am looking to get a direct comparison between the two from people who have fired one or both. Thanks for the advice.
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Old March 14, 2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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Wow, I didn't even know the BFR's don't have cylinders that don't flip out.

I don't like that in theory because it prevents you from using a speed loader. "When are you really gonna need a speed loader though?" Doesn't matter. I don't like the idea. I want to be able to use one if I choose. Not cool.
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Old March 14, 2011, 05:53 AM   #3
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i have shot both

I like the smith better because of that but both are good guns . my buddy had to take his bfr to get it drilled and tapped for a scope rail not sure if the newer ones are already drilled or not but the smith is. Which one do you like better? Do both feel good in your hand? Have you held both of them? The bfr has a larger grip to me. Smith has lifetime warranty I'm not sure about the bfr. Another thing to think about is smith designed the cartrige and the gun. Good luck deciding?
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Old March 14, 2011, 06:20 AM   #4
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Haven't shot either...

... but with regards to your question about loading and unloading, the vast majority of SA revolvers have to be unloaded and loaded by each individual chamber. (Top-break SA revolvers, like the Schofield, would be the exception.)

You can find out for yourself what's involved in unloading and reloading by trying out any of the more common SA revolvers, like the Ruger Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, and Vaquero; the Colt SAA; and any number of Uberti or Pedersoli revolvers.

Of course, you could also try a BFR, or a Freedom Arms, but those are a bit hard to find for purposes of experimentation.

Swing-out cylinders are much faster to unload and reload, but skilled shooters can reload SA types reasonably quickly; it's also possible with some SA revolvers to remove the entire cylinder, and pop in a replacement cylinder, kind of like a huge speedloader. Obviously, a spare cylinder would be required. I don't know too many people who do that, though.

(It was actually fairly common practice back in the cap and ball days, for cavalry types.)
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Old March 14, 2011, 03:41 PM   #5
Join Date: September 19, 2010
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Thanks for the replies. Oddly enough I wound up getting neither. Before ordering either one of the revolvers online, I called up a local gunshop that I was unfamiliar with and asked what all they had in inventory. It was only like 14 miles away, so I took a trip there. I was looking through their inventory and I came across a Raging Bull 8 and 3/8 inch barrel 454 casull in stainless steel used for just over 550 dollars. It was in perfect condition, so I had to jump on it. The 460 would have been a nice round, but the way I see it is the 454 casull is plenty of power for almost any situation, especially with some 400 grain Double Tap loads. So it wasnt what I had originally went looking for, but I still got a great, powerful revolver for about 600 dollars less than I would have paid for a Smith 460.
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Old March 14, 2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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I don't like that in theory because it prevents you from using a speed loader.
I have the SW, but this comment just cracked me up. Run a full cylinder through fast, then tell me you really want to use a speed loader so you can do it again
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Old March 14, 2011, 04:00 PM   #7
Join Date: March 5, 2011
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davlandrum, I agree with you, I never load mine fast it is too expensive shoot it like that. Besides, I'm no Jerry Miculek so even if I did shoot fast probably wouldn't hit ****.
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Old March 14, 2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Again, it's just the "idea". I'm used to doing things a certain way. lol.
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Old March 18, 2011, 08:07 AM   #9
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I agree completely, with the type of shooting you're going to do with the .460....flip out cylinder, or loading gate is not really going to become an issue...I have a few Vaqueros and actually find the different loading method interesting and a break from what I'm used to.

To address the original question, BFR, S&W? Either would be an excellent choice.
The Taurus Raging Bull is a very nice weapon and I think the OP got a great deal, I'd pay attention to cylinder gap, but have a hard time thinking that there would be anything wrong with it.
.454 Casull is a great round, very powerful and you can also shoot the .45 LC.
I like the .460 for the flexibility it gives me, and I like the look on peoples faces when they see's HUGE, but then again, I'm a big guy, so the size is a novelty..
I reload all three calibers and find the expense pretty easy to deal with.
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Old March 18, 2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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There is another difference much more important then using a loading gate or hand ejector... The grips on a X frame and a BFR are completely different. BFR grip is designed to let the revolver 'roll' upwards during recoil, thus letting you cock it, while the X-frame is not. This preference is up to the shooter and can either make the user enjoy a magnum round or hate it.

I think the BFR should be more durable as well. SA have a solid frame which make them inherently more robust. Keep in mind with the X-Frame that the cylinder is very large and heavy... It puts a lot of strain on the crane and other parts, when opening be sure to support it with your hand do 'flop' it out likewise for 'flipping' it closed. A .460 isn't a gun I would want to have fire out of time.
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Old March 19, 2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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There is another difference much more important then using a loading gate or hand ejector... The grips on a X frame and a BFR are completely different. BFR grip is designed to let the revolver 'roll' upwards during recoil, thus letting you cock it, while the X-frame is not. This preference is up to the shooter and can either make the user enjoy a magnum round or hate it. reason I prefer DA guns to SA....grip angle. Even then, for hunting and most target use, I shoot 'em SA. Never have a problem reaching the trigger with my strong hand even tho my hands are not that large. Another thing to consider is whether or not you want a compensated gun. Smiths generally are and the BFRs are not. When shooting heavy hunting loads, or shooting the gun often at the range, this can make a big difference. Add to this, the way the recoil works differently with the different grips. IME, More folks are hit in the head with BFRs "rolling" back than with the Smiths. Some dislike compensators because of increase noise and muzzle blast. Believe me, even without the compensator, the muzzle blast from a .460 is deafening and the concussion is felt by folks 20 feet away. Hearing protection at all times is not optional. Either gun is a major investment and I advise you to try and handle each one as much as possible before you purchase.
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Old March 20, 2011, 03:22 PM   #12
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I've both and they're indeed big guns. I happen to prefer the BFR 10" over that of the XVR mostly because of the concussion of the compensated 8 3/8" X Frame. Both wear scopes and I don't consider recoil to be that big of a deal w/either. I need to 'thin out' so I'm planning on keeping the BFR. Of course YMMV.
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Old May 23, 2018, 07:41 PM   #13
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BFR .460 SW

I'm thinking of buying a460 for hog hunting. I need help with my decision. S&W or BFR. I don't mind single action for hunting. I guess the big question for me is will the BFR shoot .460, 45 LC, and 454 Casull like the S&W does? The S&W is like 3 guns in one and give a lot of load flexibility. I've been asking around but no one seems to know if the BFR can do the same thing. Can any one help?
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Old May 24, 2018, 12:19 AM   #14
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I don't own a BFR although I think they are fine guns they are just not my cup of tea.

This review says the .460 S&W Magnum BFR will also shoot the .454 Casall and .45 Colt.
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Old May 24, 2018, 11:38 AM   #15
Join Date: February 1, 2013
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I own and shoot both BFRs and S&W (and others) in 460 in all the different barrel lengths.

As already mentioned one is single action and the other is double action. They shoot/behave very differently so a how the feel to shoot comparison is difficult.

Personally I find single action revolvers to be more difficult to shoot as the power of the cartridge increases.

I would suggest anyone interested in big bores to actually shoot them before buying
and under stand the cost of feeding them. I would also suggest anyone considering any big bore to handload to get the most out of their choice.

That said both the S&W and BFR are great revolvers. If you are interested in shooting large lead bullets the 3" cylinder of the BFR will let you load bullets in excess of 700 grains without issue and its faster twist rate will insure the a stable at distance.

The reasonable limit for size in the S&W is about 440 grain bullet be fore cylinder length and twist rate become limiting factor.

Personally I find bullets in excess of 360 grains to be of no practical use in the 460 Cartridge.

You can expect some loose of accuracy when shooting 454 and 45C from either make although results are ok for "plinking" I would not consider it for hunting.

If cost is a hangup consider a Thompson Center Encore single shoot.

Used S&W can be found on auction site for about the same cost as a BFR.

If you are looking for the best value base on fit and finish it would be a BFR.

For a beginning big bore shooter I would pick S&W- double action action revolver.

be safe
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