I am contemplating getting another single action and I have been thinking about either the new SBH Bisley in .454 or a BRF. The BFR's are very well built from what I hear but have not been able to find one to handle. Any one have experience with these 2 guns?
Are you looking at a long cylinder BFR, or a short cylinder? The long cylinder guns are annoyingly ungainly and heavy. The short cylinders are a bit clunky, but very high quality revolvers.
Both are fine guns. The BFR typically a little cleaner built, the Ruger typically a little sexier on the lines. Personally, I probably won't buy another BFR, but would readily buy another SBH Super Magnum.
"Big Frame Revolver" and "Biggest Finest Revolver" have been fairly interchangeable since the inception of the "BFR". The model is technically "BFR," and they've only been spelled out as "big frame" or "biggest finest" in the print of the marketing.
When the first were made by Sidewinder they were marketed as "big frame", then when DMax took on the contract, it was about 50/50 for those short years as "big frame" and "biggest, finest". Then in 2001 when Mag Research started making them themselves (bought out Dmax), the only thing you saw for several years was "Biggest Finest Revolver". When they updated their site to the new software a couple years ago, that's when the entry line on their website merged the two interpretations: "MRI’s Big Frame Revolver is truly the biggest, finest revolver on the market today."
Relatively speaking, the "Biggest, Finest Revolver" was much more prevalent than the "Big Frame Revolver" when you look at it's marketing history. It even says "Biggest Finest Revolver" on the box.
And they use "Biggest, Finest Revolver" in their print advertisements. "Big Frame" is only used in website text currently.
Of course, colloquially, the BFR is known as the "Big F***ing Revolver"
The BFR beats the SBH in both fit and finish, and has a lot smoother action and trigger but is also another two to three hundred dollars more and comes with those hideous rubber grips, so for me that adds another hundred or so dollars to get rid of them. The SBH Bisley will need an action job! But is the king of the hill in the SBH. Oh and every one I've handled the grips fit like s***.
My experience is only in handling about a half dozen BFR's that have come through a LGS who's owner has a thing for single actions.
Every one I have handled had an excellent trigger and was very well turned out. Indeed better than most new Rugers.
When I was in the market for a large 44 mag for hunting and range fun last year, I considered ordering a BFR. What turned me away was the grip shape and the extra weight. I did like their scope mount better than Ruger's though.
The BFR fit the bill, but I had experience with the Ruger Bisley and knew it fit my hand well, so I went with a Bisley Hunter which I have been happy with overall as a base gun.
But after a years use to be sure I really get on well with it, my Hunter is now out being customized to my liking by David Clements.
In the end, it will cost several hundred $ more than a BFR, but it will be just the way I want it.
If I had bought the BFR it would probably be out getting the grip shape modified right now.
I had a BFR in 45/70 a number of years ago. It was a great revolver, and very accurate. They are a great quality gun. I have an older SBH .44 mag with a 10 1/2 inch barrel. I like it very much and it also does the job well. Either one is a good choice. If I wanted a really big bore, I would probably go with the BFR. Fit and finish is superb, at least on the older ones.