Freedom Arms 44 mag to 650 yards

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Gunny Sergeant
Sep 3, 2009
1,191
22
38
64
East side of Ohio
#1
We've been shooting our LR bolt action pistols at the local 1000 yard matches the past 3 1/2 years and been having pretty decent success. My main love has always been revolvers and I bought a Freedom Arms 10" 44 magnum years ago when they first came out mainly to see how well we could get one to shoot.

I've been experimenting with my 10" Freedom Arms 44mag the past couple of years at longer distances and have been quite surprised with the results. It's always been a great shooter with 24gr of IMR4227 and the hornady 240XTP. It has a VGM 5 position mount that Chris (designed and built the mount at Miracle Machine Works) modified a bit to keep it on my revolver.

I've had settings for 100 thru 500 yards using the five positions and has been quite the hit at the LR matches when I drag it out and ring the 500 yard 16" plate. It's using a 2 1/2 - 8 Leupold which is plenty for those distances and is holding up very well.

Yesterday at the Awards Banquet I brought it along to play with since it was a pretty nice day with temps in the upper 50's and nearly zero wind. First couple of shots I was a bit low on the 500 yard target but with a bit of holdover got two hits in a row on the 16" square then noticed I was on the 400 yard pin. Duh, moved the pin setting and the next shot holding center elevation and right edge got another hit. Let another up and coming LR pistol shooter Randy Wise try his hand at it. His first shot was a tad high, corrected his hold a bit and next shot was a hit. Pretty cool when someone else also does it, takes forever to get there and looks like a rock falling out of the sky.

The owner of the range has hit 3 out of 5 shots on a standard size IPSC target at the 500 yard line and my best has been 4 out of 5. Others have hit the same target after a bit of coaching on how to grip and hold it correctly. Fellow handgunners DaleT and my son Chris have also had good success with it so it's not just a fluke we're getting a good percentage of hits on a calm day at these distances.

Later on we were on the top side of the range where the farther targets were and thought I'd try the 650 yard target. It's a bit smaller (12" x 15") but nice backdrop to see the misses and be able to walk it in. I didn't have any more pin positions and didn't want to change the positions already set and there happened to be a nice dead tree that really stood out above the target and perfectly in line with it. Started holding farther up that tree and the target finally disappeared out of the bottom of the scope but found a spot that I was getting misses by inches around it. Finally got it tweaked in son said he didn't see it hit around it. He thought he saw the target quiver but wasn't sure. I shot another one and had a miss 1" left, another shot and barely under it, then another that he didn't see miss but thought he heard a very small ding. The next shot he saw a spot of paint come off it but no movement but again a very soft ding. Got 3 hits out of 10 with the rest just barely missing it by inches.

Really amazed me but goes to show these things will shoot way farther than most give them credit for. JBM shows the drop from a 100 yard zero to be 706 inches and from my 500 yard setting I had to hold over about 33 feet which appeared to be about right based on how high I was holding on the tree that was above the field the target was in. At that angle it was falling it would have been easier to hit it at a 45deg ange than straight up and down.

Luckily there were witnesses, but no video. That is something I'll have to think of next time we take it out. We have some on the 100 to the 500 yard targets but really hard to zoom in to see any hits and even though the 500 yard target rings pretty good the 650 made such a soft ding you could miss it if you weren't listening for it. Figured the bullet probably just hit and dropped straight down to the ground. I'll have to check next time I have the 4 wheeler there for the bullets.

Wish I'd have had a revolver like this back in the old Silhouette days instead of the SBH, Pythons or DW guns. Be fun to maybe enter one of our LR matches next year just for the fun of it with the Freedom, even if I never hit a single target I'll bet no one would want to be standing beside them. With our LR bolt pistols we hold wind usually in a few inches or so but this would be in many feet with even a slight breeze.

Well enough for now, had fun with it. More than a novelty now and does show they can be plenty accurate way past what is normally thought the norm for a revolver. Still not equal to Elmers 600 yard shots with open sights but I'm no Elmer Keith either. He's a legend who started us all on this long range quest with the short guns, especially with a revolver. There might be bigger badder rounds than the 44mag but I feel it's one of the best all around calibers we have. I'd love to have a Freedom in 357max and be able to shoot the 200gr rifle bullets out of a revolver but the powers to be at Freedom don't see the need for one but I wonder how far that thing would shoot? Maybe someday...



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Jeremy45

Sergeant of the Hide
May 1, 2010
413
7
18
31
Odessa, TX
#2
Re: Stretching my Freedom Arms 44 legs a bit.

Topstrap,

That's awesome. I have just recently started looking into the Freedom Arms revolvers and long range pistol shooting in general. I had no idea a 44mag out of a revolver could be that accurate at such a distance. I appreciate your write up and it makes me want to get involved in long range pistol shooting even more.

That adjustable scope mount is really cool, how do you think it would hold up one one of the larger caliber FA guns? Such as 475 Linebaugh or 454 Casull?

Jeremy45
 

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Gunny Sergeant
Sep 3, 2009
1,191
22
38
64
East side of Ohio
#3
Re: Stretching my Freedom Arms 44 legs a bit.

The revolver really isn't a good choice for LR shooting at least the type of LR shooting that most on here do. We do use our bolt action XP-100s or Strikers in rifle calibers to compete at the local 1000 yard matches and that would be the way to go. The XP-100 are getting harder to find and are pricey. If I was just starting out again I'd go with a Striker since you can do all the work yourself just like the Savage rifles I'm a big fan of.

The Contenders being limited to low pressure cartridges are about a 500 yard gun at best and the Encores maybe to 800 yards although some say they can do better but we've not found it even with a lot of experimentation with them. Some like the MOA guns but they've never been one that interests me.

There are a couple videos under my name that show these pistols being shot out to 900 and 1000 yards. They are very accurate and surprises the rifle guys with the scores we've shot with them.

The VGM mount is very well made and if you call Chris down at Miracle Machine Works he'll tell you the one on my 44 revolver is the only mount he's ever had to repair. He made a slight change to where it mounts on my rail and that solved the problem. If you told him what you had in mind he'd probably make the same modification, it seems these revolvers and LR handguns generate a weird recoil even when compared to the big caliber rifles such as the 338 Lapua and a 50BMG.

Good luck

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