I was home after extensive shoulder reconstruction surgery, unable to shoot, drive, work, walk or do anything except sit or lay on my butt for nine interminable weeks in a full shoulder immobilizer that was more like a full upper-body cast. I learned of the Bisley BFR during that time, and made it my life’s goal to obtain one chambered in .454 Casull, my favorite personal defense caliber for Alaska Brown bears that try to screw with my fishing. The good folks at Magnum Research accommodated my request, and even threw in a Gould & Goodrich scope-ready holster to make me feel like I was getting better (and it worked!). I received a 6.5-inch barreled BFR Bisley chambered in .454 Casull within a couple of weeks. The Bisleys only come with the polymer faux ivory grip panels—which are both very good looking and, extraordinarily well designed and engineered to provide surprisingly good grip traction. And like all current-production BFRs a frame-top Weaver/Picatinny scope mount is included.
I was absolutely delighted with my new Bisley. The .454 Casull chambering permits shooting .45 Long Colt rounds as well, so within a few days I was out with a hundred rounds of fresh .45 Colt reloads blasting away. Accuracy was phenomenal—1/2” center-to-center at 25 yards—and perceived recoil was virtually non existent thanks to the pronounced vertical Bisley grip frame and the weight of the gun (3.8 lbs.).
Now for the test gun we received from Magnum Research. It was a BFR Bisley chambered in .30-30 Win. This is a long–cylinder, long-barrel (10-Inch) revolver designed specifically for hunting. Made entirely of U.S.-sourced stainless steel, it’s a marvel to behold and an incredibly high-quality piece to hunt with. The top strap is drilled and tapped for the included full-length scope mount that permits setting up a long-eye-relief scope or red-dot sight without having to jump through flaming hoops. The long, 5-round, .30-30 Win. cylinder is fluted, as is the 7.5-inch barrel, both of which are extra-cost options. Upon inspection of my personal .454 Casull and the supplied .30-30 long-cylinder model, I was very favorably impressed with the fit and finish—which were virtually identical between the two guns—a brushed matte stainless in both cases—and the consistency of the trigger pull. Both guns had excellent triggers—the best I could ask for in a single-action revolver, with short, crisp light trigger pulls averaging in the 2-pound range on our Lyman trigger-pull gauge, with no take-up, stacking or other unpleasant attributes. Sights consist of a windage and elevation adjustable rear with a fixed, serrated front ramp. In testing my personal, .454 Casull BFR, I found the matte black front sight difficult to see against most natural backgrounds, so I went to Walmart and picked up a container of nail polish in Day-Glo orange with multi-colored sparkles. It worked great, and I have enough for 5,000 more front sight applications. If I’d been quick enough, I could have purchased a BFR Hi-Viz fiber–optic front sight for $26.99—and still might—but for right now I’m kind of taken with the sparkle nail polish treatment!