By this, I emphatically don’t mean loading five rounds and peering at the front end of the gun to see where the bullets are—yes, I’ve actually seen people do this. The proper procedure is to open the loading gate and pull the hammer to the half-cock position. Load one round, skip the next chamber and load four more rounds. Then bring the hammer to full cock. This rotates the cylinder, aligning the firing pin with an empty chamber so you can close the loading gate, grasp the hammer, pull the trigger and carefully lower the hammer.
The gun’s single-action trigger broke crisply and consistently at an average pull weight of 3 lbs., 9 oz. The trigger itself has a somewhat narrow curved blade, but I liked the feel of it. Those with fat fingers may find the space a bit cramped inside the trigger guard, but cocking the hammer moves the trigger to the rear, allowing plenty of room for even a large trigger finger. One added touch I very much favor is a knurled top surface of the hammer, which greatly aids in maintaining positive control when cocking or lowering the hammer.
Recoil may be a bit much for beginning shooters, but for those accustomed to shooting powerful single-action revolvers, the recoil is entirely tolerable. The gun’s nearly three-pound weight helps mitigate the recoil impulse, and the gun rolls back in the hand nicely, much like my much-modified Ruger New Model Blackhawk in the same chambering. That gun is anything but traditional, since it has, in addition to the transfer bar system, a vent rib atop the barrel and an aftermarket trigger guard. That gun has its purpose, but so does the more traditionally styled Bad Boy.
Whether it’s punching holes in paper or pigs, or tagging along as a backup in bear country, the Bad Boy is definitely capable of getting the job done when it’s pushing proper bullets for the intended purpose. Velocities of most tested factory loads were higher than factory-stated numbers by as much as 162 f.p.s. The hottest load tested, Federal’s 240-grain Fusion round, stepped out at 1452 f.p.s., with the Hornady Custom 240-grain XTP load nipping at its heels.
Using the Fusion round as an example, that’s roughly 1,125 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle and more than 900 foot pounds of energy at 50 yards. I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that dictates that you need, say, 1,000 foot pounds of energy to kill a deer (or any other animal, for that matter). It’s the damage caused by the bullet on the terminal end that counts, and history clearly demonstrates that proper bullets in .44 Rem. Mag. at these velocities will handle most North American game animals at rational handgun-hunting distances.
At the range I found the Bad Boy to be wonderfully accurate. Testing from the bench with five different loads shot at 25 yards produced average groups ranging from 1.75 inches to a bit over two inches, with best groups for all five tested loads running an inch and a half to an inch and a quarter. I’m certain the gun is capable of even better accuracy in the hands of someone who shoots handguns from the bench better than I do with my less-than-youthful eyes. That has never been my favorite way to test or spend time with handguns, anyway.
I infinitely prefer to see how they perform by shooting them offhand, because that’s how they’re used in the real world, and the Bad Boy shot quite well for me, if just a smidge low, when shooting from a standing position at a variety of distances. I didn’t bother adjusting the sights since the cure for me was to simply employ a full sight picture versus a six o’clock hold. The gun may shoot differently for you because hand sizes and the ways people grip a revolver vary considerably.