Somehow, on the trail of greed and covetousness that has marked my time on earth, I’ve missed out on two guns that I really would have liked to own. One is the Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company’s recreation of the A.H. Fox double. They don’t make it in 12 gauge (16 is the biggest) and the lowest price for the plainest grade is $19,500, but if Tony Galazan were to drive past my house and toss one out the window of his car, I would walk down the driveway and pick it up. It is a lovely gun; in fact, “lovely” is far too weak a word to describe it.
The other gun is a Freedom Arms Revolver Model 83 in .44 magnum with a 6-inch barrel. There are, I believe, three different Freedom Arms single-action revolver models, and the one that’s chambered for the metacarpal-mangling cartridges is the 83.
Since Freedom Arms handguns are built to order, the base price is only a suggestion, and for the 83 it’s $2,441. Freedom Arms offers a number of things for all that money. First is mechanical simplicity; there are not a lot of inner workings in a single action, so if you’re going where mechanical reliability is a must, there’s not much you can do to keep a FA revolver from pumping out the lead. Second is the availability of major calibers, up to and including the .454 Cassull, the .475 Linebaugh, and the .500 Wyoming Express, just in case you object to popping away with a 9mm at the bear that’s eating your leg.
But the thing about FA revolvers that’s always blown me away (as it were) is the beautiful fit and finish. You want to see a firearm that’s made right, here is your huckleberry. This includes a match-grade trigger, and a degree of accuracy that’s far, far beyond what all but the most accomplished shooters can stand up to. (Years ago, I spoke with one of the editors at the American Rifleman. It seems they had just finished testing a FA .22 rimfire with a match barrel and cylinder, and it was the most accurate .22 revolver they had ever tested. Ever. I think I’m remembering this correctly.)
Even though the single-action revolver is an ancient life form, it still makes a lot of sense for a lot of uses where lots of firepower is not a prerequisite, and maybe, in the not too distant future, a car will prowl past my driveway and someone will toss a package out the window. I won’t shoot a .454 Cassull on a bet, fellows, but I will tote a .44 Magnum. Just a hint.